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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 Ella-Mae Smith.

House contact detailsWilberforce House

Housemaster - 01295 724312

Matron - 01295 724359

You can follow Wilberforce House on Twitter: @BloxhamWilbo

Housemistress

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 six 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.

Assistant Housemistress

Harriet Woodward has been a maths teacher at Bloxham since September 2015, having previously worked as an accountant in London. Harriet is also a Sixth Form tutor in house and loves seeing the world and travelling. Her hobbies include skiing, scuba diving, theatre, art and of course walking her dog, Eric. She is very enthusiastic about sports (taking part and watching) and has had a season ticket at Old Trafford to watch Manchester United for most of her life. 

Wilberforce Tutor Team

On joining Bloxham, each student is assigned a tutor. Tutors mentor and guide their tutees, monitoring and supporting their academic, spiritual, social, and physical development. They are in regular touch with a student’s home, to share with parents and guardians how the student is developing, passing on information and sharing ideas about how each individual can be helped to mature and grow.

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.

Samantha Tucker recently joined Bloxham as an English teacher, having studied English and Poetry at Birmingham and Edinburgh Universities. She is a Third to Fifth Form tutor here in Wilberforce. Samantha taught yoga in India and creative writing in prisons and in her spare time, she loves running in the hills, wild camping, swimming in rivers, travelling and writing. Tea, fruit and cake fuel her adventures!

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. 

Fern Britnell joined Bloxham as a chemistry teacher in 2011, having studied biochemistry at university. She was married at Bloxham School chapel two years later and now has two children, Charlie and Lyra, and teaches part time as well as being a Third to Fifth Form tutor in house. Fern enjoys running, cycling and reading, when she can find the time!

Wilberforce