Student Life

School Spirit

Our Houses
The House tradition plays an important role in the daily life of the school and has served as a meaningful and valuable bridge between York House students in the past, the present, and the future.
York House School was founded in 1932. In 1936, with a student population of 69, the school decided that every student in grades five through twelve should belong to a House to encourage a friendly spirit of competition, cooperation and responsibility through academics, sportsmanship, discipline, and social service.

Today, York House students and staff participate in a House system and events that encourage school spirit, relationship-building, and camaraderie across grade levels. Every student from grade three to grade twelve, staff, and alumni is a member of one of the four houses: Arbutus (Blue), Cypress (Yellow), Maple (Red), and Pine (Green).

These Houses, named after the trees that are found in the neighbourhood and the streets that connect our two campuses, provide rich learning opportunities for our students. They open discussion about the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations who have lived here since time immemorial, long before these streets were named, before these trees were planted, and before York House was founded. As students journey from the Little School to the Junior and Senior Schools, these streets provide a beautiful tree canopy overhead to guide their paths. 

Our Houses Today

Students participate in whole school House events such as Sports-a-Rama or Fun-a-Rama, which are high-energy tournaments with relay games. Students compete for their Houses in other annual fun events, such as pumpkin carving and costume contests at Halloween, games, scavenger hunts, and a House breakfast and Pyjama Day during Spirit Week. House points are earned by winning tournaments, such as the Junior School’s annual “Food Bank Frenzy”, and volunteering at the school. 

At the end of the year, the House that earns the most points in the Junior School is presented with the House Shield, while the House with the most points in the Senior School wins the House Trophy. In the Senior School, students spend time with fellow House members during the daily TAG (teacher advisory group) sessions, which are an informal way to connect with one another.