We caught up with the Programme Director of Yarnton Manor, Christine Luscombe-Whyte, to hear her thoughts on Oxford Royale Academy and her expectations for students after their graduation.
Christine has enjoyed an illustrious career in the education field prior to working at ORA. Primarily working in the higher education sector, spending a substantial amount of time in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. On returning to the UK, Christine continued research in education and training, before opting to specialize in special needs education.
Christine’s father was in the airline industry, which she believes sparked her own global outlook and interest to work internationally. Christine says, “This made me automatically independent and willing to adjust to different situations”. She also gave an inspirational quote; her father used frequently, “Chris, it’s not worth living if you’re not going to make a difference”. Christine’s answer to this is that; “Everyone can make a difference, no doubt about that. The problem is that lots of people don’t push themselves, don’t take risks – but these are things that this programme very much encourages”.
We asked Christine what she believes students should gain from their two weeks with us here at ORA? “ I want this experience to create a difference in their thinking, in their world. This is what I see happening before my eyes.” She further states; “I want students to emerge as different people. I want them to leave having matured, with a better understanding of the world. More than anything, I want this experience to be a turning point for our students, for them t look back on their lives and see ORA as a significant experience.” When asked why this experience is just so valuable, Christine replies; “I can see that this is a time when students are letting loose – It’s really their first experience of this kind of intellectual and personal freedom. It’s not only the living together, the socializing, the academics, but the whole lifestyle together. It’s a bridge to the next step, as we’re providing these new freedoms in a safe and secure environment”.
It has been made very transparent that Christine’s leadership skills and ability to adapt to diverse and challenging environments that have made her the perfect candidate to lead our students here at Yarnton Manor. Christine believes that “leadership is directly encouraging your people to face challenges.” We believe the students are in the best possible hands.