House System

Haut-Lac International Bilingual School operates a House system whereby all students and teaching staff are allocated to one of 4 Houses during their time at Haut-Lac.

The House system is organised as follows. Every MYP year group and Diploma level has 4 forms, one for each House. Every house has a specific colour (blue, green, red, or yellow), and includes children of all ages. During the school year, we organise a variety of sporting, academic and cultural events that create an atmosphere of enthusiastic and good-natured inter-house rivalry.

The school commendation system also contributes to the House competition, with merits counted weekly for ‘House Points.’ Each school year culminates in a ‘Champion House’ being elected.

House System Principles

We use a vertical system, whereby students of different ages work alongside each other to reach a common goal. We selected this approach because it generates greater team spirit, motivation, belongingness and respect for others. It allows older students to model leadership and other desirable behaviours, so that younger students are shown a constructive example.

The system enables individual students to use their talents to represent their House in various competitions and thus contribute to their team’s success. The system is designed to reinforce the strong and supportive relationships between students of different ages and staff at Haut-Lac. We know that pre-teen and teenage years can be a time of tumultuous change and uncertainty for a child, and have found that the House system creates a support network for students. It gives them a safe place to work through the changes, practice new skills, and form constructive bonds with each other.

House System Structure and Management

The 4 Houses follow the same leadership and management system.

Each House elects the following leaders from Diploma and MYP5 students.

  • 2 House Captains (a boy and a girl);
  • 2 Vice Captains (a boy and a girl);
  • 2 Sports Captains (a boy and a girl).

The role of the House Captains and Vice Captains is to lead, motivate and organise the students in their House. Their efforts are supported by their House Leaders and other staff members.

Each House also selects 4 ‘Ambassadors’ who are deemed to be good role models for other students to help organise various school events. The House Captains and Ambassadors from all four Houses form the Secondary School Student Council.

The House Leaders and House Captains hold House assemblies about twice a month. The assemblies provide opportunities for the members of each House to get together, plan events, de-brief on progress and success, and voice concerns and interests.

This governance system provides opportunities for individual students to develop their leadership skills, and teaches the entire student body to follow good examples, voice grievances constructively, and contribute individually to a bigger goal.

Here is a chart summarising the visual attributes of each House.

House name Symbol Mascot Colour
Bern Bear Blue
Fribourg Falcon Red
Jura Jaguar Green
Valais Viper Yellow

House Events

During the school year, we organise a wide variety of House events, most of which include an element of competition. The results of quizzes, sports competitions and team building activities all contribute to the annual Champion House competition.

Every year, each House selects a charity based on its students’ interests and community needs. Houses have historically chosen to help small charities in different countries, including some in the developing world. Fundraising events are organised by each House throughout the year to help their chosen charities. The goal of the programme is to develop long-term links between our students and the people they are supporting, and to empower students to join hands to make a difference.

The House System Creates a Supportive Environment

The ethos of the House system allows each student to contribute to and feel supported by a team during their time at Haut-Lac. The House system ultimately creates a sense of security, joy and belonging to a like-minded constructive community.