Historical information

Depicted are four students who were the 1951 House Captains at Ruyton Girls' School. The photo is an official school portrait, taken outdoors in front of Henty House (formerly Tarring). In the background, we can see two bicycles. The girls are dressed in their school uniforms, comprising a knee-length check-print skirt, dark jumper, light-coloured collared buttoned blouse with a dark tie, wool blazer, stockings, and dark-coloured lace-up shoes. Two of the girls are standing, while the other two are seated on a small concrete plinth. The students have been identified, from left to right, as A. Dickinson (Lascelles), C. Kent (Anderson, H. Cole (Bromby), and E. Duff (Daniell).

Student leadership commenced at Ruyton Girls' School in 1906 with the introduction of the prefect system. Prefects had numerous responsibilities—gate duty, grounds duty, classroom marking, assembly door watch, uniform monitoring, and even supervising student detention. In 1947, a dedicated Prefects Room was erected on the east side of the Ruyton Girls' School Assembly Room in Henty House.

The prefects system was revised in 1968 with a new leadership structure: there would be a permanent School Captain, Vice Captain and School Sports Captain; six permanent prefects would be elected, and the rest of the Matriculation class would form committees. These included Library, Social Services, S.C.M., Editorial, and Music. In this way, it was thought "that each Matric girl would have a certain amount of responsibility." With this revised structure came a brand new Prefects' Study, located in a former classroom next to the Domestic Science building. Each prefect was allocated one book locker, one clothing locker, "a small share in the heater", plus a new shared lounge.

The prefect system was updated again in 1974. All sixth formers would become prefects, or "school officials." This saw the sixth form divided into two halves: one group would be prefects for the first half of the year, then the second group would take the reigns in the latter half of the year.

In October 2023, Ruyton announced a new collaborative leadership structure for captains, prefects and house leaders, which would see two students in each leadership role.


The record has strong historic significance as it gives insight into the House system at Ruyton Girls' School. In the early 1920s, Ruyton was settling into its new home at Selbourne Road, Kew. At the time, students were arranged by their form (or year level) for lessons and other school activities. A collection of eight emblems and mottoes for each form group was published in the Ruytonian December 1922, although the genesis of each were left unexplained. With enrolments continually growing, Principal Miss Hilda Daniell felt a new basis of organisation would benefit students, giving them a broader outlook and something bigger to work for. She took inspiration from tradition and implemented a House system.

The House system was adopted at Ruyton in September 1924 to "provide a new kind of co-operation and competition among the girls, especially in Sport." There were four houses, three of which were named after early Principals: Anderson, Bromby and Lascelles. There was also the School House, initially for boarders only. Some time after the publication of the Ruytonian in April 1928, the School House was renamed Daniell House, and had opened up to day girls. The account published by the newly formed Daniell House in the Ruytonian December 1928 reads, "we are rather bashful in presenting this account of our doings, for we are conscious of our newness. Our house has now the honour of being known as Daniell House."

Four of the original eight form emblems were adopted by the new Houses, while the others were discarded. According to former teacher and author of the centenary history of Ruyton, Ms Majorie Theobald, the House system "gave a new focus for all competitive sport, which had previously been organised on a rather inequitable basis."

The colours chosen for the Houses were cherry red for Anderson, royal blue for Bromby, gold for Lascelles, and pale blue for School (later Daniell).

New students starting at Ruyton from Prep onwards are allocated to one of the Houses with consideration to family connections and balance of numbers.

The record's significance is further enhanced by its strong provenance, having been produced by Ruyton Girls' School and donated to the Archives by a familial connection of a former notable student.

Physical description

Black and white rectangular photograph printed on matte photographic paper.

Inscriptions & markings

Caroline Kent /
Mary Murray. /
11.12.51. /
Ann Dickinson /