A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE FOR BOYS FROM GRADE 4 - 12
For some, where boarding school is a practical necessity and where school is very far from home, boarding provides a way for scholars to attend their school of choice. For all boarders, boarding represents an opportunity to cultivate life-long friendships, develop independence and make the most of all school programmes.
It is possible for aspects of boarding to be homely but boarding is fundamentally different to life at home in many respects. Boarding presents boys with learning opportunities that are not presented at home and it is our experience that boarders who involve themselves in all aspects of the school programme will gain the most from their stay in the boarding establishment.
"What we must look for here is, firstly religious and moral principals; secondly gentlemanly conduct; thirdly intellectual ability." - Thomas Arnold
CHARACTER AND VALUES
Consideration for others is essential to a happy and properly run boarding establishment. In this regard, the demands of boarding are far more stringent than what many will experience at home, simply because there are so many more to consider in a boarding environment. Awareness of how voice, actions, and care of belongings affect those who share your living space is essential for boarders and a happy boarding environment. In this respect, our boarding at St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg offers boys the opportunity to develop personal disciplines and interpersonal skills which will be invaluable in later life.
STRUCTURE AND COMMUNICATION
Living spaces consist of a collection of buildings. The Boarding Houses are situated within the secure bounds of the College. Each grade is accommodated in a different building. Administration, sanatorium and dining facilities are common to all grades. This structure minimises opportunities for domination by seniors and also implies that boys in each cohort spend five years together as a unit, plenty of time to build trust, contacts and friendships for life.
We have boarders from throughout KwaZulu-Natal and a considerable number of boys from; inter alia, Zambia, Tanzania, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Malawi, Reunion and Mauritius. From time to time we even have boarders from as far away as Europe and China. Consequently, our boarding population is cosmopolitan, to the benefit of all our boys. In addition, many of our boarders come from farming families and these rugged, unpretentious boys with healthy interests are appreciated by our community.
Boarders are allowed to go home on every weekend of the year, with only two exceptions. Boarders who do go home for the weekend may spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at home, as boarders are given the choice of returning to boarding on either Sunday evening or Monday morning. Because of Saturday sport commitments, those who regularly go home for the weekend may spend Friday night in boarding. In short, we offer a great deal of flexibility where weekends are concerned.
But what of the termly boarders? Will they be lonely and bored over the weekends? The answer is ‘no’. Every Saturday of the school year includes a full set of sports fixtures and many boys will be busy with sport from early morning until early evening. This means that weekends only consist of Sundays. In addition, St Charles College has a considerable compliment of full-time boarders and most Saturday evenings will see around one hundred boys enjoying dinner in the dining room.
Those who stay in boarding over the weekend are offered; Youth on a Friday evening, outings on Sundays, trips to the Pietermaritzburg Liberty Midlands Mall on Sundays. Chapel attendance on a Sunday evening is compulsory for boys who stay in over the weekend. Despite opportunities for outings, typically, our boarders choose to relax on the school property on Sundays. All school sport facilities (tennis courts, squash courts, fields, hockey surface) are available to boarders on a Sunday.
Because St John’s D.S.G. for girls is geographically close to St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg and because many St Charles College boys have sisters at St John’s, there is a close relationship between the two schools. Boarders from the two schools have Chapel together on a Sunday evening and the girls from St John’s are often seen supporting their friends on the side of the sports fields on a Saturday. From time to time boarders from the two schools share weekend activities together.
The boarding team consists of:
- A Housemaster who is responsible for the boys in a particular grade
- Boardingmasters. Each Housemaster is assisted by a small team of boardingmasters
- The Deputy Principal
- The Boarding Secretary
- The school nursing team
- The catering, cleaning and maintenance teams