Boarding life

Boarding life

At Northam Residential College, you’re not just another ‘student’. You are part of our boarding family.

Northam residential college boarders 2023Having a smaller group of boarders than other colleges enables us to focus on each student and give them the attention they need.

Doing well at school is important for our students to assist them in reaching their potential and meeting the requirements of their study, we provide support in the form of structured study times, communication with their school, and monitoring of their study loads and emotional well-being.

There is a compulsory one-hour study period in the evenings five days a week. Beyond these compulsory times, students have ample personal time to study or complete homework. Northam residential college communal computer areaWe provide a quiet and supportive environment and are encouraged to study regularly and be respectful of other students.

We communicate regularly with each student's schools regarding their progress and any issues needing to be resolved. We are happy to organise any tutoring a student may need.

Happy Indigenous students at Northam Residential CollegeIn addition to academic achievement, students' social and emotional wellbeing is important. We provide strong pastoral care to students so they feel secure, supported and happy.

Students have access to our college’s school psychologist and college supervisors meet regularly to discuss individual student needs and concerns. Additional programs and community events are conducted throughout the year in support of pastoral care. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and those from diverse cultural back grounds are supported through recognition and awareness of cultural differences.

Students are supported to live healthy lifestyles. They are given opportunities to be active, eat nutritious food, sleep well and enjoy ‘down time’ with their friends.

If your child is feeling ill or has a medical appointment, supervisors can help them access the services. Services available include doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dentists and psychologists. You are notified if your child is in need of medical attention or needs time off from school. Prescribed and off-the-shelf medications and prescriptions are kept in the student’s lock box in the staff office, staff dispense medication to students as instructed by a doctor or pharmacist, and these are recorded. Asthma inhalers are by arrangement, and EpiPens can be kept securely by students in their rooms.

Delicious chinese chicken dinnerStudents enjoy delicious and nutritious meals at the college, with a 35 meal rotating menu (that is, 5 weeks of different evening meals before they are repeated). Meals are wholesome, tasty home-style fare with varying mains, desserts, snacks and lunches. Special dietary requirements are supported and our menus are recommended by the Western Australia School Canteen Association. Find our current dinner menu.

We also have themed meals throughout the year including St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Christmas and Chinese New Year, which the students enjoy thoroughly.

There are a variety of recreational activities available for students at the college. Some are organised by supervisors and encourage group participation. Other activities are more informal and organised by the students themselves.

Activities that are organised by supervisors include sporting, recreational and leisure activities which promote fitness, fun and social interaction. These include overnight camps, day outings, social events, shopping trips, Perth city visits and in-house activities such as movie and game nights. Parental consent is required for all excursions and activities, and while all efforts are made to keep any additional fees and expenses to a minimum, there may be times when parents need to contribute.

Boy playing floorball outsideStudents are also encouraged to organise activities themselves. They can swim in the pool, play games, watch movies, play sports on the school oval, visit the nearby skate park and go into the town centre which is only 500 metres from the college. Town leave is at designated times throughout the week. This leave is unsupervised and requires students to sign out and walk to and from the town centre. Some conditions apply and students must conduct themselves in an appropriate manner when in town.

Sometimes students feel homesick when they board away from home. This usually happens when they first arrive and are settling in. Students are encouraged to speak with supervisors about their feelings or phone home for a chat. The supervisors also try to help students make new friends and feel more at home.

If your child has something on their mind and they would like to speak to someone other than a supervisor, parent or carer, they can seek support from the:

  • Kids Helpline
  • college school psychologist (visits one day per week)
  • school chaplain
  • school nurse.

Students wishing to report an issue or incident can talk to the college manager, supervisory staff or school staff. For complaints of a more serious incident, students or parents can report directly to the college manager or directly to the police or child protection.

Department of Education Child Protection Reporting (Student Line) 1800 011 114                       
Department of Communities Child Protection and Family Services 9222 2555                    

Pic of students sitting in the dining roomIf you or your child has any concerns about the residential college, please speak with the college manager. If the matter is not resolved after you speak to the college manager, please phone the Department of Education’s Manager, Residential Colleges on 92645432.

Staff reside on campus all year to provide 24/7 supervision. Visitors are welcome but invited visitors must come by the office, be introduced to supervisors and sign the visitor’s book. They must use the designated areas and leave by 5 pm.  Parents are welcome to visit outside these times after first contacting staff to arrange the visit.