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

Keller: work hard, play hard

Keller is home to the Fifth Form girls and occupies the original boarding site in the main school building of St Catherine’s.

Located mostly on the second floor of the main building, Keller accommodates boarders in mixed-sized study bedrooms of up to four.  Each dorm is different but they are all bright and airy, several having dual aspect windows. The common room has Freeview, Apple TV, DVD player and a kitchen. Prep. is done in the girls’ own rooms in these IGCSE/GCSE years. Girls enjoy the atmosphere in Keller; many of the rooms have eaves-style ceilings, giving them a cosy home-from-home environment.

Keller girls know how to work hard and still have fun. They are now mature enough to do their prep. in their own dorms with less supervision. This is an excellent opportunity for them to develop their time-management skills and to be responsible for their own learning. Mrs Cook, Keller's Housemistress, and the tutor team will provide support where necessary, but the girls are increasingly independent.

The common room is a colourful, bright and lively space where the girls relax during their down time before or after prep. Aerobics, yoga club and the fitness suite are favourite activities, offering the chance to burn off any energy after prep. time. Watching TV and baking are also popular activities for relaxing. Evening roll call is held in the common room, giving a daily opportunity for the Keller community to meet.

Weekends in Keller offer a more relaxed atmosphere. As well as the wide variety of exciting trips provided for all boarders at St Catherine's, Fifth Formers also enjoy the privilege of unsupervised visits to Guildford in groups, for shopping or the cinema, with parental permission. Having extended access to the school facilities also allows the girls to catch up with any academic work, practise their instruments or relax after fixtures.

Meet the Housemistress: Mrs Isabel Cook

Mrs Cook lives at the top of the boarding house in the heart of Keller, with her daughter Maddie who is in Lower 4, and with Floppy the rabbit.  Her other daughter, Antonia, is in Lower 5 and is a boarder in Keller.  Floppy makes frequent visits to the corridors of Keller where he enjoys bouncing and of course receiving attention from the girls.

Mrs Cook graduated from the University of Southampton with a BA (Hons) degree in History before pursuing a PGCE at the University of Bath.  She followed her love of History by becoming a history teacher.  She has had a varied career working across Independent and Inner City Schools as a classroom practitioner as well as delivering training to teachers and working within Senior Management.  Most recently, she was Head of History in an independent girls’ school in Hampshire.  It was here that she completed a Masters of Education from the University of Buckingham.  The latter, fired up a passion for pastoral care which led to her position as Boarding Housemistress.  

Holding dual nationality, British / French, Mrs Cook is a fluent French speaker who regularly returns to France.  In her free time, she also enjoys cycling, skiing, reading, walking and travelling abroad.  She also loves spending time with her extended family.