alt text
alt text

Life In Boarding


Welcome to the Mary Williams Boarding House, for Senior girls, Grades 8-12. The aim of the booklet is to outline routines, activities as well as responsibilities and duties for different office bearers in the Boarding House. One of the outcomes that the Boarding House strives for is to maintain the Guiding Principles and values of the school by encouraging appropriate manners and respect for all. If you have any questions regarding Boarding, please contact Mrs Helen Boulle, Head of Boarding,




The following members form the BODY of the Boarding House and the communication structure:

  • Deputy Headmistress- Student Affairs- Senior School
  • Head of Boarding
  • Matrons
  • Heads of Houses
  • Girls

Communication Channel

  • The Matrons are directly responsible to the Head of Boarding and the Deputy- Student Affairs as well as to the Headmistress. Information regarding girls should be shared within agreed boundaries and confidentiality.
  • Open lines of communication should exist with the House Team.
  • Any boarders’ concerns should be given to the House Representatives who will take
    them to the Boarders’ Forum for discussion before given to the Head of Boarding.
  • Professional contact should be maintained with parents, pupils and other employees of the School.
  • Should there be requests/concerns regarding catering, these should be communicated to the Head of Boarding.


Matrons: The matron is responsible for supervising routines in the House and at meal times. She is also responsible for the health and the well-being of the girls as well as the smooth running of “Home life”. A number of vital administrative duties are also included (keeping boarders’ personal information such as medical details (allergies) on hand.

Her duties in the Boarding House include:

  • Daily routines (Monday to Friday)

Health & welfare:

  • Providing pastoral care for the girls at all times.
  • Proposing referrals (in accordance with the school protocol) to the School Counselors for those in need.
  • Liaising with Sister in the SAN for medical concerns/ advice/ referrals.

Domestic & Administration:

  • Ensuring that girls wake up on time and get ready for meals and school; they need to wear the correct uniform;
  • Ensuring tidiness and cleanliness of the dormitories, bathrooms and common rooms;
  • Assisting girls with repairing of clothing- providing necessary equipment for this;
  • Observing security and fire/ safety regulations of the house as well as complying with these;
  • Taking meals with the girls and instilling/ ensuring good table manners as well as maintaining order in the dining room;
  • Ensuring the completion of the Reserved/ Early meals form- Liaising with the manager of the catering company and Head of Boarding for any concerns/ requests made by the girls;
  • Filling pocket money forms and submitting them on time to the Head of Boarding;
  • Arranging transport for Boarders’ outings, church attendance and other events attendance that boarders may request/ need;
  • Delivering of the form to the Fedics manager immediately after breakfast(on a rotational basis);
  • Assisting with the ordering of cleaning materials from the Housekeeper; ordering of the evening snack from the Catering company;
  • Noting and submitting report of all Maintenance needs to the Head of Boarding- (via intranet);
  • Providing weekend numbers/ meal times to the Catering Manager – On Thursdays and on Friday morning at Breakfast at the latest (leeway until 16:00 for emergencies);
  • Ensuring that meals for girls who had requested reserved meals, are taken from the kitchen;
  • Signing out of the girls to official adults- parents or nominated adults (Fridays);
  • Keeping a basic first aid kit for emergencies;
  • Keeping records for the girls and ensuring that those records are up to date(school rules, Boarding information, Boarding rules, invitation letters, Nominated parents to pick up; Medical aid information; Extras; Pocket money request form);
  • Ensuring that they have collected the file from Head of Boarding with all boarders’ medical aid information and cards.
  • Assisting Boarders to get forms for school correspondence (like indemnities) signed by their parents;
  • Assisting Boarders to arrange necessary transport (e.g. to and from airport)
  • Building relationships in the boarding house between her and the girls and with the other Matrons and members of staff.


  • Attending Administration meetings- update on weekly activities- Headmistresses
  • Attending Matrons’ meeting – The Head of Boarding
  • Attending Friday’s meetings in Staff Room
  • Familiarising self with the White Calendar
  • Writing Boarders report comments at the end of each term.

At the beginning of the year, Matrons must ensure that all boarders submit the following documentation and they file accordingly:

  • Boarding Rules and School Rules
  • Boarders’ Information Form
  • Boarders Exeat form- Adults permitted to sign out girls on weekends
  • Boarders Extras- pocket money/ stationery
  • Medical Aid card/ copy
  • Study Permits- international students
  • Passport (keep copies – sign in/out originals)

Weekend Routine

Weekend Routine:

  • Two Matrons are on full duty.
  • Matron on duty must liaise with the girls about the activity for the weekend- if it is a shopping weekend – Matron on duty accompanies the girls.
  • Know which girls are in for the weekend.
  • Arrange activity for the weekend – e.g. swimming, walks on property or to St John’s College, ice skating, shopping, picnics.
  • Ensure that one matron is in the IT centre to supervise the boarders on Skype between 16h00 and 16h30.
  • Care for ALL the girls in boarding & to take up duties for the Matron who is off duty.


