Mr Meakin, Mrs Meakin and Wilf
In Petre House, our aim is to prepare and nurture our boys to develop new life skills and become well-rounded young gentlemen. With foundations rooted in care, trust and respect, we aim to help our students develop in personal and social maturity whilst maintaining a healthy sense of fun, adventure and inquisitiveness. Our house moto, Sans Dieu Rien (Without God, nothing), represents the importance of faith not only in God, but in ourselves and each other. Whilst our boarders are not expected to adhere to a particular faith, we do uphold and foster the distinctive values of our Catholic ethos.
Boarding in Petre House supports individuals in their pursuit of academic excellence. Resident teachers are on hand to guide students through these important years of their development, with set times in which to study, and with all boarders in Years 9 and 10 being allocated single study rooms. The students in Year 10 begin their formal examinations whilst in Petre and our staff strive to help them adjust to this transition through close support and guidance.
Whilst academic success is important to us, we recognise the significance of ensuring the boys are able to manage a positive work-life balance. Academic rigour is complemented by numerous activities for the boys in the evenings and at weekends. We understand the value of leisure time, and so have developed a full and varied programme for the boys which sits alongside their academic studies such as sports tournaments, outdoor pursuits, swimming, cultural activities, hobbies and craft. Inter-house competitions are popular and competitive. The Petre House football team maintains an on-going rivalry against Campion House. Events such as these inspire the boys to succeed and we encourage our young men to organise their own social events which promotes leadership and organisational skills.
Earle Wing, Petre House (Boys, Years 3-8)
Earle Wing is part of Petre House but is a dedicated site for Years 3-8 where boys enjoy an environment tailored to the needs of younger students but still benefit from the support and mentorship of older students. The wing has its own team of staff, experienced in caring for younger boarders, but has leadership and oversight from the same Housemaster.
We understand that being away from home for the first time can be daunting and we work closely with parents before the boys arrive to make sure the transition to becoming a boarder is as smooth as possible. Rooms are shared between three or four to develop a sense of peer support and comradery and to avoid isolation as the boys grow in independence and social integration. Study and academic rigour is still of utmost importance and boarders work under supportive supervision to complete study and to consolidate the learning from the day. Life skills are taught from the outset and our boys are encouraged to make meaningful contributions to our community.
We know that the early years of a boy’s life will have a lasting impact, so we provide the care and resources for our boys to flourish. The imaginations of the boys in Earle Wing provide more fun than any computer ever could and the friendships created will last a lifetime.
“Our boarding team are dedicated to ensuring that every student feels part of the New Hall community. It is the strong sense of family in Petre House that makes the boarders feel so welcome and at home”.
Mr J Meakin, Head of Petre House
Mr Jordan Meakin, Head of Boarding – Petre House & Director of Music
Mr Meakin started his career as an industrial chemist. Following this, he undertook a research degree at the University of Keele, specialising in organ performance and the sacred music of France during the twentieth century, graduating with First Class Honours. After this, Mr Meakin worked at Halifax Minster as Assistant Director of Music, before joining The Duke of York’s Royal Military School as Head of Instrumental Studies, Chapel Organist & Deputy Housemaster (boys, Years 9-13). Mr Meakin joined New Hall School in 2016 and became Housemaster of Petre House in 2018. This year, he also undertakes the role of Director of Music (Acting). Mr Meakin has an interest in maintaining and restoring a collection of vintage vehicles and machinery. He enjoys cuisine, walking and quality family time, with his wife, Philippa, and their Golden Retriever, Wilf, both of whom are central to the successful running of the Boarding House.
Mr Mitchell Bond, Assistant Head of Boarding – Petre House & Teacher of Drama
Mr Bond joined New Hall School in 2017 and is now Assistant Head of Boarding in Petre House, resident in Earle Wing. Mr Bond also teaches Drama at New Hall and enjoys actively participating in busy show weeks, often alongside some of the Petre boys. Originally born and educated in Essex, Mr Bond graduated from the University of Essex with an honours degree in Drama and Theatre Studies. As well as his passion for theatre, Mr Bond represented Team Great Britain as a sailor, competing all over the world from the age of six to sixteen. He is a keen follower of football and as all of the boys know, has a special place in his heart for Arsenal Football Club. Mr Bond enjoys chatting with the boys or participating in some light-hearted fun.
Mr Callum Pipe, Assistant Head of Boarding – Petre House & Head of Golf
Joining in the Michaelmas term of 2017 as Boarding Assistant, Mr Pipe has shown great dedication and commitment to the role providing pastoral care for the boys alongside organising a range of activities for them all to enjoy. Mr Pipe became Assistant Head of Boarding in Petre House and Head of Golf in 2019, resident in the main house. Mr Pipe grew up in Chelmsford and has been an avid golfer for the majority of his life. He has represented England and plays at a professional level, continuing to pursue this aspect of his career. Aside to golf, Mr Pipe enjoys football which is enormously useful when entertaining the boys, organising the Year 9 & 10 tournaments that are enjoyed with great competitive spirit.
