January 2012 saw the launch our new ‘house’ system at Whiteley Primary School. We hope the system will help to foster a sense of belonging, teamwork and celebration, along with a bit of healthy competition!
In the Autumn term we involved pupils and staff in suggesting possible themes of the names of the houses. These were whittled down to three choices (birds of prey, local landmarks and naval bases) and the children voted for their favourite. The clear winner was ‘birds of prey’, and so our houses are named Eagle (yellow), Kestrel (red), Falcon (blue) and Hawk (green). (The original idea of using ‘Merlin’ as a house name was changed after the older children said it reminded them too much of wizards!) Mrs Gibbons spent several long hours dividing pupils into the houses (and hopefully we have managed to get all siblings in the same house to avoid rivalry at home!) and the pupils have all been given a pin badge with their house name and colour to launch the scheme. Pupils can earn house points for good behaviour, effort, school work and homework—and for demonstrating our Whiteley learning values of creativity, independence, perseverance, participation and global thinking. The points will be totalled each week, with the winning house in each key stage mentioned in assembly on a Friday, along with the running total for the whole school. At the end of each half term, pupils in the overall winning house will be awarded their own non-uniform day, and we have a special house cup which will display the ribbons of the winners. Look out for a display in the library coming soon!