Meet the Junior Boarding Team

It takes a village to support our youngest boarders here at Gordonstoun. We caught up with Jessica Noakes, House Parent for our Junior Boarding House, to find out more about her team and what makes boarding at Gordonstoun so unique.

I am delighted to be running the Junior Boarding House here at Gordonstoun. It is a diverse community with a welcoming, family feel and I can truly say I work with the most incredible pupils everyday. My partner, Ben, and I have relocated to the North of Scotland from the South of England and bring a wealth of experience in prep school boarding with us, as well as two slightly bonkers labradors!

Gordonstoun appealed to me as it really believes in helping students reach their full potential, going beyond traditional academics. As a form teacher myself, I value the high standard of academics delivered here, but it is the uniquely broad curriculum that stands out.

I am passionate about ensuring every pupil in my care feels safe, heard and nurtured, as well as helping them to develop into independent, confident young people ready to take on the challenges of the real world. Of course I could not do this job alone and the pupils are also supported by the most caring pastoral staff team who I will introduce below.

Cath Lyall, the Head of Junior School, is present in all aspects of boarding life. She uses the weekend time in particular to pop in for a cuppa and get to know the pupils on a different level. Before her tenure as Head, Cath supported her husband who was Houseparent in the Senior School for many years, giving us a figurehead who completely understands the dynamics of full boarding.

Emily Warren is our Assistant Head Pastoral for all pupils in the Junior School. I am ever grateful to have Emily by my side when leading this team. She acts as my Assistant House Parent, supporting our prep school aged boarders. Emily lives on site, with her family who have also relocated from the South. Emily and I spend hours chatting about your children and how best to support them. We share the same passions and visions of happy, healthy children being resilient to take on the challenges of daily life.

Each year we have 2 live-in Junior School Assistants who, quite honestly, do every job under the sun. Laura and Jonny coach games, help in classrooms and most importantly, spend time with the children upstairs in the boarding house. They are both very kind, approachable and usually that first port of call for many pupils to talk through their issues, acting as that bridge between pupils and staff.

Finally, our matron team. I’m not sure what any of us would do without them. If you need a plaster, see matron, stain in your jumper, matron, just a cuddle after a tough day, matron. Our matrons are in from wake up to bed time and no job is too big (or small) for them. They are the most caring, kind people who always go out of their way to make the lives of your children (and us staff!) as comfortable as possible, whilst maintaining standards and allowing the pupils to learn how to look after themselves, a tricky balance that our team succeeds in.

Want to learn more about life in our Junior School? For upcoming events or to book a personalised visit to Gordonstoun get in touch:

Email: Tel: 01343 837829