Welcome to West House – a unique boarding community at Stowe.

West is a Sixth Form only boarding house, located in the idyllic Western Garden of the School’s campus. Stoics typically join West House as Lower Sixth Formers who are new to Stowe. As a result, the Stoics have a unique chance to shape and direct the House ethos in a way that few other Stoics can.

As a mixed House for both boys and girls in the Sixth Form, West has a character and ‘feel’ that is quite distinct from the other Houses. West can be thought of as a ‘bridge’ between school and university, in which Sixth Formers have both the facilities and independence to study and congregate in a manner more usually associated with students attending undergraduate courses, but with the added support and protection of a strong pastoral team.

While boys and girls are housed completely separately within the West complex, communal areas allow for social mixing and the House undertakes a range of mixed events such as debating, charity events and House Singing. Our boys and girls also compete in the single-gender Inter-House events, meaning that the “Westites” are the only group to compete at Sixth Form level against all twelve of the other boarding houses!

Did You Know...

The House is not in fact named after its location in the Western Garden, but after a member of the Temple-Grenville family named Gilbert West.

As the newest House at Stowe, West was officially opened in 2014 by Viscount Cobham, the direct descendent of the family who built and lived at Stowe.

Our House Colours are ‘argent and sable’ – better known to those without a deep knowledge of heraldry as silver and black! These are based on the coat of arms of the West family.

West House is the only boarding house at Stowe to be jointly run by a Housemaster and Housemistress. Mr and Mrs Johnson began West House in 2014 and continue to take pride in this close-knit and hugely supportive boarding community. 

Tom (Upper Sixth)

"What I like about West is that it offers preparation and guidance for the transition between school and university, allowing you to develop in confidence and gain other skills such as the ability to organise oneself efficiently. West also gives you the opportunity to make lifelong friends, in a welcoming and family-style community.

I feel West is special as it is a mixed House, in terms of boys and girls but also British and international. This allows each and every member of West to learn from one another. West is a house that is very encouraging and seeks to bring out the individual person, whether their talents lie with sports, academia or elsewhere, rather than taking the approach that everyone should fit a prescribed ideal."

Sophia (Upper Sixth)

"What I’ve grown to love about West is the myriad of opportunities you are presented with and the family away from home that the House becomes to you. Being in a Sixth Form House means you quickly learn to organise and manage your time efficiently, as well as developing your confidence through the support of the West House family. The close-knit community allows you to settle in with ease and make your mark. Participating in all aspects of School life, I can't think of another house that offers a better all-round experience!"

Roland and Julie Johnson

Roland and Julie joined Stowe in 2007 and 2008 respectively, having previously both taught at Concord College in Shropshire. Until their joint appointment in 2014 as Houseparents of West, Roland was the Assistant Housemaster of Chandos and Julie was the resident Under Housemistress of Stanhope. Roland and Julie have two sons. As the first Houseparents of West, Roland and Julie take great pride in creating the supportive and welcoming ethos of Stowe’s newest house community. 

Educated at Dauntsey’s in Wiltshire, then Bristol and Durham universities,Roland teaches Chemistry at Stowe and also specialises in preparing prospective medical applicants and providing UCAS advice for pupils pursuing scientific courses at Oxbridge and Russell Group universities. Roland coaches rugby at Colts level and was also the Master in Charge of squash at Stowe for seven years, during which time he played for Buckingham’s 1st V squash team. Roland’s hobbies include languages, film and opera.

Before joining Stowe, Julie was a Housemistress, Sixth Form Tutor and English teacher at Concord College, as well as Director of Studies for the summer courses. Julie joined Stowe in 2008 as an English teacher and moved to her current role as Head of International in 2010. Her BA is in English and French from Queen’s University Belfast and she has a Master’s Degree in TESOL. Julie enjoys coaching netball, skiing, horse riding and tennis.

Who's Who in West

Houseparents
Roland Johnson and Julie Johnson

Matron
Ilona Harding

Assistant Housemaster
Gordon West

Under Housemistress
Anna Chaumont and Sandy Wong