Living at Dilworth

One of the unique features of life at Dilworth is that every student is a boarder. Which means learning isn’t confined to the classroom: it starts at 6.30am when the boys get up for the day.

In his Will, James Dilworth required the School to provide ‘maintenance, education and training’. In other words, the students' board and up-keep, academic education, and learning of skills for their future in the wider world.  The current roll of 640 boys makes Dilworth the largest boarding school in New Zealand and, more importantly, a community in its own right.

Through boarding, boys receive a truly well-rounded education. Living on site provides also constant access to the School's impressive facilities and means the boys can take full advantage of all the School has to offer, including after-hours access to staff for tutoring, involvement in the many and varied activities that take place, or the use of specialist classrooms in the evening.

What’s more, the friendships made in a boarding environment are strong and long-lasting. Boarding requires the boys to learn how to interact and get along with others, which is an important part of each boy's social development. The boys call it the ‘brotherhood’ - this band of brothers who watch out for one another, have each other’s backs, and very often remain brothers long after they leave.

Each boarding house is staffed by a combination of adult housemasters and assistant housemasters (usually members of the school's academic staff), a matron, and tutors (usually young adults  and often engaged in tertiary study).  The tutors, in particular, assist with supervision and act as 'older brothers' to the boys. The resident staff work to provide a warm, friendly environment, which is the core of the pastoral care for each boy.

Boarding is organised differently at each Campus. The Junior Campus boys live in four houses of 48 boys each and sleep in dormitories of six. The Rural Campus boys live in 'cabins' of 10, each cabin consisting of two rooms of five, supervised by adult 'cabin parents'.  Boarding Houses at the Senior Campus accommodate some 70 boys, living in either single or twin rooms, with individual study spaces for each boy.

Boys are granted leave of absence during many weekends of the school year, however the frequency and duration of such leave will vary from campus to campus and will change, from time to time, in order to fit in with other  weekend activities and events. Those boys who attend Dilworth from rural areas and outlying towns are able to remain at school, fully supervised, during the weekend.


“I had no father and three sisters. Then suddenly, I had hundreds of brothers.”
- Peter Bowden, Old Boy