Every pupil who attends Belfast Royal Academy is assigned to one of four ‘Houses’ which they represent during their time at the school. The four Houses are named after prominent people, Alumni or past School Heads. The coloured stripes on pupils’ ties indicate which house they belong to.
The House System gives our pupils the opportunity to be rewarded for efforts and achievement in all areas of School life and it promotes participation in a wide range of cultural, intellectual and physical activities. It develops teamwork and learning through experience and promotes leadership opportunities. It also provides an enjoyable competitive programme of events over the School year culminating in the annual award of the Evans Trophy to the winning House at Prize Day. As a mark of celebration at the end of each term, the flag of the winning house flies from the Crombie Tower.
The House System complements and is in addition to the pastoral care structures within the school. Heads of Year remain responsible for their whole year group and weekly assemblies are held for each year group. House Assemblies are held once a month and Inter-House competitions and activities provide greater opportunities for pupils to get involved in all aspect of our school, help out in the school and wider community and take on leadership roles in School.
Each house has both senior and junior house captains and vice captains who have been voted for by their fellow students. Pupils are involved in running the termly house meetings thus promoting student leadership and responsibility.
Cairns House (Blue) commemorates a most eminent old boy, Sir Hugh Cairns, who became Attorney General for England in 1866, and in 1874 was appointed Lord Chancellor.
Currie House (Green) is named after Sir Donald Currie, the shipping magnate who was involved in British expansion in South Africa.
Pottinger House (Red) is named after Sir Henry Pottinger, the first Governor of Hong Kong in 1843. He later became Governor of the Cape of Good Hope and Governor of Madras.
Shaw House (Yellow) commemorates Mr James Shaw who was Head of the Classical School and Vice Principal of the Academy for many years.
Every pupil is able to earn points for their house. Pupils regularly earn house points for excellent work, but the primary aim is to encourage all pupils to get involved in the many inter-house competitions within subjects and extra-curricular activities.
Inter-house events take place throughout the year and include sporting, academic and artistic disciplines. Over the course of the year pupils can expect to participate or cheer on teammates in events such as Hockey, Rugby, a Rubik’s Cube challenge, Lego building, House Sports Day and Quizzes. The Houses also support various charities with the funds raised.
Competition between the Houses is fierce and always very close and exciting. We update House points monthly / termly and the latest results can be seen in the tracker below.