When they join the school, our pupils are placed into one of four Houses named after literary figures with connections to Twickenham – Parnell, Pope, Swift and Voltaire.
The House system offers our pupils the opportunity to thrive through competitions in the arts, sport and all-round achievement, with House allegiance and identity fostered throughout the school. Each House is led by a member of staff as the Head of House, whose role is to encourage everyone to contribute to the collective success of their House and to get involved wherever they can as they compete for the annual House Shield.
House Captains and House Ambassadors are appointed for each House and are given opportunities to benefit from leadership training. They are encouraged to organise and co-ordinate their fellow pupils and to use their initiative to help with competitions and fundraising activities throughout the school year.
Thomas Parnell was a poet and clergyman who was a close friend of Alexander Pope. Together with Jonathan Swift, they formed the Scriblerus Club and were profound literary figures of the day. Parnell was a creative and hardworking man who was dedicated to the arts and the development of the Romantic era.
Alexander Pope was a poet, translator and satirist of the Enlightenment era who is considered one of the most prominent English writers of the early eighteenth century, best known for his satirical and discursive poetry including ‘The Rape of the Lock’, ‘The Dunciad’ and ‘An Essay on Criticism’, and for his translations of Homer. He came to Twickenham in 1719, where he oversaw the construction of a house on the site of the current school and designed a famous garden that was connected to the house by an underground passage that became known as Pope’s Grotto.
Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, poet and cleric, best remembered for his work ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. He was a regular visitor to Pope’s house in Twickenham and he became active in the government politics of the day. On his return to Ireland, he was appointed as Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral. He died the year after Pope and was buried in the cathedral in 1745.
Voltaire was the ‘nom de plume’ of François-Marie Arouet, a French Enlightenment writer, satirist, philosopher and historian. He was exiled from France in the 1720s, coming to London where he met Pope and visited his house in Twickenham. Voltaire was a prolific author and pamphleteer who was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties. His best known work is probably ‘Candide’, a critique of many of the events, philosophies and thinkers of his time.