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Queen Margaret’s 723

Overview of what it’s like to live in Atholl House (Year IV)

Atholl House is one of the larger boarding houses at Queen Margaret’s, meaning that at times it can be one of the noisiest! The house has nine dorms in total, ranging from a two-bed room to larger newly refurbished mezzanine-style rooms accommodating up to ten girls. The girls in Atholl House are always busy, whether it be buckling down to the demands of their GCSEs or taking part in one of the many Enrichment activities on offer. Many of our girls take on Duke of Edinburgh (Bronze Award) and this proves a popular choice year after year. Once in Atholl House, girls receive a little more freedom and are expected to further develop their independence. The girls take turns with duties as we feel it is important to instil a sense of responsibility in them and allow each to practise basic life skills.

We asked our Atholl House Housemistress about her favourite part of life in Year IV. Here’s what she had to say…

The girls can be very entertaining and often make us laugh. Once they reach Atholl House, they are at an age when we are able to have fairly adult conversations with them and can share their humour. Also, working so closely with the girls not only keeps us young, but is a great way to keep up with popular culture and modern technology – the girls love nothing better than showing  the House Team their latest ‘celebrity crush’ or showing us how to do something on a Mac. We aim to create a relaxed atmosphere in Atholl House where girls feel at home but are respectful of each other and their environment – we feel it works well.

What should parents know about Atholl House?

Girls in Atholl House are allowed to go to the local garage at the weekends so it is advisable to send them with some pocket money as they often like to go for a stroll when lessons are over on a Saturday.  Weekend activities are not compulsory for girls in Atholl House – they have the choice of taking part as at this stage in their studies they are starting to practise the art of balancing work and play and we try and encourage them to make the right decisions for themselves. We notice that the girls certainly feel the transition from Year III to IV with regard to their studies and the more organised they can be with their work , the better.  There are three nights of supervised prep but girls are also encouraged to prioritise their learning and begin to study independently outside these times by using the two libraries, our own Hogwarts study space and the Art and Music blocks.

What makes Atholl House unique from others on campus?

Year IV is a transitional time for girls as they are starting the first year of their GCSEs. We recognise this change and support the girls with their work and enrichment activities while also encouraging them to find a good balance between work and play. This is also the last year girls will spend living in the main School building so it holds a special fondness for girls as they will spend the next three years in dorms situated around campus.