The House System

All pupils in the school are members of one of four houses eponymously named after different Archbishops of Armagh. They are namely: Armstrong, Beresford, d’Arcy and Rokeby. The school is fortunate to have had an unbroken line of Archbishops as consecutive Chairs of its board of governors for over four hundred years. Not every pupil is capable of representing a school team and the inter-house competitions afford significantly greater participation opportunities for pupils at only slightly a lower level! Conversely, not every activity in life involves competition at inter-school level and certain activities of a more cultural and recreational nature find their proper place within the house system. The underpinning philosophy and the wholesome signature traits fostered by the House system align perfectly with the school’s mission to enable students to find their sweet spot in life, flourish and be happy. In short, the house system is congruent with everything we know about whole-person development and positive psychology (PERMA).

The houses compete against one another in the following activities which are spread throughout the year:

Athletics
Debating
Hockey
Netball
Photography
Rugby
Swimming
Talent Competition
Tennis

The Houses also have a relational and pastoral impact which contributes significantly to the community feel of the school. How? This is because house teams and house assemblies oblige pupils to mix ‘vertically’ rather than just ‘horizontally’. This does not mean ‘standing up’ and ‘lying down’! Put simply, a Year 8 (First Former) will have a planned opportunity to mix and have a more proximal interface with senior pupils (Sixth Formers) and vice versa. They can get to know one another. It is easy for adults to forget just how much a smile and a hello from a Sixth Former mean to a first former as they pass in the corridor!This fosters strong relationships, team work, camaraderie and opportunities to lead and to role-model as well as opportunities to see such role-models in action. The Heads of Houses are senior pupils who work with Housemasters to oil the wheels of the outworking of the inter-house competitions.

Paul Crute
Headmaster