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About Andystiz

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  • Birthday 03/12/1972

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  1. Andystiz

    Your last meal....

    We have been here for over 7 years and miss culture rather than food so much. It is a good family pub, old historic house etc that we miss- even after all these years. we get gammon from pacdon - they do real gammon steaks, gammon joints, haggis etc. they are near Echuca on the Murray vic/nsw but have suppliers all over the place. Pricey, but well worth it. the pickled pork is pretty good done in a slow cooker also. We get it from coles. we get some British stuff every year from Aldi round the queens birthday, lots jacobs club biscuits and other goodies.we also get frozen cod fish from there. for sausages and bacon, best is British sausage company. sadly, we still find the sandwich ham a bit naff, can’t get decent crumbed Yorkshire style ham anywhere. most ‘English ham’ is wet and slimy, like the cheapest stuff from tesco. we buy packs of bachelor dried peas to make our own mushy peas just like at home, we just get a load in from the several uk stores in Oz. we only use one steeping tablet per pack, so we then use the spare steeping tablets with dried blue boiler peas (500g per two tablets) and they make great mushy peas. Otherwise food is pretty much the same…… so for last meal…… I’d have a curry, a dansak, can’t get one here for love nor money! Preferably in a picturesque old historic pub/restaurant with your family around you.
  2. Andystiz

    Mobile phone plan for Oz phone in UK

    I would just get a dual sim phone and have a new UK sim with your oz one with some credit on it that lasts for 365 days - just payg is fine with numerous suppliers. Then simply text back using snapchat or facebook etc using UK phone plan data which is mega cheap. Don't use for calls though. Dual sim phones are not too expensive but not generally available on the high street - some do have them- but I got mine online unlocked etc. works a treat.
  3. We used John mason also for our move to Melbourne in 2015- very competitive- we had 2 competing companies and got each to lower prices and then picked the one we wanted- they went down by about 150. We also used letton percival for insurance- all no problem.
  4. We did a one year exchange with an Australian, a teacher exchange program, this was invaluable to gaining an insight to living and working on Oz. Our children where 8 and 5 at the time and enjoyed life over in Oz but missed grandparents etc. Could you get a sabbatical year?, and its only a flight away should an emergency happen. However, Sydney is very expensive for housing and a large income required to live in a nice area - although further away the cheaper it becomes. If you could get a job north or south of sydney , there are some lovely palces, I really like Nowra, a few hours south. Whatever you choose to do , good luck!
  5. Andystiz

    Education system Aus vs UK

    haha, yes, my kids, both primary age, have had this sort of nonsense whilst neglecting basics!
  6. Andystiz

    Education system Aus vs UK

    Thanks, obviously I should just ignore my thoughts and tell myself that where I work actually is better because pisa says so...... :-)
  7. Andystiz

    Education system Aus vs UK

    As a teacher, married to another teacher, we left teaching in the UK because of the endless pressure and results focused state system. It certainly was a major factor in our decision. In my experience, limited as it is, a combination of the best of both systems would be best. Some of the drive and rigour in lower years as in the Uk (without the SAT's- and no, NAPLAN is absolutely nothing like SAT's) to ensure that the basics are correct for all students. Also married with some of the Australian elective style curriculum with a much greater element of student choice.
  8. Andystiz

    Education system Aus vs UK

    I've taught in two private schools in Aus (one Anglican and one Catholic high) and previously taught in England for 18 years. I can honestly say that students generally work harder in England and lower standards are the norm here in Aus up to around year 10. In all of my time in England I never knew a single student who took the PISA test, so I'd take it all with a pinch of salt. I think the schools in Aus are significantly more autonomous and can lack rigour in lower years- this can lead to laziness (invariably in boys) just being accepted and not particularly challenged/pushed to do better, often for fear of confrontation with student's/parents. Saying that, there are equally many good students who want to do well. I think my pom perception of what a private school is like is nothing like the reality here - in my limited experience in private education here it is like teaching in an average comprehensive without the smoking and other undesirable attributes at times in UK. Plenty of room for improvement over here- they could learn a lot from the drive to succeed in england without the endless rubbish. anyway, just my thoughts on my experience
  9. Andystiz

    Did you get married in Australia?

    Hi, we got married in the botanic gardens in Sydney in 2002, was absolutely brilliant. We lived in derbyshire at the time so it took a lot of organising, sorting the celebrant etc. but was great value. Would recommend it to anyone!
  10. Andystiz

    Teachers Moving or Living in Australia

    You speak to your head and get approval to apply, then get the forms etc from the commonwealth exchange council. It does cost about 500 when you are 'matched'. We sorted out a residency visa instead of the 2 year working visa you get if on exchange. Otherwise fairly straightforward. Main issue is getting head etc to agree. If you need any further help let me know.
  11. Andystiz

