6 May 2016
When I first taught in an Adelaide boarding school similar to Glennie, I noticed the term exeat weekend. It transpired that this meant the entire boarding house was vacated and that all boarders were expected to leave. Some girls found this desirable and uncomplicated, others from more remote parts of Australia or overseas struggled and worried. I perceived the concept of a forced break from the Boarders' home somewhat harsh, plus difficult for a number of families.
Glennie boarding does not close down on any long weekend or public holiday in term time, and our boarders are welcome to remain in their house. Some girls catch the bus home, many parents collect children, others visit with extended family and friends. Nobody is pressured into participating in the "exodus" and we remain open all hours. Some girls take the opportunity to study. We cancel some planned weekend activities such as chess and craft simply because of a lack of participants.
There are times when girls simply need a rest and a break. As I type, I am doing duty with the senior boarders; it is just after lunch on Labour Day and some girls are starting to return to us so I am chatting with family members. On Monday holidays, the Catering staff always produce a beautiful cooked brunch and this is something the girls really look forward to. My roll checks in Simmons have found a number of girls sleeping or relaxing which is exactly what they would do if at home. Young people need some time when they are not always rushing and occupied. Most girls have called into my office for a chat. Long weekends in boarding take on a special family time for girls who remain with us.
All of our boarding houses, catering and the Health Centre function as per usual to cater for our boarding families.We would happily welcome day girls whose parents may be going away and would appreciate a study weekend.
Mrs Val Lovell
Head of Boarding