A little change.

Moving from South Africa 23 years ago to live in England – was in equal parts exhilarating and scary. I did not realise how strongly tied I was to the culture of my home country, until I moved abroad and faced a culture that was familiar yet different to my own. Transition is difficult but I saw my move as a new adventure and I leaned into my new experience and embraced everything that the United Kingdom had to offer me.

Coming into London and travelling on the tube – changing lines made me very anxious. Over the tannoy you hear ‘all change please, all change,’ when a change in train is needed.  From the outside, moving up from the Junior House into the Senior House might seem a little like this. While a sense of anticipation, even some concern, is perfectly understandable, it is important to remember that it is not “all change” by any means. The grounding of a year in a Junior House is already in the bag. The girls in Junior House have spent a year navigating around our beautiful grounds, engaging in exciting lessons and activities and spending a year getting to know each other in Junior House and their Senior Houses are the next stop in their journey.

We are looking forward to welcoming the girls to House in September. Wycombe’s transitioning from Junior House to Senior House programme is excellent. I would like the incoming LIV’s to embrace the little change as it is not ‘all change.’  A little change, at the right time, with plenty of comforting continuity is what they have to look forward too.  Cressida, Ceci, Elizabeth, Paige, Ayomide, Grace, Youyi, and Amelie have enjoyed a number of activities, suppers, and visits to House. I am looking forward to meeting the new parents before the summer holidays. The important dorm list will be published on the last day of term – there is a buzz in the air when this occurs – lots of cheers, hugs and immediate allocation of beds are decided. Each new Lower 4 boarder will share a dorm with their ‘House Mother’. Once in their senior House their life at School continues to be like a tube journey- there is not one route that fits all, the journey can take various detours with stops along the way, the route and journey will be pretty much unique to each individual – importantly though they will all reach their final destination with the tools to navigate life beyond Wycombe Abbey.

Being a LIV in your Senior House

After seeing our Senior House for the first time, we were apprehensive of the change. However, we settled in quickly in the autumn term that followed. Although we did not know each other very well, being in a house together bonded us more than ever. Initially, connecting with the older year groups seemed daunting, but they were extremely nice and provided valuable insight to school life. Please don’t hesitate to approach the House staff, teachers, mentors, or senior girls for guidance. Moving to your Senior House allows you more freedom to manage your own time and make choices that align with your goals and interests. One of our favourite memories was creating our Guy for Bonfire Night as a tutor group, because we overcame our construction difficulties as a group and learnt each other’s strengths along the way. Additionally, we got 2nd place for the final product. House has brought us closer together, and we know that we will cherish the friendships made forever.

                                                                                         Tiwonge and Emily (UIV)



Although many Wycombe Abbey pupils are regularly involved in weekly tennis lessons throughout the year, the tennis season in Summer is often a time for these pupils to shine and partake in a variety of fixtures which the School organises. Students eagerly await the announcement of draw and team selection sheets to have the opportunity to hone their skills and engage in both friendly and highly competitive matches. Not only does tennis teach valuable life lessons including discipline, sportsmanship and resilience, but the camaraderie which flourishes during training and matches is particularly pleasant; always a joyful atmosphere filled with laughter.
Personally, I have been playing tennis since the age of 5 and am very passionate about it. I am extremely lucky to train and compete at a high level throughout the week and profit from it every day as an athlete and as a person. This term, I have been involved in many fixtures ranging from inter-school to county, regional and national tournaments in doubles and singles, which I have enjoyed very much. I urge everyone to embrace the opportunities we have in tennis at School as much as possible – it is certainly the best sport there is!


Since joining in September, I soon found an interest in Debating, having attended the weekly society. As I furthered my skills with every session, I was lucky to be selected for the ICYD Debating Regional Round, held in the Oxford Union. It was my very first competition and although I was apprehensive, I soon felt much more at ease as I made my first speech. My teammate and I worked very well together and after a rigorous day broke through to the International Finals. We were both thrilled and resolved to work many hours to develop our knowledge, which we did. In June, we travelled to the wonderful Cambridge Union, where we debated four difficult motions, some which we felt pleased about and others where we were slightly disappointed with our performance. Although we unfortunately did not qualify to the Grand Final, we were able to gain a lot from the experience and we certainly intend to return even stronger next year.

                                                                                                Annika Shenoy (UIV)