There is no better example of the celebrated Somerville House spirit than that embraced by our Boarding Community. The friendships, a sense of belonging and a shared commitment to the fullness of life and learning and that makes the Somerville House boarding house a true home away from home.
Somerville House provides a warm, supportive environment where each Boarder is encouraged to balance structure and routine with the freedom to explore and develop individually.
Under the guidance of our Head of Boarding, our caring and dedicated on-site Boarding Supervisors and Assistants manage the day-to-day operations of the boarding houses while fostering a safe, harmonious and happy environment, ensuring the right balance between study and leisure.
More than 100 girls, of diverse nationalities and culturally rich backgrounds, travel from around Australia and the world to take advantage of the renowned academic, cultural and sporting facilities at Somerville House.
Seventy per cent of boarding families come from regional and remote areas, which may not offer the educational opportunities and resources that are enjoyed by Somerville House students.
The School’s Big Sister Program, with Senior Boarders responsible for a ‘little sister’, ensures that new boarders experience a warm and welcoming transition into their new environment.
Boarders, from Years 6 to 12, enjoy contemporary air-conditioned facilities, purpose-built to cater for the study and lifestyle needs of teenage girls and considerate of the required balance between personal privacy and cohesive communal living.
The Boarding House incorporates modern bedrooms and bathroom facilities, shared leisure spaces, in-house kitchen areas, supervised study areas, soundproof music practice areas and balconies overlooking Brisbane city.
central location means students have the cultural heartland of Queensland
literally on their doorstep with easy access to South Bank parklands, the
Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland State Library, Museum and Art
Gallery, the botanical gardens and much more.
On the weekends, there are opportunities for fun and relaxation as our boarders are encouraged to take part in the extensive Co-Curricular Program offered by the School and organised games and activities with students from other boarding schools.
We welcome visits by Boarder parents and, in addition to our co-ordinated parent updates, our staff are always available to discuss student welfare, needs and progress. Our Boarder Parents’ Support Group meets regularly, and is actively involved in working with staff to make the students’ time at school a happy and rewarding experience.
The renowned academic, cultural and sporting programs of Somerville House, combined with the support of our extended Christian community, provide the perfect scaffolding for Boarders to explore and expand their talents and interests, to challenge their thinking, to find their best self and ultimately, to become independent, confident and capable young women of the world.
Mrs Frances Greene
Head of Boarding
The welfare of all Boarders is of upmost importance to Somerville House staff. The School provides a safe and secure environment in which the girls can live and learn. Our staff are qualified and experienced in nurturing their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Our Big Sister Program, where all Boarders are responsible for a little sister, assists new Boarders to experience a positive transition into their new environment. Big sisters help their adopted sibling to become accustomed to their new living arrangements and routines, to minimise the natural feelings of homesickness, and provide a shoulder to lean on and learn from during this critical settling in period.
This program has been a great success over the years, helping Somerville House Boarders to develop lifelong friendships, where age is irrelevant and shared experience is everything.
The Somerville House Boarding House is wired with an automatic security system that is activated after hours. Smoke detectors are fitted in all areas, and regular fire drills are held to ensure all staff and Boarders are practiced in fire safety and evacuation procedures.
To further ensure individual safety, Boarders are not permitted to leave the School grounds without the approval of the Boarding Supervisor on duty and corresponding procedures are in place to facilitate this process.
Boarders have access to a range of high quality medical services including a registered nursing sister who staffs the School Clinic on weekdays from 8.00am - 3.30pm, clinic appointments by a visiting GP, appointments with a visiting physiotherapist and access to a visiting dietitian as well as preferred doctors, dentists and specialists in the local area, also accessible after hours.
The close proximity of the Mater Hospitals, both public and private, is also of great benefit, and parents are assured that if hospitalisation is needed, this can be arranged within minutes.
Implementing highly effective study habits impacts not only academic success but also a student’s ability to better cope with competing demands and deadlines.
Boarders are provided with the tools, routine and guidance they require to study smarter, to ensure adequate homework, reading and revision is carried out while also encouraging the development of their own disciplined study habits.
All boarding students have a set period of Prep before and after dinner each night, Monday to Thursday, under varying levels of supervision dependent on Year Level.
The program for Study Prep from Monday to Thursday is as follows:
The time set for Prep is a minimum guide. Many girls will want, or need, to do extra study. After bedtime, quiet study is permissible by arrangement with the House Supervisor.
Boarders will also have weekend homework which they complete unsupervised and in their own time.
The importance of Prep time is reinforced through basic but critical requirements including:
In addition, through the generosity of the Boarders’ Support Group, the Boarding House has a dedicated Boarders’ Library allowing students to borrow for reading during quiet time.
In the event private tutoring is required, this can be arranged through the Dean of Students in consultation with the Head of Boarding.
Boarders are actively encouraged and supported to experience all aspects of school life including sport, music and additional co-curricular activities, as offered by the School, both on and off campus.
In addition, students may also choose to participate in club sports and part-time work, undertake cultural excursions at the many art galleries, museums and theatre facilities situated on our doorstep, as well as organised impromptu social activities with fellow students, friends and family.
The Head of Boarding, and relevant Boarding Staff, will work with students, and parents as necessary, to co-ordinate student participation or attendance and ensure relevant approval processes and safety considerations are implemented at all times.
Somerville House has a structured, yet liberal, leave schedule for its Boarders which includes the following leave types:
Variations to the type of leave, the location, time periods, and accompaniment requirements are generally dependent on the age or year level of the Boarder.