Woodford house

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NZBSA Boarding Conference 2017

ih-march2017-ruby poulton-rgbA few weeks ago Michaela Fleming, Pippa Steele and I flew to Christchurch for the NZBSA Boarding Conference. The minute we arrived at Christchurch Girls’ High School we were blown away by the different atmosphere that it had. We met with several other Heads of Boarding and their teams who gave us an insight into what boarding was like at their schools. We loved hearing about all the quirks that each school had and comparing them to Woodford House.


We listened to several speakers including softball legend and current New Zealand Rugby Union High Performance Manager, Don Tricker, who talked about his time managing the All Blacks and the challenges they faced as a team and the different strategies they used to overcome them. It was so cool to hear from such a range of speakers who each had different experiences with leadership. We absolutely loved being in an environment full of like-minded and high energy people.

During our stay, we enjoyed three days of activities and adventure. On the first day, we were sent out on a city scramble through Christchurch where we were split into teams and given a list of challenges that we had to complete such as performing a haka, finding famous monuments and creating human pyramids. For day two, we went to Adrenalin Forest, a high wire course adventure park, where we faced our fear of heights and confined spaces. These activities challenged us and taught us different leaderships skills.

As part of the conference we were asked to create a 5-10 minute video on boarding at our school. After spending a few hours brainstorming, we decided to walk around the Boarding Houses filming people in their natural habitat, doing their day-to-day activities. It turned out to be something quite special and seemed to capture the Woodford House atmosphere perfectly.

After our presentation, we were shocked by how many staff and other leaders complimented us on our video and wanted to know more about boarding at Woodford House, which I was more than happy to rattle on about. They were amazed by the vibrant colours and the people at our school. We realised just how lucky we are to be boarders at a school with the facilities, staff and students we have. This experience gave us a sense of pride for Woodford House that we will cherish forever.

Ruby Poulton, Boarding Prefect