Frequently asked boarding questions

How should we prepare for boarding?

Moving into boarding is a significant change and something that should be discussed as a family. Sitting down and reading through the Boarding Handbook, speaking with the Head of Boarding or a Year Coordinator, or talking to other boarding families you know about their experience can really help. Using the checklists to ensure you have everything you need before coming to the School can help you to start out on the right foot. If you have any specific concerns for your child, we recommend having an honest conversation with your Year Coordinator about this so that strategies can be put in place to help.

What is the local community like?

We are very fortunate at Guildford Grammar School to have our Year Coordinators, Head and Deputy of Boarding, Head of Senior School and other residential staff all living on site. This group and their families help to make up our wonderful community and are available whenever you need them, not just during business hours. Throughout your time at Guildford Grammar School there will be opportunities to attend sundowners, dinners and other functions that are a great way to meet our team and get to know the community better.

When can parents enter bedroom areas?

We ask that parents only enter their child’s bedroom area on the first and last day of each mid-term/term. If they require entry outside of these times, it must be with the explicit permission and accompaniment of a boarding staff member. 

Should my child bring their own sheets?

Bed sheets, towels and pillowcases are provided but students are encouraged to bring their own fitted single sheet and pillowcases. Please ensure these have your child’s name clearly marked on them.

What support is provided during homework/prep times and can my child access an external tutor if needed?

The location and times of prep vary depending on the year group, but supervised prep occurs every night from Sunday to Thursday. During this time, boarders have access to teaching staff and academic tutors provided by the School at no cost to families. If you would like to arrange one-on-one tutoring for your child, you may do this but please first discuss it with your Year Coordinator.

How often do boarders go to Chapel?

There is a dedicated Boarders Chapel Service once per term in the Chapel of St. Mary and St. George. These services are most often on a Sunday at 6:15pm. There are also services on significant days in the Christian Church such as Ash Wednesday, Ascension Day, Easter and Advent which the boarders attend. 

How many students sleep in each room?

This depends on the cohort. Generally, the Years 7-8 students will have four per room, Years 9-10 students will have two per room and we aim to provide single rooms for Year 11 and 12 students although this may not always be possible. We rotate rooms every term so it is most likely your child will experience all types of rooms over their time with us.

Can I collect my child directly from sport?

Yes, this is possible, but we ask that you communicate this directly to Boarding Reception or your Year Coordinator, ideally by phone, before doing so that. Boarders can then be signed in and out correctly.

Is room tidiness and cleanliness assessed and tracked?

Yes. As we live in a close community it’s important to be mindful of keeping the bedrooms clean and tidy, especially as boarders will most likely share a bedroom space with another boarder at some stage. Each morning the Year Coordinator on duty or Boarding House Coordinator assigns green slips (for tidy rooms) or pink slips (for untidy rooms). The boarders with the most green slips are rewarded with a special dinner at the end of term. If any boarder receives three pink slips in one week there are likely to be implications for their weekend leave.

Who is my child’s  first point of contact in boarding?

For any boarding related matter, your Boarding Year Coordinator should be your child’s first point of contact. You are also welcome to discuss matters with the Deputy Head of Boarding or Head of Boarding.

How do students sign up and pay for recreational activities on the weekend?

Every Wednesday we have a formal dinner (Well-dressed Wednesday) and the sign-up sheets for recreational activities are available. Once your name is on the list your account will be automatically charged for the event. Most activities cost $10-$20.

What happens if my child needs new items from the Clothing Shop?

For parents who have submitted an online credit card from the Clothing Shop can debit their card directly each time you require new clothes. Alternatively, students can pay on their own debit cards.

What is the laundry process?

All sheets and towels are collected once a week and washed on-site.
Students have the option to place their clothes in the laundry baskets where they are taken to the laundry for washing and returned to their pigeon-holes, usually within two to three business days. Alternatively, Years 10-12 may chose to wash their own clothes in the Boarding Laundry located in Burt Hall.

What happens if my child becomes sick?

If they have been assessed by our medical staff and are deemed not fit to stay in boarding, they must be collected by parents/guardians or a host as soon as possible to reduce the likelihood of infection to other boarders.

Who can my child contact regarding after-hours needs?

Our Boarding Precinct is equipped with an Emergency Response System that has several ‘Call Buttons’ throughout the Halls. For any needs between the hours of 11.00pm-6.30am students simply activate these alarms and our Security Team are notified who in turn notify the two Boarding Supervisors (one male, one female) who can assist the student in need.

