The GIH was opened in 1977 when the school acquired and amalgamated a number of adjoining private residences on the High Street. These houses vary in style, but parts of the building date back to the reign of Queen Anne.
As the name suggests, the House has a great tradition of internationalism. Indeed, all of our Lower Sixth intake consists of students new to Sevenoaks School. Roughly one third of the girls are British, although at any one time up to 20 different nationalities can be represented among the 55 members. This international perspective is something that we, as a House, are very proud of. During their two years in the GIH our students have the opportunity to forge friendships with girls from all over the world. Often these friendships last many years beyond our students' time at Sevenoaks.
The House staff is made up of a large group of people, all of whom bring different skills to the GIH. The Housemistress, Mrs Nichola Haworth, lives in the House with her two young boys and her husband, Nigel, who teaches History at Sevenoaks School and is the IB Diploma co-ordinator. There are two other residential staff: Mrs Louisa Radford (teacher of Geography) and Mrs Rebecca Brown who teaches Design.
As well as these three residential staff, the team also includes a matron, Mrs Kim Stronghill, and two non-residential tutors. The matron’s responsibilities are wide ranging, including arranging taxis and medical appointments, looking after ill girls and, occasionally, baking! Students are welcome to approach any member of the team, but will be also assigned a particular academic tutor from among the House staff. These tutors give individual care for all social and academic matters including developing study skills, choosing universities and general career advice.
As is appropriate for a Sixth Form House the students have a large say in how the House is run. They are represented by the Head of House and the House Council. This body makes many important day to day decisions about the House.
The nature of the building gives each room a unique appearance. The main common room and the visitors’ room are both oak panelled, while the high ceilings and intricate plasterwork in the GIH library make it a very pleasant place to study. The library is equipped with 6 computers and is well resourced with useful academic books and publications. Each student has a desk in her room, and the whole building has a wireless network system. Students may choose whether to work at their own desk, in the GIH library, or in the main school library. All students in the Lower Sixth share rooms, which helps them to make new friends quickly. In the Upper Sixth about two thirds of the rooms are single. U6 students change rooms over the Christmas break, spending at least half the year in a single room. Bathrooms are spread throughout the House.
Annual House Events
Michaelmas Term – GIH International Evening.
Lent Term – Ice- Skating at Somerset House, Leavers’ Dinner, Boarders’ revue
Summer Term – GIH Ball
There are also a number of other less formal events involving part of the House, for example Tutor’s Dinners, Theatre trips, mug painting and outdoor activities.