At The Park School, we use a House system to embed a sense of belonging, friendly competition and the value of working together.
When joining our school each student is placed into one of four houses – Livingstone, Müller, Slessor or Shaftesbury – and if there is an older sibling already in the school then the new student will be placed in the same House.
Each House is represented by a different colour (see below) which is reflected in the coloured stripes on a student’s tie and their sports kit.
Our Houses are named after famous historical philanthropists:
- Livingstone is named after David Livingstone, a Christian missionary who, amongst other things, was a fervent abolitionist and is credited with being a major influence on Western attitudes towards Africa in the late 1800s.
- Müller is named after George Müller, a Christian evangelist, who began working with destitute children in Bristol in the 1830s. He went on to open a series of orphanages which, by the time they closed in the late 1950s had cared for over 17,000 children.
- Slessor is named after Mary Slessor, who was influenced by David Livingstone to become a Christian missionary. She worked in Nigeria during the late 1800s and is mainly recognised for her efforts in rescuing abandoned children and improving the lives of women.
- Shaftesbury is named after Lord Shaftesbury who, compelled by his Christian faith, worked tirelessly as a politician to improve the rights of children in industrial England. He was involved in passing many of the parliamentary reforms which changed the lives of working children and gave them access to an education.
It is our hope that the example set by these philanthropists will inspire our students to get involved and make a difference to the lives of others. One way we do this is through our support of charities.
Each year our Houses support one or two charities. We try to have a balance between local, national and international charities. Over the past few years, we have raised money for the Somerset Air Ambulance, the NSPCC, the National Children’s Foundation, twinned our toilets through Toilet Twinning (part of Tearfund) and sponsored a child in Guatemala through Compassion.
Each of the four Houses organises and runs their own event. This has included activities such as cake sales, non-uniform days and putting teachers in the stocks. In addition, the whole school comes together once a year for a bigger event. We have completed triathlons, sponsored races, team building tasks and water-based relay events.
See some of our fundraising activities here: Toilet Twinning –
We hold House meetings each half-term. The time is used to plan the fundraising events, prepare a House led whole school assembly and take part in our House Quiz. Points are awarded for the winning house and these go towards the Stunt Cup which is awarded each term.
Students can also earn points for the Stunt Cup through receiving service merits for their conduct and help around the school. They also earn points for having the correct uniform, sports kit and having their planners signed each week.
We hold several different House events each year to further develop a sense of pride, belonging and teamwork. For example last year we held our first Park’s Got Talent competition in the Autumn term last year. We also run a ‘getting to know you’ event in the activity slot on the first day of term in September and also run other competitions such as photography and poetry. Our aim is to have at least one House competition or activity each term.
An important aspect of House participation (and rivalry) is the range of inter-house sports fixtures we compete in. These include netball, hockey, football, rugby, cross-country, sports day and the swimming gala.
Heads of House
Every member of staff belongs to a House and each House is headed up by a Head of House. Our current Heads of House are:
Livingstone (blue) – Miss Tessa Safadi
Muller (green) – Mr Josh Allen
Slessor (yellow) – Mrs Lorna Baimbridge
Shaftesbury (red) – Mrs Nicky Fisher
Overseeing the whole House structure is the job of our Head of Houses, Mrs Kate Richards, who works closely with the four Heads of House to plan and organise an exciting programme of activities across the year.