"Highfield is Lower School's own boarding House, housing 48 pupils, half boys, half girls. For children in this age group - often away from home for the very first time - we provide a supportive and secure environment designed to help them get the best out of these key formative years at Haileybury."
Lee Ilott Housemaster, Highfield
A recent addition to Haileybury's House system, Highfield embraces it with enthusiasm, preparing pupils for life in senior school at Removes (Year 9).
Highfield has its own House motto, Una Stamus (together we stand) and its own House colours, red and yellow, encouraging House loyalty at a very early age.
Highfield is home to Haileybury's Lower School pupils (Years 7 and 8), most of whom are boarders or flexi-boarders. This means that our focus is on strong pastoral care, offering a safe, secure environment for children who are often away from home perhaps for the first time.
Sensitivity, compassion and personal support are key to each pupil's wellbeing and first year pupils are made to feel particularly welcome by pupils in their second year of Lower School. Activities are designed to embrace both year groups, so friendships are forged throughout the House.
It is the focus of all at Highfield that every pupil enjoys their time here. The House is full of laughter, energy and fun, with the girls often beating the boys at pool! We promote manners, respect and inclusion and encourage our boys and girls to try everything at least once before they make a judgement. One of our main aims is to create happy memories.
With the capability of housing 48 boarders (24 boys and 24 girls), Highfield has been significantly modernised and extended over the last 10 years and now comprises two wings, one for boys and a newer wing for girls. Although the wings are separate, the dividing door is often kept open to encourage social mixing in either of the lounges.
There are three dormitories for both sides, with eight beds in each one. All pupils who board enjoy a full range of evening activities, including study time every week night.
Depending on the day of the week, there may be board games laid on, giant Jenga, jigsaws, or perhaps a film. Pupils can also take part in quizzes, or head for the swimming pool on particular evenings. This period is fully supervised, and tends to be a time of highly enjoyable camaraderie.
Other evening activities have also included/do include, dodgeball, a certified ‘junior’ first aid course, archery and football or rugby on our second, recently-constructed astroturf.
Lee Ilott became HM of Highfield, in 2012. He is married to Nikki, an English teacher, and they have two children Charlie and Lotti, as well as a Chocolate Labrador called Molby.
Lee studied at De Montfort University Bedford for a BEd in Physical Education with English. Before this, he spent four years as a landscape gardener and played rugby for Northampton Saints from 1993–1997. Following several years at King William’s College, Isle of Man, Lee arrived at Haileybury in 2010 to teach PE; today he also coaches rugby to the XV.
As Lee says, "It is wonderful to hear the laughter of the boarders and see the genuine joy on their faces when they are relaxing and playing together during their downtime. I love how they interact with my family — they are so kind, asking after them and playing with them whenever they get the chance."
Lee is supported in his work by an experienced team of Tutors at Highfield. The House also has its own representative from the Haileybury Parents' Association. To find out more about the team of Tutors at Highfield, life in House, and about the House HPA representative, please click on the links below: