Wellbeing at Core of School Life
Boarding Schools have certainly come a long way and for St Catherine’s students boarding in Illawarra, a National Trust listed mansion, it is the home-like atmosphere that supports students’ emotional and academic wellbeing that is at the core of the boarding experience.
It is for this reason that regional families in NSW and Victoria often choose to send their children to Melbourne’s inner city boarding schools.
Mrs Sue Collister, Director of Boarding Services at St Catherine’s says “The major difference in boarding today is that we try to create an environment that’s as close as possible to a home environment,” she says. “We talk about returning home after school, and create an atmosphere that encourages girls to participate in activities that they would do at home.”
“Because of our smaller size, we often have girls in different year levels who make friends for life,” she says. “There are lots of inter-cultural friendships and also inter-age friendships.”
Boarding student Jemima Wilcox, a year 9 student made the move from the small country town of Woodend, Victoria, and has not looked back.
After an interview with Principal Mrs Michelle Carroll, a tour of the school and the boarding house (which are located on the same campus), Jemima and her family decided St Catherine’s was the perfect fit.
Jemima has thrown herself into all that St Catherine’s has to offer. “I am involved in water polo, boot camp and the GSV weekly sport, which changes each term. I now have friends from across Australia and the world thanks to the boarding house at St Catherine’s, no matter what age or background, everyone is friendly, encouraging and there to help.”
Mrs Collister reiterates “Whether it is through academics, sport or the student’s development as an individual in the wider community – their wellbeing is central to our school philosophy.
“Boarding at St Catherine’s is all about developing independence, tolerance, resilience and the confidence to try different things, all the while learning basic life skills.”
Applications for 2021 Boarding Scholarships close on 3 February and prospective students and families are invited to tour St Catherine’s School and meet existing boarders and our friendly and supportive staff. To find out more please contact Registrar Ms Jeanette Boehm on (03) 9828 3917, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stcatherines.net.au