School House is an impressive Victorian building set in beautiful grounds slightly off the main school campus. However, School House is much more than the fabric of a building or the plot of land it stands on. It is home to 53 talented and energetic boys who are tightly bonded and proud of their identity and traditions.
School House was a hive of construction activity before the start of term, allowing the house to gleam with new furniture and freshly painted walls. We also welcomed a new intake of Year 9 boys who were pitched into a whirlwind of activities.
The first Sunday was a highly memorable whole boarding trip to the London 2012 Paralympics, where students attended athletics, basketball and tennis. Everyone was moved by the courage and determination of the athletes, so much so that we returned a few days later to watch table tennis and volleyball.
Barely had Year 9 got to grips with the timetable than they were off again on their overnight induction trip, engaging in raft building and trying to traverse a lake in shoddy constructions, before camping overnight. We wrapped up the induction period with mountain biking at Bedgebury Forest.
Education is that whole system of human training within and without the school house walls, which molds and develops men.
W E B Du Bois, The Talented Tenth (1903)
At the first leave weekend our exhausted but elated Year 9 were handed back to their parents buzzing about everything they had achieved and done in such a short space of time.
The house staff work actively towards maintaining an ethos which provides a nurturing environment where all students are encouraged to excel and fulfil their potential across their wide-ranging talents.
School House have proved themselves to be slick event organisers, hiring the Stag cinema on three consecutive nights for over 300 boarders to watch Skyfall, making over £250 for charity in the process, and hosting a Sixth Form Valentine's Dinner party with home-cooked food for 50 people.
Catering to the full spectrum of tastes, School House has enjoyed stand-up comedy evenings, a 5-4 thriller between Charlton and Cardiff football clubs, the house book club meetings, and England v New Zealand T20 cricket at the Oval. The boarding community have also been entertained by the hilarious though not overly gifted musicians in School House band The S*A*C*K.
The School House garden club has learned a variety of skills whilst creating a canopy and seating for an outdoor area as well as planting out a bee-friendly garden as part of a series of environmental initiatives running in the house.
Gareth Willis, Housemaster, School House, 2013