School House, the oldest boarding house at Lancing, is also the largest, comprising 75 students with 15 boys in each year group (Third Form through to Upper Sixth).
We enjoy a rich mixture of talents in the House including artists, musicians, engineers, sportsmen, scholars, and thespians; boys from a range of cultures, with different experiences, make for a wonderful blend of characters and rich educational setting.
The Housemaster Mr Chris Mole, is a teacher of PE and is involved with a variety of sporting activities. He is resident with his wife Mrs Catherine Mole (Head of Economics and Business), daughter Coco and son Hugo. Matron Sandy Wilcock is also resident and manages the domestic smooth running of the house, assisted by a team of six ladies.
School House is very fortunate by way of an outstanding Tutor team: Mr Nat Payne (teacher of English) is the Assistant House Master and resident tutor; Mr Chris Crowe (Director of Sport); Dr Elizabeth Keane (teacher of History); Mr Andy Williamson (former Head of Chemistry); Dr Damian Kerney (Head of History); Mr Raymond Mew (Head of Classics); Mr Chris Langworthy (teacher of Music). Each have a weekly duty evening within the House as well as extending their support throughout the year. In addition, Mr Will O’Brien supplements the team as our Graduate Teaching Assistant (Bath University).
The ethos is very much about taking advantage of the many opportunities available at Lancing to discover one’s niche and passion. Indeed, the more unusual the shape of the piece, the more exciting the puzzle!
The House photograph above has been reproduced by kind permission of Gillman & Soame photographers and can be re-ordered by visiting www.gillmanandsoame.co.uk or telephone 01869 328200
School House: From the Archives...
The School House is the third of the original Lancing houses.
It occupies the south junction of the Lower and Upper Quads and the south wing of the Upper Quad, with studies running all along the first floor of the west facing side of the library block to the corner of Second’s. These were the original pitts. It is a house which has undergone several major changes since it was completed in 1866. The wing which projects to the south, where the Housemaster and his family now live, was originally designated ‘the Bishop’s Wing’ and was reserved for visits by the Bishop of Chichester and the Provost (Woodard).
The second Housemaster was the Revd J S M Walker OL, an outstanding footballer who married Dr Sanderson’s daughter and lived to over 100, not dying until 1954! School House had the space to expand westwards and into spaces which became available as the Chapel, Dining Hall and classrooms were completed. Numbers grew rapidly over 50 years (it was also the cheapest house!) and in 1910 it was divided into two: School House Olds (roughly at the eastern and lower end) and School House News (mostly in the Upper Quad and what is now the Gwynne Library).
In 1913 News was renamed Sanderson’s in honour of the Revd Dr Sanderson, Head Master 1862-1889, who really put Lancing on the map nationally. The old schoolroom/library was renamed the Sanderson Room to continue this memorial, and the new café in the undercroft called ‘the Olds Café’, when School reverted to being one house in 2002. The first Housemaster of Olds was G M T (Uncle George) Smythe, mathematician. Later came Alexander Brent-Smith, Head of Music, Arthur Cooper OL, Bill Dovell, Jeremy MacLachlan and Jim Sheppe, whose American origins are remembered in the names of various parts of the house. Tom Sharpe and Stuart Cloete the novelists; Richard Meade, the Olympic gold medallist equestrian; Charles Anson, former Downing Street and Palace press secretary; Greg Barker MP and Rana Mitter, the broadcaster, were in Olds.
News only existed for three years before becoming Sanderson’s. Notable Housemasters of Sanderson’s were J F Roxburgh, who became the first Headmaster of Stowe, taking his Head of House with him; the Revd F A Woodard OL,grandson of the Founder (and father of Rear Admiral Sir Robert Woodard OL, the last Flag Officer of the Royal Yacht, who was in Olds); Basil Handford OL for 20 years (see Handford House); Ken Shearwood, legendary footballer, author and first Registrar; Ted Maidment, later Head of Shrewsbury; David Lutwyche and Dr Andrew Betts. Anti-apartheid campaigner Fr Trevor Huddleston, Lord (Nicolas) Browne-Wilkinson, who succeeded Sir Robert Megarry OL as Vice-Chancellor of the Royal Courts of Justice, and Christopher Silvester the columnist were members of the House.