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Thomas Cookes House News

Current news from this term is always displayed first. If you would like to read past news stories from the House, please click through the subsequent pages.

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End of Term Newsletter - December 2017

Last Updated: 18/12/2017 08:23:40

Please click here or the image below to download the end of term newsletter for Thomas Cookes House. 

26th May 2017

Last Updated: 26/05/2017 09:38:44

Please click here to view Mrs Hannah's interactive House Newsletter.

End of Term Letter - 29th March 2017

Last Updated: 29/03/2017 13:58:58

Please click the image below or here to download Mrs Hannah's end of term letter for Thomas Cookes House. 

End of Term Newsletter December 2016

Last Updated: 15/12/2016 15:30:08

I have been very proud of the girls and their achievements throughout the term. Having watched many of them participate in many areas, I know they are very talented. Not only do we have individual talent in a number of differing areas but also strong teams and great competitors. That makes them a joy to watch and congratulate. Due to this talent, they are some of the most productive and involved girls in the school. Many of them are members of several teams and involve themselves in various areas around the school. As a consequence of this Thomas Cookes often has some of the most rounded and committed girls.

Quite apart from all the school events that have taken place this term, there have been a number of house events. Not only have we had Pizza and DVD nights for the L4th, U4th and the L6th, we have also competed extremely well in many sporting, musical and debating competitions. Hockey, Badminton and Swimming have been the focus. I know we played well in the hockey and put up strong opposition against the other houses. Badminton has been slightly more successful as we won the ‘B’ team competition in Year 9. However, swimming is the area where most of the house excel. The girls were impressive in the junior house swimming team where we beat all the other houses in many of the races. The senior house swimming team was impressive in its formation. There were many who were prepared to support TC even though swimming is not their first sport, which was really encouraging.


On the subject of coming together as a house – I was impressed with the way the girls all came together for House Song. Much time and effort went into rehearsals and I know many of the sixth form-especially Nanci Burbidge-made every effort to make sure it was brilliant on the day. House Song is a very subjective competition so it is very difficult to judge. However, I thought the girls were all fantastic. It takes courage to perform at your best, in front of the whole school.


I think the most impressive win of the term must go to the junior debating team. This was a joint effort from Francesca Mellor and Elizabeth Aston. Both girls prepared very well for what was two difficult debates. In both instances I would have immediately wanted to defend the opposing argument but the girls did very well thinking carefully about the alternatives and ensuring they were able to defend themselves under pressure. The outcome was that they won! They beat every house in the school. This is rare as most of the time the girls just compete against the girls’ houses. I am so proud of them as this is their first year in the senior school. I look forward to watching them, perhaps in debating teams of the future.

A number of the girls have been the organisers and helpers of teams or other house related events – such as committees. This is brilliant as it takes leadership, initiative and objectivity. Many of the girls worked very hard to support the cake sale we had right at the start of term. Not only at home but also during the day. I was very impressed with the commitment shown for Macmillan and we raised a record sum of £265. Can I also thank all those who collected shoe boxes? Ms Diver’s tutor group had some great pictures.
Many of the girls have also had individual success this term. Kate Morrice is excelling in netball in the Wasps U17 team and I know Lauren Brown is in the same club at U19. I also know many of the girls are playing for clubs and counties. It always impresses me how well the girls balance their academic work and their extra-curricular activities: it is a difficult juggling act and requires considerable time management.


Towards the end of term we have had a number of festive events. The girls had a wonderful Christmas Dinner on Friday 2nd December. This was a well-attended, fun event for all. The girls were able to sit with their friends and we all had a festive meal. Towards the end I was able to give out some ‘silly’ awards. I was also able to give out house ties and presentations to those who had represented the house this term.


On the following Wednesday the house was also able to celebrate Christmas with mulled wine and mince pies. This was a lovely evening with photos of the girls, Christmas music and lots of food and wine (for parents!) There was also a fantastic raffle and I would like to thank all the parents that donated an item. The PA raised a considerable amount for the house and I would like to thank them for all their efforts not only here but also at the cheese and wine event earlier in the term.

