Every student entering the school becomes a member of one of the four Houses. These are named after historically prominent local people. At Abbeyfield, we strongly believe in student leadership, this is why each House is led by students that we call House captains. In addition we have a team of House Tutors and House prefects that are nominated from each tutor group. Students quickly form loyalties to their House and achieve a true sense of belonging.
The House system acts as a link between the different age groups in the school, providing them with opportunities for working and playing together. Typical of this is the appointment of Post 16 students as House Captains to encourage, lead and support House activities; the House subject and sport competitions, where the Post 16 students are responsible for all the organisation and direction, with only minimal staff help.
Members of a family are often placed in the same House and this enables parents to build up a relationship with one particular group of staff who will be able to discuss any problems or offer advice based on their knowledge of the overall situation.
Students are encouraged to play a key part in the decision making process of the school, through their role in both the relevant House Council and the School Council.
Each House has it’s own House Council. The council is made up of a representative of each tutor group and the relevant House captain. It is chaired by students who are responsible for setting the agenda and taking minutes. Members can raise items discussed in tutor groups and are expected to report back to their peers after each session. Meetings are held at least six times a year and are used to discuss items relevant to the House as well as whole school issues.
The Abbeyfield Student Entitlement
By the time every student leaves the school they will have had the opportunity to experience the following:
go on a residential trip
learn from students in other schools (local, national and international)
organise and manage a House event
lead or take part in an enterprise activity (including a charity week)
help others through voluntary work
have their say on school issues
represent their House in an arts, sports or other curriculum event
The House Championship
The House Championship gives students a balance between academic rigours and social aspects of school life. The system provides a sense of competition and fun through a range of school based activities. The House System runs from September to July, with points being awarded for each event.
The Abbeyfield House Championship is awarded to the House with the overall highest number of House points. The House Championship is awarded in the final assembly of the school year and the trophy is presented to the winning House Captains. House points are calculated at the end of each term (six times a year) and the running totals are displayed around the school on the TV system.
Staff and Students alike are encouraged to run any appropriate competition for the whole school or a particular year group. The aim of a particular event can be to raise the profile of a particular subject or activity; the only requirement being that it should be educational and fun for competitors and spectators alike.
There are ‘House Majors’. These are events that involve a large number of participants and often take place over a longer period of time. These big activities are awarded a high tariff of House points. Activities on the House Championship calendar that take place each week in tutorials or that involve a smaller number of students, are awarded a lower number of House points. At the start of every school year, staff can introduce a new event or activity into the House Championship. The proposed new activity will be approved by the four House captains that will go onto the Championship calendar.
Achievements in the House system are recognised by students being awarded Commendation certificates (Gold, Silver, Bronze) at the end of each term. Citizenship stars are also rewarded termly to students within the House by their tutors.
Rewarding students in lessons
Students are rewarded on a lesson-by-lesson basis and this significantly contributes to the House Championship.
‘Pings’ – Classcharts
Teachers give Pings to students in class. These are accumulated over the course of the year for their House. Students and Parents can monitor their rewards through their own Classchart account. Students can redeem their Pings against a range of items from the school shop.
Each term the average number of Pings per House is calculated and the winning House will receive a House reward with money going to their House Charity.
Students gain commendations for exceptional or outstanding contributions to school, school life & the community. These commendations equate to 5 Pings and students will be rewarded with a Bronze (10), Silver (20) or Gold (30) certificate in the celebration assembly at the end of each term.
The Curriculum Challenge
Activities in each subject will be centred on a chosen theme in lessons. The individual student winners will receive Pings rewards. Each department’s challenges will be recorded, with the results being accumulated over the year. This will allow an overall result at the end of the year.
• English – Creative writing (Junior, Intermediate & Senior)
• Food & Hospitality
• Design & New Technology
• Business & IT
• Art & Photography
• Personal and Social Development (termly house presentations)
• Modern Foreign Languages
The School Olympics (Sports Day)
This takes place in the summer term with Years 7-10 competing against each other in Athletics. This is an exciting day that culminates in the House relays. Students are encouraged to create House banners and sit in House teams to cheer on the participants.