The Magic of Encouragement

As we approach the end of the Autumn term, it is fair to say that I am one incredibly proud Housemistress. Barry girls have been a bundle of energy. The sound of laughter, camaraderie and joy is forever present throughout the House and, whilst I can’t deny there have been challenging times, I can honestly say that there is a special place in my heart for each and every one of the girls in House.

There have been memorable School and House events this term, none more so than Bonfire Night, Remembrance Day, The Archer Concert, The Jazz Band Concert, The Christmas Carol Services, the memorable Staff Panto and House events, such as family breakfasts, evening activities, Christmas decorations, dorm feast, House party and funals. An incredible amount of hard work went into the planning and coordination of these events by all those involved.

Our Head of House, Evie and Deputy Head of House, Tilly have been ever present this term and carried out their duties with maturity, kindness and dedication. They have set a fine example for the rest of the House to follow. Thank you.

The House staff, Tutors and Domestic staff have been instrumental in looking after your daughters and as you will see from this newsletter some of the engaging activities organised by both House staff and pupils, to not only keep them busy, but of course to allow them to build relationships and House spirit. I am so lucky to have a great team and I cannot thank them enough for all their hard work and dedication to keep going through what has been a long term for all. A special mention is needed for all the cover matrons who stepped in to help with the evening duties. A special shout out to Mrs North.

New Day Boarders

When I joined Wycombe Abbey in September, the first door I entered was that of Barry House; and the first people I met was my Housemistress, Assistant Housemistress, and fellow UIV Barry pupils. They created a warm and welcoming atmosphere, such that I felt neither nervous nor apprehensive, and merely excited for what was to come. We spent the morning navigating the School and its grounds (which left me with a vague idea of where to go and how to get there) before lessons began the day after.

I was immediately impressed by the variety of experiences Wycombe Abbey had to offer. My new peers were very kind and helpful in their guidance, but, it is something you have to discover for yourself. I absorbed myself in the activities which appealed to me, and I cannot remember a moment when I was left with nothing to do.

The workload and length of day, while greater and longer respectively in comparison to my previous School, are definitely manageable. Being a Day Boarder who lives just 5 mins away, I am also able to enjoy multiple School opportunities while maintaining a balance with all my external commitments. I am thriving in Wycombe Abbey, with my only regret being the little time I am able to actually spend in House throughout my busy schedule. I am delighted that at the culmination of my first term here, I was able to enjoy the Christmas activities in Barry – Movie Night, Christmas Lunch and House Party – to the fullest extent in the final weekend of term.

                                                                                                            Annika UIV

Transitioning into a new School is always hard, no matter the situation. However, joining into a School where everyone already has friends, already knows the way around and are already adjusted is even harder. For me, I struggled with the first few days, I didn’t know where to go and I ended up being late to most of my lessons. But everyone tried to help me out, Grace walked down to LAC with me when I had my first singing lesson so I wouldn’t get lost. I also came in and immediately had friends because they came from my previous School. I got to know the girls in my House quite well because they were in my lessons, and we had form time together so after the first couple of weeks I already felt like a Barry Girl                                                                                                                                         Macy UIV

Transitioning from Junior House to my Senior House

Overall, I would use the words thrilling and exhilarating to describe my first term in Barry House. In comparison to Junior House, the variety of activities in my Senior House were a pleasant surprise, keeping me busy no matter if it was in the calm evenings or the lively weekends. These, along with Barry’s homely community, helped me greatly when it came to getting to know the older girls in House. Even though many of them were originally barely more than a stranger to me, I got to find out so much about every one of them in the small span of time here so far. 

Then came the highlight of my term— in preparation for the 2022 Bonfire night, Barry LIVs set out to make an impressive Guy that placed us ahead of all. The original idea of the Guy was solidified from the start, with us sketching out what we were envisioning it to look like. From then on, there came the creation of the nest and birds, assembly, and the long-awaited final touches. Our effort put into those 3 blue Angry-Birds definitely paid off, as nothing was more satisfying than watching the 1st place rosette being placed on our Guy. I got to learn a lot about my fellow peers in the process and it was an enriching experience that I reminisce over often.

                                                                                                           Natalie LIV

Building House Spirit

Barry has accomplished a lot over the past term, and this has unified the House. Puzzles, the new Wii, Bake Off, card games and reading week are just a few of the games and occasions that have made it possible for everyone to connect as a home. The Wii has sparked friendly competition and been a fantastic reward that, hopefully, will bring many people together in the future. As a way to unwind after prep and school, we have enjoyed playing Wii Sports in the evenings. Evenings have become a great deal calmer as a result of the in-House jigsaw puzzles. No matter how difficult the puzzle or how long it takes, they’re excellent chances to unwind and think back on the day, whether alone or in company. Reading week offered us a great opportunity to take a break from our work and study routines. We were really encouraged by the reading competition to venture outside of our comfort zones. For instance, Eva typically reads fiction and thrillers, but she decided to give non-fiction titles like “Making Your Case: The Art of Persuasion” a try. In contrast to the murder mysteries she typically enjoys, Emily read “Atomic Habits” to help her organise her time, and Tiwonge swapped out fantasy books for a philosophical work called “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”  We heard that ‘readers are leaders.’

