"We have enjoyed our time in Benson House. We enjoy the social life, getting together each week, making new friends, talking, playing pool. It has helped our confidence in English- especially spoken. We have great facilities in our rooms and in the recreation room.  Every weekend, we get to organise house trips- skiing, ice hiking or movies and a dinner…. Organising these helps our leadership skills and organization. The Benson group are more than just a house… we are family."

Oliver and April CSF2 

Welcome to the Benson House

With boarding very much a core part of the Wellington UK experience, we are delighted to now have our own boarding house – the Benson – here in Tianjin. Named after the very first Master of Wellington UK in the 1850’s, it is a brand new building right next to the main campus. It opened in August 2013, offering world-leading boarding accommodation in an apartment-style setting, for Senior School boys and girls in Years 7 upwards.


Samantha and Ian Wood are the House Masters dedicated to Benson, who were delighted to have the boarding experience judged as ‘outstanding’ in last year’s Annual Review. Ian joined the Wellington staff in August 2016 as Head of Technology, and in August 2017 was joined by his wife Samantha who is Head of Boarding, and Guidance and Welfare. Both of them have over 30 years’ experience of teaching in secondary school back in the UK. Samantha brings 9 years of experience of the boarding school life, but from the perspective of being a boarder in the UK. They have two children Ciarán, a university graduate of DeMontefort University, Leicester, who runs his own Personal Training business, and Ailís who is currently studying Psychology at Queen’s University, Belfast. They have shared interests in travel, cultural diversity and outdoor life, the latter has resulted in Ian being an active member of the Swaledale Mountain Rescue team for 8 years; whilst Samantha channels her energy into equestrian sports owning her own horse, Badger who sadly had to remain behind in the UK.



Angelica and Saul Montoya are Assistant House Masters supporting Ian and Samantha Wood at the Benson House. They are originally from Bogota, Colombia in South America and this is their fourth year at Wellington College. They came with their daughter Emilia, who is a pupil in the nest and their son Matias, who attends the Junior School. Angelica is one of the year 4 teachers and Saul works as a 1:1 teacher in the Junior School. Before coming to Tianjin, Angelica worked for 7 years as the Learning Support Leader in primary school in an IB school, supporting children in and out of the classroom. Saul worked as a business consultant in a communications company. Outside of school, the Montoyas enjoy travelling, going to theme parks, watching films and having a pizza night every Friday.






Cliff and Nicola Iddison have joined the Benson team this year as assistants to Ian and Samantha Wood. Nicola is in her second year at Wellington College Tianjin as the textiles teacher in the senior school; while Cliff is the new head of science here at Wellington, having worked in Beijing for the last year. Both Cliff and Nicola bring a wealth of experience of teaching in the UK, in various management responsibilities both academic, pastoral and at a senior level. Having raised their children who live back in the UK, they are able to call upon their excellent parenting skills as well as their academic experience to assist them in their role in Benson. Cliff enjoys keeping fit; and is an enviable marathon runner having competed in the event around the world, even taking on the challenge of the Great Wall! Nicola enjoys all things to do with fashion and textiles, as well as travelling and spending time with the family.



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