Being a Senior Boarder

26 February 2016

I have written about the Glennie Health Centre in recent weeks and thought that some information about the three boarding houses might be of interest to Glennie families. This week will focus on Simmons House which is the residence of our Year 12 boarders. We view Simmons as a training ground between school and real life; the purpose of this house is to provide for effective private study and personal development within a caring, family-type atmosphere. There is  appropriate, increased freedom, however, all of this exists within a strong safety net with highly observant and vigilant staff.

Simmons House was refurbished in two stages, the first being in 2005 and the second 2006. It has resort style accommodation and is something for boarders to aspire to; Simmons still looks remarkably fresh and new. My husband and I are both artists and we have loaned a large collection of original works to the Simmons House boarders.

Each Year 12 boarder has her own private room with access to wireless internet. There are spacious living areas for socialising with friends, monitored homework and some cost free tutoring sessions. Board games, jigsaw puzzles, sporting equipment and DVDs are available in all houses. New outdoor gym equipment has been placed at the back of Simmons House.

The Senior boarders are busy and active, but are given greater freedom and responsibilities. Please be aware that we continue to remain highly vigilant with leave arrangements and parents value our advice, discretion and care.

Having taught for several years in a boarding school  where Year 12 students were still treated like young children, I learnt how not to manage senior boarding. In my opinion, this made for undignified and unhappy residential living. The worst part was seeing young women unable to make sound decisions by their early adult years. Boarding staff have a responsibility to educate, empower and allow for personal growth; the prison warden model is a thing of the past. Boarders need to leave their residential lives as competent young adults.

In addition to being involved in busy academic and sporting lives, some of our senior boarders are engaged in traineeships or have part time work. They have the opportunity after school to change into casual clothes and go for a walk together, so long as they are signed out. The Year 12 girls are highly respectful of privilege plus protective of their trust. A group may attend a coffee shop on a Friday evening or weekend, as extended leave is permitted.

Senior boarders are not woken in the mornings but are expected to attend weekday breakfasts. A more relaxed approach is taken on Saturdays, and there is Chapel for all boarders most Sunday mornings.

I act as Senior Resident of Simmons House. Senior Staff member Mrs Gayle Ash and I cover most of the hours with the support of Senior Boarding Staff Mrs Doreen Bermingham, Mrs Linda Rother, Mrs Di Bywater, Mrs Di Ainsworth and Miss Fiona Woodward. Resident Tutor, Miss Hayley Juhas, is also allocated to Simmons House.There is an on-call staff member in each building overnight for safety and evacuation purposes.

I would be happy to show any interested parents through our boarding facilities so please free to contact me on my mobile phone 0419 655 880. We do have day girls who move into boarding in their final year at Glennie as they and their parents can see benefits in so doing.

Mrs Val Lovell
Head of Boarding

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