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.
Students in the Junior School compete in their Houses for the:
- Warwick Carter Cup (good behaviour, good work)
- Cock 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 Cock 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 Cock House Shield at the end of the year.
Years 3–6 also enjoy the K–12 House assembly.
There are two shields that are contested by Houses in the Middle School.
- Cock House Academic Shield determined by end of year results by respective Houses. The Cock House Academic Shield is awarded at Speech Night.
- Cock House 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 Cock House Shield is awarded at the Farewell Assembly.
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 Cock House (sporting / cultural) – a keenly-fought Cock 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)
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 was originally the merino ram, reflecting the predominantly rural membership of the House. This was changed in about 2006 under Head of House, Andrew Webber, to reflect the altered membership of the House; it now features the sailing ship from the legend of the Golden Fleece, though the ram still features on the ship’s sail and the golden fleece is the top intra-House honour. 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)
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 Sam Manson
(03) 6221 4280
Stephens House (yellow)
Virtutis amore – for 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)
Mr Mike Conacher
(03) 6221 4243
Thorold House (green)
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)
Mr James McLeod
(03) 6221 4240