Every child and every member of staff is a member of one of our houses. During the year we hold many different events where children are able to represent their house. These range from sports competitions, to maths challenges and much more. Points are awarded for children’s achievements in these events, as well as their good work and learning attitude in class. To recognise their achievements, the children receive recognition when they reach:
25 House Points – Bronze Certificate
50 House Points – Silver Certificate
75 House Points – Gold Certificate
100 House Points – Bronze Badge
125 House Points – Silver Badge
150 House Points – Gold Badge
175 House Points – Cross
These individual house points are also totalled up towards as whole house total, across the year groups. Trophies and cups are awarded at the end of each term.
Austin – Jane Austen – Yellow
16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817
Probably the most famous of the four, Jane Austin was born as the daughter of a well off vicar or rector of the village of Steventon. She has five brothers and a sister, Cassandra, who was Jane’s closest friend. Jane studied in Oxford, Reading and Southampton. In 1800, Jane’s father, George, suddenly decided to give up being a vicar and moved the whole family to 4 Sydney Place in Bath. However, around 1809, one of Jane’s brothers, called Edward who owned a lot of land, gave Jane, her mother and Cassandra a large cottage on the estate of Chawton House.
Life was quieter in Chawton than it had been since the family’s move to Bath in 1800. The Austens did not socialise with gentry and entertained only when family visited. Her niece Anna described the family’s life in Chawton as “a very quiet life, according to our ideas, but they were great readers, and besides the housekeeping our aunts occupied themselves in working with the poor and in teaching some girl or boy to read or write.” Grey, J. David; Litz, A. Waton; Southam, B. C.; Bok, H.Abigail (1986). The Jane Austen companion. Macmillan. p. 38.
You can visit Jane Austin’s restored house and outbuildings which is run as a museum. It can be found in the nearby village of Chawton and is where she lived, wrote many of her books such as Sense and Sensibility(1811), Pride and Prejudice(1813), Mansfield Park(1814), Emma(1816), Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
Cobbett – William Cobbett – Red
9 March 1763 – 18 June 1835
William Cobbett was born in Farnham, but settled in Botley in 1805 where he combined his career as a political journalist with farming and family life, bringing up his large brood of seven children. He lived in Botley House, a massive property opposite Botley Mills which was demolished in the mid 19th century, although some outbuildings remain. Cobbett loved the little market town as it contained ‘everything that he loved and nothing that he hated!’. The son of a farmer, he cared passionately about the plight of humble farm labourers, and rallied against corrupt statesmen and middlemen.
As well as writing several books, his outlet for expressing his opinions was his own paper, The Political Register where his motto was: “Put me on a gridiron and broil me alive if I am wrong!” His paper was later bought by the Hansard family and became the official record of Parliamentary proceedings.
His freethinking views put him behind bars in 1810 for acting against the use of flogging by the army. He served his time in London’s Newgate Prison which was the largest, most notorious and the worst in the city – described by many as ‘hell itself!’ With infectious diseases passing round the prisoners, only a quarter survived until their execution day which was either a public hanging or burning. Luckily Cobbett was released after two years and rode back home to Botley via Alton where the church bells rang for an hour to celebrate his freedom.
Gaskell – Elizabeth Gaskell – Green
29 September 1810 – 12 November 1865
Elizabeth Gaskell was, like Jane Austin, also a novelist who wrote books particularly about Victorian society and about the poverty that could be found in that period. She was born in Chelsea, London but despite being one of eight children, only her and her brother survived infancy. Her mother too died in childbirth.
Despite this, Gaskell grew up to be a well travelled writer and was famous for writing Mary Barton, Cranford, and North and South. She worked closely with Charles Dickens and was a good friend of Charlotte Bronte, so much so that when she died Gaskell wrote her biography titled The Life of Charlotte Bronte. She also once lived in what is now ‘The Lawns’ care home, situated in Holybourne with which the school still has links with today, particularly at Christmas times when the children perform Christmas carols to the residents.
White – Gilbert White – Blue
18 July 1720 – 26 June 1793
The Reverend Gilbert White is famous in three ways, as author of one of the most published and popular books in the English language, as a pioneering naturalist who hugely influenced the development of the science of natural history, and as a gardener.
His book, compiled of letters written to fellow naturalists Thomas Pennant and Daines Barrington, is reputed to be, after the Bible, Shakespeare and Pilgrim’s Progress, the most published book in the English language. The Natural History of Selborne was published in 1789 and since then has never been out of print, and has been translated into numerous other languages, including a German version as early as 1794.
White is widely regarded as the father of ecology, and is a globally significant natural scientist. He was responsible for a number of major discoveries in the world of natural history. He was the first to identify the harvest mouse in this country, he correctly realised that the species of bird known as a willow wren was in fact three separate species – the wood warbler, the chiff chaff and the wood warbler. He discovered the noctule bat.
Gilbert White was first a gardener, and it was the love of the outdoors and of growing things that stimulated his interest in nature. When he returned after university to live in Selborne he started to cultivate the garden of The Wakes, his grandmother’s house which eventually became his. He gradually acquired land and extended the garden until he had taken over the whole 25 acres that the Wakes now owns. He grew cabbages and other vegetables in huge quantities (500 savoy cabbage plants in a single planting) and also more exotic things much fancied by 18th century gardeners, such as melons and cucumbers, which had to be grown under glass.