Boarding Philosophy Statement

Boarding has been a very significant feature of The Geelong College for 160 years because boarders bring greater diversity that adds significantly to college life. Boarding at The Geelong College is important because it provides a residential community that is inclusive, friendly, and important for all students whether they are boarders or not. The existence of a residential community which includes students, parents and staff is in itself an important feature of college.

The Geelong College Purpose and our College Values shape the student experience in boarding. Consequently, our two boarding houses provide a safe and nurturing environment where young people in their secondary school years thrive as they learn, grow and live together on a daily basis.


Boarding at the College

It is perhaps the magic ingredient, being in a small and diverse environment challenges our boarders to step outside of themselves and learn from, and with, others every day. There is a comradery that is difficult to capture, the friendships they make are like the best bits of sibling relationships, and most boarders genuinely love their time at Mossgiel and Mackie.

We aim to make sure our boarders' day is the same as a day students’ day while at school to help them integrate into the whole school and give them the best opportunity to find their friendship group by getting to know a wide range of people in addition to their boarding friends.

At Middle School (Year7 and 8) boarders catch a bus to school from the boarding house and back each day. Their lunches are collected from the canteen and they participate in classes, house activities and sports training.

At Senior School, they meet with their day house at the beginning of the day, collect their lunch from the dining hall and eat with friends, participate in house activities together, as well as attend their classes and sport training.

When boarders come home to the boarding house they have structured activities, but time is allowed for students to choose their own activities with friends or family. During the week there is sport training and study, but boarders still have a couple of hours after school a few nights per week to relax at the boarding house or go out with friends. Boarding staff always know where they are and when they will be back, but there is a level of independence and trust. On weekends there is Saturday morning sport, and there may also be boarding house activities on Saturday night or Sunday. At these times the girls' and boys' houses often combine for a day out or a movie night in.

Each week night, boarders have two hours of study time when they work undistracted on homework, projects or revision. Qualified academic tutors (usually College teachers) provide learning support, and House Tutors are available for additional guidance. They can also work with other boarders who have done or are doing the same subject. There are no phones and no access to social media during study time. It is easy to see why boarders do well academically, when everyone else is studying there is nothing to do but study so there are no arguments and it quickly becomes a habit that stands them in good stead later in life.

For the most part our boarding staff are also teachers at the school which means that pastoral care and academic support happen organically as well as through structured pathways, and that the boarding staff become confidants and parental figures quickly.

Our boarders develop independence and thoughtfulness, they become appreciative of their families and really engaged over their time at The Geelong College, and we are proud of the people they become.  

We look forward to welcoming your family to our boarding community.

greg and leigh

Mr Gareth Gilby – Head of Boys’ Boarding and Mrs Leigh Knight – Head of Girls’ Boarding

To find out more information about boarding please contact our admissions team on (03) 5226 3156 or at


Benefits of boarding
  • ­Academic tutoring
  • Supervised study timeeach evening (social media and phones are not allowed)
  • Supportive and dynamic academic environment
  • Devices handed in each night to ensure good sleeping habits
  • New and diverse friendships
  • Developing independence
  • Convenient for sports training and other co-curricular activities
  • Quality family time when at home


Where are our boarders from?

Country Victoria and New South Wales, the coastal towns surrounding Geelong, and from Melbourne, the Northern Territory as well as international students from China, Singapore and Hong Kong.


Practical information about The Geelong College's boarding program
To find out more information about boarding please contact our admissions team on (03) 5226 3156 or at
Boarding Info book