Year 7 boarding: The parents' perspective

Year 7 boarding: The parents' perspective

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Advertiser content: In the St Joseph's Nudgee College Boarding community, there is much discussion about what it is like to start boarding from Year 7 from the student's perspective, but how do the parents feel?

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This is advertiser content for St Joseph's College Nudgee.

In the St Joseph's Nudgee College Boarding community, there is much discussion about what it is like to start boarding from Year 7. This story is often told from the boys' point of view, but what is it like for the parents?

Mr and Mrs Brett and Stacey Ramsay are the parents of Year 7 student Brodie Ramsay, who began boarding at the start of this year.

Coming from an isolated part of the Western Downs region, boarding was as much a necessity as it was a choice. Stacey said one of the best things about boarding was that the boys have every opportunity at their fingertips.

"Boarders become part of another family that supports and grows them through their high school years," she said.

"They learn to become independent and it really starts to prepare them for life after school."

As parents, however, Stacey said they sometimes struggle with not being able to see what they are learning or being able to drive up to the school gate and have a chat with teachers.

"However, we now know that we can fire off an email to a teacher to have our concerns heard," she said.

Stacey's advice for prospective boarding parents is very similar to what is commonly said to the boys - get involved!

It will be the best decision you will make for your son, opening his world and giving him all the opportunities, academic and sporting wise, as well as being part of the brotherhood that cares and supports each other. - Parent, Suzanne Gill

"Make friends with boarding parents and come down for events and sports," she said.

"We have the best time."

Mr and Mrs Clay and Carina Kenny also have a son in Year 7. With three other sons currently or having been boarders, as well as being a fourth-generation Nudgee College family, they had a wealth of information when making the decision on whether or not to send their youngest son Joe in Year 7.

"Christian Oneto [Dean of Boarding] was very specific in his outline of the holistic approach to children entering the earlier years of boarding which, as parents, put Clay and I at ease," Carina said.

One of the challenges as parents can be homesickness, which Carina said can be deeply felt by the parents, as well as the child.

"Staff would ring me to give me updates on how the boys were doing, which reassured me that they were okay," she said.

"This contact with boarding staff is a vital tool in helping everyone overcome homesickness, and it also reassures the child that the person looking after them is invested in their comfort and wellbeing."

From getting the opportunity to play team sports from a young age, to learning to be responsible for yourself, Carina said the benefits of boarding from Year 7 are plentiful.

"Joe has already made several strong friendships, which will take him through to Year 12, and along this journey he will meet many more boys at different times during the years," she said.

"As he is already comfortable with his boarding and academic environment, he then has the ability to show leadership qualities to help those who have just arrived to nurture them to the stage where they feel equally comfortable."

Year 11 student Tristan Gill is another boy who began boarding in Year 7, and, after five years in the Nudgee College Boarding Village, his parents Mr and Mrs Brett and Suzanne Gill are seeing the impact of this decision.

"We wanted to see Tristan start his middle-school years at Nudgee College in a strong position with experienced and supportive teachers, for him to form good study habits, and to explore all sporting opportunities available to him," Suzanne said.

"Over the years we have seen the above goals and opportunities explored and achieved and we know we made the right decision."

For new parents looking to enrol their son into Nudgee College Boarding, Suzanne's advice is to attend a regional tour visit or an Open Day and speak with Boarding staff and students.

"It will be the best decision you will make for your son, opening his world and giving him all the opportunities, academic and sporting wise, as well as being part of the brotherhood that cares and supports each other," she said.

"Trust us, your son will be in good hands."

This is advertiser content for St Joseph's College Nudgee.

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