Posted on: Wednesday 6 February 2019
Posted in: Boarding
Welcome to our 49 new Boarders and families and welcome back to our returning Boarders and families. What a week it has been in Boarding! Having decorated Boarders’ Reception and prepared the Houses, we were ready to welcome all families last Tuesday with a reception rather like New York’s Central Station with the arrival of new families at 11am!
Our Year 12 Big Sisters, Boarding Prefects, Senior students and staff have worked hard over the past months preparing for our “full” house and to facilitate the building of relationships, which are the very foundation of our Boarding House. Such relationships take time to develop and the natural onset of homesickness experienced by some of the girls can feel strange to them and their families. Going to Boarding School is a big change and, as we all know, the key to feeling as if one belongs to a community is to “get involved”, participate, and to reach out to others oneself. Parents can assist by assuring their daughters of their confidence in their ability and skills to manage the settling in period and focusing on their daughter’s day and activities. Please encourage the girls to ask questions if they are unsure: in the Day School: Junior School teachers, in the Senior School: Middle and Senior School teachers, Middle and Senior Centres staff and Heads of Year can assist, and of course in Boarding, House staff are there to help and guide our girls.
Our Connect weekend was fun-filled and I thank the families and girls who were able to support us in this venture and who contributed to the success of this important time in enhancing our community and welcoming new members. On Friday afternoon we all headed to the Broadwater for picnics in Family Groups, fun at the AquaPark, Cricket and Stand Up Paddle boarding! Whilst some clouds threatened the fun, we managed to avoid rain on our picnic and enjoyed relaxing together over our sausage sizzle and salad. We received some lovely compliments from members of the public about the girls, and some of the girls commented, “This is so fun” (sic), “Weekends are great” and, “It’s exciting”!
Saturday morning saw Mrs Rigby’s Amazing Race, which required Big Sister Family Groups to traverse Southport finding specific items or answers to questions and then we followed with lunch and “chill” time! An afternoon of free time in the pool was very much appreciated by the girls, allowing them to cool down and they gravitated to their year groups, which is as important as time in Family groups. Our last event on Saturday was a Movie Night in the airconditioned Langford Theatre – some “down time”!
Sunday saw the girls off to Wet n Wild with a BBQ lunch, hats, sunscreen and keen anticipation. The girls certainly enjoyed the water park and being able to catch up with friends from other Boarding schools. By Sunday night, it was time to prepare for the week ahead, put some more routines and systems in place and have a good night’s sleep! Our St Hilda’s Boarders Facebook page shares our activities with families, and our Heads of Houses will share photos regularly throughout the year – this allows families to be a part of the girls’ Boarding experience.
Our first Boarding Family BBQ was a great success, with more than 300 people attending – relaxed and casual, new families were able to meet returning families and ask lots of questions! We will hold another Boarding Family BBQ at the beginning of Semester 2 – Monday 15 July, so pop this date in your diaries! BPSG meetings for the remainder of the year will be held on:
During our first week of the year we have been challenged by sickness – students and staff alike. Please know that your daughters have been very well cared for and I would also like to thank our staff sincerely, all of whom have assisted with supporting the girls, running activities and staffing the Houses, “above and beyond”. Our community is headed for a wonderful year.
We send our very best wishes to all families and want to let those affected by drought, and now “flooding rains”, know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. It would be wonderful if the current rains were drought-breaking, although we know that not all of you are receiving rain at present. Please do not hesitate to contact the School should there be anything we can do to assist or support you.
We look forward to sharing 2019 with you.
Head of Boarding