House Culture at TPS
TPS high school students are placed in one of ten houses. Each house has its own character and customs that make it unique. Membership in a house is dictated either by appointment or by the choice of the student. In some cases, the siblings of an older student are automatically enrolled in the same house, while in other cases siblings can be members of different houses. TPS appoints and keeps family members in the same house.
House is a feature of our campus culture which fosters camaraderie among students, and which offers a unique opportunity for teachers to be involved with their student’s lives. There are ten houses, and students remain in their assigned house for the duration of their high school career. Siblings are assigned to the same houses. Each week, houses meet for one class period to prepare for competitive challenges throughout the year.
Because of the merits of the house system, our school’s mission to maintain a classical approach to education, and our school’s vision for students who are virtuous, House has been and will continue to be an integral part of the school’s culture.
In short, through the provision of academic support and a time for students to enjoy one another, the house system has become a great success.
At Temecula Preparatory School there is a House System for all high school students. The reason for House is actually very simple. Teaching is not about giving knowledge to students, it is about inspiring students to want more knowledge. In order to inspire, there must be a relationship. In real estate it’s about “location, location, location” and in education it’s about relationships, relationships, relationships.
History Behind House
The house system is used in British schools (classical) and schools that model themselves after the British system in countries with past British colonial ties, such as the United States, Australia and Canada. It began with the first boarding school in England around 1750.
In the true house system students actually eat, drink, and sleep in individual houses during school terms. The prestigious British boarding schools, such as Harrow, Eton, and Winchester College maintain their systems today as does Harvard and other notable schools or universities.
Because of its obvious merits, the house system has been adopted by day schools – such at TPS — where the term “house” refers simply to groupings of pupils, with no buildings involved. Usually, houses are named after famous persons, geographical places or events – we chose to allow our students to name their own using Latin.
There are numerous benefits schools have traditionally seen in using the house system, some have called it the “heart” of the school as it is designed to encourage and increase competition between students and to create a supportive environment for students. It is also a way to create a sense of belonging in students. Overall, the history behind the “house system” at large was again, about relationships.
Again, the main purpose or “why” for a house system is relationships. These relationships occur through pastoral care for the students. In this context, the word “pastoral” is not a religious reference. The true definition/origin of the word has to do with someone who cares for sheep — a shepherd.
As you consider the analogy between sheep and our beloved students, we think it will suffice to say that many depend on us far more than we realize. House advisors have the unique opportunity to “shepherd” students through their high school careers at TPS.
The old adage is true, “Students don’t care what you know until they know how much you care.” It is important for our students to know their teachers care and House allows a very tangible way to do so.