On Monday of this week. We had the first house drama competition at Bromsgrove whilst I have been here. I believe it had been removed from the calendar some time ago and has now returned. Nanci Burbidge directed a short extract from ‘Daisy Pulls it off’. Holly Heslop, Holly Nichols, Isabel Kemp and Rhiannon Idczak performed brilliantly. Unfortunately, we did not win but I have to say the standard throughout was brilliant. Well worth going to watch next year if you have time.

There are many people I would like to thank in this letter. Katie Neales and Rhiannon Idczak and all the monitor team who have really helped out in lots of ways. Jackie who has been the Housekeeper while Lorraine has been away.

The tutors are amazing they are always there for the girls and will help in any way possible. I could not do my job without them. They look at careers, they advise on development and they listen if your daughter has a problem.

Finally, I would just like to thank you for all the wonderful gifts you gave me. I would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

TC Awards.
Ties go to :
Francesca McCaig
Francesca Mellor
Elizabeth Aston
Libby Smith
Lucia Goodwin
Lucy Jenkins
Shona Mills
Ruby Hanke
Emily Clark
Tavleen Toor

Senior Colours go to
Kathleen Taylor
Holly Bolger
Elyssa Jones
Emily Lyle

House Academic awards
Emily Williams – Senior Award
Georgia Doohan-Smith – Junior Award

There were also some very important awards given out in Mark Reading at the End of term.
Katie Neales
Sarah Firminger
Lauren Brown
Bethany Khan
Bryony Ralph all achieve their D of E Gold
Elouise Brookes Geography, Religious Studies and PE.
Nandini Bulchandani Drama and French award

Kind regards

Kay Hannah

End of Academic Year Update - July 2016

Last Updated: 08/07/2016 13:45:44

Dear Parents

What a term it has been. Full of exciting events and very stressful exams. It has been my pleasure to once again see your girls change and grow into young adults. I am very mindful of the Upper Sixth who have just left and I know that they will be missed by both myself and the rest of the house. There was amazing talent among them and they led the House well.

We have had many events in Thomas Cookes particularly towards the end of term. There has been house tennis, rounders, jazz and pimms, the bake off and sports day. All of these have involved many of the girls and have been fun to be involved in. Also many girls have been achieving Duke of Edinburgh awards and those that do IB have been working on CAS. There have been trips everywhere – Germany, Prague, Bath and Oxford to name but a few. The Lower Fourth have been on camp. The Choir has sung beautifully at the leavers service and Commemoration itself. There have been informal music concerts and the end of term music concert where Sarah Pickering, Emma Dolan, Abigail Hughes and Olivia Wormald have performed. I would just like to mention Elizabeth Walters (Upper Sixth) at this point, as she achieved her grade 8 singing with distinction towards the end of term, a great achievement.

House rounders and tennis in the senior age groups was very much a fun occasion. Something to get the whole house more involved and create a team spirit. Unfortunately, we did not win either but we were competitive and performed well. There was considerable discussion on the rules on Indoor rounders which was deemed ‘unfair’. In the juniors we put up much more of a competitive stance. The girls involved performed very well, particularly in the rounders. The final of the rounders had to be played inside due to the rain (I feel sure we would have won were it outside). It was a great game and I would like to thank Scarlett Fender for her organisation.

Sports Day 1st attempt was a wash out. On the 2nd attempt it went ahead. It only involved the U4th and L4th but it was great to see so many of the girls getting involved and trying to achieve points for the House. Here we had some outstanding performances from Elyssa Jones, Kate Morrice and Maisie Hucker. I was particularly pleased with those that participated in events that were unfamiliar to them. As ever, in true TC style, they just got on with it.

House Bake-off was great fun with Katie Burke, Maisie Hucker and Georgie Doohan-Smith doing all the hard work. They were ably support by some Sixth Form and Upper Fourth. They came up with a rocket design and produced a lovely cake. It tasted amazing – it was all gone by 4pm. Thanks go in particular, to Mrs Burke who I know did a considerable amount of sponge making to enable the shapes to be made.


