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What are House Points?

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

House points are a system used by Australian schools to sort their students into four distinct groups known as houses throughout their school life. This system allows each student to earn points for their respective houses through sporting events, extracurricular activity, academic achievements and overall participation. It is a system with a rich history in Australian schools and can be found in almost all aspects of the education system.

What Exactly Is A School House?

A school can have any number of houses for their students; some schools, depending on their size, can go as high as twelve. However, the most common number rests at four houses total. These are usually represented by the colours red, green, blue, and yellow – this tradition dates back to the first boarding houses founded in English schools.

These school houses are then further represented by a mascot or a unique name: some houses will be named after Saints, if they are catholic, prominent athletes, previous alumni, animals or any number of cultural identities. The colour and name serves to distinguish each house from one another and give the students a sense of identity.

Each house can hold as little as a dozen students or even hundreds if the school is large enough. Some Australian schools will opt to sort their pupils into houses alphabetically, however, it is a common practice that if an Australian student has an elder sibling, they will be allocated into that sibling’s house.

How Australian Students Can Earn Points?

But what do all these house points add up to? Well, even though the main purpose of the school house system is to encourage pupils to strive for greater heights and nurture friendship and comradery between students, most schools do offer a reward.

While the reward varies from school to school, some examples are:

1. Going to lunch ten minutes earlier than other houses for the rest of the year

2. Having the gymnasium and indoor sports hall to themselves for the rest of the year

3. A picnic with teachers and parents

4. A day of free-dress

5. A trip to a local theme park or outing

6. The victorious house’s name written on the school’s hall of acknowledgment.

To sum up, houses are a way for schools to introduce their students to an environment of friendly competition and encourage teamwork and responsibility among them. The houses themselves can reflect the values of the school and provide a framework for friendships between students to grow. Simply put, they are a hallmark of any school.

Now students can acquire house points on an online house points app such as Housebytes. These apps make it easy for teachers to award points and engage students around the school.

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