Our House System will be fully introduced to St Julian’s in September 2012. Following a thorough review of the former Achievement Team system incorporating a Year Team led by a Head of Achievement for each year group and careful consideration of systems used in other leading schools, we decided to introduce a house system this year. The system will encourage healthy competition right across the learning spectrum and ensure that all areas of achievement are addressed to encourage the development of the whole child in the context of the school, cimmunity and wider world. A House Forum will guide consistency, communication and student progress.
A wide range of house names were considered but the final decision of Welsh princes was partly made to reflect our Welsh heritage. Each student will wear a school tie that includes the house colours.
According to the Breton stories, Caradog’s main court was at Nantes, but this may be a confused form of Caerwent which was sometimes known as Carnant (Caer-Nantes) in literary sources. He certainly lived at Caerwent originally – possibly in the great basilica of the old Roman town – but he later gave the place to St Tathyw in which to found a monastery. The King himself let his horse lead him to a new home: Portskewett, possibly to the hillfort & Roman outpost of Sudbrook Fort. Legend also has him holding court in the hillfort of Caer-Caradog (Cary Craddock) at Sellack (in Ergyng). Caradog, furthermore, may have been one of the British Kings who held lands on both sides of the Channel. In Brittany he is thought to have conquered the Vannetais where he became a patron of St. Padarn.
No name is so frequently invoked on Wales as that of Owain Glyndwr (c. 1349-1416), a potent figurehead of Welsh nationalism ever since he rose up against the occupying English in the first few years of the fifteenth century. Little is known about the man described in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I as “not in the roll of common men.” There seems little doubt that the charismatic Owain fulfilled many of the mystical medieval prophecies about the rising up of the red dragon. He was of aristocratic stock and had a conventional upbringing, part of it in England of all places. His blue blood furthered his claim as Prince of Wales, being directly descended from the princes of Powys and Cyfeiliog, and as a result of his status, he learned English, studied in London and became a loyal, and distinguished, soldier of the English king, before returning to Wales and marrying.
Hywel Dda was the son of Rhodri Mawr , another great Welsh prince who, during his period in power at the end of the ninth century, managed to unite large parts of the country under his dynamic and thrusting leadership. As a result of this the Saxon incursions into Wales were restricted for many years. While Rhodri’s efforts kept the Norsemen at bay, the modern-day country of England began to take shape as the various kingdoms across Offa’s Dyke gradually developed and merged into something like a unified state.
In Gwynedd, Llywelyn ap Iorwerth had come to power in the classic way of Welsh princes bedeviled by the dividing rule of Welsh inheritance – he seized it from his uncle. He proved to be the greatest and most constructive Welsh statesman of the Middle Ages.
In his long career he succeeded, by constant warfare, by tactful yielding under pressure and by masterly resilience the moment that pressure was relieved, in bringing under his control most of Pura Wallia. When he died in 1240, full of honor and glory, he left a principality which had the possibility of expanding into a truly national state of Wales. There was a moment when an independent Wales seemed about to become a reality.