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Alison Petit

Housemistress of Ancaster

Ancaster, a Lower School House for girls aged 10-13 years, provides a secure base from which they discover the numerous and challenging opportunities their life at Oakham has to offer.

This base is built on the basic principle that only a happy, secure and fulfilled child can really make the best of these opportunities. Both staff and pupils encourage every girl to do their best and try out new experiences. We celebrate difference and diversity and are proud of the range of talents on display in House – from high academic achievement to sporting victory, from kindness to others to eco-warrior – the list is almost endless and ever-changing. The common theme is everyone has a talent and all should be celebrated, shared and nurtured. This builds the confidence to look even further and try out new and more challenging experiences.


Everyone has a talent and all should be celebrated, shared and nurtured.

This is only possible with a dedicated team of tutors, ably assisted by House Prefects. Doors open at 7.30am (or earlier by arrangement) and girls are greeted by a team of adults who work tirelessly to iron out the day-to-day issues that arise on a busy school day. Girls spend their break times in House and after School as required. It is in these times that you get a true sense of the House. At an age when girls can be both young lady and little girl over the course of minutes, they create an energetic and fun environment where they can relax and develop those essential social skills and lifelong friendships. The House ethos of inclusion and kindness creates a haven for all. All of course, under the watchful eye of house staff.

This safe haven and stimulating environment gives the girls a base from which they can develop academically. A strong working ethic and intellectual curiosity marks the house approach to academic work. The same approach is applied to life outside the classroom, where high standards and commitment is the goal. Having a go and taking part is celebrated as well as achievement and awards, whether it is in the arts or competing in sports or any of the wide range of activities available to the girls.

History of the House

  • Opened in 1974, Ancaster is one of four Lower School Houses grouped together on the Jerwoods campus.
  • The House is named after the Earl of Ancaster, who was a trustee of the School from 1937–51 and due to the village of Ancaster’s position within the neighbouring diocese of Lincoln.
  • The Jerwoods site is named after John Jerwood (OO), the Visitor (a highly esteemed member of the Trustees) and benefactor to the School.

About the Housemistress

I joined Oakham in 2012 as the teacher responsible for Lower One and teacher of Lower School English after having previously worked for several years at a local primary school. I originally studied Law at Warwick University and was a corporate lawyer in London and Birmingham. I have been a tutor in Jerwoods for the past four years and have been involved in a mix of activities throughout the School including D of E, sailing and cookery. My husband Adam and I enjoy a busy life with our three children and two grown-up stepsons. During rare moments of peace, I enjoy baking, gardening, swimming and reading.