Vandyke Houses


Seacole House

Mary Seacole (1805 – 1881).  Born in Jamaica, she was a British-Jamaican business woman and nurse.  Her mother was of African heritage and her father Scottish.  She appears in the National Curriculum, having set up the “British Hotel” behind the lines at the Crimean War.  Mary Seacole was the first named black woman to have a public statue in the UK.

In 1857 The Times recorded:  “I trust that England will not forget one who nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them, and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead.”

Director of house:  Ms K Rhoden

Head of house:  Mrs Y Mileham

Student support:  Mrs A Bates


Simmonds House

Ellie Simmonds (1994 –  ).  Ellie is a Paralympian swimmer who came to national prominence at the 2008 Beijing Summer Paralympics, winning 2 gold medals aged just 13.  She won further medals at London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.  She studied psychology at Loughborough University.  She is an ambassador for the international non-governmental organisation, WaterAid, which works in 38 countries to help bring clean water and sanitation to poor communities.  She is also a leader in scout and guiding, where her nickname is Aqua Owl.

Director of house:  Mr G Skelton

Head of house:  Mrs S Daly

Student support:  Mrs R Samet


Turing House

Alan Turing (1912-1954).  Born in London, Turing was a mathematician, computer scientist, philosopher and code-breaker.  He became best known for his work in WW2 at Bletchley Park, breaking the Enigma codes.  Recognised today as the father of artificial intelligence, his work was not widely acknowledged in his life-time, in part because of his homosexuality which in those times was illegal.  “We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

Director of house:  Mrs T Beckwith

Head of house:  Mrs C Williams

Student support:  Miss S Harding


Zephaniah House

Benjamin Zephaniah ( 1958 –  ).  Born in Birmingham of Barbadian and Jamaican parentage, he is a British poet and author.  Known for his outspoken and sometimes controversial beliefs and opinions, his poems and writings are widely read in schools.  “What we really need is a culture of peace.  We must become that new generation of peacemakers.”

Director of house:  Mr B Chantrell

Head of house:  Mrs E Gaskell

Student support:  Mrs C Bailey

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