Finlay (upper sixth house)

Bruce and Rachel Hansen - Houseparents

Bruce Hansen started as the assistant housemaster of Venta when joining St Swithun’s in 2012. Born and bred in New Zealand, Bruce qualified with a MSc in Microbiology from Canterbury University and then completed a post-graduate teaching qualification at the Christchurch College of Education. He travelled to the United Kingdom in 2000 and is especially proud to have met his wife, Rachel, after being in England for just 3 days! Bruce teaches chemistry and biology at St Swithun’s. He now takes over as Housemaster of Finlay together with his wife Rachel as Housemistress.

Bruce finds all aspects of teaching extremely rewarding and has enjoyed getting to know the girls in Venta house in a more informal setting. He finds the house trips are especially good fun and enjoys the competitive nature of inter-house events. 

Bruce has a house in Dorset with Rachel and their two children, Florrie and Eddie. In his spare time he plays cricket, forages for fungi in the autumnal months and braves the vagaries of the English weather to explore beaches, castles and country houses. He is also interested in archaeology and volunteers at the Ancient Technology Centre, Cranborne where he can be found on open days putting his genetically-derived talents to good use cooking burgers on the barbeque.

Nicola Thomas - Assistant Housemistress

Nicola has been assistant housemistress of Finlay since 2003 – a testament to the delightfulness of the upper sixth year groups that have passed through the school!  She also teaches in the EAL department and acts as an EPQ supervisor.

Having grown up in Kent, she went on to study English at Cambridge University. Subsequently, most of her twenties were spent living and teaching overseas.  During her free time, when she is not out walking on the Downs, Nicola is most likely to be found enjoying a novel and a nice cup of tea.

Read a copy of the Finlay house boarding guide here