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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

These news items about residential colleges, collegiate houses, and the renewal of university life are posted for readers of the Collegiate Way website. For more about residential colleges and collegiate universities please visit the main Collegiate Way page.

Of Houses, History, and High Places

— Residential colleges, which are often called houses, especially at the secondary level, are permanent societies within larger institutions. They aren’t organized around thematic fashions or ephemeral fads.

A small item in a local Yorkshire newspaper today illustrates the value of this permanence and how it allows cultural and educational linkages to be made years, and even decades after a student’s curricular education has concluded. Few members of Hillary House at the Colne Valley High School, whether young or old, will be unmindful of their heritage this week.

School days in the Hillary house

Jan 16 2008, Huddersfield Daily Examiner

TWO reports in last Friday’s Examinerthe death of Sir Edmund Hillary and the anniversary of the opening of Colne Valley High School – may seem to have little in common, but in fact hold a special relationship.

When, in 1956, Colne Valley High opened under the headship of Mr Ernest Butcher, a ‘house’ system was put in place.

These six ‘houses’ were recognised by a coloured stripe on the blue school tie or coloured sash on girls’ tunics.

The ‘houses’ – named after people of achievement who personally or through relatives gave permission for their names to be used – were:

1 Sir Frank Whittle, orange stripe.

2 Dame Edith Evans, yellow stripe.

3 Robert Falcon Scott, silver stripe.

4 Albert Schweitzer, turquoise stripe.

5 Sir Roger Bannister, red stripe.

6 Sir Edmund Hillary, maroon stripe.

I myself was a member of Hillary House, which was led with authority by the housemaster, Mr Albert Marsland.

Friendly rivalry in academic and sporting activities led to a healthy competitive spirit in the school as to which house was the best during each term.

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2014