Housemaster of Peterborough House

Peterborough House - often referred to as "PH" - offers a friendly, homely and happy place, with lots of indoor and outdoor space in which our boys, aged 10–13 years, live and work.

We have a mix of boarders and day pupils from countries all over the globe, as well as the UK, who form our house community and we celebrate this diversity of talent and seek to develop everyone’s individual strengths during their time with us.

Together with my tutor team, we ensure that the boys in our care enjoy a busy, fun and structured life in House. We encourage the boys to be confident, organised, tidy and more independent and our excellent facilities help them achieve this. Our prep room offers a quiet study-like atmosphere in which the boys can complete their work, whilst the common room with its widescreen TV and DVD player with cinematic surround sound, provides the ideal place in which to socialise.

Peterborough House offers a friendly, homely and happy place, with lots of indoor and outdoor space in which our boys live and work.

Outside there is a basketball and tennis court, together with a huge expanse of grass with football nets and space to play other games and generally let off steam.

Sport, drama and music play a large part in the boys' lives, so we make full use of the sports hall, swimming pool, Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Music School.

History of the House

  • Formerly Oakham’s vicarage, Peterborough House is a beautiful Victorian building dating from 1867.
  • The House is named after the Peterborough diocese in which Oakham School is situtated.
  • It became a junior boys Boarding House in 1967 and is now one of four Lower School Houses grouped together on the Jerwoods campus.
  • 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 Housemaster

I joined Oakham in 2001 as a teacher of English and Drama and was Head of English for 11 years. I was a tutor in Peterborough House for several years before becoming Housemaster and have appreciated the boys' energy and enthusiasm for all aspects of Oakham life – academic, musical, theatrical and sporting. I am therefore delighted to be playing a full role in guiding them through the early years of their Oakham journey. My wife, Rachel, works in the Marketing Department and together we have three sons; the eldest is now an OO and the younger two are currently at the School. My personal interests include reading, real ale and cycling – preferably combining all three!

Martha Backhouse

Martha Backhouse

Assistant Houseparent

I joined the Lower School boarding team in 2016 and live in Hodges with my husband Tom, who also coaches the boys rugby. In the past I have been privileged enough to combine work and travel with my previous career in yachting. I have also lived and worked in many different countries and I enjoy learning and embracing new cultures. Being from Somerset originally, I have a natural passion for the outdoors and try to enthuse the boys to enjoy this as much as possible. Walking, camping, baking and travel are my favourite past times but I also like to embrace my creative side by refurbishing old furniture. The most rewarding part of my role in the Lower School is organising fun games for the boys to enjoy during their free time and seeing them having fun.

Ethan Smyth

Ethan Smyth

Gap Student

I am working with the boys in Peterborough House, assisting Mr Fairweather. I came from Cape Town, South Africa and attended SACS high school. I enjoy participating in all sports whether it be playing, coaching or spectating and am hoping to play for the local or staff cricket team.What has impressed me about Oakham School is the food, which has been exceptional. The staff and pupils have been very kind and welcoming. I am looking forward to exploring the country and hopefully Europe, in particular Portugal and/or Croatia.