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Boarding life FAQ
The following Q&As have been formulated to help new parents answer some of the questions they may have about boarding.
You are also welcome to contact us at any time should you have a pressing question – no matter how small or should you need further explanation of any of the questions addressed here.
When should I contact the school if I am interested in Boarding?
Demand for a boarding space at Wilderness is always high. It is best to contact the school at least two years prior to your intended commencement date. If this has not been possible the sooner you can express your interest in a place the more likely it is that a position would be able to be offered.
Are their scholarships available for boarders?
Yes, each year scholarships are available to both day and boarding students. Scholarship applications are accepted 2 years prior to the commencement year and candidates are invited for an interview. Applicants are advised in March of the year prior to the commencement year if they are successful in winning a scholarship place.
Discretionary scholarships are offered by the Principal so should you wish your daughter to be considered for a scholarship outside of these time frames please contact the School Registrar at pwinter@Wilderness.com.au or phone +61 8 8344 6688 and she will discuss the process with you in detail.
Why should I consider boarding at Wilderness?
There are many reasons families consider boarding. Boarding life is appealing to many. It offers a quality education that in many instances can provide a greater scope of opportunities. Wilderness boarders enjoy academic success with the majority entering tertiary courses after completing their SACE. Living together in a diverse, friendly community where girls support each other and celebrate each other's successes fosters great friendships that often last a lifetime.
Who makes a good Wildy boarder?
Wilderness is a non-selective school so we have girls from diverse backgrounds and interests. All kinds of children enjoy boarding and benefit from it. There are some factors that particularly suggest that your daughter will do well as a boarder. These include:
- a supportive family background - where parents and child are all positive about the boarding life-style
- having a positive outlook and an enthusiasm for spending time with friends
- a readiness to get involved and to make the most of a varied life-style and a wide choice of activities
Above all it is very important that a child is mature enough to understand the reasons for boarding and wants to do it. We can of course help you find out if this is the case for your daughter.
Dates, Policies and Procedures
How is Leave managed?
When approving leave the safety and happiness of your daughter are our primary considerations.
Boarders' leave is managed using a biometric e-leave system. For day leave during the week girls can sign in and out using the biometric system after negotiating their leave requirement with the duty staff. Weekend leave is applied for using our on-line Leave Form and must be pre-approved by the Head of Boarding or designated senior staff prior to the weekend. Overnight leave requests are e-mailed to parents and no boarder is permitted to leave the House unless co- approved by parents, preferably in writing.
Boarders' are expected to adhere to the School's behavioural Code of Conduct whilst on leave and any breaches would incur an appropriate consequence.
For a more detailed explanation of our leave policy guidelines please refer to the Boarders' Parent Manual
How do boarders manage their spending money?
Most parents set up an access account that they can pay money into which can then be accessed by their daughter. Different families will determine how much money they will transfer into the account. Staff can hold cash for students in the safe at the Boarding House office but our preference is that the girls develop skills in money management for themselves. Hotel style safes are provided in bedrooms for each girl but it is recommended that they withdraw their money as needed and will not have large sums of cash on hand at any time. The boarding fee has an amount allocated to a recreational allowance for each girl so most of the activities organised by the House are covered by this allowance.
Where can I find a parent Handbook with policies and rules?
Boarding Parent Manual is available on our website
What arrangements are in place for weekend activities?
It is good to be busy as a boarder, particularly when you are new to it, so there are many activities arranged. Friday evenings often have an activity arranged with other boarding schools including socials, pool parties, movie nights and games nights. Many boarders take part in sports matches on a Saturday morning. All boarders are given the opportunity to suggest activities and discuss these with the student leadership group who then organise the house activities. A wide range of fun activities are organised including 'home grown' entertainment, day trips and time to relax with friends. Boarders raise money for charity and hold events to promote and fund their chosen charities.
What is the mobile phone policy?
We do not remove phones from girls in any year level. Our philosophy is to teach them responsible use of the technology. We insist that each girl has emergency contact details and the Boarding House office and senior staff numbers in their phone. We see the phone as an added form of security when the girls are on leave so that they can be contacted and can contact us if there are any concerns whilst they are out of our direct supervision.
Are meals provided when girls return from exeats and holiday breaks?
An evening meal is always provided when girls return to the House after a term holiday break. The evening meal is not generally available on return from an exeat but because we have international boarders the chefs are on duty and can cater for girls on request and a small dinner fee applies for this service.
Can I charge uniform items to my school account?
Only boarding and international parents are permitted to charge uniform costs to their school account. The amount will be included on the School Fee account you receive after the date the items were purchased.
