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The House system

As a learning community and through the House system we strive to encourage boys to develop a realistic knowledge of self, be of sound spiritual and moral value, show tolerance and demonstrate respect for others, build and maintain lifelong friendships, display qualities such as integrity, flexibility, reliability and empathy, develop skills in independence, self-motivation, leadership and cooperation and participate in a range of enjoyable physical and age appropriate risk taking activities and are responsible for their own health and safety. The House system reinforces these principles.

The House system allocates all boys from Kindergarten to Year 12 to one of four Houses: Buckland, School, Stephens and Thorold. Staff members across the entire school are also allocated a House. Each of the sub-schools run their House programs differently and combine on various occasions throughout the year in large K–12 assemblies.

Early Learning Centre (ELC)

Boys are allocated a House but all sport competitions are done via year level, where everyone gets a ribbon for participation. Boys attend the K–12 House assembly where the boys divide up into their Houses for the first time.

Junior School

Students in the Junior School compete in their Houses for the:

  • Warwick Carter Cup (good behaviour, good work)
  • Inter House Shield (Warwick Carter Cup points plus sporting)

The House system is used for all sporting events:

  • Swimming Carnival
  • Cross Country
  • Winter Sports Day
  • Athletics Carnival

All Houses receive points for these competitions which are then translated into ‘position points’ which are added up and go towards the Inter House Shield. Certificates which are given out in assembly for good behaviour or good work earn House points for the recipient. These points are tallied at the end of each term. The winning House at the end of the year (for certificates) receives the Warwick Carter Cup. The Warwick Carter Cup points are added to all the sporting events to determine who gets the Inter House Shield at the end of the year.

Years 3–6 also enjoy the K–12 House assembly.

Middle School

There are two shields that are contested by Houses in the Middle School.

  • Inter House Academic Shield determined by end of year results by respective Houses. The Inter House Academic Shield is awarded at Speech Night.
  • Inter House Co-curricular Shield determined by results from the nine House competitions over the course of the year, including: Swimming Carnival, Cross Country, Debating, Drama, Music, Athletics Carnival, Winter Sports Day, Summer Challenge and Theatre Sports. The Inter House Co-curricular Shield is awarded at the Farewell Assembly.

Senior School

The House is the main unit within the Senior School for pastoral care and for school academic and other competitions. Students compete for two shields:

  • The Gumley Shield (academic) – recognising the achievements of Dr Stephen Gumley (1974 Head Prefect and a 1979 Rhodes Scholar), the shield is awarded at Speech Night to the House that achieves the highest academic effort in the year.
  • The W J Gerlach Inter House Competition (sporting / cultural) – a keenly-fought Inter House Competition which includes participation by all boys from all Houses in the following activities: Winter Sports Day, Summer Sports Day, Athletics Carnival, Swimming Carnival, Chess, Drama, Music, Cross Country and Debating

The House system also facilitates involvement in chapel, assemblies and inter-mentor competitions.

Pastorally we pride ourselves on the strength of our House system. This serves as the hub of interaction within the Senior School and provides the framework for our major House competitions. More importantly, mentor groups in each House serve as an opportunity for a smaller, vertical grouping of students from Years 9–12 to get to know one another under the guidance and direction of a mentor. Mentors within the Senior School are responsible for overseeing students’ wellbeing and school life. The mentor’s role includes ensuring that each student feels safe, known and connected to the School community so that their potential may be reached.

School House (blue)

House system – School logo

Unitas et praestantia – united and working together as one

School House took the colours of its namesake at Rugby School, combining the dominant colours of the famous Oxford and Cambridge universities, dark and light blue. The School House emblem is the merino ram, reflecting the era where predominantly rural membership made up the House. School’s motto (once that of Rugby, ‘orando laborando’) changed in 1993 to ‘unitas et praestantia’, translated as ‘united and working together as one’.

Assistant Head of Senior School (School House)

Mr Martin Chambers
(03) 6221 4278

Buckland House (red)

House system – Buckland logo

Cura personalis – courage, compassion

Buckland House, which started with maroon and white colours, now features fire-engine red in place of the more sombre brownish-red of the original strip. The waratah was adopted in 1990 as its floral emblem and top House honour, with the original eagle retained as its symbolic bird and secondary honour award. Buckland’s motto is now ‘courage, compassion’, adapted from the earlier version, ‘cura personalis’.

Assistant Head of Senior School (Buckland House)

Mr Matthew Sayers
(03) 6221 4280

Stephens House (yellow)

House system – Stephens logo

Virtutis amorefor the love of virtue

Stephens House adopted blue, black and gold colours and the emblems of the lion rampant and the local guinea flower. Its motto is that of its mentor A A Stephens, ‘virtutis amore’, meaning ‘for the love of virtue’. Head of House, Mr Peter Starkey redesigned the crest in 1991, taking the lion and motto from the Stephens family coat of arms.

Assistant Head of Senior School (Stephens House)

Mrs Giovanna Padas
(03) 6221 4243

Thorold House (green)

House system – Thorold logo

Cervus non servus – unenslaved by the herd

Thorold House took a green and white strip, with the stag as its emblem and the motto ‘cervus non servus’ – currently interpreted as ‘unenslaved by the herd’ – celebrating the power of independent thought.

Assistant Head of Senior School (Thorold House)

Ms Lauren Carr
(03) 6221 4240

To learn more about the opportunities we provide for boys to become their best, contact our Enrolments Assistant, submit an online Enquiry form or phone 03 6221 4236. We encourage you to book a tour with our Registrar as this is the best way to see our School in action. Read more…