The Houses

Wycombe Abbey School Changzhou has twelve senior Houses, six for boys and six for girls. Each House has a Housemaster or Housemistress and Tutors. All Housemasters, Housemistresses and Tutors are full time Academic teaching staff. Together, they closely monitor pupils' welfare as well as their academic progress and social development. Senior pupils also offer positive support for the younger ones, whether by helping them to find their way around, playing games with them or assisting them with 'Prep'.

Each House offers an exciting array of activities - ranging from pure fun to the more serious inter-House competitions, which covers almost every facet of School life academic, sport, music and drama. This range is deliberate to encourage every pupil to feel they have something worthwhile to contribute, and also to help expand each pupil's horizons so that they truly gain an all-round education.

With their own colours, flag, motto and emblem, House members develop a strong sense of loyalty to their House and pride in its achievements, which cultivates important qualities such as a sense of belonging, team work and self-confidence.

Sarah Faragher Housemistress


I am excited and honored to be housemistress of Austen at WAS Changzhou. I am looking forward to knowing each one of you.

I completed my Bachelor of Drama degree at the University of Wolverhampton. I furthered my education at Central School of Speech and Drama completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Drama and Education. More recently, I have completed a Masters in Drama and Education with Middlesex university in conjunction with Trestle Theatre Company. This was an amazing opportunity to develop both my practical and theoretical understanding of Drama. What inspires me to teach Drama is the freedom you gain when performing. Similarly, the skills you gain within Drama are transferable to all subjects. I think the 4 Cs are paramount to life after you leave WASCZ. These being, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and Confidence.

Having had experience of teaching in the UK, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Shanghai I hope that I can bring my experience to WASCZ and share the journey with you all. I will strive to ensure that every young lady in Austen house feels motivated and confident to achieve their dreams. I hope that every young woman in Austen house feels a sense of belonging and freedom to take risks.

Robin HoughtonHousemaster


I am Robin Houghton, the Housemaster for Blake House and a GCSE English teacher. Arriving in China late 2021, I finally achieved an ambition to teach overseas and specifically the Far East. Travelling, visiting new places, experiencing diverse cultures and exploring histories has been an important part of my life for over twenty years both in the UK and abroad. As a keen amateur photographer, I enjoy the challenges of trying to record my travels and sharing my photographs.

Although my career has been quite varied, there has always been a responsibility for teaching and training in every role. I joined the UK police service at the age of 20 years old, served for 12 years in uniform, criminal investigations and headquarters, became a trainer, coach and mentor for new recruits before leaving to pursue a path in private industry. I have worked in logistics, financial account management and managing security services, where, in each role, I developed training packages for new starters and existing staff.

Following a highly succesful national company-wide project, I became Head of Training in Scotland for my company on a year long basis before a mobile national training role taking me all over the British Isles.

My ethos is that learning is lifelong. Within the last ten years, I gained three degrees : subject specialisms for mathematics, English language and educational management. I continue to study and research, having enroled for further university education to broaden and expand my knowledge.

I bring a wealth of management experience across numerous sectors, a firm but fair approach to boarding duties, where the pupil is the most important priority. Time spent guiding young minds, supporting and encouraging academic and physical activities, supporting them when they are down and enthusing with their successes is the cornerstone of my pastoral life. Providing a friendly atmosphere, acknowledging the good children enjoy doing, ensuring boundaries, expectations and limits are re-inforced, assisting them to be the best they can be, is not just crucial for their development but highly rewarding for everyone.

Mairangi Tamati Housemistress


My name is Mairangi Tamati, and it is with great pleasure that I introduce myself to you as Housemistress of Cavell. All the young ladies in this house are beginning an exciting journey here at WASCZ, and it is an honour to be able to support and encourage them on this journey towards fulfilling their goals and ambitions for the future.

Our house is named after the great Edith Louisa Cavell who was a heartfelt and skillful nurse, celebrated for saving the lives of thousands of soldiers from both sides of World War 1. Edith was strong, aspiring and full courage, these are qualities I would like to inspire our Cavell girls to develop through their wide selection of activities available here.

