News and blog

From our Head of Boarding

From our Head of Boarding

In what has been a most unusual year for us all, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on what has been a busy and successful year in boarding. 

Our new team of Boarding Prefects, ably led by Head Boarder Maria K, organised a fun range of mixing activities for the whole House, during the first weekend in September. It was wonderful to see boarders, new and returning, squealing and having fun together! 

Autumn Term

Each weekend has seen a packed programme of exciting trips and 'in house' activities organised for our boarders. These have included: craft workshops, Bingo, punting, Thorpe Park, theatre trips (including a visit to the panto), swimming, Harry Potter Studio Tour and Clip ‘n Climb.

In October, boarding staff once again organised a residential weekend to Manchester for Sixth Form boarders. The primary reason was to attend the University of Manchester’s open day, however we also explored the Whitworth Art Gallery; ate curry on the famous ‘Curry Mile’ and spent a few hours shopping.

Peterhouse EventChristmas dinner at Cambridge University

The highlight of the Autumn term, however, was most definitely the boarders’ Christmas dinner at Peterhouse.

It was the most wonderful evening: the boarders enjoyed a sumptuous three course meal in the most beautiful, candle-lit setting of Cambridge University’s oldest college. 

This is now a tradition for our boarders and the 2020 date was booked the day after the 2019 event!  

View our Christmas at Peterhouse gallery

Awards celebrations

Also, in the Autumn Term, we were delighted to have been nominated for an Independent Schools of the Year Award 2019 in the Boarding category. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, however it was an honour to have been recognised for our efforts and to attend the awards ceremony at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London. 

Spring Term

At the beginning of the Spring Term we welcomed our new Gap Assistants: Miss Kate Wilson and Miss Caitlin Bush who joined us from Loreto Schools in Australia after saying goodbye to the much loved, previous year’s Gap: Miss Sheldon, at the end of the Autumn term.  

In February, Year 12 boarders joined day girls at St John’s College at the University of Cambridge for an excellent lunch, followed by the sharing of wisdom from three notable women: Barbara Follett, CEO of The Follett Office, Martha Lytton Cobbold, Managing Director of Lytton Enterprises Ltd and Joanne Smith, Group Chief Executive and founder of The Consulting Consortium, about what they wished they had known at 17. We owe deep gratitude to the Stewart family for organising this special, memorable event. 

Still St Marys

Sadly, we could not hold our Boarders' Concert in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I know this was such a disappointment for the girls as many had been practising for months. Despite the fact the final show did not go ahead, I must still thank all the boarders, especially Maria K and her team of Boarding Prefects: Lucy Q, Miashea L, Safiya D, Keren O and Kimi L who worked tirelessly to plan and produce the concert since the start of the Spring Term. Thank you also to Barbara Z for the poster and ticket design. 

The Summer Term has been eerily quiet at Mary Ward House and the corridors void of the fun and frolicking that usually goes on in boarding. That said, due to the wonders of Microsoft Teams, the boarding community was able to stay in touch and continue to build on the relationships formed during the year, albeit remotely.  

I am sure this academic year will stand out in all our memories for many years to come. As it draws to a close, I look forward to working with colleagues to welcome the new arrivals, as well as our returning boarders, to Mary Ward House and The Elms in the Autumn Term. 

Miss Elliott 

Head of Boarding 

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