Why the House System?

Students and teachers at schools where the House System has been put in place have raved about the impact it has had on the educational experience. Students have noted such things as how it has helped them to form friendships and create closer bonds with their peers. Teachers have noted how students perform at higher levels when points are assigned and their peers are cheering them on.

Additional benefits include:


Houses provide students with a culture of belonging. The first day of school can be a stressful moment for new students, and some may feel out of place or like they don’t know where they fit in. But when they spin the wheel and are sorted into their Houses, they are greeted with the roar of applause and cheers from other students — upper-classmates even — welcoming them into this new, special group. Throughout the year, each student’s personal accomplishments are then rewarded with points that collectively count toward his/her House. This gives students an opportunity to be recognized and thanked by their peers daily for their individual
contributions to the overall team. At other schools, achievement is sometimes seen as something that is nerdy or uncool — but at PHS, good behaviour and academic success are revered among students because they all know that students’ success helps their own House get closer and closer to winning the championship


The House System is a unique and creative cross age group approach to building a community that will strengthen the social and academic lives of students. Traditionally, schools are split up into grades and students rarely interact with older or younger peers. In a House, students are able to interact with peers from other grade levels. With this, the older students become support systems to younger ones who are struggling or need advice —
and they in turn grow as leaders themselves when they are able to pour into the younger ones in this way.
And this mentoring community extends to the teachers and staff as well. Every adult in the school should be encouraged to participate in the House System because it instantly gives them an opportunity to form strong bonds with a
smaller group of students in their House. Additionally, it enables a playful sense of competition with students of other Houses. This type of role modelling and mentorship, provided on a consistent basis to students as they go through each grade of the school, can be exponentially valuable to their growth!


The House System builds character with a reward system that goes beyond something like earning a piece of candy from a candy jar for doing something good. Instead, each student’s achievements add to a collective group, making the reward communal and social. We have seen this change the way that a student perceives points over time: what may start as extrinsic motivation in the beginning turns into intrinsic motivation as the student realizes the behavioural and academic traits and ethics that are valued by their peers.

PHS House System at a Glance

1. Sorting the houses

The Houses are sorted by last names. They will each have a house leader that is in grade 12 and falls into their house alphabet. The alphabet break down will be as follows: A-E, F-K, L-P, Q-Z.

2. House for all Years

Students remain in the same house for all their years at PHS. They will be apart of this house until they graduate. Staff will also remain apart of the house for all their years.

3. House Composition

Each house is composed of every student in the school — teachers, administration and staff — allowing students to socialize with one another across grades and with positive adult role models beyond just the classroom setting.

4. Throughout the Year

The Houses compete against one another in a variety of competitions by accumulating House points. Individual students can also accumulate points for their House based on school participating, behaviour and academic success.

5. Championship

At the end of year, the House with the most points wins the House Championship — and all of the honour and glory that comes with it!

PHS Houses

At Preston we have chosen to name our houses after Canadian landforms. These will stand the test of time, allow students to form an identity and are linked to our beautiful country.

Each House has its own coat of arms which will have four identifying components on it. These will include a house colour, animal, crossed tools and a symbol that represents the landform.

Each house will also have a handshake or hand symbols and a house cheer that they will use at full school events.

Great Lakes House

Canadian Shield House

Tundra House


Rockies House

How to earn points?

Throughout the course of the year both individuals and houses can earn points in a variety of ways. Points will be kept track of by Student Activities Staff and a weekly running total will be posted in the Crush area.

Students can earn points for their houses in a variety of ways. Examples include:

  • Good Character
  • Academic Excellence
  • School Spirit
  • Participation in school events
  • Membership on teams and clubs
  • Attendance (Absences and Lates)
  • Participation in Intramurals

The house with the most points at the end of the year will win the HOUSE CHAMPIONSHIP!