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The House System: A Home Away from Home

When pupils first join one of our nine boarding/day Houses (four for girls, five for boys), they share working and sleeping areas in small groups.

In the Fifth and Sixth Forms pupils generally have their own study bedroom, known as a pitt. All the Houses have common rooms, as well as televisions, networked computers, videos and games facilities. With Housemasters and Housemistresses, Matrons, House Tutors and their families living in and around the Houses, there is a real community atmosphere. This, along with the vast array of activities on offer at the College, makes boarding a wonderful experience.

Day boys and girls play just as much of a part in the life of the Houses, getting involved in all co-curricular activities, with the opportunity to stay overnight at school if they wish.

From the Archives...

At Lancing College each boy and girl belongs to a ‘House’. For the boarders it is literally where they live during term time. For day pupils it is their personal base during the school day.

For all pupils the House staff provide the practical, academic and pastoral support which enables them to make the most of the educational opportunities the College offers.

When Lancing first moved up the hill from Shoreham in 1857, there were three Houses for the boys. These were Head’s, Second’s and School. Like the three first Woodard schools, they were graded in terms of cost and status, but all pupils were treated equally to facilitate the Founder’s essential aim of spreading the benefits of a ‘public school’ education to a wider spectrum of society. The original Houses were part of the design of the College by the architects Richard Carpenter and his son Herbert (and partners).

When the school grew in numbers in the early 20th century, other Houses were added. After the significant 1, 2 and 3, Houses were numbered by the chronology of their foundation and this still applies in most cases. The many changes which the Houses have undergone more recently reflect the school’s response to the changing demands of education and society. In Lancing vocabulary ‘pitts’ are individual (or sometimes shared) studies or study-bedrooms; the houseroom is the main room of the House where meetings take place and where junior pupils have spaces to work if they do not have pitts. Matrons administer first aid to pupils and look after all their domestic needs with a small daily staff. House Tutors, some of whom are resident, assist the Housemasters and Housemistresses in their pastoral care of the pupils.

Apart from the Head Master and the Second Master all Housemasters within the College had to be bachelors until the late 1930s; in the 19th century most were ordained. In the interests of fairness and Inter-House competitions, Houses have avoided specialising and allow parents and pupils choice where there is space. Each House has its own indefinable character derived from the Housemaster or Housemistress and the overlapping generations of former pupils and staff.




Lancing College, Lancing, West Sussex BN15 0RW | Contact | Terms