The ‘Jazz and Pimms’ evening in the last week of term was a lovely event. We had some good weather,(if a little windy) and the evening was well attended. It was great to see so many parents and if I did not get round to speaking to you all I do apologise. To those I spoke to, the feeling was that the girls had had a good year and had enjoyed the comradeship in the house. I was very pleased to hear that the Lower Fourth had instigated an end of term/ leaving meal for Emily Edwards. It is great to hear of their organisation and well wishes to Emily. Primarily this evening is for the Upper Sixth leavers, it is a chance for me to say a few words about each of them and to dwell a little on the past. They are a fun, amusing and very harmonious group. They all get on ‘the chat’ and then they can communicate very effectively. It is great to see the team work they have displayed and their ability to help one another. At this moment I would like to thank both George Horsley-Gubbins (Head of House) and Charlotte Fraser (Deputy Head of House) for their leadership and ability to just ‘step up to the plate’ if required. This was particularly evident in the House Swimming where many of the Upper Sixth got involved.

This year we are very saddened to say goodbye to Hollie Barton. Hollie has been a tutor in Thomas Cookes now for five years and she is moving to Oakley for a new experience. She has been a wonderful tutor to the girls. Someone who is very caring and considerate, someone who spends time in the house and really gets to know her tutees, someone who her tutees know they can turn to in times of trouble and know that she will support them 100%. Hollie by her very nature is a bubbly, cultured and hardworking individual. I know the girls we miss her but we wish her all the best in Oakley.

This leads me on to thank all the tutors this year for all their hard work and dedication to the house. They are as ever my support and always ready to guide and help the girls in whatever way they can. They are the most wonderful group of people to work with as they show excellent professionalism and commitment.
I would also like to thank Lorraine Fisher (housekeeper) for all her time this year. She is wonderful with the girls and is prepared to consider all requests. I would like to thank her for keeping the house amazingly clean and putting up with me.

Finally, I would also like to thank the PA. They are a dedicated group of individuals who work tirelessly for the House. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Jane Fraser has now left after five years as president. She has often put the House before many of her other engagements and I would like to thank her for her leadership and guidance over that period. Lucy Parris is now president, I would like to congratulate her and thank her for taking on the role. She has already helped me with all the arrangements for the end of term.

If you would like to get involved in the PA Lucy’s email address is Please contact her. The first meeting of the year takes place in Thomas Cookes on the Tuesday 20th September at 7.30 pm. Any support would be much appreciated. Please come along.

I hope you all have a pleasant summer break and that the weather improves.

Please contact me by email should you need any advice.

Kind regards

Kay Hannah

Below is the list of Thomas Cookes prize winners this term.

Junior Ties
Sarah Pickering for the most commendations throughout the year.
Emily Edwards
Abigail Hughes
Ruvarashe Madzingo

Senior Colours
Charlotte Lawley
Pimpisa Pooprasert

Upper Sixth Awards
Endeavour cup – Liv Wormald
Collins best Sportswoman – Emma Davis
Commitment to TC – Georgie H-G
Maund cup for fulfilling potential – Kate Edgington
Mackay award for care and Compassion – Charlotte Fraser

Senior Drama and Music – Liv Wormald
Junior Drama and Music – Nandini Bulchandani/Holly Heslop

Senior Academic – Ana Babic
Junior Academic – Nandini Bulchandani

Senior Sportswoman – Lauren Brown
Junior Sportswoman – Elyssa Jones

Best Newcomer – Freya Harper

Best All-rounder junior – Elyssa Jones

Best All-rounder Senior - Isabel James

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Head of House for next year will be Katie Neales

The Deputy Head of House will be Rhiannon Idscak

House Monitors will be:-
Bryony Ralph
Jordan Prust
Sarah Firminger
Nanci Burbidge
Eleanor Glass
Jessica Jayaratnasingham
Beth Khan
Isabel Martin
Poppie Westwood

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