Student Life

Student Leadership

Opportunities to develop and showcase leadership skills
York House students are given ample opportunities to develop and showcase their leadership skills. Part of developing that ‘capacity to lead’ means providing formal leadership opportunities for our students.

Junior Leadership Opportunities

There are many opportunities for leadership for our intermediate Junior School students to explore.

Head Girl and Vice-Head Girl
We begin to introduce opportunities for student government in Grade 7. Our Head Girl and Vice-Head Girl are elected in June of their Grade 6 year by their teachers and peers. In these roles, they act as student ambassadors, speak at key events, and work with the Grade 7 House Leaders to organize and facilitate our Junior School House events. At the end of the school year, they also represent their class as the valedictorians for Grade 7 graduation.

House Leaders
There are eight House Leaders, two representatives for each of our four Houses, who are selected by our Grade 7 teaching staff to organize various activities and build team spirit. They lead monthly House meetings for our Grade 3 to 7 students, plan and lead our six Junior School House events, plan and facilitate our Junior School Track & Field Day, and participate in a leadership development program over the course of the school year. At assemblies, they report on upcoming House events and House competition standings.

Playground Pals
‘Playground Pals’ is a leadership program for Grade 7 students. The girls provide mentorship, supervision, minor first aid, and conflict mediation to younger students in Grades 1-4. The goal of our 'Playground Pals' program is to foster friendships across grades, increase the physical activity of our students during recess and lunch, and improve communication and problem-solving skills amongst all students. By acting as a ‘Playground Pal’, our Grade 7 Junior School students develop a greater sense of responsibility and leadership, a more thorough knowledge of conflict resolution, and a better understanding of others. Our Playground Pals are easily recognized by the bright pink vests that they so proudly wear! Grade 7 students help other students who are having a conflict by listening and helping them work out a solution.

Playground Leaders
Leaders organize games and activities for Grade 1-4 students during recess and lunch.

Junior School Ambassadors
Guides provide tours to visitors, assist at our open house and act as buddies to prospective and new students.

House Officials
Grade 7 students volunteer to referee and facilitate the weekly House games in the Junior School.

Houses

The House system and House events promote school spirit and encourage relationships and camaraderie among different grade levels. 

Every student, from Grade 3 to Grade 12, is a member of one of four Houses:
  • Algonquin (Blue / Whale)
  • Huron (Yellow / Lion)
  • Iroquois (Red / Hippo)
  • Nootka (Green / Elephant)

The Houses fundraise, earn House points, and participate in events such as Sports-a-Rama, a high-energy tournament with relay games. For Fun-a-rama, students break out the Slip n’ Slide. Other events include a pumpkin carving and costume contest during Halloween, games, scavenger hunts, and the House breakfast and pyjama day during Spirit Week.

House points are earned by winning tournaments, attending games, fundraising for a local charity (e.g. Food Bank Frenzy in the Junior School) and volunteering at the school. The House that earns the most points is presented with a trophy at the end of the school year.

Senior Leadership Opportunities

Student Executive
Twelve girls are elected annually to represent the student body:
  • Head Girl
  • Vice-Head Girl
  • 2 Community Service & Engagement Captains
  • 4 House Captains
  • 4 Grade 12 Class Presidents

Prior to election day, forums and campaign posters familiarize the Senior School with the candidates. Members of the student executive are easily recognizable in their Blackwatch sashes or their gold blazers on more formal occasions.

House Captains
House Captains are Grade 12 students who are elected by the members of each of the four Houses. The House Captains are responsible for building school spirit at YHS! Through Spirit Week, Sports-a-rama and Fun-a-rama, to name a few, the four House Captains get every student and staff member involved in fun team-building activities. There are many House activities that are held throughout the year where houses earn points for spirit and winning events, and a trophy is awarded at Prizegiving for the House that has the most points at the end of each year! House Captains are part of the student executive.

Class Presidents
There are four Class Presidents elected in Grade 12 and these students are part of the student executive. In Grades 8 through 11, two students are elected in each grade to represent each grade of our Student Government. These students serve as role models in the school; they organize grade opportunities and they serve as a liaison between Student Government and their grade. When we have Grade Meetings, the Class Presidents facilitate these meetings. Ultimately, they must represent student views at student government meetings and with the leadership in the school.

Student Heads
Teachers appoint student heads, who have shown leadership in previous grades and who have a passion for their subject, to represent their department. Student heads help Sponsor Teachers with planning department events and activities to allow students in younger grades to see how subjects can be applied and enjoyed.

Student Ambassadors
Student Ambassadors play an important role in welcoming potential and new students and families to the York House School community. Students organize our Open House, provide tours, and act as buddies for new students.