The House system is a long-time tradition at Dulwich College Beijing that helps students develop their sense of belonging and connections. Since the House system's introduction in DUCKS, every DCB student now belongs to a House, a team, or a family across the whole College. Megan Wills, Head of Houses in DUCKS, highlights that "belonging to a House provides the opportunity for all DUCKS students to collaborate with different peers and staff throughout DUCKS. They thus grow the confidence and skills to meet new people and develop the life skills of building communities and friendships."
Houses have now been launched for a little over a year in DUCKS. The structure and process are now well established, with a few more events blooming along the way.
On a daily basis, the House system allows students to demonstrate responsibility by taking ownership of their behaviour and attitude by earning House Points. House Points are cumulated as a class throughout the week, with incentives in place to encourage students to demonstrate the Dulwich Values. The points are then collected as a House Team, encouraged by a whole school incentive. Each House Team aims to gain the most points and win a reward. This system ensures the Dulwich Values are at the forefront of students thinking throughout the school day and, we hope, throughout all aspects of their lives.
At the start of every academic year, Year 2 students apply to become House Captains by submitting a video expressing their interest and explaining why they would make great House Captains. With the help of Senior Leadership and the Year Lead, two House Captains per House Team are selected and remain in this role for the full year. They are responsible for collecting House Points from each DUCKS class each Wednesday and counting them carefully in preparation for the weekly Thursday assembly, when the results are announced to Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2). House Captains also act as role models during House Events such as Spirit Days that aim to strengthen the bonds within each House.
House Spirit Days, Teddy Bear Gymnastics and more House events
DUCKS have experienced four out of five House Spirit Days this year, with Alleyn coming up soon. The traditional well-loved Teddy Bear Gymnastics has become a House event, where students participate in gymnastics activities in their House Teams. Key Stage One recently experienced a House Assembly where teachers had a chance to earn extra House Points for their House Teams. Needless to say, all DUCKS students encouraged and cheered for their teacher team members! Finally, Sports Day is coming after the Spring Break - a wonderful opportunity for all House members to experience friendly competition and build on their teamwork and the support of their peers.
Overall, the House system in DUCKS has allowed students throughout the school to collaborate and happily experience another strand of our DCB community. Students feel a sense of belonging when they see others in their colour House Kit, regardless of their age. They are determined and ambitious and feel great pride when achieving a House Point for demonstrating a Dulwich Value. With the introduction of the Values Characters, the DUCKS students have a deeper understanding of our values' meaning and how to show them. It has provided opportunities for Year 1 and Year 2 students to demonstrate leadership skills when working alongside children in Foundation Stage. They are aware of themselves and their behaviour and are good role models for the younger children to look up to, when participating in House activities.
With more opportunities available to organise face-to-face events across the whole College, we should expect Houses from all three schools to collaborate in the future with a shared objective to celebrate each of the five Houses across the College.