"There are 60 boys in Batten, and you only really need to come to Twenty Acre during a House sport competition, or to Big School during House Music, to see how much being in Batten means to the them. Their sense of community and togetherness is wonderful, and they support each other through thick and thin."
Matt Radley Housemaster, Batten
Batten House is named after the Reverend Joseph Batten, second Principal of the East India Company.
Its badge is that of an arm grasping a battleaxe, the crest of the Battens of Penzance, with House colours of maroon and yellow.
Batten originally formed part of a building erected in 1879 to include three new boarding Houses in one, the other two Houses being Kipling and Melvill (the latter moving to a separate building to become a girl's House in 2001).
Today, the House is very much one of fun and enjoyment, engendering great loyalty between pupils across the age groups as well as encouraging active competition in school events.
In a boarding environment in particular, it is crucial for every pupil to feel happy and supported. To achieve this, Batten is built around certain core values, which we talk about regularly, and emphasise consistently.
These values are integrity, kindness and ambition. When taken together, they relate to creating young adults with good principles, who always try their best, and who always try to do the right thing; even when that might be difficult.
From taking part in the ‘Grim Challenge’ and dragon-boat racing to summer barbeques in the HM’s garden, quiz nights and our infamous pop-up restaurant, the "Batten Bistro", boarders in Batten do a huge amount together.
In creating a supportive environment for all, the Common Room and TV room are located very centrally, and so form the heart of the house.
The boys regularly get together to play table tennis or pool, make toast, watch Champions League football, sit and watch a film, or just mill about on the sofas and chat. It really is a hub of activity.
This creates a genuine sense of community, making the House more of an extended family than ‘just’ a boarding house.
Matt Radley became Housemaster of Batten in September 2014 following a three-year spell as Head of the History department. He studied History at Lincoln College, Oxford, before moving to London to work for Barclays in Canary Wharf as a Director in Structured Finance. He then decided to retrain as a teacher at Cambridge University, and secured a Masters in Education along the way.
Out of hours, he is a passionate Welsh rugby fan and loves his rock and heavy metal music. He plays the guitar and drums, although more with enthusiasm than talent.
Matt is married to Sally, and they have two children, Finn and Josie.
As Matt says, "This job certainly has its challenges at times, but it is also very special... Watching an 18-year-old prepare to leave school, and knowing that you have been there for them and perhaps played a part in their development into a young adult, is about as fulfilling as life gets."
Matt is supported in his work by an experienced team of Tutors at Batten, in addition to a House Matron who helps with the day to day domestic management of the House. The House also has its own representative from the Haileybury Parents' Association. To find out more about the team of Tutors at Batten, life in House, and the HPA representative, please click on the links below: