A ‘Brazilliant’ Experience for Joao

October 2016

 A ‘Brazilliant’ Experience for Joao

Joao showing off his infectious smile!

For the second time we are fortunate enough to have an international exchange student staying with us for an extensive period of time. This initiative gives all of our students the opportunity to learn about other cultures and global citizenship, which is especially beneficial for those unable to travel.

This time, our exchange student, who is part of BATH’s international youth project ‘Braziliant’ is Joao Vitor Rizzo Rei from Navirai, Brazil. Joao came as part of an extended school trip cohort, visiting King James as guests of Stephen Elliott. While Joao has been here, he has achieved a number of personal goals, such as starting to learn and improve his English with help from students and Stephen, discovering what is important in his life regarding family and he is also now confident that his experience of working with local primary school children will significantly help with his future.

It is a vast change from Joao’s hometown, which is in the middle of nowhere in Brazil, hours away from the urbanised coastline. The opportunity to visit the UK was all that Joao has ever wanted and being part of our Academy has enabled him to visit a number of Northern and national landmarks including the Angel of the North and Sunderland’s Stadium of Light. Despite being an avid football fan, originating from the football capital of the world, Sunderland’s stadium was surprisingly the first that Joao had ever visited. London, in his words, was a beautiful place and the trip to Scotland with BATH, was beyond words.

Joao has used this opportunity to also pursue his passion for acting. He has certainly come to the right school! He has loved his time at King James so far, commenting on how respectful students are to each other and their teachers, and how King James is a happy school, full of creativity. He will return to Brazil after Christmas to help with his hometown’s theatre group, BANHO, which is a sister group to BATH, set up by Stephen during his working visit to Brazil last year..

Joao hopes that his time at King James has inspired both our own students and local primary pupils “ he is a real person with real experiences who is not hiding from the harsh reality of his own life. He hopes to have opened our eyes with his life stories, making us realise just how lucky we are in comparison.

Thank you Joao for what you have taught us, at least someone is smiling on a Monday morning!

King James I Academy, South Church Road, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 7JZ