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Staff Profiles: Pepa O'Donovan

Pepa O'Donovan

Foundation Stage Teacher (Foundation Stage 3 Leader)

I was passionate about teaching from an early age; I always took the role of the teacher when I played "schools" with my brothers and sisters, leading family shows and teaching my siblings to dance, act and draw. Even though I grew up knowing I wanted to be a teacher, influenced by my upbringing in Africa, I developed a passion for learning about different cultures and traditions.

This led me to firstly choose a degree in "Social Anthropology" at the University of Sussex in the UK before going on to study a Montessori Course and a PGCE  course (Post Graduate Certificate in Education).

After completing my PGCE certificate I went on to work for 8 years in a British school in Madrid, gaining experience in Early Years and KS1. My family and I moved to Bangkok 11 years ago where I secured a post as a Reception teacher at a well known international school.

In that time, inspired by the children, the richness of the Thai culture and with my Anthropological background I went on to write and publish a picture book for children titled "Songkran!" Since then I have continued to write picture books for children as a hobby to enhance the learning of different cultures in the classroom as well as concepts such as “sustainability”.

I moved to St Andrews after 5 years in Bangkok in search of a new challenge; St. Andrews has a very good reputation among teachers and students in Bangkok and has a lot to offer to both my own children and I.

I am half Irish, half Spanish and a  Third Culture Adult. I speak 3 languages and grew up in 3 different countries in Africa where I went to local schools and learnt Swahili which I still speak with my older brother and sister.

As a hobby, I enjoy creating resources to enhance learning in the classroom. I was involved in a "Writing and Illustrating" workshop which led to the publishing of a children's picture book titled "The Greedy Mosquito".

With its open admission policy St. Andrews embraces and encourages each child's uniqueness, allowing children to grow and develop as individuals. Its sense of community encourages respect, caring and trust among all its members. I felt welcome from the moment I walked in on my first day.