The inspiration of visionary Colin Temblett-Wood, and named after the founder of Ardingly College Nathanial Woodard , Woodard House opened in 1988. The aim was, and still is to provide a co-educational environment for the Upper Sixth pupils in which our aim is for them to develop spiritually, morally and educationally, into well rounded, compassionate and thoughtful individuals.
Although under the same roof as the boys, Woodard Girls is a house in its own right with a strong identity around the College. Designed to offer a twenty first century education and prepare the girls for university life and the world of work, the ethos of the House is to offer more freedom whilst building responsibility and accountability. Although some of the girls will enjoy different posts of responsibility in the School community, there are also many opportunities for the pupils to become involved in the running of the House. We believe that every girl has a voice and their opinion will always be listened to.
With the large number of different cultures regularly represented in the house, the girls develop an understanding and appreciation of different traditions and customs, and learn to appreciate their own value and the role of others in a community.
In the newly renovated building, the girls’ bedrooms are located on three floors with a mixture of singles and doubles. Although room allocation varies each year, all full time boarders are usually guaranteed their own room. Every girl has their own desk, a bed with ample storage, a wardrobe, a set of bookshelves, and a set of lockable drawers. There are well appointed bathrooms on each floor, and a small kitchen with a microwave, fridge, kettle and toaster. The girls have their own common room with Sky Plus HD and a DVD player.
At the centre of the House, facilities are shared with the Woodard Boys. Equipped with a large number of sofas, a wide screen television DVD player and projector, table tennis, pool and table football, and a piano for those impromptu musical moments , the Forum provides an ideal environment for the pupils to integrate and relax. There is also a larger kitchen with a cooker so that the girls (and boys) can practise their culinary skills.
The workroom, computer room and House library are also situated between the two houses allowing an environment for the pupils to meet and study. Wifi is available throughout the House. Outside the house, we have a lawn area with a barbecue, wooden tables and seats, and these are used with regularity in the summer months.
Miss Joan Gall became Housemistress in September 2007. Previously she taught at the Godolphin School in Salisbury before becoming an Assistant House Mistress at Marlborough College where she was also Head of Girls’ Games. She has a BEd (Hons) Degree in Human Movement Studies and Geography and is presently studying with the Open University to gain a BSC in Life sciences. She currently teaches Biology and Academic Physical Education and coaches hockey, netball and tennis teams. During her free time, when she is not walking her two Hungarian Viszlas in the beautiful Sussex countryside she likes to travel, scuba dive, cook and appreciate fine wine!
Gesa Paulfeierborn has been the Assistant Housemistress of Woodard Girls for six years and been at Ardingly since 1991. Gesa is the Marketing Director at the College; she doesn’t teach, but speaks five languages and has a degree in Archaeology. Gesa is married and lives on the girls side of Woodard with her two Maine Coon cats and is responsible for organising the annual sixth from trip to Kenya and the CCF/Outdoor Education Ski Trip to Switzerland . In addition, Gesa is an officer in the CCF and teaches cadets (and sometimes staff) to scuba dive.
Mrs “Nettie” Threadgold , our Matron oversees the domestic running of the House, and is a very important part of the girls’ lives. She is responsible for the cleanliness of the house, the laundry and any mending of clothes that is required. She always establishes an excellent rapport with the girls, and happy to help them learn to do their own washing, ironing and running repairs!
There are also eight members of staff who are on duty in the evening during the week. They come from a large number of academic departments and often run “clinics” during prep time during which pupils can ask help with any problems they encounter.
We are a busy house academically with the inherent demands of the final year examinations, but this is balanced with a large range of social activities, usually combined with the boys’ house. These vary from a Laser Quest day, to cultural evenings, from house music concerts to quiz nights, from Christmas parties to summer barbecues where the girls host and entertain a member of staff. Every Friday, we celebrate the start of the weekend with a bar night in the Forum. Here the pupils relax in the company of the House staff with a couple of drinks and enjoy listening to MTV while playing a game of pool, table tennis, chess, mah jong, or just enjoy chatting to friends.
We invite you to learn more about life in Woodard(girls) on our blog
Ardingly College, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6SQ