At The Magna Carta School the House system was introduced ten years ago and underwent a major revamp in 2013 and is now an integral part of our pastoral system. The challenge is to instill a new sense of pride and passion for the new and improved system.

The House system allows every student and member of staff to feel a sense of belonging by becoming a member of Abbey, Bridge, Magna or Thames House.

By being a member of the House family, students and staff are encouraged to show team spirit as all of the Houses thrive on the ethos of “playing your part”. Each student has a coloured crest on their school blazer that represents the House that they are in. Each House is made up of two tutor groups per year which are overseen by their Year Group’s Pastoral Lead and have dedicated and devoted House Captains to promote and encourage engagement in the House system.

Inter-house is a major pastoral and extra-curricular side of school which develops students’ social, team-working and organisation (amongst other) skills. The House system aims to reflect the ethos of the school. You have probably seen that the school crest includes the words; Respect, Learn, Aspire, Achieve – and we try to develop this by fostering a sense of community, awareness of each other and a sense of being part of a team.

We show respect through fair play and sporting behaviour; we are graceful in defeat and magnanimous in victory. We support others and take pride in their efforts.

We learn by practising for events and taking part; this could improve sporting ability or a more academic/vocational skill. A fantastic side effect of participation often sees increased confidence, which can positively show itself in a student’s whole school life from the classroom and beyond.

Students should aspire to succeed and learn from every experience. Each tutor group should look to contribute as much as possible in the aim of winning the overall inter-house championship. Through their experiences, they can aim to improve themselves. For example, if they lose a game they can look at how to win next time or if they win, how can they better themselves further.

Achieving, in its base level, is about winning; and many students get a sense of achievement when their team wins. We should encourage this but also support students who, for them, participating is an achievement. Improved confidence, a great performance, even a single moment in an event can all be highlighted as success. Be supportive.

There are many House events throughout the year from all areas of school life. This blend ensures that everyone has the opportunity to represent their House in something that they enjoy or are good at. For example House events include; various sporting activities, Masterchef, dance, fashion, spelling bees and orienteering.

Staff facilitate events but we encourage students to take the lead in their management and organisation which further develops their wider skill set as they mature and grow towards college or apprenticeships after they leave the school. These competitions regularly attract crowds of supporters cheering for their House.

All students have the opportunity to earn House points as they are all invited and encouraged to take part in all events, and everything from their classwork effort to their musical prowess and sporting ability can contribute to the scores. Separate from our House system, students are rewarded for their classwork through the award of Vivos and we have a thriving charitable branch supporting child-based charities in the local community and in Africa.

At the end of the academic year all of the House points are added up and one House wins the overall trophy. We actually have four different trophies available throughout the year; the overall championship winner, the Sports Day shield and a trophy for winning a sporty or academic event. Thames House won the overall title for several years in a row before Magna claimed the crown in 2014, supported by their (incredible) ninth successive Sports Day win – which shows that you don’t have to win Sports Day to win the overall title.

Below is a list of events that have run during this year or that we hope to include for the next academic year. We also take on student suggestions as it is their House system and we want them to own and control it. The events need to be feasible and realistic and staff need to be present to help support their running. If you’re reading this and feel you could provide resources, facilities or provide support for in any other fashion; please email Mr Craig Crossley, Lead on Inter-House (

The events

Actor/director drama
Balloon race
Christmas card design
Console gaming (under consideration)
Dance off
Domino rally (under consideration)
Egg drop
Fishing (under consideration)
Gaelic Football (under consideration)
Golf (under consideration)
Induction Day relay (Year 6 only)
Iron Man and Wonder Woman (extreme fitness/boot camp challenge)
King John’s Siege (build a trebuchet) (under consideration)
Laser quest (under consideration)
Magna’s Got Talent (like ITV’s “Britain’s Got Talent”)
Maths countdown (as part of maths week)
Music performances
Orienteering treasure hunt
Painshill Park (Year 7 only)
Quidditch (under consideration)
Reading challenge
Robot Wars (under consideration)
Rounders (Year 7/Year 8 only)
Rugby 7s
School report (EX on report)
Spelling Bee
Sports Day
Swimming (under consideration)
Table tennis
Trampolining (under consideration)
Tug of War
Water rockets
Young writers
Zombie apocalypse survival (under consideration)
Zorbing (under consideration)

If you have a question or suggestion, email Mr Craig Crossley (Lead on Inter-House)