A very warm welcome to the Cobham homepage.
From their first day at Stowe as young boys to when they leave us as young men, Cobhamites are encouraged to see the House as a place where they can be themselves and indulge their numerous talents and skills, whatever they may be.
The culture of a house, a school, or indeed any institution is not something that just happens, nor is it something we should take for granted. In Cobham, I hope every pupil has a clear sense of a House where we work together as a team to support each both within year groups, and through the House as a whole.
Our culture as a House is one where we appreciate, affirm and celebrate the diverse range of interests that exist here, from academia to sport, drama and music. I firmly believe that if the boys are in an environment where they feel secure, happy and appreciated, then they will flourish in all the rich and varied areas of school life that Stowe has to offer.
While our values are unashamedly traditional in placing emphasis on courtesy, respect for others and the importance of hard work and effort in whatever we do, I am equally keen to instil in the boys the importance of being innovative, trying new things, and perseverance if success doesn’t come at once – as Thomas Edison said, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work’.
If there is a typical Cobhamite, then I would describe him as friendly, well-mannered, considered, easy-going (but not lax, I hope), and someone with a sense of fun who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Together with my wife Jo, it has been my great pleasure to serve as Cobham Housemaster for the past four years, and to watch the progress of so many Cobhamites in so many fields. If they can come to the House with a sense of enthusiasm, optimism and energy, then they will get the most out of all that Cobham and Stowe have to offer.
In September 2018, the ‘new’ Cobham will open its doors for the first time, after we relocate to the site next to Chapel Court. I am extremely excited to be helping to oversee this new venture, and while part of me will miss the ‘old’ Cobham, we will have a new house with a range of facilities and accommodation that is much more in keeping with a modern boarding lifestyle.
I look forward to welcoming you to Cobham in the near future.
The House is named after Viscount Cobham, who rebuilt Stowe.
Cobham has had 11 Housemasters.
The longest serving Housemaster was D I Brown (1945 – 1962).
The Cobham House motto is ‘Quo non ascendam?’ (‘To what heights may I not ascend?’).
The site of the present Cobham used to be the old stable block, when Stowe was a private stately home (although we are to move location in 2018!).
From the Head of House
"Cobham has been my home for the past five years, and you don’t get the sense of togetherness and friendship in many other places. There is a perfect balance between the elements of tradition that are so important to Stowe but also a modernity about the House.
With boarding for long periods throughout the year it’s the small things that make a difference, whether that’s simply a pizza on a Sunday night or a cake at break. That’s what Cobham is all about - as a whole everyone is on the same page and we try to live in a positive environment where we all get on and understand everything about each other, good or bad.
For each of the years I have been in the House, there is a constancy about the place. No matter which group of boys are the Upper Sixth, no matter how different in personalities, the goals are always the same. Through a fantastic Housemaster and a caring Matron, as well as quite brilliant supporting staff in the cleaners or Mrs Peppiatt, the House is able to run in a both fun and respectable way. It’s the kind of place where everyone is accepted and where we don’t believe in separation or alienation.
The main factor I have always taken out of being in Cobham for this long is that no matter where you go into the House, there will always be someone to talk to and that is something I have felt since the first day I came into Cobham House. I hope that continues long after I leave!"
Before joining Stowe James taught at Ibstock Place School in London for five years and before that practised as a solicitor in the City of London. He attended Edinburgh University, where he read English Literature.
James began his career at Stowe in September 2009 and he was Head of English and Faculty Chair from 2010 until 2012. James has coached rugby at various levels and is a Second Lieutenant in the CCF. He also assists with football and cricket, and enjoys helping to direct and produce house plays. His interests include running, fly-fishing, cricket, tennis, skiing, theatre and following the fortunes of Northampton Rugby Club. James has a PGCE and is studying for an MEd in Educational Leadership. He has been involved in many areas of School life including being Chair of the Law Society and Co-ordinator of the Junior Social Committee. He is married to Jo and they have three children, Barnaby, Olivia and Flora. When time allows, he and Jo are actively involved with St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Buckingham and he enjoys preaching at Prep Schools.