Boarding Students

Opportunities for life
Friends forever

Boarding at St Hilda's offers a family-orientated lifestyle that reflects our values and Anglican ethos. We care for up to 150 girls in Years 7 to 12 who come from regional Australia as well as overseas. Our team of highly qualified staff are dedicated to creating a family atmosphere where girls make friends easily, feel comfortable and relaxed and can establish good study routines.

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The Secret Life of a St Hilda's Boarder

Our location

Perth is one of the most liveable cities in the world and you will find St Hilda’s between the city centre and the port city of Fremantle, near the river in the beautiful suburb of Mosman Park between the Swan River and the Indian Ocean. Our Bay View Campus has provided boarding accommodation since 1906.

Boarding life

Our Boarding House is designed specifically for teenage girls. Each room is different; there are generous bathroom facilities, numerous social areas and mini-kitchens where girls can prepare snacks and light meals. The Health Centre in the Boarding House is manned by professional nursing staff to provide constant quality care.

Our boarders live in the heart of the School and have access to excellent recreational facilities – sports courts, a swimming pool, an oval, a gymnasium and outdoor spaces for barbecues and socialising. Academic facilities include the Library and Technology Centre, which is open at night and at weekends, and a prep and study area specifically for boarders. The girls also have desks and space to study in their rooms. Evening prep is supervised with a tutor available to assist boarders as well as a teacher on duty each evening. Girls can also take advantage of our free Tutoring Centre which operates after school during the week.

We provide a healthy balance between study and recreation. Many girls are involved in cocurricular activities such as Sport, Music and Drama before or after school, and informal, organised activities at weekends including movies, river cruises, music concerts and social events with boys and girls from other independent schools.

The girls play an active role in boarding life and are encouraged to participate in leadership roles, such as joining the Food Committee which consults with the Head of Boarding and the Chef on the all-important choices for the menu in the dining room.

Fitting in

It is difficult to leave home and move in with more than 100 other girls, so we have programs to offer new girls support as they make the transition from home to boarding.

View our 2017 Boarding Handbook

Choosing a boarding education for your daughter is a major life decision. We encourage you to come and meet us and see the Boarding House and our school for yourself. Email us at enrol@sthildas.wa.edu.au to organise a personal tour.

Frequently Asked Questions

For New Boarders

Do I have to keep my room tidy?

Yes! While the boarding house cleaners will vacuum your room every day you will be expected to keep your room tidy and make your bed daily. A casual room inspection is done each morning. Boarders cannot go out on leave until their rooms are tidy!

Who helps me to find my way around when I first arrive?

You will receive a letter from your buddy, and she, along with the Peer Support Leaders or Senior Mentors, will help you to find your way around.

If I have a worry or personal problem to whom can I turn?

You can talk to your Supervisor, the Head of Boarding, the Health Centre Nurses, the Chaplain, and your Form Tutor, the Peer Support Leaders, your buddy or your Boarding Year Representative.

What is there to do on weekends?

The weekends are a mix of organised activities and unstructured time. A recreational officer organises two outings each weekend including socials, movies, sporting events, shopping and ice skating. Years 7 and 8 girls may go shopping at Cottesloe Central, while the older girls can go further afield to Claremont, Subiaco and the city. Those girls staying in for the weekend will enjoy DVD nights and the chance to unwind from their busy week.

What do I do about laundry?

Girls are responsible for washing their own clothes. The laundry is open after school and at weekends. The school laundry staff will wash and iron your school uniform and your bed linen once a week.

What happens if I am sick?

During the day, if you are too ill to go to school you will be looked after by a Registered Nurse in the Health Centre. After school, your supervisor will ensure you are well looked after, however, if you are particularly unwell we will arrange for you to go to a family member or your Guardian.

Will I eat in the Boarding House? Can I keep my own food?

Everyone is expected to eat breakfast, lunch and supper in the Dining Room. However, most students also make food for themselves in the Boarding House. Bread and milk are provided, as well as a variety of spreads, coffee, tea and Milo. There is a toaster, a microwave, a fridge, a freezer and a kettle in each area. You are allowed to keep small quantities of your own food in the fridge or freezer.

What is the food like?

