The school operates a house system and at the start of the pupils’ time at St Catharine’s, they become a member of one of four houses named after English saints Becket, Bede, Chad and Dunstan. House points are awarded for a variety of reasons such as good work or behaviour, for special achievements or to encourage pupils. There are also opportunities for houses to compete against each other during the course of the year, culminating in Sports Day.
House Captains are appointed from Year 6. Each Friday house points earned by each house are collected and the results shared in Assembly. At the end of the year the house with the most points is awarded the School Cup.
Thomas Becket, the son of a wealthy Norman merchant living in London was born in 1118. He became a great friend of King Henry II. In 1162 the King appointed him Archbishop of Canterbury. Having always enjoyed a rich and comfortable life when he became Archbishop he began to show a great concern for the poor.
King Henry and Thomas Becket fell out over where the best place was for peoples to be put on trial, the Kings court or the Church court. Henry eventually sent four of his Knights to deal with the matter and Thomas was murdered on December 29th 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral. Thomas was made a saint in 1173 and his feast day is December 29th.
Saint Bede, known as the Venerable Bede, was born in Monkton, Jarrow in 673AD. As a small child he went to live in St Peter’s Monastery in Wearmouth and later moved to the new foundation of St Paul’s in Jarrow.
Bede became a great writer and his work is included amongst the most important accounts of life in Anglo Saxon England. Bede though known as venerable was recognized as a saint in 1899. He died in 735AD and his feast day is May 26th.
Chad’s date of birth is not known exactly but it is believed to be about 634 AD. He was one of four brothers all of whom were involved in church life in Anglo Saxon England. The Venerable Bede wrote about Chad’s life and tells us he was a great follower of St Aiden.
Chad travelled and studied in Ireland. He lived a monastic life very strictly. Chad eventually became Bishop of Mercia He died in 672AD and his feast day is March 2nd.
St Dunstan was born in Somerset in around 909/910AD. He was educated at Glastonbury Abbey and later joined his Uncle who was Archbishop of Canterbury at the court of King Athelstan.
During his life he worked as a silversmith and artist and later became Bishop of Worcester and then Archbishop of Canterbury. He is the patron saint of silversmiths and goldsmiths. In his retirement he worked hard to build and restore churches, establish school, defend widows and orphan and promote peace. He died in 988 and his feast day is May 19th.