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For families residing in Singapore, the quest for a superior education for their children often crosses borders, particularly when it involves finding an institution that combines excellent education with personal growth. St Joseph’s College, affectionately known as Joeys, stands out as a beacon of such holistic development. Nestled in the scenic and historic suburb of Hunters Hill, Sydney, Joeys offers a vibrant boarding experience, rich in academic rigour, co-curricular pursuits and renowned sporting success. Joeys is immensely appealing to expatriates who seek an Australian boarding education for their sons.

Through the experience of Stephen and Corinna Briscoe, who chose St Joseph’s College for their son Alexander, we uncover what makes Joeys a sought-after destination for families from Singapore.

Choosing Joeys: A family decision

The Briscoe’s decision to choose St Joseph’s College for Alexander’s boarding was informed by the school’s “impeccable reputation”, says Stephen Briscoe, as well as strong recommendations from current Joeys families. “Combined with Alexander’s desire to return to Australia, this made Joeys a good choice for our family. The school grounds and buildings are very impressive, and the after-school co-curricular and education study program will definitely help Alexander succeed. All the people we asked about the school had nothing but positive comments, which made our choice easier.”

Despite the availability of the International Baccalaureate at the Australian International School in Singapore, the family preferred the Higher School Certificate (HSC) program for Alexander, as the curriculum promised to be challenging yet suited Alexander’s learning profile. The choice was also a strategic step towards university preparation, as the Briscoes value the College’s ability to provide robust academic support to secure a commendable HSC score. The Dux of the Class of 2023 scored the highest possible ATAR of 99.95 in the HSC, with 10 students obtaining 98+ ATARs, and a remarkable 20 per cent of the cohort recognised on the Distinguished Achievers List.

Alexander’s affinity for sports and the desire for a cooler climate to pursue them also played a pivotal role in their decision. The sweltering heat in Singapore limited his engagement in sports, but at Joeys, he found his passion met with not only excellent facilities but also a community that thrives on athletic excellence.

“In Year 10, the boarders can use the gym and sports facilities when accompanied by a teacher. And all the facilities are great – I love going to the field to kick the ball with a friend and play touch with the boarders as well as the day students, who can stay until 8pm each day. The gym is very well maintained, and you have an exercise program that you can follow, or you can do your own exercises,” states Alexander.

The expatriate appeal

For expatriate families, St Joseph’s College offers more than just an education; it offers a close and supportive community. The structured boarding environment at Joeys has already made a noticeable impact on Alexander’s confidence and academic performance. The after-school tutoring and a structured study routine have been particularly beneficial. Stephen and Corinna both appreciate how Joeys aligns with Alexander’s life aspirations, notably in sport science. The College’s extensive alumni network is an added advantage, promising lasting connections and a supportive community for life.

Boarding life: Alexander’s perspective

From the enthusiasm of sports rallies to the camaraderie of Saturday sport and afternoon barbecues, Alexander’s account of boarding life at Joeys is filled with vibrant snapshots of a close-knit community. He highlights the exceptional living conditions, access to sporting facilities and the compassionate care received from the on-site, 24-hour Health Centre as key to his easy transition to boarding life. Alexander’s boarding start in Year 10 was facilitated by the support from peers, school staff and the proximity of family in Sydney. This sense of belonging and community is paramount for any student, but it holds special significance for those from expatriate families.

“Boarding allows me to interact with new peers and make new friends – this is mainly because, with 15 boys in your dorm, you want to know everyone well since you are going to be with them for the whole year. I’ve made many great close mates at Joeys in only the first nine weeks here and know I will make more in the future,” says Alexander.

Adapting to boarding life at Joeys has also instilled a newfound sense of discipline in Alexander. Early mornings and structured days have honed his time management skills, contributing to enhanced performance in both academics and sports. This blend of personal development with academic pursuit is a hallmark of Joeys. “I’ve also found a new sport interest in rowing – I rowed for the Year 10 4th VIII and really loved it … the sun rise is always worth seeing! Now I’m playing rugby for winter sport,” enthuses Alexander.

A wise choice for future growth

For families in Singapore considering boarding school options in Australia, St Joseph’s College offers a compelling proposition. The Briscoe family’s narrative underscores the College’s capacity to deliver an education that transcends classroom learning. At Joeys, students like Alexander do not just prepare for university; they engage in schooling that shapes them into well-rounded, socially responsible individuals ready to take on future challenges with confidence.

For parents pondering over the right choice for their son’s education, St Joseph’s College stands out as an institution that not only understands the unique needs of expatriate families but also commits to fulfilling them. It’s not just a school; it’s a community where every student can find a place to excel, to belong, and find a second home.

If you are considering St Joseph’s College for your son’s educational journey, you can learn more by visiting joeys.org or contacting the Admissions Office directly via email: sjc@joeys.org or call +61 2 9816 0900 for a detailed discussion about a Joeys education and how it aligns with your child’s aspirations.