I am born, raised, and educated in the beautiful country of New Zealand. I was surrounded by history and had access to many of the New Zealand greatest treasures. I was able to enjoy many outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, swimming, netball, cliff jumping, river trekking and nature exploration. I was exposed to many of our worlds sporting icons who have helped to strengthen and inspire my growth. I attended Massey University where I completed a Bachelor of Sport Management. I have also completed my teaching English as a second language. During my life, I have indulged my passion for exploration, by visiting many exciting countries, driving miles across Europe and swimming in the most tropical waters. Travelling by far, is one of life greatest adventures.

I am here with my partner and son as well as my two brothers and mother, all of whom are currently thriving in China. We are a family that love to travel and explore in which we have done so extensively. My mother believes in giving her children the opportunity to see the world and the many cultures within, to assist with ones growth into confident and independent young adults. Her teachings have helped to build me into an honest, loyal, self-sacrificing, and caring individual, in which I aim to represent these traits across the Cavell house.

I have been at WASCZ now for 5 years, I am currently the Assistant Director of Sports, Head of Netball and Cavell Housemistress. I quickly fell in love with boarding, tutoring, and the pastoral care that is the core of our school. I have witnessed personally how boarding fosters independence, resilience, empathy, and comradery in our pupils. Together with my team of talented tutors, I strive to lead the pupils in my care to academic, musical, and athletic excellence in the years to come. Through the considerate nurturing and encouragement from our passionate Cavell staff, we will support all our girls to achieve their potential and to seek head on the challenges that lay ahead.

Sana Maheru Housemistress


I am Sana Maheru from India. Born in the national capital - New Delhi, I was brought up in Dehradun. I was a hardworking, inquisitive, and persistent child which paved way to my aptitude in science and technology. I manifested Bachelor’s degree in science from HNBG university and Master of Computer Applications from Punjab Technical University, India. Moreover, I simultaneously achieved fellowship in the IT tech giant NIIT which helped me gain certifications in C, C++,, ASP. net, MVC, JAVA programming, SQL Server 2018, Oracle databases.

I have taught several batches of university undergraduate students in Jiangsu University of Technology, Changzhou, China from 2014 to 2019. I joined WASCZ in 2019 keeping in perspective the enthusiasm of the school to nurture the future generation. I joined as an ICT teacher and currently working as the Head of ICT & Computer Science Department.

I am honored to be the Headmistress of Dove house as I had the opportunity to be with the bright girls of the house before as an Assistant Housemistress I reinforce an eclectic development of dove girls and our amazing tutor team integrates and ensures the academic, social, athletic, art/music and psychological development of every girl in Dove house, assuring that every girl is happy, healthy and competent in every sphere of life.

Neil HarmonHousemaster


It is my great pleasure and an honour to be the Housemaster of Elgar House. My name is Neil Harmon and I’m an ex-professional rugby league player who was captain of the Leeds Rhino’s in the inaugural 1996 Super League and was selected as a Great British Lion to tour Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand later that year.

I have an honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering along with certificates in coaching and over 30 years’ experience as a professional rugby player and player welfare manager. With this vast experience of working and being part of a team environment, I look forward to guiding the young men in Elgar on their holistic journey alongside their academic ambitions.

One of my passions is trekking and mountain climbing and over the last several years have summited all the major peaks in the UK along with Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania where I achieved a World Record playing in the highest game of rugby league. The following year I was fortunate enough to complete the Mount Everest Base Camp Challenge in Nepal.

All students at Wycombe Abbey are encouraged to complete the Duke of Edinburgh award as this is a great help with their university applications. In 2019 I was fortunate enough to go to Iceland for three weeks with a group of 17 students from Wycombe Abbey Changzhou on the Borealis Expedition and it was a joy to see the students grow on a daily basis both mentally and physically; I look forward to watching the Elgar boys do the same over the coming months.

I have a grown-up son in the UK who is now making his own way through the corridors of life, so I hope I have learnt how to listen with patience and how to guide and encourage to try different activities in life. As Housemaster, I am in an excellent position to help the boys, respect and care for each other, work as team and help build their self-esteem and confidence. A great friend of mine once said, “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. I hope I can play a small part in all our Elgar boys achieving their dreams.

Max Fielden Housemaster


It is a huge honour to take on the role of Housemaster of Newton House, a widely respected house at WAS Changzhou. We have a very strong tutor team that are highly dedicated to the house and its pupils – I am very lucky to work with them in providing a safe, caring and supportive atmosphere for all its members.

