Barnicoat House Handbook

“Barnicoat offers a unique and rewarding educational, social and cultural experience. Students live in an environment which is safe, caring, fun, promotes community and where lifelong friends and memories are made”

Welcome to Barnicoat House

Thank you for choosing Barnicoat House and Nelson College. Deciding to board is a big decision and is one that you will have considered very carefully before attending. We understand that there will be nerves and apprehension, mixed in with the excitement of the academic, sporting, social and cultural activities available to you here.

We take our responsibility and the care of you very seriously and want to make your experience here fun and rewarding in an emotionally and physically safe environment.

Treating others and property with respect, being loyal and supportive to fellow house members, being honest, tolerant and understanding are all key to life at Barnicoat.

We want the House to be a family environment where the procedures and rules are understood and accepted by all.  We are aiming to not only provide a safe and secure place for boys to stay while studying, but also a place where they learn about independence, self-management, tolerance, respect, responsibility and integrity.

Current rules, practices and procedures have evolved over many years, often as a result of consultation between house staff, students and parents. They have been relaxed or tightened as experience has demanded and they have proved reasonable and practicable. Staff have a duty to ensure that they are understood and obeyed at all times.  It is the responsibility of students to help maintain self-discipline in all circumstances.

As a student you will have plenty of opportunities in the sporting, cultural and academic areas. The skills and independence that you will learn in such a community as Barnicoat House will be very important for your future years. Make the most of your chances. See your time in boarding as a positive opportunity to widen your outlook and to gain lifelong memories and experiences.


Simon Mardon

Housemaster, Barnicoat


Lucy Burns



Built in 1931 Barnicoat House is named after the Honourable JW Barnicoat, one of the foundation Governors of Nelson College and a member of the Council of Governors for nearly 50 years. Barnicoat was one of two boarding houses commissioned by the Board of Governors following the 1929 Murchison earthquake. Barnicoat students relocated to Rutherford House in 2015 while Barnicoat House underwent extensive refurbishment. In January 2017 after spending $2.4 million upgrading Barnicoat House, the boys moved back into the ‘House on the Hill’.


We have an experienced and caring staff whose job it is to provide care for your sons. They have specific tasks to perform, but fundamentally they are an adult that provides support, structure, care, advice and maturity to ensure the well-being of your son.

House Master: Any concerns that you have should be addressed to the Housemaster. He is responsible for pastoral care, the day to day running of the hostel, discipline, general issues and the systems in place. He is also on night duty from 10.30 pm – 7.15 am week days and 11.30 pm – 8.00 am weekends. He will also be on duty some weekends.

Matron: She is responsible for ensuring the house enviornment is safe and clean. She also looks after the boys from 3.15pm to 5.30pm on weekdays.

Supervisors: Are responsible for the boys from 6.30 pm until 10.30 pm, including supervising prep, putting to bed, signing out and in. They will have weekend duties where they are responsible for the boys over the weekend (wakes up, roll checks, ensuring place is tidy, checking the sign outs and sign in).

Activities Supervisor: Responsible for organising and running a variety of activities for boarders during the weekend.

Simon Mardon – Housemaster
I have over 20 years teaching experience both in Nelson and overseas and have been Housemaster at Barnicoat for the last 13 years. I am currently Head of Commerce at Nelson College and specialise in teaching Accounting. As someone who has been involved in cricket, rugby and currently running, I understand the importance of young men having an interest and identifying with positive groups. The boarders here have a vast array of opportunities and I see my role as being one that encourages them to take advantage of the academic, sporting, cultural, musical and social opportunities while providing a safe, supportive and fun environment.
My accommodation is on site in the middle of Barnicoat Boarding House where I live with my wife Jodi and two boys, Connor and Luke, who attend St Joseph’s Primary School. Our shared interests as a family are water sports, fishing, mountain biking, tramping and the several sports that our children play.

Lucy Burns – Matron
Kia ora, my name is Lucy, I was born in Invercargill but spent most of my life in the Canterbury area. I started at Barnicoat house in 2018 initially as a cleaner. Over the years it has been great to get to know the boys, 2022 has been my first year as matron and it has been an easy transition, which I think is helped by knowing the majority of the boys for nearly 5 years.
My interests outside of work are taekwondo, motor cross, reading and occasional gaming.

