New house system


From September 2019, students in the main school (year 7 – 11) will be placed in mixed-age groups for tutor periods only (not for taught lessons). This will mean that a typical tutor group in the main school will comprise approximately six students from each of year 7 to 11. There will be six houses, each with a new house name and each will be led by a Head of House (instead of a Head of Year), with each house comprising approximately eight, mixed-age tutor groups.

Students in the sixth form (year 12 – 13) will also be placed in mixed-age sixth form tutor groups for tutor periods only (not for taught lessons), with each tutor group comprising approximately twelve year 12 students and ten year 13 students. Whilst these sixth form tutor groups will still engage with the house system and related activities, it is felt that the type of support required at this stage of their education is so bespoke, that they require their own tutor group structure.

New house names

The new Houses will be:


Sir David Attenborough | Broadcaster and natural historian

(1926 – present)


Sir David Attenborough is an English broadcaster and natural historian. He is best known for writing and presenting, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, the nine natural history documentary series forming the Life collection that together constitute a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on Earth. He is the only person to have won BAFTAs for programmes in each of black and white, colour, HD, 3D and 4K.

Attenborough’s trophy cabinet has recently acquired the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, he has been knighted, had species named after him and the Sir David Attenborough Studio is planned for London’s Natural History Museum in 2008.With warmth and intelligence, Attenborough has brought the world to our doorstep. An estimated 500 million people worldwide watched Life On Earth. Long before environmental issues were making daily headlines, he was a fervent eco campaigner both on and off screen.



Rosa Parks | American activist in the civil rights movement

(1913 – 2005)


Rosa Parks was an African-American civil rights activist. She was called the “Mother of the Modern-Day American civil rights movement” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.

On December 1st, 1955 while she sat in a seat in the middle of the bus, the bus driver told her to move to the back of the bus so a white passenger could take the seat in the front of the bus. During this time, when there were no white seats for white people, black people were told to get up out of their seat. Parks refused to move. Like so many others she was tired of being treated as a lower class person because of the colour of her skin.

As a result of her refusal, she was arrested. This led to the Montgomery bus boycott. The boycott lasted 381 days and eventually caused a change in the law. After that, black people could sit wherever they wanted to on the bus. Her refusal to let others treat her differently was an important symbol in the campaign against racial segregation





Stephen Hawking | English physicist, cosmologist and author

(1942 – 2018)


Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge at the time of his death.

Hawking achieved commercial success with several works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general. His book A Brief History of Time appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. Hawking received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.

In 1963, Hawking was diagnosed with an early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease (MND; also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis “ALS” or Lou Gehrig’s disease) that gradually paralysed him over the decades. Even after the loss of his speech, he was still able to communicate through a speech-generating device, initially through use of a hand-held switch, and eventually by using a single cheek muscle.




Anne Frank | German-born Jewish diarist during the Holocaust

(1929 – 1945)


Anne Frank was a German-born diarist. One of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, she gained fame posthumously with the publication of The Diary of a Young Girl), in which she documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It is one of the world’s most widely known books and has been the basis for several plays and films.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, she lived most of her life in or near Amsterdam, Netherlands, having moved there with her family at the age of four and a half when the Nazis gained control over Germany. Born a German national, she lost her citizenship in 1941 and thus became stateless. By May 1940, the Franks were trapped in Amsterdam by the German occupation of the Netherlands. As persecutions of the Jewish population increased in July 1942, the Franks went into hiding in some concealed rooms behind a bookcase in the building where Anne’s father, Otto Frank, worked. From then until the family’s arrest by the Gestapo in August 1944, she kept a diary, and wrote in it regularly. Following their arrest, the Franks were transported to concentration camps. In the autumn of 1944, Anne and her sister, Margot, were transferred from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they died (probably of typhus) a few months later.

Otto, the only survivor of the Franks, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that her diary had been saved by his secretary, Miep Gies, and his efforts led to its publication in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch version and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl, and has since been translated into over 60 languages.



Jesse Owens | Won four gold medals in Berlin 1936

(1913 – 1980)


James “Jesse” Owens was an American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1936 Games.

He specialised in the sprints and the long jump and was recognised in his lifetime as “perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history”. He set three world records and tied another, all in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan—a feat that has never been equalled and has been called “the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport”.

He achieved international fame at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany by winning four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4 × 100 meter relay. He was the most successful athlete at the Games and, as a black man, was credited with “single-handedly crushing Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy”, although he “wasn’t invited to the White House to shake hands with the President, either”.

The Jesse Owens Award is USA Track and Field’s highest accolade for the year’s best track and field athlete.



J K Rowling | Author of the Harry Potter series

(1965 – present)


Joanne Rowling, writing under the pen names J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith, is a British novelist, philanthropist, film producer, television producer and screenwriter, best known for writing the Harry Potter fantasy series. The books have won multiple awards, and sold more than 500 million copies, becoming the best-selling book series in history. They have also been the basis for a film series, over which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts and was a producer on the final films in the series.

Rowling has lived a “rags to riches” life story, in which she progressed from living on state benefits to being the world’s first billionaire author. She lost her billionaire status after giving away much of her earnings to charity, but remains one of the wealthiest people in the world. She is the UK’s bestselling living author, with sales in excess of £238M.


These men and women will all have experienced joy and fear and demonstrated resilience, some in situations of incredible hardship. Each life is distinct from the others, but what they have in common is the admiration and respect that they inspire in us all.

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  1. Enable students in different year groups to build positive, healthy relationships with each other.
  2. Nurture an enhanced sense of family and community between our students.
  3. Provide opportunities for older students to act as role models for younger students and conversely, opportunities for younger students to have meaningful conversations with older students about school life and future aspirations.
  4. Re-energise our school’s house system.
  5. Further improve home/school communication.

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  • A comprehensive tutoring programme will form the basis of the activities that take place during the daily 30 minutes tutor period. This will include paired-reading, discussions regarding current affairs/debating, peer mentoring and opportunities for the tutor to speak to the six students in each specific year group regarding their attendance and progress. Age-appropriate careers information, advice and guidance will form part of the tutor programme.
  • Sixth form students will visit main school tutor periods twice per week and lead a variety of activities (individual, small group and/or whole-class) each focused on supporting main school students and raising aspirations.
  • Opportunities to celebrate house identity and core values through a weekly house assembly programme.
  • An annual calendar of curricula and extra-curricula house activities will enable students to work together within their tutor groups and houses, competing against other houses across the school.
  • Student leadership will be re-modelled to ensure that it fits the new house system and that students across all year groups are given opportunities to further develop their leadership skills.
  • The house system will drive student recognition and rewards. Our approach to this will also be re-modelled and students individual and collective achievements will all contribute towards individual rewards, in addition to the house point total, which will culminate in the school’s house trophy being awarded at the end of the year to the winning house.
  • The combination of different lunchtimes and different houses will enable the school’s leaders to ensure that the minority of students who exhibit poor behaviour are kept apart at social time and are placed in different tutor groups, hence minimising any disruption to learning.
  • Tutors will have approximately six students in each year group, rather than 30. This means that at key points of the year (end of first week of school for year 7 students, year 9 options, year 11 examination preparation, etc) it will be easier for tutors to be proactive and communicate home to discuss the school’s support for students.

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