Newton is named after one of the most famous and influential scientists in history. As such, it is only right that Newton House instills in pupils a curiosity for the world around them, as found in every scientist. I am also a scientist myself, having studied Pharmaceutical Chemistry at university in Manchester. I teach Chemistry up to A Level and have experience teaching IGCSE Physics as well.

I place a high importance on enrichment activities – for example, I founded Wycombe Abbey Space Program (WASP) and The Chocolate Factory, two popular extracurricular clubs. I have led the STEM club, whilst also helping set up the 3D Printing and Video Game Design clubs.

Outside of science, I am also the Head of Grades 9 & 10. This role involves working with all houses to ensure all pupils are supported academically to achieve their goals and even exceed them. I also speak Chinese and Italian fluently, so I have a deep understanding of the language learning process and can help students to improve their English efficiently and effectively.

As Housemaster of Newton, I will ensure that there is a strong sense of fraternity within the house, with a focus on loyalty and mutual respect between all members of the house. I encourage all Newton boys to take full advantage of the opportunities available to them, to be flexible and resilient when they encounter hurdles in their path, and ultimately to follow their dreams wherever they may take them.

Patrick YouellHousemaster


It is a thrill to be joining WAS Changzhou and become the new housemaster for Scott House. I come here with my wife and two young sons. We are excited to get to know the boys and staff associated with this well-established house and immerse ourselves in the life of WAS and Changzhou. In addition to my role with Scott, I am a Biology teacher and the Head of Grades 7 and 8. I love to play sports, especially football and hockey, am a keen photographer and love to travel. After my teacher training in the UK, I worked in Serbia and South Korea where I was a housemaster for many years. I was educated in the UK where I was a boarding student from 9 to 18 years old; for me boarding is a way of life. Co-existing with all manner people, one learns independence and interdependence. In amongst a crowd of individuals, camaraderie develops, community appears and lifelong memories can be made. Routine and fun. Hard work and play. Happy and safe. These are the watch words for an outstanding boarding experience. And in the true spirit of Robert Falcon Scott, through adventure and fortitude, and kindness besides, we strive for our boys to become great people and aspire to great things.

Gareth Welfoot Housemaster


It is my great pleasure to be the Housemaster for Turner House, one of the most established houses at the school. Since my time here, I have built great relationships with the students, supporting them in their sports, music, and academic development. Having attended boarding school in Wiltshire, England through most of my secondary education, I understand the aspects of boarding life as a student and am fully supportive and encouraging to the boys. While we work and study through the academic year here in Turner, this is our home. So, I know that it is important that the House should be welcoming and homely for all of us.

I studied BEng Mechanical Engineering in Cardiff, attaining First Class Honours, before pursuing a career in Education as a Physics Teacher. I have been at this school for two years and have been teaching in China for the last 5 years. Aside from my academic progress in Science, I am very passionate about music and sports. My hobbies and passions ensure that I provide a holistic experience for the boys here in the house. Alongside an excellent team of tutors, I will endeavour to progress the students to academic, musical, and athletic success in the years to come.

Andrew JonesHousemaster


My name is Andrew Jones, my teaching subjects are Humanities, Geography and English. It is my pleasure to take the reigns as Hawking Housemaster at Wycombe Abbey School, Changzhou. Originally from Wallasey, UK, I have always enjoyed new ventures, stepping out of my comfort zone to enjoy new experiences and challenges. My ethos is to set my goals and work hard to achieve them. At 18 years old, I backpacked around New Zealand on my own, doing several jobs before including Hong Kong, USA, and Australia in my travels. Having graduated with a degree in History and Politics at Liverpool John Moore’s University 2010, I then worked in retail as a supervisor for WHSmith PLC, three years training staff gaining 60% increase in profits for my store, before achieving my PGCSE at Northumbria University 2013. Thus, my route has not been a straightforward one into teaching, but my journey has been interesting and engaging one.

For 8 years I taught internationally in Jordan and Mexico, picking up my fluency in Spanish along the way, enjoying different cultures and school life prior to coming to Wycombe Abbey 3 years ago and I feel privileged to be here today undertaking this new role. Learning a second language was not easy and taught me a great deal about resilience and purpose. I fully understand and empathise with the pupils here having to learn English which must seem very strange to them, however, my experiences give me a strong platform to demonstrate the value of a second language and the opportunities it opens up for the pupils.

