The House System
The House system is an integral part of life at Sandbach School and aims to provide a sense of competition and fun through a range of school based activities. The Houses are Craig, Lea, Ward and Welles.
The House competition involves a wide range of activities throughout the year. Boys are allocated to a house when they start at the school. Boys with older siblings are always placed into the same house as their brother(s). Staff are also allocated to Houses to support via assemblies and activities.
Much of the organisation is carried out by senior boys with support from staff members who are Heads of House, under the watchful eye of Mr Jennings who is the House Co-ordinator.
The house system allows boys to compete in a range of sports and activities such as football, hockey, cricket, tug-of-war, swimming, orienteering, chess, art and poetry, and drama. The colour on a boy’s tie indicates his House: Craig – Green, Lea – Red, Ward – Yellow, Welles – Blue.
Presenting the Sandbach School Houses with their Heads of House for 2016/2017:
LEA HOUSE: Head of House – Mr D Roberts (Twitter account: @house_lea)
Going back to 1677, Richard Lea, a local business man, donated a plot of land to educators on Middlewich Road. Mr Lea was known to be a philanthropist and had a keenness for seeing young boys from poorer backgrounds gain an education. The land had on it a newly built schoolhouse which was paid for, alongside other benefactors of the parish, by local wealthy gentleman Francis Welles, who alongside Richard Lea gives his surname to two of the school’s modern day ‘houses’ as a result of their goodwill and selflessness during the foundation of the school.
WELLES HOUSE: Head of House – Mrs L Massey (Twitter account: @House_Welles)
Francis Welles, one of the men assigned by Mr Lea to set up the school was also a man of some financial means. He put money into the set up of some of the school’s limited facilities at the time and had a particular interest in games. At a time where children’s education often had to be paid for by donations of local people, Welles also left a sum of money in his Will to be split between the school itself and to the local poor. A scholarship was set up in his name for students who had a particular aptitude for games. His surname was also given to the one of the modern day Houses of Sandbach School.
WARD HOUSE: Head of House – Miss GBaccelliere (Twitter account:@WardHouse_)
In 1718, Dr. Charles Ward of Bradwall left a sizable sum of £200 in his Will, the interest of which was to be used to pay for the board and education of three boys in particular “until they were fit for one of the universities.” These boys became known locally as ‘Ward’s Scholars’ and all went on to study at universities once they had left Sandbach School. The interest from Ward’s original donation outlasted the scholars and helped the school to grow and to develop in its early days in the 18th Century. Again to commemorate this gesture to the school, his surname was used for one of the 4 modern day houses.
CRAIG HOUSE: Head of House – Mr O Clarke(Twitter account:@CraigHouse_ )
The House system underwent a crisis in the 1930s when the school stopped admitting boarders, which meant the already diminishing school house was no more. To make up for this loss, the school was now divided into four houses of equal strength and became more recognisable to what we have today.Much later than Lea, Welles and Ward, in the 19th and 20th Century, the fourth of our significant benefactors, Ernest Craig began a long association with Sandbach School, first as a pupil and latterly as a very involved Old Boy who became president of the Old Sandbachians’ Association. During his later years as MP for Crewe, Craig maintained a strong connection with the school, also acting as a Governor and becoming involved in the administration of house events and their associated awards. Ernest Craig’s death in 1933 led to great sorrow at Sandbach School and shortly afterwards he was honoured as the namesake of the newest and most successful house, Craig House.