The Junior School operates a House system with boys allocated between six houses named after former notable pupils, Ushers and Masters. Boys are awarded “house points” for all manner of things: from good manners, kindness and being helpful to exciting contributions to music, sport and extra-curricular clubs, in addition to fine academic endeavour. House points are tallied each week and individual performances and house tallies are celebrated in Friday assembly. The boys sit together as a house for lunch each Tuesday with frequent house assemblies running through the term. Our big house events are always fun and hotly contested. With whole school competitions running in chess, music, cross country, athletics and football to name a few, there is something for everyone! Our houses are:
John Holt was Usher at Magdalen School in about 1494. He wrote the first Latin Primer for younger readers and was ‘a schoolmaster of the best sort: an enthusiast for his subject, something of a humourist, wise, kindly and capable of entering into a boy’s mind and interests’.
Thomas Wolsey was appointed Master of the school in 1498 and went on to become almoner to Henry VIII and then Cardinal in 1515. He was a grammarian and wrote with ‘a kindly and sympathetic approach to the boy’.
Thomas More was a pupil at the school in the 1490s. He became Chancellor in 1529 and died a martyr for refusing to recognise the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage with Catherine of Aragon. A supporter of the ‘new education’ and a contributor to dramatic productions ‘which then as now combined entertainment with education for the boys of the school’.
William Tyndale was a pupil at the school and progressed through the College and translated the bible into English in the earlier 1500s. ‘Tyndale is the man to whom, above all other men, the literary merit of the English bible is due, because he impressed upon his translation his own character of simplicity, strength and truth’.
James Millard was Master of the school from 1846-1864. He was a versatile man and. ‘He ruled… well and wisely, dealing out an equal measure to all…. The soul of honour himself, he looked for it in all his boys’. The school song ‘Sicut Lilium’ was written under Millard’s promotion.
Harmer Ogle was Master of the school from 1876-1886. He gained the most coveted honours the University had to bestow and throughout his tenure the school was foremost in his thoughts…