SCHOOL students won't be the only ones heading back through the gates this school year.
Ellie Garvey is planning to start her masters in primary school teaching in February and as part of the 18 month, fast tracked course through Griffith University, will do some practical experience at one of the primary schools in the area.
"I've put down for St Pat's to go with my graduate certificate in theology but my preference after that is to go to a small school like Wolvi or Gympie East,” the 25-year-old said.
While theology might seem like a strange course to take, to Ellie, it makes perfect sense.
"I'm very devout,” she said.
"I like to sing every week at my church. I like to walk in the light so others will know the way even if they're in darkness.”
Ellie's drive to learn teaching comes from a number of inspirational sources including her mum, who Ellie says taught 120 students at once at a school in Tully many years ago.
Her father is another muse and pioneered a project, along with her mother, to help mentality disabled homeless people from Sydney during the 1970s (as a result of the Richmond Report), using thoroughbred horses to break down barriers.
She hopes to use her new qualifications to ultimately help provide greater assistance to clients referred to Glen Eirrin Arabians, a project her dad started in Canina and which Ellie continues to this day.
That will go with her double degree in applied science, her QCA in agriculture, her diploma in early childhood and education and her studies into psychology.
"I want to get the masters to add to that and offer people more. I want to bring back the aspect of caring.”
Ellie said her studies will help her to hone her skills and teach her how children learn, assets that can only benefit her clients once her masters is completed.
During the first semester Ellie expects to complete one day a week and two blocks of three weeks at the primary school where she will be placed for her practical element.
"So the kids won't be the only new ones there this year,” she said.