Transformative Year

The Howqua difference

Howqua’s program is experientially based and purposefully cadenced to build and reinforce each girl’s skills and independence and provide time for exploration and reflection. Indeed, the Howqua Outdoor Program is ideal for fostering personal growth, a sense of self-worth and self-confidence.

A dedicated and experienced team 

Howqua has a diverse and dedicated team of over 20 staff. From teachers and house tutors to psychologists, chefs and grounds staff, each has a role in caring for and supporting the girls as they’re challenged to grow.  

A rich curriculum  

The Howqua environment offers a robust, five-day core subject academic program, plus electives designed to provide the girls choice and deeper engagement with learning. Teachers are available in the afternoon and evening to discuss the learnings of the day and there’s a set 90 minutes of study every night.  

Outdoor program 

The jewel in the Howqua crown, our Outdoor Program is run over two days each week. This adventurous program invites girls to engage in life to discover their best selves and equips them for the future by teaching independence, resilience, courage, and confidence in their own abilities. Individual, group, and community strength is built via a series of activities including mountain biking, rogaining and running. 

Wellbeing and empowerment 

Throughout their Howqua year, girls develop the lateral thinking skills to solve problems – be they on the Outdoor Program or back on campus. A similar approach is taken to pastoral care, where the teachers empower the girls to take control of their own wellbeing, backed by the expertise of psychologists and nurses who are available at any time. Each House is assigned a Tutor, who’s responsible for keeping parents abreast of any issues that arise as girls adapt to the challenges of living away from home. 

Sustainability and global citizenship 

Lauriston’s Howqua campus achieved a five-star rating for sustainability in 2016 and is one of only 25 schools in Victoria to do so. Students and staff work together to reduce waste, increase awareness of behaving sustainably and to build a community that leaves a positive impact on the environment.  

A connected cohort 

Whether it’s in the great outdoors, the classroom or their House, the Howqua environment provides daily opportunities for girls to build their intra-personal skills. These insights into how people interact and the chance to observe the emotional responses of others are important in developing compassion, empathy and understanding.

A strong, supportive community 

Much of the Howqua program is place-based. In other words, the surrounding environment enriches learning. As members of the local community for a year, our students have time to understand the value of the land to its people and the role it plays in their daily lives. The diversity of the Howqua staff means each girl will find someone with whom she can share her thoughts and ideas. In turn, staff share their experiences with the students, which builds a strong community and helps girls understand the power of working together and supporting one another. 

Leadership Opportunities 

Leadership requires practice, and girls get ample opportunity to do that at Howqua. Students are encouraged to take charge of running co-curricular activities including on-campus fitness, art, music, choir ensembles, bands, dance, library, sustainability and gardening clubs. Leadership skills are also honed through participation in the Outdoor Program which by its nature asks girls to step up and lead. 

Transition to Year 10 

Howqua is considered transformative for good reason. Girls return to the Armadale campus as Year 10 students who’ve had the experience of managing real-world problems and with a better understanding of the complexities of human relationships. They recognise and appreciate their stewardship of the environment and have developed a strong sense of what it means to be part of a community. It’s an adaptable and mature outlook that establishes deep foundations for success.