The Shelburne Family Tree

The House Family structure at Wycombe Abbey is a long-standing tradition. Upon joining a Senior House, each pupil is connected to a lineage of girls that can be traced back many many years. The most important of these family connections is the House Mother and House Daughter bond: a duo of pupils in consecutive school years. The House Mother acts as a friend and mentor to their ‘daughter’ in the year below and is there to support them throughout their time in the House. In Shelburne, the ancestry can be traced back on our family tree mural, which is on display in the entrance hall. Each pupil has their name written on a heart, which is hung up on the tree.

This half term we have updated the tree to show the most recent cohort of girls; also creating space for future generations to be added. Our wonderful Head of House, Ella, restructured a few of the families slightly to ensure that every pupil was connected to a family and had both a House Mother and Daughter. We were then able to recreate the branches of the tree to reflect the new families. Fiona, our House Artist, had the fantastic idea of creating flowers from the heart tokens of Shelburne Seniors. She has been busy painting these on the wall and it is looking beautiful!

Several Wycombe Seniors came for a tour of Shelburne earlier this half term as part of the annual Seniors Day event. Pupils from Shelburne enjoyed hearing stories about the House from over fifty years ago, as well as all the mischief the girls used to get up to at that time. One visitor was a previous Housemistress of Shelburne, Mrs Sue Jenkins, who was the original creator of the House Family Tree mural. She was particularly delighted to see the continuation of this tradition.

Earlier this half term, the current Shelburne girls took part in an old-fashioned Sports Day in their House families. They competed in wheelbarrow and sack races among many others. This event was enjoyed by all, and despite some suspected cheating in the egg and spoon race, was undertaken with typical Shelburne House spirit! The new U3 pupils have also been up to visit this half term and have participated in activities such as a Daws Hill water fight on one particularly hot afternoon. Over one thousand water balloons were burst in less than two minutes!

Inter-House competitions this half term have included the L5 Play, House Funals, the Tug of War competition and Sports Day. The girls have had a blast representing Shelburne and supporting one-another in these contests, as is evident in the photos below! We also had a huge number of girls demonstrating their artistic talents at Dove Day and Glastonabbey. Several girls danced, sang, played instruments and acted at these events. Another highlight of Dove Day was Mabel, the Shelburne Dog, winning 2nd place in the ‘waggiest tail’ category. A huge thank you to Kate and Sibella for parading her around the ring.

Alongside the fun and celebrations at the end of each academic year comes the inevitable sadness of saying goodbye to pupils moving on to pastures new. The L6 will be graduating from Shelburne into Clarence for their final year of school, and several pupils in other years are taking up positions at new schools all over the world. Shelburne will be represented in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Singapore as well as at several locations around the UK. We marked the end of their time in Shelburne with a fantastic House Outing to Maidenhead for Go-Karting! Thank you very much to Miss Tay for organising this.

Although I am incredibly sorry to see them leave us, I know they will find happiness and success wherever life leads them. The House staff and I feel incredibly proud of them all and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for everything they have contributed to Shelburne. We hope they reflect fondly on their time here, stay in touch with their Shelburne sisters, and come back to visit us often. There will always have a home here in Shelburne. I wish everyone a wonderful summer break.