Girls and boys aged 11 - 13 years who board (also known as Lower School boarders) are accommodated in Highfield House under the care of Mr Ilott, the Housemaster.
A new girls' wing in Highfield was opened in September 2011 and accommodates 24 girls for either full or flexible boarding. Day pupils are offered the chance to "flexi-board" and stay in the boarding House from one to four nights a week. All pupils who board enjoy a full range of evening activities, including supervised study time.
Boarders and flexi-boarders are supervised at all times, when in school, in House and during activities. Highfield has an overarching Housemaster, who is supported by a tutorial team of Haileybury teachers, including a male resident tutor for the boys' wing, and a female resident tutor for the girls' wing.
Lee Ilott arrived at Haileybury in 2010 as a teacher of PE following several years teaching at King Williams College, Isle of Man. He became HM of Highfield in 2012. Lee is also Head of Lower School Games and coaches rugby, after years playing for Northampton. His wife Nikki is a teacher of English in Hemel Hempstead and they have a young son Charlie as well as Molby, their chocolate labrador.
The boarders are woken at 7am by Mr Ilott with a hearty “good morning” although some get up earlier to swim, run or to get to the showers first! Once showered, changed and beds have been made, they are off to breakfast together. For those who play a musical instrument, practice takes place from 7.45am to 8.10am. For the others, it's back to Highfield to collect school books, PE kit and have a final check of their bags. Registration is in the Lower School building at 8.20am with their form tutor.
They spend their day with the rest of Lower School, which involves six lessons in two lesson blocks unless it's a Wednesday, when they have sport in the afternoon. At the end of the school day, there are activities and prep for everyone followed by supper and then a varied activities programme specially for the boarders (see the A-Z list of activities on the link on the left, which lists just some of the events organised through the two years in Lower School). The boys and girls return to Highfield at about 8.15pm and start to prepare for bedtime and make the important phone call home. Mr Ilott or the tutor on duty will make sure their bedrooms are tidy, school uniform is hung up, teeth have been cleaned and lights are out at 9pm.
Highfield is a very caring house and the younger pupils are well looked after by the older Lower School 2 pupils. In particular, the Heads of House takes responsibility for overseeing the younger children and making sure they feel welcome. All activities are inclusive of both year groups, thus enabling friendships to be made throughout the House. We insist upon, and cultivate, the following values: integrity, reliability, courtesy, leadership, patience and diligence. Consideration and care towards one another are of paramount importance, and this is reinforced by the House motto ‘una stamus’ which, translated, means “together we stand”.
At weekends, the pupils usually participate in sporting activities where they train or play matches on a Saturday morning, after which they either go home with their parents, go home with a friend or stay in so they can participate in the activities with the rest of the School. A typical Saturday evening might be a trip to the cinema, bowling or to a restaurant and then on a Sunday there might be a shopping trip, a visit to a theme park or watching local rugby or football. All boarders return on Sunday evening at approximately 7pm to get ready for the week ahead.
Being a Lower School boarder at Haileybury is busy, but exciting, and a hugely valuable experience for later life.