The House System at the Berlin British School
At the Berlin British School we have four Houses (Amethyst, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire), where each child is a member of one of them.
But where did this idea of grouping children in Houses comes from and why do we have such a system?
History of the House system
The house system is a traditional feature of schools in the English-speaking world, particularly in Commonwealth countries, originating in England. The school is divided into subunits called ‘houses’ and each student is allocated to one house at the moment of enrollment.
Historically, the house system was associated with established public schools in England, especially full boarding schools, where a ‘house’ referred to a boarding house at the school.
In modern times, in both day and boarding schools, the word ‘house’ may refer only to a grouping of pupils, rather than to a particular building.
Each house will usually also be identified by its own symbol, logo, or as in the BBS, different colours.
Why do we have such a system
The House System comprises three strands of activity:
- Housepoint systems, which operate in different forms within Primary and Secondary;
- Inter-House competitions such as debating, the House Art Competition and Sports Days;
- Charity fundraising, in which the Houses work together in shared fundraising activities.
Hence, the House System provides opportunities for students to develop all aspects of their growth and learning: personality, morality, creativity, knowledge and skills. The system promotes values of fair play, teamwork, citizenship, mutual responsibility, self-discipline, initiative, perseverance and resilience.
Furthermore, participation in House activities contributes to excellence in academic, social, sporting and cultural fields. It is also a way of getting younger pupils to mix with older students – and remove the fear of them being a little fish in a big pool.
Allocation of students to Houses
All students are enrolled in a House on entering Nursery onwards. Whenever possible, siblings are allocated to the same House. Once allocated, students may not – under any circumstances – move to a different House.
Within Primary, the allocation of new students to Houses ensures, as far as possible, equal House representation in each year group and each tutor group. Gender balance is also considered.
Within Secondary, the allocation of new students to Houses ensures, as far as possible, equal House representation within each of the departments.
The House coordinator at the BBS
Our coordinator for all House issues is Paul Nicholson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he is happy to answer any other questions which you may have in this regard.
For more details about our system and for what activities points and merits are awarded to a House or House member, please take a look here.
The House System provides opportunities for students to develop all aspects of their growth and learning.