Housemistress: Olivia Firek

Melvill was founded in 1884 and named after the Revd Henry Melvill who was the last Headmaster of the East India College. The House took his family motto “delectando Pariterque Monendo” which means “by pleasing and instructing in equal measure”. In the summer of 2000, the Melvill boys’ House located in the KBM block closed as Lloyd Bookless retired. The House then opened a year later in its modern reincarnation and admitted 50 enthusiastic young women. The new girls' Melvill House adopted the motto, the crest and the House colours, which are red and black. The House now is a term-time home to 60 girls, the Housemistress and her family and a resident tutor.

The building

Melvill is luxurious, modern, comfortable and beautifully situated. The three-storey building is located around two large ponds and surrounded by mature trees and gardens. There are a number of municipal spaces in the House, including a large common room, two TV rooms, a pool room and two large kitchens. Removes and Middles live in a segmented dorm, Fifth Form pupils share double rooms and the Sixth Form are mostly located in single rooms. All rooms have a sink.

Aims of the House

House spirit and a feeling of camaraderie are essential components of a happy boarding environment. Girls are encouraged to join in House and school events and to broaden their experience academically as well as in sports, music, art and drama.


Olivia Firek became Hm of Melvill in 2013 having joined Haileybury as Head of Biology in September 2011. Her previous teaching positions included working in schools in Portugal and Switzerland, where she was also a Housemistress. Prior to joining Haileybury Olivia taught biology and was Head of Junior Science at Bancroft's School. Olivia is involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme at Haileybury and enjoys walking, cross country running and travel. She is married to Simon, also a teacher of Biology.

House tutors

Elspeth Harvey

Elspeth was educated at the Fort Beaufort High School (Eastern Cape, South Africa) and the University of Cape Town. Before arriving at Haileybury some 20 years ago, she was a librarian in South Africa, Canada, and at Wellington College in the UK. She is married to Duncan Harvey, a maths teacher at Haileybury, and has two grown-up children, Luke and Jessica. She has always been a Sixth Form tutor, and knows how stressful it is making those crucial decisions about courses and universities, both from her own children and from experience. Leisure time interests are gardening, films, reading, antiques, walking on the beach, wildlife and rugby. The last two could possibly be combined!

Ian Sanders

"'With all our Common Rooms, there is always somewhere you can go to chill out and relax with your friends. Melvill is a very homely House, with a very caring Housemistress."

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