The House system was introduced at the Collegiate Schools in early 1900s when the students were initially divided into Houses for athletic competitions. Houses in Collegiate Schools in India are named after Galaxies and Constellations:
Every student is allocated to one of the eight Houses, becoming a member 'for life' under the guidance of their Housemaster. Siblings and wards of alumni follow each other into the same House, a tradition which encourages a fierce but healthy loyalty. The House system also supports the personal and social well-being of the students by ensuring that each of them identifies with a smaller, "vertical" community, made up of students in every age group from Class I to Class XII, within the wider Collegiate community.
This structure of eight Houses forms the basis for a number of whole school activities, including Inter-House Competition Days. The House system provides students with an excellent network of peers and mentors. The underlying purpose of this structure is to facilitate educational, cultural and social development. Houses are structured in a 'vertical' manner, whereby older students act as peer support leaders for our younger students. As they get older, students develop into leaders themselves, ultimately fulfilling the same roles as those they once looked up to in their early years.
The benefit of such a system is twofold, as young students appreciate and are inspired by their older counterparts while they, in turn, relish the opportunity to serve as role models.
Monitoring this fluid framework of peer support learning is a network of dedicated teacher-mentors as well as one Head of House for each of the Collegiate's eight Houses. Together, this triumvirate of support offers students a positive network of support and personal and social well-being.
Interspersed within this system is a calendar of opportunities for students to compete and perform as part of their House. Annual sports carnivals and House competition days represent fantastic chances for students to bond outside the classroom. Beyond this, a year-long assembly singing competition encourages students to raise money for charity and take part in an activity they might not normally get involved in.
To acknowledge the efforts of all students Collegiate Schools operates a House Points system. Points are accumulated for all areas of involvement in Collegiate and House activities over a long period of time and include supporting other students, academic effort, behaviour, sport, drama, music, leadership, cadets, citizenship and attendance at whole-of-school events.
Awards are given at three levels. The first is a House Colours Certificate, the second level is a House Colours badge and the highest level is a House Honours badge.
Individual students are encouraged to face challenges and leadership responsibilities appropriate to their stage of development. In Class XII, every student has the opportunity to be a House Prefect. House Prefect has responsibilities regarding the monitoring of uniform and behaviour of students. The way the Prefect executes these responsibilities is important when the selection is made, towards the end of the student's final year, of those to be nominated as Full College Prefects.