Cottesmore School


The House System

The House System


1. Terms and Semantics

2. Introduction

3. Pastoral care

4. Competition between houses

5. Membership and roll 

Terms and semantics

  • The word for House at Cottesmore School is Set. For the purposes of this web-based article, the word House will be used.  
  • The word House refers only to a grouping of pupils, rather than to a particular building.


The House System is a traditional feature of Cottesmore School. The School is divided into four Houses - Clives, Drakes, Haigs and Scotts - and each pupil is allocated to one house. Houses compete with one another in sport and maybe in other ways, thus providing a focus for group loyalty. Each house is identified by its own colour: Clives is blue; Drakes is red; Haigs is yellow and Scotts is green.

Pastoral care

One of the purposes of the House System is to support the pastoral care system. The House Master/ Mistress will particularly help with behaviour management and the spotting of trends. Other elements of the care network  include the Form Tutor, the Pastoral Tutor and Informal Peer Mentors. Equally as much, all teachers are expected to provide care to pupils if needed. 

Competition between houses

A secondary feature of house systems is the competition between houses. For example, the traditional Cottesmore School sports day is an inter-house competition. Debating competitions and charity drives and House Drama are also organised along inter-house lines. Stars, Stripes (known in some schools as Housepoints and Demerits) for behaviour and academic achievement may also be totalled up for comparison between houses.

Membership and roles

Pupils are usually assigned to houses randomly with the aim of balancing the houses in order to increase competition. Traditionally, once a pupil has been assigned to a house, any younger siblings he or she has may automatically become members of that house when they arrive at the School. This tradition sometimes extends to the children of Old Cottesmorians.

One notable feature of the house system is the appointment of House Captains, and Deputy House Captains, who assist in the organisation of the House.