The following FAQs present information most often sought by parents wanting to know what to look for when choosing a school for their child.
1. What are the three most significant advances in the boarding life of St John's College?There is a less rigid approach to boarding and the development of more caring relationships between the boys in all year groups. The very high quality of boarding supervisors (great variety of backgrounds; mature people who see their involvement as an important part of their own journeys). Improvements in creature comforts, cooling, TV rooms, computer access, study and discussion rooms, carpeting, lounge furniture, access to School facilities.
2. What are the main pastoral care provisions for boarders?Everyone involved with the boarding community has become increasingly aware of their pastoral care role and its importance. Pastoral care is offered by the Heads of House, The Assistant Heads of House, the boarding supervisors and the nursing staff.
3. Do boarders take advantage of the many opportunities on offer during school time and on weekends?Yes! Boarders often form the core of the School’s sporting teams, in all games. They exude School spirit and carry the School as a whole along with them. They are often members of School clubs, including drama, music, art and debating.
4. What sort of weekend activities does the Boarders’ Recreation Program provide for boarders?A minimum of two activities are offered each weekend. Normally one is on school, such as three-on-three basketball, or soccer, and one is off campus, such as laser combat, go-karting, or attending the football. On most weekends there is at least one social organised with another boarding school. These provide excellent opportunities for boys to meet boarders from both girls and boys schools
5. Are the School’s sporting facilities available to boarders after hours?Yes. Some are available at all times, such as the playing fields, tennis and basketball courts, cricket practice wickets and squash courts. Some are available only with staff supervision (though this may vary depending on the age of the users) such as the weights room and gymnasium.
6. Do boarders have adequate leave provisions available for them?We are very flexible in dealing with leave requests. Boys may go to the local shops for an hour any day after school or with permission on the weekends. They can go in groups on weekends to the cinemas or shops at Innaloo. Older boys may be permitted to go to the city. Boarders may go out with leave hosts or their parents for part of any weekend, and may stay overnight when a request is received from home.
7. What assistance is provided for boarders who may be having difficulties with their studies?The boarders’ academic progress is monitored by their Pastoral Care leader (Year 8), Assistant head of House (Year 9 & 10), or Head of House (Year 11 & 12). All of these staff are able to provide extra tuition both within and outside of set homework times. If a specific tutor is required in any given subject, this can be requested through the Head of Boarding. Many recent old boys are happy to provide this service and costs can be charged to accounts. There is also the very important and often under-rated assistance which boys get from each other—younger boys often seek help from older boys.
8. What are the main benefits of being a boarder at St John's College?Communal living brings many challenges and sometimes a boy may simply not be suited to it. If problems arise, boys have access to a large pastoral support team and, in the first instance, will look to their peers, the boarding supervisors or the Housemasters. This occupies a fair amount of our time but it is very rewarding—the core of our job. Large numbers together also bring many benefits through a vibrant living community.
9. How does the School deal with any problems encountered when large numbers of boys live and work in a boarding house environment?Boarding houses rapidly develop in the boys a sense of responsibility and a sense of community. They develop a great spirit of shared experience amongst the boarders. Boarders gain exposure to lifestyles that they would not experience in their own homes and they establish life-long friendships with people from all over the State and the world. They rapidly become independent and develop strong characters. Day boys miss out on the intensity of boarding life.
10. What developments for boarders have been planned for the near future?We are always looking for better ways of doing things—we have a philosophy of continuous improvement. Often, changes are subtle and on-going and the breadth and depth of these changes are not fully recognised until we some time has passed. Most recently we have re-furbished residences at the end of the Year 10 wings to provide suitable family accommodation for our Assistant Heads of House. This provides them with much greater access to the boys under their care and also enables them to work out of their offices at the end of the corridors.Another innovation which has proved very popular is the provision of buses home for some boys prior to long weekends. In the last couple of years, we have run a bus south to the Mt Barker area, and another north to Moora to assist boys to get home immediately after school on long weekends.