Willows House (Senior Boys)
Willows is a busy, vibrant and dynamic community of over 40 boys. Team spirit, confidence in strong friendships, and a desire to be successful in everything that goes on are qualities at the heart of the House. The community itself is multi-cultural, but its roots are firmly in a traditional British boarding education with a combination of high academic expectations and broad experiences out of the classroom underpinning all that is done.
Sport is very popular here. In recent years the school 1st XV rugby and 1st XI football have had many Willows boys leading the way, and a fabulous tradition in athletics has brought great success at sports day and in county and national athletics meets. Boys also swim, form a large part of the basketball squads, enjoy evenings fencing with our resident fencing maestro and frequently follow the comprehensive elite physical development programmes put together by our school professional, Steffan Jones. Cricket is the growth sport in the school, and Willows plays its part here also.
Most Willows boys complete two to three years in the CCF, or take on the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme at Silver or Gold level. Rucksacks, hiking boots, studs, mud and all manner of outdoor clothing are commonplace in this boarding house, and the in-house high definition cinema shows sport, music and films in equal measure. Boys are lively here, and those who prefer to sit tight in their rooms are encouraged to find something they are good at, or can contribute to, and enjoy the challenge.
Willows boys also contribute to the artistic and cultural life of the school. A lead role in “Grease”; winners in the individual and group Art competitions, individual finalist in the school music competition – all are recent achievements, and all boys are actively encouraged to stretch their horizons and contribute beyond the classroom or the sports field.
But life is not always fast paced, and relaxation is had in one of the four large social spaces, and in dormitories that are spacious and refurbished. Sky TV is installed; Xbox competition is allowed at quiet times over weekends, and often boys are found sitting in groups chatting about a while range of things that are important to them – often football, but not always! Willows is hard working, but there is an underlying sense of enjoyment and satisfaction that bonds the boys together, and builds friendships that last well beyond the final year of school.
Lights House (Senior Boys)
Lights House is unique here at Wellington as it is the original boarding house dating from the 1840s. We are based in the heart of the school and we pride ourselves in our historical significance (our name refers to the Light blue sports colours we wear for inter house events.)
Many famous names have passed through the doors of Lights and it is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere and supportive staff that create a structure to enable many of our upper sixth to achieve to the highest level. We accommodate up to 35 boys and as such are the smallest senior house. The pupils usually share rooms and each has his own study area within the house. Academic performance is top of the agenda and this is achieved with a strict adherence to homework times and an encouraging and knowledgeable staff who are always on hand to help.
There is excellent communication between the boys and the Housemaster, the assistant Housemaster and Tutors and the full-time Matron. The House has an active council where representatives from each year meet with the Housemaster to discuss issues raised by themselves and to talk through wider school matters. As such, the boarders feel a real sense of belonging to the community and know that in term time at least, this is their home and their opinions matter.
Lights has a strong tradition in the performing arts which continues to this day and all the pupils are encouraged to pursue an activity that they are good at whether that be cycling, fencing, singing in the Chapel Choir, CCF, drama, the list and range of opportunities open to them is huge. They make good use of the school facilities in the evening after homework; indeed the school basketball team is made up nearly entirely of Lights boys!
Boarding here is about the whole person and we think that the balance here between work and extra-curricular is just right. We enjoy being able to write references about the boys, whether that be for UCAS or other institutions as we can always say that the time spent here creates a rounded individual.
Beech House (Senior Girls)
Beech is a boarding community where girls are welcomed and valued. It is the girls’ term time home and there is a strong House identity and spirit. The Beech girls are very loyal to the House which they regard as their “family of sisters.” When they leave school, the friendships they have made during their time boarding, stay with them forever.
Beech is home to 47 girls aged 15 to 18 from all over the world. The majority of the boarders are full boarders and regularly there are over 40 boarders in each weekend. The girls are encouraged to take part in sport, drama, music and other activities so that they use their free time productively and make a wide circle of friends from both the day and boarding communities. All the girls take part in house competitions including basketball, tennis, art, debating and music. This gives them the opportunity to represent their House and mix with girls from other year groups. Last year the Beech girls won the inter-house music competition and a number of sports competitions.
The girls are supported by their house team of House staff, tutors and matrons. Sixth form prefects are expected to lead the House and help in the day to day running of the House. The girls have a number of social activities throughout the year including tea parties, discos, House dinners and House outings and theatre trips. Beech is a lively community and the girls meet together every day in a House meeting to listen to news and share ideas. The House staff are always open to suggestions from the girls for House outings.
The girls share study bedrooms with one, two or three other girls the same age. All study bedrooms are equipped with washbasins. They have access to wireless internet in the boarding house and younger girls have supervised prep five nights a week. There are two common rooms for the girls to use, each with its own well equipped kitchen. There are two pianos in the House for the girls to use. Beech is very close to the school’s sports centre and the girls are encouraged to play badminton, basketball or use the gym after their evening prep session. The girls have the use of their own garden in summer, which is a great spot for bar-b-qs.
Overside House (Junior)
Overside is our junior boarding house. The House has a warm, welcoming, friendly atmosphere, priding itself on a being a ‘home away from home’. The students share a comfortable lounge with oversized bean bags, DVD player, table football, table tennis, pool table, wireless internet and an Xbox. The students are encouraged to socialise and mix which leads to the creation of the desired family environment.
Day to day life in Overside is structured and organised, with supervised prep sessions, student duties, evening activities and free time. Weekends involve outings ranging from cinema and bowling trips to outdoor adventures, from paintballing to zoo visits, from exploring the countryside to City excursions. Carnival night and bonfire night are also popular evening events, as well as pizza nights and the infamous annual Overside Summer Swim and BBQ.
A large number of House staff, around ten in total, form an excellent pastoral team who nurture and care for each and every student, focusing on their individual needs and development. Growth in all areas of life is encouraged by providing a supportive and trusting environment, with the aim being for students to be the best they can possibly be.