Every student who attends Wallington High School for Girls is a member of a “House”, and in each year form groups are named after the relevant House, for example, 8 Athena is the Year 8 form group belonging to Athena House. Houses are made up of students from Year 7 through to Year 11, arranged vertically. Each student is given her House colours when she joins the school and these show the House to which she will belong during her time in Key Stages 3 and 4. There are seven Houses in total each led by two Year 10 House Leaders. Houses comprise: Athena, Curie, Bronte, Johnson, Pankhurst, Seacole and Sharman.

Athena

In Greek religion and mythology, Athena was the daughter of Zeus and his favourite child. She was the Goddess of Inspiration, Wisdom and Learning, in the fields of Mathematics, Arts, Crafts and Skills. She was also the Goddess of Courage, Strength, and Heroic Endeavour as well as Civilization, Law and Justice, Strategy and Just Warfare. The city of Athens was named after her and the Athenians founded the Parthenon, on the Acropolis of the city of Athens, in her honour.

Bronte

Charlotte Bronte was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, in 1816, moving to Haworth with the family in 1820. She was the third of six children, five sisters and a brother, whose mother died when Charlotte was five years old. Being the children of a clergyman, Charlotte and her two elder sisters were sent to stay at the Clergy Daughters' School in Cowan Bridge, Lancashire, the school which later inspired Lowood School in her first published novel 'Jane Eyre' (1847). A year later her two elder sisters died of tuberculosis and Charlotte's father removed her from the school and she remained for some time at the family home of Haworth Parsonage with her remaining siblings, Branwell, Emily and Anne, all of whom wrote prolifically. Charlotte was an outstanding author, who wrote verse and novels, including 'Jane Eyre', 'Shirley' (1849) and 'Villette' (1853). She became a teacher and dreamed of running her own school, but sadly did not live long enough for this dream to become a reality, dying in 1855 at the age of 38, having survived all her siblings. Her father, Patrick, died in 1861 having survived the whole family. Charlotte's letters to her friend have served as the best documentaries of her life.

Curie

Marie Sklodowska-Curie was born in 1867 in Warsaw. She was a French-Polish physicist and chemist, famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize (for Physics in 1903) and the only woman to win two Nobel Prizes and for different sciences (her second was for Chemistry in 1911). She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris. She developed the theory of radioactivity, techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes and discovered the two elements Radium and Polonium (which she named after her native country of Poland).

Johnson

Amy Johnson was a pioneering English aviator. She was born in Hull, in July 1903, and graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BA in Economics. She moved to London and took up flying as a hobby, gaining a Pilot's Licence in 1929. She also became the first British woman to gain a Ground Engineer's Licence in that same year. Amy's father helped fund her purchase of a second-hand 'de Havilland Gypsy Moth', which she named 'Jason'. In 1930 she became the first woman to fly solo from Croydon to Darwin, Australia, for which she received the 'Harmon Trophy' and a 'CBE'. In 1931 Amy and her co-pilot, Jack Humphreys, set a London to Moscow record of 21 hrs, then continued across Siberia and set the England to Japan record. In 1932 and 1936 Amy set two solo records from London to Cape Town, South Africa and in 1934 set a record from England to India. In 1940, during the WWII, Amy joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), transporting RAF aircraft around the country but, sadly, she died a year later while on active service, when her aircraft crashed into the Thames Estuary during bad weather.

Pankhurst

Emmeline (Goulden) Pankhurst was born in Manchester, in 1858. She was the eldest daughter of ten children born into a family steeped in political agitation for generations. Her mother was descended from the Manx People of the Isle of Man, which was the first country to grant women the right to vote in national elections in 1881. Her father was descended from a family of merchants in Manchester and was active in local politics. His mother had worked with the Anti-Corn Law League and his father was present at the Peterloo Massacre, in Manchester in 1819, when cavalry were used to break up a demonstration demanding parliamentary reform. The family were also involved in the movement for the Abolition of Slavery.

In 1879, Emmeline married Richard Pankhurst, a barrister, who advocated women's suffrage. Over the next ten years they had five children but Emmeline was not expected to confine herself to the home and a maid was hired to help with the children so that Emmeline could involve herself with the Women's Suffrage Movement. She helped found the Women's Franchise League in 1889, which not only advocated women's suffrage but also equal rights for women in divorce and inheritance.

Due to the violent activities used to promote her political views, she was arrested on numerous occasions and spent time in prison experiencing the privations, partaking in hunger-strikes and suffering the horrific practice of being force-fed. She eventually saw victory with the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918 (enfranchising women over 30 who met minimum property qualifications) but it wasn't until the Representation of the People Act 1928, in the July of that year and one month after Emmeline had died, that the voting franchise was extended to all women over the age of 21. A statue to Emmeline stands in the Victoria Tower Gardens by the Palace of Westminster, in London.

Seacole

Mary Jane (Grant) Seacole was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1805, of a Scottish father and a Creole mother. Her mother ran a hotel frequented by European sailors and soldiers who were often suffering from fevers and ailments, which she treated with her own herbal remedies, and this is where Mary learned her nursing skills. She married Edwin Seacole in 1836 but he sadly died in 1844. During the following years, she became widely known and respected for treating patients with a variety of illnesses, including cholera and yellow fever, both in Jamaica and in neighbouring countries.

On hearing of the war in the Crimea, Mary travelled to England and subsequently funded her own onward journey to the Crimea. In 1855, she set up her British Hotel to provide "a mess table and comfortable quarters for sick and wounded soldiers". The Hotel sold anything "from a needle to an anchor", served meals and provided outside catering. Daily, Mary served coffees and dealt with visitors' ailments before going out onto the battlefield to tend the casualties, where she was widely known to the British Army as 'Mother Seacole'. Mary returned from the Crimea in 1956, returning to Jamaica but finally making her home in England, where her fortunes fluctuated until her death, in Paddington, London, in 1881. She is buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery in Kensal Green, London.

Sharman

Helen Sharman was born in Sheffield in 1963. She received a BSc in Chemistry in the University of Sheffield in 1984 and later moved south and worked for the General Electric Company (GEC) while studying part-time for a PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London. In August 1987, Helen worked in research techology for Mars Confectionery, where she studied the chemical and physical properties of chocolate.

In 1989, Helen answered a radio advert for 'Astronaut wanted - no experience necessary' and was short-listed from more than 13,000 applicants to the final four candidates to be the United Kingdom's astronaut on the Soviet space mission Project Juno. She underwent weeks of physical and psychological tests to eventually make it to the final two candidates. There then followed eighteen months in Russia, training to cope with weightlessness and life in a confined environment, learning survival procedures and how to fly a rocket! In May 1991, Helen became Britain's first astronaut in space, spending eight days in the Mir Space Station conducting scientific experiments. Helen has gone on to become a broadcaster and lecturer specialising in science education. She was awarded her OBE in 1992.

The House System is a valuable part of school life, providing students with a chance to improve their team working, leadership and organisational skills.

To promote House spirit and get the whole school contributing to their House we focus on a number of important events throughout the year. One key event is Sports Day, which is a great opportunity for Houses to come together to show their sporting ability and cheer on their house teams. There is always much excitement and it is a lovely opportunity for the whole House to excel.

The end of each term is characterised by a House activity, organised and run by the House Leaders, who also regularly deliver Assemblies to their House members.