The first House Assemblies took place today, led by the Head of Houses. It was fantastic to see so many staff wearing their house colours and everyone coming together for this celebration of School spirit. Even Bumble, who belongs to Smith, had his house colours on his collar and lead today.
Vinter, Wickett, Smith and School are four names synonymous with Truro School. They are names that still, 100 years after the house system was set up, inspire friendly rivalry and fierce pride.
Last year, the houses celebrated their 100-year anniversary, and today’s assemblies showed that they are still incredibly meaningful to our pupils 100 years on.
The names used for our current School Houses were established in the Autumn Term of 1921 after a reformation of the house system. The houses had initially been established in 1904, with East, Hall, Tower (for boarders) and Town (for day boys).
Focused on sporting achievement, The Perry Shield, Vinter Cricket Shield, and Thrall Rugby Shield were the prizes the houses originally battled over. However, the field was dominated by Tower House and the other houses struggled to keep motivated to engage in the competition.
The system was reformed to allow all pupils, regardless of their age or ability, to be able to contribute something to their house. This was the beginning of the system we know and love today.
This ethos of inclusivity remains at the heart of our School houses. A morale booster, being in a house is a point of pride and the activities are there to be enjoyed and supported. We managed to chat with last year’s School Captain, Grace Kitching and Wickett Captain, Tegan Blackford to find out more about what the Houses mean to the School community.
“I think the house system has remained so popular over the last hundred years as it creates a sense of community within the school,” Grace explains. “You start to recognise people throughout the year groups in the corridors and look out for one another.
I have also found that the decision to place family members in the same house has meant that my second cousins are always asking which house is winning, almost 40 years after they have left. This shows just how popular the house system is.”
The house system now incorporates World Aims and House Quizzes as well as a number of musical and sporting events throughout the school year. Moving away from a pure sports focus has broadened the reach and appeal of the house competitions.
“The range of activities in the competitions helps us develop our skills and how we encourage each other, despite differences in age,” Grace continues. Tegan agrees, “it is a fun way to be competitive and to challenge yourself in new ways. It allows people to showcase and develop different strengths.”
So, 100 years on, what does the future of the house system look like? Grace tells us, “I would love to think that the houses could create even more activities to cover all aspects of school life so everyone can feel like they are contributing. As someone who isn’t the sportiest, I have still enjoyed the sporting challenges and really enjoyed the house games afternoon Mr Hooper introduced a few years ago. I do hope in the future they could introduce an art competition and more inter-year group activities post-Covid.”
Tegan hopes to ramp up the fun element of the house competitions. “While they are always enjoyable events, I want to make sure we keep it really fun. There was a talk of a house inflatable session instead of the house swimming competition which could be good.”
Before the girls leave us, I ask Tegan if she fancies Wickett for 2022/23 Champions. She sighs and smiles, ‘It is Wickett, so our chances are low, but hopefully…”. She continues, “I think the winner will be Smith as Mr Pommery is very competitive.”
Whoever the winner is this year, we look back with pride on all of our current and past students who have supported their house at Truro School. A happy 100-year anniversary to you all.