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Melvill House

Melvill House

"House spirit and team effort are essential elements in Melvill. Every girl gets involved and helps out with duties to ensure that the House runs smoothly - and all feel happy and secure. Our Sixth Form prefects and peer supporters do a brilliant job of caring for the younger girls, and all are encouraged to achieve their very best in all aspects of their school life."

Olivia Firek Housemistress, Melvill

Olivia Firek, HM Melvill, in the House garden


Melvill was founded in 1884 as a boys’ House and named after the Revd Henry Melvill, the last Headmaster of the East India College, becoming a girl's House in its own purpose-designed building in 2001.

The House badge, argent a cross gules (a red cross on a field of silver), and motto ‘delectando pariterque monendo’, which means ‘by pleasing and instructing in equal measure’, were both adopted from the Melvill family. House colours are black and red.

House character

Home to 60 girls, 46 of whom are boarders, Melvill is today the newest boarding house on the campus. Overlooking two large ponds and surrounded by mature trees and gardens, its reflective environment encourages open-minded, artistic thinking.

Melvill is very much a multi-talented House, competing in all House competitions with considerable enthusiasm and dedication in competitions such as junior rounders, tennis and athletics. The House is also home to many talented musicians who sing in the choir, play in the orchestra and perform in the yearly cabaret.

Girls from the Removes up to the Upper Sixth, have had starring roles in a wide variety of drama performances, as well as contributing some excellent pieces of work to Haileybury's art competition.

Whatever the challenge, Melvill girls put in their best effort, and celebrate each other’s achievements with pride.

House facilities

Situated next to its sister House, Colvin, Melvill occupies a secluded and peaceful corner of Haileybury in bright, airy and highly contemporary buildings designed with modern living in mind.

There are a number of shared spaces in the House, including a large Common Room, a TV Room, and two large kitchens. There is a Computer Room equipped with a laser printer, and fast wireless broadband is available throughout the House.

Removes and Middles live in a segmented dorm, Fifth Form pupils share double rooms, and the Sixth Formers are mostly in single rooms. The girls have a particular fondness for their House Matron who, along with her team, keeps the building sparkling clean, well-organised and a comfortable place to live and work.

Meet the Housemistress

Olivia Firek has been HM of Melvill since September 2013, and is married to Simon who, like her, is also a Biology teacher.

She joined Haileybury in September 2011 as Head of Biology, having worked for 12 years in a variety of schools, home and abroad. These included international schools in Portugal and Switzerland, where she developed her passion for skiing and all things outdoors.

Away from running her House and teaching, Olivia enjoys taking part in cross-country running and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme Gold expeditions.

As Olivia says, "We are very much an international and multi-cultural House, with almost half of the girls coming from countries such as Russia, Indonesia, Germany and China. Many of the girls spend their weekends in school, and so feel that Melvill is very much their ‘home from home’. The atmosphere in House is described by the girls as being ‘friendly, fun and sociable’, and everyone in the different year groups enjoys spending time together."

Tutors and HPA representative

Olivia is supported in her work by an experienced team of Tutors at Melvill, 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 Melvill, life in House, and about the House HPA representative, please click on the links below:

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