The Michell House building is situated opposite the Music Schools and the Temple Speech Room, and close to the Old Quad and the Chapel. Michell House was purpose-built and paid for by the Housemaster at the time, WG Michell, who sold it to the School on his retirement. Notable old boys include Dick Seaman, winner of the 1938 German Grand Prix, Robert Hardy and AN Wilson. Michell House is built around a newly-surfaced quad used by all years for various games throughout the year; the front garden, formerly a grass tennis court, is used extensively in the summer for all manner of ball games. Each year group has their own common room; available to all boys in the House is a snooker room and, adjacent to the communal kitchen, a projector room with four large sofas. There is also a tranquil and fruitful orchard at the back of the House.
Michell House has been noted in recent years for success in the sporting arena, particularly in athletics and soccer, but there are also a good number of academic and music scholars in the House; Michell is a House where diversity, openness and friendship are encouraged and where pupils flourish in an all-round sense.
The House is wonderfully served by a dedicated team of tutors, matrons, caterers and other House staff. Each tutor monitors the progress of a year group of around 10 tutees; naturally, the boys develop very strong relationships with the House staff during their Rugby School career.
Students in the F Block (1st year) have their own private study on the ground floor, adjacent to the Housemaster, while sharing sleeping accommodation in one of the two dormitories upstairs. Students in the E Block (2nd year) and above have their own study bedroom, but with their peers in the same vicinity, such is the pragmatic and effective layout of the building. Senior prefects in the House have the use of the largest study bedrooms, on the ground floor.
Above all, Michell House is a warm, friendly place where boys are happy, where they eat, sleep, work, rest and play harmoniously and where they are provided with the best possible opportunity to fulfil their potential in every area of school life.
Ben Welch has been teaching Design & Technology at Rugby since 2014. He studied Electronic Engineering at Cardiff University before working in a variety of design and research jobs in some interesting locations before completing his PGCE, also in Cardiff. When he is not in the workshop, Ben can usually be found outside coaching rugby, soccer and athletics, working with the Royal Marines CCF or organising Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions. In his spare time, he is a keen cyclist, adventurer and traveller. In the evenings, it is rare to find Ben unaccompanied by Scamper, his yellow Labrador.
Upon completing his Law degree at Mansfield College, Oxford in 2014, Hari Dhesi gained experience in journalism and private tutoring, as well as travelling to South America and around Europe. After finishing his MA in Broadcast Journalism in 2016, Hari decided to pursue teaching, and spent three years teaching English at a school in Birmingham. Following a brief year out of education, gaining experience in financial services in the city, Hari was inevitably drawn back to the classroom, and was thrilled to join Rugby School in 2020. Having quickly found himself at home in Michell, he was delighted to be appointed as Deputy Housemaster in January 2021.
Outside the classroom, Hari is an avid runner, a passion he strives to share with the Michell boys, with steadily increasing success. He also organises a Senior Debating Club and facilitates the house competition, and is revitalising chess at Rugby School, coaching the newly reformed school teams. When time allows he can also be found on a tennis court or football pitch. He is a self-proclaimed ‘movie-buff’; his favourite film is John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’.
Hari lives with his partner Amy, who is Head of Sociology at a school in Coventry. They enjoy travelling together in the summers and maximising use of their National Trust membership during the rest of the year.
Joanna Wood joined Michell in 2018 and became Resident Matron in 2021. Jo’s hobbies include going to the gym, spending time with her family and socialising with friends. Her lengthy prior experience was in childcare. Joanna is the safeguarding officer for her local church and attends whenever her School duties allow. She is a mental health first aider for adults and young people, something about which she is passionate. She lives with her family in the heart of the House and is on call through the night. When the boys return from their lessons for meals, it is Jo and Claire who, as Michell’s Matron team, deal with their daily needs.
Claire Ogilvie joined the Michell team as Non-Resident Matron in 2021 having gained valuable experience as a Bank Matron in a full range of Rugby School’s Boarding Houses. Claire and her family enjoy walking and cycling together during the holidays – she loves the outdoors, particularly while walking her dogs. She keeps a variety of livestock at home, including horses. Both Claire and her daughter like to compete in equestrian events as often as free time allows.