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Samuel Whitbread Academy

House System

An overview of the house system

Every student who attends Samuel Whitbread Academy is a member of a ‘house’. The houses are made up of all students from Year 9 to Year 13. As of September 2017, the new uniform shows the house that each student will represent for their time at the school. Throughout the year competitions, fundraising events and sports will be run to raise money for house charities and earn points in order for one house to ultimately win the House Cup in July.

There are 5 houses at SWA

  • Moore
  • Obama
  • Rashford
  • Whishaw
  • Sims

Find out more about each house below.

House Captains

At the beginning of each academic year meetings are held to elect House Captains from the sixth form. One boy and one girl are elected from each house. The job of the house captains is to support the House leaders and to take responsibility for the leadership and organisation of their house throughout the forthcoming academic year. Unlike other schools we also have Captains for Charities and Sports in each house to support the House leaders and help create a positive community ethos at SWA.

House Competitions

House competitions take place throughout the year; with each department running one, all competitions give the students the opportunity to win house points via the e-praise system already in place. House points are added together and the house with the most points at the end of the year will win the overall house competition.

House Assemblies

House assemblies take place on the following days in a week B:
Moore - Monday
Obama - Tuesday
Rashford - Wednesday
Whishaw - Thursday
Sims - Friday

5 School Houses at Samuel Whitbread


House Colour: Purple
House Leader: Mrs C Dainton |

The Harwood’s are longstanding family in Shefford and Clifton. The family had many businesses in the area most notably owning and running the mineral water factory in Clifton from about 1880 until 1948. They were local entrepreneurs and Ralph Harwood became treasurer to King George V and it seems to various parts of the empire. He was knighted and heavily decorated for his services.



House Colour: Turquoise
House Leader: Miss V Gaskin |

The Olivier’s came to England from France as Chaplin to William of Orange (William III) Two descendants were rectors of Clifton Daniel Steven Olivier and Daniel Josias. Daniel Steven founded the first school in Clifton in 1807 (the school bell that he purchased now hangs at the entrance to All Saints).  The late Lord Olivier the world famous actor was a descendant.  30 years ago when Clifton had a mini arts festival Lord Olivier agreed to be a Patron thus indicating that he acknowledged his links with the village.



House Colour: Royal Blue
House Leader: Miss A Simister|

Victoria Pendleton was born in 1980 and lived in Stotfold, Bedfordshire. She is an English former track cyclist who specialised in the sprint, team sprint and keirin disciplines.

Pendleton represented Great Britain and England in international competition, winning nine world titles. She is a former Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion. In 2012 she won the gold medal in the keirin at the 2012 Summer Olympics, as well as silver in the sprint.

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to cycling. As a gold medalist at European, World and Olympic level, Pendleton is also a member of the European Cycling Union Hall of Fame.

With two gold and one silver medals, Victoria Pendleton is one of Great Britain's most successful female Olympians.



House Colour: Red
House Leaders: Miss C Brinkley |

Benjamin John Whishaw (Ben) was born in 1980 and lived in Clifton, Bedfordshire. He attended Samuel Whitbread Academy and graduated from RADA in 2003. Ben has starred in many TV productions including “Criminal Justice” for which he received an International EMMY Award in 2008 and “The Hour” in 2011/12.  In 2012 he was awarded a BAFTA for his portrayal of Richard II in the BBC TWO series “The Hollow Crown”.

In 2001 Ben was named as “Most Promising Newcomer” at the British Independent Film Awards for “My Brother Tom”. He has appeared in many acclaimed films including ” Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” in 2006 in which he played the lead role, “I’m Not There” in 2008 in as one of the “Bob Dylan’s”, the remake of “Brideshead Revisited” in 2008 in which he played Sebastian Flyte and “Bright Star” in 2009 in which he portrayed the poet John Keats. Ben has recently played the character “Q” in the two most recent James Bond films: “Skyfall” (2012) and “Spectre” (2015) as well as the titular role in "Paddington" & "Paddington 2".

On stage Ben received highly favourable reviews in Trevor Nunn’s “Hamlet” for which he was nominated for the “Olivier Award for Best Actor” in 2004 and he starred opposite Dame Judi Dench in “Peter and Alice” in 2013.



House Colour: Green
House Leader: Mr A Leverett |

Frank Whittle the jet engine pioneer did not come from Clifton but he did rent a floor in Clifton Rectory in the 1930s when he was based at RAF Henlow developing his ideas for his revolutionary engine. This fits in with our status as a specialist engineering Academy and his Frank's son has also been in recent contact with the Academy.