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House Competitions

  • Equiano

  • Franklin

  • Johnson

  • Liddel

  • Müller

Our SMRT house system aims to give students a greater sense of community within a whole school environment. With students from different years competing for the same houses, students have the chance to engage and interact with other members within the school by participating in numerous inter-house events and activities that occur throughout the school year.

Why These House Names?

The four houses represent a significant historical figure. All four individuals overcame extreme adversity in their lifetimes and embody resilience, duty and integrity.

Our Houses



Rosalind was a British chemist, who played a crucial role in the discovery of the nature of DNA.

Franklin was born to a well-connected Jewish family in London, England, in 1920. Her great uncle was Herbert Samuel was the first practising Jewish member of the British cabinet, serving as Home Secretary in 1916.

During the 1930s, her family took in Jewish refugees, who arrived on the ‘Kindertransport’ – one girl, Evi Ellis, shared Franklin’s room for a few years.

In 1951, Franklin returned to England, on a three-year scholarship at King’s College London. She used her knowledge of X-Rays to improve facilities at King’s College.

Franklin’s very careful and meticulous preparation enabled her department to produce very significant high-resolution photos of crystallised DNA photos.

The photos suggested a helix structure, though not all were convinced.

When James Watson, a scientist working on his own DNA structure in Cambridge saw these photos, he remarked, “My jaw fell open, and my pulse began to race.”

In 1953, worked on Tobacco Mosaic Virus and published works on the structure of its particles. She also worked on other viruses such as polio.

Increasing ill health caused her to retire from work. Franklin died from breast cancer in 1958.


Olaudah Equiano, frontpiece from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

Born in an area that is now southern Nigeria.  Kidnapped with his sister at around the age of 11, sold by local slave traders and shipped across the Atlantic to Barbados and then Virginia.

In Virginia he was sold to a Royal Navy officer, who renamed him 'Gustavus Vassa' after the 16th-century Swedish king. Equiano travelled the oceans with Pascal for eight years, during which time he was baptised and learnt to read and write.

Pascal then sold Equiano to a ship captain in London, who took him to Montserrat, where he was sold to a prominent merchant.

While working as a deckhand, valet and barber, Equiano earned money by trading on the side. In only three years, he made enough money to buy his own freedom.

Equiano then spent much of the next 20 years travelling the world.

In 1786 in London, he became involved in the movement to abolish slavery. He was a prominent member of the 'Sons of Africa', a group of 12 black men who campaigned for abolition. A film called, ‘Amazing Grace’ documents what took place at this time and features Equiano.

In 1789, he published his autobiography, 'The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African'. He travelled widely promoting the book, which became immensely popular, helped the abolitionist cause, and made Equiano a wealthy man. It is one of the earliest books published by a black African writer.

In 1792, Equiano married an Englishwoman, Susanna Cullen, and they had two daughters. Equiano died on 31 March 1797.

Katherine JOHNSON

NASA human computers - Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson

American mathematician who calculated and analysed the flight paths of man spacecraft during her more than three decades with the U.S. space program.

Graduated from high school at 14.

Became a teacher at a Black public school in Virginia.

Enrolled onto a Maths graduate program (the first African-American woman to attend graduate school).

Did not complete the program as she took a break to have children and look after her family (3 daughters).

Regularly attended church, sang in the choir.

Got a job working for NASA as a mathematician – in a pool of women mathematicians doing calculations now done by computer.

Temporarily assigned to the all-male flight research team where she ignored racial and gender barriers to attend meetings.  Although still working in a segregated environment.

First woman in her division to receive credit as an author of a research report.

Part of the team that calculated where and when to launch the rocket for the Apollo 11 mission of 1969, which sent the first three men to the Moon.

Her story was captured in a film called, ‘Hidden Figures’.


George Muller

Came to England in 1829.

Moved to Bristol in 1832.

In 1836, prepared his own home (Wilson Street) to accommodate 30 orphan girls.

Three more houses on Wilson Street were furnished and prepared – eventually, 130 orphans were cared for.

Opened a home (orphanage) in Ashley Down in 1845.

By 1870, room for 2050 children was made available. Over 10,000 children were helped during Muller’s lifetime.

The 5 homes cost over £100,000 to build, but Muller never made requests for financial support.

At the age of 70, he began a 17- year missionary journey, which included Europe, America and Australia.

The George Müller Charitable Trust continues today and records of all orphans can still be viewed at a museum in Cotham Park. The trust continues to support many charities around the world and in Bristol – all through donations with no request for financial support.


Eric Liddell

Scottish Olympic champion at 400 m and a famous Christian missionary.

Captured in the film 'Chariots of Fire'.

During the Paris Olympics because the heats of the 100m sprint were held on Sunday, he withdrew from his strongest race. Instead, he concentrated on the 400m as the race schedule did not involve a Sunday.

Before the final, someone slipped a piece of paper into his hand. It included the words from the Bible 1 Samuel 2:30 “Those who honour me I will honour”.

Liddell won gold and set a new Olympic record time of 47.6 seconds.

Returned to northern China to serve as a missionary like his parents.

In 1943, he was arrested and interned by the Japanese. He died on 21 February 1945, five months before liberation.

A fellow internee, Stephen Metcalfe, later wrote of Liddell: “He gave me two things. One was his worn out running shoes, but the best thing he gave me was his baton of forgiveness. He taught me to love my enemies, the Japanese, and to pray for them.”

House Competitions Captains

Each year group and each house has a house captain who represents them. These students nominate themselves and go through a vigorous selection process. Their main roles are to:

  • Promote the latest competitions
  • Work with staff to select winners from house competitions i.e. if there are lots of entries, they can choose one to put forward.
  • Be the representative for any students in their house - if any students have ideas, they go through the House Captain
  • Encourage and get the best students to participate in the correct house competitions
  • They get to lift the house cup if their house wins

Contact us

St. Mary Redcliffe and Temple School
Somerset Square, Bristol, BS1 6RT

0117 3772100