Ratcliffe College Top 09/02/22

King Edward's Witley £1M Refubishment Investment

Published Monday 20th of April 2015 12:09:54 PM

King Edward's Witley, the leading Godalming based independent boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 11-18, has just embarked upon a £1m investment programme to create an outstanding co-educational boarding and day house for its Lower School (Year 7 & 8) pupils.

Starting this Easter, the project involves the refurbishment of the historic Queen Mary House (QMH), one of the School's iconic buildings but currently a boys only domain. The extensive development allows for Queen Mary House and Copeland House (where girls in Year 7 & 8 currently board) to combine, creating a joint Lower School House in keeping with the unique co-educational paired arrangement that exists in the Senior houses at King Edward's Witley. The newly refurbished house will provide superb accommodation for up to 40 boys and girls who board on a full-time, weekly or occasional basis, as well as providing a base and facilities for a further 40 local day pupils.

Linked and paired boarding for boys and girls has been a feature of King Edward's for almost half a century in the senior houses, representing a pioneering move for a boarding school and one that is very much in keeping with the School's ethos of creating an environment which emulates the real world. Pupils are segregated in terms of their sleeping arrangements but are able to socialise in the communal living areas replicating an authentic home from home experience.

Queen Mary House enjoys a 148 year history, having started life as a Convalescent Home in 1867 and having been used as a location for a number of TV and film dramas, including Agatha Christie's Poirot. The refurbished House, which will open in September 2015, will allow boys and girls to board on different floors but with access to shared common areas. Husband and wife team Nick and Vicki Rendall will become House Parents for QMH (Mr Rendall has been Housemaster for senior boys house, Grafton House since 2012 and Mrs Rendall will also be joining the English department as a teacher).

Commenting on the plans, John Attwater, the Headmaster says: 'We believe the setting for learning today should reflect the world our pupils will be going into, and that world is coeducational. By allowing our boy and girl pupils to meet socially on a regular basis, we encourage them to learn naturally about friendships, relationships and priorities and we also guide them to shun traditional stereotypes around gender and nationality. Having seen how well the format works with our senior pupils, we are keen to extend the same opportunity to the Lower School ensuring equality throughout the School communityand giving our girls the opportunity to benefit from this wonderful building'.
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