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James Cure

Housemaster of Wharflands

Wharflands is a place where we value success in all spheres, at all levels, and at all age groups. Our motto is: “You will only know what you can achieve when you try”. We aim to help boys develop into confident, independent, thoughtful, open-minded, and positive human beings. The three most commonly used words (by the boys themselves) to describe what it means to be a good Wharflander are: “honest”, “open” and “involved”.

Wharflands is a Boarding House where most flexi-boarding boys aged 13–17 live. We are right at the heart of the School – a stone’s throw from the library, Science Department, Barraclough (dining hall) and the first team sports pitches on Doncaster Close. Social events are often shared with the girls in Stevens House next door. Some of the most prized rooms are on the west side of the House – nothing to do with picturesque sunsets: you can see the 1st XV rugby and 1st XI cricket play without having to leave your room!

You will only know what you can achieve when you try.

My house team and I believe that a successful House is one that allows the boys in it to feel confident, secure and happy, and provides the encouragement, support and structure necessary for them to go to School every day and give their all in everything they do. A successful House is one where support is not only provided by the house staff, but also by the rest of the house community. A successful House is one in which a variety of backgrounds, experiences, interests, talents and personalities can all be shared, celebrated, and enjoyed.

One look at the make-up of the current Form 6 shows that Wharflands’ reputation as the House to beat on the sports field is one that is too narrow and too shallow. We have some of the School’s top actors, musicians, who regularly feature in their own lunchtime concerts as well as the School’s highly regarded choirs, bands and ensembles, and some brilliant academic talent as well. 

History of the House

  • Wharflands became a boarding house in 1920, joining together a former Victorian hunting lodge with a warehouse and stables for the Oakham to Melton canal.
  • This accounts for both the name of the House, and its varied character – big, bright rooms of four for pupils in Form 3, whilst Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Formers have single or twin rooms in the old stable block.

About the Housemaster

I joined Oakham in 2007 having previously worked in the City of London and taught at a boys’ school in Middlesex. I teach History at Oakham, as well as coaching the U16A rugby team and U16A cricket team. At Durham I studied History and Politics, and later at Cambridge completed my PGCE. I believe that playing hard is just as important as studying hard; I played rugby for Rosslyn Park and Middlesex whilst in the City, and gained a rugby blue whilst at Cambridge. I am married to Caroline, who works as a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Administrator. We have two young children, Sophia and Alexander, and a cocker spaniel called Olive.