Rubens House Blog Spring Second Half

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” —Charles Dickens. Summer in the light and winter in the shade is the perfect way to sum up what has been another beautiful end to the Spring term in Rubens. The girls came back from half term break recharged and reset, ready for the kaleidoscope of opportunities that School has to offer. Ruben’s first task was to hold a charity bake sale on the first Monday back. This was organised by our charity officers, Aoife and Bella in the Lower Sixth. They did a fantastic job and raised £382 for school charity! Well done girls!

This term Rubens House led a beautiful Chapel service on the theme of Integrity. The service was written by Phoebe (LVI) who received huge amounts of praise from staff and girls alike for the contents and structure of her service. A small excerpt below:
“The story of William Tyndale, a Bible translator who lived during the time of Henry VIII. Building on Martin Luther’s ideas, he is best known for his translation of the Bible into English, finishing his translation in 1525 in Germany. At the time, a Church law which had been in effect since 1408, forbade the translation of the Bible without specific permission from a Church leader, which was not granted to Tyndale. Therefore, Tyndale’s translation was condemned by Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas More amongst others on its publication.

After Henry VIII’s break from Rome, however, the king was keen to gain the loyalty of Tyndale, and ordered his advisor, Thomas Cromwell, to offer him a safe passage home from the Continent. This, however, proved unfruitful, and Tyndale declared himself unwilling to become a cog in Henry’s propaganda machine. Moreover, Tyndale went on to condemn Henry’s desire to annul his marriage from Catherine of Aragon and criticised the Catholic Church for their manipulation of naïve kings including Henry. In response, the King sent out an order for Tyndale’s arrest. Tyndale was seized in Antwerp in 1535 and was eventually executed in 1536 under charges of Lutheran heresy.
While this story seems typical of Tudor religious upheaval, it provides an excellent example of loyalty to personal morals. Tyndale, understanding the political and religious climate in Europe at the time, was aware of the punishment for such acts of heresy, as it was then perceived. And yet, to the shock of many, he continued to advocate for the rights of the individual to understand the words of the Bible, and other Lutheran ideas. Whether or not you agree with Tyndale’s religious ideas, his integrity is still admirable, especially at a time of such danger for those who opposed the king.
It is also comforting to know that Tyndale’s sacrifice was not entirely in vain. His translation of the New Testament was used as the basis for the King James Bible, published in 1611, which continues to be read to this day, and was the standardised edition of the Bible for three centuries.
Integrity is a fundamental value that shapes the character and actions of individuals in their daily lives. It is the adherence to moral and ethical principles, even when no one is watching. It serves as a compass that guides us through life’s complexities, helping us make decisions that align with our values and beliefs. Integrity builds trust, respect, and credibility, which are essential for healthy relationships, both within school and without. It also fosters a sense of accountability and responsibility, encouraging us to take ownership of our actions and their consequences. In today’s world, where honesty and integrity are often challenged, it is crucial to uphold these values to maintain personal integrity and contribute to a more ethical society.”

Phoebe’s writing was supported by Rubens girls who all helped read this wonderful service to the School.

Rubens House Dinner was held on Monday 4th March. This is our annual opportunity to turn Big School into a bright shade of pink bringing together all of the families who make our House so special. The food was amazing and the girls did a great job entertaining the guests. Special thanks to Maddie (Deputy Head of House) and Avalon (Head of House) for organising the night so well and hosting the delightfully pink quiz! The parents were then treated to a rendition of Moana’s ‘How far I’ll go’. Phone lights were waved to the singing and more than one parent wiped away a little tear from their eye. It was a wonderful evening so many thanks to all the parents and staff that supported the event.

The end of this term also saw the performances of the school musical, Legally Blonde. Many Rubens girls were involved in this, but to our great pride, Maddie in the LVI, Deputy Head of House, played the lead role of Elle Woods. A pitch perfect performance which left the audience wanting more – Maddie was simply the best and left the audience saying “Oh my God, Oh my God you guys!”. Huge congratulations also must go to Ambika (LVI); Bea (UIV); Miranda (UIV); Angela (UIV); Isabelle (UV); Mia (UIV).

And now we move on to the hotly anticipated Upper Five Takeover!

The Rubens Upper Five reflect on their time in Rubens; their final Spring term and the things they have learnt along the way:
Alex: Whilst Upper Fifth has undeniably a stressful year, the amazing community, and friendships that I have strengthened this year, within House and my year group has made it so much easier, and undeniably, my favourite year yet. Throughout this year, amid the increasing workload, and on-growing pressure with my upcoming GCSEs, I have had to learn the importance of having balance. I have loved the on-growing independence, and believe that I have significantly matured, not only as a student, but as a person. Whilst I am not currently in a mixed aged dorm, due to the close bonds throughout Rubens, I have remained extremely close with girls across all year groups within the House. I have learnt the importance of being a good role model to those around me, as well as understanding the value of being a positive, reliable figure that others can turn to. This year, I have developed my organisational skills, and feel that the skills I have acquired will significantly help me when I begin Sixth Form. Although Sixth Form may seem daunting, through being an Upper Fifth in Rubens, I couldn’t feel more ready to take it on!

Serena: As the end of my Upper Five year at Wycombe approaches, I’d like to reflect on the lessons I’ve learnt and the many memories I’ve made thus far. I vividly remember my first day in Rubens as a Lower Four pupil. I was very nervous, as I hadn’t interacted much with any older girls during Upper Three and the pandemic. However, as it turned out, my house mother and grandmother were the very people who were so key in helping me settle back into school life. As the years went on, I like to think that I also helped a few younger girls adjust to Rubens life in the same way as my house family did for me. Furthermore, this year in particular has taught me to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone. I’ve challenged myself in many ways and have found that I’ve been rewarded in doing so. This has bettered me as a person and I am eager to continue this growth as I enter the Sixth Form.

Maria: I remember being a small L4 and admiring all the older girls in Rubens and thinking that they were all so grown up and so much older than me. It’s crazy to think that now I will be one of those older girls. My time in Rubens has flown by and it is crazy and nostalgic to think that I will soon be starting my last year of Rubens. Despite never being able to fully experience mixed dorms, as I used to be a day boarder girl, I got to stay over on many occasions. This allowed me to get to know many girls within the boarding House and build such special connections with them. Next year when all the L6 move into individual dorms I am excited to carry on building these special bonds with the girls in House. Rubens has taught me so many different skills and allowed me to realize how special and individual every single member of our community is and I will forever be grateful. It has been an extremely special time and I’ll never forget the memories I have made within the boarding house. I will forever feel like a Rubens girl at heart.