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to think that out of four houses in a school, two could carry the names of women and they needn't all be white?

(170 Posts)
DrSeuss Tue 25-Jun-13 12:34:06

The secondary school I teach in is in one of the least diverse areas of Britain. Folk here can be very insular. Nice but insular. The area has one of the lowest take ups of Languages in the country. For some, a trip to the city five miles away is a big adventure. You get the idea.

Our school needed four new names for its four new houses. We now have three dead white males and one dead white female as names. None of them is in themselves objectionable and they have to be dead so as to avoid a situation where a house winds up carrying the name of someone we would rather it did not.

However, three men, one woman? All white? Surely we can split the genders two and two and surely we can have someone who wasn't a WASP?

Lancelottie Tue 25-Jun-13 12:35:49

Are you in Norfolk, OP??

DrSeuss Tue 25-Jun-13 12:36:30

No, North East.

milktraylady Tue 25-Jun-13 12:38:03

At least there's one woman?

Pagwatch Tue 25-Jun-13 12:39:31

My DDs school has all women. Girls school.
One is still alive so a sex and drugs story would be quite interesting grin

HorryIsUpduffed Tue 25-Jun-13 12:40:25


At my school all six were dead white men - but they were all founders, former governors, former heads, etc.

If they are named for "dead white men" with relevance to the school or local area, then you are probably being oversensitive. If on the other hand they chose four unrelated but inspiring figures (say Curie, Rembrandt, Beethoven, Wilberforce) then yes they could have considered casting their net wider.

jacks365 Tue 25-Jun-13 12:42:23

Ours are 4 white males, all historical figures unrelated to the school so one woman is an improvement.

DowntonTrout Tue 25-Jun-13 12:42:28

DDs last school had 2 out of three dead female authors.

DDs current school both houses living female, first name, last name. Founder of school!

Both co-ed.

MortifiedAdams Tue 25-Jun-13 12:43:12

Im North East - would love to.know where you are talking about.

MortifiedAdams Tue 25-Jun-13 12:44:26

Also, maybe the criteria isnt "white and dead" but "noteworthy and dead".

DowntonTrout Tue 25-Jun-13 12:44:40

Oh but DD1s previous school all 4 were founders of the school from 500 years ago. All male but not surprising as it was a boys school until the mid/late 20th century.

Northernlurker Tue 25-Jun-13 12:45:59

We're in Yorkshire and our school has two men, two women, all Yorkshire types - (Charlotte) Bronte, (James) Cook, (William) Wilberforce and (Amy) Johnson. So all white but at least two of each gender and with some local relevance.

mumblechum1 Tue 25-Jun-13 12:47:23

Ours are Britons, Normans, Saxons and Vikings.

Which is a little odd, I always think wink

But it's a grammar school founded in 1625 so lots of things about it are a little odd.

livinginwonderland Tue 25-Jun-13 12:48:24

Our school had five houses - all white, four male, one female - all school founders and governors. They're mostly male because the school was originally all boys up until fairly recently.

MortifiedAdams Tue 25-Jun-13 12:48:47

My secondary school was vair religious so we had Galatians, Corinthians and Romans. Still, it was a step up from the wonderful Red, Blue and Green houses at Primary grin

TheCraicDealer Tue 25-Jun-13 12:48:53

Our school had houses named after old boys from the 19th Century- didn't bother me in any way or affect ambition levels as far as I'm aware. Governor of Hong Kong is alright, like.

However, if you're just rustling these up now and the only prerequisite is that they have to be dead then the school could be a bit more diverse. Mary Seacole was pretty cool.

RustyBear Tue 25-Jun-13 12:49:34

Our (junior) school has four white male authors (three live, one dead) as house names - there were several females on the short list, but these were the ones the children voted for - and as the vote was conducted by the School Council, there was no opportunity for manipulating the result.

But boys' writing is a major focus for the school, so I suppose the house names could be said to endorse that....

IneedAyoniNickname Tue 25-Jun-13 12:51:55

Ours were named after rivers and canals. But the town traditionally thrived on the business the canals provided.
When my mum attended the same school 20 odd years earlier they were called North, East, South and West.

campion Tue 25-Jun-13 12:52:09

Can't see the point of houses anyway unless they're actually physical buildings that the kids are taught in.

If you must, have 4 colours or something uncontroversial.

YoniMatopoeia Tue 25-Jun-13 12:53:19

My DD is in Chaucer.

All the others are historical dead white men. The school was founded in the 15 century though.

xylem8 Tue 25-Jun-13 12:55:26

I am struggling to think of a famous dead black British historical character.

trinity0097 Tue 25-Jun-13 12:58:03

We have 4 men, in what is now a coed school, Nelson, Scott, Clive and Wellington. The girls don't seem to care!

NeverQuiteSure Tue 25-Jun-13 13:02:17

Lancelottie - that was exactly what I was going to ask! I think Norfolk schools have some unwritten dead white men only rule. It's endemic.

SomethingNarstyInTheWoodshed Tue 25-Jun-13 13:03:39

Ours are red, yellow, green and blue.

They have a band if colour in their jumpers to mstch.

An absolute pain in the arse if you have children in different houses who pass jumpers down as they grow out of them.


FryOneFatManic Tue 25-Jun-13 13:06:16

DD's school is introducing a House system from September.

They will be the 4 usual colours, but a theme for the House names have been voted for. Result is that Houses will be named after planets/stars/constellations, with the students currently voting for their top 4 choices.

Themes such as famous Britons, or famous local people scored well down the list.

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