Choosing to send your son to a boys’ boarding school in Perth is a major decision. Wesley College is an award-winning option.
At Wesley, we offer our boarders a vibrant and nurturing environment. We strive to create a family-style community that encourages each boy’s growth – supporting them as they become happy, responsible individuals. Our approach is one of the many reasons why Wesley College was named as Boarding School of the Year in the Australian Education Awards 2019. To read more about the award, simply click here.
Wesley College Boarding House is situated in the foreshore suburb of South Perth, on the Collage’s campus. Housing up to 160 boys from Years 7 – 12, the boys are looked after by a dedicated group of staff who are also residents of the school creating their own, tight-knit boarding community within the school community.
Living in a boarding environment extends the opportunities for boys in many regards. We view boarding as an advantage, as there are greater opportunities in many different facets. These include the increased exposure to leadership opportunities, the academic benefits from working collaboratively with their peers, and greater access to teaching staff. Living in a diverse residential capacity, boys develop greater respect and acceptance for others.
What’s Our Secret to Being the Best Boarding School in Australia?
It all starts with our unbeatable location. The Wesley Boarding House is situated within the College’s beautiful South Perth campus, with ready access to the Swan River, the Angelo Street village and minutes from the ferry to Perth city. The local parklands, cycle paths and skate park, combined with facilities of the Wesley Sports Club, ensure boarders have superb recreational opportunities that provide the necessary balance to the academic rigour of school and evening study.
But, the ‘secret’ to our award-winning boarding program is working together as a team.
Everyone plays a part in creating an inclusive, studious, and fun environment for all our boarders, This includes our Senior boys who mentor and guide the younger levels. This relationship helps our younger and new students grow confident and adapt easily to their new boarding school environment
The other relationship that is crucial to our successful program is the one between our staff and students.
The bond that develops as the boys advance along their journey in boarding with their Year Level Co-ordinator (key pastoral care mentor) is central to their success and comfort at Wesley. This is supported by the way our staff strive to create a home-like environment for the students. Offering the comforts that they crave while still giving them the opportunity to be independent. Our team – including the Laundry, Health Centre, Kitchen and Cleaning and Boarding staff – are there to provide an environment that is enriching invigorating, challenging and compassionate.
Finally, we work in partnership with parents to ensure we create positive relationships with each student. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Boys are cared for in a pastoral system based on year groups as our emphasis is to ‘know the boy’.
Our Boarding Program
The Wesley College Boarding House caters for boys in Years 7 – 12.
Nominally, the Year 7 cohort start with around 20 students with more boys joining the program over the Middle and Senior School years. The Year 12 group will usually graduate with over 30 boarding students. This equates to a whole boarding community of around 160 young men.
To support these men on their journey, there is a Year Level Co-ordinator for each group who looks after the pastoral care of one year group. They are supported in the general running of the boarding house by resident supervisors (RODs).
These members of staff either reside within the Boarding House itself or in homes on school property, creating a unique community within the College. These members of staff are ably supported by the Laundry, Health Centre, Kitchen and Cleaning teams who are intrinsic to the successful culture within the community.
The academic experience for boys is supported by evening and weekend access to staff, tutors and state-of-the-art facilities including computers, classrooms and music practice rooms.
Our Activities Program
The boarding program at Wesley College includes activities and opportunities to keep students engaged and active throughout the year. The school has a dedicated Recreational Officer whose role is to organise and co-ordinate the weekend’s activities for each year group. Further to this, the Year Level Co-ordinators organise activities for their groups to develop the collaborative culture within their group.
The strength of Wesley’s program is our staff’s willingness to invest in their group of students. Their creativity and excitement to create memorable experiences for the boarders is truly special. Our staff have been known to throw events ranging from birthday outings to pancake nights, or group rides around the Swan River area on a sunny afternoon.
