Sutton House is the senior girls’ boarding house, providing accommodation for approximately 44 students aged 13 - 18.
When girls were first admitted to the School in 1983, they were boarded in Valence House, a distinctive half-timbered cottage in the village’s main road, Broad Street. Just three years later, the girls moved to Sutton, which till then had been the School’s Sanitorium. At this stage, there was room for about 16 girls, but by 1991 the house had been extended to become the building we see today.
With stunning views over the Weald of Kent from the girls’ lounge, garden and other common areas, the house sits below the main teaching and boarding block, yet is only a couple of minutes’ walk from all School facilities.
Sutton House is a warm and welcoming community which offers a safe and structured environment for our girls to work, play and live in. The house benefits from a multi-cultural aspect, having an important international element of girls from Germany, Eastern Europe and China who contribute to our diversity. Pastorally and academically students are tutored in the house, but for House Competitions we are attached to Clothworkers’, which has both boys and girls.
Mrs Angela Mathews and her family have been resident in Sutton for two years and very much enjoy the role of house parents. She and her husband, David, have two children; Zach 7 years old and Ella, 5 years old. Mr Mathews is the school’s Director of Hockey and also teaches academic PE, as well as Geography. Since having her children, Mrs Mathews works part-time as the Head of Dance at the School and will be helping teach academic PE and games; she also has a background in Sport Science and Art. Both Mr and Mrs Mathews are fully involved in the life of the School.
There are several other members of staff who contribute enormously to the smooth running of the house. The house tutor team will take it in turns to be on duty in the house each evening, so that parents have access to each of them during the week. The tutor’s role is both academic and pastoral and boarders are encouraged to share any concerns or worries that they might have with the tutor team; they are there to help.
Ms Oliver was a Sutton Valence School student until she finished in 2011, and then went on to gain her BSc in Zoology at Bangor University. Having taught previously, she has great experience in a classroom and we are excited to welcome her back to the School and to Sutton House as a Tutor. She will be teaching Biology and ICT in September.
Miss Halleron joined Sutton Valence as a teacher of Physics in January 2007. She grew up in Blackburn before moving to Leeds to study. After completing her PGCE she moved to Prague where she taught in an international school. During her time at Sutton Valence School she has worked as a tutor in Beresford House and she became a live-in tutor at Sutton House in 2012. She is on duty one night per week and three weekends each term. She is also involved in the Games department and CCF, coaching sports teams and participating in training of the Army section. In addition to this she is the Head of Physics.
Mrs Kitchen joined Sutton Valence in January 1994 as a part-time teacher of Mathematics. As the School expanded the teaching load increased and she became full-time. Over the last twenty years she has been a tutor in a girls’ day house, the Examinations Officer, Head of Year in the Sixth Form and Head of the Mathematics Department. Since September 2015, she has been the Timetabling Manager. She has three children who attended the School and so has extensive experience in dealing with teenagers at Sutton Valence. She was a tutor in Sutton House for years and now carries out weekend and evening duties. She also takes an active role in the RAF section of the CCF and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
Mrs De Castro joined Sutton Valence School in 2012 as Head of French, and from September 2016 she will become Head of Modern Foreign Languages. She grew up in Kent, but studied at Manchester University and taught in a school there for several years before moving back. She has considerable experience of tutoring Sixth Form students and helping them prepare their UCAS applications. She has lived and worked in France and Spain and is well aware of the challenges facing pupils from overseas coming to live in a completely new environment with a different language. She is an Out Tutor for Sutton House and is on duty one evening per week. She has two children and lives in the village very close to the boarding house.
Matron, Emma Agu-Benson is responsible for the pastoral and medical welfare of the girls. Having three teenage children, all at School, she has a wealth of experience dealing with young adults and brings a particular warmth and consideration to her care of the girls.
Last, but not least there is a team of house prefects led by the Head of House and her deputy. These girls are chosen for their caring nature, their sense of responsibility and commitment to School and life in the house. They are invaluable in helping students to settle in, get over any homesickness and organise them into teams for light duties around the house.