The School House system was established in Autumn 1943, with the Head Girl, Mary Whitehouse, saying at the time, “It is hoped that by this (House) system, the underlying ideals of Saint Martin may be brought out in the life of the school”.
Initially, three Houses were created: Cloaks, Swords and Shields, with Helmets added at a later date as pupil numbers grew. The House system has evolved over time to now include all girls and staff in a House, regardless of pupil age or staff role. Saint Martin’s School prides itself upon the community spirit and togetherness amongst both girls and staff alike. The House system is designed to promote not just competition and hard work, but also resilience, leadership and teamwork – attitudes and skills that are vital within any society. If a new girl has an older sibling current attending, or a direct family member who previously attended the School, then she shall be placed into the same House.
Each House has two Heads of House (Junior and Senior School), two House Captains (Junior and Senior School) as well as a Vice-Captain (Senior School only). Every House also has a colour, motto and logo. The mottos and logos were written and designed by girls from Junior and Senior School.
The current Heads of House are:
Cloaks – Red
Mrs Inglis – Junior School
Mrs Terry – Senior School
House Motto – “Courageous conquering cloaks”
Helmets – Yellow
Miss Hull – Junior School
Ms Simmons – Senior School
House Motto – “Happy Helmets help all”
Shields – Blue
Mrs Rich – Junior School
Mr Brown – Senior School
House motto – “The greatest victories come from the strongest harmonies”
Swords – Green
Mrs Winn – Junior School
Dr Ryland – Senior School
House motto – “We stand as one through times of triumph and despair, only to emerge stronger than before”
These mottos are on display on our House board, which lists the members of each House along with information on current holders of the various House competition trophies.
Senior School House Captains and Vice-Captains are elected on an annual basis, each October. The positions are held by members of the Lower Sixth, following applications and subsequent interviews with the House Coordinator and Head of Sixth Form. Junior School House Captains are appointed on a semi-annual basis and are appointed after a vote from their peers in Junior School.
Pupils throughout the School collect House Points as a reward for effort, achievement and perseverance across the curriculum, sporting endeavours and also any extra-curricular activities they may dedicate time to, such as the School play, the annual Charity Music Concert and Debate Club. These are then counted towards the overall points’ total of their respective House. This wide range of Inter-House activities and events ensures that all girls can take an active part towards their House, enabling them to feel part of the Saint Martin’s community.
At the end of the year, various trophies are awarded to the winning Houses, with the House Captains, as representatives of their House, receiving the trophies. The ultimate prize is the House Cup, awarded to the House with the largest number of House Points across a number of both academic and sporting activities. The current holder of the House Cup is Helmets.