Boarding Experience

To be a boarder at Rathkeale College is to have the opportunity to develop the self awareness and independence to tackle the day to day tasks created by living away from home. Students are charged with adapting to and eventually mastering the routines that will allow them to study, play and rest in an incredibly stimulating environment created by over 150 teenage boys. Sharing living space with students of the same age but often very different backgrounds will challenge the boys’ ability to be sensitive and tolerant towards their peers while learning to respect differences and take pride in their own uniqueness. It is in this environment that students can develop leadership skills, a sense of pride and responsibility as well as teamwork.

The ideal choice

From its conception, Rathkeale was envisaged as a boarding school. A number of qualities made this a very logical choice. The exceptional rural environment comprising woodland, fields, open spaces and the Ruamahanga River make the College a paradise for active boys. The College is well situated close to the centre of the country and within commuting distance from the capital city and from the major airports of Wellington and Palmerston North. This ensures the attendance of good numbers of students from both the city and abroad. The agricultural base of the Wairarapa economy ensures that a significant number of rural students are reliant on boarding schools. As a consequence, Rathkeale remains an important boarding facility.

A unique experience

All boarders may choose to stay in school for the weekend or have leave, as long as it is communicated through their housemaster. Those who are in the Houses over the weekends are offered exciting and challenging recreational activities to keep them occupied. Boarders retain a special place within the life of the College. Life long friendships created in a special environment remain a tangible outcome of a boarder’s time at Rathkeale. Boarding offers a unique experience, bringing people together from all parts of New Zealand and overseas. Our boarding house staff are positive and caring people who work tirelessly to ensure that the boys are safe and happy away from home. A sense of community exists within the boarding houses and the boys develop a strong sense of belonging. Contact with boys in other Houses and with day boys is facilitated through membership of separate competition Houses named after iconic New Zealanders Sir Peter Blake, Sir Murray Halberg and Sir Edmund Hillary.

Boarding Activities

Every Sunday there will be an organised activity for the boarders who stay in for the weekend.  These could be games on site or trips to town to take advantage of the facilities there; Ten Pin Bowling, the Masterton indoor swimming pool, Mini Putt and the movies are some examples of local activities.
On three or four weekends each term an outside event will be organised. This could be a trip to a major sports event, karts, paintball, rafting or surfing. At the start of the term a list of activities will be presented to the boys. They are not compulsory and charges will be put on disbursements. Boys are able to come back to school to join in and occasionally we will insist boys go along on trips even if they choose not to participate.