I bring a diverse range of subjects with me including Geography and Mathematics which in the last 3 years I have taught alongside my main subjects. My previous roles in Mexico and Jordan also involved me being a live-in teacher in primary and moving into secondary giving me experience and knowledge of both pastoral and academic experience which I hope to use to motivate, educate, inspire, and guide our students going forward to help them to discover themselves, their strengths, weaknesses and the skills to deal with situations that come their way and prepare them for the outside world.

My Assistant House Master duties at Hawking House will serve me well in this role because I am already active within Hawking. I will continue the fantastic work that has already been done by the outgoing master and will develop these standards for the betterment of all the pupils.

Lisa BenthamHousemistress


I am excited to be Housemistress of Fonteyn; it will allow me to build on the relationships I have already established as House tutor. My school motto was ‘Let us make progress.’ That is my aim For Fonteyn girls as individuals, groups and a House.

Growing up in Chester (a Roman city), I was surrounded by history and had access to the beauty of North Wales where I completed my Duke of Edinburgh expeditions with school. I studied at Nottingham University and Hull University. Literature is one of my passions alongside education. My teaching role allows me to combine both; whether that is helping a pupil struggling with grammar or discussing Shakespeare with A Level pupils.

Having been an English teacher for over thirty years in UK, Africa and South America, the opportunity to teach in China had to be grasped. The work ethic of the pupils at WASCZ is exceptional. Fonteyn I will endeavour to ensure all Fonteyn girls make the most of the opportunities afforded to them.

I have twin sons who have both become competent linguists after living abroad, choosing to study languages at university. More significantly, they went to boarding school from the age of 13. I know, as a parent, how difficult it can be to leave your child at boarding school; I also know that both my sons loved their time at school, becoming very loyal to their House and considering it home. I hope that Fonteyn girls will feel that same sense of loyalty and belonging.

Eileen TamatiHousemistress


My name is Eileen Tamati and I am thoroughly enjoying my role as Somerville Housemistress. Mary Somerville was a strong and aspiring woman, qualities I would like to encourage our Somerville girls to develop through the vast array activities available here.

I am from and was educated in New Zealand – the land of the long white cloud. I hold a Physical Education Degree, Bachelor of Education Degree and a Teaching Diploma and have been teaching for 21 years now, which is something I am very passionate about.

This is my third year at Wycombe Abbey School. Currently I am Head of Physical Education, Director of Sport as well as Somerville Housemistress.

I am here with my 3 children, all of whom are currently thriving in China. My oldest daughter is teaching in the Physical Education Department and is leading the Netball Development. Sport is a passion of mine and I have played and coached competitive and high-performance netball and basketball spanning over 30 years.

My oldest son is currently going to Changzhou University studying a Degree in Chinese Language and Literature. He is in complete admiration with China and its culture and is making the most of his opportunities whilst here.

My youngest son is a pupil here at Wycombe Abbey Changzhou, he loves sport and will play anything if given the opportunity.

We are a family that love to travel and have done so extensively. I believe in giving my children the opportunity to see the world and the many cultures within, to assist them to grow into confident and independent young adults.

Through the nurturing and encouragement from our enthusiastic Somerville staff we will support our girls to achieve their potential and to seek head on the challenges that lay ahead.

Karen Stevens-BarryHousemistress


I am honoured to be the Blyton Housemistress and have the opportunity to support the girls in the house through their journeys toward becoming accomplished and cultivated young women. I am further delighted to be in the house named for one of my favourite childhood authors; Enid Blyton’s books about adventurous children and boarding school antics inspired my love of literature and I aim to encourage the girls in Blyton House to find inspiration in their experiences at Wycombe Abbey School Changzhou. I came to the school in 2018, and have been so impressed by the opportunities provided to pupils across academics, the arts, sports and through challenges such as the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. Raising my family in this boarding school environment really highlights to me how an holistic education encourages pupils to thrive in many areas.

As a teacher and a mother of three children, I am very aware of how important support, encouragement and a good role model are in encouraging young people to excel academically, physically and socially. I will be encouraging them to take full advantage of all the wonderful opportunities the school can offer them. Along with the wonderful tutors who are part of the Blyton team, the community that girls join in Blyton House will be key to ensuring that they are able to develop into strong, creative and intelligent young women who will be able to achieve their dreams in the future.


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