House from Home: Hawkins' (Chawker's)

8th March 2021
BY Jack Le-Men and Aidan Zilkha

Within the first term of JP (the first year), we have received a warm welcome to the active boarding lifestyle and the Chawker’s family. Without a dull moment, Chawker’s boys are constantly encouraged to take part in a variety of different societies, sports, and competitions. The Chawker’s house spirit is truly present even in these challenging and unprecedented times.  

At Chawker’s we hold a buffet of different interests and talents. From incredibly gifted musicians and athletes to debaters and public speakers destined for large and influential platforms. To maintain our house’s diversity, we are encouraged to attend a variety of different societies and extracurricular activities.  

A house spirit is difficult to maintain when so far apart. Normally, we are able to help one another when needed, both academically and emotionally, and celebrate each other’s achievements. Through lockdown this has all become slightly more arduous for most. However, Chawker’s has been able to conserve these normalities through a series of house meetings and Teams calls. We have celebrated winning the Dancy Pot (awarded for the Junior Drama Festival), held a house concert, and witnessed the advance of some in the house quiz. Boys are often together and helping each other with daily issues and stress, our teamwork is holding strong. The reassuring option for daily calls with our Housemaster has been helpful and almost a necessity in Covid times.  

“A familiar and warm place of study, fun and community”

Chawker’s House, which a few years back celebrated 150 years since its inception, has been led by Dr Hodgins for the past 12 years. Next year, it is due to be taken over by Mr Dakin, who has been a Don at Winchester College for nearly 20 years. The house staff, led by our lovely Matron Joanna Letty, together with the body of pupils, make Chawker’s a very special place to be. A familiar and warm place of study, fun and community, our house is friendly but also ambitious and competitive.  

Chawker Pot, a coveted inter-house football cup, has been ferociously fought over in the final, and retained once again thanks to a brilliant and perseverant performance by our top three years. Following the nail-biting win, the Chawkerites felt a euphoric team spirit flow through the corridors of the galleries. In addition to sporting successes, our house has also won an inter-house drama competition, this year in the form of a radio play, with excellent directing and editing efforts by our fourth years, Noah, Keiran and Pradyumn. Continuing with the performing arts theme, Chawker’s put on a splendid rendition of ABBA’s SOS, coming a close second in Bobber Pot, an inter-house choir competition.  

We still fondly remember our Christmas House Concert, which held many impressive performances, with a highlight being a humorous performance by a handful of top year pupils who sang Robbie Williams’ iconic Angels to honour Dr Hodgins' last year as Chawker’s Housemaster. This was a truly unforgettable, heart-warming and a moving reminder of how close the Chawkerites are across all year groups.  

We are ecstatic to return to Chawkers and we are sure that the rest of the house feel the same. After all, we are returning not only to a school but a home.

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