Highness the Duchess of Gloucester officially opened a new girls’ day and
boarding house at St John’s School in Leatherhead on Wednesday 5 March 2014.
The Duchess has
been the School’s Patron since 1981 and the new facility, Gloucester House, has
been named in her honour. The newly refurbished building balances the
tradition of beautiful Victoriana with the modernism of light bright rooms and
is located at the heart of the School overlooking the Quad and War Memorial.
St John’s is an
independent School for girls and boys aged from 13 to 18 years. The
School was founded in 1851 for sons of poor clergy, with the first few girls
entering the Sixth Form in 1989. The School has come a long way since
those early days and girls now make up a third of the School’s 650
pupils. The opening of Gloucester House provides the School with a third
all-female house in addition to the six boy houses.
Housemistress, Mrs Lise Parker, and House Captain, Isabelle Tonnesen, escorted
Her Royal Highness on a tour of the new facility and the Gloucester House girls
were thrilled to have an opportunity to proudly present their new home in all
its glory. The Duchess clearly enjoyed meeting the girls and ended her
visit by unveiling a plaque to commemorate the occasion. Before departing
the Duchess was presented with a posy of red and blue flowers in recognition of
the House colours.
The Headmaster, Mr Martin
Collier, said “Today marks a milestone in the School’s history with the formal
opening of yet another girls’ House. It has been a privilege to welcome
our Patron, HRH Duchess of Gloucester, to St John’s for this occasion. We
are very grateful that HRH accepted the invitation to open Gloucester House
which is named in her honour. The newly renovated House caters for weekly
and flexible boarding as well as day girls. It is a stunning facility
which is already hugely popular with the girls.”
The House motto
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” is from Oscar Wilde, and the
girls have chosen the unicorn from the crest of the House of Gloucester as the
House mascot. The Gloucester House girls have already made their presence felt
by recently winning the School’s House hockey and House unison competitions.
The house system at St John’s is the foundation of the renowned pastoral system
and builds a strong and evident camaraderie. Gloucester House offers
first class boarding facilities and this is reflected by the number of girls
who now board.
2014 – Photos as attached
further information please contact: Judith Fowler - Director
St John’s School,
Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 8SP
email@example.com or Tel: 01372 231532