Junior House - Dunbar

Dunbar is Pangbourne's Junior House, catering for boys and girls in Forms 1 and 2.  The Junior House is located in quiet surroundings, overlooking beautiful land and providing a purpose-built hub for the students to rest, play and board.

The House is only a short walk from the rest of the Pangbourne College campus where the Dunbar pupils make full use of and enjoy all of the teaching rooms and facilities.

The experienced team of Junior House staff and teachers support pupils' transition from primary or prep school to senior school by creating a happy atmosphere in which students are encouraged to be confident.

Dunbar is split into our Watches [Houses] – Port, Starboard, Forward and Aft– which compete against each other in Dunbar Challenges.  The Watch colours are Red for Port, Green for Starboard, Yellow for Forward and Blue for Aft. 

The House's overall aim is to nurture a life-long love of challenge and learning within the students, who are exposed to a vast amount of opportunities over their two years.

All the pupils sing in the Dunbar choir, with many playing a musical instrument and taking part in concerts and recitals.

There are numerous, varied Dunbar trips arranged throughout the course of the two years, such as visits to the Royal Windsor Horse Show, the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and mudlarking on the banks of the River Thames.

The Watches compete against each other in Dunbar Challenges – competitions held twice a term designed to encourage pupils to work together as a team.

Each Watch has a Watch Captain (Form 2 prefect) and Form 2 students can be Dunbar Buddies (the equivalent of a peer mentor) which provides early leadership opportunities for the students.

The Watches also compete for the title of 'Smartest Watch' every Tuesday when they have their uniform inspection.

House points are awarded during lessons for excellent academic endeavour with the Dunbar Cup being awarded to the Watch with the most number of points at the end of the year.

Dunbar students are taught in small classes, meaning there is more time for teachers to devote to each pupil.

Form 2 enjoy a series of dedicated events organised to celebrate their time in Dunbar such as a camping expedition and formal dinner.

Dunbar pupils have their own playing field, called the Piggeries, and can make the most of the facilities such as the table football, pool table and 50” TV in the House.

In contrast to the rest of the school, there are no Saturday lessons for Dunbar students and they do not take part in parades. They also wear a different uniform consisting of grey trousers or skirt, a navy blazer, a white shirt and a College tie. These differences are one way in which the small, co-educational Junior House aids the transition of pupils from primary school to senior secondary school.

Dunbar aims to foster a sense of belonging and responsibility in its pupils and prides itself on developing the confidence of young boys and girls, giving them a firm foundation they can build upon as they move up through Pangbourne.

Dunbar is named after one of the clipper ships belonging to the Devitt and Moore shipping company that first set up Pangbourne as a Nautical College in 1917 before it took the name Pangbourne College and then later became a co-educational school.

Students' Opinions

I enjoy being with friends. I’ve made some good friends in Dunbar.

There’s a variety of things we do at the weekend, like go out to the rugby. It’s good fun.

If we need help, we ask for it and get it.

We set up pool tournaments, table football tournaments. There are different competitions for our Watches. There’s Dunbar football.

The staff members are good fun. Tilly is good. It’s a fun place.

What makes Dunbar different is the fact that we don’t do parade and we’re dressed differently.

The Sports Hall, rugby and football pitches are great facilities and the Houses are really good.

I play the drums and the trombone. We have a lesson once a week. When Mr Corry is on duty, I get to play the trombone a bit more.

The best thing about boarding is the friends.

Carl Watson – Former Full-Boarder

I like hanging out with my friends and meeting new students.

Whoever’s on duty, you can ask them for help with your prep (homework) or ask the pupils in your class if they know the answer.

I play hockey and I play the clarinet. There’s an hour and a half of sport every day. There’s the opportunity to be asked to play for the senior school on Saturday. When I have free time at night, I practise musical pieces.

Tilly’s very nice. Loads of people like her. She’s great. When we want some alone time, we can play with her.

The Dunbar staff members are very nice. They can help us if we get homesick and with prep. If we need to talk about something, we can chat to them.

There’s loads of outside space. We have a field where the boys and girls play football, we walk Tilly there as well. It’s called the Piggeries. It's quiet – a nice space to hang out with friends.

There are very nice surroundings here. In the summer, the bluebells come out in the fields and it’s a really pretty sight.

Dunbar’s homely. It’s great for getting used to what it’s like here.

There are loads of Dunbar Challenges like the Dunbar InterWatch Singing Competition. We can go and watch the senior school Divisional Competitions too.

The best thing about boarding here is being around your friends and making bonds with everyone. It’s like a big family.

Maisie Marsh – Former Full-Boarder

Meet the Team


Dr Ian Hart succeeds Mr Will Ogilvie-Jones as Housemaster and first joined Pangbourne four years ago in 2013. He lives in the Division with his wife, Dr Jo Hart, who is a Teacher of Science at the College and also has long experience of being a Dunbar Visiting Tutor. They are both University of Bristol alumni.

Dr Ian Hart joined Pangbourne from The Oratory, where he was head of Physics for 10 years. He has also taught Science at St. Edward's School, Oxford for eight years. The Harts' youngest daughter Rosie has just completed two years in Dunbar and from September 2017 enters Form 3, whilst eldest daughter Madelaine begins life in the Lower Sixth in September 2017.

Assistant Housemistress

Miss Emma Green is a Teacher of Art and, as well as assisting with the academic and pastoral care of the pupils once a week, Miss Green runs arts and crafts activities for the pupils.


Mrs Margaret May plays a vital role in the pastoral care of the pupils.


Visiting Tutor

Dr Jo Hart



Mrs Lisa Andrews