We profile a leading Catholic independent school offering boarding for girls from Years 7 to 12, against the stunning backdrop of Sydney Harbour in Australia’s biggest city.
In 1882, five sisters from the Society of the Sacred Heart arrived in Sydney and opened a boarding school for girls, Rose Bay Convent. In 1909, Kincoppal School, Elizabeth Bay, a Sacred Heart school, opened to day students. The two schools were amalgamated in 1971 to become today’s Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart. Today, the campus blends 19th-century architecture with modern facilities in a location in private bushland 8km east of the Sydney CBD, with its own access to the beaches of the harbour.
A word from the school
SARAH DAFF is the Director of Global Education at KRB.
What kind of education can KRB students expect?
A KRB education is transformational and holistic, focusing on the development of the whole child. The school understands the rapid rate of change in the world, both technologically and societally, and thus seeks to develop students’ ability to navigate the complexities of this world and a future world that cannot yet be comprehended.
A KRB student can therefore expect an education that allows them to develop a deeper understanding of themself, their relationships with others, and their place in the world. They will belong to a community that seeks to challenge and extend them to be the best they can be, while also supporting their growth mindset after failures and setbacks. These learnings will not only occur in the four walls of the classroom, but also in the vast co-curricular offerings and outdoor education programmes that are on offer.
Students at KRB have voice and agency, and are provided with opportunities to not only speak up about issues of concern, but to lead informed action for the betterment of all. They therefore deepen their understanding of the global community and become independent, confident and articulate young people who are agile and innovative in their response to real-world issues.
During their time here, students see that their learning doesn’t happen in isolation, but rather through meaningful partnership between themselves, their parents and the school. They know the staff are highly regarded in their area and use evidence-based pedagogy and practices to support learning.
Through all of this and many other opportunities, the students feel connected and at home, not only at KRB but in all the international Schools of the Sacred Heart.
Tell us more about this international network of the school, and the emphasis on global citizenship.
Kincoppal-Rose Bay belongs to a network of 150 Sacred Heart schools in over 40 countries. While the physical location and cultural contexts of these schools are different, each shares a vision of providing an education that equips our young people with what they need to thrive not only as professionals, but as global citizens of the world.
To this end, KRB provides opportunities for students to develop global competencies such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication, citizenship and character. Whether by embedding inquiry programmes in the classroom that allow students to investigate real-world scenarios and respond with innovative solutions, or through facilitating collaboration with Sacred Heart students from around the world in our “Virtual Collaboration Program”, we develop students’ ability to tackle the complex and at times unknown world of today and the future.
Further in-person collaboration opportunities are on offer with our international schools through our student exchange programme and language, arts and sports tours. Also integral to the global outlook is the integration of STEM programmes, such as robotics and coding, and the development of an entrepreneurial mindset. KRB is growing and developing these opportunities and programmes, so that students can engage the world and ultimately change the world for the betterment of all.
What do the students seem to like most about boarding and the school in general?
The students enjoy feeling like they belong and that they are recognised as individuals with their own unique gifts and abilities. They know that their time at KRB weaves them into the fabric of this school and they will continue to be significant members of our community long after they walk through the gates for the last time. This community extends beyond just KRB to the wider international community through her Sacred Heart passport.
Anna (Yimengle) Wang is a KRB Year 12 Boarder 2021
“One of my favourite things about boarding is that I can be with my friends and supported by them all the time. Besides the caring supervisors and staff in boarding, friends are crucial to me, especially during the pandemic. I’m certainly grateful for having them and being in the shared, loving boarding house with them.
The amount of care, support and recognition from the teachers is enormous. This school environment has definitely made me become more confident to just believe in myself and know that I am strong enough to overcome anything.
I also love the sense of community that is vividly felt both within the day school and boarding. KRB has provided me with friendships that resemble family as well as memories, values and traditions that I will forever keep close to my heart.”
Facilities and activities for boarders at KRB Boarding School for Girls
On afternoons and weekends, boarders have access to a comprehensive range of school facilities; including the following:
- Indoor heated pool
- Four tennis courts
- Indoor basketball stadium
- Performing arts centre
- Private access to Queens Beach
- Dance studio
- Two libraries
- Quiet and modern private and group study spaces
Boarders’ activities appeal to a wide range of interests and abilities; the school says that while they’re not compulsory, girls who do participate have the opportunity to forge and strengthen friendships:
- Surfing, kayaking and paddleboarding
- Ice skating
- Shopping at Bondi Junction or yum cha in Chinatown
- Dances and social activities
- Excursions to the city or suburbs to attend galleries, markets and events
KRB Fact File
Year established: 1882
Number of boarding houses: 3 – Jackson and Woodward cater for Years 7 to 11 while Sheldon House is a purpose-built Year 12-only boarding house with single, double and triple bedrooms; all houses overlook Sydney Harbour and have common rooms, kitchen facilities and outdoor areas
Background of boarders: Students from rural and regional areas of Australia, and internationally including Hong Kong and mainland China, Singapore, South Korea and Papua New Guinea
Ages taught: Year 7 to 12
School year dates: January to December
Register at krb.nsw.edu.au to attend a virtual information session to find out more about the KRB boarding experience, or contact Head of Admissions Sue Lancaster at firstname.lastname@example.org or +61 2 9388 6148 to organise a campus tour.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.