What is the structure of the Boarding School? How are boys and girls accommodated?
Within the Barker College Boarding Community, your child will be allocated to one of three Houses – West Wing, Senior Studies or Plume House. All three Houses are situated at the heart of the teaching and administrative centre of the School campus. In recent years, the boarding accommodation at Barker has been upgraded and refurbished for boys and girls, to provide spaces for living and learning that are well suited to the needs of today's young adults.
Boys in Years 10 and 11 are accommodated in twin-share rooms in West Wing. The West Wing has been progressively upgraded, most recently in 2006. Boys in Year 12 have private bedroom studies in Senior Studies or West Wing, which also houses the School Health Centre.
All girls are accommodated in Plume House, a purpose-built stand alone boarding facility completed in 1929. It was modified to receive girl boarders in 1991 and has since undergone regular upgrading. Year 10 girls have dormitory accommodation, Year 11 girls have twin share rooms and Year 12 girls have private bedroom studies.
The Head of Boarding and the Boarding Administrator, are a dedicated and experienced team, who oversee the care, supervision and development of the boarders. They strive to create a positive 'family' environment so that Boarders gain the maximum from their stay in Barker Boarding.
What facilities are there in the Boarding Houses?
The three Boarding Houses each have their own Common Rooms where Boarders can simply 'hang out' with their friends. Facilities include a supper kitchen, television, PAY TV and video. In the West Wing there is a communal lounge and games room.
Barker Boarders also have access to an extensive range of sporting facilities, including a full equipped Gymnasium, Aquatic Centre, tennis courts and several playing fields. The School's superbly resourced Library, is also open each evening and at weekends so that Boarders are able to work with teacher-librarians on assignment work and assessment tasks.
How many Boarders are there at Barker?
Barker's unique 'seniors only' approach to boarding means that students are part of a small, secure, family-oriented boarding community of 50 young men and women, where brothers and sisters can share in the same experiences.
Where do most of the Boarders come from?
The School has a proud history of providing boarding to NSW country families for 100 years. We also have some children of expatriate families living overseas and a few who live in greater Sydney.
How are Boarders enrolled at Barker?
All prospective Boarders and their families are interviewed by the Headmaster. This is an important step in the enrolment process to ensure there is a commonality of interests and aspirations amongst this close knit community of boarders.
What are the Boarding fees?
Please see Boarding Fees Schedule.
Who do I contact to arrange a tour of the Boarding School?
Please ring the Enrolments Office on (02) 9847 8207, to arrange a convenient time to tour the Boarding School.
What is a typical day like for a Barker Boarder?
The week-day begins at 7.00 am when the duty staff member for the day arrives. Boarders get up, shower and dress before heading into the dining hall for breakfast.
After breakfast rooms are tidied and Boarders sign out to school at or before 8.20 am.
During the school day, Boarders receive a snack at recess time and join other Boarders in the Dining Hall for a sit-down lunch.
After school, Boarders sign back into their respective boarding houses from where they may sign out to sports practice, visit the local shops or simply relax within the house.
Dinner is at 5.45 pm and is a semi-formal affair. Following announcements and grace, Boarders file through the servery to collect their meal. After dinner a brief house meeting is held before the students move off to begin evening study ("Prep").
All Boarders come together in the dining hall for supper at 8.30 pm, after which it is quiet time in each house. During this time senior students are in their own rooms completing work, reading, attending to emails, etc.
The day concludes at 10.30 pm by which time all Year 10 & 11 boarders are in bed and lights out. Year 12 Boarders may continue to work on in their own rooms.
Week-ends are more relaxed with less routine imposed. Once sporting commitments have been met, Boarders may sign out on overnight leave, relax about the house, use school sporting facilities, visit the local cinema complex or shops.
Is homework supervised and is extra tuition available if needed?
Years 10 and 11 do two hours homework each week night in the Library, supervised by a member of the Boarding staff. Boarders also have access to the teacher librarians during this time.
Year 12 Boarders work largely in their own room but may visit the library as required. Extra help after school is also freely available in Mathematics, English, Science and History. There is also help available after school in the area of study techniques and assistance with organising assessment tasks.
The Library is also open on a Saturday afternoon and access is provided most week-ends to Art and Design and Technology, for senior students in these subject areas.
How do Boarders achieve academically at Barker?
Boarders at Barker achieve a high level of academic success. In recent years, Boarders have consistently achieved UAI's above 90.
What kind of access do parents have to their sons and daughters and what leave allowances to they have?
Parents of Barker Boarders have access to their sons and daughters, generally without any restriction. There is no limit on the amount of leave, providing that any school or sporting commitments have been met and that leave procedures have been followed.
What if my son or daughter is homesick?
Homesickness is completely natural for young people living in new surroundings and adapting to new routines and environments. Despite planning for your child to go into boarding, the reality comes suddenly - one day they are at home and the next they are not. Do not underestimate the effect it may have on you and feel free to contact the Boarding Coordinator about your own concerns, as well as those of your child.
A City Family Scheme has also been established to enable Boarders from far afield to have a city family associated with the School, which can provide a local contact as well as occasional weekend leave opportunities. Boarders often reciprocate the hospitality during school holidays, and lifetime friendships between the families are forged.
What if medical attention is required?
The School has a fully equipped Health Centre staffed by Registered Nurses. Medical care is accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
What do the Boarding fees include?
The Boarding fees cover all meals, laundry, transport to and from every sporting event and supervisory care within the Boarding House. In addition, as virtually all of Barker's Boarding staff are teachers at the school, Boarders are given ready access to academic assistance and support in the evenings and at weekends.
What is the food really like at Boarding school?
Boarders at Barker are offered a wide variety of meals, with the nutritional needs of young adults always at the forefront of the minds of the Barker chefs planning the Boarders' weekly menu.
The menu changes every term, with the Boarders Food Committee, which meets throughout the term, providing ideas and suggestions on what they would like to see included on the menu.
Here is a sample of a typical day's menu for a Barker Boarder:
Choice of 5 cereals, full, lite and soy milk
Fresh fruit salad and fresh whole fruit
Orange and Apple juice
Hot breakfast item e.g. poached eggs on toast
Apple and Sultana Muffins
Traditional Minestrone Soup
Roast Chicken, Cheese and Baby Spinach Baguette
Or Char-Grilled Vegetables, Lettuce and Pesto on Turkish Bread
Roast Lamb and Minted Gravy with Roast Potatoes, Pumpkin and Green Beans
Or Spicy Hokkien Noodles with Asian Vegetables
Meringue Nests with Berry Couli
Diced Cheese, Dried Fruit and Crackers