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School Houses

When placing pupils in house groups, we aim to get a good balance of boys and girls, boarding and day pupils, sportsmen, musicians and academics.

The house system exists to prepare pupils to be active, confident and responsible members of society, to foster personal and social development and academic education, and to create an atmosphere in which everyone is well known, safe, valued, respected and has their progress regularly monitored and reported.

Regular activities

Regular house activities and competitions take place throughout the year, these may involve games, music, drama or simply fun activities. In addition each house has a captain and the boarding houses give responsibility to senior pupils to assist in the running of the house.

Wider friendship groups

In order to encourage wider friendship groups, both within the year and with older pupils, pupils are allocated to one of four houses.

Once a week each house meets for its own special assembly.

Burnaby House

Head of House: Mr A Morris

Donne House

Head of House: Mrs C Hadfield

Oswald House

Head of House: Mr J Cattley

Spooner House

Head of House: Miss S James

House Points Table - 2016/17

 

 BurnabyDonneOswaldSpooner
  Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts
Boys U15 Football 2 6 3 4 4 2 1 10
Boys Swimming - Senior 1 10 2 6 4 2 3 4
Cross Country - Senior 2 6 1 10 3 4 2 6
Football - Senior 1 10 3 4 2 6 4 2
Hockey - Senior 3 4 1 10 2 6 4 2
House Rugby 1 9 2 8 4 6 3 7
General Knowledge - Junior 2 6 1 10 4 2 3 4
General Knowledge - Senior 1 10 3 4 2 6 4 2
Netball - Junior 2 11 3 9 4 3 1 17
Spelling - Senior
1 10 3 4 4 2 2 6
Total 82 69 39 60

 

 AmazonsSwallows
  Pos Pts Pos Pts
Swimming Gala - Y3 & Y4 1 10 2 6
Swimming Gala - Y5 & Y6 2 6 1 10
Total 16 16

Points System

  1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Drama and Music 40 24 16 8
Sports Day 30 18 12 6
Others 10 6 4 2

Burnaby House

During 1875 Burnaby travelled with General Gordon in the Sudan and that winter he journeyed across the Russian Steppes on horseback. This extremely hazardous and dangerous venture resulted in the book 'A Ride to Khiva' which brought him immediate fame. Throughout 1876-78 he travelled through Asia Minor and Armenia, later writing about his journey in 'On Horseback Through Asia Minor'. These books are still in publication today.

In 1880 Burnaby began his active interest in politics, unsuccessfully contesting a seat at Birmingham in the Tory-Democrat interest.

In 1882 he made only the second crossing of the English Channel in a balloon, making him the first balloonist to cross the Channel solo, resulting in another book 'A Ride Across The Channel And Other Adventures In The Air'.

Disappointed in his hope of seeing active service in the Egyptian Campaign of 1882, Burnaby participated in the Suakin campaign of 1884 without official leave, and was wounded at El Teb when acting as an intelligence officer under General Valentine Baker. This did not deter him from a similar course when a fresh expedition started up the Nile to relieve Khartoum and rescue General Gordon. Given a post by Lord Wolseley, Burnaby was killed by a spear wound in the hand-to-hand fighting of the Battle of Abu Klea on 17th January 1885.

In his will, reported in the Times of the 8th May 1885, it was noted that Burnaby left a personal estate amounting to £17,000 to his widow Mrs Elizabeth Alice Frances Hawkins Burnaby. One of the first lady mountaineers, and an adventurer in her own right, Elizabeth had come over from Ireland to meet Burnaby following the publication of his first book. Publishing books of her own adventures, Elizabeth and Burnaby could be said to be one of the first celebrity couples. They had one child.

The organ in the school chapel was provided by donations in his memory by fellow pupils and members of the Oswestry School community. Other memorials to Burnaby include: an obelisk in Portland stone, over 50 feet high in the grounds of St Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham - at its base is a relief portrait of Burnaby in uniform with carvings of military regalia; a marble memorial erected by HRH the Prince of Wales, Col. Milne-Home and the officers of the Royal Horse Guards in Holy Trinity Church, Windsor; and a memorial window in the Bedford Church of St Peter de Merton with St Cuthbert.

The National Portrait Gallery has a very elegant portrait of Burnaby painted by James Jacques Tissot in 1870.

Donne House

The Revd Dr James Donne (1764-1844) was headmaster of Oswestry School from 1796-1833 and is considered to be one of the school's most distinguished headmasters, who re-established the school's fortunes in the late eighteenth century and is said by many to be Oswestry School's second founder, after David Holbache.

In his 36 years in office, Donne re-established school ownership of lands which had become alienated and completed the School House buildings, started in 1776, by finishing off the work and adding another school room (now the library) with a dormitory above at a cost of £1,000 from his own pocket.

Under his rule, many illustrious pupils, later to become bishops, MPs, generals, judges and similar, attended the school and Oswestry School became widely famous.

Donne was also Vicar of Llanyblodwell, Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Oswestry at times during this period. Donne was succeeded as headmaster by his son Stephen.

There is a monument to Donne in Oswestry Parish Church.

Oswald House

Oswald (c. 604– 642) was King of Northumbria from 634 until his death, and was subsequently venerated as a Christian saint. Oswald was killed in the battle of Maserfield, said to be on a site near school, fighting Penda of Mercia and his body was dismembered.

St Oswald's Well, a holy well of healing was said to have sprung up at the spot where Oswald's arm had landed and is adjacent to the school site, once providing the source of the water for the school's former outdoor swimming pool. The name Oswestry, or "Oswald's Tree", is generally thought to be derived from Oswald's death there and the legends surrounding it.

Spooner House

Although Spooner's scholarship, devotion to duty, and wisdom were highly regarded he has become famous for his "spoonerisms", funny mis-statements that result from the transposition of initial consonants. Few if any of his own spoonerisms were deliberate, and many of those attributed to him are apocryphal. Spooner himself hated the reputation he gained for getting his words muddled.

"Come into the arms of the shoving leopard" instead of the "come into the arms of the loving shepherd" that he meant to say in one of his homilies.

"You have hissed my mystery lesson" instead of "you have missed my history lesson", talking to a group of students who were late for a class.