At Wren Academy we operate a House system. This means that every student in Years 7-10 is allocated a House to which they belong for the duration of their time in the school. We thought very carefully about what to name our houses after, way back in 2008, and settled on some Christopher Wren designed churches from around the city of London. The Houses are as follows:
- Bow (St Mary-le-Bow church)
- Holborn (St Andrew Holborn Church)
- Ludgate (The Guild Church of Saint Martin within Ludgate)
- Piccadilly (St James Church)
- Strand (St Clement Danes)
- Walbrook (St Stephen Walbrook)
Each of the six Houses is led by a Head of House, and contains 120 students. One of the main reasons behind choosing to operate a house system is the way it can help to create a sense of community, to build friendships, and to reduce the incidence of bullying. This is because in each tutor group, there are five or six students from each year group; it’s like a family. Every new student has a ready-made network of older ‘brothers and sisters’ to help them settle in, get used to the Academy systems, and help them out if they are ever struggling.
The identity of each house has developed through links with the associated Wren church and also the shared experiences of students working to win the competitions.
One of the main benefits of the house system is the opportunity for all students to feel part of a smaller community within the school. Throughout the year, houses compete against each other in a series of challenges and competitions with the aim of involving all students in developing the confidence, courage and skill to represent their group in a friendly and sporting way. The year’s competition schedule culminates in the summer term with our Interhouse Athletics day (we are different from other schools in that we have two separate sports-related days of competition in the summer. We also have Interhouse Sports day which allows students to take part in a physical competition as part of a team as well as individually. Both days are very popular!).
But it’s not all about sport. Five times a year we run house competitions in Poetry, Quizzing, Benchball, Singing (always popular!) and the ‘Marble Run’. This last competition is a fun way to put lessons learned in our Design and Technology department to the test and chimes with our Academy specialism, Design and the Built Environment. Over the course of Wren Academy’s growth and evolution, a number of strong interhouse rivalries have come and gone, with particular Heads of House being very partisan about how well their house is doing! Leading the houses are a fantastic set of six teachers. Listed below are the houses with the name of the current Head of House.
- Bow – Mrs Taiwo
- Holborn – Mr Long
- Ludgate – Mrs Constable
- Picaddilly – Ms Roe
- Strand– Miss Nelson
- Walbrook – Ms Neocleous
To view the Rolls of Honour list and the latest standings in the House competition please click here.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, in the City of London
Wren’s masterpiece and a focal point of Wren Academy in terms of Design, Innovations, Planning and Excellence. Indeed, if you look closely, you can see that the Wren Academy logo is the architectural ‘footprint’ of the cathedral.
Bow - St. Mary le Bow
Just round the corner from St. Paul’s, Bow Church is the one of whose bells you should be in earshot when you are born to be able to call yourself a cockney!
Holborn - St. Andrews Holborn
St. Andrew's is situated between Chancery Lane and St. Pauls in the heart of the old City of London and, being a mere stone’s throw from big business and consulting firms like Deloitte and Taylor Wessing, it is at the heart of modern London too! Subject to the same post fire rebuild as many of the churches in the city, a religious place of worship has occupied the site of St. Andrew’s since Roman times. The new gardens, landscapes and opened in late 2015 won the ‘Best New Public Space’ award, and provide a place for quiet reflection amid the noise and haste of the city.
Ludgate - St. Martin’s Ludgate
There has been a church on or near this site since the twelfth century. The last incarnation of the medieval church on the site was destroyed by the fire of London in 1666, only 40 years after it had last been repaired! As with all the Wren Churches, they form part of the mandate given to Wren to rebuild London after the fire.
Piccadilly - St James, Piccadilly
Almost completely destroyed by fire caused by an incendiary bomb in the blitz in 1940, restoration work began on this familiar landmark in the heart of the West End in 1947. For nearly 8 years it remained a lifeless and roofless shell! The Revd. Lucy Winkett is Rector of St. James’, and can regularly be heard on Thought for the Day on Radio 4 in the mornings.
Strand - St Clement Danes Church
Outside the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand has long been in competition with St. Clement in Eastcheap for the honour of the eponymous church in the Oranges and Lemons song. Since the Bells at St Clement Danes play the right tune, we think Strand House’s church is the right one! The church has strong links with the armed forces, particularly the Air Force, and has featured in many literary and other works of popular culture.
Walbrook - St. Stephen’s, Walbrook
Shown against the backdrop of the evolving city, we can see the durability, both aesthetic and physical, of Wren’s designs.