Newington welcomes Alafua Fisi’ihoi
Rev Alafua Fisi’ihoi recently spent nine days at Newington College as part of a teaching secondment program with our brother school, Tupou College in Tonga. We caught up with Rev Fisi’ihoi to learn more about his experiences on campus.
Have you visited Newington College before?
This is my first time here at Newington and Sydney. What a school, it is amazing and so beautiful, clean facilities and a clean environment. My gratitude to the Headmaster Dr Mulford for this great opportunity. It is my privilege and honour to be part of Newington College in these nine days.
What subjects do you teach at Tupou College?
I teach Science, Maths and Bible. I am also the Assistance Coordinator for the International stream.
What similarities do you notice between Tupou and Newington?
We are very different in many things. Newington is only three years ahead of Tupou College in time of establishment (1863 vs 1866) but it seems like 100 years apart in everything, as I looked at the similarities between Tupou College and Newington College. My appreciation to Dr Mulford and the Newington College Council for their kindness and continued partnership that you share with your younger brother school in Tonga.
Tupou College has started this year teaching the Newington syllabus with Year 7, and it is taught exclusively in the English language. There will be another level for Year 8 starting in 2019. Tupou College is very fortunate to have two Newington College teachers on secondment this year. Mary Nosworthy (English teacher) and Klarissa Stellmacher (Maths teacher). They have made an enormous contribution to Tupou College for this new academic pathway with their great teaching experiences and discipline, talents, sense of humour and humbleness.
What have been some of your favourite moments about your visit?
- Sharing with staff their experiences, teaching resources, teaching and learning strategies.
- Dialogue with students in class and around campus.
- Meeting with the Tongan boys at the boarding house.
- Having a taste of the menu at Newington dining room. It is amazing.
- Experiencing modern technology, the Science laboratories and Newington models.
- The PDHPE class programs are all inspiring.
- Taylor Sports Centre is gigantic!
Newington has a great and enormous infrastructure! The facilities are amazing and very convenient for teaching and learning. I think it’s a great idea having the teachers of the same subjects in separate staff rooms, which enables them to help one another and chat about their subject.
This is the first opportunity for Tupou College staff to be part of the secondments between Tupou College and Newington College. It is a rare opportunity and I am very fortunate to have this opportunity to visit Australia and experience the education programs at Newington.
I am so grateful for the staff that I have met, both teaching and non-teaching as we build up relationships and expand our community and get to know what is available and relevant for Tupou College in any aspects.
I would like to thank Cameron Quince and all the staff at Newington for your great hospitality and friendliness. I also appreciate the respect from the students. Each time I entered the classrooms, they stood up quietly with their warm welcome greeting to me. Thanks to Rev Geordie Barham and his family for the Christmas BBQ and the “Polotu” fellowship with the Tongan students at his house.
Last but not least, my salute and farewell to Dr Mulford on his retirement next month. It was nice to meet and talk with him in his office. His smiling and joking put me at ease at Newington.
I am very happy because I came to Newington with a page of things to learn and observe, but I have been blessed with a book of many pages of interesting stories to share in my life at Tupou College. Tupou College will continue to follow in Newington’s footsteps as we pursue the best education possible for our students. Even though we are geographically far away from Australia, in a very tiny island with limited resources. God is near.
Rev Alafua Fisi’ihoi