The Assumption College boarding community was founded to provide Catholic families living in remote and regional areas with an affordable and high-quality boarding experience for their children. Over the years, this has remained our commitment, and today our boarding houses are full with the children of such families, many of whom have sent several generations of their young to Assumption. The students of our boarding community, in their comfortable new ‘family style’ centres, are thriving. There is a palpable sense of young people growing and flourishing in surroundings that challenge and excite them. Our staff (who live on site with the students) work tirelessly to provide a ‘family spirit’, so that both parents and the students themselves, feel welcomed and valued.
Assumption College has another version of the boarding program to offer our community. We recognise that though 7-day boarding is still necessary and important for many families (and to us), a growing number of families would welcome an option for their sons and daughters who are seeking high academic results, to take up an academic boarding program. By this, we mean that some families are interested in having their child board at school during the school week, to take advantage of the additional tutoring and study support available to our boarders.
The academic boarding program (ABP) will, of course, be less expensive (approximately $4000 less per year than the 7-day program), and can be tailored for those who might require additional inclusions to make the prospect workable for their circumstances (we are committed to flexible options that suit your family needs). There would, of course, be allowances made in the weeks when the child is playing Saturday school sport.
We look forward to providing access to the ABP for highly motivated students, who are keen to involve themselves in the boarding life of the College, and welcome your enquiries. To discuss the exciting prospect of your child enrolling into the ABP in 2016 or beyond, please contact our enrolments officer, Mr Bernie Jephson.
The program includes:
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How are our boarding houses structured?
We have three boutique houses, two for boys and one for girls, and each caters for 24 boarders. In 2013, we closed the historic Shandon House boarding facility, and in 2014 opened our three new state-of-the-art boarding houses with much fanfare – they are a delight to visit. Each is staffed by a head of house and an assistant head of house who, as residential staff, look after the pastoral needs of boarders. Unlike many other boarding schools, students from year 7 to year 12 live in each house, modelling the family spirit of which our community is so proud.
How many boarders in each room?
Each boarder has their own bedroom, however, we can install and remove walls so that a junior student’s individual room can be connected to others. Unless they request otherwise, boarders in years 11 and 12 have their own rooms.
What facilities are available?
Each house has a large communal recreation area. This lounge/dining area has a TV with Foxtel and a DVD player. Each house is divided into two wings of 12 students, with a smaller lounge/TV area. Each boarding house has a large, modern kitchen where breakfast and snacks are prepared. Boarders can play pool and table tennis in the pavilion.
How many boarders at ACK? And where do most come from?
We have 72 boarders (48 boys and 24 girls). We are a diverse community, with most students travelling from northern Victoria, southern NSW, the Riverina and King Island. We also have students whose parents work overseas and a small number of students from within a two hour radius of Kilmore.
What is the academic performance of our boarders?
In the last few years, the average scores of our senior boarders have been well above the average of our day students. In three of the last four years, the dux of the College has been a boarder, and there have been many who have scored an ATAR of 90+. Boarders benefit from homework and study sessions supervised by staff and teachers. We hold regular seminars for boarders on topics such as essay writing, exam technique and time management. From 2016, the tutoring team will consist solely of our teaching staff.
How is study structured?
On weekday evenings, boarders study before and after dinner. These sessions are supervised by residential staff, and boarders work at the desks in their bedrooms or, with permission, do group work in the main common area of each house. Once the Community Hub is opened in 2016, boarders will have access to its resources and library during after-dinner study.
Time allocated for study depends on each student’s year level. Those in years 7-9 generally have two 45 minute sessions each evening. Senior students have two hours minimum study each evening with an option for later, private study as needed.
What are the meals like?
While nothing beats home cooking, meals are nutritious, varied and enjoyable. They are prepared by a professional catering team, acting on the advice of a qualified dietician. There are always two options at dinnertime with vegetarian and gluten-free food available. Several fun and flavoursome themed dinners are held each term which exemplify how much the catering staff see themselves as responsible for our students’ wellbeing. Weekday meals consist of an in-house breakfast, morning recess and lunch, served in the school canteen, and in-house afternoon recess, dinner and supper. Furthermore, the boarders’ leadership team acts as part of the food committee, and meets the head of catering and head of boarding to prepare the menus and offer suggestions.
