Toynbee Girls’ Boarding
In September 2016, we moved into our beautiful, newly refurbished building, designed for 65 girls from Shell to Lower Sixth. It is a lively, welcoming and caring community in which to live and learn during term time. The boarding accommodation is located on three floors with a friendly mix of year groups and nationalities in the house. The girls share a spacious, light and comfortable common room, gathering here for house meetings and events, relaxation, conversation, or making use of the games consoles, books and a piano. It’s the social hub of the house and there is also a fully fitted kitchen in which the girls can cook and bake at the weekend. Life in Toynbee is busy and fun; girls form lifelong friendships here, under the watchful eyes of the experienced staff members who care for them.
Mrs Porter is the Housemistress of Toynbee. Having joined Ardingly in 2014, she became an Assistant Housemistress and Deputy Head of English the following year. She has taught English for the last 14 years, including for a short time in France, and has taught at The Weald of Kent Grammar School for Girls and Sevenoaks School in Kent. She has a BA in English and French and an MA in English Literature. Her interests include craft, swimming and the history of women’s rights. She also runs the College’s cooking and baking club.
Mrs Porter lives in a family house attached to the boarding house with her husband Dr Miles Porter, who is Head of Chemistry at the College. They have two young daughters, Dilys and Bonnie, who attend Ardingly Pre Prep and Prep and who love the fact they have so many ‘older sisters’ to play within the boarding house! They have two cats, who enjoy the occasional cuddle.
Assistant Housemistress – Mrs Bridget Van Manen-Esdaile
Bridget joined the Finance Team at Ardingly College in 2014, she became Boarding Assistant in Toynbee in September 2018 then Assistant Housemistress in January 2020. In 2019 she went on the Service trip to Kenya and is looking forward to going again. Bridget lives in the flat attached to the boarding house with her partner Justin, children Samuel & Isobel and her Labradoodle, Tilly. She enjoys dog walks, baking and supporting her family in their sporting endeavours.
Matron and the Tutor Team
During the day, the house matron helps to look after the girls. They quickly get to know and rely on matron for a variety of daily needs, from a listening ear to laundry and uniform repairs.
Toynbee is fortunate to have a highly experienced tutor team, which consists of Senior School teachers from a range of academic disciplines; each evening prep session is supervised by one of these tutors, who is also on hand to assist the girls with their prep. The tutors also support house sporting, musical and social events; in this way, the girls are encouraged to develop productive relationships with other adults in the house, away from the classroom.