Choose Boarding

Much more than a place to stay!

Boarding at St Peter’s is not just a non-commute convenience - it’s the rounding off in an education that develops strong, capable people. For over 80 years, future leaders have lived and grown within the walls of St Peter’s .

Our Boarders are part of a vibrant community that stretches and nurtures the whole individual into the person they were born to be.  

Every young person needs a good education and diverse sporting opportunities to become a great adult.  All St Peter’s  students get that. Those that choose to board also get to participate in  Personal Development Programmes that further build the critical life skills they need to become the very best version of themselves. That’s why so many St Peter’s ’ students board on our historic grounds where life within the St Peter’s  community, alongside  our boarding staff’s  family homes,  stretches them and provides an empowering sense of belonging. 

Developing for life

St Peter’s ’ Boarders participate in our unique Personal Development Programme throughout their life at St Peter’s.  The programme curriculum combines outdoor pursuits, social and learning events, and expert coaching. We tailor the programme by age, stage, and gender to be relevant to every individual. In each year of the Personal Development Programme, Boarders develop resilience, tolerance, critical thinking, independence and leadership from their participation. 

Our Boarding staff are trained to understand the needs of adolescents and work with them on their personal development journey. We collaborate with parents, caregivers, and faculty to design a series of opportunities and interventions that extend, secure, and reassure every boarder. These elements are expertly timed to progress boarders’ personal skills as they move through consecutive growth stages. 

When young students become Boarders for the first time, they may feel insecure and struggle to nest in an unfamiliar environment. Our Year 9 residential curriculum allocates each Boarder a role and responsibility within a team. It delivers social events and micro support from a team of specialist Boarding staff, social workers, and chaplains.  The programme’s holistic mix gives new Boarders a stable foundation on which to develop resilience, tolerance and a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves.

As students move through the years, they are extended with a curriculum of learning and socialising that broadens their personal skills. When the time is right for the students' age and stage, our partner experts coach them in critic

al life skills. Students learn responsible masculinity and internet safety. They learn how to back a trailer and cook for themselves. And they learn the art of contributing to society and the environment with activities like cooking meals for underprivileged families. 

By the time students reach their last year at St Peter’s, they are ready to work together as flatmates in the Year 13 boarding houses, where they take on responsibility and learn independent thinking. 

“Boarding is a unique experience that truly sets children up with life skills such as communication, tolerance, independence, the ability to set boundaries and make time for themselves"

Maia Dhys-Davies, Boarding Prefect

Support to thrive  

Parents and caregivers can be confident that no Boarder slips under the radar at St Peter’s. Our team specialised in the everyday Boarding environment looking for signs of individuals who aren’t thriving. This allows us to respond quickly to the first sign of any issue. We tailor a care package that provides security and empowerment rather than entice a sense of not coping. 

St Peter’s fosters inclusivity. New Boarders stay over for the first few weekends to join others in planned group activities that enable new friendships and community spirit. All Boarders study together and form house teams where everyone has a part to play. Senior Boarders become house leaders who act as big brothers or sisters for younger students. At a mid-winter Xmas event for all Boarders, we award those that have made a difference to other Boarders to encourage a culture that ensures everyone thrives.

Our expansive and homely dining hall is a social hub that draws all Boarders together for shared mealtimes. Boarders develop comradeship and house loyalty through onsite and offsite planned house events and a sense of community through inter-house challenges. 

Supported 24/7 by a dedicated network of inspiring specialists

St Peter’s, the “rock”, is brought to life in our boarding house team. Each house has a House Director, House Assistants, House Leaders, and a Matron supported by our Chaplain and Well-Being Team to provide motivation and pastoral care to all Boarders. Many of this specialist-trained team also have their home at St Peter’s.  From day one, students are embraced by a peer mentor and the boarding house staff to give them the best opportunity to integrate.

 A place to call home with an empowering sense of belonging

More than 350 Boarders are part of an extended Whanau that make St Peter’s their home. They live in seven boarding houses throughout the grounds alongside 45 residential homes where staff and their families live, including our principal. Children and pets play close to students studying or kicking a ball around.  Prospering enterprises, including a working farm, an equine centre, and a golf course, are part of our Boarders’ environment. Farmlands form a natural boundary to make it safe. This is a vibrant village community.  

Unlike in most New Zealand boarding schools, St Peter’s accommodates Boarders horizontally with others of the same age. This means that throughout their school life they stay with peers that are at the same stage of growth. At the beginning of each year, Boarders move into a new boarding house at the next level. This reduces the risk of multi-age social issues such as bullying. It also enables us to tailor development programmes to each Boarder’s needs.

St Peter’s is one of the only New Zealand schools that also boards a student’s horse.  

Safe Co-Ed Environment to Develop Social Skills

While St Peter’s  provides the benefits of co-educational learning, our Boarders can relax in separate uncomplicated boys and girls boarding houses. They are however, encouraged to socialise in a supervised environment with systems and structures that maintain privacy and keep them safe. This enables both boys and girls to develop important social skills in a safe space before they are exposed to significant external social pressures. Our staff who are all leaders in their field of pastoral care, promote equality and diversity and help Boarders develop a solid understanding of others and the world in which we live.  

Tradition and Modern merged perfectly in leading facilities

The boarding houses at St Peter’s , built in the early 1930s, are designed and constructed to be strong and resilient, just as we inspire to develop the students that make them their home. There are 7 houses within the park-like school grounds. All are steeped in tradition and fitted with the latest furnishings and technology. Each house is designed to provide the right facilities for Boarders of a certain age and stage. They have a common room with a beautiful view for socialising and a kitchenette for self-catered snacks. Every Boarder has their own room with a personal workspace.  

Living in the Home of Champions

St Peter’s , in Cambridge, is on the doorstep of NZ cycling’s  Velodrome, close to NZ Rowing at Lake Karapiro, and adjacent to stud farms that have trained more than a dozen Melbourne Cup winners. We are part of the Waipa  “home of champions”, the region sure to bring out the best in any developing young adult. Our Boarders live amongst elite sports clubs, leading businesses, art and history and some of the country’s best facilities and nature trails. They can cycle safely to Cambridge, along the Te Awa Walkway and Cycle Trail, or catch the St Peter’s  bus there every Friday. Cambridge has a wealth of sporting facilities that host numerous national events. Through our dedicated activity programme, we encourage Boarders to take unique opportunities to be inspired and motivated by the success of the region’s champions.

To find out more about the St Peter’s Year 9 Boys Boarding Bursary, click here.

The Ministry of Education provides assistance to students who need to board away from home in order to receive their education. To find out if your family meets the requirements click here

To learn more, book a personalised tour, or view our virtual tour, click here.


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