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At Dudley Wood, the children and staff are sorted into one of four houses. The houses represent the important heritage of our local community and help raise the children's awareness of local history. Through the houses we praise our children's achievements, create a sense of belonging and develop confidence, pride and healthy competition.
Our Four Houses
Chainmaking was one of the Black Country's most important industries. Women and children earned very little money despite working 12 hour days in horrific conditions that broke many factory laws of the time. They had to heat metal in incredibly hot furnaces before hammering out thousands of individual links. These chains were used for many different things - from ships' anchors to dog chains. Mary Macarthur, a trade unionist, led the chainmakers of Cradley Heath in strike action to win their right to earn a minimum wage.
Coal mines covered vast areas of the Black Country - in total there were over 500 individual pits in the region. Without coal, many of Britain's industries would have failed as they relied on coal for power. Miners worked tirelessly around the clock to provide coal during Britain's Industrial Revolution. Many miners worked in dark, cramped conditions deep underground and were paid for the amount of coal they mined. Life was dangerous in the mines as they often flooded, filled with deadly gases and explosions weren't uncommon which caused parts of the mines to collapse.
Nailmaking in the region goes back to the 12th century. Many nailers worked in small workshops that were attached to their houses - they often only had one tiny window to let light in and a fire burning all day in the middle of the room. Often, entire families would work long hours but pay was not good despite a good nailer being able to make over 20,000 nails a week. A nailer often had to provide his own tools which consisted of a pair of bellows (to keep the fire burning), a small anvil to make the nails on, and sharpening tools.
Over 170 miles of canal zig-zagged across the Black County. These were navigated by barges transporting everything from coal and iron to clothing and chocolate around the region. For many, working on the barges was a way of life and they lives on them with their families. As a result, many of these barges were brightly painted. Life was hard though as locks had to be opened and closed to allow barges to travel up and down hills, horses that pulled barges along towpaths had to be looked after, and barges had to be 'legged' through tunnels. The second longest canal tunnel in the country is in Dudley.
Each of our houses is represented by two house captains. These are children in Year 6 who have been voted by the peers to support, inspire and encourage all members of their house throughout the school.
Each house also has its own cheerleading team made up of children from Year 5. These troupes, along with our new house song, help to further inspire the children to achieve, work together as a team and build healthy competition.