Top Benefits of the House Systems in British Schools for Students |

School House Systems in British Schools and its Benefits for Students

House systems are at the core of every authentic UK school such as RGS Guildford Dubai, and these are the benefits of its system

Posted on

6 March 2023

Last updated on 7 March 2023
Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai school houses

The House System is at the core of a true British school and it is important for the development of a sense of community within the school.

Great houses allow pupils to form bonds and relationships across the different year groups and phases, rather than solely within their year batchmates. These help children and teenagers learn how to work with others, improve collaboration skills and foster positive social behaviour with older and younger peers.

What is a 'House system'?

A ‘House system’ or ‘Houses’ comes from 19th-century British boarding schools, where pupils were literally housed in separate boarding houses, where they slept, ate and were cared for by House parents.

Over time, these houses grew into a system of pastoral care and a sense of shared loyalty among member pupils.

In modern day, these are metaphorical groups where students across different years are sorted into.

What are modern House systems like?

The House system today is a model of school organisation that groups pupils into separate units known as ‘Houses’. These aren't necessarily literal houses, but they are metaphorical ones which create a cohesive environment with shared opportunities.

Houses often compete against each other in sports and academic competitions such as football, netball, swimming, poetry, chess, and photography. It allows teamwork, cohesion, and friendships to develop amongst pupils.

Houses tend to be named after various things, from colours to compass points, geographical locations, animal and creatures (real and fictional), or even famous people.

The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai house system

At the Royal Grammar School Guildford in the UK, the six houses are named after important people from the school’s history:

  1. Austen
  2. Beckingham
  3. Hamonde
  4. Nettles
  5. Powell
  6. Valpy

Each of these Houses represents a prominent personality from Guildford, UK – each of whom made significant contributions to the school throughout its 500+ years of history.

SEE ALSO - A Quick Tour of a 500-Year-Old UK School's UAE Campus: RGS Guildford Dubai

The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai share the same Houses, which enables the UAE campus to have direct links to their school back in Guildford, UK and further strengthens the bond between the schools.

Both the Dubai and UK schools participate in international House competitions, where students compete and collaborate to win points for their respective Houses.

Pastoral Care:

Each House is organised and run by two House parents who deliver assemblies each half term to the pupils on one of the RGS Learning Habits or Values.

Each member of staff within the school is linked to one of the Houses and attends the assemblies, which develops that bond between pupils and teachers.

The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai admissions

In Year 6, there are House Captains who help to deliver the House assemblies with the House parent and assist in organising events, showing leadership skills and acting as a role model to the younger pupils.

Whilst at school, the pupils will have a network of adults who will support their pastoral needs within their year group; form tutors, subject teachers, heads of year, etc.

However, the House system allows for a House Parent to see the growth and development of each member of their House as they move through the years within the school. It fosters an extra layer of pastoral care and support for each child, making them feel supported and appreciated in a different environment from their year group.

Mr Joe Creal
Assistant head, Upper Key Stage 2
RGS Guildford Dubai

Mr. Joe Creal, Assistant Head - Upper Key Stage 2 at RGS Guildford Dubai

Mr. Joe Creal
Assistant Head - Upper Key Stage 2
The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai

The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai
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The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai
The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGS Guildford Dubai) welcomed its first pupils in September 2021. The Dubai campus is designed for boys and girls aged 3 to 18. The school will embody the ethos and values that have underpinned the Royal Grammar School Guildford in the UK for over 500 years. These, combined with a spirit of innovation and development, will prepare pupils for the challenges of the 21st and 22nd centuries. RGS Guildford Dubai leads by example, stay true to their values, innovate, collaborate and strive to be the very best they can be.

Tilal Al Ghaf Dubai, United Arab Emirates