Contact / admin
Director of Boarding, Tim Middleton Phone +64 3 548 3099
Housemasters House Phone +64 3 548 1482, or +64 3 548 3099 Ext 871
Housemaster Simon Mardon cell phone +64 27 477 1947,
Barnicoat Boys House Phone +64 3 548 8787 or +64 3 548 3099, Ext 877

Face book Page
The Barnicoat Facebook Group is designed to keep you updated with things going on in the house. The link is:

This will enable you to request access to our group and allow you to comment / be involved. You should start to see some of the things that have happened over the year, with events, photos, and posts from some of the students in the house.

Barnicoat Values

• Show allegiance to the fellow boarders and the house in appropriate and positive ways
• Willingness to act for the common good of house members and to modify personal behaviour.

Leadership and Moral Courage
• Ability and willingness to lead and organise others in appropriate behaviours, activities and ideas
• Ability to maintain ethical and proper behaviours in the face of individual and peer pressure to the contrary

Organisational Skills
• The ability to manage one’s time effectively
• The ability to adhere to house routines punctually

Social Skills
• The ability to deal with personal emotions and other people in constructive and appropriate ways

Respect for Legitimate Authority
• To respond to all house staff and leaders with politeness as befits their position, responsibilities and duties they are charged with.
• To accept correction gracefully in the realisation that it is aimed at modifying an undesirable behaviour.

Consideration, Concern and Respect for Others’ Needs and Rights for:
• A sense of security
• A feeling of well-being
• Friendship and acceptance
• Recognition as individuals
• A desire to succeed
• Happiness through achievement
• Self-respect
• The right to private ownership of personal possessions

High Personal Standards
• Tidiness
• Health and hygiene
• Dress and grooming
• Table manners
• Language

Academic Excellence
• To attain the highest standard possible
• To maintain the highest standards in attitude and industry


Boarding Calendar

TERM 1 2023 Begins on Wed 1st Feb and ends on Thurs 6th April.
Sports Weekend begins Sunday 12th March
Sports Sun 2pm
Commemorative Service (Hall) Sun 5 pm
Dinner (Inner Quad) Sun 6 pm
House Sports Mon 9am
Holidays in T1: Waitangi Day 6th February
TERM 2 2023 Begins on Mon 24th April and ends on Fri 30th June
Boarding Open Day Saturday 13th May
Prospective Parents 10am – 2pm
Holidays in T2: Anzac Day 25th April
King’s Birthday 5th June
TERM 3 2023 Begin on Mon 17th July and ends on Fri 22nd Sept
Course Selection Evening 26th July, 6pm
Practice Exams 28th August – 1st September
Winter Tournament Week 28th August – 1st September
TERM 4 2023 Begins on Mon 9th Oct and ends on 7th Dec
Senior Prize Giving 1st November
Junior Prize Giving 7th December
Holidays in T4: Labour Weekend 23rd October
Systems & Routines
Boys will need to bring their own duvet cover and pillow. Pillow cases, sheets and mattress are all provided.

Bicycles should be kept in the bike shed at the rear of the house (and locked away). Students will need and are expected to wear a helmet.  A good lock and set of maintenance tools are recommended.

Buddy / Mentor System
All students have House Leaders to help them and act as guides and mentors. Year 9, Year 10 and Prep students have their own Year 13 Mentor to support, guide and provide advice for them throughout the year. They meet formally and informally regularly. The mentor system here has proved very successful and provides positive support for students new to boarding.

A one-off disagreement between students is just that, a disagreement, but a singling out and/or repetitive targeting of a/small group of students by others either verbally or physically is bullying. Bullying is not tolerated in boarding. Boys are encouraged to tell a supervisor of any bullying concerns.

Year 13 students (and in some cases Year 12 students) can apply to the Director of Boarding to have a car at school. Having a car in boarding will have conditions and systems in place to ensure safety (these will be communicated between the student, parents, Housemaster and Director of Boarding).

Students travelling in cars should let staff on duty know who they are travelling with and should only be travelling with people legally able to take passengers.

Cell Phones
No use of cell phones during prep time or House meetings.  Cell phones are collected from juniors at bed time Sunday through to Thursday evenings and handed out in the mornings.  Use of cell phones after lights out will result in the confiscation of the phone for up to one week.

Clothes should be named with indelible ink and/or labels (please remember to name shoes).
A uniform list should be provided with the start of year information.
Students are encouraged to change from their school clothing after school.
Neat and clean mufti needs to be worn in the Dining Room, as well as footwear (no slippers, singlets, scarves, hats or sports practice gear.
Barnicoat House shirts (white polo shirts / white singlets) can be purchased in the first term for use at House Competitions.  Expect a cost of approximately $40.00 for the Polo Shirt and $30 for the singlet.

