The House System at Belmont High School has been operating successfully for more than 50 years. It provides a structure which develops an important sense of identity and belonging, providing students with opportunities for participation, involvement and leadership key aspects to developing self esteem, confidence and maturity.
- The school population of around 1180 students is divided into eight vertical Houses. Currently these are Blue, Ebony, Gold, Green, Mango, Purple, Red and Silver. There are approximately 140 students in each House with one group from each of the levels 7 to 12. Students are placed in a House when they enrol and will usually remain in that House for the whole of their school career.
- A considerable number of school activities are organised at the House level. All Year 7 and 8 classes, with the exception of electives and Language classes, are conducted in House groups, as are the Athletics, Swimming and Fun Run Carnivals and the Music House Competitions. Early in the year, a lunchtime sport competition between Year 7 House groups is run as part of the Year 7 transition program. Students also attend camp in House groups. On occasions, one House might issue a challenge to another in some area such as debating or public speaking which would then be run as a combined social evening. All of these activities allow students to identify with one smaller group within the relatively large school community and so foster a feeling of belonging.
Benefits to Students
- The House System provides opportunities for social development since all Houses organise social activities for their students. These include House barbecues, theatre nights, dinners, bowling and video nights. Each House has a Year 12 House Dinner in the second half of the year and many invite past students to these evenings.
- Students within the House have the opportunity to become involved in a variety of committees and so develop the skills associated with these. Each House has a Social Service Committee which raises money for community projects. Several of the Houses have supported foster children. Students also assist with the production of their House Newsletter items.
- The Senior students are encouraged to participate in the broader curriculum by taking on leadership roles within the House. They may run House and committee meetings, assist with sport teams, initiate and co-ordinate House activities or take on more formal roles as House Captains and SRC representatives. Participation in House administration provides real-life experiences and allows students to develop a valuable curriculum vitae.
Role of the House Leader
- The House Leader is responsible for overseeing the academic and social development of students within the House. As part of a pastoral care role, the House Leader encourages students, monitors academic progress, counsels and assists individuals with specific academic problems and takes a personal interest in each young persons growth toward adulthood. They are also responsible for discipline matters. Parents are encouraged to establish strong relationships with their childs House Leader, as he or she is vitally interested in the overall development of each student in the House.
- Belmont High School is proud of its House structure because it provides a stable base from which academic and personal development can grow.
- The vertical House System is one of the key factors contributing to the success students experience at this school through the promotion of a close partnership between student, family and school.