The boarders’ menu is carefully planned with attention to nutrition and a balanced diet, but, no matter how hard we try, we can’t replicate mum’s home cooking. Boarder representatives work in conjunction with the Head of Boarding and the Chef to create appealing menus, catering for all tastes and requirements.  Dinner is buffet style with choices of mains, vegetables and salads, and there is always a vegetarian option. At lunchtime, girls also have choices: one of which is to make their own rolls or sandwiches and eat with their friends.

How often can I go home?

While it is expected that all girls will remain in the Boarding House at least four weekends per term, it is essential that new boarders and Year 8s remain in the Boarding House for the first two weekends of the year. This allows the girls to begin to build the bonds that they will rely upon in their time at St Hilda’s. In Terms 1, 2 and 3 the School schedules a boarders’ weekend and the Boarding House closes for the weekend to allow all boarders to return to their families or their guardians’ homes.

What can I do after school?

Most girls are busy after school, either at sports or music practices or other cocurricular activities. Girls may go shopping after school in the local area.

How many boarders are there at St Hilda’s?

There are 150 boarders from Years 7 to 12. This comprises one quarter of the senior school population. Where do most of the boarders come from? Most of our boarders come from country Australia. We also have overseas boarders and a few who live in greater Perth.

What do I need for my room?

You need a doona; two covers; two sets of King single size sheets (107 cm x 204 cm x 30cm); a pillow; and pillowcases. For Years 7 and 8 only, girls need to bring a curtain (2m long x 1m wide). What else can I bring for my room? Girls may bring hairdryers, a radio and CD players (head phones are compulsory). Each room has an access point for a personal computer to be networked to the school system. What can’t I bring for my room? Heaters, fans, electric blankets, fridges and televisions are not permitted.

Can I phone home?

Definitely! There are phones in each area of the Boarding House. Most girls have their own mobile phones.

How can my family keep in touch with me?

They can, of course, phone you and many will use e-mail and/or fax. Several parents also write postcards or letters regularly which we encourage, as the girls love it! All girls collect their mail from the boarders’ mail board. If you have a parcel, your name will be written on the board and all parcels are collected at the boarding office.

Can I take friends home for the weekend?

Yes. This is a lovely way to introduce your friends to your family. Many of the overseas boarders are delighted to experience farm/rural life.

How much money do I need? Where can I keep it?

There is a safe in each room for your personal use. However, you will only need small amounts of money to cover your shopping for toiletries and treats. We discourage girls ever storing large sums of money in their rooms. Small amounts of pocket money are kept safely by most girls, but sums over $50 are rarely needed and can provide too great a temptation for others. This is a constant concern; the only consistently successful answer is never to have large sums of cash at school.

What are the boarding facilities like?

The Boarding House is a purpose-built facility, with bright open common areas and comfortable and welcoming bedrooms. The Boarding House has facilities for relaxation, e.g. pool tables and table tennis tables, Chess, Monopoly and other games, as well as television, DVDs and video players. The school swimming pool is a popular treat in the summer months! Boarders have access to the facilities and resources of the School after hours and at weekends. These include the School Library, the Information and Technology Centre and the Music practice rooms. The Library remains open on weekdays to 9pm and at the weekend, and many of the sporting facilities are available for use by boarders after school and at weekends. The Boarding House has a well-equipped fitness centre which the girls may use before and after school and at weekends.

 

For Parents

How should we as a family prepare for boarding?

Girls should be accustomed to staying with friends or relatives before starting boarding. It is important that parents talk their children through what boarding is likely to entail. Both parents and children should realise that things will be rather different from home and will take some getting used to! A little homesickness may be experienced at the beginning and is perfectly normal. It is highly unusual for it to go on for very long, and children take comfort in the knowledge that other boarders have got through it and have now settled in. It is helpful for your daughter to be familiar with caring for her own belongings, making her own bed, ironing and laundering her clothes and able to prepare simple snack food.

What is the local community like?

Mosman Park is one of Perth’s most pleasant suburbs, with close proximity to the Swan River on its eastern border and the city beaches on the western boundary. The School is approximately 14 kilometres from Perth’s CBD. Popular Cottesloe Beach is just a kilometre from the School, and the port city of Fremantle, with its many interesting restaurants, is just three kilometres down the road.

