Philosophy and Focus

The Howqua Valley is a beautiful, tranquil place. For the many Lauriston students for whom Howqua has been home, it is a place forever etched in memory. It is the bush - hot in summer, cold in winter (with heating available only when the girls gather wood and light a fire). It is a place of foggy mornings and clear days, of cold toes and of sitting with one’s feet in the creek on a hot afternoon.

Lauriston’s Howqua program has its origins in the remarkable vision of Mrs Ruth Tideman AM, Principal from 1983 to 2000. For Mrs Tideman AM, Lauriston was a place where every student should have the opportunity to ‘develop to the utmost the mind and the heart’. The concept of a rural campus – fostering confidence and self-development by offering Year 9 girls a program that reached far beyond the physical confines of the classroom, and the home – became central to this vision.

Since its inception in 1993, the Howqua campus has become an integral part of Lauriston life.

As can be observed on a visit to Howqua, the campus is the result of much careful thought and preparation. Sensitively designed buildings nestle unobtrusively into the bush environment. There are spaces for work and study, living areas, and areas for quiet contemplation and reflection.

This unique environment enables girls to:

  • Acquire new skills and discover new talents
  • Experience real teamwork and interdependence with peers and adults
  • Learn to live away from home in a secure environment
  • Come to grips with the basics of living
  • Learn from primary sources
  • Have the opportunity to become increasingly aware of their natural environment
  • Meet a variety of physical, social and academic challenges
  • Develop new friendships which are deeper than is possible in a day school where there are many distractions
  • Take individual and collective responsibility.

A Unique Learning Experience

Traditional disciplines hold an important place at Howqua. The curriculum is designed so that students continue to build upon skills developed in Years 7 and 8. Classes in Mathematics, Humanities, English, Mandarin Chinese and French continue, along with comprehensive Music and Art programs. In the style of the Howqua Campus, however, teachers never miss an opportunity to tailor subjects to make the most of the natural setting.

Other fields of study include, Environmental Science, Fit for Life, Health and Outdoor Studies. During the year a number of Interdisciplinary study excursions occur such as the regional tour of north-eastern Victoria with exploration of local history, art and geology.

Program Structure

Howqua 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.

While at Howqua girls participate in a busy seven day timetable. Two of those days are set aside for Outdoor Program activities and all days feature wind-down and ‘quiet time’ periods for reflection and relaxation. A busy academic and pastoral program is incorporated into the structure.

Learn more about the program structure here.