Boarding Houses  |  Bronte  |  Symes  |  Keller  |  6th Form

Bronte: An ideal introduction to boarding

Bronte provides an especially warm and comforting environment for our U3 (Year 7). Situated on the first floor of the main School, Bronte has light and spacious dormitories for between four and seven girls. The girls change dormitories every half-term to extend their close friendship groups. There is a café-style kitchen for snacking within a games room with facilities that include pool and table tennis. In addition, there is a large comfortable common room with sofas where the girls can watch TV or a DVD, chat, read or just chill out. Prep. time is supervised by boarding staff in either the Library or the Computer Suite.

Bronte is the perfect springboard for every girl's journey through St Catherine's. It offers a structured and highly supportive introduction to living away from home that encourages the girls to explore their own talents and capabilities through a carefully planned programme of evening and weekend activities. Living so closely with each other teaches the girls self-reliance, mutual respect and compromise, leading to deep friendships that can last a lifetime.

Meet the Housemistress: Mrs Helen Hobourn

Hello! Bonjour! Sawadee-ka! Ki-ora!

The Bronte Boarding House Mistress is Mrs. Helen Hobourn, who looks after St. Catherine's youngest boarders in U3 and L4.  During term time, she lives in a flat within the boarding house but her home is in Lyon, France.  This makes her a committed Francophile, always happy to speak French with the girls..and her colleagues too!  Mrs. Hobourn lives with her younger daughter Annabelle, a St. Catherine's pupil, and Lavender, the bilingual boarding bunny!  She also has an older daughter, Amy, who is at university studying to become a MFL teacher.  Helen likes to travel, to learn about the cultures of the places she visits with her daughters and they all enjoy making music! Mrs Hobourn sees herself as very fortunate to have lived in four different countries.  She therefore understands the challenges of living away from home and the benefits: increasing cultural awareness and making new friends.  When at home, Mrs Hobourn keeps herself busy with reading, writing and a variety of handicrafts.  She is usually willing to have a go at creating just about anything!

Professionally, Mrs Hobourn studied Education at Whitelands College, which is now part of Roehampton.  She has taught in the UK, France and Thailand and teaches music in the Prep School here at St. Catherine's.  A familiar face for the Prep School girls when they cross the road and join the boarding community and a welcoming smile for the new-comers too!