Holdgate takes its name from a previous Headmaster of the School (W W Holdgate, 1910 -1932). The House was founded to accommodate junior boarding at a time when the School was all boys.
In 1992, Holdgate House merged with Bennett House and the name was lost until it was restored in 2000 in its present format of a senior mixed house of 50 pupils academically and as a ‘competition’ House linked with Westminster.
Our House colour is green and as a consequence our mascot is a green alligator called ‘Holdgator’. He has brought us much luck since the House system started. We have won the Baughan Cup twice as overall winners of the House Competitions, which requires pupils to draw on a wide range of skills in music, sport, debating and general knowledge.
In Holdgate there are five tutors, each with a group of approximately 11 pupils in their care, ranging from Third Form to Sixth Form. Assisting them are two Heads of House; one male, one female.
Housemaster: Mr Graham Alderman
Mr Alderman has worked at Sutton Valence since 2004 and was Director of Sport until September 2016. He now takes up this exciting pastoral role which has always been an interest of his. He was Head of Year for eight years at his previous school and has many years’ experience. He has high expectations of the pupils in his care and looks forward to seeing them all becoming successful in their own way. Perhaps no man alive can see the wood from the trees as well as Mr Alderman. This venerable schoolmaster epitomises a common sense, no nonsense approach to all facets of education; as he enacts his many roles within the School, along the way he provides some of the most memorable moments a student will ever experience. Openness is a key factor to being a housemaster and his door is always open.
Miss Linda Gray
Miss Gray joined Sutton Valence School at the start of the Lent Term 2014, having previously lived and worked in a School in Cambridge. She teaches Religious Studies and is also involved in coaching swimming and debating. Last year she coached our House debating team to success, enabling us to be awarded the trophy for the first time.
Mr Mark Howell
Mr Howell joined us in April 2014 as Head of Rugby and to teach Geography. Prior to being Head of Rugby at Wallington County Grammar School, he worked for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), becoming a Police Sergeant in the Riot Squad. He captained the MPS 1st XV for several seasons and became a British Police Rugby International, taking part in many international tours throughout his rugby career. Mr Howell is also a Rugby Football Union Qualified Divisional Selector.
Mr Adrian Penfold
Mr Penfold joined the School in 2008 and is Head of the Religious Studies Department. Philosophy and Ethics is his specialism garnering much satisfaction from a well-formulated and articulated argument; a vital life skill. Mr Penfold is involved in a wide range of School activities.
Ms Heather Blackhall
Ms Blackhall joined the Modern Foreign Languages Department in 2016 having previously worked in a School in Abu Dhabi. Ms Blackhall's international experience brings a wealth of knowledge to the team.