Senior Girls' Boarding House - Wilberforce House
Wilberforce House is named after an Oxford Bishop who worked closely with the school’s founder, Philip Egerton, in the 1860s. Whilst it is now a girls house, when it opened 100 years ago it housed only boys. It moved to its current building in the 1960s, and is centrally located and overlooks Jubilee Court.
Wilberforce is a home from home for its 60 female residents who arrive in the Third Form or Lower Sixth. Third Form girls share two dormitory bedrooms and some double rooms. Fourth Formers either share a double room or are in a room of four. Most Fifth Formers have a shared study bedroom and, by Upper Sixth, the girls have single study bedrooms. The room allocations are decided each term, ensuring everyone experiences different types of rooms, and has different roommates each academic year.
Housemistress, Christine McCaffrey, and her Assistant Alison Garcia are supported by a team of tutors, House Captains and Prefects. House tutors are responsible for a vertical tutor group of girls who remain with them throughout their time at Bloxham. Matron, Jennie Wilby, runs the house during the school day. Her locker room is a thoroughfare for everyone and a real hive of activity.
This year, Wilberforce House Captain is Lauren Thomas.
House contact details
Housemaster - 01295 724312
Matron - 01295 724359
You can follow Wilberforce House on Twitter: @BloxhamWilbo
Christine McCaffrey has been a languages teacher at Bloxham since her arrival in 2005, as well as being Housemistress of Wilberforce House for the past five years. Before embarking on a teaching career, Christine worked as a press officer at the French Embassy in London after starting off as a newspaper reporter. She is passionate about languages and travelling and combined both after university with a teaching job in Japan, and then a late gap year travelling around South East Asia and Australia. Christine and her husband, Michael, and two teenage children live at Force Corner, a wing of the Wilberforce house. Christine loves the outdoors, cross country running, cycling, walking and gardening amongst her interests.
Alison Garcia joined Bloxham as an English teacher in September 2014, after completing a Master of Studies in Mordern Languages at the University of Oxford, and joined Wilberforce as a tutor in the same year. She became Assistant Housemistress of Wilberforce in January 2016. Originally from Canada, Alison loves to travel and speaks French and German. She is always adding new languages to her repertoire. She is an avid reader and writer who also enjoys singing in the school's Chapel choir and playing the guitar.
Wilberforce Tutor Team
Sara Swann is the Bloxham School Librarian, a post she has held since October 2003. Sara was appointed to prepare the library and the school for the opening of the Vallance building in 2006. She joined Wilberforce as a tutor in January 2004. When shes not at work Sara enjoys walking, swimming, reading and spending time with friends and family.
Claire Evans teaches Geography and is the Head of Careers. Claire used to be on the UCAS admissions team at Bristol University and enjoys using her knowledge to help Bloxham’s Sixth Formers prepare their university personal statements. She knows Wilberforce well, having spent time as its Assistant Housemistress. She is married with three young boys, with whom she escapes to Cornwall during the holidays for sandcastles, surfing and sea kayaking.
Sian Westbury joined Bloxham in 2012 and is Head of Design & Technology whilst also coaching netball and tennis. Her husband, David, is a director at an engineering company in Milton Keynes and they have two children, Hannah and Josie, who is a pupil at Bloxham. They have a black lab, Tara, who loves cuddles and food. In her spare time Sian likes playing netball, tennis and cricket for her local teams. She also enjoys jewellery making, reading and watching films. Sian has a Welsh connection and is a huge rugby fan!
Rachel Lehmann has been an art teacher at Bloxham for nearly 15 years. She is very excited about her fourth year in Wilberforce House and continuing as a full-time art teacher. Her family, which consists of her husband and their two children, Carys and Edward, enjoy spending quality time together as a family, walking and going to the beach when possible.
Harriet Woodward is a maths teacher and joined Bloxham in 2014. She previously worked as an accountant in London but wanted to go into teaching so she could get stuck back into real mathematics. She loves seeing the world and her hobbies include skiing, scuba diving, theatre and art. She is also very enthusiastic about sports, both taking part and watching, and has had a season ticket at Old Trafford to watch Manchester United for most of her life.
Jocelyn Merris joined Bloxham this year as Head of Mathematics. She has taught in a variety of schools in the UK and also spent sometime teaching in Nepal. In her last post in Lancashire, Jocelyn was a Housemistress for five years, in addition to teaching mathematics and running the CAS component of the IB Diploma. Outside of school, her interests include reading, travelling and cooking meals for friends.