The main aim of Tihoi Venture School is to encourage the personal and social growth of Year 10 boys during their 18-week journey. Students are placed into cabins with seven other age-mates where they are encouraged to use raw, face-to-face communication with the absence of modern technology such as mobile phones and iPods.
In their cabins, students learn to communicate better and work together in a back-to-basics environment with only essential furniture and wood burning stoves. Each week, members of each household are given different leadership opportunities and responsibilities for the operation of their house, such as cooking, cleaning and chopping firewood.
Members of each house are carefully selected by St Paul’s staff who ensure a mixture of day and boarding students, academic abilities and fitness levels. Once a student is allocated to their house this cannot be changed. Any arising conflicts are treated as valuable learning experiences.
Students are given formal guidance in solving problems and rising to the challenges that they may face in their houses and while at Tihoi. Each house has its own house tutor who, each week, discusses social problems and changes in group dynamics in collective and individual sessions. House tutors introduce personal and interpersonal skills to the boys to strengthen their sense of community. Students also keep a journal of their experiences which is discussed with, and reflected on, in sessions with their journal teacher.