The House System

Four Houses, One Community

Four Houses, One Community

Beginning in the fall of 2007, Westminster Academy grouped its Upper School students into four different houses.  Each house has an equal number of students, with a relatively equal distribution of age and gender.  Houses have faculty representatives, who along with students remain part of the same house during their time at Westminster.

Patterned after a traditional approach to the social aspects of a school, the houses are named for faithful men from early church history—Athanasius, Becket, Boniface and Columba.  The names were chosen because these men remind us of the struggles that the early church faced and of the faithfulness of God in working through His people to further establish and nourish His kingdom.  Their stories are encouraging and their lives of obedience are worth emulating.

House Athanasius, Field Day 2014

The fundamental component of the House System is its separation of students and faculty from a large community into smaller ones.  The purpose of the House System is to provide a structure that fosters a better school culture by creating more accountability, ownership, and leadership among students and faculty in a way that is intentional and personal to the ultimate end of building a stronger school community.

The mission of the House System is to create communities in which five cornerstone virtues can be cultivated in the hearts of the students and faculty.  These virtues are Virtus  (Courage), Comitas (Friendliness), Gravitas (Responsibility), Hilaritas (Cheerfulness), Pietas (Devotion).  With these virtues present in the students, they will be able to maintain a healthy and vibrant student culture at Westminster.

The Director of Houses is a faculty member who oversees all house activities during the year and meets weekly with the House Captains and Housemasters. The Housemaster is a faculty member who oversees house operations, establishes vision, and serves as a mentor to the house captain, who is a 12th grade student.  The Captain is responsible for all house operations, is accountable to the Housemaster and Director of Houses, and carries out the vision set by the Housemaster. Each upper school faculty member is assigned to a house, serving as an academic advisor to the students, and assisting the Housemaster during meetings and house events.

Each house meets weekly with students and faculty to discuss house business and work on house activities.  In addition to organizing intra-house events, such as games and projects, the houses collaborate to participate in inter-house events and competitions including upper school field days and the Namesake Challenge.

The school year ends with the Closing Ceremony followed by a feast at which time the house cup is awarded to the house that has accumulated the most points over the course of the year.  The gathering is structured intentionally to reflect our motto

“Four Houses, One Community”.

 

Westminster upper school students gather for house picture on field day

Each year, students compete for their house in various events on field day.