The house system is widely used in British schools and schools that model themselves after the British system in countries with past British colonial ties, such as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, and Singapore. The system began in boarding schools, where students actually ate, drank, and slept in individual houses during school terms.
There are numerous benefits schools have traditionally seen in using the house system. It is designed to encourage and increase competition between students and to create a supportive environment.
The House System at RMG Maheshwari English School
The RMG Maheshwari English School the advantages of the house system have been manifold. The houses provide not only an increased feeling of identity and belonging; they also provide students with a sense of tradition and abundant leadership opportunities.
RMG School has seen a marked change in the attitude of students as a result of the establishment of the house. Because of the competition and the identification of each student with a house, there is constant encouragement for students to do their best. The positive attitudes of students toward one another and toward the school have been quite amazing since the program started.
The sense of tradition is palpable too. Although it is young, the RMG house system already has about it the feeling of history. We tell our student leaders that years from now, their successors will look to them as examples and early founders of their houses. Every house is handed down a gavel engraved with the name of the house and the year it was established. We tell them not to worry if their gavels get a few nicks, because there will be stories associated with each mark that will be handed down over the years. Each year, the new house leaders are excited about their positions and carrying the banner forward for their houses. Children don’t get many opportunities to be a part of traditions like that anymore.
Another benefit of the house system to the RMG Maheshwari community is the leadership opportunities available to students.
1) The House Captain is chosen by the faculty based on the level of maturity and responsibility each has displayed. He or she presides at House meetings and reports directly to the faculty.
2) The House vice captain presides at the meetings and exists as the “right hand man” to the House Captain.
Competition in the House System
The feature of the houses most popular with students is the competitions. At RMG Maheshwari English School, House points are awarded based on the following four categories: academics, athletics, community service, and spirit. Academic competition is based on formative assessments and summative assessments. Athletic competitions include Tennis, Football, cricket, skating, volleyball etc. Community service points are based on member participation in service projects. Spirit is defined as eagerly participating in school events and extracurricular activities with a kind and helpful attitude. The house system exists to provide a healthy level of competition and camaraderie among students.