First Rising Bell:

Second Rising Bell:

Breakfast Weekdays:

School Starts:

School Ends:

Prep Time:


Second Prep:









Lights out varies with age groups/ grades. Specific times in the Boarding Rules

Responsibilities & Duties For The Girls

All Boarding house office bearers should ASSIST IN:

  • Promoting values and principles of the school.
  • Motivating and encouraging their peers to take pride in their boarding houses.

Head of House and Matric to share the following:

  • Prep duties – ensure silence and order; draw duty list; check attendance list; absenteeism to be reported.
  • Liaise with Head of Boarding and Matrons.
  • Dining room duty- draw lists (table sittings), leading GRACE; promoting good manners at each table (All Matrics included); liaise with Matron and Head of boarding for any boarding concern.
  • Computer Prep- compile roster and remind girls about the procedure.
  • Boarding house duties: in-house-duties (light outs; sign out forms; punctuality for meals and school) – work closely and assist matrons and observing that the rules laid down are complied with, instill in-house disciplinary measures and report serious deviations to Matrons/ Head of Boarding.
  • Meetings – attend regular (biweekly) meetings with Head of Boarding.
  • Boarding activities for the weekends- assist in the organisation of activities over the weekends.
  • Safety: Fire drill responsibilities- assist matrons to ensure that the girls are familiar with safety measures in cases of emergency.
  • In-house notice boards – keep these tidy and purposeful.
  • Collect and deliver mail from the (MATRON).
  • Assist Matron with the weekend sign-out and sign-in Register which is to be completed by Thursday Morning (Sign-Out) at the latest and Sunday evening / Monday morning (Sign-in) at the latest.

Outline ForHead of House & Matrics

Head of Boarding & Matrics

  • Promote values and principles of the school
  • Liaise with Matrons and Head of Boarding for the smooth running of the boarding house.
  • Have regular meetings with Head of Boarding.
  • Ensure that the heads of houses share duties among themselves and work as a team. (Duties include: prep duty; dining room duty and lights out duty)
  • Acts as an overseer/ leader for the organization of the team.
  • Serve on SRC and bring matters of concern to the attention of Head of Boarding.
  • Fire drill responsibility.
  • Be a role-model and mentor to the younger girls and lead by example.


  • Promote values and principles of the school
  • Motivating and encouraging their peers and younger girls to take pride in their boarding houses
  • Act on behalf of the Head of that specific house (in the absence of the Head).
  • Liaise with Head of Boarding and Matron (in the absence of HoB)
  • Be a role-model and mentor to the younger girls and lead by examples.


Weekends Numbers:
The following should be done on a Thursday morning straight after breakfast, by 08H00.

  • The matrons on weekend duty should be identified.
  • Final weekend numbers should be handed to Head of Boarding to forward to the Catering Manager.
  • Number of girls with special diets (i.e. Wheat free, Gluten free) who will be in for the weekend; including Friday and Sunday supper; should be given to the Catering Manager.
  • This should be accompanied by the times that breakfast and lunch will be served.
  • Times for tea and special activities for boarders (i.e. shopping) should be handed to catering manager.
  • Any special requirements for the weekend should be discussed.

Tea Time:

  • The matron’s snacks will be kept in the kitchen for collection.
  • Tea for the girls will be served on Bear’s Terrace.
  • At least one senior boarder should be present at tea.
  • In case of tea or snacks being short, the senior boarder should report to the catering manager who will provide accordingly.


  • Evening tea and biscuit requisitions to be handed to the kitchen before 15H30 on a Friday afternoon.
  • Changes to the weekend numbers should be reported to the catering manager before 16H00 on a Friday evening.

Reserved meal Form- Catering Request Form (Appendix A)

  • A special catering request form should be presented at each breakfast.
  • The form should be provided by the matron on duty, who will ensure that the correct date is entered.
  • Boarders will complete the form to their needs.
  • The matron will check for any required amendments.
  • After approval by the matron it will be handed to the Catering Manager before after breakfast.
  • Any late requests should be communicated through the Head of Boarding.

Boarders Dining Room

Serving Times:

Early Breakfast:






Depends on the activities for the week end.





Matron Duties:

  • A matron to be on kitchen duty every breakfast and supper
  • Matron to ensure that the Special Catering Request form is completed, and handed to the catering manager every morning after breakfast.
  • Matron to ensure that Matric duties are carried out, and discipline is maintained
  • Any problems to be reported to the catering manager, and not to kitchen staff.
  • Late requests for kept suppers or packed breakfasts to be communicated to the catering manager before service commences.

Matric Duties:

  • Maintain discipline at the table and at the serving area ( Door duty).
  • Ensure tables are called as per boarding recommendation.
  • Report any problems to the matron on duty.

Health & Safety

No girl is allowed to keep medication on her. All Medication must be kept in the SAN and administered by Sister.
Any girl who is not feeling well should be referred to Sister in SAN. Should a girl feel sick in the evening, Matron must phone Sister first to check availability, and the girl must be accompanied by Matric/ Head of House/ another girl. If a child is too sick to walk, Sister should be called in. If sister is not available, the Head of Boarding should be contacted.

