"Highfield is Lower School's own Boarding House, providing a home from home for 48 girls and boys. 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."
Gabby Alway, Highfield's Houseparent
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 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. 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 one 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 might be board games, giant Jenga, jigsaws, quizzes or films. This period is fully supervised, and tends to be a time of highly enjoyable camaraderie.
Other typical evening activities include dodgeball, a certified ‘junior’ first aid course, 'backwoods cooking', vegetable growing, archery, football and rugby.
Gabby Alway joined Haileybury in September 2017. She was previously a Housemistress at Bradfield College and has also taught at Stowe School. As well as being a Houseparent, Gabby also teaches Art at Haileybury. She is married to Victor, who is a Marketing Executive for TimeInc. cycling magazines (Gabby and Victor are pictured). Gabby has been a hockey coach to both boys and girls throughout her career. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, skiing, cooking, keeping fit and portrait painting.
She says: “As the Houseparent in Highfield, I see it as my role to engage fully with the pupils lives and ensure that they always have high aspirations for themselves. Helping and encouraging them to find their own path whilst in the Lower School, will provide them with an excellent springboard into their senior school careers. Highfield is a warm and happy place, where lifelong friendships are built and a sense of family will always be at the heart of the house.”
Gabby is supported in her work by an experienced team of Tutors. There is also a Matron, Mrs Hayley Rasen, who helps with the day to day domestic management of the House. Highfield also has its own representative from the Haileybury Parents' Association. To find out more, please click on the links below: