In 18 short months, Richmond Sear’s life has changed in ways he never thought possible.
The Newington College Year 12 student has left his twin brother and family in Orange, in the central west, to board at the school’s inner city boarding house at Stanmore – an environment he describes as “genuinely caring” and “a home away from home”.
Already a talented rower, he has thrown himself into the GPS competition and is Newington’s 2018 Captain of Boats.
And he has grabbed the academic opportunities offered by the boys’ school with both hands.
“All the teachers are dedicated and genuinely want to see you succeed,” he said.
“They go out of their way for the students and have our wellbeing as their first priority.
“I have had many experiences where teachers have gone above and beyond to help me achieve my optimal best.”
Newington College takes seriously its mission to build boys of promise into men of substance.
“It is proudly non-selective with a philosophy of diversity, inclusion, service and excellence.
“Co-curricular activities are high on the school’s agenda, designed to help boys discover what they love, be it drama, art, writing, rugby or rowing.
Central to every activity is the college focus on encouraging boys to be themselves at their best.
Richmond came to the school because he wanted to be a part of something “bigger and better”.
“I saw opportunities at Newington I had never experienced before,” he said.
“The opportunities the school provides are phenomenal, and I saw an option for my twin brother and I to finish in different schools, allowing us to have our own individual identity.”
Richmond came to Newington on a boarding scholarship, and has just been named Head of Boarding for 2018.
His is just one of a suite of scholarships and bursaries offered by the college, including bursaries for boys from country and regional areas.
Boys who excel academically or in music, or are good all-rounders, are in a strong position to apply, as are Indigenous boys going into Year 7.
Applications for scholarships and bursaries Newington College are open until February 5, 2018.
Richmond says he was “extremely excited” when he found out he’d be going to Newington.
“I couldn’t believe it was something I was going to be a part of,” he said.
“The school’s spirit is in all aspects of the college.
“There’s a big emphasis on service for the community, and the school regularly co-ordinates or joins events to help those less fortunate.
“I have been lucky enough to experience some of the many service programs the school has provided, and loved every time that I have taken part.”
Richmond said the facilities for Newington’s 50 boarders were “astounding” and (perhaps more importantly for a teenager) “the food is amazing”.
There are five staff living in the boarding house, including four married couples and four teachers at the college, and specialist subject help is available to boarders.
The boarding house is just a five-minute walk from the school’s secondary campus, which has three ovals, all-weather tennis courts, a swimming centre, a strength and conditioning gym, a drama theatre, state-of-the-art science laboratories and purpose-built library and technology centre.
“Being so close to school makes life a lot easier when it comes to sport, cadets, events, and other co-curricular activities,” Richmond said.
“We go on regularly outings, down to the movies in Newtown, catching the train and ferry to either Manly or Bondi for a swim, food and a bit of touch footy, trips to Jamberoo, and many more.
“If you choose to board you will have a second family waiting for you to come join them.
“I have also gained such great mates for life.”
His advice to any boys thinking of coming to Newington?
“If you have the opportunity I would highly recommend it.
“Newington College offers you so many opportunities. There are so many people to help you with any problems you may be having.
“Newington went far higher than my already high expectations.
“It is the most amazing school and I urge anyone – if they are lucky enough – to join the Newington family.”
If you choose to board you will have a second family waiting for you to come join them.
I have also gained such great mates for life.
If you have the opportunity I would highly recommend it.
Newington College offers you so many opportunities. There are so many people to help you with any problems you may be having. Newington went far higher than my already high expectations.
It is the most amazing school and I urge anyone - if they are lucky enough - to join the Newington family.
Newington College is an independent Uniting Church day and boarding school for boys.
It has prep schools at Lindfield, on Sydney’s North Shore, and at Stanmore.
It is one of the six founding schools of the AAGPS.
- Visit www.insites.newington.nsw.edu.au/bursaries-and-scholarships for details.