One year, two homes

Year 9 students at Lauriston benefit from a dynamic but rigorous academic program - offered in a breathtakingly beautiful alpine environment that presents myriad opportunities for deep learning, personal development and authentic leadership.

The unique program and innovative approach to teaching and learning naturally leads to many questions. Below are answers to some of our most-often asked questions. This list is by no means an exhaustive summary; if your question remains unanswered, please feel free to contact us directly to learn more about the program and about how Howqua can help your daughter grow and become independent. 


THE HOWQUA
PROGRAM
CARING FOR STUDENTS
AT HOWQUA
WHAT TO BRING
TO HOWQUA
COMMUNICATION
AT HOWQUA
 

Howqua FAQ

Q:
DO THE STUDENTS SPEND THE WHOLE YEAR AT HOWQUA?
A.

Girls live on the Howqua campus in eight blocks during the year; each block comprises four to five weeks of academic, pastoral and outdoor programs. Girls return home during the year for midterm breaks (‘Exeats’) and for all school holidays

Q:
WHAT ARE EXEATS? WHEN ARE THEY, AND WHAT SHOULD WE DO ON AN EXEAT?
A.

Exeat weekends are short breaks from Howqua conducted in the middle of each term which allow the students to return home for a ‘long weekend (up to 5 days in duration). These dates are published in advance in the Howqua Handbook and also on the school website. Parents are encouraged to make any medical, dentist and hairdressing appointments during these dates.

Shopping for clothes etc. is a popular activity as is catching up with friends/family. As the girls are generally tired when they return for Exeat parents should think carefully about ensuring the Exeat schedule they plan is not too busy.

Q:
HOW MUCH OVERNIGHT CAMPING DO STUDENTS DO? WHAT IS A SOLO CAMP?
A.

Overnight camps are a regular feature of the two-day/one-night weekly Outdoor Program.

A number of extended trips are also conducted during the year. The solo camp is a one-night experience where each student spends time camping alone on the school property. The student is supervised by a staff member camping close by. The solo (surprisingly to some) becomes a favourite activity for many students and is often selected in the electives offered toward the end of the year.

Q:
HOW MUCH FREE TIME DO STUDENTS HAVE, AND WHAT DO THEY DO IN THIS TIME?
A.

A normal day allows for free time between 4pm-6pm (5 days per week).

Students can chose from a variety of options including reading, playing musical instruments, dance, going for walks or runs, catching up with friends or participation in co-curricular activities organised by staff.

Q:
HOW IS PASTORAL CARE MANAGED AT HOWQUA?
A.

The House Tutor is the primary care giver for pastoral issues, and holds regular pastoral care sessions with all students in the house.

The House Tutor also liaises with each student’s parents on any issues or concerns. The Coordinator of Pastoral Care coordinates the Tutor’s work and is the next point of contact for students and parents on Pastoral matters.

Q:
HOW ARE HOUSE GROUPS SELECTED?
A.

Selecting House groups is a complex process that takes into account student selection preferences, student profiles and sociograms.

This process is undertaken primarily by the Year 8 Coordinator and the School Counsellor, with other input as required.

Q:
WHAT ARE THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR BIRTHDAYS?
A.

Birthdays are special at Howqua. Parents are encouraged to send a birthday box with items suitable for a House party; however food items are not permitted. Students receive a birthday cake at dinner which the ‘birthday girl’ shares with her House group after dinner.

Q:
WHAT DOES THE SCHOOL DO IF STUDENTS ARE REALLY WORRIED ABOUT GOING TO HOWQUA? WHAT SHOULD PARENTS DO?
A.

Students are encouraged to share their concerns with the Year 8 Coordinator. The School Counsellor is also an important contact to discuss concerns.

Parents should attend the open days held at Howqua and are also encouraged to attend Parent Coffee mornings offered for Year 7 and 8 parents. These events are attended by senior Armadale staff and the Head of Howqua Campus, all of whom will be able to discuss any concerns. Parents are also welcome to contact the school at any time to make an appointment to speak with the Principal or her designate regarding concerns.

Q:
WHAT IS FOOD LIKE AT HOWQUA? ARE ALLERGIES OR DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS OR ETHICAL DIETS CATERED FOR?
A.

The catering staff at Howqua spends a significant amount of time ensuring girls enjoy a balanced diet with all the food groups appropriately represented. They are very accustomed to catering for students with a range of food allergies (the campus is nut-free) and different eating styles such as vegetarians.

The amount of food offered enables all students to meet the demands of the physical education and outdoor education programs. The girls become very fit throughout the Howqua program. It is unusual for girls to either put on or lose weight significantly; however it is very typical that girls will become more toned as a result of the program.

Q:
ARE THERE BOUNDARIES FOR WHERE THE STUDENTS CAN GO?
A.

The ring road around the campus buildings forms the boundary, particularly during first term.

Students who choose to go for a walk or a run must use the sign out book to record which campus tracks they are using.

Q:
WHEN WILL THE EQUIPMENT LISTS BE AVAILABLE?
A.

The Howqua Handbook, which contains the equipment and clothing lists, is accessible on the school website throughout the year.

The equipment list remains basically the same for each year. Hard copies of the Handbook are distributed at the Parent Information evening, held in October.

Q:
WHEN SHOULD WE START BUYING THE EQUIPMENT?
A.

The decision when to purchase non-school clothing and equipment is entirely yours.

For school-ordered equipment (i.e. over pants / jacket /fleece), a measuring day is held during Term 3; orders and typically placed then. The Lauriston Parents’ Association also holds a popular Howqua Secondhand Gear Sale in the first half of each school year.

Q:
HOW MUCH STORAGE SPACE DOES EACH STUDENT HAVE?
A.

Each student has two wire baskets under their bed plus hanging space, wardrobe space and space in the gear room for their outdoor equipment.

Q:
WHAT ELECTRONIC DEVICES MAY BE TAKEN?
A.

Students may bring iPods and digital cameras. Mobile phones and laptops are not permitted.

Q:
ARE THERE POWER POINTS NEXT TO THE BEDS FOR READING LIGHTS, MUSIC, ETC?
A.

Each bed has an overhead reading light.  There are power points close to most beds which may be used for iPod or camera chargers.

Q:
HOW IS CONTACT BETWEEN PARENTS AND STUDENTS MAINTAINED WHILE STUDENTS ARE AT HOWQUA?
A.

Parents and students correspond by letter writing.  This can occur as regularly as you wish. All students are allowed a phone call for their birthday; however phone calls are limited to pastoral issues and are usually arranged by senior staff.

Q:
HOW DO PARENTS CONTACT TEACHERS AT HOWQUA?
A.

Parents are welcome to telephone or email staff at Howqua. As staff have a rotating system of days off and are also on outdoor program, it may take up to 2-3 days before a staff member receives a message.