The Senior House System is at the centre of school life at Wolverhampton Grammar School.
A Sense Of Belonging
The Senior House system which is at the centre of school life further enhances the School’s outstanding pastoral care, enabling students to build relationships across year groups. The vertical House system spans Years 8 to Upper Sixth and by doing so, encourages reciprocal opportunities for leadership, mentoring advice and support between students of different ages.
The House tutor and Co-tutor remain with the student from Year 8 through to Upper Sixth providing continuity of support and care and allowing staff to really get to know each individual student. Year 7 take part in the House competitions as form groups during a transitionary year where we focus on embedding them into senior school life before they are sorted into Houses.
Sixth Formers play important roles in supporting younger students and hold positions of responsibility such as Peer Mentor, Year 7 Prefect or House Captain.
Within the House system, the tutor group becomes part of a larger House family. This family is made up of Heads of House and Assistant Heads of House, House tutors, staff and students. We continually strive to ensure that every individual feels a true sense of belonging to WGS and the House system underpins the pastoral care provided within the Senior School.
Click on the crests below to find more about the history of each House.
Named after Sir Stephen Jenyns, the founder of Wolverhampton Grammar School. Jenyns was born in Wolverhampton in 1448 and apprenticed to a London tailor in 1462. He rose to be Master of the Merchant Taylors (with which we still partner today) in 1489 and Lord Mayor of London in 1509, the year of Henry VIII’s coronation. He was a Merchant of the Staple of Calais, engaged in the wool and cloth trade between England and the continent. Besides founding the School, he made significant charitable donations within the City of London before his death in 1523.
John Moreton was born in Wolverhampton in 1812. With John Langley, he established Moreton & Langley (later John Moreton & Co) in 1838. The firm was very successful as hardware manufacturers and merchants in Horseley Fields. In 1868 John Moreton moved to Moseley Court, Bushbury. He donated £1,000 for the purchase of land adjacent to the new School site for use as playing fields in 1873. This was named Moreton’s Piece (still to be seen on a plaque in the wall in Merridale Lane) in recognition of the gift.
John Nechells was born in Wolverhampton, apprenticed to Stephen Jenyns and became, like his master, a Merchant Taylor and Merchant of the Staple. He married Jenyns’ daughter, Katherine, before 1505 and followed a similar path in business. He was Master of the Merchant Taylors in 1522. John Nechells is known to have been a friend of William Lily, the first High Master of St Paul’s School, which was founded just before WGS. It is likely that his interest in education was a factor in Stephen Jenyns’ decision to found the School.
Thomas Offley was born in Stafford in 1500 and was apprenticed to John Nechells, who sent him to St Paul’s School. There, he became a ‘good grammarian’ and also learnt music with the choristers. He married Nechells’ daughter Joan and followed in his trade as Merchant Taylor and Merchant of the Staple. He was Master in 1547 and Lord Mayor of London in 1556. He was one of the wealthiest men in London at that time. He visited the School on business several times. Later, he bought the manor of Madeley in north Staffordshire.
Origins of the House System
Wolverhampton Grammar School was founded in 1512 under the reign of King Henry VIII by Sir Stephen Jenyns for the children of Wolverhampton. Following the School’s move to its current Compton Road campus in 1875, the then Head, James Hichens introduced a House system in 1897.
The Houses were refined again in 1947 under the Headship of Warren Derry and given names to commemorate the founders of the School with individual colours and crests. Further changes were made in 1984 to create the Houses still used today by the Junior School: Attwood, Barnes, Campbell and Derry.
2020 saw the reintroduction of Houses in the Senior School under Head, Alex Frazer. Guided by the successful legacy of those original Houses and our founders back in 1512, the Senior School Houses are named after people who made a significant contribution to the founding of our School in 1512. Their names also reflect Houses chosen by the School back in 1947.