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Why do we have Houses at Network International School?

Why do we have Houses at Network International School?
Network International School Yangon - Coffee Morning House System

With the first House competition of the year underway, Tr Jon felt it was appropriate to kick off this year’s calendar of Parents’ Coffee Mornings by talking about our House system and its important role in our students' education.

Our Community

At Network, we have communities at various levels: we have the whole school community and we have our own Secondary community up at the 7 Mile Campus.This year, with the introduction of Heads of Key Stage and Key Stage Assemblies, we also have the Key Stage communities.

Two crucial communities are the communities of each tutor group and the year group as a whole. These are what we call horizontal communities, as they are made up of students within the same year group. Natural friendships are formed within these groups, as students are of similar levels of maturity, have similar interests and have shared experiences within class and the school as a whole, as well as outside of school.

Houses are different. Houses are vertical communities. They are made up of students from Year 13 all the way down to Year 7, and in fact, even younger, as the students on Bahan Campus also have the same Houses.

Network Houses

When students join Network, they are allocated one House out of four, all of which are named after Myanmar gems: Diamond, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire. They stay with that House all the way through, whether they are at school for 5 years or 15 years.

House Points

At the end of the academic year, the House Cup is awarded to the House that has accumulated the highest number of points. There are House Points that are given to Houses, according to the position that they finish in each House Competition. 

Each student over the course of the year is able to gain House Points individually. These are given for a variety of reasons. Typically these are for:

  • Outstanding learning and achievement
  • Excellent work
  • Improved work
  • Marked improvement in attitude
  • Being kind to another student(s)
  • Demonstrating Network CRUCIAL values

We want our students to be independent, engaged and responsible members of society. Our House Points help to motivate students, but ultimately they should help their positive behaviour and attitude to become the norm and how they behave and approach life naturally. 

Competing as a House

Over the course of the year, there is a variety of events that allow all members of each House to get involved.

Following each term of school sport, there is a competition for students to put to use the skills that they have developed over the term, whether in basketball, volleyball or football. Students compete together, celebrate victories together and commiserate and regroup in defeat together. 

It is not just in sport that Houses compete though. The first competition of the year is for Houses to show collaboration and artistic flair in putting together House Displays on the noticeboards outside the Auditorium. Soon to follow is House Choral, which involves every single member of the House, as each entire House performs a song together. This takes a lot of time and rehearsal to coordinate such a performance and is crucial in having students work together across the House very early on in the year. 

Each year, the House Spelling Bee showcases individuals with immense spelling abilities. In previous years, it has been particularly impressive when students' knowledge and revision serves them so well that they beat teachers as well as other students!

House Challenge was introduced last year and puts together four students from across the House to compete in a general knowledge quiz, the format of which has been taken directly from the British TV show, University Challenge.

Finally, students in Year 7 to 10 come together at the end of the year for Play-in-a-day, when students put together a piece for House Drama, from writing the script to preparing costumes and props to delivering the final performance.

In between, there are also other competitions, in which students can represent their House and compete against one another.

Network International School Yangon - House Drama


Coming together as a House

Between Monday and Thursday, students eat with their year groups. However, on a Friday, they eat with their Houses. Therefore, students from all year groups come together, along with staff, to eat their lunch together. 

At the interviews for House Captain last year, a number of candidates talked about promoting opportunities for the House to come together, outside of competitions, and so House lunches are a fundamental component of that.

Typically, lots of younger students would prefer to socialise with their year group over lunch, but we recognise the importance of them talking to other people, making new friends across the Network community, and developing soft skills that can be enhanced through experiences such as these.

An extra benefit of House lunches is that in the other half of Friday lunchtime, when they are not eating, they can meet to prepare for events, such as to work on the House Display at the moment, or training for an upcoming House sports event.


As already recognised, community is hugely important, and getting involved with their House helps students to have a sense of pride and identity within both their House and the school as a whole, as they participate together. 

Where students are encouraged to play an active role in their House, they are encouraged to engage in the school and understand what we believe is important as a school. 

A huge benefit of the House system is the idea of the vertical community, and the fact that students across year groups work towards a goal together. They support each other, celebrate together and commiserate together. This forms bonds over the shared experience and means that Year 7 students feel very much a part of the school and the community, with the much older Year 13 students knowing their name, greeting them in the corridor and generally looking out for them. Magical moments are when you catch a Year 7 and a Sixth Former giving each other a high five as they approach each other around the campus. 

Through the various competitions, healthy competition is encouraged. Not everyone can win everything, and being gracious in defeat is an important life lesson, as is reflecting on how to improve in the future. Of course celebrating victories together, also provides lifelong memories, especially when it has required a huge amount of work and effort and teams know that their victory is much deserved. 

Finally, a significant benefit is that of encouraging student leadership. Through competitions and events, students throughout the school are able to take on a leadership role, leading others by organising them, motivating them and generally supporting them.

Facilitating experiences of leadership through the House system is crucial in ensuring that we develop the leaders of tomorrow. 

The Leaders of Tomorrow

Overseeing each House is a Head of House, who is one of our Myanmar Associate Teachers. They also have a team of staff to support them, which is made up of both International Teachers and Myanmar Teachers.

Most importantly is each House’s leadership team, who work closely with the Head of House. At the end of Term 4, we appoint the House Captain for the year ahead. Once the new academic year has begun, we begin the search for the Deputy House Captain and Key Stage 3 House Captain. These are key roles within each House, which allow students to become heavily involved in the running of the House. However, there are plenty of other roles over the course of the year, as students embrace different opportunities that arise through the variety of events.

What’s next?

This week, students will be told of all of the leadership opportunities that are available to them for this academic year and they will be encouraged to apply. We will also see the culmination of the House Display Board competition, which will rapidly roll into House Choral.

Network International School Yangon - Coffee Morning

For Parents’ Coffee Mornings, the titles for the remaining Term 1 talks have been published and we look forward to hosting parents in the upcoming events this term:

8th September: Device use, screen time and digital footprints
22nd September: What is the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and why is it important?
6th October: International Week Language Focus (French & Myanmar)

We have a plethora of other topics lined up for the rest of the year and we will publish these in due course.

Jon Barker
Head of Secondary
Network International School

  • Whole School Updates
Why do we have Houses at Network International School?

With the first House competition of the year underway, Tr Jon felt it was appropriate to kick off this year’s calendar of Parents’ Coffee Mornings by talking about our House system and its important role in our students' education.

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