 We are looking forward to downtime evenings next term.

                                                                                     Eva, Tiwonge and Emily UIV

Being charitable is vital for our community as those in need can very easily be overlooked, which is why it is so important that we make the conscious choice to ensure that they do not go unnoticed and we help them in any way we can.

One way Barry was able to aid those in need was through our stall on bonfire night. We sold, clothes, handmade postcards, raffle tickets and guess how many jellybeans in a jar. Through this, we were able to raise £1425.

In November we asked students in Barry to bring in canned meat items to support one of our elected charities, One Can Trust, a local charity that donates food to those in need in High Wycombe. This year, we had a particularly challenging task as the demand for meals doubled. Despite this, the House did exceptionally well as we ended up collecting more than 3 crates of canned food. Next term we have few ideas to raise further money for our designated charities.

                                                                                                           Abigail LVI

My First Christmas

My first Christmas in Barry was magical. As an LVI, I had the opportunity to be involved in planning of all the events- House decorating, Christmas party, quiz and games. It was intensely electrifying, and much fun to carry out as a team. The party made us bond really well and I particularly enjoyed the dance we did. Working from behind the scenes made this experience more special as well – however hanging the candy canes at 2am was a bit too cold for my hands. 

                                                                                                           Wei LVI

A word from our new AHM

It is hard to believe that I have already completed my first term in Barry House. The time has flown by yet looking back it is difficult to see how we managed to fit in everything that we have done in the past 3 months. Despite this being my fifth year at Wycombe Abbey, I never realised just how much of School life I was missing out on until I moved into the boarding House. I have loved every minute of the Autumn term in House: from helping my LIV tutees with decorating the Christmas Tree, to the weekly “Toastie Thursdays,” to “Strictly Saturdays,” to the many competition victories we have secured. The girls have been an absolute delight and I do not think there has been duty yet where they have not had me in stitches of laughter with their great senses of humour. I am very proud to call myself a Barry girl.

                                                                                                           Miss Clarke AHM

Thoughts from our Head of House

 Primarily a shy person, with not much previous experience at roles of leadership, having not been the age to partake in them, I was quite nervous being told I was going to be Barry’s Head of House. My initial lack of confidence was not particularly helpful in making up for my lack of experience. In addition, this was my first term of being a Boarder meaning I didn’t feel fully prepared when entering into the year. To combat this, the LVI and I came up with some solutions; including weekly hot chocolates which I hope helped them as well as I feel settled in (it was great to have some day girls there too) and our introduction of ‘Beddie Bies’ where a couple of LVI go around and help with lights out on a Monday and Thursday, having chats with each dorm as we go round which I think was great in making our Year become much more approachable which helped build the House spirit all the more. As well as finding solutions, I’ve recognised that my mixed experiences of Wycombe life, including boarding and being a day pupil could help me become a more relatable role model to the younger girls and help me make life in Barry the best for everyone in the House and not just the majority. The House spirit and camaraderie is excellent in House. Once I had settled into the role a bit more, we began to be able to think about the input of things we would like to see in the House. One example is the weekly bake off against Butler that Liza (Butler’s HoH) and I thought of starting, in which the parallel dorms from each House compete, having chosen what they want to bake and then are judged by the staff on duty. This has been great fun and I was surprised to see how much people stepped up the challenge, baking chocolate lava cakes and tiramasu rather than the vanilla cupcakes and cookies I had expected! I think the thing I am most grateful for is being able to witness first hand such a successful term – from winning House dance and the Guy competition to raising the most money at the bonfire stalls (thank you to everyone who bought tickets for the Fortnum and Mason raffle!) it has been the most success I think Barry has seen for a very long time! I have been told that the last time we won House dance was 27 years ago! Barry has not only excelled in the bigger competitions but in smaller areas too, such as coming both first and second in Danish longball in House games, not only playing well but generating both much House spirit and few kit marks! As the term has ended, some of the more popular traditions have come around, and we have had the joy of co-ordinating House decorations and House Party. I hope we managed to instil a good Christmas spirit through all our decorations – in particular, Abigail’s and Wei’s amazing artwork  – and party games at the party on the last Saturday of term. The costumes get better and better every year, and it certainly took us a while to allocate best dressed for each year group. I know that through Ms Hurribunce’s innovative ideas and the LVIs help we have lots in store for the next couple of terms and I’m very excited for more of the plans we have to follow through.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Barry Pupils, Staff, Parents and Families a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2023.

                                                                                                           Evie E LVI