The house system is a traditional method of dividing students within a school into different groups for the purposes of camaraderie and competition. This system is widely used in British schools and schools that model themselves after the British system. Houses traditionally were developed in boarding schools, where students actually ate, drank, and slept in individual houses during school terms. This system was adopted by day schools, where the term ‘house’ refers simply to groupings of pupils, though no particular buildings are involved. Houses are usually named after people of historical significance, saints, colors, or animals. Today, the house system exists largely for the purpose of competition. The traditional school sports day is usually an inter-house competition. Debating competitions and service projects are also often organized along inter-house lines. Merit points for behavior and academic achievement may also be totaled for comparison between houses.
Live Oak Houses
The houses of Live Oak Classical School are designed to encourage competition between students and to create a support system for our students by fostering a sense of belonging. Establishing a sense of tradition and providing more opportunity for leadership were also reasons for founding a house system. At Live Oak, students compete in academics, community service, special sporting events, reading, character awards, and games to earn house points. Students are awarded house points on a regular basis for achievement, good behavior, attendance, and other accomplishments in their class. House points are tallied up at the end of each week and the running total is eagerly awaited by all students and announced during the Thursday assembly. There is keen but good-natured rivalry among the four houses to see who will win the House Shield each year. Heads of the houses, or Prefects, are selected from the oldest students by the administration. The house system is very important as it provides the framework for social development of students, encourages participation in events, and promotes leadership development.
The four houses are the House of Amethyst (purple), the House of Azurite (blue), the House of Galena (silver), and the House of Quartz (white). Various stones were chosen as the names for the houses based on two reasons. A clear allusion can easily be drawn to the Old Testament description of the priestly ephod where stones represented each Israelite tribe. The following excerpts from the passage found in Joshua 24 were also inspirational. Joshua 24:15, 24-27: “‘Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD’… And the people said unto Joshua, ‘The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.’ So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day … And Joshua took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. And Joshua said unto all the people, ‘Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.’”