Gorton House

Gorton House

Girls’ day and boarding house (Years 9 – 12)

House Parent Profile

Debbie outside Gorton HouseDebbie Hosking joined Blundell’s in 1999, initially living at Petergate as a resident tutor, before being appointed Assistant House Mistress in GH in September 2005 and in 2008 as House Mistress. She teaches English to Years 8 and 9 and PSHCE to GH Year 9s. With its team of ten tutors, two residential staff and a matron, GH offers a range of experience, professional caring and encourages strong family values.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Gorton House has a warm, friendly, happy and inclusive atmosphere and the girls mix well across all year groups. This is helped by a myriad of social activities including pizza evenings, a chocolate fountain evening, games evenings and house barbecues. The house has a very homely feel to it, and this is important in helping those new to the house to settle in.

The house is led by a strong team of monitors who assist in the general running of the house as well as organising the GH teams who compete in the various house competitions. These competitions encourage a strong sense of house spirit and a sense of responsibility. The girls are proud of their house and develop confidence and it gives them a sense of identity. GH recognises and appreciates the talents of each individual, promoting the development of self-esteem and perseverance.

Gorton House has a mixture of twin, four and six bed dormitories which are all bright, airy, modern and comfortable. There are three common rooms with TV (including Sky) and DVD players which are great for relaxing and socialising and four kitchens. There is also a wii room, table football, a pool/snooker table, electronic organ and piano. In the summer the GH garden has picnic tables, table tennis, a volleyball net and several garden other games. There is also a Tuck Shop on Monday to Friday evenings.

House Monitors

Head of House: Olga Gavryliv

Monitors: Millie Attwell, Sparkle Menzies, Trixie Nicholson, Emily Lowe, Katie Martin, Emily Mettam, Charlotte Tait, Matilda Thompson and Aime Trai Ukos

GH News and Events


June 2017: GH Won Sports Day.
Cordie Rees Davies was named Most Improved Swimmer.
Trixie Nicholson finished 4th in the Junior Girls Javelin at the National Athletics Finals.
Millie Attwell was selected to play for England U16 Hockey in three matches against Germany and in Barcelona at the Six Nations Tournament where she scored her first International goal against Spain.

July 2017: Sparkle Menzies Millie Parr Bonnie Price Charlotte Tait all went on the Borneo Trip.
The House raised £2,302 for various charities this year.
The House has a new shirt and a new House Motto, “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.”

Sept 2017: Millie Attwell was selected for England U18 Hockey.
The Year 9 had fun making bread for Harvest Festival and enjoyed the Williams Cup up at Wimbleball.
The Year 13 GH girls came back to play games and share pizza with the Year 9.

Oct 2017: Zoe Dare was selected for Devon Rugby.

Nov 2017: GH Juniors won Public Speaking. Eve Nugent confidently took on the role of Chair. Erica Park spoke about Dunkirk and deservedly was named Best Speaker. Megan Benson asked some excellent questions.

Dec 2017: GH retained the Senior Girls Hockey Cup with both the A and B teams winning under the leadership of Trixie Nicholson, ably assisted by Millie Attwell. The Junior Teams played incredibly well indoors after the astros were frozen. Although the A team lost, the B team battled really well to give GH the Junior Cup as well under the captaincy of Kitty Dart.
GH retained the Tug of War trophy beating NC in both pulls, not needing the deciding third pull. Millie Attwell & George Pitts led the team.

Jan 2018: Winners of the Junior Debating Competition. Eve Nugent, Eloise Holmes and Erica Park did an excellent job proposing, "This house believes that the book is always better than the movie."

Winners of the Junior Debating Competition

Social Events

There are a range of social events for all year groups. All birthdays of full and weekly boarders are celebrated with a small party for the relevant year group. There are usually Hallowe’en parties, pizza making evenings (Year 9), a Christmas Party, a Body Shop Party (Year 12) a Chocolate Fountain Evening, a Hog Roast Evening and a Barbeque, as well as Family Event pizza evenings, quiz evenings and picnic evenings. The Year 9s also make bread to decorate the chapel window for the Harvest Festival Service.

GH Plays

Each year the house puts on a play. This year it was “Puppylovedotcon” directed by Flic Charlesworth. Nearly a third of the House were involved.

GH Music

The Monitor Team is given the responsibility of arranging a programme for the House Music Competition. Every girl in the house will be involved in the House Song (when each house showcases their musical talents) and possibly in the GH Choir, Chamber Choir, Orchestra or various ensembles.

GH won the House Song Trophy with “She walks like Rihanna.” Sparkle Menzies put together an excellent programme which was technically superb and extremely well executed by all the girls involved. The energy and enthusiasm in the House Song was great to see and hear.

GH Sport

There are numerous inter-house sports events held over the year with girls who have moved into Year 13 and are now in Westlake returning to GH to compete for the teams. Competitions are held in hockey, netball, athletics, swimming, as well as the Inter Campus Relay and Tug of War competitions. The biggest inter-house sport competition is the Russell, where every girl runs to gain points for the house and compete for the coveted Cumulative Points Cup.

