The Philosophy and Protocols for House Suppers at the Senior School

Mr Andrew Hawkins – Deputy Headmaster and Head of Senior School

Recently, I received a document from long-serving and dedicated TSS staff member, Mr John Wallace, outlining the philosophy and protocols for the Annual House Suppers. I thought it would be useful, particularly for new families to TSS who will attend their first House Supper at the Senior School, to share excerpts of the letter.

Mr Wallace outlined the purpose of the House Supper being twofold. Firstly to celebrate the Year as a House and secondly to farewell the Year 12 cohort. Mr Wallace wrote the following:

It is a significant school event and for many is the highlight of the year. Its organisation must be detailed and thorough as there are several protocols to follow. Year 11 Boys or a House Supper committee in Term 3 begin organisation with the selection of a theme, which is optional, and designate responsibilities for all boys in the House. Year 12 boys have nothing to do with the organisation of the supper. Boys are encouraged to make the supper their own and work hard to make it a success. During Term 3 invitations are sent out to parents and guests. Houses are notified by the Deputy Headmaster of the senior management person who will attend the supper.

The Headmaster (not always because of double ups) will attend all Boarding House suppers. Arrangements are made with Alliance on catering for the evening. Prices are negotiated. Boys’ costs are covered by House Fees and a charge is made to parents to help cover the costs of the evening (such as engraving and decorations). Guest’s costs are incurred by the House Fund. Alcohol is available only for adults where outlined by the Housemaster. No boy is to consume alcohol and only adult staff may serve it on the evening.

The Housemaster will take responsibility of all trophies and awards. Houses will follow the designated points format for Half and Full Colours. Discretion is always in the hands of the Housemaster. Great care will be given to the selection of Prize Winners. The Housemaster will oversee the programme of the evening making sure all names are correct and that nicknames are not used which may embarrass family members. All Boys will wear chapel dress or outfits deemed suitable by the Housemaster in conjunction with the Headmaster. Other boys will wear outfits related to the theme of the evening. The Housemaster will screen any speeches and video presentations. All video presentations needed to be checked and reflect the ethos and values of TSS. Anything offensive or intended to cause embarrassment will be deleted from the evening. The Housemaster will approach the senior management staff member if a speech is required. An invitation will be extended to the immediate past Housemaster and his spouse.

The conclusion is always the presentation of the Valedictorians in the House (presented in alphabetical order without title) followed by a War Cry.

For those in the community that attend a House Supper we hope you enjoy the evening. I would also like, on behalf of the entire community, to thank Mr Wilkins for his support in decorating and assisting with the preparation of each House Supper.

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