The House System
The Wilberforce House system, for Middle & Upper School students, seeks to develop our community of learners by building a culture of leadership, service, mentorship, and joy. The House system offers opportunities to strengthen relationships across all middle and upper school grades, to develop peer mentorship, to allow faculty and students to work collaboratively in building up the community, and to provide opportunities for leadership and service.
Each of the four Wilberforce Houses is named after a significant member of the Clapham Sect, those individuals associated with William Wilberforce in his great works. Students from each house have chosen a house verse that relates to the theme of service.
"Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." - Psalm 100:2-3
Zachary Macaulay (1768 – 1838) became a member of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, worked closely with William Wilberforce, and helped lead the parliamentary campaign against the slave trade. He later became secretary of the Society, which was also called the African Institution. Macaulay was one of the founders both of London University and of the Society for the Suppression of Vice. He also served as governor of Sierra Leone, the British colony for freed slaves.
"And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, 'If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.'" - Mark 9:35
Hannah More (1745 – 1833) was an English writer, educator, and philanthropist. She worked closely with both William Wilberforce and Zachary Macaulay. She was instrumental in setting up twelve schools where underprivileged children learned reading, the Bible, and the catechism.
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." - Galatians 5:13
Marianne Sykes Thornton (1765-1815) was the wife of Henry Thornton, a prominent member of the Clapham sect and parliamentarian. She played an important role in helping Henry Thornton’s campaign of 1802 and supported the abolition of the slave trade by hosting a number of social events to further the cause. Thornton’s great grandson, novelist E.M. Forster described her as the “moon to Mr. Thornton’s sun.”
"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ." - 1 Peter 4:10-11a
John Venn (1759–1813) was a priest of the Church of England and a central figure of the Clapham sect. One of the original founders of the Church Missionary Society in 1797, Venn was a leading abolitionist and philanthropist. John Venn’s preaching greatly influenced Henry Thornton in the formation of the Clapham Sect. Venn’s grandson, also named John, was famous for introducing the Venn diagram.
Major House Activities
Tournament: Games & Competition focuses on developing unity and team building through various athletic games and activities. Games include football, basketball, soccer, and other traditional sports. Competition may also include dodgeball, capture the flag, and other non-traditional activities. Students also compete in non-athletic activities, such as spelling bees, math competitions, and chess tournaments. Top seed positions earn points, and points are also awarded to houses that display good sportsmanship in the tournaments.
Build: School Service & Culture Building strives to challenge students to develop a character of service that focuses on the school building itself. "Build" shapes hearts to desire to make the physical environment of the school a beautiful experience for those who use it; it is a way to bless the Wilberforce community. Build may also include school events, such as sports games, dances, musicals, theatricals, and traditions. Each House forms groups that plan, manage, or aid these events.
Outreach & Service looks to the local and global community. "Service" seeks to develop the habit of service to the community outside of the school. This may entail, but is not limited to, service at a local church, raising funds for missionaries or charities, working in a soup kitchen, and other service-related events. Each House will plan out service opportunities throughout the year. Points are awarded to houses and individuals who participate at service events.