The school has counsellors who are very experienced and are great to talk through any issues with. It is a confidential service offered through the school. Offsite counsellors can be organised as well.

Daily Routines

Monday to Thursday
7.30 am           Wakeup call
8.00 am          Breakfast
8.45 am           Homeroom

3.15 pm           Sign out open
5.30 pm           Dinner
6.00 pm           Prep
7.00 pm           Free time
9.15 pm           Bed-time routine starts
9.45 pm           Years 9-10 lights out
10.00 pm         Year 11 lights out
10.15 pm          Year 12 lights out
10.30 pm         Year 13 lights out

The House is out of bounds during the school day – unless senior students have a study period. Year 13s 13 boys are permitted back to the House at lunchtime and must leave by 2.05pm.

As for Monday to Thursday until after school, then:
3.30 pm           Town leave
5.45 pm           All boys to be signed back in.
6.15 pm           Evening leave (if permitted)

8.00 am          Breakfast eaten and lunches to be made
9.00 am          Beds made, duties completed to required standard.
5.20 pm          Dinner
6.45 pm          Evening leave (if permitted)
Leave throughout day. Usually up to 3 hours.

9.00 am           Breakfast eaten and lunches to be made
10.00 am        Beds made, duties completed to required standard.
5.20 pm          Dinner
Leave throughout the day. Usually up to 3 hours.

Weekend Notes:
Sign outs throughout the day over the weekend.
Roll checks am, pm and at various other times during the day

Damage / Vandalism
Any students caught or admitting to causing damage to the boarding facilities maybe charged for repair and or replacement costs.

Dangerous instruments/sports equipment
No firearms, or other instruments/equipment deemed dangerous by house staff, are to be brought to the boarding house.  Such instruments include ‘BB’ guns, knives, cigarette lighters, fireworks, sling shots, bow & arrows, matches. Should any such things be deemed important for trips to Mataki, Outdoor Ed, etc, they should be handed to the Housemaster for safekeeping.  In special circumstances, firearms can only be held by Housemaster if he/she holds F A L.

Dining Room
Attendance at meals is expected.  Boys who have other commitments may arrange an early or late meal by filling in a request form for the Dining Room, available from the Dining Room. Specialist meals, such as vegetarian, are available upon request.

The meals are well balanced, healthy and filling and boys are not to miss meals to eat food in the house such as pizzas, toast and noodles.

All boarders eat together at designated tables in a common dining room where meals are served cafeteria style.  During the weekend they make packed lunches, only eating breakfast and dinner in the dining room.

Boys wear neat and clean clothing to evening meals. Singlets, scarves, hats and sports practice gear are not allowed in the Dining Room.  Footwear must be worn at all times.

Afternoon tea and supper are provided and can be made in the house.

The Dining Room and Boarding House each have a water filter that boys may use to fill their drink bottles.

Breakfast runs from 6.45 am (cold) until 7:45am (hot from 7.30 am) on school days, 8:00am on Saturdays, and 9.00am on Sundays.  Boys queue for their breakfast.  Each boy must clean up his eating area.

Lunch runs from 1.25 pm until 1.40 pm on school days.  Boys form two queues to facilitate a smooth flow. Duty groups carry out other duties as required.  On weekends, boys make a cut lunch at breakfast time.

Dinner runs from 6.00 pm to 6.30 pm Monday – Friday.  5.20 – 5.50 pm Saturday & Sunday.  Boys sit at their tables until invited to queue for their meal.  Boys must join the queue in an orderly manner.

It is important to eat healthily in order to perform in the classroom and on the sports field.

Boys who have sports or other commitments that clash with meal times may arrange an early or late meal by filling in a request form, the morning of the clash, at the Dining room.  The Dining Room has a water filter which many boys use to fill their drink bottles from at meal times.

As covered above, students will get duties. Extra duties may be given if students do not complete their duties or there are other issues where they have not adhered to the rules and systems in place.

Electronic Equipment
The responsibility for the care and security of such items as laptops, cell phones, MP3 players etc is that of the owner. All electronic gear should be photographed (serial numbers & model).  Parents should keep warranty cards/receipts of purchase.

Emergency procedures / evacuations
In the event of an emergency, try to remain calm and follow the procedures we will have practised.

Emergency procedures / Dining Room
1. The signal for an emergency is the continuous ringing of the bell.
The Catering Manager & Duty Staff Member will tell you what to do.