Who does boarders’ laundry?
We have our own onsite laundry where students’ washing is done once a week. For items needed in a hurry each boarding house has a small laundry and airing room. Laundry costs are included in our boarding fees.
Who tidies their rooms?
Boarders are responsible for keeping their own rooms neat and tidy each day, and all wet areas – kitchens, dining rooms and bathrooms – are cleaned daily by our cleaning team. Professional cleaners visit the boarding houses each semester for a more thorough clean of the rooms and other areas.
Can boarders use school facilities after hours?
Yes, including the basketball and tennis courts, cricket nets, playing fields and gymnasium. With permission boarders can swim at the nearby Kilmore Leisure Centre. Apart from the college gym, boarders also have access to the onsite Scott Dominguez Boxing Gym for their exclusive use for fitness training.
What’s a typical day for a boarder?
Boarders are woken by house leaders at 7 o’clock. While each house has its own negotiated routine, generally after showering and tidying rooms, the whole house attends breakfast together from 7.30. Morning chores and lunch orders are completed from 8 o’clock. The houses close at 8.30 on school mornings.
Boarders are at school from 8.30 until 3.20
Recess and lunch
Boarders collect morning tea and lunch from the school canteen.
End of school
Boarders return to their houses and check in while being greeted by residential staff. They have afternoon tea and enjoy free time, which includes local street leave or relaxation in the lounge and recreation areas. Many boarders have sports training or music practice. They must be back in-house by 5 o’clock and ready for the first study session at 5.30.
Dinner is at 6.30 in-house, and neat dress is expected.
This is a quiet time. During first study, boarders stay in their rooms and can use their laptops to complete work or for research. Headphones are permitted. Second study begins after dinner from 8 o’clock in summer and 7.30 in winter. Group work may be undertaken in this second session.
Tutors attend study on scheduled nights to help boarders with specific problems or study techniques. The tutors are in Monday-Thursday evenings and, from 2016, will be teachers from the day school. Larger tutorials can be held in common areas which double as classrooms. This is particularly popular with the younger boarders and during exam periods. Study ends at 9 o’clock for juniors and 9.30 for seniors, who can ask for more time.
Boarders must be in their rooms by 9.30. They are given reading time before lights out at 10 o’clock. Those in years 11 and 12 can, with special permission, study until 11 o’clock, otherwise lights out is at 10.30.
Weekends are more casual and relaxed. Saturday mornings are similar to those of weekdays due to sporting activities, however, after lunch boarders have free time. On Sundays students can sleep in and eat brunch about 10.30. Older students are allowed to go on outings unsupervised; however, boarders in years 7-10 are usually taken out by resident staff for outings and excursions. Boarders attend Mass on the weekend, usually at the local parish, and occasionally in the college chapel.
Are there special provisions for boarders’ travel?
For boarders’ free weekends and school holidays, the college organises transport to and from home. We run buses to Melbourne Airport, Albury/Wagga Wagga, Darlington Point and Balranald with stopovers at towns in between. Boarders travelling home by train are driven to Kilmore East station by staff.
Are boarders allowed weekend leave?
Yes, with permission from their parents/guardians and head of house, boarders can take leave and stay with designated hosts.
Can I visit my child on the weekend and take them out?
Yes, with permission from the head of house, you are welcome to take your son or daughter out any time after school on weekdays and from 3.20 on Friday to 6pm on Sunday if there are no college commitments, boarding community events and if school work is up-to-date. Once a term we hold a ‘closed weekend’ where we ask boarders not to take leave. On such a weekend they participate in community events, personal development and social activities to build their sense of family and community.
What if my child needs medical attention?
We have a qualified nurse on-site on weekdays, and access to Kilmore Hospital in emergencies. A doctor visits the infirmary on most weekday mornings.
Are scholarships available for boarders?
Yes. We offer boarding scholarships. For more information, please contact our Enrolments Officer Mr Bernard Jephson, on 03 57821422, or by email: Bernard.firstname.lastname@example.org.