Hawkes Boarding: Where Wellbeing Is Prioritised

Life as a Hawkes Boarding student is a transformative experience where students are presented with the unique opportunity to live independently, develop their agency, and foster community through co-caring.

The opportunities as a Hawkes Boarder allow students to grow and learn beyond the classroom and prepare them for the challenges and realities of adulthood.

Students develop the ability to live independently, which is a critical skill to learn while residing in a home away from home. Our students must learn to manage their own schedules, make decisions for themselves, and take responsibility for their actions. Something as simple as going to sports training requires a lot more communication and planning as a 10-minute trip can turn into many detours, resulting in spending an hour on the road and missing out on valuable study time. However, this teaches our Boarders to take ownership of their schedules, their co-curricular activities, and education.

In Hawkes Boarding we value student agency and want our students to have a voice. Living in this environment with over 40 other students means the Boarders must make choices about their daily routines, such as how to spend their free time (which includes the dreaded tech-free Tuesdays). We have started a student-led kitchen committee and in Term 2 the students have been meeting regularly with our head chef to discuss all things food.

Our weekend recreation activities are also planned by our students, providing them with the freedom to make choices and plan activities based on their interests. Learning to make choices and take responsibility for them is an essential skill that can help prepare our students for life after school.

In addition to supporting our Boarding students with all their extracurricular activities, we also aim to provide opportunities for academic enrichment. Students have structured study times with the opportunity to receive academic assistance from our academic tutors.

One of the greatest rewards of living and working in Hawkes Boarding is the friendships and bonds formed between students. The saying of the Boarding House being a home away from home is one that we value and can only be achieved by working closely as a community.

We had our inaugural Hawkes Boarding Parent Support Group meeting at the commencement of Term 2 and one of the key points discussed was that of co-caring. Through collaboration with our Boarding Parents, we hope to improve the support and care provided to our students. This inclusive community allows our Boarding staff and parents to co-operate with trust, and work together to provide a constructive and positive environment based on the students’ experience.

They are not left to navigate the challenges of living away from home on their own; instead, they are part of
a community that is invested in their success. Our Boarders develop close relationships with their peers and with adults who care about their wellbeing. These relationships provide a sense of belonging and support that is critical for adolescent development. The Boarding House community serves as a safety net for students, providing them with a place to turn when they need help or support.

The culture and climate inside the Hawkes Boarding House is constantly growing and developing, making us a strong community where our students’ safety and wellbeing is prioritised. The opportunities our students are offered with to live independently, develop their sense of agency, and become part of a community that is invested in their success is what makes Hawkes Boarding unique. We are excited to see where the rest of the year will take us as a community.

Written by Theunis (TJ) Pieters – Head of Boarding