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Durham (Boarding, Girls)

Senior Girls aged 14 to 18 years.

My name is Vivien Baxter and I am the Houseparent for Durham House and the Lodge. I live in the house attached to Durham with my husband, Philip and our two children Joshua and Emily who attend the school. I joined Kingham Hill School in 2018, originally in Greenwich House. I am from New Zealand but previously lived in London working as a postgraduate Physiotherapist before moving to the Cotswolds to join Kingham. As a family we enjoy the outdoors, baking, games and movie nights.

Durham is run by a dedicated staff team including Cheryl Marshall-Sheppard, our house Matron, Tabbitha Wallace, our Pastoral Assistant, and three tutors, Mrs Waters, Mrs Williams and Mrs Seward, who meet with all the girls each week to assist them both academically and pastorally. We are a small house of up to 26 girls and oversee the Lodge which is where our Upper Sixth students live.

We know that it can be a big deal leaving home to come and share life in a boarding house and we believe that a family setting is the best environment for students to grow and thrive. We continually strive to make Durham and the Lodge feel like a home from home, building genuine friendships and relationships that feel like family. It is important that each girl is known and cared for individually. It is also important to us that Durham doesn't feel like an extension of school but is a comfortable place to relax, be nurtured and encouraged to thrive.

We have ‘in house’ nights every Tuesday where we participate in a variety of activities including; Chinese New Year celebrations, games in the sports centre, fondue evenings and Bonfire Night fireworks. The girls contribute to organising these evenings which is a great way to feel part of the house.

In addition to house nights we have group trips out on Saturdays which include laser tag, ice skating and water parks. Understanding that it is healthy to get off site and have a change of scenery, we try to organise trips that the girls request.

The Lodge is a short walk away and there the Upper Sixth girls have independence and their own space but we work hard to include them in the school community. They supervise prep and bedtimes for younger girls mid week and are involved in planning activities and events for all to enjoy. We look forward to welcoming you to Durham and the Lodge.

Houseparent, Vivien Baxter