Our leave management system allows the boys to take leave to a variety of places. For the Senior boys, this includes Cottesloe Beach once they have completed a surf awareness course in the latter part of Year 10. There is also a provision in the system for boys to take leave in the City, or at the stunning South Perth foreshore area, which is right in our backyard. And just in front of the school on Angelo St, we are lucky to have a large selection of shops and cafes for the boarders to visit as well.
Our Emphasis on Boarding Relationships and Wellbeing
Each year group has a dedicated staff member who looks after all aspects of the boarder’s wellbeing in their care.
Supporting the student and the Year Level Co-ordinator (YCo) is the school’s psychology department. Students can attend sessions with counsellors as needed and are often called upon by the YCo to assist with advice and guidance on the pastoral care of a boarder who may be in need of additional assistance.
There is also a graduated program for Leadership within the boarding house. At each year level, boarders are given opportunities that expose them to the concept of leadership and the chance for them to grow and develop their own style of leadership.
The program begins in Year 7 where the concept of living in a community and playing a role is visited. Each year, there is a distinct theme and area of leadership that is introduced and developed with the boys. This culminates in not only the Prefect positions within the year 12 group but also the opportunities within the College and Wesley’s sporting teams.
Our Boarding House
The Wesley Boarding House is a specially-designed building on the school grounds that holds up to 160 boarders.
Being located on the school campus, it gives boarders quick access to all of the Collage’s facilities, while also offering safety and security.
The boarding house underwent massive renovations back in 2016. This saw our two separate Boarding Houses amalgamate into one, as well as the introduction of more modern facilities for the boys to enjoy.
Each child is given their own room within the house, while the updated modern breakout spaces added during the renovations, provide a space to support the students’ learning and wellbeing.
Academic Opportunities for Boarders
To assist the boarders in their academic pursuits, the boarders undertake nightly prep sessions where the boys are supported with their learning. Alongside the staff, there are specifically employed tutors on hand to help the students with their studies.
For the Middle School boys, a chunk of this support is centred around organisation and IT skills. With the Senior School boys, the tutoring program revolves more around direct support for specific subjects and prep for their ATAR exams.
Further to this, we also have sessions for identified students who may require extra support with their literacy and numeracy to build their base skills so that they can be set up for continued success.
Our Boarding House Staff
At Wesley boarding, there is a well-structured pastoral support network behind the boys. The Head of Boarding oversees the whole of the Boarding House and guides the Year Level Co-ordinator (YCo) in the pastoral work with their boarders. ,
These staff are the communication point for all information regarding the boarder and they work closely with each boy in their year group, parents and the College to ensure that they are on the right track with all aspects of their schooling and that they are happy in their boarding life. Within the Boarding House, we also have a team of staff who assist with daily operations and supervision of the house. These teams play a vital role in talking with the boarders and providing key feedback to the YCos.
Many of these supervisory staff are university students who are in the process of studying teaching or have just graduated with their certifications. 95% of our boarding staff live on campus which assists in creating the unique community we have within the Wesley boarding community.
Benefits of Boarding
Being a boarder is an advantage. The extra help that you get with your studies, the extra pastoral support, the access to the school’s facilities and the support and comradery of living within a tight community means that boarders have the chance to thrive.
Being surrounded by like-minded people, with great diversity enables students to graduate not only having achieved their best, but experiencing a holistic education in the process. The friendships made in boarding last a lifetime and the time in boarding will enable the boys to have a headstart when they move into the next facet of their life.
Get Ahead with Headstart
For many boys, the high academic standards at Wesley are a step up – making the transition to life here a challenge. In some cases, students have experienced gaps in their English and numeracy skills, in other cases the introduction of structured homework proved to be a big change.
With that in mind, we created Headstart – a free program giving students a chance to get up-to-speed on the English and Numeracy curriculum before they arrive at the College, reducing any anxiety they may have.
The program is at no additional cost to families and is delivered over the internet, with the assistance of Wesley’s teaching staff.
To learn more about Headstart, please click here.
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