The predominant aim of the Tihoi programme is to encourage the personal and social growth of the students.
Boys live in houses with seven age-mates for a period of 18 weeks (two school terms). Their week is split between academic learning, outdoor pursuits, fitness training, and learning to live with their peers in their houses.
Each staff member is attached to one of the houses as a tutor/mentor. Their particular task is to support students in their personal, academic, social and other development. Social education is a timetabled hour, once a week, during which time the House Tutor discusses with the house members both collectively and individually, any social problems and changes in group dynamics. In addition, this time is used by House Tutors to introduce personal and interpersonal skills, and a sense of community.
Students keep a record of their experiences, and their thoughts and feelings about those experiences, in a journal. One of the senior staff serves as the journal teacher who discusses and reviews journal entries with individual students on a regular basis.
Tihoi also incorporates into its programme several special days and ceremonies to promote social growth, including the arrival and leaving ceremonies, crest day, and a bully free environment.
For advice, guidance and supportive counselling, students have direct access to their tutors and to any of the senior staff at Tihoi, including the Director. The health clinic is open every interval, and provides time and opportunity for social and personal, as well as paramedical assistance.
Tihoi staff, together with the Physical Education Department at St Paul’s, Hamilton, have developed a comprehensive health education programme with a special emphasis on drug education.
Students and staff also have access to professional counselling from the Chaplain who visits each fortnight, and the Guidance Counsellor, who visits on a regular basis.