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Boarding at Genazzano

24 Oct 2017

Going to boarding school was always an exciting prospect for Genazzano FCJ College student, Ella Bradford.

“Having had both my parents attend boarding school and speak about their fond memories, I always knew that, if given the opportunity, it was something I wanted to experience as well,” the Year 12 student from Deniliquin, NSW, said.

Ella knows not everyone shares her rosy opinion of boarding, and she wants to set the record straight.

“There are definitely misconceptions about boarding school,” she said.

“The main ones I regularly come across are that boarding schools are a form of punishment; that children don’t have fun and that it’s hard to keep in touch with family.

“From my experience, none of these misconceptions are true. I have so much fun with all my friends every day and speak to my parents daily.”

Ella started boarding at Genazzano four years ago, when she was in Year 9, and the experience has been even better than she expected.

“I had no idea that the connections formed with other girls in the boarding house would be so strong,” she said. “Boarding at Genazzano is by far one of the best opportunities given to me. I have so much fun with all my friends every day.

“I am constantly surrounded by my closest friends and after living with them for four years they’ve become family,” she said.

“Prior to my time at Genazzano, I only had one sister, but when my time here ends I’ll be leaving with 40 sisters who are all so supporting and will remain in my life forever.”

She also wants prospective families to know that, as a boarding student, she is not isolated from her parents.

“I am fortunate enough to talk to my parents daily, filling them in on the day’s adventures,” she said.

“I’d encourage other young girls and their families to think about boarding school, as you make so many long-lasting friendships with girls throughout all the year levels.

“Boarding staff also provide us with an environment that is safe and positive, with routines and a lifestyle that encourages us to focus on our studies, and helps young girls find their independence.”

Genazzano FCJ College is a Catholic girls’ school in the Melbourne suburb of Kew and accepts boarding students from Year 7. Boarders live in Hopetoun Hall, in Camberwell, about 3km from the Genazzano campus.

The College emphasises Hopetoun Hall is an extension of the Genazzano community, where educators and parents work together to nurture faith, independence and social responsibility.

Boarders are encouraged to participate in events such as group excursions and socials.

They are also well represented within the College as prefects, house captains and as recipients of academic excellence, sports and performance awards.

Article originally published in The Weekly Times, 11 October 2017.