Housemaster of Sargants

Sargants offers a busy and cheerful home base for boys aged 10–13 years. There are three things which I seek to encourage in all Sargants boys: be courteous, considerate, and communicate with one another.

My experienced team of tutors is sensitive to the needs of the boys in their care and we create a structure which allows the boys to become more independent in life and equips them to make good decisions. We encourage the boys to participate fully in all aspects of Oakham School life – sport, drama or music, as well as academic pursuits. We’re on a journey to make the boys become outstanding young men.

The tone of the House is set by the small details. We encourage the boys to make eye contact, to dress smartly, and to shake hands when being greeted. The house team likes to think of our boys as 'learning knights' and actively seeks to cultivate and model intellectual curiosity and values such as courageousness, valour, and chivalry.

We’re on a journey to make the boys become outstanding young men.

I encourage the boys to be aware of the wider world and knowledge of current affairs is integral to the comfortable and homely atmosphere in House. The news is on every morning in the Common Room and there is a general knowledge quiz every month. The boys are often happy to linger at the end of the day, which is an indication of how comfortable, secure and settled they feel.

We offer two quiet rooms where the boys can complete their prep, as well as places for the boys to socialise – the common room with its air hockey, table football and table tennis tables fills up with boys and noise during break times and outside there is an all-weather play area and lawn where the Lower School pupils can mingle and let off steam.

There is great integration between the day boys and their boarding peers and the day boys often take full advantage of the option to extend their day and join boarders for breakfast, supper and prep.

History of the House

  • Opened in 1974, Sargants is one of four Lower School Houses grouped together on the Jerwoods campus.
  • The House is named after W.L. Sargant, Oakham’s Headmaster from 1902–1929.
  • The Jerwoods site is named after John Jerwood (OO), a former Visitor (a highly esteemed member of the Trustees) and benefactor to the School.

About the Housemaster

I have been at Oakham since 2003 and started as Housemaster of Sargants in 2015. I teach PE and Sport Science and was Director of Hockey for 10 years. I am married with two daughters at the School.

Martha Backhouse

Martha Backhouse

Assistant Houseparent Hodges Boys

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.

Dylan Kharpal

Dylan Kharpal

Gap Student

I am working with the boys in Sargants House, assisting Mr Denman. I went to St Peter’s School, Cambridge, New Zealand. What has impressed me most about Oakham so far are the School’s grounds, weekly structure and the pupils’ attitudes. My main interests are rugby, target shooting and outdoor education and I am really looking forward to forming strong connections with both staff and students.