November and December 2023

The Shelburne girls have continued to blow me away with their amazing talent, kindness and resilience. Despite progress tests and mocks for the oldest girls, all of them have found time to pull together as a House and represent Shelburne at a wide range of events and competitions. I want to take this opportunity to mention a few particularly fantastic individual achievements from this half term. Firstly, a huge congratulations to Zara on being selected to take part in the Australian exchange. After a very rigorous application and interview process, she will be jetting off to Sydney in March! A big well done also to Veryan, who was awarded a Head’s Commendation for her work in English, and to Nelly, who was selected to dine with Sir Anthony Seldon, who gave the Headmistress’ Lecture, and impressed with her eloquence and inquisitiveness. This is just a snapshot of the past few weeks; read on for more of an insight into what all the girls have been getting up to.


On 31 October, Shelburne House Families competed against one-another in the annual Pumpkin Carving Competition. Six fantastic entries were received and displayed in the entrance to Shelburne, giving the House a suitably spooky feel to mark the time of year.  Congratulations to House Warrack, whose minion design stole the heart of our expert judge, Mrs Penfold!

Bonfire Night

Our L4s demonstrated outstanding collaboration and teamwork in preparing Shelburne’s submission for the Inter-House Guy Competition. Each House created a Guy made entirely of cardboard, based around an item or character of their House colour. The Headmistress judged the finished products before they were burnt on the Bonfire at the Fireworks Display. Shelburne’s Thomas the Tank Engine was structurally sound and beautifully decorated! The girls worked brilliantly together and really enjoyed the process.

Before the bonfire and firework event, Shelburne was tasked with running a charity stall to raise money for the School’s selected charities: Mary’s Meals and Wycombe Refuge. Our charity reps arranged a tombola and ‘guess how many sweets in the jar’ game, and lots of girls in the House helped with the running of the stall. We raised a fantastic £464.62! A huge well done to Laeticia and Maya for all their hard work.

House Dance

At the beginning of November, Shelburne U4 represented the House in the annual Inter-House Dance Competition! The girls put a lot of time and hard work into their preparations and placed 2nd overall! Here is Isolda’s account of the process:

“For House Dance we were tasked with the challenge to create a 90-second long dance to any music from the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s and had to include three different styles of dance. We ended choreographing our routine to the song YMCA and putting our main focus in to the energy of the music. Throughout the whole process we absolutely loved the experience and felt it gave us the opportunity to get to know each other even better and have fun. Before the performance, we were quite nervous to perform in front of the whole School, but we knew we had done our best and our aim was to go and have fun. In the end we came 2nd place out of 9 houses and were extremely proud that all our hard work and energy paid off.” Isolda

Sports Report

Sports Captain Emily has written a short summary about Shelburne sport this half term:

“We have had a lot of sporting success this term in House! House Netball funals was a big highlight for all of us, especially as we brought home the win after an incredibly close final against Rubens where the match went to golden goal. As well as winning House Netball, everyone has had a lot of fun participating in weekly House Games sessions ranging from Danish Longball to trampolining. Both the 1st and 2nd house lacrosse team have also been out in full force these last few weeks with lots of successful matches and the 1sts are hoping for another win in funals on Monday as we have reached the semi-finals! We have had lots of fun in the evenings playing with our new house lacrosse goal which was very kindly bought for us (and has definitely played a vital role in our preparations for tomorrow!). Lastly, I want to say a massive congratulations to Annabelle G and Stella for being selected for the ski team, and to Emily W and Lily for their Super Counties lacrosse selection. I’m really looking forward to another great term of Shelburne sport and I hope everyone has a lovely, restful Christmas!” Emily

Music Report

Music Report written by our House Conductor, Selin:

“Music in Shelburne was brimming with creativity and success this half term. Despite U5 and L6 being occupied with academic exams, many girls juggled busy schedules with musical commitments. A particular congratulations must go to, Francesca, Belle, Zara and Emile, who completed ABRSM exams in November. Francesca achieved Grade 8 piano with Distinction, which is an amazing achievement! The revival of the House Ensemble Competition was a major musical event this term, with Shelburne surprisingly being the only House to perform a Christmas tune (“All I want for Christmas is you!”) Despite not placing in the top three, we had an amazing time practising and performing the tune together. It was great to have so many different instruments collaborating to make the piece work- we were the biggest ensemble of all the Houses- and the atmosphere in Chapel during the final performance made all the hours of practice worthwhile. Eve and Annabelle, two of our U5s, have also brought girls from across the school together through the formation of Swiftie Society, a club dedicated to the enjoyment of Taylor Swift’s music. We can’t wait to hear more about how the meetings go!” Selin


As is tradition in Shelburne, the L4 spent an evening dancing to Christmas music, drinking Hot Chocolate and decorating the Christmas Tree. It provided us all with the perfect opportunity to reflect on their first term and to celebrate how much they have learnt and achieved in this time. Every one of our L4 girls has settled in brilliantly and made lifelong friends across the year groups. They have thrown themselves enthusiastically at opportunities open to them and supported each other throughout. They are superb ambassadors for the House and I feel very proud to be their Housemistress! I am excited to see what the future has in store for them.

At the beginning of December, boarders in all Houses were tasked with baking six identical biscuits to be submitted for judging for the Great Wycombe Cookie Off! Our team of five girls had to select their recipe, cookie shape and decoration, with our girls choosing a festive Christmas Tree design for their entry. Executive Chef Paul judged the submissions against four categories: design and uniformity, taste, texture and bake, placing our cookies in second place overall! Chef Paul said, “My eyes were immediately drawn to the Christmas Tree biscuits. They were the ones I would have chosen to buy if they were all lined up in a shop”. A big well done to Annabelle, Eve, Isolda, Annabelle and Angela for their creation, and thank you for the many delicious ‘taste test’ biscuits too!

The final week of term have been filled with festive celebrations. The girls enjoyed dorm feasts and Secret Santa, have made Christmas wreaths, chocolate Christmas trees, gingerbread houses (ish!) and decorated the House with tinsel and lights. We also came together with the other Daws Hill Houses, Cloister and Wendover, for Christmas dinner. Best of luck to Emily, Lily and Frida who are performing as part of Wycombe’s Got Talent at the end of term! On behalf of all the staff in Shelburne, I would like to wish everyone in the Shelburne community a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous year in 2024.