2. Leave the dining room throuhg the nearest exit.
Do not stop to take your personal belongings with you.

3. Assemble on the grass area outside the main entry and beside the emergency post.

4. Follow instructions of the boarding staff.
A roll will be taken

Fire Alarm
Take the closest safest exit and make your way briskly to the Basketball hoop. Stay close by and relatively quiet and a roll will be taken.
You will be informed when it is safe to go back in the House
Fire drills are carried out from time to time, but any fire alarm should be treated seriously.

The building has a very good earthquake rating. In a large earthquake staying inside is safer than trying to get out.
Drop, cover and hold.
When shaking has stopped, wait for advice from staff about evacuation and a safe place to meet.
Do not hang round just outside the building where objects may come down in aftershocks

Lock-down (signaled by continuous bell at school)
Remain in House, upper floors (windows and curtains shut, all doors locked)

 Note: Barnicoat is connected directly to the Fire Station, and once the alarms are activated, they cannot be cancelled. The Fire Service has a policy of making establishments pay for any false alarms. Any boy who sets off a false alarm maliciously may be charged for the callout.  The cost is approximately $1,725.  A prosecution by the Fire Service could also follow.

Examination Leave
The last day of the school year for seniors concludes with Senior Prize Giving, which all boys are expected to attend.

Most of the seniors have end-of-year exam commitments. Those that do not and have no internal coursework to complete work to complete have finished for the year and should make arrangement to go home for the holidays.

Boys should leave as soon as practicable after their last examination is completed – and parents need to make contact with the Housemaster regarding their plans.

The school gymnasium is available for use. Students may use it during the hours that it is open. These will be circulated during the year.

It is natural that most boys will experience some degree of homesickness which generally soon disappears but may resurface from time to time. Mentors (who have been in the same situation) will help the boys out and spend time with them. House staff are also there to provide support for the boys. If parents are concerned, they should telephone the Housemaster to get an overview and some reassurance.

House Accounts
Each boy has a House account to which expenses incurred during the term will be charged. They may charge the following items against their House accounts:

  • Travel booked by the Housemaster (eg. to and from home by bus)
  • House organised Activities, Trips, Events and Photographs
  • House Shop purchases & dry cleaning

 Boarders will have to pay for all other expenses in the same manner and on the same timeline as the day boys. These include such things as as school expenses, course costs, class trips, sporting subscriptions / trips, ball tickets)

House Events
Events such as hydro-slide, beach trips, paintball, sporting fixtures, ten pin bowling, go carts and movies will be organised for the house. These are not compulsory but are very much encouraged. The cost of these will be charged to your account.

House Meetings
In addition to homerooms been held in the house, a short meeting of all the House is held in the common room at least twice a week. General business, any issues and house events are discussed and organised.  The meeting finishes with the House prayer, which is quickly learnt.

House Shop
The House shop opens daily.  It is stocked with mostly snacks. Profits from the shop go towards buying equipment and providing extra facilities for the boys. Parents should monitor the amount their son spends and set limits for shop spending at the beginning of each term. Please communicate to the Housemaster the limit that you want your son to have on their House account. Not all students have an account at the shop and it is not an expectation. Those that do generally have between $20 – $40 per month. Those that don’t use cash.

House Staff (see profiles under Staff tab)
Each House has a Housemaster, four supervisors, and a part-time matron.  Matron arrives at 7.15 am and is in the House until 10.15am.  She attends to housekeeping matters, supervises the laundry and boys’ clothing needs.  She may also deal with minor illnesses and refer boys to the San nurse for further treatment.  From 3.00 – 6.00 pm the Matron is on duty for organising duties, signing boys in and out and any other issues which may arise.

After dinner there are 2 staff members on duty from 6.30 pm until 10.30 pm.  After 10.30 pm there is always a staff member in the House.  The duty staff supervises all prep, the House Meeting and bedtimes.

Insurance and security
Please make sure that all of your son’s gear is covered by your household insurance policy. All valuables like wallets, cell phones and electronic gear should be locked away when not being used.  If clothing or gear comes home that does not belong to your son please inform the Housemaster.

Inter-House Competition
Throughout the year there are up to 20 house events that the boys will partake in representing their house. Some events such as Haka, Singing and Cross Country have all boys in them. Others such as cricket, chess, touch, football have the amount required for the team. It is expected that all boys partake in these at some stage. The Boarding Activities’ Co-Ordinator will organise House events to select the boarding teams for the school Inter-House Competition.

