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“You helped him realise his dream...and what a world you helped open for him!“

Houses

Each year is divided into three house groups (forms) - Cecil, Spanning and Travers. Students are taught in these groups for most of their lessons in the Lower School.

The houses are led by the house captains, and these are highly sought-after student leadership positions. The house spirit within the school is very strong and there are house competitions including sport, music, cooking and dance. The house system provides further opportunities for students to work with students in other year groups and promotes community spirit.

CECIL house is named after Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley, and his son Sir Thomas Cecil, who were the noblemen responsible for asking Queen Elizabeth I to grant a perpetual Charter to the school, dated 12 July 1576. The Charter established the school as The Free Grammar School of Alford.

SPANNING house is named after Francis Spanning, the wealthy local merchant who founded the school on 18 March 1566. He established a free grammar school "for the teaching of young children to learn the ABC and also to read both Latin and English". Francis Spanning gave £50 as an initial investment, four-fifths of the revenue to be used to pay the schoolmaster and one-fifth to be given annually to the poor of Alford. His generous financial support was followed in subsequent years by other donations of money and land so that the school governors had sufficient income to pay its Master.

TRAVERS house is named after Sir Walter Lancelot Travers OBE CIE who was a pupil at the school until 1889 and founded the Old Elizabethans' Association in 1932. When he died in 1937, he left his entire wealth to the school to pay for new buildings and to establish scholarships to help pupils going on to university.