We are always delighted to welcome new girls and their families to the Wilderness boarding community.
We appreciate that sending your daughter(s) to boarding school is not an easy decision and it requires adjustment for all family members. While it can be challenging, the gains to be made are enormous.
Our boarding community is made up of girls from regional, interstate and international locations and the broader School community values this diversity. Our boarders form a tight group of remarkable young women who demonstrate a wide range of abilities.
We believe boarding at Wilderness provides a unique opportunity for your daughter to achieve her potential. She will be part of a close community which will help her to develop independence, self-confidence and respect for others in an environment where the girls are involved, challenged and well cared for.
While the academic life of the school is a key focus for your daughter, the boarding philosophy at Wilderness strives to foster her growth by responding to the individual needs, gifts, and talents of each girl. Complementing the broad principles of Wilderness School, we aim to equip her with the skills to be prepared for the multitude of challenges and opportunities which life will present.
Boarders have always been valued members of the Wilderness community. In the early days of the School, girls lived with the Brown family in their home.
Today, that family atmosphere is still apparent in the Boarding House. Located on the School's campus, the staff at Wilderness feel privileged when a family entrusts them with the dual responsibility of educating and nurturing their daughter.
Our girls living in the Boarding House say it is "…the next best place to home”.
Boarding is a unique experience. It provides an opportunity to live within and build a strong sense of community where special bonds and characters are developed. Here, our girls build life-long friendships in an environment that is warm and welcoming with a true sense of family.
We understand that teenagers will, from time to time, make errors of judgement and that this is a normal part of growing up. If and when this occurs, we work with the girls to ensure they learn from the experience.
In order to provide an environment where girls can thrive and develop their natural independence, self-reliance and self-efficacy, together we build trust, understanding and respect, with a focus on the three Cs- Confidence, Connectedness and Competence.
To encourage friendships both inside and out of the Boarding House, our girls are urged to invite friends and family members to stay or drop in for dinner. With flexible leave arrangements and a number of exeat weekends throughout the year, we are able to promote the importance of maintaining close family friendships while girls are living away from home.
Our philosophy at Wilderness is to make the boarding community a second family for the girls.
We understand the challenges they face, and we try to make the transition as smooth, comfortable and reassuring as possible by maintaining an environment that is friendly, accepting of difference, supportive and that offers many and varied opportunities in order for them to thrive. We know that if the girls are happy in their home environment, they have the greatest chance of learning successfully.
Conveniently located on campus, the domestic feel of the School carries through to the boarding facilities. Our Boarding House is a combination of heritage buildings and purpose-built contemporary accommodation which provides girls with excellent study, computing, recreational and dining facilities. Our highly experienced chefs look after our catering service. They have a sustainable focus and a preference to support local producers with a minimum processed food approach to our varied menu, while accommodating the specific dietary requirements of our girls.
Our bedrooms are furnished to give a homely and friendly feel with small break out areas scattered throughout. Girls are encouraged to individualise their personal space. The maximum number of students per room is two and Year 12 students are always guaranteed a single room. It is also very common for Year 11 girls to have a single room. Wireless internet connection is available throughout the House which complements the one to one laptop program in the School.
Our common rooms have been recently refurbished and offer access to a new gym which is quite popular amongst our boarders. The girls also have access to music practice rooms. There is a well-organised routine to enable girls to balance their commitments to study, sport and leisure activities. They are kept busy with a range of after school and weekend activities many of which are organised by the boarders' student leadership team.
In addition to our usual recreational program, girls in all year levels participate in our Mentor Program which provides them with the opportunity to work with those who are both older and younger to strengthen relationships across the boarding community. They also participate in Beyond the Gate, an activities-based program that provides life skills such as basic sewing, mindfulness and car maintenance.
We recognise that boarding parents are a special part of our community.
We therefore aim to provide them with as many opportunities as possible to connect with the School and their daughters. This intentional approach ensures that their physical distance from the School does not dissociate them from our community. Our Boarders Parents’ Weekend is a highlight on the social calendar.
Our community extends beyond the gates of the School to include Bhadure School in Nepal. Globally aware and responsible, our boarders are committed to providing ongoing financial support for the education of young Nepalese girls who would otherwise not be able to access any formal education.
Just like our boarders, these girls live too far away to access a school daily. Instead they are accommodated in the Wilderness supported boarding facility which is adjacent to the local school in a small village in the Annapurna region in Nepal. Our boarders are provided with the opportunity to elect to travel to Nepal to meet and spend time with these girls during their senior years.
When your daughter first arrives at Wilderness as a boarding student, she will be entering a new phase of her life and initially she will be operating outside her comfort zone.
She will be experiencing a new school, a new ‘shared’ home environment and new carers while making new friendships. It is only natural that she will have mixed feelings, but this will pass.
We don’t expect every girl to be the same. It takes different lengths of time for girls to settle into the House. Even returning boarders need to go through a readjustment phase each time they return from a long break.
To help them find their feet we offer girls who are starting in the Boarding House the opportunity to spend a night before they commence. They can gain an insight into the girls’ daily routines and start to build their confidence and friendships.
The Boarding House staff and current boarders always look forward to welcoming new boarders and their families into our community. We are confident that you will find your association with Wilderness and the Boarding House a rewarding and enjoyable experience.