When I joined Wycombe at 13, I had come from a very different school system in Austria and had no previous boarding experience, which meant that my excitement upon arrival was also slightly tainted with nerves. However, when I arrived, I felt immediately welcomed into the School community and was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I settled in and felt comfortable. It can be very daunting starting anything new, which all the staff and girls are aware of, and so every effort is made to put new girls at ease.
The outstanding pastoral care at Wycombe also ensures a smooth transition into the School. Those who join at 11+ all live together in Junior House for their first year, changing dorms every term, which allows them to get to know everyone in their year group and form many strong friendships throughout the year. This is a year which I am often told is a great experience as girls have a place to relax, have fun and mingle in the evenings. Junior House girls are also assigned ‘chums' in their senior Houses with whom they become very friendly, and who offer support on a peer level. Junior House girls then enter their senior Houses the next year, where they are assigned a ‘House mother' who, despite the title, is more like a big sister introducing new girls to the House. Girls who join Wycombe at 13+ also receive House mothers who came at 13+ the year before, and so offer fantastic guidance. Regardless of the age that girls join, the senior Houses offer something special, in that they consist of girls between the ages of 12 and 17 living in mixed age dorms. This allows everyone to get to know each other and fosters an extremely strong sense of community. This is definitely most outwardly evident at inter-House competitions and events where girls display as much of their House colour as possible to support their House.
Outside of Wycombe's excellent academics, there is certainly a broad selection of extra-curricular options. From Sport, to Music or Art, there is definitely something for everyone, and girls are encouraged to pursue anything that they are interested in. The pupil-led societies also provide Wycombe Abbey girls with an opportunity to develop their extra-curricular interests. Whilst this can mean that at times, life at Wycombe can get quite busy, the support system of Tutors and Housemistresses prevent it from ever becoming overwhelming, and ensures that girls really get the most out of their time here.
I feel that Wycombe offers a truly unique boarding experience that provides a most conducive learning environment with varied opportunities, allowing girls to flourish both academically, and in the development of their wider interests. As I am coming to the end of my time here, I am confident that Wycombe has prepared me for what lies ahead, and I know that as I leave I take with me the fondest memories.
I hope that this has provided a helpful insight into life at Wycombe, and that you view our Girls' Zone on the website for more information.