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Boarding Program

With boarding students leaving the care, comfort, and guidance that their home life provides, it is imperative that a structured boarding program be in place. At Pickering College, the Boarding Program is designed to provide a high level of support to our students in order to create a dynamic and respectful community within our residences. It also inspires a passion for learning by engaging students in a number of activities and outings, and through weekly curricular sessions on a wide range of topics chosen to ensure our students’ success now and in their future.

Boarding Curriculum

The curriculum addresses students’ needs based on their age, stage of development, gender and cultural background. Our international students are taught Canadian cultural norms and expectations and are encouraged to share with our day students information about their country, culture and traditions.

The breadth of the curriculum provides a comprehensive approach to teaching important life skills such as managing their living space, doing laundry, living collaboratively, healthy habits, financial management, time management, and effective communication and study skills.

Boarding Life Committee and Councils

The program supports the values of the school and the mission and vision of Pickering College. Students also have the opportunity to take on leadership roles such as membership on the Boarding Life Committee as a Proctor.

This is an esteemed position within the boarding community as these students work with the Student Life Committee to address the needs of all constituents, to discuss day and boarding life, to plan and organize school wide events, and to support the Boarding Program.

Each dormitory has a Head Proctor who has been chosen by the students and who helps facilitate boarding activities.

There are three Boarding Councils – Boarding Activity Council (B. Active), Boarding Social Council (B. Social) and the Boarding Cultural Council (B. Culture). These councils plan and host various activities throughout the year. They are co-chaired by Proctors and facilitated by an associate faculty member. Students are encouraged to get involved in these councils to develop their leadership skills.

The Boarding Program is comprehensive and attempts to offer opportunities to all interest groups. There are activities that run each evening and Pickering College has a very extensive weekend activity program. There is no loss for things to do for those willing to get involved and participate. Day students are always welcome to participate in these activities with their boarding friends.

Outings and Activities

Each student at Pickering College is a member of a “boarding family” of approximately 10 students, headed up by one of our associate faculty members who are recent university graduates interested in pursuing a career in education. Each boarding family, including the associate faculty member, live together in Firth House (girls’ residence) or New House (boys’ residence).

The boarding family works to support each student’s social and emotional well-being through shared outings, activities, games, and celebrations. In the evening program, students learn the skills necessary to live independently and to successfully transition to residence life at university. The associate faculty Family Head communicates regularly with their students’ parents and academic advisors while also providing guidance, support, and encouragement to the students in his or her family.

Safe Environment

Along with 24-hour electronic security monitoring all access points and card-accessed residence buildings, each evening there are three associate faculty members and two faculty members supervising students, circulating through the residence as well as a staffed Duty Office in each residence building.

Our associate faculty and faculty members offer guidance and support both in developing good study habits during the supervised study period and providing help with homework. They staff the Duty Offices and sign students in and out of the residences. We also have full-time House Directors who live in apartments on campus and oversee the residences. 

Students have access to our Health Centre, staffed with a school nurse, and the school doctor who visits once a week.

Family Living & Dining

Each student at Pickering College is a member of a “boarding family” of approximately 10 students, headed up by one of our associate faculty members who are recent university graduates interested in pursuing a career in education. Each boarding family, including the associate faculty member, live together in Firth House (girls’ residence) or New House (boys’ residence).

The boarding family works to support each student’s social and emotional well-being through shared outings, activities, games, and celebrations. In the evening program, students learn the skills necessary to live independently and to successfully transition to residence life at university. The associate faculty Family Head communicates regularly with their students’ parents and academic advisors while also providing guidance, support, and encouragement to the students in his or her family.

Enjoyed by all students, valued most by those in residence is our ‘family-style’ dining experience. Students sit with their respective residence family and activities are planned for every family dinner to celebrate an occasion or to encourage healthy inter-family competition with the goal of winning the Proctor’s Games Cup for residence of the year. Family dinners also have discussion topics, used to encourage conversation and socializing. Returning students mentor and look after new students, respecting each other’s culture. Healthy eating is most important and mealtimes are opportunities to encourage positive behaviour and choices.