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Gunthorpe

Lydia Dunbavand 

Housemistress of Gunthorpe

Gunthorpe provides a home away from home for about 70 day girls aged 13–17 years. Supported by my Senior Tutor, we aim to create a positive and safe environment where every girl can flourish. Most importantly, we treat the girls in our care as individuals and encourage them to identify and progress in their areas of expertise.

As a House we cultivate an atmosphere of trust, kindness and mutual respect, where the girls support one another across the year groups and form their own community within the School. Being part of Gunthorpe is an essential part of the girls’ school identity, as highlighted by their lively participation in interhouse competitions and healthy rivalry for “Gunstar Awards” – presented to girls who have made a positive contribution to House.

The House is open every day from 7.30am–7.30pm and serves as a base for the girls throughout the day as they go about their busy lives. There is always adult support available and tutors visit the House regularly to assist with supervision and to offer support and guidance on academic and pastoral matters outside the formal tutor periods.

We cultivate an atmosphere of trust, kindness and mutual respect, where the girls support one another across the year groups.

Each year group have their own form room within which each girl has a desk space and a locker. In addition, we have a quiet room, which is equipped with a number of computers for girls to complete their work. The House also has two kitchens with fridge freezers, toasters and kettles and a changing room with showers.

The main focus of the House is the common room, the place where all the girls meet every morning for roll call and the venue for numerous pizza evenings and picnics! It is equipped with a football table, Bluetooth speakers and comfortable sofas, and offers a relaxing place to socialise.

We elect a Head of House and a team of Prefects each year. These senior girls take a leading role in selecting sports teams and organising social and fund-raising activities and provide the vital link between the House staff and the girls. Notable events include our annual Festive Fun Run at the end of the Winter Term and the Easter Egg Hunt.

History of the House

  • Opened in 1997, Gunthorpe is one of four Middle School Day Houses, which together form the part of the school campus known as Schanschieffs.
  • In common with the other Houses in Schanschieffs, the House derives its name from a local village: Gunthorpe, where former trustee Tom Haywood lived.
  • The House is part of a beautiful 19th century building, which was originally the Victorian workhouse, and subsequently a hospital, before its conversion into a school building. 

About the Housemistress

I joined Oakham’s Biology Department in 2005, having retrained as a teacher after a career break from the Pharmaceutical industry. I started as a tutor in Gunthorpe and moved to Ancaster after a year, where I was latterly Senior Tutor before becoming Housemistress of Gunthorpe in 2018. During my time at the School, I have been involved in a variety of roles and activities, including Gold D of E walking, Dissection club, VA and the Form 6 Kenya trip. As well as teaching I am an external examiner for the IB. I have three grown-up children, all of whom have been through the School, and I enjoy a busy life with them and my husband Richard.

LMD@oakham.rutland.sch.uk