In the case of an emergency, and in the absence of Sister and Head of Boarding, an ambulance must be called in and the child must be taken to either Brenthurst OR Milpark Hospital (Ensure that the boarders’ medical information and card is taken with the boarder to hospital).

Parents must be notified before leaving for hospital where possible. (Matrons have the list of emergency numbers which should be displayed on the open in her flat.)

The safety representative for Boarding is the Head of Boarding. It is recommended that all Matrons must have done the First Aid Course. The expiry date for most Courses is three years from the date of issue.

Fire Drills

These are conducted by the Head of Boarding and/or Facilities Manager at random times during the year to train the Boarding community as to what action to take in the case of fire or other emergency. Matrons and the girls must ALWAYS be ready for these drills i.e. emergency lights must be charged, torches must be ready – batteries available on request from the Facilities Manager. Matrics and Heads of Houses must be familiar with their roles. Girls that have recently joined Boarding must be orientated and guided in the routine.

Matrons must be familiar with the operation of Fire Extinguishers. Demonstrations on how to use this equipment can be requested.

The following are the guide lines for Hide-Hide and Evacuation procedures.

Hide Hide Hide


This drill is for when the school premises may be under attack.


  • Get under your desk, bed or chair immediately.
  • Be absolutely quiet.
  • Remember the aim of this drill is to make sure no intruder knows you are there.
  • Keep away from windows and close doors.
  • Switch lights off if possible.
  • Only come out of your hiding place if a staff member or senior person comes and tells you if it is safe to do so.

Fire Drill:
Long Loud Siren

  • Get up quickly, put on closed shoes and cover yourself with a blanket/duvet. Take your torch.
  • Lead out of your dorms in a line, make sure everyone is out.
  • Depending on where the fire is – use the next/nearest/quickest exit away from the fire.
  • Walk out quickly and be absolutely quiet so that you can hear any given instructions. DO NOT RUN and cause panic.
  • Line up outside in designated areas in a straight line.


  • Make sure all the girls are awakened.
  • Make sure you have cleared all the girls out.
  • Give instructions for quiet and order.
  • Take your torch and list of your boarding girls’ names.
  • Walk out quickly with the girls – ensure that there is NO RUNNING or TALKING.
  • Make sure help is given to any girl having difficulty to get out on their own.
  • Alert relevant authorities about fire if there is one.
  • Know all your fire exits and where fire extinguishers are. Teach this to your girls on a regular basis.


  • Report to your Matron.
  • Get your boarding list.
  • Carry your torch.
  • Have closed shoes and blanket with/on you.
  • Guide the girls out.
  • When girls are lined up outside, check against list to make sure all the girls are present.
  • Report missing girls.
  • Keep girls quiet and calm.

Appendix A

Download Boarding Early Requirements

Appendix B

Catering Communications Structure

  • Any special request to be communicated between the matrons and catering manager.
  • No requests should be directed to any kitchen staff, other than the catering manager.
  • Any problems that the matron or the catering manager can resolve should be communicated between these parties.
  • In the case of the problem not being resolved, the Head of Boarding should be involved who will then communicate first with the Catering Manager and then with the Executive Head Mistress if necessary.

Appendix C

Boarding Pocket Money Request & Withdrawals

  • All boarders requiring pocket money must have written permission to charge pocket money to the account by the person responsible for paying the account. Permission forms for EXTRAS for the signature of the account holder can be obtained from Mrs Kate Lowings or their matron. The weekly allowance must be stipulated on the permission form. No pocket money will be given without the completion of the form, or if the pupils account is in arrears.
  • Boarders requiring pocket money must complete a pocket money request form each week. The form is obtainable from the matron. The matron is required to sign acknowledgement of how much the boarder is requesting, no errors or tippex are allowed on the forms. The pocket money request forms must be handed in to Ms Susan Hamer by no later than Wednesday of each week.
  • Pocket money as a rule is processed weekly. A boarder may not accumulate pocket money slips and back date withdrawals. However should the boarder wish to draw the weekly allowance but not spend it, it is advised that the cash be put in the school safe for safekeeping until such time as the money is required.
  • Pocket money may be collected on a Friday between the hours 10h00 – 15h00 from Ms Hamer. Should the pupil not be able to collect her pocket money for any reason, she must make arrangements with Ms Hamer for the money to be held in the safe, or for her matron to collect the money on her behalf.
  • Whenever pocket money is collected from Ms Hamer or the matron the pupil must sign for the pocket money on the request form. A pupil may not ask a friend to collect the pocket money on her behalf.
  • At the end of each term a memorandum from the bursar goes out timeously to advise all staff of the cutoff dates for EXTRAS to be processed on the pupils accounts, this is usually around two weeks prior to the end of term. This would include the cutoff date for the withdrawals of pocket money. Therefore the matrons must ensure the pupils are advised of the cutoff date for the accounts so that the pupils & matrons can plan and postdate their weekly request for pocket money. The postdated request for pocket money withdrawals must then be submitted to Ms Hamer by no later than the stipulated cutoff date on the memorandum. Ms Hamer will process the postdated requests and then and forward them to Ms Lake to be charged to the account. This forward planning means that the pupil is still then able to draw their weekly allowance even though the accounts have been closed off for the term.