Mr Rupert Vann-Alexander, Assistant Head of Boarding – Petre House
Mr Vann-Alexander joined us in 2020 from Ampleforth College where he held the positions of Pastoral Graduate and Assistant Housemaster. He holds a degree in Ethics, Philosophy and Religion from Lancaster University and also teaches Theology at New Hall. Earlier in his career, Mr Vann-Alexander worked as a Personal Trainer and Strength & Conditioning Coach. During his free-time, you will often find him on the rugby pitch or powerlifting platform. He is resident in the Earle Wing area.
Mr Henry Spenser Underhill, Graduate Boarding Assistant
Mr Spenser Underhill has recently graduated from the University of Exeter where he studied Politics and International Relations with proficiency in French. He has a particular interest in voting habits and populism. Having worked previously at a political party, he has decided to pursue a career in education. Mr Spenser Underhill also works in Hawley House, in addition to the Politics and Learning Development Departments. Outside of the classroom his loves are rugby, cricket, cooking and his retriever Bertie – not the order of preference.
Mr Arthur Pickthorn, Graduate Boarding Assistant
In addition to working in Petre House, Mr Pickthorn is also a member of the Modern Foreign Languages Department, having recently completed his degree in Italian and Spanish at the University of Exeter. After leaving school he worked for ten months at Kings School in Auckland, New Zealand as a Gap-Student and PE teacher, before spending a term at Ludgrove School in Berkshire. During his university year abroad, he worked as an English Assistant at Hastings School in Madrid for four months. Mr Pickthorn is hugely passionate about playing, watching and coaching a range of sports, especially cricket, football and tennis, and is a keen runner. He is a lover of musical theatre, Italian films, open-water swimming, as well as being a long-suffering supporter of Ipswich Town Football Club.
Miss Anna Jeffrey, Boarding Tutor and Teacher of Theology
Miss Jeffrey attended New Hall School for 12 years and has been part of the School’s residential community since 2001. As a pupil, she was involved in many parts of school life including hockey, athletics, dance, orchestra and the debating society. She has recently completed an undergraduate degree in Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford with a focus on Liberation and Feminist Theology. Miss Jeffrey has much previous experience in boarding having worked as a boarding assistant at both New Hall School and Woldingham School during her gap year and during the university holidays. As well as helping at Petre House, Miss Jeffrey is a teacher of both Theology and Games at the School. In her free time she enjoys running, yoga, and watching David Attenborough documentaries.
Full BoardingFull Boarding
Full Boarding at New Hall
- Full Boarders live at School throughout the term, usually only going home at Half Term and during school holidays
- During Optional Exeat Weekends, Full Boarders have the choice to stay in their boarding house or to make arrangements to stay with family, friends or guardians
- Full Boarders have unrivalled access to the School’s facilities, seven days a week throughout term time
- Full Boarders are able to participate in weekend trips and activities organised by their Heads of Boarding
- The structure and routine of Full Boarding at New Hall means students settle very quickly to School life and as a result are well-placed to fulfil their potential across curricular and co-curricular endeavours
Weekly BoardingWeekly Boarding
Weekly Boarding at New Hall
- Weekly boarding is ideally suited for those who live locally or more widely within the Eastern region
- Most Weekly Boarders will return to their House on Sunday evening, although for some a Monday morning return is more convenient
- Weekly Boarders are freed from the daily commute, which for some day students can be up to 2 hours or more
- During the time saved, Weekly Boarders can wake-up later in the morning, enjoy co-curricular activities after school, complete all of their homework and still have time for relaxation and downtime with their friends!
- Weekly Boarders may depart for home on a Friday evening or on Saturday following any co-curricular pursuits in which they may be involved, such as dance classes or sports fixtures
- All boarders in Years 11-13 are either Weekly or Full Boarders
Flexi-Boarding at New Hall
- Flexi-boarding is available in Years 3-10 only (Year 10 boarders must board for a minimum of three nights per week)
- Students can choose to board for one, two or three nights per week (a regular weekly commitment is required for one term at a time)
- Flexi-boarding allows students with a longer commute the opportunity to stay at school on the evenings when they have their main co-curricular commitments, which otherwise would have meant a very late return home and difficulties in managing homework deadlines for the following day
- Flexi-boarding can be a perfect introduction to boarding for our younger students
- The majority of those who flexi-board further down the School eventually become weekly boarders as they move through the School