We wanted to encourage healthy competition throughout the curriculum and an element of pride in who we are and what we are part of and thought we needed to look at our ‘dated’ house structure within the school. We believed that the current house system was not being used to its full potential and wanted to raise the profile and importance of the houses and create a culture of team work and a sense of belonging.
We began the re-structuring of the houses by launching new house names which were more exciting to the pupils than the current names (Cook, Drake, Livingstone and Scott were changed to Dragons, Phoenix, Griffin and Unicorns - the children’s choice). To promote the worthiness of house points a new system of physical house points was created. The biggest impact in promoting and using the house system to promote S.E.A.L was through the implementation of house days. One day a term was dedicated to the House days where the children from years 1 to 6 got together in their houses, not year groups or classes. The house days included beach cleaning, sandcastle competitions, making celebration resources, Olympic mascot design, activity days, charity fund raising and will end with sports day. The main school corridor has been divided into house sections which the children have decorated with banners, photographs, certificates, murals and many other aspects relating to the houses. All adults have been allocated a house and they work with the children to win the school cup at the end of each term (the house with most house points).
The pupils have responded very well to the new house system and have demonstrated pride in houses, competiveness and team work. The children are very pleased to receive house points and work hard to get them. Fellow house members are supportive of the achievements of their peers. The houses worked well during the beach trip and a sense of community was developed through a beach tidy up and local environment awareness, with guidance from the Thanet Coastal project. The children now feel proud to be part of a team and work hard to make their team successful.
Yes, the impact so far is we have achieved our initial aims of using the new house system to create team work and a sense of belonging. The house days have been succesful and we are looking forward to future developments. The charity fund raising afternoon of a staff bake off was very successful and popular with the parents. This is something we will look to continue next year with activities linked to the Olympic and Paralympic values each term.