Internet / wireless
The school and House have wireless internet capability. Students have access to the internet via school and the House.  Students must sign an internet agreement at Nelson College and the same rules must be adhered to in the Boarding House. See Safe Use of IT Policy.

To access the free wireless provided by Nelson College, students need to have some settings changed on their device by the IT Department. Boarders need to be aware that there is a filtering system on the wireless network and that inappropriate use will be reported to the Director of Boarding for further action.

Items you will need
Pillow, duvet and cover
Debit / EFTPOS Card
Coat hangers
Drink bottle
Sun hat, sunscreen
Washing Powder
Cell phone
A practical device for school work

Students will need to leave and are encouraged to leave the house for a variety of reasons. The process is straight forward, but it is essential that it is followed, and the systems are adhered to. Leave and sign out systems are not designed to prevent boys going out or to be difficult. The purpose is so students can go out and staff are aware who is in / out of the house, where students are, what their plans are and when they will be back.

Orah is our digital system for managing all leave from the boarding community. Boys may not leave the boarding house grounds at any time without following the understood sign-out. process:

After school (3.15 – 5.45 pm) weekdays and weekend leave (including Friday and Saturday evenings)

  • See the matron / supervisor on duty
  • Explain what your plans are (what you are intending to do, where, with who, how you will get back and the time you are expected back). If they are satisfied, they will sign you out
  • Upon your return, see the person on duty to sign back in

Overnight or weekend leave
Permission for home leave or overnight stays must be sought from the Housemaster on the leave form.  A notification through Orah from parents must accompany requests for home leave.  Boys must make contact with their parents before Wednesday evening and arrange for their permission for weekend leave.  This permission must accompany the leave form or can be sent directly to the Housemaster.  Weekend leave should be organised by 8:30pm on the Wednesday before.

Requests for overnight stays elsewhere must have:

  • A Orah notification from parents which confirms contact has been made with the host parents or,
  • A Orah notification from parents AND a phone call, email or text from the host to the Housemaster.

Leave will be granted if commitments are complete.  It will be confirmed by the Housemaster Friday Morning.

Leave Times

 All Boys
After school                   3:15 – 5:45 pm
Weekend                        Saturday and Sunday – no longer than three hours at a time unless negotiated with staff

Overnight                      Housemaster’s discretion

Friday and Saturday nights (after dinner)
Year 9 and 10              No leave – up to 7.00 pm Terms 1 & 4 (max 3 hours).
Year 11                       9.30 pm
Year 12                       10.00 pm
Year 13                       10.30 pm


  • All students granted leave must report personally to the duty staff as they leave and as they return.
  • Off site includes school fields and school grounds as well

Note: Signing out for the weekend means you are under someone else’s care. You may NOT return to the House during this time without a legitimate reason.
If you wish to return early to stay you must contact Duty Staff beforehand.

Lockable areas
Every boy has a lockable wardrobe, drawer and area under their bed which can be locked. They will be provided with a key for these (1 key for all three).  Please lock all valuable items in these.

Mail is delivered to the main office at Nelson College on weekdays and put in the Housemaster’s pigeon hole for delivery to students in the evening.   Letters should be addressed to

Son’s Name
Barnicoat/Rutherford House
Nelson College
Private Bag 16

Or for Parcels
67 Waimea Road

Missing / Lost Property
Most of the problems you will come across will be because people forget what they did with their items. This accounts for most of the missing items. Borrowing (without asking) accounts for a small percentage of other missing items. Borrowing without asking permission is not condoned and students doing this can expect consequences which will vary depending on the severity of their actions. Theft happens infrequently but can happen. You can minimise the risk by being tidy and locking all your goods away including clothes, shoes, devices, electronic equipment and sporting equipment. Bikes should be locked in the bike shed. Money should always be in your wallet, locked away. Large amounts of money should always be left with the Housemaster for safe-keeping.

No student should interfere with (touch or move) other’s personal gear for any reason. Deliberate or careless damage may incur charge back to parents.

Please report any suspected theft to the person on duty / Housemaster as soon as you suspect it has been stolen

Each boy should have his own eftpos / debit card with parents being responsible for depositing the amount of funds necessary for pocket money and any purchases such as clothing, footwear etc.   It should be unnecessary for boys to be carrying around large amounts of cash in their pockets or wallets. Wallets should be locked away.

Please do not give your son large amounts of pocket money, just enough to cover minor expenses.  Major purchases can be dealt with as the need arises and the money transferred into your son’s account.

Music / watching videos / TV etc should be played in such a way that it does not disturb and annoy others.