How does my child submit leave?

We use an online leave system called REACH. We will create an account that your child can use to submit leave. The request is then directed to the appropriate Boarding Year Coordinator or Head of Boarding for approval. Once approved it is in the system and your child will need to advise staff when they head off on their leave. Parents or hosts collecting students from the Boarding House need to enter the Hall and make themselves known to staff before proceeding to the room. Any questions concerning REACH may be directed to our Boarding House Coordinator, Ms Mary O’Donovan.

Can students bring pets to the Boarding House?

No. We don’t allow pets of any sort in the Boarding Houses for a variety of reasons but mostly as it may impact other boarders living in adjacent rooms.

Can students keep their own food?

Yes. Students can purchase and store some types of food in their bedrooms. The Boarding House has fruit, milk, cheese, Milo, biscuits and bread available at any time of the day on each level of the Boarding House. We ask that students do not bring excessive amounts of soft drink, lollies or other foods that may impact our ability to best look after their health. If unsure of what foods can be brought, students can check with their Year Coordinator or Head of Boarding.

What meals are provided?

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided for all boarders every day of the week. On weekdays, the Dining Hall also provides recess and afternoon tea, served in their Hall. Mealtimes may change slightly on weekends due to other events, but at least three meals are provided every day. 

Can students order takeaway on the weekends?

There may be the occasional time that Boarding House staff will allow you to purchase takeaway for delivery or pick up with a staff member, but this must always be approved prior to purchasing as it is only occasionally allowed on weekends.

What is the procedure for taking leave?

We offer three different types of leave – local, day and overnight. An explanation of each can be found in the Boarding Handbook.

How will my child get to club sport?

Some of our boarders participate in community sport at local clubs outside of Guildford Grammar School. If your child wishes to do this, they will need to have a discussion with their Year Coordinator/Head of Hall prior to registering. A parent/host will need to be arranged to transport your child.

Who can be spoken with about dietary requirements?

Any specific allergies or dietary needs should be brought to the attention of boarding staff prior to your child’s arrival. If you have suggestions for the Dining Hall you may choose to direct this to a member of the Guildford Boarding Food Committee, which all boarders are welcome to join.

How often can students go home?

There is only one official closed weekend for the year and this is the first weekend of Term 1 when we have our Boarding Prefects’ Cup, which is a fun day and a great way to meet other boarders. For junior and new boarders, we recommend not taking leave more than once every three weeks for the first few terms to alleviate homesickness and to allow boarders to build important new relationships in the Boarding Precinct.

What do students need for their room?

Please refer to the Boarding Handbook for a comprehensive list of what to bring.

When can students phone home?

If your child is a junior boarder, they will need to hand in their phone at 8.30pm each night to avoid it distracting them while sleeping. We also ask that students don’t use their phone during prep/study times. Ideal times to call home are in the morning or after school between 3.30pm-5.30pm.

Can students bring friends home for the weekend?

Yes, they can. Whether it’s a day student or another boarder if both parties have parental approval then this is fine. Day students can visit the Boarding Precinct any day of the week during appropriate times but must remain in Common Spaces only. Bedroom access is not permitted.

How much money do students need?

There is no recommendation for how much money your child will need and this will depend on their circumstances. We do not hold cash unless under specific circumstances so students will need a debit/savings card or pre-paid debit card to spend their money.

Can my child bring a bike?

Yes, students may bring a bike to boarding if they wish. Our bike storage area is located inside Burt Hall. We recommend bringing a chain for securing your child’s bike.

Can students go for a run/exercise in the morning?

Yes, they can. We ask all junior boarders to communicate this the evening before going for a run/gym session in the morning. Years 7-8 students must go in pairs or groups of three or more. Years 9-12 students may go on their own. All boarders are expected to remain on campus for this exercise unless previously arranged.

Can day students come into the Hall?

Day students are welcome to come into the Boarding Houses at appropriate times but must always remain in common areas. No day student or visitor may enter the bedroom of a boarding student unless prior approval is given by boarding staff.

How often do students change rooms?

Students in Years 7-11 change rooms at the end of every term. This gives them a chance to share a space with a variety of other boarders and make our community more cohesive. Year 12 students may be allowed to select their own rooms, pending their good standing within the community.