Lesley Henk, Senior Housemistress
Having spent the majority of my life overseas, I returned to England in September 2007 to join Wychwood School as Housemistress. I was warmly welcomed in to the Wychwood family and, in turn, it is my aim to provide a reassuring and responsive figure that the girls can relate to outside of their academic life.
I was born in Sri Lanka, which was my home until I was 18. However, I attended both preparatory and secondary boarding schools in England and had a marvellous time. After working for a few years in London, I joined my family in the Sultanate of Oman where I spent 6 years and met my husband who was in the hotel business. Over the next few years, we lived and worked in Bahrain, London, Manila and Beijing, ending up back in Colombo. During this time, we had two sons, the elder born in London and the younger born in Manila. They both attended boarding school in Dublin and I relied heavily on the excellent pastoral care they received from their housemaster and teachers to see them through the ups and downs that affected their teenage lives.
Jess Tyers, Junior Housemistress
Now into my fourth year as the Junior Housemistress, I still cannot believe how lucky I am to have been given this wonderful opportunity to work at Wychwood. Having started as a GAP student, I worked my way up, by building strong relationships with the pupils through helping with sports and other activities. The experience I gained during this time was instrumental in helping me achieve the role of Housemistress and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been given this chance as working with children is something I have always wanted to do.
Before I came to Wychwood, I was previously a boarder at Uppingham School, before moving on to University. Being a boarder myself enabled me to have first-hand experience of what it is like being away from home and some of the steps the girls may go through during their time at boarding school. This insight really helped me realise how boarding can prepare you for university and make that transition much easier so I aim to prepare the girls as well as possible. As a housemistress I aim to give them a safe and secure environment to grow and develop as individuals, as well as allow them to make mistakes from which they can learn. Being away from home can bedaunting but I hope I can help make it an enjoyable and educational one filled with lots of happy memories.
Since starting at Wychwood, I have come to realise how devoted the school is to pastoral care and how focused the staff are in caring for the girls. It is an honour to be part of such a dedicated team that all work so closely together to provide the best support they can to each individual. Although I am still quite young, it seems to work in my favour as the girls feel more comfortable coming to me in certain situations. I aim to gain their respect as they go forward in life in return for the enormous pleasure I get from working with them.
I have recently taken on a new role as the Marketing and Admissions Assistant, which I am thoroughly enjoying. It has enabled me to get to know more of the girls coming into the school and build a stronger relationship with parents and guardians. This is so important as it allows me to reassure them that the girls are in good hands if they ever come to board at the school. Helping to run more of the events we put on at Wychwood has been an excellent way to get to know more of the students that are day girls and make connections with those who are affiliated with the school. I hope to continue supporting many more girls who chose to come to Wychwood and make their time here as enjoyable as possible.