Posted on: Wednesday 5 February 2020
Posted in: Boarding
Welcome to our 38 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, which was a very hot day! There was a happy atmosphere that flowed through to our Boarding Community BBQ which drew to a close a busy, emotional and connecting day.
We continue to focus on connections in Boarding – peers, across the Houses, staff and students, School and families. 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 we belong to a community is to “get involved”, participate, and to reach out to others ourselves. 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, and in the Senior School, Middle and Senior School teachers, Middle and Senior Office staff and Heads of Year can assist, and of course in Boarding, House staff are there to help and guide our girls and we want you to know, nothing is too much trouble.
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 with zoccer, volleyball and Stand Up Paddle boarding – and even a spot of “Duck, duck goose”! Some of the girls took time out to soak in the cool breeze and the view from the Broadwater across to The Spit and south to Surfers Paradise – what an environment in which to be enjoying one’s schooling! We made a “note to self” to spend more time with the girls enjoying this area!
Saturday morning saw swimming competency testing and was followed by a special morning tea in Boarders Quad and then our Fashion Parade – in Family Groups the girls constructed costumes based on a given theme, from paper, sticky tape and some craft items. They worked together to create beautiful costumes and then compered the Parade. We discovered quite a deal of fashion-design talent! They saw us play Laser Tag, Dodgeball and other games and was followed by free time in the pool which was very much appreciated by the girls, allowing them to cool down and gravitate 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 the beach with hats, sunscreen and keen anticipation. 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 on the House Cluster – this allows families to be very much a part of the girls’ Boarding experience, which brings us all together.
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! BPSG meetings for the remainder of the year are:
As you are aware, since the beginning of the school year we have been challenged by the novel coronavirus – and have all been affected in one way or another. Our School families who have travelled, expats and international girls have all been involved in isolation requirements and some of our girls have moved rooms for the short term. Staff have also worked hard to make this time as smooth as possible and have had the wellbeing of all in our community as the focus of decision-making. Please know that all 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 another wonderful year.
We send our very best wishes to all families and want to let those affected by this prolonged drought and bushfires, know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. As I write, there is the prospect of good rain in some areas over the next week and we pray for this to be the promise of things to come. 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 2020 with you.
Head of Boarding