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Opinion8th December 2015

“Seeing the impact of your work every day – and how Hastings’ artsy scene won me over”

Bryony Hackett-Evans is a first-year trainee teacher at Ark Blacklands Primary Academy, a primary school in Hastings. A Sussex local, Bryony writes about how her first term of teaching has gone – and how Hastings’ countryside and cultural scene has made her feel at home.

I moved to Hastings just a few months ago to take up my first teaching job as a Reception teacher. I grew up in Chichester, so Hastings really appealed because it it’s on the coast and has an independent, artsy vibe.

I grew up by the sea but I’ve spent the past few years living by mountains, working as a ski instructor in France and Australia by the mountain. When I moved to Hastings, I realised how much I missed the sea.

My background is in sports coaching and so I had experience of working with small children and knew I really like it. It’s kind of cheesy but I couldn’t really think of anything else I’d want to do. I love the fact that they’re spending 20% of their life with you. You’re seeing the impact of your work every day.

In the weekends, we spend a lot of time on the seafront and there are loads of free museums. I live near Hastings Old Town where there are lots of independent shops and cafes.

Hastings has some amazing countryside nearby, so I live on the side of town with a massive country park. From my house, it’s a five minute walk and you’re basically in the countryside, where you can go on these amazing cliff top walks. Hastings has quite a small town feel – everyone’s really friendly, but it is big enough that you have the big shops.

It’s also not too far from London, and lots of my friends live in London so it’s great for visiting them on the weekend. It’s also really cheap – I live in a two bedroom terraced house with a garden and we pay the same amount for our whole house as my sister pays for one room in London.