The House system is the foundation of pastoral care at Marist College.
The system aims to provide a structure within the College which allows students to be known more closely and therefore cared for more effectively. It is a way of fostering sound pastoral care in a large secondary college.
Upon enrolment in the Senior School a student becomes a member of one of eight houses.
As a general rule, a student belongs to the same House throughout his time in the Senior School, and may be cared for by the same House Dean during this time. The principle has been established that brothers belong to the same House. Each House consists of about 160 students and ten staff. The students are further grouped into nine vertical groups comprising of boys from Years 7-12 under the care of one House Group Leader. House Group Leaders are responsible for monitoring the academic and general progress of the students and may stay with a group for some time as it moves through the Senior School. The House Group Leader is also the first point of contact between parents and the school. Consequently, staff are able to know the students and their families well.
The system has encouraged a sense of belonging and continuity among College families and staff. Loyalty and commitment to a particular group are fostered over time.
The House system provides enhanced opportunities for accumulating longitudinal knowledge about students, including monitoring of personal and academic progress, through:
- Better knowledge of family background, interests, capabilities, personality and needs. This also increases the extent to which a student feels known and cared for.
- Following the academic progress of students through knowledge of courses studied and individual performance in courses. This is supported by structures such as homework diaries, contact with subject teachers, and written and oral reporting.
- Effective communication between parents, House Group Leaders and House Deans.
The House system also:
- Provides leadership roles for students including House Captains and House Seniors, Big Brother Little Brother, cross-age tutoring, and House Council membership.
- Develops habits in students such as neatness, faithfulness to homework, use of a diary, wearing of uniform and punctuality, as the same House Dean will have the students for all or most of their time at the College. The same principle applies to identifying and addressing student problems early, rather than allowing them to develop.
- Encourages greater responsibility among staff for pastoral care and the monitoring of individual academic progress.
- Encourages participation in the Co-Curricular activities provided within the College.