Feeling connected to each other is a basic human need. In recognition of the importance of further strengthening the positive and inclusive culture of our School, we have focused the House System on being a caring and supportive environment where all students feel valued and connected whilst demonstrating loyalty and allegiance, ultimately contributing to the success of their House.

In light of the changes we experienced in 2020, our House System has evolved to deepen our community by shifting our focus from staff tutors towards staff mentorship.

Mentorship can impact the course of the academic and personal life trajectories of students. The human connections built between our Mentors and Mentees are based on honesty and trust and are the glue that binds students’ academic and personal lives together whilst on their TKS journey.

The Heads of House, together with House Mentors, are continuing to provide opportunities for students to develop their character by interacting in meaningful ways, encouraging respect, teamwork, communication, and resilience, ultimately assisting students to achieve their personal best.

Shaping young people to become great leaders is where much of our focus lay, and The House System allows students to take on responsibility within the School through formal or informal channels.

“Giving pupils the chance to learn and develop leadership skills is an outstanding benefit” (Tongue, 2016).

Working closely with their Heads of House, the Mentors, House Captains and fellow Mentor Representatives, students have had the opportunity to engage with and implement various initiatives that promote group identity and foster connection within their House and across the School. Volunteering to be a leader has provided students with opportunities for personal growth and the ability to make a lasting difference in the school community.

With new initiatives implemented across all year levels and sub-schools, students of all ages have had the opportunity to interact with one another, creating cohesive environments whilst ensuring that age was not a barrier to friendship and collaboration.

Chisholm, Flinders, Lawrence and Paterson Houses are the strong, visible and nurturing collectives within the School to which students and teachers belong. They are familiar yet distinct and can mean various things to everyone. The House system we are growing continues to keep our students at the centre of our approach to wellbeing and at the core of teaching and learning.

By Janelle Mathias.

Janelle Mathias is a Head of House at The Knox School. She is a leader in student wellbeing and a passionate advocate for staff professional development. Throughout her tenure at The Knox School, she has held various leadership positions some of which include Extension and Enrichment Co-ordinator for Years 7-12 and Professional Learning Team Facilitator. She believes that student wellbeing is a fundamental component that underpins every aspect of a student’s educational journey, from their ability to learn in a classroom, to their ability to build positive relationships that will set them up for the future.