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The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2021 - Sixth Form College of the Year

The House System

An overview of the house system 

At LAE Tottenham we believe that our students thrive in an environment where pastoral care is a priority.

Every student at LAE Tottenham has a tutor to support with their academic development and their pastoral care. Each tutor group is named after a top university and meet once a week for pastoral time in addition to daily registration.

Additionally, each tutor group belongs to one of three houses which are Tull, Woolf and Faraday.

Our houses are all named after influential Londoners — please see below. House competitions take place across each half term where reward trips and prizes are provided for winning houses.


Walter Tull (1888 - 1918)

'Through his actions, Tull ridiculed the barriers of ignorance that tried to deny people of colour equality with their contemporaries. His life stands testament to a determination to confront those people and those obstacles that sought to diminish him and the world in which he lived. It reveals a man, though rendered breathless in his prime, whose strong heart still beats loudly.'

Walter and his twin brother Edward were born in Kent to an English mother and West Indian father. Walter and Edward were orphaned at the age of nine, and whilst Edward was adopted by a Glaswegian family (and went on to become the first mixed heritage dentist in the UK) Walter was raised at an orphanage in Bethnal Green.

In 1908, whilst playing football for the orphanage, Walter was scouted by Clapton FC, and in the spectacularly successful season which followed Clapton FC won the FA Amateur Cup, the London County Amateur Cup and the London Senior Cup, and Walter Tull had become the 'catch of the season'. In the summer of 1909 Tull transferred to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, making him only the third person of mixed heritage to play in the top division of the English Football League.

Walter's football career was cut short by the outbreak of war, and he enlisted in 1914. It was on the battlefields of WWI that Walter's 'gallantry and coolness' saw him promoted first to Lance Corporal, through Corporal to Sergeant, fighting in the Somme in 1916, and then on to Second Lieutenant in 1917, making Walter Tull the first mixed-heritage infantry officer in a regular British Army regiment, despite the 1914 Manual of Military Law specifically excluding soldiers that were not 'of pure European descent' from becoming commissioned officers.

Walter was lost on the Western Front during the German Spring Offensive, France, 1918. Despite the efforts of his men, only his name remains; on the memorial at Arras, one of the many for those who have no grave of their own.


Virginia Woolf (1882 - 1941)

Woolf is considered by many to be one of the greatest British writers, for her timeless exploration of the human condition but also for addressing the key anxieties of the post-first world war society.

A born-and-bred Londoner, she was a key member of the highly influential Bloomsbury Group who lived in that quarter while producing some of the most influential and poignant literary texts of the 20th century.

Woolf is not necessarily the most obvious inspirational character; she was privileged, lived a sheltered life, and, some might argue, lost her battle with mental illness.

Delving a little deeper, however, we can see how, in her own way, she was an innovator who challenged the status quo, beyond her literary explorations. As a woman seeking further education in the late Victorian age, Woolf was only able to attend King’s Ladies’ department, which was not located at the main campus but at 13 Kensington Square, close to her family home, whilst her brothers attended Trinity College Cambridge.

This experience of entrenched gender inequality surely left an impression on Woolf and influenced her seminal 1929 essay 'A Room of One’s Own'. In this essay, Woolf openly acknowledges how her wealth allows her the privilege to write, but by doing so sheds light on problems of class and gender that are still relevant today. She then goes on to equate schooling with income and self-sufficiency.

Woolf house represents the ability to challenge the status quo by using knowledge as power. Virginia Woolf’s life journey also offers us an opportunity to reflect upon the stigma inflicted upon those suffering from mental health illness or from the LGBT community.

In Woolf house, we suspend judgment and replace it with support, understanding and unconditional positive regard


Michael Faraday (1791 - 1867)

Michael Faraday was one of the great scientists of the 19th century. He had a very humble beginning, came from a working class family and received a very basic education from a church school. At age 14 he became an apprentice bookbinder; not only did he bind the books but he also read them and from this his interest in science was stimulated.

He was very persistent and wrote letters to the most famous scientist of the day, Sir Humphry Davy at the Royal Institution. Faraday used his skills as a bookbinder to bind a volume of notes, which he had taken at Davy’s lectures.

When Faraday presented the notes to Davy, he was so impressed that he allowed him to be his lab assistant. He got his break and rose from this position to become one of the most decorated and charismatic scientists of his time. Faraday didn’t give up, he was very relentless and didn’t take no for an answer.

As head of house, I would like students in our house to be inspired by Faraday and motivate themselves to achieve similar goals. Faraday's life story teach us that anyone from any background can aspire to reach for the stars. It is only you who will hinder yourself and it’s up to you reach your full potential.

We will bond & excel together, get a sense of belonging and CARE for each other.

Citizenship: We believe in the importance of a strong social conscience

Academia: We believe that an academic education is transformational

Reflection: We believe that through reflection we remain humble and learn from our mistakes

Endeavour: We believe that hard work pays off

Faraday showed curiosity, resilience and ambition to succeed and these qualities are embedded in our house values.