Prep (Homework time)
Prep is study time.  It is held four nights per week (Monday – Thursday) with optional prep on Sundays.  A warning bell sounds 6.40pm.  Boys should be in the prep room or their individual cubicles by 6:45.

Years 9 and 10 have supervised study in the prep room.  They should complete any homework, study for upcoming tests, revise the day’s lessons or read a book.  It is very important that all boys have the necessary equipment eg: pen, ruler, rubber, paper etc. to complete their homework.  We also advise that boys have access to books to read during times they have less prep.  Duty staff will supervise during prep hours.

Year 11 and 12 Students are expected to remain in their cubicles and not disturb others. They will be supervised by a staff member.  If they are not able to work individually, they will be sent to the prep room for a supervised session of prep.

Year 13 Students are expected to study in their rooms, unsupervised, but checked upon.

Combined tutorial prep is sometimes held in N Block at school.
Homework outside of prep hours will often be needed and is encouraged for those with more on. This should be communicated to staff, so they can try to ensure the prep room remains quiet for study.

Boys may be excused prep for regular sports practices or other commitments.  In such cases boys are expected to complete their homework before school, after school or after their scheduled activity.

Prep Times: 6.45 – 8:15 pm (this will often vary depending on House activities scheduled particularly at the start of Term 1 with athletics training and in Term 3 with House Singing practice)

There should be no calls/ texts / face book etc during prep time.

Screen Time
We want to balance the amount of time students spend on devices with other activities. Devices are essential for communication and school work and provide for entertainment during down time. However too much use is discouraged, and we expect you to manage the amount of time spent on them. If you cannot manage this and if house staff have concerns, then we will monitor this and if necessary will apply restrictions to your personal IT usage.

Phones and devices will be collected at 9.00 pm for years 9 – 11. Seniors are not to be on their devices after lights out. If they are, phones will be collected from them.

Years 9 – 12 are not to have TV’s, play stations, X-box’s and extensive sound systems in their room. These can be used in the common room. A lap top should be sufficient to view material from in their room.

Self-management / personal responsibility
One of the best attributes and personal qualities that you will learn and develop in boarding is that of self-management and the independence to take responsibility for yourself.

  • Personal Hygiene – This is very much the responsibility of each individual (with reminders from staff when required). It is expected that boys will clean their teeth at least in the morning and evening, be showering at least once a day and more if required after sports practices, regularly change clothes and regularly do their washing.
  • Duties – To facilitate a house that is clean, tidy and that has a cared for, each student will need to complete assigned duties. All Year 9 -12 boys can expect to be part of a duty team that carries out various jobs around the House. Duty teams are led by Year 12 students.  Teams are part of a roster with each group only having about 3 – 4 duties per term.
  • Laundry / ironing – With the exception of sheets and pillowcases (the matron has a schedule for this) all other washing is the responsibility of the boys and is done in the House laundry. Matron is there to assist where needed and is very helpful with this and ironing. The Houses have a drying room is available during bad weather. At all other times boys should use the clothes lines. An iron and ironing board is in the Matron’s storage room.
  • Room / Area – students need to keep their rooms in a reasonable state, with beds made in the morning, clothes neatly put away and rubbish in the bin. The Matron and other staff will remind you if extra is needed to get your room to the condition it should be.
  • Respect for property / reporting damage – It is vital that property and equipment is respected and used in the intended way. All damage whether through carelessness or accidentally needs to be reported straight away to staff on duty or the housemaster. Even if the damage is not by you and in your area it should be reported.
  • Keys – Boys will be issued a key to unlock the wardrobe, drawer and under bed storage in their room. It is their responsibility for the key and they should keep these safe and, in a location, not known to their peers. Any lost key needs to be reported. A replacement (charged to the student) will be given. All keys must be returned at the end of term time.
  • End of term Pack up – All possessions need to be removed from rooms prior to departure. Where it is not practical, some items may be stored in the house, but the rest must be taken.
  • Screen Time / Device usesee above

No shoes are permitted to be worn inside the House.

Boarders have access to the Sanatorium and medical staff. Boys who have illnesses that are deemed serious and and/or require time off school may move into the San or will often go home where practical and/or staff deem it necessary. First Aid kits are kept in the Houses and staff will give basic first aid for bumps, bruises, headaches etc. Students who the staff think need more care will be taken to the Sanatorium / hospital.  If necessary, the San staff will administer treatments ordered by the hospital or doctor. In the case of illness or injury, parents will be notified by San staff.

