Woodard House was named after the founder of Ardingly College, Nathaniel Woodard. Woodard House opened in 1988 and reflects the values of Woodard and the corporation which was set up to oversee the Woodward Schools. Our aim is to help Woodarders to develop spiritually, morally and educationally, producing balanced, well rounded, understanding and constructive individuals; young adults who recognise their worth and the value and role of others in a community and in society.
Woodard House offers a twenty first century education preparing pupils for university life and the world of work. With Upper Sixth formers in one House, we are able to give pupils greater freedoms than would be possible with a House with younger pupils in it, but of course with greater freedom comes greater responsibility. Girls and boys are encouraged to socialise, at certain times, in the Forum area between their two Houses and in numerous social events but they are also required to respect each other’s privacy at other times. The House bar allows for sensible drinking and socialising in a mature environment. All pupils are given greater involvement in decision making and although some offices are held, organisation tends to be the result of ad hoc committees of interested or involved parties, more Greek City State than centralised government. Woodard House really is the place where our fledglings learn to fly.
In the spirit of the House, I will let one of the boys have the final word:
“One of the highlights of Woodard is the fact that the entirety of Upper Sixth is under one House. It produces a sense of community, cements our past together and also helps us set our eyes to the future, because in Woodard we are all at the same point in our life journey. I feel that this feeling, common throughout everyone in the House, really does turn the year into something special. Woodard House will always be a fond memory.”
Accommodation is located on three floors with each floor having its own toilet and shower facilities and a Brew Room (a small kitchen with microwave, fridge, sink, kettle and toaster). Each pupil, Boarder and Day, has a bed with storage underneath, a wardrobe, lockable drawers, book shelves and a desk. This recognises the increasing demand for occasional boarding and gives us great flexibility n making provision as required. The Boys have their own entertainment room with Sky Plus and games console. There is also a Boot room with storage for cases and trunks and a boot cage for muddy football and rugby boots.
At the centre of the House, facilities are shared with the Girls.The Forum area has a large TV, DVD, table football, pool table, table tennis and piano for those impromptu musical moments. In this social area there is also a larger kitchen and the Woodard bar. The workroom, computer room and House library are also situated between the two houses. Wifi is available throughout the House. Outside we have a lawn area with barbecue and wooden seats.
Mr Robert Robinson took over as Housemaster in August 2010. Previously he was an Assistant Deme Warden (Housemaster) at University College School, Hampstead and then Head of History at St Edmund’s School Canterbury. He has earned a variety of academic qualifications, having studied at Reading University, Bristol University, UCL and the Open University ending with an MA in History from the latter.
Robert enjoys teaching History and coaching the Second Eleven Football team at Ardingly. Occasionally he can still be seen hauling himself around a 5-a-side football game or on a run but has more of a nostalgic attachment to his former sporting prowess than a contemporary realisation of it these days. Fortunately his beloved Stoke City is enjoying something of a revival and his favourite Rugby team, Wasps, continue to entertain. Reading, gardening, cooking and his family fill anytime he has away from the House. Robert is married to Sarah and has three children at the Prep School, Emilie (1999) and, William and Edward (2002).
The Assistant Housemaster is Mr Dylan Bennetts who joined Ardingly College from Hereford Cathedral School as Head of Geography in September 2006. From September 2007 to July 2009 he was the Assistant Housemaster of Rhodes House before signing his life away completely and committing to boarding, taking up the position of Assistant Housemaster of Woodard Boys from September 2009.
He studied in a number of UK universities before embarking on a career in teaching, commencing with a Physical Geography degree from Reading University, followed by postgraduate work at Bangor University and Leicester. However, he is also an experienced scaffolder having worked on a large building site in Cardiff during a gap year.
Away from teaching Geography and running the U14B football team, he is a member of Haywards Heath Cricket Club and on Thursday evenings, when not injured, can be seen showing the Woodarders how indoor football should be played. He is also the reigning Woodard Fantasy Football champion and the master in charge of the House Xbox 360! Dylan lives with his partner, Radka, whose cakes, particularly chocolate brownies, have become legendary with boarders on the weekend and snow days!
The Matron, Mrs Threadgold, more often known as ‘Nettie’ and the House cleaners, Bridget, Janis and Tim are absolutely vital to the smooth running of the House and it is no understatement to say that the House would fall apart without the work performed by them. Mrs Threadgold has responsibility for all housekeeping matters including laundry and repair to clothes and with the cleaners she ensures the cleanliness and tidiness of all areas of the House.
The House tutor team 2011/2012:
Mr M Harrison
Mr M Kenworthy
Mr D McLean
Mr B Naughton
Mrs J Paling
Mr A Smith
Dr A Spiers
Miss H Stuart
Mrs J Vatcher
Woodard is a busy House with people working hard in their final year but also looking to share the moment. A whole range of events are organised. For the active there is the Laser Quest and team building in the woods and regular Thursday night 5-a-side. Cultural nights include Music, Asian, European and Burns nights, occasions when our best musicians take to the floor or we are inducted into the culture and cuisine of our overseas boarders, or just allowed to wear Tam O Shanter and ginger wigs and pretend to be Scottish for the evening. Then there is Quiz nights, a race night, a summer ball, a Christmas party, House trips and impromptu pizza nights. Bar night is every Friday, when we simply celebrate the start of the weekend with a couple of drinks, good humour, crisps and chocolate, and enjoyment of the Forum facilities.
It goes without saying that Woodard rise to the challenge of inter-House events and organise themselves to support all the college charities, but there are also in- House table tennis, pool and bar football competitions which keeps things ticking over nicely as well. Our guiding philosophy is to provide a positive, stimulating and caring environment where achievement in any sphere is valued by the group which in turn sees itself as a community.
Once again I will let one of the boys have the final say.
“The energy and the atmosphere in Woodard really mix together to make a unique House, that is warm, friendly and a pleasure to be part of”.
Ardingly College, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6SQ