Boarding FAQS

How are the boarding houses structured?

We have three boarding houses. 

  • Knox Boarding Centre - opened in 2010 and houses boarders from Year 7 to 12. 
  • Gillespie Heritage House - fully renovated in 2010. Home to Year 11 and 12 boarders. 
  • Knox Senior Boarding Centre - renovated in 2017. Has single rooms for our Year 12 boarders. 

How many boys are in each room?

At junior level, two boys share a double room. Each boy has his own desk and storage facilities in his room, just like he would in his own bedroom at home. Each room has an ensuite, allowing for privacy, comfort and a level of personal responsibility. 

In Year 11, boys either share with one other boy or have their own room (most Year 11 boys have their own room). All Year 12 boys have their own room.

How are houses and rooms allocated?

All boys are invited to request their preferences for rooms, including to share with a friend. The boys change rooms and room mates regularly, helping them to make new friends. 

Senior boarders have the opportunity to request to either live in the Knox Boarding Centre, Gillespie Heritage House or Knox Senior Boarding Centre. The boys’ requests are accommodated in most circumstances.

What facilities are available in the boarding houses?

Every level of the boarding house has a large communal recreational area for boys to relax and socialise with their housemates. These lounge areas have televisions with Foxtel and DVD players.

The boarding houses also have several large, modern kitchens for boys to prepare snacks if they wish.

How many boarders are there at Knox and where do most boarders come from?

We have places for about 200 boarders. We are a diverse community! Around one-half of our students come from rural Australia, one-quarter are from overseas and one-quarter come from the wider Sydney region. 

How can I arrange a tour of the boarding houses?

We would love to show you around our boarding houses. To arrange a time, please contact Martin Gooding on +61 2 9473 9768 or

What is the academic performance of Knox boarders?

Boarders benefit from homework and study sessions supervised by Knox teachers. We also hold regular seminars for boarders on topics such as essay writing, exam technique and time management.

Knox boarders regularly achieve outstanding results in the HSC (see HSC results). Several Knox boarders have had their major works (for example, Design and Technology and Visual Arts) selected for the NESA showcases of outstanding major works.

What is the food like for boarders?

Meals for the Knox boarding community are prepared by a professional caterer. The meals are nutritious and the menu is created by a qualified dietician. The menu changes every week; no two weeks are the same.

Boarding sample menu Boarding sample menu (56 KB)

The Boarder Leadership Team, which has representatives from every year group, help to prepare the menus and offer suggestions.

Who does the laundry for the boys?

School and casual clothes for the boarders are washed and ironed by professional launders and delivered back to the boys. Laundry costs are included in our boarding fees.

Who tidies the boys’ rooms?

The boys are responsible for ensuring their rooms and ensuites are kept neat and tidy. The boys also take care of day-to-day tasks such as making their beds.

Professional cleaners visit the boarding houses several times a week to vacuum and undertake a more thorough clean of the boys’ rooms and the rest of the boarding house.

What is the structure of study?

On weekday evenings, boarders have time allocated for homework (or ‘Prep’, as we call it). The sessions are supervised by Knox teachers and boys work at the desk in their bedroom.

The amount of time allocated for Prep depends on each student’s year group. Boys in Year 7 generally have two 45 minute Prep sessions each evening. Senior students often study for several hours.

Can the boarders use the school facilities?

Yes, the boarders can use the school facilities including the Knox Senior Secondary Academy, aquatic centre, basketball and squash courts, cricket nets, playing fields and gymnasium.

What’s a typical day like for a boarder?

» Watch our boarding videos

Wake up time

The day begins at 6.45am when boys are woken by their House Manager (or ‘House Mum’). Each boy showers (in his ensuite) and dresses in his uniform, after which he makes his bed and tidies his room ready for room inspections. Once everything is in order, the whole house attends breakfast in the Dining Hall between 7.15am and 7.35am. Boys who have before-school extracurricular activities can attend breakfast earlier if required.

School time

After breakfast the boys return to the house to collect their books and belongings and get ready for the day ahead at school. The boys sign out with the House Mum and exit the house before 8am (the senior boys before 8.15am).

Recess and lunch

Boarders go to the Dining Room at recess and lunch to eat. After eating they can join their day friends in the school grounds or attend lunchtime activities.

End of school

At the conclusion of the school day, boys return to their boarding house where they are greeted by their House Manager. Afternoon tea is provided for them in the kitchen located on their level. At this time boys can change out of their uniform and enjoy some free time, including local leave to Wahroonga shops or relaxing in the lounge areas and recreational room. Some boys have sports training or music practices to attend during this time. All boys must be showered and ready for dinner at 5.30pm.


Dinner commences at 6pm sharp in the Dining Room. Boys are asked to wear a collared shirt and closed shoes in the Dining Hall on weekdays.


Homework (or ‘Prep’, as we call it) is a quiet time for study and homework. The boys are required to do two prep sessions. During these sessions the house is kept quiet to allow boys the necessary time and peace to do their study and homework. During Prep, boys are required to sit at the desks in their rooms and are able to use their laptops for their homework or research. Headphones and group work are also permitted.

Tutors attend prep on scheduled nights to help boys with specific problems or study techniques. The Evening Prep Tutors are in every night and are teachers from the day school.

Larger tutorials can be held in the kitchen areas which double as classrooms. This is particularly popular with the younger boys and during exam periods.

After prep, boys are allowed to use their mobiles until bed time. At this time, all phones and laptops are locked away for the evening.


Year 7 and 8 boarders need to be in bed by 9pm. They are often given reading time before lights out. Bed time for Year 9 and 10 boarders is 9.40pm. The Head of House may allow boys to stay up later for prep if required. Senior boys (Year 11 and 12) can continue with late prep until 11pm with special permission, otherwise lights out is at 10.30pm.


Weekends in the Knox Boarding Centre are a bit more casual and relaxed. Saturday mornings are similar to that of weekdays due to sporting activities however after lunch they are able to have some free time. On Sunday the boys are allowed a sleep in and eat brunch at about 11am. The older boys are allowed to go on outings unsupervised however the younger boys are usually taken out by the resident on duty for outings and excursions.

Are boarders allowed out on the weekend?

Yes; with permission from their parents/guardians and Housemaster, boarders can take leave from the boarding house and stay with the family Knox day boys or family friends.

Can I visit my son on the weekend and take him out?

Yes, with permission from the Housemaster, you are very welcome to take your son out any time from 3.15pm on Friday to 8pm on Sunday.

About once a term we hold a ‘closed weekend’ where we ask that boarders do not take leave. On ‘closed weekends’ the boarders participate in personal development and social activities to unite the Knox boarding community.

What if my son becomes sick and needs medical attention?

We have a fully-qualified nurse on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also have an on-call school doctor who visits the school and can prescribe medicine if required.

Are scholarships available for boarders?

Yes, we offer a boarding scholarship for boys from regional areas and a Year 11 boarding scholarship for the sons of Old Boys. For more information, please visit the Scholarships page.

Scholarship applications normally open each year about November, with Scholarship exams held each February.

How can I find out more information?

Our Boarding Student and Parent Handbook has detailed information about boarding at Knox.

Boarding Student and Parent Handbook 2019 Boarding Student and Parent Handbook 2019 (2510 KB)

Further Reading Suggestions

International Students: About one-third of our Boarders come from overseas.


Boarders' stories: Read real life stories and experiences from Knox Boarders.