Boarding FAQs

HOW ARE THE BOARDING HOUSES STRUCTURED?

We have three boarding houses.

  • Knox Boarding Centre - opened in 2010 and houses boarders from Year 7 to 12.
  • Gillespie Heritage House - fully renovated in 2010. Home to Year 11 boarders.
  • Knox Senior Boarding Centre - renovated in 2017. Has single rooms for our Year 12 boarders.

HOW MANY BOYS ARE IN EACH ROOM?

At junior level, two boys share a double room. Each boy has his own desk and storage facilities in his room, just like he would in his own bedroom at home. Each room has an ensuite, allowing for privacy, comfort and a level of personal responsibility.

In Year 11, boys either share with one other boy or have their own room (most Year 11 boys have their own room). All Year 12 boys have their own room.

HOW ARE HOUSES AND ROOMS ALLOCATED?

In consultation with boys, the Heads of Stages will allocate rooms on a termly basis. Rooming is based on a number of considerations which includes feedback from boarding staff, boys' academic performances, their social interactions and to assist them in establishing new friendships throughout their time in boarding.

WHAT FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE IN THE BOARDING HOUSES?

Every level of the boarding house has a large communal recreational area for boys to relax, socialise and study with their boarding peers.

The boarding houses include state-of-the-art facilities, with comfortable lounges, study areas and modern kitchen facilities for boys to prepare snacks if they wish.

HOW MANY BOARDERS ARE THERE AT KNOX AND WHERE DO MOST BOARDERS COME FROM?

We have places for about 200 boarders. We are a diverse community! Around two-thirds of our students come from rural Australia and the wider Sydney region and one-third are from overseas (Asia and across the globe).

HOW CAN I ARRANGE A TOUR OF THE BOARDING HOUSES?

We would love to show you around our boarding houses. To arrange a time, please contact Martin Gooding on +61 2 9473 9768 or goodingm@knox.nsw.edu.au.

WHAT IS THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF KNOX BOARDERS?

Boarders benefit from homework and study sessions supervised by Knox teachers on Monday to Friday evenings. We also hold regular seminars for boarders on topics such as essay writing, exam technique and time management.

Knox boarders regularly achieve outstanding results in the HSC (see HSC results). Several Knox boarders have had their major works (for example, Design and Technology, Drama and Visual Arts) selected for the NESA showcases of outstanding major works.

WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE FOR BOARDERS?

Meals for the Knox boarding community are prepared by a professional caterer. The meals are nutritious and the menu is created by a qualified dietician. The menu changes every week; no two weeks are the same.

The Head Chef and Operational Manager work in conjunction with the Head of Stage and the boarders to ensure a diversity of excellent food options are provided, with menu suggestions from the boys.

WHO DOES THE LAUNDRY FOR THE BOYS?

School and casual clothes for the boarders are washed and ironed daily by professional launders and delivered back to the boys. Laundry costs are included in our boarding fees.

WHO TIDIES THE BOYS’ ROOMS AND COMMUNAL AREAS?

The boys are responsible for ensuring their rooms and ensuites are kept neat and tidy. The boys also take care of day-to-day tasks such as making their beds and house jobs.

Professional cleaners visit the boarding houses several times a week to clean communal and kitchen areas, boys’ rooms, vacuum and thorough cleaning of bathrooms.

WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF STUDY?

On weekday evenings, boarders have time allocated for homework (or ‘Prep’, as we call it). The sessions are supervised by Knox teachers and overseen by boarding staff. Boys work at their desks within their bedrooms or, with permission, collaborative learning is supported.

The amount of time allocated for Prep depends on each student’s year group. Boys in Year 7 generally have two 45 minute Prep sessions each evening. Senior students often study for several hours.

CAN THE BOARDERS USE THE SCHOOL FACILITIES?

Yes, the boarders can use the school facilities including the Weeks Senior Academy, Academy of Global Competency (Middle Academy), Junior Academy and Performing Arts Centre, Boarders' Terrace, Basketball Courts, Lawson Centre, Squash Courts, Gymnasium, Aquatic Centre, Tennis Courts and Knox 1 Oval.

WHAT’S A TYPICAL DAY LIKE FOR A BOARDER?

