If you’re considering an Australian boarding school for your child, one name that’s likely to come up in your search is Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview in Sydney. The Principal, Dr Paul Hine and the Director of Boarding, Anthony Begg, will be in Hong Kong later this month for an information session. (Scroll down for details!) As a preview to that meet-up, we asked them some questions about boarding at the College.
Give us a brief overview of the school for readers who might be unfamiliar with it.
Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview is a Catholic school in the Jesuit tradition located in Sydney, New South Wales, that has been providing quality education for young men in Years 5-12 since 1880. Located on a 110-acre campus along the Lane Cove River, it offers both day and boarding options.
Principal Dr Paul Hine says, “Our mission is to build students of character and integrity with the drive and capacity to be agents of change, empowering them to excel in their chosen spheres of life and to make a meaningful difference in the world.”
How many boarders are enrolled? Is it all boarding?
The College is a day and boarding school, with approximately 310 boarding students among its 1600 student body.
Where do the boarders come from? Do you have Australian families living in Hong Kong whose children go there?
The College welcomes a diverse student body, with many of our boarders coming from regional and remote regions throughout Australia, as well as metropolitan and international locations. We are pleased to count a number of Australian expat families currently living in Hong Kong as part of our College community. Please note that students must be Australian citizens to apply for enrolment, as the College is not accredited to enrol international students.
What makes Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview a special place for boarding?
Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview is special in many ways, not least because we live out the Jesuit ethos of ‘cura personalis’ – which means caring for the individual. We don’t just give students a bed or provide an education; we nurture the whole person by fostering integrity, compassion and a sense of justice.
We believe that a 21st-century boarding experience is one where meaningful, organised and informed learning takes place. A place where there is a genuine ‘value add’ for families, where opportunities are provided for life’s lessons to be taught and lifelong friendships developed. We are a full boarding school and do not offer weekly boarding, allowing each student to fully settle into the school and be constantly surrounded and supported by other boarders and staff.
What’s notable about the school’s location, environment and facilities?
Few schools can claim a sense of place as strong as Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview, which is positioned on a 110-acre campus along the Lane Cove River. From the heritage sandstone Arrupe building to the cutting-edge Therry Learning Centre, every building, sporting field and facility is designed to provide an exceptional environment for learning and enjoyment.
Facilities at the school include:
- Dalton Memorial Chapel
- Ramsay Hall and Memorial Hall
- Gartlan Sports Centre, tennis courts and various sporting fields
- Multiple theatres and performance locations including O’Kelly Drama Theatre and the Theatrette
- The Woods Music Centre and auditorium
- The Health Centre (staffed 24/7 by medical professionals)
- The Riverview Observatory
- The Boathouse
What extracurricular opportunities are available to students?
Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview offers a comprehensive educational program complemented by co-curricular facilities and opportunities. Our commitment to nurturing holistic development is evident in the rich sporting and co-curricular life of the College. This promotes recreation but also fosters close friendships among students and teachers, instilling the values of teamwork and collaboration.
Students enjoy a diverse selection of over 22 summer and winter sports to choose from. There are also opportunities in the performing arts including music and drama, with five annual productions catering to each year group from Years 8 to 12. Additionally, students can pursue debating, public speaking, and a range of clubs and activities including Chess, Environmental Club, Multimedia & Robotics, and the Historical Society.
Give us an insight into a typical day – school day and weekend day – for a boarder at the College.
Below is an example of a Year 7 school day schedule:
- 6:45am – Rise and make bed
- 7:39am – Breakfast
- 8:35am – School day commences
- 3:30pm – Sports training and local leave (walk to the local shops)
- 5:00pm – Roll call/First study session
- 5:45pm – Dinner
- 6:25pm – Sports and recreation at the Gartlan Centre (swimming, basketball, indoor cricket and so on)
- 7:20pm – Showers
- 8:00pm – Second study
- 8:45pm – Prayer and reflection
- 9:00pm – Quiet time
- 9:30pm – Lights out
During weekends, boarding students have the opportunity to participate in various fun activities and events. These include access to sporting, organised outings to the movies, beaches, bushwalks and special excursions. Boarders also enjoy casual leave, allowing them to visit local shops in Lane Cove or take a short bus ride into the city or other parts of Sydney. Additionally, special mealtimes such as shared birthday cakes, boarder-led barbecues, themed nights in the Refectory, and monthly dinners hosted by the Heads of Division add an element of fun and camaraderie to the boarding experience.
Is there anything regarding fees, scholarships or applications that might be useful for our readers to know?
Explore the Enrolment page on our website to discover everything you need to know about joining our Riverview family. This includes details about the enrolment process, fee schedule and our unique bursary program.
At Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview, we believe in providing opportunities for all young men, regardless of their background. Instead of scholarships, we offer a heartfelt Bursary Program that is solely based on financial need. This program has been a beacon of hope for countless students from diverse backgrounds, making a Jesuit education accessible to all. It’s important to note that our Bursary Program relies entirely on generous donations, and it does not draw any funds from school fees.
What kinds of things do graduates go on to do in their lives and careers?
Our graduates embark on diverse and fulfilling paths in their lives and careers. Many alumni excel in various professions, including law, medicine, business, engineering, and the arts. Beyond their professional achievements, our graduates are known for their commitment to social justice, community service, and making a positive impact in the world.
We have seen a number of our students go on to become Rhodes Scholars, represent our nation on the sporting field, enter space (the first Australian astronaut is an alumnus) and stand at the helm of our government and justice system. As well as this, many alumni have gone on to serve their communities, from the current UN World Food Programme Director for East Africa to many volunteers at homeless shelters right here in Sydney. They carry with them the values instilled during their time at the College, such as leadership, empathy and a dedication to lifelong learning, which continue to guide them in their personal and professional endeavours.
Our readers will have a chance to find out more about the school in person at an information session in late October. Could you share any relevant details?
We’d love to meet you in person. Join us for a friendly chat with the Principal, Dr Paul Hine and Director of Boarding, Anthony Begg, at our Hong Kong Information Session on 26 October 2023, from 5.30 pm to 7pm at The Langham. We’re excited to get to know you better. Please let us know you’re coming by RSVP’ing here. See you soon!
For more information on schools for Australian international students, see our Schools section!