For many of our children and their parents, the word ‘house’ refers to the building in which they live. At Huili, Wellington College and many other schools throughout the world, the term is also used to describe the family-like group to which a child is assigned when they enter the school community.As parents, we want to give our children a sense of security and belonging from the moment they are born. We know that these elements are vital to our child’s wellbeing. In England, many of the first established schools were built in places which were too far away for pupils to travel daily, so they were compelled to ‘board’, often for long periods of time. Boarding houses were created in order to meet the pupils’ care needs before and after the hours of the normal school day. The people who took charge of the pupils in the houses were often referred to as ‘house parents’ as they fulfilled the role of the pupils’ parents.
Huili School has continued to incorporate that sense of belonging and security in the way in which we care for the children in our charge.This goes much further than simply meeting their physical needs. Although our children do not board at school, they spend a substantial amount of time each day with us and we take our guardianship responsibility very seriously. The house system recognises that each child has strengths which should be celebrated, whether they be educational, sporting, musical, or leadership potential. Key adults are allocated to each house and they take on a significant amount of responsibility for the day-to-day ‘pastoral care’ of the children. This includes ensuring that the children are kept physically and emotionally safe, while also giving them the opportunity to participate and succeed educationally and allowing them to access new challenges and experiences.The house system at Huili School embraces the principles of the very best schools in the world. Our house names have been chosen to embody the values on which we hope all our children will base their lives: Xian, Hui, De and Li. Each house will develop its own, unique identity, engendering a healthy sense of competition in all aspects of school life (everyone believes ‘their’ house is best!), whilst acknowledging and celebrating the strengths and qualities of their classmates who belong to different houses.House colours will be worn with pride and pupils will be eager to help their house become the very best. The way in which they exhibit Huili Values and Identities will be recognised in the form of ‘house points’ and children will aspire for their house to ‘win’ the most! Every child will invest in the success of their house.