"The head of boarding is aspirational for children and fosters this approach in staff, she knows their progress as well as their vulnerabilities, ensuring children receive the support they need and identifying children who can rise to the challenge of student leadership. She provides encouragement for them to succeed. Children respond well to her leadership, which helps them invest in their boarding experience and meet their potential. Staff are vigilant and children's safety is prioritised, with strong, trusting relationships between staff and children. Staff regularly complete training and as a result of the support and training they receive, they improve their ability to understand and meet the needs of the children. Staff feel well supported. The school is very well supported by a skilled, experienced governing body, which highly regards the boarding provision, and this oversight is a strength of the school."
(Ofsted report, 2022)
The comfort, wellbeing and welfare of the students in our care is central to all aspects of boarding life at Ripon Grammar School, where both staff and students share a true sense of family and community. Our professional, enthusiastic and dedicated boarding team, made up of both teaching and non-teaching staff, are on hand to support and care for our students, encouraging them to achieve their potential academically while enjoying their lives at RGS to the full.
Senior Housemaster: Mr Michael Spiers
"I was born in Richmondshire, not too far from Ripon, and it is within the stunning Yorkshire Dales that I find myself most at home. I left the area to pursue my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, and for a while worked as a bookseller before following my family tradition of becoming a teacher. My grandpa and father were teachers and my enthusiasm for continuous learning and engendering a similar enthusiasm in students saw me pursue a vocation that would allow me to do this throughout my career. Having enjoyed my role as Head of Sixth Form at a school in York, I have returned to RGS - a school I hold close to my heart. How can one not fail to be inspired by the school that made William Stubbs, Beilby Porteus or indeed Jack Laugher. In my free time I enjoy trekking in the Dales and further afield. I also enjoy cycling, both road and mountain bike routes. My ambition is to climb Mont Blanc by my 45th birthday."
House Tutor: Mrs Elizabeth Gibson
"I commenced at Ripon Grammar School the year my son Rob left the school to begin university in Nottingham. I feel very privileged to work at the school and for me personally, it is great to still have a connection to RGS and the amazing staff who taught him. I now work in School House, just starting my second year with the boys. When not at work I love swimming, whether training in conventional pools, lakes, sea or rivers... a water baby at heart! I am also a qualified swimming teacher."
House Tutor: Hylton Cornish
A recent addition to the team, further details to follow.
House Tutor: Mrs Jusanne Sanderson
"I am of Italian descent, but consider myself citizen of the world as I have lived and worked in five different countries, however my heart is here at this lovely green county of Yorkshire.
"I speak Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and English and I’m also learning French.
"I have a business degree and worked for many years in the import and export of marble but when I moved to the UK my passion for people led me to study counselling and I worked for the British Forces for 12 years, giving emotional and practical support to military staff. Then I went to South America to work as a volunteer in an orphanage supporting children to develop healthily mentally and physically in a safe environment.
"Returning to the UK, my passion for children led me to work in education and I have mentored students to achieve good grades in Italian and Portuguese.
"My role as a House tutor at School House has worked very well as I love to work with the committed RGS team and with the boarders. I see the boarders as my own grandchildren, and I believe I’m helping to mentor them to be the best that they can be with the abilities they have.
"I have a busy life as I’m married, I have a son, grandchildren and a dog. However I always try to find time to keep fit and to work as volunteer for good causes and I have raised money for charities doing charity walks, a parachute jump, skydiving and scuba-diving."
House Tutor: Matt Weston
"I have been working in the boarding house for four years. I decided to work in boarding as it is a good way to see the students in a different setting than in the day school teaching my subject. You get to know the students better as people rather than students, which ultimately makes it more rewarding. In my spare time I enjoy Muay Thai and boxing as well as home brewing, walking and reading. I have a six-year-old dog called Bjarki."
Week End Tutor: Nico Sala
Hello, I am a SEN teaching assistant and I have absolutely enjoyed being part of a great team at Ripon Grammar School for the past year.
I was born in Romania, where I graduated from the University of Economics. I came to the UK in 2003 hoping to improve my English language, whilst learning about the British culture as an Au-Pair.
I currently live in Ripon with my husband, teenage daughter, a dog called Rocky, a cat called Rosie and a handful of goldfish. In my spare time I love exploring the outdoors with my family and my dog. I also enjoy baking and cooking with my daughter and I have volunteered with the Ripon Youth Baking Club for the past 2 years.
Working with children it’s one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs, which made me change my career completely.
I have been working with children and young people for the past fourteen years, and I am delighted to have been appointed as a House Tutor in Boarding.
I am very excited and privileged to continue building relationships with our boarders and to help them achieve great things, making sure they have a safe and amazing boarding experience.
“When you need me, but do not want me then I must stay. But when you want me but no longer need me, I have to go”.
Assistant Headteacher Boarding/Housemistress: Mrs Caroline Day
"I love being part of such a vibrant boarding environment and every day brings new experiences and challenges. I live on site with my husband Simon and we have two children - Katie and Oscar. We have a House dog Dolly, and three cats - Ophelia, Scout and Bellatrix. I am an equestrian and spend my spare time down at the yard with my horse Benji. I also teach English in the day school."
Deputy House Mistress of Johnson House: Mrs Helen Mackenzie
"I started teaching at Ripon Grammar School in 2006 as Director of Sport. I love teaching all sports but my two areas of specialism – both as a coach and as a performer – are swimming and netball. I am married to John, whom I met at university in Liverpool, and we have two daughters – Laura, 24 and Amy, 22, who both attended Ripon Grammar School. I am delighted to have been appointed Deputy Housemistress of Johnson House and am already loving this new challenge. The boarders are a fabulous group of students and I love getting to know them better, coming up with activities to entertain and engage them and attending courses to learn how to keep them safe. In my spare time I run an adult netball club, a swimming academy and a charity called Back to Basics which helps Ripon families who struggle to make ends meet – I find this very rewarding. I am immensely proud of my involvement with Ripon Grammar School. I attended as a student many years ago, I was involved as a parent when my children attended, I am currently a teacher and now heavily involved in the boarding side of things. The only category I am missing is that of governor – watch out Mrs Jarvis…!"
House Tutor: Mrs Ruth Hong
"I'm Mrs Hong and I'm a House tutor at RGS. I've lived and worked all over the UK and overseas in Asia for a number of years. I have worked with young people for a long time now and believe that children are our future. I'm passionate about the outdoors, nature, people, food and the arts, especially film and music. I love singing and dancing. I like to challenge myself by trying to learn how to do something new. I've got a great sense of humour and love to laugh and have fun. I enjoy visiting and spending time with my son when I can. He currently lives and works in Bristol, which is a great city to visit. We love eating out and trying lots of different types of food.
House Tutor: Mrs Sarah Williams
"I have lived in Ripon for 5 years now, having moved from Great Ayton, not too far away. I have worked in Boarding at RGS for three years now, and being relatively new to the city, it has been a great way for me to feel more an established part of the local community. I love being with the students in house - it is an exciting and stimulating environment to be in, and one that I hope helps keep me young! I have two grown up sons both of whom are currently enjoying extensive overseas travel, and an elderly terrier who at the age of 17 is my third child! Prior to being at RGS I have had extensive very varied experience such as working as a designer in the clothing industry, being a school secretary, working as a food taster for Quorn, and more recently enabling adults with learning difficulties to learn arts and crafts skills. I am passionate about textile crafts, particularly enjoying knitting and crochet in my spare time, and with these both being meditative, they keep me sane! I also enjoy cooking, visiting bookshops and vintage emporiums, music, and my (rather shabby) allotment."