Watch our Boarding Videos

Wake up time

The day begins at 6.45am when boys are woken by their House Manager (or ‘House Mum’). Each boy showers (in his ensuite) and dresses in his uniform, after which he makes his bed and tidies his room ready for room inspections. Once everything is in order, Years 7-11 boys attend breakfast in the Boarders' Dining Room, with Year 12 boys having breakfast ‘in house’.  Boys who have before-school extracurricular activities can attend breakfast earlier if required.

School time

After breakfast the boys return to the house to collect their books, belongings and their technology (laptops and mobile phones) before they sign out with their House Manager to the day school. The boys sign out with the House Mum and exit the house before 8am (the senior boys before 8.15am).

Recess and lunch

Boarders in Years 7-10 go to the Boarders Dining Room at recess and lunch to have their meals. After eating they can join their day friends in the school grounds or attend lunchtime activities.  Years 11 and 12 Boarders collect their recess and lunch from the Boater Café in the Weeks Senior Academy.

End of school

At the conclusion of the school day, boys return to their boarding houses where they are greeted and signed in by their House Manager. Afternoon tea is provided for them in the kitchen located on their level. At this time boys can change out of their uniform and enjoy some free time, including local leave to Wahroonga shops or relaxing in the lounge areas and recreational room. Some boys have sports training or music practices to attend during this time.

Dinner

Dinner commences for different year groups from 5.45pm - 7.15pm in the Boarders' Dining Room. Boys are asked to wear a collared shirt and closed shoes in the Dining Room.

Prep

Homework (or ‘Prep’, as we call it) is a quiet time for study and homework. The boys are required to do two prep sessions. During these sessions the house is kept quiet to allow boys the necessary time and peace to do their study and homework. During Prep, boys are required to sit at the desks in their rooms and are able to use their laptops for their homework or research. Headphones and group work are also permitted.

Evening Boarding Tutors attend Prep on midweek nights to assist boys with specific questions, study techniques and general supervision to support boarding staff. The Evening Boarding Tutors are teachers from the day school or Old Boy graduates.

Larger tutorials can be held in a kitchen area which can also double as a classroom. This is particularly popular with the younger boys and during exam periods.

After Prep, boys are allowed to use their mobile phones to contact parents up until bedtime. At this time, all phones and laptops are locked away for the evening.

Bedtime

Year 7 and 8 boarders need to be in bed by 9pm. They are often given reading time before lights out. Bed time for Year 9 and 10 boarders is 9.45pm. The Head of House may allow boys to stay up later for prep if required. Senior boys (Year 11 and 12) can continue with late prep until 11pm with special permission, otherwise lights out is at 10.30pm.

Weekends

Weekends within the Boarding Houses are a bit more casual and relaxed. Saturday mornings are similar to that of weekdays due to sporting activities. However, after lunch boarders have free time. On Sunday the boys are allowed a sleep in. Weekend activities and outings are arranged by each Head of Stage and are advertised in their weekly newsletter to parents and boys throughout the year.

ARE BOARDERS ALLOWED OUT ON THE WEEKEND?

Yes, Parents/Guardians may request Weekend Leave through the Online ‘REACH’ Weekend Leave System.  Once leave has been reviewed by the Head of Stage, parents and guardians, their son and the host family are all notified via text message of the leave being approved or declined for that weekend.

CAN I VISIT MY SON ON THE WEEKEND AND TAKE HIM OUT?

Yes, with permission and approval from the Head of Stage via ‘REACH’, you are very welcome to take your son out any time from 3.30pm on Friday to 8pm on Sunday.

WHAT IF MY SON BECOMES SICK AND NEEDS MEDICAL ATTENTION?

We have a fully-qualified nurse on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also have a school doctor who visits the school each Wednesday morning during term time and can prescribe medicine if required.

ARE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR BOARDERS?

Yes, we offer a boarding scholarship for boys from regional areas and a boarding scholarship for the sons of Old Boys. For more information, please visit the Scholarships page.

View Scholarships

    Scholarship applications normally open each year about November, with Scholarship exams held each February.

    HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION?

    Please contact our Head of Enrolments, Mr Martin Gooding, goodingm@knox.nsw.edu.au or +61 2 9473 9768.