What is the address and phone contact number for the Uniform shop?
42 Hawkers Road 08344 7942
What happens if my daughter is unwell and needs to see a medical or dental practitioner?
A Registered Nurse is on campus each school day. She visits the Boarding House at 8.30 each morning and assesses any girl who is feeling unwell or needs to arrange a medical appointment. If unwell, the boarder stays under the care of the nurse either in the Health Centre or in the Boarding House. Where possible the Head of Boarding or Deputy Head of Boarding would transport girls to their medical appointments. All boarding staff are qualified in Senior First Aid. It is advisable that you have full ambulance cover.
Are my daughters personal items covered by school insurance?
No, each family is responsible to covering personal belongings. It is advisable that you ensure your insurance cover extends to cover personal items anywhere in Australia.
Is there supervised homework time?
Homework is scheduled from 7 -8.30 pm Monday to Thursday. Our tutoring staff assist with academic support and ensure the tone in the House is conducive to study. Tutors are selected for their ability to provide academic support across a range of subject areas and their empathy with boarders.
Year 7-9 students study as a group in the dining room under the supervision of a tutor and Years 10-12 girls study in their rooms and have access to tutors.
If your daughter has a particular support need requiring a one on one tutoring this is arranged on a user pay basis. The academic or boarding staff can recommend and help source private tutors.
How are rooms configured and allocated?
Rooms are configured as either doubles or singles. Year 12 students are guaranteed a single room and generally most Year 11 girls would have a single room for at least part of the year. The maximum per room is two. Girls change their rooms during the year so they get to know a range of girls in their year level. Occasionally girls from different year levels may room together. Girls have input into the room allocation process. Younger boarders may be allocated a room on their own, as there are many factors that are considered in the allocation process to provide the best solution for all girls.
The priority is to have harmony in the House.
Terms & Conditions
Boarders Under 18 Years Old
Under 18 Conditions of Leave for Boarders
By submitting your Leave Request you agree to these conditions:
I understand that whilst on leave I may not attend licensed premises (unless accompanied by a nominated adult guardian), consume alcohol, take drugs or smoke cigarettes. I may not travel in a car driven by a “P” plate driver unless I have written permission from my parent / guardian. I understand that providing incorrect information about my leave details is also a serious breach of staff trust and is a risk to my personal safety. By providing incorrect information I risk gating or suspension penalties. I understand that all leave is at the discretion of the Head of Boarding and I must never leave the Boarding House without permission from staff.
Effective from: 3 March 2016
Parent Approval Declaration for Boarder's Leave Request
I understand and agree that:
- By approving the specified details of the Leave Request, I am instructing the boarding house staff to release my daughter from the Boarding House so that she may stay with the person(s) identified in this Leave Request, for the duration requested;
- Wilderness School has not undertaken, and has no duty to undertake, any inquiries about the suitability of the person(s) with whom our daughter will be staying or with whom she may come into contact during this time;
- Wilderness School has no duty of care in relation to the safety of your daughter during this time.
Wilderness School encourages you to contact the host to determine the level of supervision provided to your daughter and the nature of the activities planned while in their care. Please only agree to the details provided in this Leave Request if you are satisfied that your daughter will be given the appropriate level of responsible care. Boarding House staff will not approve overnight leave for any student without your notification through either the electronic approval of the Leave Request or written or verbal approval thereby indicating your understanding of the terms outlined above. Electronic approval is the preferred mode of communicating your understanding and consent unless alternative arrangements have been made with the Head of Boarding.
Effective from: 3 March 2016
Boarders Over 18 Years Old
Over 18 Conditions of Leave for Boarders
By submitting your Leave Request you agree to these conditions:
As a student over the age of 18 the school appreciates you are now viewed in the community as an adult capable of making your own choices and can legally consume alcohol. However, you are still a student at Wilderness and the School therefore continues to have an obligation to you as a boarder. It is therefore still a requirement, that you do not store or consume alcohol in the Boarding House and when returning to the House from leave that you are not intoxicated. (0.5 being the acceptable level 1 – 2 drinks over two hours). The consumption of illicit and recreational drugs is a serious breach of the trust afforded to you whilst on leave and your failure to comply with the expectations will result in consequences, including possible suspension/exclusion. You may not travel in a car driven by a “P” plate driver unless you have written permission from your parent / guardian and you are expected to follow the general behavioral guidelines for boarders while on leave. Providing incorrect information about your leave details is also a serious breach of our trust and will also incur gating/suspension penalties. All leave is at the discretion of the Head of Boarding in consultation with your parents. You must never leave the Boarding House without staff permission.
Effective from: 3 March 2016