GH Calendar

Spring Term 2018

Tuesday 16th January
Familia Uno family pizza & quiz evening, 1800-1915

Wednesday 17th January
The Minions family pizza & quiz evening, 1800-1915

Monday 22nd January
King Julian family pizza & quiz evening, 1800-1915

Tuesday 23rd January
# family pizza & quiz evening, 1800-1915

Wednesday 24th January
Hakuna Matata family pizza & quiz evening

Thursday 25th January
1730 Junior Debating

Tuesday 30th January
1730 Senior Debating

Photo Albums


# Family
# Family


King Julien
King Julien

Hakuna Matata
Hakuna Matata

Familia Uno
Familia Uno


GH house motto - Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Chocolate Fountain Evening 2018

Chocolate Fountain Evening 2018 Chocolate Fountain Evening 2018 Chocolate Fountain Evening 2018 Chocolate Fountain Evening 2018 Chocolate Fountain Evening 2018# Chocolate Fountain Evening 2018 Chocolate Fountain Evening 2018 Chocolate Fountain Evening 2018 Chocolate Fountain Evening 2018 Chocolate Fountain Evening 2018

Hallowe'en Pumpkin Carving 2017

Pumpkin carving, years 9 and 10 Pumpkin carving, years 11 and 12

Pumpkins, years 9 and 10

Pumpkins, years 11 and 12

Pumpkin carving - Junior winners Pumpkin carving - Senior winners

House Song 2017

House Song practice

House Song - monitors with cup

Harvest Festival 2017

Bread-making for Harvest Festival
Bread-making for Harvest Festival

Williams Cup 2017

Williams Cup, Yr 9 group photo Williams Cup, archery

Williams Cup, catapault-building Williams Cup, kayaking

Williams Cup, more kayaking Williams Cup, paddle-board

Food and cupcakes

CupcakesCupcakes, Year 9

Cupcakes, Year 10Chocolate fountain

CreamHallowe'en pumpkin

Pancake eveningNoodles

Cumulative House Points winners, 2017

Cumulative House Points winners, 2017

The Russell, 2017

Russell runners

Warming up!

Junior winners, 2017

Junior Russell winners 2017

Senior Winners, 2017

Senior Russell winners

Hockey, Senior Girls

Senior Girls' Hockey

Social and Year 11 Dinner

Year 9 at the SocialYear 11 dinner

House Barbecue

Summer barbecue, Year 9Summer barbecue, Year 10

Summer barbecue, students leaving at the end of this academic year

Public Speaking winners, October 2016

Public Speaking winners, 2016


Art Art

House History

Gorton House was established in 1977 as Blundell’s first girls’ house, with Barry and Anne Wood as Houseparents. Its first location was in Blundell’s Avenue, taking over Thornton House which had been used previously as a boy’s boarding house and as the School Sanatorium. The house was named after the innovative Rev. Neville Gorton, who was Headmaster of Blundell’s from 1934 to 1942, when he was appointed Bishop of Coventry. Gorton House started in 1977 with 16 girls, but by 1981 the number had reached 34, of whom more than half were boarders, and a new location was required.

GH house photo, 1983

GH house photo, 1995

In 1982 the girls and their Houseparents moved into Milestones, which had been the day boys’ house. History was made in 1984 when one of the girls, Juliet Trick, became the first female ‘Head of School’, and two years later another blow was struck when the Gorton House cricketers beat a team led by Charles Noon, with Caroline Robson carrying her bat through the innings. The number of boarders kept rising; from 19 in 1981 to 31 in 1989, and it was decided to add an extension to the house in 1989.

Claire MarshallSiona StockelBarry and Anne Wood retired from Gorton House in 1993 after 16 years of tireless and devoted service. Their last few years had seen Claire Marshall and Nicky Coffin as members of the House: Claire was destined to become a globe-trotting TV presenter and journalist, and Nicky was soon to be the School’s first girl rugby international. The ‘experiment’ of co-education had been so successful at Blundell’s that a second house, North Close, was opened in 1994.

Meanwhile, Andrew and Heather Barlow replaced the Woods as Houseparents of Gorton House. During their first year they had 53 girls and no residential help as there were no flats in the House. Andrew, the School’s Director of Music, soon spotted a young talent in one of the Gorton House girls, Siona Stockel. She was at Blundell’s from 1993 until 1995, from where she went on to study Harp and Voice at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and is now much in demand as a solo performer.

GH house photo, 2003

GH girls won the Blundell’s Public Speaking Trophy in 2003

A further extension was necessary for Gorton House, and when completed was opened by one of its former pupils, Claire Marshall, in September 2003. It contained 10 new bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, and was sufficient to absorb the girls who had been occupying Thornton House. Andrew and Heather Barlow left Gorton House in 2008, having provided a nurturing environment for countless girls during their 15 years as Houseparents. Debbie Hosking is now Houseparent of Gorton House and her cheerful and caring attitude is continuing the tradition of her predecessors.

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