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TEACHERS, business leaders and naval dignitaries united to raise flags for the formal opening of a school’s new house groups.

Trafalgar School in Hilsea staged a ceremony this week marking the creation of four new student groups – Britannia, Temeraire, Sovereign and Victory.

The flag-raising ceremony     (180205-5416)

The flag-raising ceremony (180205-5416)

Each carrying a different emblem, the divisions will provide pupils with the chance to stage inter-house competitions and assemblies, while also offering a means of celebrating their collective attainment.

Speaking as they were officially enshrined on Monday morning, Trafalgar School’s head of governors, Matthew Stratton, said: ‘Today, we’re here to support and challenge the school and drive for improvement.

‘Our name is obviously embedded in naval history, so the flags we’re raising carry a naval tradition as well.’

The ceremony came nearly two-and-a-half years after Trafalgar School, in London Road, was converted from the former City of Portsmouth Boy’s School.

As part of the rebranding, the institution begun taking on female pupils as well.

Touching on its new groups, Trafalgar School headteacher Claire Copeland said: ‘We introduced this house system and vertical tutoring in September as a way of embodying our core values.

‘After naming their houses, our students designed flags – which encompass what it means to be part of this school.’

The ceremony was also attended by Portsmouth’s lord mayor Cllr Ken Ellcome, who went to the school when it was known as the Technical High School.

Cllr Ellcome took time to meet pupils, share his own journey since leaving the school and relay the importance of having life aspirations.

Pupils also presented speeches about why they take pride in their house groups.