    Teachers Moving or Living in Australia

    Hi to all teachers aiming to move out Oz. I've returning from a years teacher exchange to an independent all through school in south NSW in December 2013- this was our families trial move to validate our visa. I taught year 7-10 sci and year 7 maths plus senior bio. I generally teach sci and ict to years 5-8in a middle school in Staffordshire but didn't find it too bad. I did find some aspects of teaching in Oz really frustrating, assessment procedures that don't really assess understanding of concepts, the apathy of some yr9-10 students as they have no school certificate exam and when they have decided they are not taking science at hsc level then they can down tools somewhat. We did miss the countryside of the UK terribly and we now feel torn between the two places...... very odd feeling. But in terms of pressure/stress from the system is was a case of doing your best in lower school and as long as parents/leaders were happy then that's ok. It was regional rural school. They offered me a job but I had to decline as we have house etc in UK. Now sold up after hating the political/Ofsted/gestapo rubbish back here. So now looking to possibly moving to oz in 2015 if I secure a job. Hopefully the years experience will serve me well. If anyone wants to trial it out then I would defo say do an exchange, you gain a lot but lose nothing. My wife did a lot of casual teaching also- a good brit teacher goes down well due to our general work ethic and good planning etc. I think I was the only teacher who marked books in the whole school...... not quite like we have to do back in the UK but still the students appreciated it in the year 7-8 especially and they earned treats with stamps etc.... Behaviour is not great but also not terrible it seems to be the case of if they can't be arsed then they will flunk out. Well that was my experience. Our best friends have moved to Sydney both as teachers and are in a TOP boys schools (mega fees etc) but say it is no good at all, lots of political infighting , behaviour is poor and not a great place to work. So don't judge a book by its cover. Anyway hope it all goes well for you all but be aware of the pit falls etc. Who knows we may end up in same area somewhere some fellow brit teachers... I've already registered with smart teachers and had interview with them but as I would prefer middle school teaching then it may be more tricky to get work. I'm also fully registered with Vic institute of teachers and NSW. The paperwork is a nightmare but you just gotta get loads of cert copies of transcripts and passports etc. Cheers Andy
  12. Andystiz

    176 Lodged June 2012

    Thanks for that- totally agree gove- cheesegrater to face is whats required and then get him to recite all the timestables and poetry all while reading a classic novel each week etc. Just had our inset day at start of term 3 today and maybe just maybe some of my ideas are coming to fruition- a lazy arse kid being placed on 'positive' monitoring- only after parents said they may remove him to go to boarding school. Maybe even starting to compare prior attainment with current in the reporting system- although only time will tell. The full time staff here do moan about the workload- they really have no idea- although my exchange teacher does now, shes tried to get back early twice and my school in the uk is a middle school so no real exam pressure apart from the sats, although obviously progress is king and thankfully I teach science not maths or english- although I am turning my hand to yr 7 maths over here- not something i'd hope to do again!! The kids over here are generally ok- they just seem lazy to me compared to in the Uk in a good school. I think its because they know nothing matters until year12. I am registered as a teacher in Vic and they gave me full registration recognising my pd and experience and responsibility etc. Anyway, I'm off to tassie next holiday so I'll enjoy the time over here!! Hope everything continues to go well with you and you eventually bring the best bits of the uk system to the oz one - then you'd have a robust system for all- I thik I should work for the board of studies as an advisor or something!!!:cute:
  13. Andystiz

    176 Lodged June 2012

    Sounds like you are having a very different experience to me. The school I am at has no target setting and progress reports, in fact I got no information on any prior attainment for any of the classes I am teaching. All I got was a class list and that was it, aside from the programme of study. We are in a very isolated country area that is very pretty but backward in many respects. I have submitted a 3/4 page summary about how I feel the school could address my perceived issues but they have said many of things I have suggested are cultural differences- I did say that a school creates its own culture/ethos but I am fairly certain that none of my ideas will be adopted over the coming years as they would mean staff had to work harder!!!!! I am pleased to hear that others are having a more positive experience- but still looking forward to going home in December and seeing family as we have had no visitors at all and won't have any all year due to family ill health and being unable to travel. I do laugh when the locals whine about it being cold when it is 16, they really have no idea, not looking forward to weather next Jan at home!! I agree that there are more opportunities for our children here and indeed adults to change career. Just not sure its right for us at this moment in time- strangely our best friends (also teachers) are currently in the process of getting a visa to move over- Mr Gove is driving teachers out of Britain!!
  14. Andystiz

    176 Lodged June 2012

    I've seen the ads for the education reforms also- all after the gonski report thing. No doubt they are going to be ploughing money into education and hopefully it will improve. We feel that the early years in the uk provide a much more solid foundation. Just as an illustration- in literacy they teach children to print letters and not cursive handwriting (they try and teach this later onin yr4) and at home cursive is taught as it helps combat dyslexia etc. Students are definately not pushed- it would appear that those who want to learn do and those who for whatever reason don't engage easily don't or are allowed to falter somewhat. I am aware that my exp is only based on my exchange school and others in the locality but it still causes concern. I suppose we are classing this as a validation visit- still enjoying the holidays- we are off on the great ocean drive to adelaide next break. Don't let my thoughts put any1 off- just chose your school carefully!! Best of luck to all.
  15. Andystiz

    176 Lodged June 2012

    Update from us, been in Aus since Jan 2nd on teacher exchange as a trial before a possible big move after gaining the full visa. After the intial buzz of being in Oz we have been mulling over whether to make the big move yet.... decided to go back to the Uk after the 1 year teacher exchange. It's not that we havent enjoyed it but we have real concerns over education for our youngest (just in kinder here) as we feel uk 1st 3 or so years are much much better and I have found working in an Oz school not as fulfilling as I hoped. I am enjoying being ofsted free but I miss the technology and more organised collaborative approach to teaching. I also really miss the history and culture of the uk, much more than I ever thought I would. So we will go back in december and reassess over the next 1-2 years or so. We have until 2017 to make a perm move so no real rush. We are enjoying the weather though and of all the years to be out of the UK this would seem to be a good one!!! Best of luck to everyone in their adventures.