Our House System

As each student joins The Essington School Darwin, they are allocated to one of the School's three Houses. The House system provides opportunities for students to develop their leadership capabilities, to interact with students outside their year and class level, to participate in a variety of activities (sporting and cultural) and is another aspect of our pastoral care system. Each House elects two House Captains and two Vice Captains who are Middle School students. They provide leadership in the House during the year and assist with the organisation of House teams for the various competitions.

The School has traditionally had three Houses with Northern Territory reptiles as their mascot:

Frilled Neck Lizards - 'Frillies' - (Yellow)

Geckos - (Red)

Skinks - (Blue)

The names and colours were developed when the school was a small primary school.

In 2005 the Houses adopted the name of one of the Territory's early explorers or pioneers.

Gunn House - Frillies - Yellow:

Gunn House is named after Jeannie Gunn, a well known early authoress. Jeannie Gunn was born in Melbourne in 1870. In 1901 she married Aeneas Gunn who had just accepted a position of manager at Elsey Station, Mataranka. After twelve months in this position at Elsey Station he died of malaria. Jeannie wrote her well known Australian novel, 'We Of The Never Never', based on her experiences on Elsey Station in the early 1900's.

Jeannie Gunn - 1870 – 1961

Flynn House -Geckos - Red:

Flynn House was named after the well known Territorian, John Flynn. John Flynn was born in Victoria in 1880. His work in the Australian bush as a young preacher saw him devote his life to servicing people in central Australia. He had a deep practical concern about the needs of bush people. He established the Australian Inland Mission and established fifteen hospitals all over the outback. His awareness of the medical needs of isolated people in the outback led to him establishing the Royal Flying Doctor Service in 1928. He then encouraged a young Adelaide inventor to develop the pedal-powered wireless that was to revolutionise life in the outback.

John Flynn - 1880 – 1951

Wickham House - Skinks - Blue:

Wickham House was named after one of the first European exploring sailors, John Wickham. John Wickham was a First Lieutenant on the Beagle (1831-1836) when it made its famous voyage with Charles Darwin in the 1830's. The scientific work from his voyage saw Charles Darwin develop his significant theory of evolution. From 1837-1841 he was Commander and surveyed the Australian coast line. Wickham is acknowledged as the discoverer of Darwin harbour. Wickham later went on to become a successful politician in Australia before settling in France in 1862 with his family.

Captain John Clements Wickham - 1798-1863

Traditionally Houses have competed annually in swimming and athletics. In 2004 this competition was expanded to include soccer and softball. In 2005 there was further expansion of inter House activities in the sporting, performing arts and community service areas.

House Events:

Throughout 2008 there have been numerous House activities involving all students from Transition to Year 10. House activities in 2008 included Hockey in Term 1, Athletics, T-Ball and Softball in Term 2, Swimming and Soccer in Term 3 and in Term 4 Week 5 there will be Netball for the Middle School (Thursday 6th November) and Tabloid Sports (T-2 Wednesday 5th November and 3-5 Friday 7th November) for the Junior School. Our House Captains and Vice Captains has extensively been involved in the organization of these events including umpiring and coordinating activities on the day. During each event points are given out to each of the three teams. Houses can receive points for sportsmanship, uniform, points/goals scored and cheering and supporting of their house.

Heading into the last House activity for 2008 Flynn Geckos are leading with 6896 points followed closely by Wickham Skinks on 6856 points and coming third are the Gunn Frillnecks on 6430.

Next year will be the schools 20th anniversary and a new sports uniform will be implemented. The new uniform will incorporate house colors into the uniform. This will be an exciting addition as all students will be able to show what house they are in easily. Also in 2009 we are looking at expanding the house system into other areas including the performing arts.

Outdoor Education

In 2008 the Outdoor Education area has grown rapidly. There are currently 3 classes operating from Year 8-10. We have had close to 100 students participate in Outdoor Education classes over the 2 semesters. Students have been involved in numerous challenging activities including Rock Climbing, Canoeing, Clay Target Shooting, Archery, Bushwalking, Camping preparation and Mountain Bike Riding. Next year we are encouraging many of our Year 8 students of completed Outdoor Education classes to join the Duke of Edinburgh program for 2009.

Duke of Edinburgh

In 2008 saw the return of the Duke of Edinburgh program to The Essington School. Nearly half of the Year 9 students have been involved in the program. They have learnt numerous new skills and helped out community organisations throughout the Darwin region. Students also had to prepare themselves for two journeys. The first journey was a practice Journey that involved a 22km return hike from the school to Lee Point. Students learnt a considerable amount about camp preparation and hiking and as a result they were much more prepare for the qualifying journey. The qualifying journey was a 30km hike in the Litchfield National Park from Wangi Falls to Buley Rockhole’s following the Table Top track. This hike involved students preparing their own menus and food for the 3 days as well as carrying all their cooking and sleeping equipment. Each student also had to take lead of the group and they had to make sure they were directing the students in the right way. The hike ended at the Buley Rockhole’s where the students were able to refresh their weary bodies in the cool fresh running water. In 2009 we are looking at expanding our Duke of Edinburgh program with all students in Year 9 and 10 to be involved. Some of our Bronze Duke of Edinburgh awardees from 2008 will continue on and complete their Silver award in 2009.

Spencer Harvey

House Coordinator

Outdoor Education Coordinator