Boarding at Wycombe

Girls who enter at 11+ have their own Junior House whilst being integrated into the life of the rest of the School.

From the age of 12-17 the girls live in one of nine mixed age Senior Houses which accommodate around 45 pupils. These Houses provide a secure framework, in which everyone has her own area of responsibility and a very real sense of being an important part of a supportive community. Each House is run by a Housemistress who is also a member of the teaching staff; this dual role ensures excellent understanding and communication in all matters concerning the girls.

In the last year of schooling, the 80 or so UVI girls move into Clarence House, a study bedroom complex run on student lines. The girls benefit from specialist support and preparation for the next stage in their lives.

The role of the House 

Butler
Butler
It would be hard to over-emphasise the significance of the House at Wycombe.  The Houses are small enough for each girl to know she is a vital part of the community; it is much easier for her to contribute to House life, to make her mark, to hold responsibility, to measure her impact in this microcosm of the whole School - it really matters how she behaves towards others.  The intimacy of the House ensures she knows what girls in other years are doing, so she feels an essential part of their activities too and thus connected to events in the School outside her immediate age group.    

Airlie
Airlie
There is, however, more to House life at Wycombe than activities; the whole ethos of the School depends on the way the older girls look out for the younger ones, the real friendships which are made, regardless of age (frequently, girls are friends with others older or younger than themselves).  The warmth and support engendered is almost tangible, and is central to the girls' happiness.  The Housemistress, with her overview of pastoral and academic development, gains an exceptional insight into her girls. 

Cloister
Cloister
There are several built-in checking systems: House Order (regular whole House meetings) is a major factor;  it is very definitely not just for notices; it is a cherished contact time for girls with their Housemistress and thus invaluable.  Bed-time routines and meal-times ensure further contact, in addition to the casual contact during the day.   

Campbell
Campbell
At regular intervals throughout the year your daughter’s Housemistress, having liaised closely with her tutor, will see her about her progress; this is a precious and guaranteed time with each girl, where academic progress is only one of many aspects of each girl's development covered; it is an excellent opportunity both to praise and guide.

The Housemistress has a remarkable understanding of both the pressures which may weigh on individuals, to a greater or lesser extent, and the joys which are special to each girl in her House.  Matrons, with their ready listening ear, will bring other perspectives on how each girl in the House is progressing. 

Shelburne
Shelburne
The Housemistress, Matron and tutor team work very closely to help each girl. The Housemistress, being a member of the academic staff, has a real insight into School life. She knows what the sharp end of the classroom is like - from the challenges to the excitements - for both student and teacher. Thus the Housemistress is an essential link between academia and boarding; she is, too, the constant thread in each girl's life at Wycombe, working with her tutors in all the key stages of her academic and pastoral development.

So where do weekends fit in?


Wendover
Wendover
  At Wycombe the weekends are an integral part of the pattern of the whole.  They are part of the balance of the week.  Activities at the weekend - from Chapel and shopping trips to Marlow, Westfield or Windsor, to going to the Art studios, workshops, ice skating, "vegging out" with a video/DVD, making your own pizza or going off to tennis or squash with a friend - bond the community.  There is a full programme of socials with leading Boys’ Schools. Rehearsals are divided between mid-week and the weekend, as are educational trips, musical, sporting and dramatic events. The themes of Sunday Services are picked up in the week adding to the sense of community and purpose. 
Pitt
Pitt
Weekend time consolidates friendships on which the girls rely through good times and bad.  A sense of belonging which comes through shared experience is deeply imbued.  The special community spirit, mutual support and intimate knowledge of each other gained through diverse shared experience are treasured.


Our Community Values  

 

Barry
Barry
For such a community to succeed in its aims all must accept and  embrace the same values. 

All girls and the whole staff were consulted about what our three core values should be.  After considerable discussion, we decided that mutual respect, encouragement and trust encompass our beliefs and are at the heart of our relationships and actions.