House System

The house system is a very traditional feature of preparatory schools – where each child is allocated to a particular group of pupils at the moment of enrolment.

Historically, this was associated with full boarding schools, where a ‘house’ referred to specific accommodation.  In more modern times, in both day and boarding schools, the word ‘house’ now generally refers to pupil groups rather than a building.  The system has featured prominently in hundreds of novels, with many authors writing a whole series of books – such as Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers.  The Harry Potter books and films also re-popularised this genre, resulting in unprecedented global awareness of the British school house system.

Houses may be named after saints, animals, famous historical alumni, notable regional themes or local celebrities.  We have three houses at St Pius – named after three archangels, with distinct colours:

  • St Michael - red
  • St Gabriel - blue
  • St Raphael - green

Our pupils are usually assigned to these houses to ensure a good balance, in order to increase fair competition.  Traditionally, once a pupil has been assigned to a house, any younger siblings he or she has may automatically become members of that house when they arrive at St Pius – this custom sometimes extends to the children of former pupils.  Once a pupil has been allocated to an archangel they usually stay with that house as they move up through the year groups.  One notable feature of our system is the appointment of house captains who exercise limited authority within the house and assist in its organisation.  Houses have regular opportunity to compete with one another in many different ways, providing a focus for group loyalty.  








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