What kind of access do parents have to their daughters and what leave allowance do the girls have?

Parents have unlimited access to their daughters either by phone, e-mail or in person. Parents are welcome to have dinner in the Dining Room if they are in Perth and may take their daughters out for afternoon tea or dinner at any time. Girls enjoy liberal leave. Apart from occasional compulsory weekend activities during the year, girls may go out on any weekend. (Staff will recommend otherwise if they deem it advisable!). We are, however, very strict about granting leave: both the parent AND host family must contact the Supervisor if anyone other than family members are taking the boarder out for the day or weekend. We take our duty of care very seriously!

What is the structure of the Boarding House? How are girls supervised and cared for?

At St Hilda’s we have one Boarding House that is divided into five areas. The girls in each area are looked after by a Supervisor who makes sure that all the daily needs of the girls are met. She is there to wake the girls in the morning and get them off to school, and she is there when the girls come home from school in the afternoon. The Head of Boarding forms a strong liaison between the Boarding and Day schools. She monitors the academic and pastoral progress of the girls and organises academic or pastoral help if the need arises. A Supervisor is in charge of all leave requests and minor discipline matters. Parental contact is of the utmost importance to all the staff at St Hilda’s. Parents are most welcome to discuss any aspect of boarding with the Head of Boarding at any time.

Can you tell me about homework, supervision and extra tuition in the Boarding House?

The amount of homework given to students varies according to their age and the subjects they choose. All girls have compulsory prep periods. The length of these times depends on the Year group. However, Years 7 to 10 can expect at least one to two hours of homework preparation time per evening while senior girls are allocated two to three hours per evening. Prep begins after dinner at 6.45pm and continues until 8.15pm when senior girls break for 30 minutes and Years 7 to 10 begin to get organised for school for the next day and for bed. Senior girls return to their studies for a second session of prep. All boarders have access to the Library and Information and Technology Centre after school hours. The School also offers free tuition in English, Maths, Science and History after school to any student who wishes to use the Tutoring Centre. Naturally some girls will need more time to complete their work than the allocated prep times. Girls find that they can study before and after school and many take advantage of the Library at weekends. Sunday night is regarded as a time to prepare for the school week.

How will my daughter be cared for?

The Head of Boarding, Supervisors, the School Chaplain, senior prefects and peer support leaders provide a high level of personal care. The well-equipped Health Centre is staffed by qualified nursing sisters who are also important members of the pastoral team.

How often do boarders attend chapel together?

Girls regularly attend Chapel on Tuesday nights throughout the term.

How many students are there to a room?

Reflecting their growing independence, the boarders progress from 6 sharing a room to twin share in Years 9 -11 and, where possible, single rooms for Year 12 girls.

Where will my daughter store her Passport and other Important Documents?

The Head of Boarding has a safe for the storage of important documents such as airline tickets, passports, visas and for short-term storage of money. Students are encouraged to store important materials in this safe. Each Supervisor can advise students about access and procedures to store important and valuable materials. 

How much money will my daughter need?

We recommend that each girl, depending on her age, will require between $50 and $100 per term. This can be deposited in a FlexiCard Account. There are several banks near the School and students who need to make purchases with larger sums of money can make withdrawals from an ATM. If students must bring large sums of money back to the School, that money should be left with the Head of Boarding, her assistant or her Supervisor for safekeeping. Students who go on regular weekend leave should almost never need to bring large amounts of money to school. All school-related expenses and purchases can normally be charged to the student’s school account directly and it is assumed that major purchases can be made while on weekend leave or holidays. The School cannot advance credit to students.

How can I contact my daughter?

By calling either the Boarding House telephone or student’s own mobile. E-mail is also a very easy, unobtrusive and inexpensive method of staying in touch.

Who do I contact if I have a concern?

Frequent communication between staff and parents’ is welcome and essential. You are welcome to ring your daughter’s direct Supervisor if you have a query about how she is going in the boarding house. The Head of Boarding will direct you to the relevant person who will address boarding or school matters. It is always better to discuss your concern with a staff member than to be worrying at home. We can and will help! You are also welcome to contact a current boarding parent. Sometimes a quick chat with someone who has already experienced boarding can help.

 

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