St Bede’s College is the only Catholic Boarding school for boys in the South Island. We are proud of our longstanding tradition as a provider of boarding school education and we welcome students from throughout New Zealand and overseas.
The College can cater for up to 143 boarders. The Director of Boarding is responsible for management of the Boarding School and also for the care of boarding students. He is supported by tutors and by Year 13 students.
Fulltime Boarding This caters for students whose homes are at a distance that does not allow practical access at weekends. Boarders are allowed home on several weekends each term but individual circumstances are also taken into account when special leave requests are made.
When boys choose to board at St Bede’s, they are becoming part of a family community. There are a number of families living on-site at the College, including those of the Rector and the Director of Boarding. Another essential aspect of joining the Boarding School is living in a faith community, with all the opportunities that presents.
The pastoral care of boys is an essential feature of College life. Boys are encouraged to talk freely to their dormitory masters / tutors, the Director of Boarding and the Rector. The College provides a comprehensive Guidance Network, with a full time Guidance Counsellor who is available to assist boys with personal and family difficulties.
All boys have a number of opportunities to celebrate the Eucharist and Reconciliation, Benediction, formal and informal prayer. Others take part in dramatic presentations in the liturgies, accompany singing, assist as sacristans, and prepare and recite prayers. Confirmation is celebrated for boarders every second year. Boys who have not yet made their First Communion and non Catholics are encouraged to ask for a blessing at Communion time.
Mentors and Peer Support
All Year 9 students at the College take part in the Peer Support programme. This is a comprehensive programme structured to provide an introduction to secondary school and ensure boys are aware of the support systems in the College.
Year 9 Boarders are inducted into boarding school life through the Mentor / Big Brother programme. This provides support and guidance, giving Year 9s the chance to get to know other students and the everyday routines.
The College Health Centre is located in Durham Hall. The school nurse is on-site during the day and is on-call as required. The school doctor is Doctor Coughlan and he is available each week day at the Health Centre. Boys who are feeling unwell are encouraged to visit the Health Centre prior to school.
Study and Tuition
Supervised study is part of the daily routine for all boarding students. There is a compulsory Year 9 study which runs from 6.45 to 9.00pm on four nights a week. In addition there are optional study periods prior to both breakfast and dinner.
Tutorial support is available to boarders who require assistance.
The Director of Boarding is the initial point of contact for parents. The College newsletter is published every full school week and this is available online or may be posted. In addition, the Boarders’ Newsletter is emailed to parents on a weekly basis.
Boys may use the email facilities on the school computers to contact parents, and while there are no specific times set aside for letter-writing, it is expected that boys should be in contact with home on a weekly basis.
Parents and guardians are always welcome to call and see their sons and staff. Boarders may only visit homes for which parents have given permission, and may only leave the College property at any time with the appropriate permissions.
Participation is the key to success as a boarder and we offer numerous activities throughout the year. There is an expectation that boarders will take part in some organised sport on Saturdays. We hold an inter house sports competition throughout the year, including activities such as basketball, touch, multi-sport, along with scripture reading and a quiz. We have a dorm master rostered for a ‘weekend activity’, generally on a Sunday and photos from some of the popular excursions can be viewed below.
- Summer Sport The main weekend summer sports are cricket, athletics and rowing. Tennis may be played at a local club. Mid-week sports include tennis, twilight cricket, golf, touch, waterpolo and volleyball.
- Winter Sport The main winter sports played on the weekend are rugby, football, hockey and senior basketball. Mid-week sports include badminton, table tennis, squash, indoor cricket and cross country. Ski trips occur from time to time on Sundays as weather and demand permits.
- Cultural Activities A full range of cultural options is offered, and boarders have the opportunity to follow their talent or expand their interest in a variety of areas. Music tuition is available during school time and boarders are encouraged to practise regularly. Debating is a popular activity and drama productions are staged annually.
Boarders are not permitted to travel in cars driven by other students without the permission of the parents of both the driver and passenger. Many boarders bring a bicycle to school during the term which is useful for travelling to and from sports fixtures and on weekends.
St Bede’s also has its own vans and bus which are used for class, boarding and cultural trips.
The Boarders’ Handbook provides details on matters regarded as ‘Serious Misbehaviour’ and also provides clear guidelines as to appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. Punishments for infringements range from worksquads to dismissal.
Bullying is not tolerated and both students and parents are encouraged to contact the Director of Boarding at the earliest should they have concerns in this respect.
Parents requiring detailed information on Boarding School policies and routines should consult the Boarding School Handbook. This is also available through the College Office.