At Wellingborough Senior School, the personal welfare of pupils revolves around our House system. Each pupil at the School will have their own personal House tutor and a Housemaster/mistress. Tutors meet their tutees on a daily basis and there are weekly Tutor sessions to discuss topical issues and pupil progress.
There are five boys’ Houses and three girls’. Each has its own dedicated building with locker, meeting and social facilities. Pupils are allocated a House when they enter the Senior School and remain in that House for the entirety of their time at the School.
The House system arrangement is rare in that few co-educational day schools in the UK have a single-sex pastoral structure. Houses contain pupils from a mix of year groups, allowing pupils of all ages to integrate. New pupils are also helped to integrate through support from the House Prefects. A weekly House assembly is held where the whole of the House comes together, and pupils of all ages frequently work together on charity work and regular social functions as part of their House. Competitions are also held in areas such as drama, dance, music, singing, sports, debating and general knowledge between each of the eight houses.
Pupils testify to the success of the House system and the pride in one’s House is palpable.
Cripps' is the newest of the five boys' Houses having been formed in 1967.
Keith Hargreaves has been the Housemaster of Cripps’ since 2008, following a line of reputable Housemasters in the Houses’ history.
Throughout its history, Cripps’ House has triumphed in every area of school competition. Cripps' has enhanced its reputation for House loyalty and commitment with impressive contributions and performances in Sport, Music and CCF in particular. Cripps’ is also the only House to have organised challenges abroad to raise money and awareness for its chosen charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, having raised over £50,000 for the charity.
Garne’s House is one of the five boys’ day houses in Wellingborough School, and was first formed in 1889 as a boarding house, named after its first Housemaster, W.H. Garne. When the official House system was established in 1924, Garne’s adopted the colour of yellow because the building had previously contained the “Wasp” dormitories.
Boarders ceased to live in Garne’s in 1994, and the House has since been adapted into two main dayrooms with smaller adjoining rooms acting as study spaces. In 2007, the House expanded further with the addition of a large Sixth Form dayroom.
The remarkable feature of the House is that since 1949 there have been just four Housemasters. The third custodian, Mike Askham, who led the House with unrivalled enthusiasm for 30 years retiring in 2013, epitomised the dedication and commitment to the rounded philosophy of the School as a whole. Dave Coombes now serves as Housemaster.
Marsh is one of three girls’ day houses at Wellingborough School, having been created in 1977 to accommodate just ten senior girl boarders. Marsh remained as a boarding house until 2000 and it was from Marsh House that the last ever boarders in Wellingborough School, boys and girls, left in July 2000 thus ending a 175-year-old boarding tradition.
In more recent years, there have been extensive works carried out to utilise more of the space which had once been boarding facilities. Marsh numbers have grown and more day room and study facilities have been added to accommodate pupils.
Under current Housemistress Catherine Irvin, the House continues to promote the commitment to a rounded educational experience for girls. Marsh girls' pride in their House is evident in the friendly rivalry during all inter-house competitions where they continue to excel.
Nevill House is one of Wellingborough School’s three girls’ day houses, and was first established in 1984 in honour of former Headmaster Thomas Seymour Nevill. The House was created with the Governors' decision to replace the school allotments on the west side of the Senior School Drive with the Nevill House building.
Since the original tenure of Norma Webb (1984-90) there have been four Housemistresses who have sought to maintain the commitment to the original Nevill principles of dedication to school life and team work, and since 2006 this ethos has thrived under the pastoral care of Housemistress, Jill Livingstone. Nevill holds a unique sub-divided open plan style room, and increasing House numbers have led to further locker and leisure space being provided. With the energy and vitality of their Housemistress, the girls can be assured of a lively, musical, sporty and sociable house in which to reside.
Parker Steyne’s House
Parker Steyne’s House is one of the five boys’ day houses at Wellingborough School.
When the current House system was established in 1924, all of the day pupils fitted into one House, which was named Parker's in honour of former Chairman of the Governors, John Parker. Steyne’s House was the second of the day Houses, opened in 1959 to cater for the increasing number of day pupils in the School and was named in honour of long serving member of staff Charles Steyne. It was not until 1995 that both Houses were merged together to form Parker Steyne’s.
In recent years the House has enjoyed notable success in a wide range of competitions. Perennial winners of House Badminton, there has also been success in Cross-Country, Athletics Track events, Junior Football and Cricket as well as multiple success in General Knowledge and Maths. Recent Old Wellingburians from Parker Steyne’s include Northampton Saints brothers Alex and Ethan Waller and esteemed musician and Ivor Novello award winner Dot Major, frontman of the acclaimed band London Grammar.
George Houghton currently serves as Housemaster of Parker Steyne’s.
Platt’s House is one of five boys’ day houses at Wellingborough School. Platt’s has a claim as the oldest House on the School’s present site: when the School moved to its present building in 1880, boarders were accommodated in School House, with the boarders' accommodation becoming known simply as "Dr. Platt's House". When the formal House system was started in 1924, Platt’s was one of the four original Houses of the School.
The current facilities in Platt’s are the most extensive to date, with pupils benefitting from a spacious day house. They occupy the top two floors of the building - and the generous nature of the House was illustrated by their acceptance of squatters from Cripps' whilst that House underwent major refurbishment!
The House is currently run by Housemaster Tienie Fourie.
Weymouth House is one of three girls’ day houses at Wellingborough School. The House was first formed in April 1940, to accommodate 33 boys who were evacuated from Weymouth College, Dorset after that School's closure due to the prospect of imminent invasion. In September 1989 "the odour of sweaty rugby shirts was exchanged for perfume and hair spray" as the momentous decision was taken to transform Weymouth into a girls' House.
In September 2006 the House, having been under pressure of growing numbers returned from temporary evacuation of its own to a completely refurbished accommodation. The House moved into the building above their previous home into what can only be described as palatial, luxurious surroundings which are the envy of many of the boys.
The House, now led by Hannah Pattison, continues to set the highest of standards in all inter-house competition as well as supporting the rounded philosophy of participation in school life. The girls' pride in their House is witnessed in the social functions which are organised and supported by both house staff and the girls of all ages.
Pupils may from time to time experience difficulties which seem to them to be insoluble. These may be related to family worries, breakdown or loss of a relationship, feelings of isolation, loneliness or depression, stress or anxiety or behavioral problems. In these circumstances the School's Wellbeing Manager and counselling service, which are designed to complement the strengths of the pastoral system, provides an opportunity for pupils to address their concerns in a calm and neutral environment.
Pupils are only given access to a counsellor when both the parents and the pupil concerned consider that support of this kind may prove beneficial. While the School does not refer pupils without the consent of parents, it does, in appropriate circumstances, suggest that counselling should be considered as a possible course of action. In certain circumstances, the counsellor may recommend that a pupil should be referred to another agency. Such a recommendation would be made to parents.
The Wellbeing staff regularly hold presentations and talks for pupils across the school, handling issues such as internet safety, bullying and mental health. Presentations are also held for parents to help with their own stress handling and aid them in their child’s welfare.
Personal, social, health, citizenship and economic (PSHCE) education is a planned programme of learning opportunities and experiences that help the pupils of Wellingborough School grow and develop as individuals, as members of families and of social and economic communities. PSHCE education deals with real life issues that affect all of us. It engages with the social and economic realities of our lives, experiences and attitudes.