On arrival, every student is assigned to a house. The house is their base, a safe and happy environment in which to develop, learn and experience new opportunities. Encouraging independence, self-reliance and co-operation is an important part of what we do, but house life is also about having fun and making friends for life.
Houses each have their own distinct character. Facilities include Wi-Fi throughout, common rooms equipped with satellite television, DVD player, Apple TV, games consoles, piano and pool table. There is also a fully-equipped kitchen, computer room and quiet room.
Musical, dramatic, artistic, academic and sporting competitions all help engender house spirit. Every student will tell you their house is the best! Students get involved in running social events such as Oktoberfest, Chinese New Year, themed suppers, Burns Night and even roller discos. These social events are in addition to regular weekend trips, like shopping at Bluewater, going to see West End productions and visiting the Harry Potter Studios.
Our House Structure
In Year 7 and 8 we offer the option of day or weekly boarding. During these two years students will belong to one of four houses, each will consist of a mix of boys, girls day and boarders. Boarders will stay in the newly refurbished Year 7 and 8 boarding house, situated in the North School .
As students enter Year 9 (Shell), they join a day or boarding house where they remain until the end of their Lower Sixth year. We have two boys’ boarding houses (Hilton and Mertens) and two girls’ boarding houses (Aberdeen and Toynbee). Day students will enter one of our two boys’ day houses (Crosse, Pearson and Rhodes) or the girls’ houses (Burgess and Neal). Flexi-boarding is also available for students between Year 9 (Shell) and Year 11 (Fifth).
For their Upper Sixth year, students move to Woodard House in Godwin Hall (Woodard Boys and Woodard Girls), our Upper Sixth co-educational house. Opened in 2014, it boasts state-of-the-art facilities and accommodates boarders and day students. Woodard is designed to bridge the gap between College life and a university hall of residence.
Students have their own study.* Lower down the school they tend to be shared with two or three other students but as they move up the school they will have a single study or share with just one other student. All studies are comfortably furnished with a desk, locker and shelves.*
*This configuration may change in future years
The heart of each house is undoubtedly the common room. Here, students from all years mix and socialise freely in their spare time. Sofas, beanbags, televisions, pianos and pool tables provide comfort and entertainment. There are also communal kitchens, games rooms and IT suites.
A Housemaster or Housemistress is in charge of each house and is responsible for the academic and personal welfare of all the students in the house. Each boarding house has a Matron who plays a vital role in the pastoral care of the students. In addition, there is a team of tutors attached to each house.
Boys and girls are given increasing levels of responsibility as they progress, with the appointment of a Head of House and House Prefects in the Lower Sixth.
Our House Council system ensures that boarders have a strong say in the opportunities on offer. House Councils have representatives from each year group who meet each term to discuss issues affecting the house.
About the Houses
Houses Are Central to the Main School with Modern Facilities
There are four boarding houses and four day houses which cater for students from Year 9 to Lower Sixth.
Woodard Boys and Girls are the Upper Sixth houses based in Godwin Hall. Here boarders will have a private study with en suite facilities.
All houses are located within a two-minute walk of the main school. Within the houses, each student will be assigned a study.
Following considerable investment, houses enjoy fantastic facilities, each having their own common room equipped with satellite TV, games, pool tables and consoles. Houses have modern kitchen facilities which boarders may use to supplement the three meals a day provided in the main school dining hall.
Godwin Hall is a state-of-the-art boarding house for both boarding and day students in the Upper Sixth. It provides an excellent transition to university, bringing the boys and girls all under one roof. Whilst the boys and girls have their own sides of the house, with TV lounges, there is a large common room area with kitchen, games tables, TV and bar for them to socialise. Each student has a private study with an en suite bathroom.
The House Team
- Housemaster or Housemistress (known as HoMMs) – responsible for the pastoral care and wellbeing of the boys and girls
- Assistant Housemaster or Housemistress – deputises for the HoMM
- Boarding Matron – responsible for all housekeeping and domestic matters but also closely involved in the pastoral care of the students and supported by domestic staff
- Nursing staff – based in the 24-hour Medical Centre to deal with illness or emergency
- Tutors – provide support during evening school and are responsible for the academic progress and wellbeing of their tutees
- House Prefects – senior students in each house responsible for supporting the HoMM in promoting the welfare of each student and ensuring the smooth running of the house.
We work hard to connect like-minded students and endeavour to build a community for those joining from other schools as quickly as possible.
Induction days are planned with the primary goal of student integration into the Senior School, tailored to the different entry groups. New Shell students receive a full induction in September and integrating into the Sixth Form community is also a primary focus for us. We work hard to build a house community as well as integrating the Lower Sixth IB and A Level cohorts. We have an informal Lower Sixth social evening every year, in addition to the regular weekend house socials, and also a more formal Lower Sixth Ball.
House Character and Pride
Under the direction of their Housemaster or Housemistress, each house has its own history, personality and motto. Students are incredibly proud of their houses. They represent them with passion and determination, whether it be in the ‘Steepo’ cross-country event, house music, football, house singing or debating – lively initiatives, all with the goal of building vibrant and fun communities.