One of the special aspects of a Wilderness education is the sense of belonging that girls experience. Ours is a community where teachers, girls and families work together and value each other.

The size of Wilderness makes it possible for each girl to be well known and her individual needs met. Class teachers, Heads of School, Heads of House, the School Counsellor and the teaching staff work closely together to oversee each girl's progress and to ensure that she receives appropriate support and care throughout her schooling.

In the Junior School and Year 7, the classroom teacher has the principal pastoral care role, together with the Head of the Junior School or Middle School. Teachers are supported by numerous other staff, such as the Junior School Curriculum Coordinator, the Head of Teacher Excellence and Endeavour, the School Counsellor and the Head of Extended Curriculum. All staff undertake professional development on a regular basis to ensure that their knowledge and expertise remain current.

From Year 7, the House System is the principal means of ensuring a comprehensive oversight and delivery of pastoral care. The Heads of the Middle and Senior Schools support the Heads of House and develop a close relationship with each student during their time in the Middle and Senior Schools.

 

House System

The House system is central to the pastoral care of our girls. The Head of House is responsible for the well being of the girls in her House throughout their time at Wilderness and beyond. The Head of House is the main point of contact for parents and teachers, working in a team with the Form Teacher and the Head of School to ensure that each girl's progress is monitored on an individual basis.

Girls belong to one of five vertically grouped Houses that were all named after plants that were found around the grounds of our founders' home; Amaryllis, Antholiza, Carob, Cedar and Sparaxis. The vertical structure to the house system enables development of relationships across the year levels.

House meetings are held weekly and offer opportunities for leadership, celebration, organization of service activities and a network of care. Girls compete in inter-house competitions in athletics, swimming and cross country running. This friendly rivalry and interaction across year levels encourages the development of confidence while the involvement of House staff members helps to build respectful, productive staff/student relationships.

Service to the School and wider community is organized in House, offering girls the opportunity to work for those in need. The House also provides a significant network of leadership positions e.g. Newsletter Editor, Photographer, Birthday Coordinator, House Committee member and House Community Service leaders at each year level.

Parents and girls feel a bond with their House. Parents contribute to House events and in turn are assured that their daughter will be well cared for by people who know her as an individual in the family environment of the House.