By becoming part of a House, students are joining thousands of others, that have represented their House over many years. Being part of the team should instill a sense of pride, belonging and a sense of responsibility to other members of the House.
Chama House was named after Thandiwe Chama.
In 1999, when she was only eight-years-old, her school was closed because there were no teachers who could educate students. Thandiwe refused to accept this fate of no education. Thandiwe then led 60 other children as they walked to find another school where they could learn. The group of children came upon the Jack Cecup School, to which they were later all accepted.
Thandiwe has said “It’s so important to know that also a child has rights. At school, I learned about rights. And I knew then that this was something I wanted to fight for. Because if children are given an opportunity, they for sure can contribute in making this world a better place.”
We thought that Thandiwe’s statement sums up East Barnet School where we give our students opportunities and educate them so that they can make the world a better place.
Keller House is named after a truly remarkable woman, Helen Keller.
Helen Keller died at the age of 68 having spent her entire adult life campaigning and raising funds and awareness for a number of causes:
Helen Keller had an illness at the age of 19 months that left her deaf, blind and with a severe speech impediment. By six, she was still unable to communicate and her family considered putting her in an asylum. However, Alexander Graham Bell suggested a teacher from the blind school in New York. This young teacher, Anne Sullivan who was also visually impaired, taught Helen to sign. Helen had an IQ of 180 and picked up sign language quickly. She could type both Braille and normally by the time she was eight. She completed high school and went on to university where she gained a degree. The first deaf, blind and dumb woman to do so.
Helen Keller had the qualities we see in our students every day; determination, a strong sense of right and wrong, a willingness to help others and a belief that they can make a difference.
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
Murray House was formed in 2010 and is named after the extraordinary Liz Murray. She is a hugely inspirational individual who has proved what humans are capable of when all the odds are against them, she demonstrated that from nothing, you can still achieve the unthinkable.
Liz Murray was born in the Bronx, New York, to poor, drug-addicted, HIV-infected parents. She became homeless just after she turned 15, when her mother died of AIDS, and her father moved to a homeless shelter as he spent all the rent money on drugs.
She turned her life around when she decided to spend most of her time in the library rather than the streets and began attending the Humanities Preparatory Academy in Chelsea, Manhattan. Though she started high school later than most students, and remained without a home while supporting herself and her sister. Liz Murray graduated in only two years. She won an essay competition for the New York Times who awarded her with a scholarship for needy students and was accepted into Harvard University, one of the best and well known Universities in the world.
Liz Murray has now earned a doctorate in clinical psychology, counselling people from all walks of life. She is the founder and director of Manifest Trainings, a company that provides a series of workshops that empower adults to create the extraordinary in their lives. She has also published her own book called ‘Breaking night’ which is already a best seller in the US and her life story has been made into a movie titled ‘Homeless to Harvard’.
Our strong belief in teamwork and resilience is the foundation of our success and we have subsequently adopted our motto: Family Isn’t Just Blood.
Tutu House is named after Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu, a Nobel Peace Laureate, is one of the greatest living moral icons of our time who was a key role player in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. He was also the first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa and primate of the Anglican Church of South Africa.
Tutu was also a key figure in the South African struggle for equality during the apartheid regime, where he worked alongside Nelson Mandela. This campaign was a successful one, and was achieved through non-violence. This sent a clear message to the world that much can be achieved without violence. He became a prominent leader in the crusade for justice and racial conciliation in South Africa. In 1984 he received a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to that cause.
In 1995 President Nelson Mandela appointed the Archbishop Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a body set up to probe gross human rights violations that occurred under apartheid. In recent years Tutu has turned his attention to a different cause: the campaign against HIV/AIDS. The Archbishop has made appearances around the globe to help raise awareness of the disease and its tragic consequences in human lives and suffering.
Though his strong support for social justice once made him a controversial figure, today Archbishop Tutu is regarded as an elder world statesman with a major role to play in reconciliation, and as a leading moral voice. He has become an icon of hope far beyond the Church and Southern Africa.
For years, Desmond Tutu has been a symbol for equality, justice, peace and freedom. We believe he reflects many of the values we have here at East Barnet School, and we hope that his achievements will continue to inspire our students here for years to come.