On arrival at Ampleforth, all pupils join a House, which will become a central focus and their Home during their time at the school.
We have three girls' boarding Houses. Each one is home to up to 70 girls of all ages who live in a friendly and supportive atmosphere which is run by a Housemistress. Every House is named after a saint, and each has their own crest and school colours, nurturing a strong spirit of solidarity and loyalty in the girls.
A resident Assistant Houseparent and a team of House Tutors take part in the pastoral care of the House. In particular, a tutor is responsible for the academic progress of every student in a single House year-group, as well as their pastoral wellbeing. Tutors ensure that every student is correctly placed in subject sets and is studying the subjects that best suit her abilities and interests. They also monitor progress and liaise closely with parents. This watchful help will continue throughout the student's stay at the school and will extend to the choice of university and career.
House Matrons also play an important part in the general pastoral care of students and liaising with the College Infirmary and keeping an eye on rooms and dormitories.
Morning and evening prayers, Mass (whether for the whole House or for groups), seasonal prayers in Lent or at other times, and the annual retreat, are centred on each student's House and House Chapel. Equally, students are welcomed to pray with the Community in the Abbey Church.
Houses are by no means exclusive communities. Sporting competition between the Houses is keen. The school's many activities and shared meals make school-wide communication easy, and friendships between pupils from different Houses naturally develop. Lessons, of course, are organised in year groups, which ensures that pupils have extensive daily contact with those from other Houses.
A number of senior pupils, following suitable training, are invited to take responsibility for the welfare of the school and the Houses as School and House Monitors. They are answerable to the Head for the trust which is extended to them.