Social Media
The ability to communicate and keep in touch via social media is an integral part of life. We encourage students to use it thoughtfully, appropriately and with consideration and to not misuse it and cause harm to others.

Sports, Hobbies & Outside Activities
We actively encourage you to take advantage of the variety of outdoor pursuits and sports offered in Nelson. If there are percievd barriers as to why you cannot do them, please discuss with the housemaster to come up with ways you can be involved with these.

Swimming Pool
Available during daylight hours with a staff member present.

All boys have a cell phone, and this is generally the best way for them to keep in contact
There is one free-calling local phone in the house.
An 0800 number or use a calling card can be arranged for domestic and international calls

The Housemaster can arrange boys’ travel for weekends and the ends of term.  Costs are charged to House Accounts.  Boys are not usually allowed to travel during school time unless granted permission.


The College has an arrangement with Intercity for cheap fares down the West Coast and to Picton / Blenheim and return.

When travelling on public transport boys wear full dress uniform – blazer, white shirt and tie, grey trousers and black shoes without exception.

Red Tag R18 videos (pornography)/ DVDs / X-Box / Playstation and computer games are not allowed. R16 videos/DVDs need the permission of the duty staff.

Non-House-members must sign in with the staff on duty.  Guidelines for visitors will be posted and expected to be adhered to.  No access to dorms.

Girls visiting:
Girls are allowed to visit senior students in the House during normal leave time. If you wish to have a female visitor, the following applies:

  • Introduce your visitor to the staff member on duty
  • She is only allowed to be in the Prep Room; she must not go into any dormitories
  • She must leave the house no later than 9.00 pm for Years 11; no later than 9.30 pm for Year 12 and no later than 10.00 pm for Year 13
  • Your female visitor is to use the bathroom facilities in the meeting room and not in the dormitory floors

Washing should be done frequently and not be left to build up.  When washed, hang it up, outside if fine, or if raining in the drying room).  Bring it in straightaway when it is dry. Please ensure you use the name tag system that will be explained to you.


Boarding Values

Boarders’ Rights & Responsibilities

Members of the Boarding Community have certain right and responsibilities, as below:

Boarders’ Rights Boarders’ Responsibilities
To be safe. To contribute to the safety of others by not threatening, hitting or hurting anyone.
To expect personal property to be safe. To take good care of personal property, and to not steal, damage or destroy property.
To be treated with courtesy and respect. To treat others with courstesy and respect, and to respect the authority of staff and Prefects.
To be treated with understanding. To treat others with understanding and be tolerant of difference.
To live in an orderly community. To adhere to rules and regulations, to be self-disciplined, to cooperate, and to respect the rights of others.
To be valued as a member of the Boarding Community and the School. To uphold the good name of the School and the Boarding Community through words, actions and appearance, and to behave in a manner that will bring credit to the Boarding Community and the School.
To be respected by the local community. To behave in a way that the local community will respect the School.
To express opinions on matters of concern. To express opinions appropriately (including time and place).
To have a clean and pleasant School environment. To care for and respect the School environment.
To learn without disruption. To allow others to learn without disruption.
To use safe and well maintained School buildings and equipment. To report damage and defective equipment within the School, and to not damage, deface or destroy School property.


Dealing with Issues/Conflict Resolutions

Generally new boys are nervous when coming into boarding. One of the obvious areas of concern is bullying. Boys are taught that it is never appropriate to victimise or exploit another student under any circumstances. There are no initiation ceremonies.

Boarding, and Nelson College as a whole, has a very successful mentoring system whereby seniors get alongside the juniors. Parents are usually impressed at the positive way in which our seniors relate to their junior counterparts. Our philosophy is that:
• Every student in our school has the right to enjoy learning free from harassment
• Our school community does not accept any unkind actions or remarks, even if these are not intended to hurt or offend
• It is ok to tell. Students should support one another by reporting instances of bullying
• We are an open and listening school. Bullying is too important not to report
• Bullying will be treated seriously

What should I do?
If you feel that you or someone else is getting a hard time from another student, see the person on duty, the Housemaster or your mentor and talk about it. It is particularly important that you let the housemaster know sooner rather than later as they will work through the issues.

Often it is only a small conversation from the staff member on duty or the Housemaster that is required and the issue gets resolved.

Depending on the seriousness of the issues, more formal steps are available. Before any action is taken, the Housemaster will discuss with the aggrieved person possible options for resolving the bullying and why he thinks it will work. Where possible, much time and effort is put into ensuring that there are no repercussions for the victim, making them feel more comfortable about the process.

Steps in the process followed to resolve bullying issues are:
• All parties involved will be talked to independently by the Housemaster, and will be given a chance to have their say (this is written down)
• The housemaster will take to account the information provided
• The Housemaster will talk to the person who was picked on and discuss with them workable solutions
• The housemaster will then decide a course of action for all parties (from fairly informal, to very formal, which may involve the Director of Boarding / the Principal – depending on the issue). This will be communicated to the person causing
• Parents will be contacted at various stages to have the information and decisions made communicated to them (depending on the issue)

In General, if you have a problem or concern:

Talk to a friend if this helps.
Talk to your mentor
Talk to a House leader.
Talk to the Housemaster or another House staff member.
Get your parents involved

Contact the Housemaster
In most cases discussion of the issue with the Housemaster will resolve it. There is often more than one perspective on any given problem!

Contact the Director of Boarding
If the concern is not resolved, contact the Director of Boarding/Principal to discuss the matter.
If necessary, the s/he will set up a meeting with the parties involved.
The Headmaster should also inform the BOT Representative of the concern, and the outcome of the meeting.

If matters remain unresolved a meeting will be set up with the Headmaster, Director of Boarding, BOT Representative and complainant to decide on suitable procedures.

Students have the right to be treated with respect, fairness and free from verbal or physical harassment. They have the right that their property is left alone and not interfered with by others.

Students in the boarding house who interfere with these rights or who do not adhere to the systems outlined in the Boarding Handbook will face appropriate consequences as considered by boarding staff and boarding management.

Students have the responsibility to ensure systems and procedures are followed and that they are not involved in activities such as:

  • Theft
  • Using the property of others without their permission
  • Offensive language / swearing
  • Absences without leave
  • Verbal or physical harassment / assault
  • Possession of dangerous property / weapons or property that can cause harm
  • Illegal substance usage including alcohol, tobacco / electronic cigarettes and drug use
  • Vandalism

Drug Testing – Random testing and searches may be carried out at the request of the Housemaster and with the permission of the Director of Boarding in consultation with the Principal.

Refer to Procedures and Policies



This is a graduated scale of consequences that are likely to follow the incident examples set out below, and incidents that are similar in seriousness. All possible incidents or their individual circumstances cannot be anticipated, so the incident examples are just that: examples.

Please note that boarders Stood down from school are also required to leave boarding for the duration of their school day(s) Stand down period.

Incident examples Incident examples Incident examples Incident examples
  • Untidiness
  • messy cube
  • not going to breakfast occasionally
  • swearing around the Houses
  • out of bed breaches
  • prep behaviour
  • minor/ brief disobedience
  • verbal unwanted hassling
  • Year 13 doors locked
  • male friends not signed in
  • 3x detentions in a week
  • in a car without permission
  • moderate AWOL (no alarms!)
  • found with tobacco/vaping paraphernalia
  • smoking/vaping
  • drawn-out single-issue disobedience
  • gambling
  • verbal unwanted abuse
  • female friend(s) not signed in
  • bed flipping
  • vandalism
  • repeatedly in a car without permission
  • vehicle/use at school without permission
  • swearing at staff
  • found with/possession alcohol/drinking/drunk in boarding
  • found with minimal personal cannabis
  • found with dangerous substance
  • serious AWOL (phone calls necessitated)
  • Blatant theft
  • serious bullying
  • seniors inciting bullying
  • girls in cube
  • pattern of repeated unacceptable behaviour
  • ongoing/serious vandalism
  • possession/dealing of drugs & paraphernalia
  • persistent disobedience
  • serious theft within House or between Houses
  • repeated theft
  • serious physical assault
  • serious sustained & targeted bullying
  • serious act of danger towards others


Consequences Consequences Consequences Consequences
  • tidy up job, either instant or after school the following day
  • loss of leave for one week
  • uniform for one week
  • possible Housemaster contract
  • expectation of extra daily jobs
  • confiscation of contraband and returned to parents if requested
  • removal from   boarding for 3 school days or Prep room Grounding in some cases (in uniform and confined to prep room except for meals, sleeping, classes)
  • confiscation of contraband and returned to parents if requested
  • Principal contract
  • removal from boarding
  • re-entry to boarding dependent on BOT hearing
  • Principal contract

Boys who are Stood down from boarding will be required to leave the boarding community for 3 school days. Parents will have the option of:

  • Boys go home
  • Parents organise alternative accommodation in Nelson
  • Parents request boarding to find approved homestay

Boarding Discipline Flowchart