Boarding

There is no better example of the celebrated Somerville House spirit than that embraced by our Boarding Community. It is 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.

Our 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’s parents and, in addition to our co-ordinated parent updates, our staff are always available to discuss student welfare, needs and progress. Our Boarding 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. 

Somerville House’s renowned academic, cultural and sporting programs, 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 Pamela Hodgetts
Head of Boarding

Boarding Options

Boarder Accommodation

Our purpose-built Boarding
facilities occupy designated levels
in two campus buildings and incorporate three Boarding Houses, each of which is managed by a dedicated Boarding Supervisor
and Boarding Assistant.

Holden Hall

The Holden Hall Boarding House, for students in Years 6, 7 and 8
is located on level 6 of the Ness Goodwin Building, which also
houses Years 9 and 10 Boarders
and the Junior School.

Craig Hall

Craig Hall is located on level 7 of
the Ness Goodwin Building. Craig Hall girls have more independence and, in keeping with their growing academic workloads and experience, more opportunities to arrange their own time and activities.

Bauer Building

Year 11 and 12 Boarders enjoy the luxury of 'moving up' to the Bauer Building. Opened in 2017, these new facilities offer the privacy and space of twin share bedrooms for Year 11 Boarders and single bedrooms with shared ensuites for Year 12 Boarders.

Dining

Our experienced catering team freshly prepare three balanced
and nutritious meals a day, as well
as morning tea, afternoon tea and supper. Fresh fruit is always available, and special dietary requirements can be catered for.

Laundry

The School laundry washes and
irons all School uniforms, underwear, sheets, doona covers, pillowcases and bath towels. Boarders wash
and iron their own civvies. Washing machines and dryers are available
to all Boarders after school and
on weekends.

Library

Boarders are welcome to use the Seymour Library and Information Centre on any school day from 7.30am to 4.45pm. The Library
houses a large collection of print
and online resources, including full-text databases and is conveniently located opposite the main boarding house. Library staff are available during the school day to assist students with research, the location of resources or to simply find a
great novel to read.

Support Services

Boarder physical and emotional
well-being is a priority at Somerville House. Boarders have access to
our School Psychologist, Guidance Counsellor and School Chaplain
who can provide support and guidance in areas such as settling
in, conflict resolution, tertiary
study and career advice, learning difficulties and mental health.

Boarding Life

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.







Boarder Safety

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.

Boarder Health Services

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.

Study and Prep

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 Prep for Monday to Thursday is as follows:

Years 6, 7 and 85:00pm - 6:00pm and 7:00pm - 7:30pm
Supervised in Seymour Library
Year 95:00pm - 6:00pm and 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Supervised in Seymour Library
Year 10 and 115:00pm - 6:00pm and 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Supervised in Seymour Library
Year 125:00pm - 6:00pm and 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Roving Supervisor In-House

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:

  • Boarders are required to remain at their desks, to avoid moving around and disturbing others.
  • Boarders must be organised and bring everything and only what is needed, to avoid distractions and time wastage.
  •  All devices not used directly for study, (i.e. mobile phones and iPods) are banned during Prep time.
  • Boarders are required to remain silent, to ensure adequate levels of concentration can be maintained. Earphones may be used for listening tasks related to revision or homework. 

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. 

Recreation and Leave

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:

  • After School Leave
  • Family Dinner Leave 
  • Weekend Day Leave 
  • Overnight Leave
  • Weekend Leave

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.