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1654 RS   QM 042
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What it’s like to live in Red House (Years I and II)

The cosy farmhouse’s dorms are each named after a Yorkshire Dale, and home to between four and six girls. There is also a farmhouse kitchen, lounge, Skype room, junior cloakroom block, known as the JC where kit, wellies and other outdoor items are stored. A locker is provided for storage of School books. There is a private playground and den adjacent to the house.

QM’s Junior Boarding House, Red House, is a dynamic and evolving place to live. Within the dedicated junior boarding environment, girls are given a strong grounding before they move on to their middle and senior years at QM with mentoring opportunities for Year II and support for Year I girls.

For the large majority of girls joining us in Year I, it is their first time ever boarding and living away from home. We work diligently to make sure all of the girls feel safe and happy and work together to create a friendly environment. This in turn helps nurture both their academic development and social interactions. Our unique location both on campus and within a large and comfy old farmhouse helps to define and develop the confidence and personality of the girls, both as individuals and members of the School community, as they learn to live and work together.

We asked our Red House Housemistress about her favourite part of life in Years I and II. Here’s what she had to say…

I love interacting with the girls! We have a very full and varied roster of weekend activities to keep them active and engaged, and I love seeing the girls experience so many new things alongside their new friends. Throughout the two years, we really get to watch them grow in front of our eyes – both physically and in developing confidence. This confidence leads to the subsequent formation of their different characters and personalities, which are always fun to see blossom. I also love watching the diversity of the girls and how this plays out in their social interactions. They all have fun stories to share and Red House is the perfect first stop in their journey at QM.

What should parents know about Red House?

We recognise that Year I is a big transition for girls and parents and we work diligently to make the transition smooth. We want the girls in both Years I and II to feel as much at home as possible, and this means firstly creating a safe environment. All of our Red House staff have a holistic approach to the welfare of each girl, and we work closely across the School with various departments and of course with parents to ensure every girl is happy and healthy. We all have close working relationships with all staff – tutors, teachers, medical centre – to ensure we have a full understanding of each girl’s needs. We all have substantial experience in pastoral care roles and we encourage the girls in life skills, good manners, healthy eating and general wellbeing.

What makes Red House unique from others on campus?

Red House is a very special place for girls in Years I and II; housed in an old farmstead, the home faces out over rural grounds which supply home grown flowers and vegetables for the girls. The farm-style kitchen has its own Aga, the focal point of the house where the girls meet, chat and share news in a homely atmosphere. While it has a rural feel, the house is actually in the middle of the School grounds, providing easy and quick access to all of the main School buildings. During the year prior to girls’ arrival at Red House, all potential new girls are encouraged to visit QM in order to establish a comfortable transition into School life. This usually involves a ‘Taster Day,’ where visiting girls are paired with existing Year I girls to attend classes and enrichment activities during the day before attending a sleepover in Red House.