HISTORY OF THE HOUSES
St Paul's Collegiate School has five Day Houses. Four are boys' Houses; Fitchett, Hall, Hamilton and School, and Harington a girls only house. In addition to day houses there are four boarding houses.
Originally there was only the one House: School House. There are some gaps in the history of the Houses – School House was established in 1959, and was the first house at St Paul’s Collegiate School which catered for all the boarders and the day boys. Traditionally the first house in schools like St Paul’s was always called School House. The last year of School House functioning as a boarding house was at the end of 1993. The house at this time went into recess but was re-established as a day house in 1999.
Hamilton House, named after Hamilton City, was established in 1964 and was first located in what was then known as the Hobbies Hut. This building no longer exists.
Hall House, founded in 1973, was named after Foundation Board member Mr Harry Hall and commemorates all the survey work he did for the School, free of charge.
Fitchett House was opened in 1999 and was named after Dr Marcus Fitchett, the first Chairman of the Board.
Harington House, formerly known as the Girls’ House, opened in 1985. The House was renamed Harington House after Mrs Pamela Harington, a St Paul’s parent and very active Board member.
HOW THE HOUSE SYSTEM FUNCTIONS
At St Paul’s, education is seen as a partnership between the home and the School. As all successful partnerships are based on effective communication between partners, it is essential that home and School keep in close contact.
Secondary schools can be complex places - teaching and learning becomes more specialised within a wide range of subjects. Purpose built facilities cater for different academic requirements with students changing rooms up to six times a day.
The division of the School into units called Houses provides a smaller group within which the student can find friendship and support and assist with their assimilation into the School community.
As far as possible, the Housemaster’s office is located adjacent to the House and is the administrative hub for the House. The Housemaster and Assistants meet informally each day and the Housemasters meet regularly as a group.
The Housemaster is concerned not only with the pastoral care of the student, but also with the student’s academic, sporting and cultural involvement and progress. The Housemasters will build up an understanding of the student as a person, as a member of his family and as a member of the School.
This pastoral role involves being sensitive to a wide range of signals that are indicative of each student’s academic, social and personal development. The Housemaster is also well placed to help students with study methods, personal organisation, social behaviour and other issues as they arise.
The Housemaster is the person whom the student should see in the first instance with regard to lost property and other matters. They are also available for consultation with parents. Parents can communicate with the Housemaster via the student’s diary as well as by phone, email, or by arranging a meeting.
OPPORTUNITIES TO BUILD LEADERSHIP
As students progress through the school they are expected to carry more responsibility for their own activities and for those of the school community. The House system is a very important training ground for developing responsibility, initiative and leadership. Senior students are expected both to help younger students and to take on positions of responsibility in the House.
Inter-House competition provides opportunities for developing leadership and community spirit. Competition takes place in a range of sporting and cultural events. International week provides opportunities for students of all cultures to celebrate their differences.
Boarding Houses are also required to assist in community projects such as collections for the IHC, Red Cross, Salvation Army and Braille Week. All Houses offer minor administrative roles as well as major leadership roles such as Head of House, Deputy Head of House and Sports Captain.