BOARDERS returning to an independent school in Taunton after the summer holidays will have noticed a number of welcome changes.

Many areas of King's College have been refurbished, including boarding houses and facilities.

A substantial amount of work has been carried out at Meynell House, one of three girls' houses at King's.

It has been extended to include three former adjacent classrooms, creating six additional boarding-bed spaces, two day-bed spaces, additional shower and toilet facilities, as well as more areas for studying.

Other parts of the existing boarding house have also been refurbished.

A key part of the renovations has been to knock through Meynell’s existing two common rooms to create one large single common room, creating an ideal space for the house to meet together and socialise.

As well as these new facilities, Meynell House is also joined this year by a new residential matron, Tup Bentley, who brings a wealth of boarding and pastoral experience to the role.

Claire Phillips, who took over as housemistress last year, said: “My first year as a housemistress was definitely an interesting experience.

"I never thought I would take on the role in the middle of a global pandemic.

"It was challenging, and at times frustrating, as the girls were unable to socialise in the same way.

"We all began to look forward to a time when some kind of normal life would resume.

"Certainly, all the ideas I began to amass during the period of lockdown are now back on the ‘to do’ list again.”

She added: “There have been some major changes in the house.

"The common room is now one lovely large room, a bright and spacious area where the girls can watch Netflix or hold their Just Dance competitions – both very popular at the moment.

"We now have a brand-new kitchen and I am already looking for volunteers to help me prepare Sunday brunch.

"I’m delighted to be joined by Tup, and also by Joe Basquill, who joins Meynell as a non-resident deputy.”