As members of Meynell House, Lisa and her assistants want the girls in the house to enjoy being part of a vibrant community that is made up of a multitude of talents; some are great listeners, others are outstanding runners, academics or musicians – all are welcome and every girl has an important part to play in making Meynell the community it is. Every girl is encouraged to express her own individuality and personality and to support the other girls in the house. All the girls are encouraged to get involved in a wide range of extra-curricular activities and house events in order to develop well-rounded social and life skills. Ultimately the experience should be fun and the girls are always involved in decisions concerning the house, so that there is a genuine life-long attachment to the community.
Meynell House is named after Prebendary Henry Meynell, one of Nathaniel Woodard’s closest associates. Meynell was instrumental in the creation of the Woodard Schools at Denstone and Worksop. He was at King’s from 1897-1902 in the role of Provost (a post equivalent to school council leader) and rapidly raised pupil numbers as well as masterminding an ambitious building plan. His fundraising ability led to the building of the school Chapel, Lady Chapel and cloister corridor. It is hard to overstate Meynell’s impact on King’s in the early years of the 20th century and we are proud to continue his name.
Meynell House was one of the original four school houses, located on the top floor of the main building. It moved into its current home in the Unmack building in 1962. Originally a boys’ house Meynell was chosen to become the first girls’ house of the new fully co-educational school in 1991.
Meynell is located centrally within the King’s College grounds, being part of the same building as science, history and geography. As a modern building it has wide, long corridors but the décor enables it to feel warm and welcoming. It has two common rooms available for the girls to get together with their friends from other houses and chat, eat, watch movies or play on the Wii. There is also a house common room with Sky TV and Xbox and doors which lead out into an outside seating area with a table tennis table and space for summer BBQs. Therefore there are plenty of spaces for the girls to relax and watch TV or DVDs as well as kitchens which can be used for making drinks and snacks, and forays into cake baking are actively encouraged. All boarders in the junior years have a bed in a shared dorm with other girls in their year. Both day girls and boarders have a desk in a shared study downstairs. In the sixth form, most girls have a single study bedroom but there are also a few shared rooms available.
We try to organise a range of activities for the girls to both relax and get to know each other better. A trip to see “Sister Act” at the Bristol Hippodrome with the other girls houses was very successful but an afternoon of paintballing was enjoyed by all and the annual ‘Yule Ball’ is an event organised by the senior girls. There are also opportunities to visit the cinema and to go shopping etc. As well as ‘off-site’ activities, chilling out with pizzas, chocolate and a film is an attractive proposition for weekend evenings, as a way of relaxing after a busy week!
The House supports a number of charities each year. Last year the girls supported Taunton Association for the Homeless and by buying items as Christmas presents. Over the past few years we have raised over £3,000 by organising a “Silent Disco”, an ice cream stand and a “sleep out”, the money being donated to various national and local charities, including the British Heart Foundation, The MS Society, Macmillan Cancer Care and The Alzheimer’s Society”.
Mrs Claire Phillips is our Meynell Housemistress. Claire was a house assistant in Meynell before taking on the role of Housemistress. She lives with her husband and son, and as well as being your main point of contact in the house, Claire also teaches in our busy physics department.
Prior to entering education, Claire worked in the racing industry, attending college and studying a national diploma in thoroughbred horses, before landing a job at Paul Nichols’ yard, where she spent the next seven years working as a groom. She has fond memories looking after and riding Grand National winner Silver Birch, as well as high performer Royal Auclair.
Claire is still able to enjoy her love of horses by helping at our equestrian centre. She also supports our girls’ rugby programme.
Mr Joseph Basquill joins Meynell this year as Deputy Houseparent (non-resident). Joseph has worked as a House Assistant in Woodard since joining King’s in September 2020 and is looking forward to taking on a broader house role this year. After a brief return to Yorkshire following university, Joseph and his partner Olivia have made their way back to the glorious south west and feel very much at home just outside Taunton.
Though his best playing/competing years may well be behind him, Joseph can often be found coaching out on the rugby pitch or athletics track when not teaching chemistry or physics.
At the time of writing, Joseph is plotting to complete a John O’Groats to Land’s End cycle this summer – please check back with him in September!
Assistants and House Matron
Mrs Sara Similien (Co-Director of Sport) – Fifth Form tutor
Mrs Audrey Larouche (MFL) – house tutor
Mrs Karen Paul (Head of Academic Music, Head of Academic Dance)
Mrs Wendy Grant (maths) – house tutor.
Miss Janice Wrigley (Head of Drama) – house tutor
Miss Jodie Atkins (geography) – house tutor.
Mrs Ruth Streeter (maths and Learning Strategies teacher) – house tutor
Mrs Tup Bentley – Tup will be joining Meynell as the residential matron in September. Tup has worked in boarding schools before and is very much looking forward to starting this new challenge and getting to know all the pupils in Menyell. Tup will be supported by the amazing cleaning team of Cath, Michelle and Shirley who work tirelessly to keep Meynell looking clean and tidy.
Lizzie has been a boarder in Meynell since the Third Form. She is a key member of the school’s hockey and netball teams. Lizzie is also an excellent horse rider, representing the school in show jumping and eventing. When not competing Lizzie helps out at the King’s equestrian centre, teaching other pupils to ride and general duties around the yard. Lizzie is very excited to be taking on the role of House Captain and has lots of fun activities planned for the coming year.
Rosie joined as a boarder in Meynell in the Third Form. She is a key member of our netball team in the position of goal shooter. As well as House Vice-Captain, Rosie is also Meynell’s International Prefect. She is an excellent drama student and has been cast in many school performances. Rosie is looking forward to organising international food events in house and helping the girls learn their lines for the upcoming Christmas play.
Jess has been a day girl in Meynell since the Third Form. She is a key member of the girls’ rugby team here at King’s and has scored some fantastic tries last season. She also plays county rugby on Sundays. Jess is looking forward to organising weekend activities and various house events and is always looking to encourage more girls to take part in girls’ rugby.