Beale House

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Name: Mrs Helen Hankey, GRNCM, PGCE, MEd
Telephone: +44 (0)15242 79200

Helen is the girls' Housemistress for Beale and Thornfield as well as being part of the Prep School Music Department.

Helen's two children, James and Emily, are boarders at Sedbergh Senior School and her husband Mark serves as an Officer in the Royal Navy.

"Full boarding for our daughter has given her outstanding opportunities and her confidence has grown visibly throughout the last year."

House Profile

There is a strong bond between the girls and a warm family atmosphere. All new girls have buddies. Every girl is part of our extended family and also has the support of smaller, family groups that include a cross section across all ages. The security of their term time home encourages the girls to develop and grow as individuals. The ethos of kindness, respect and the tolerance of others underpins all that we do. 

Helen lives in House and is contactable by both the girls and their parents at all times. Within girls' boarding we also have a resident, Assistant House Mistress and one resident graduate assistant. Other teaching staff live adjacent to the boarding accommodation and a helping hand is never more than a few seconds away. 

In addition to this, a team of enthusiastic and dedicated duty staff work during the evenings and weekends. This further extends the network of support and offers extended opportunities for a range of activities. In the evening there is a varied programme of activities, run by an experienced, caring team of house tutors. This enables the girls to make the most of the wonderful and extensive facilities on offer at our school.

Sedbergh Prep School - Beale House

Evening activities include social events, family games, talent shows, art, swimming, cookery, football, badminton and air rifle shooting. Those girls who have their own ponies at school also have the opportunity to ride and care for them. On a morning, before school, girls can take part in running club, netball, swimming and cricket coaching. Those who play musical instruments also have supervised practice time.  

At weekends we usually venture further afield, often into the beautiful countryside that we are so fortunate to live in. Weekend activities include water sports, rock climbing, bouldering, Zorb football, go-karting, clay pigeon shooting, laser quest, horse riding, fell walking and a visit to an indoor waterpark and indoor trampoline park. 

All meals are eaten together, as a family. The girls help to look after the school animals, which include ponies, goats and chickens. Caring for our animals adds to the home from home feeling that we are lucky to enjoy, whilst fostering and reinforcing the ethos of care and responsibility.

Everyone is so welcoming and friendly and nothing is too much trouble. (The boarding staff) have kept in touch and regularly contact us with updates. The girls are so well looked after and they are happier than we could ever have imagined. We are all excited for the future at this fabulous school.

House History

Girls have been boarding at Casterton since 1823. When the site became Sedbergh Prep School, Beale became their first House. As numbers rapidly expanded a second girls' boarding house, Thornfield, was opened. Beale House is named in memory of Dorothea Beale. Dorothea was a pioneer of women’s education and in 1856 she became Headmistress at Casterton School. The girls are very proud of their links to Dorothea, who was an active supporter of the suffragette movement. She was vice-president of the Central Society for Women's Suffrage. 

Charlotte Bronte, a former pupil of the clergy daughters' school, is another inspiring woman for the girls to look up to. Thornfield House is named in memory of the home of Mr Rochester in the novel, Jane Eyre. 

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