Attending boarding school is a big step in the life of any young woman. At St Mary’s, our aim is to help your daughter settle in quickly and we have a range of programmes available to make the transition as easy as possible. Our welcome gifts and positive quotes create a homely environment that helps the girls quickly adjust to living away from home.
Anne Symington House has a dedicated team of staff committed to meeting the pastoral needs of each boarder, which begins with our Head of Boarding, Mrs Tina Campbell, who lives on campus with her family, and is a member of ABSA (the Australian Boarding Schools Association).
Each year group has their own house mother who works closely with each girl and her family to develop a close relationship and an in-depth understanding of each girl in their care.
In addition to their ‘Big Sister’, girls are mentored by the girls in their wing. Anne Symington House is divided into six wings, each with a Wing Captain in Year 12. Accommodating girls from all year levels in each wing provides a wonderful sense of community and support, especially for the younger girls, and helps to create a sense of family, which is so important to us here at St Mary’s.
The boarding house also maintains active lines of communication with parents and regularly asks for feedback to ensure that we provide a first-class level of care for your daughter.
A Look Inside Program
Helping your daughter become familiar with St Mary’s begins when she is in Year 4 and she joins the Look Inside programme. A highlight of the programme is the annual A Look Inside Day for all girls in Years 4 to 6 who are enrolled as future boarders. A Look Inside Day gives our future boarders a chance to familiarise themselves with the campus, and, more importantly, connects them with other girls who will also be joining the boarding house in future years. Activities during A Look Inside Day include attending fun introductory classes, having lunch in the boarders' dining room, and attending the Lower School Production in our Performing Arts Centre.
Big Sister: Little Sister Program
The Big Sister: Little Sister programme ensures that each Year 7 and 8 student is assigned to an older girl who acts as a guide/friend and mentor to her and supports her as she begins her boarding journey with us.
Perth Pals Program
When your daughter is in Year 6, St Mary’s starts welcoming your whole family into the boarding community. This starts with the allocation of a Perth Pal, a day girl, who, together with her family, will write to your family, introducing herself and offering to assist you as you begin the transition to becoming a boarding parent. The programme looks not only to connect the girls, but also their parents into the wider school community.
St Mary’s provides 24-hour access to medical care for all boarders. The Health Centre is located within the boarding house, with day nurses on duty during weekdays, and on call at the weekend, and a night nurse on duty overnight from 10.00pm to 6.00am. A doctor visits the boarding house each week, and a courier is available to take girls to appointments off campus. A physiotherapist and a beautician also visit the boarding house weekly to support the girls.
Maintaining Connections With Home
We understand that communication with your daughter is incredibly important whilst she is away from home. We actively encourage regular contact with family and friends and the Boarding House Administrator and other boarding staff are always available to girls and parents throughout the day and evening. Girls have access to a number of telephones as well as their own email address, and most girls have their own mobile phones. There is also access to SKYPE to communicate with home, for the boarders at St Mary's, whose parents welcome this form of communication.
Our girls love receiving parcels from home and the school postal address is:
To: [Student Name]
C/- Anne Symington House
St Mary's Anglican Girls' School
PO Box 105
Karrinyup WA 6921