Breadcrumbs

Ancaster

KELLY GIBBONS

Housemistress of Ancaster

Ancaster, a Lower School House for girls aged 10-13 years, provides a secure base from which they discover the numerous and challenging opportunities their life at Oakham has to offer.

This base is built on the basic principle that only a happy, secure and fulfilled child can really make the best of these opportunities. Both staff and pupils encourage every girl to do their best and try out new experiences. We celebrate difference and diversity and are proud of the range of talents on display in House – from high academic achievement to sporting victory, from kindness to others to eco-warrior – the list is almost endless and ever-changing. The common theme is everyone has a talent and all should be celebrated, shared and nurtured. This builds the confidence to look even further and try out new and more challenging experiences.

Everyone has a talent and all should be celebrated, shared and nurtured.

This is only possible with a dedicated team of tutors, ably assisted by House Prefects. Doors open at 7.30am (or earlier by arrangement) and girls are greeted by a team of adults who work tirelessly to iron out the day-to-day issues that arise on a busy school day. Girls spend their break times in House and after School as required. It is in these times that you get a true sense of the House. At an age when girls can be both young lady and little girl over the course of minutes, they create an energetic and fun environment where they can relax and develop those essential social skills and lifelong friendships. The House ethos of inclusion and kindness creates a haven for all. All of course, under the watchful eye of house staff.

This safe haven and stimulating environment gives the girls a base from which they can develop academically. A strong working ethic and intellectual curiosity marks the house approach to academic work. The same approach is applied to life outside the classroom, where high standards and commitment is the goal. Having a go and taking part is celebrated as well as achievement and awards, whether it is in the arts or competing in sports or any of the wide range of activities available to the girls.

This safe haven and stimulating environment gives the girls a base from which they can develop academically. A strong working ethic and intellectual curiosity marks the house approach to academic work. The same approach is applied to life outside the classroom, where high standards and commitment is the goal. Having a go and taking part is celebrated as well as achievement and awards, whether it is in the arts or competing in sports or any of the wide range of activities available to the girls. 

History of the House

  • Opened in 1974, Ancaster is one of four Lower School Houses grouped together on the Jerwoods campus.
  • The House is named after the Earl of Ancaster, who was a trustee of the School from 1937–51 and due to the village of Ancaster’s position within the neighbouring diocese of Lincoln.
  • The Jerwoods site is named after John Jerwood (OO), the Visitor (a highly esteemed member of the Trustees) and benefactor to the School.

About the Housemistress

I joined the Design and Technology Department at Oakham in 2016, having previously taught in Greater London for 16 years, where I experienced a range of pastoral roles, including tutoring across the whole range of year groups and Deputy Head of Middle School. At Oakham, I have been a Middle School Tutor working with both boarding and day pupils, starting in Rushebrookes before moving to Gunthorpe as Senior Tutor two years later. As well as encouraging students to explore the wider world of design, I love giving back to the community and have been involved in developing the Oakham School Phab Team to work with local young people with disabilities to bring our communities together. I have three children who have all studied at Oakham, with my eldest who left in 2020, and I enjoy a busy life with them and my husband Terry.

klg@oakham.rutland.sch.uk

Caroline Harmes

Caroline Harmes

Lower School Day Matron

I joined the Lower School boarding team in September 2017, having previously worked in schools for over 20 years. The health and well-being of the girls in my care is of paramount importance to me. I like nothing better than sitting in the kitchen having a chat with the girls over a cup of tea or playing a board game with them – Cluedo being a particular favourite of mine! I have two daughters, a son, and a granddaughter. I enjoy cooking, reading, music and love doing crosswords!


Julia Parker

Julia Parker

Gap Student

I am working with the girls in Ancaster House, assisting Mrs Gibbons. I have come from a school called Redlands, which is in Sydney on the North Shore in a suburb called Neutral Bay. I lived in the Inner West of Sydney, so I got to get the ferry to school, or catch the bus across the Harbour Bridge! What has impressed me most about Oakham so far is how genuinely lovely and enthusiastic people are. The kids and the staff wholeheartedly throw themselves into activities and the sense of community that is generated from that keenness is brilliant. I love playing hockey, which I picked up in year 8. I also play the cello and piano and really enjoyed being part of ensembles and choirs when I was at school. I also love the ocean, as I lived 20 minutes from it back in Australia. A morning swim followed by a coffee was the perfect way to start the day in spring and summer. I am so excited to continue to be part of the school life and be involved in as much as I can. Of course, I would be lying if I didn’t mention the travel opportunities in the summer. I have a particular eye on Greece and Croatia and would also love to visit Ireland.