Guidance and Support

The House System

Any child joining Island School will be placed in one of six Houses: Da Vinci, Einstein, Fleming, Nansen, Rutherford or Wilberforce.

The House system dates back to Island School’s beginning in 1967, the Houses are what alumni, of all generations, affectionately remember as The Spirit of Island School. The House represents a family within the whole school community. For new students it is the central point of reference for all that they do. The House group is also their form group for many courses in Years 7 and 8. It is often the main friendship group throughout the school and the group in which many sporting, artistic and academic activities are undertaken. The House staff – Form Tutors and the Senior Heads of House – will be the first point of contact for parents and the people who get to know individual students best from their arrival to writing university references and beyond.

Da Vinci House

Named in honor of Leonard Da Vinci, an Italian Renaissance; polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomised the Renaissance humanist ideal.

Charity Connection – Cross Roads Foundation
Da Vinci supports the Cross Roads Foundation  a charity that connects people, goods and services and promotes fair trade.

Head of House: Stephanie Marmagne,

Einstein House

Named in honor of Albert Einstein a remarkable German scientist who developed the theory of relativity and sparked a revolution in physics. He was considered one of the most influential scientists of the 21st century and he also received the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics.

Charity Connection – Katja House
In 1997, Island School started fund raising to buy a piece of land near Kathmandu in order to build an home for a group of orphans who were being sponsored but who had nowhere permanent to live. Katja House opened in 2001. Since then hundreds of Island School students have made the most of the opportunity to work with the 53 children living there.  Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and the levels of deprivation and poverty that many people face in their day to day lives is unimaginable to those living in thriving economies such as Hong Kong. Katja House aims to support the children in its care from primary school through to tertiary education, providing a caring and safe environment that permits the children to grow into successful and happy adults.

Einstein Valentine’s Week
Einstein House holds the majority of its charity events in the week of or the week closest to Valentines Day.  The Year 12 charity event leads our charity focus with the Valentine Delivery, alongside this a whole host of other fundraising events take place, from noodle sales to competitions and bake sales.

Head of House: Mr. Paul Harries,

Fleming House

Named in honor of Sir Alexander Fleming a Scottish bacteriologist and Nobel Prize winner, best known for the discovery of penicillin. In 1928, while studying influenza, Fleming noticed that mould had developed accidentally on a set of culture dishes being used to grow the staphylococci germ. The mould had created a bacteria-free circle around itself, and after experimenting further, the active substance was named penicillin. Fleming wrote numerous papers on bacteriology, immunology and chemotherapy. He was elected professor of the medical school in 1928 and professor of bacteriology at the University of London in 1948. He was elected fellow of the Royal Society in 1943 and knighted in 1944. In 1945 Fleming, Florey and Chain shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Source: BBC History website

Charity Connection – Feeding HK
Every year Fleming holds a fundraising week, raising money for Feeding HK a charity dedicated to redistributing surplus food to people in need. Every Fleming form makes a contribution. The whole week was made up of creative and enjoyable fundraising activities ranging from a “Sponge the Teacher” event to a sponsored fast.

Head of House: Mrs. Angela Worthington,

Nansen House

Named in honor of Fridtjof Nansen – a zoologist, athlete and adventurer. While a research professor at the University of Oslo, Nansen published six volumes of scientific observations. He led several oceanographic expeditions into polar regions. When the first world war started he became increasingly interested in international political affairs.

Charity Connection
The whole of Nansen House gathers each year to participate in the biathlon. The Nansen biathlon is in remembrance of Amy Coxall and Gui Vezzaro, who both sadly passed away in 2010 and it is an event to raise money for our chosen charity;

Baiwan Community
 Island School supports the Baiwan community by fundraising for facilities, taking donations of clothes and toys and by teaching in the local schools. Current issues being tackled include breakfast and lunch clubs, to ensure the children have a healthy diet, and supporting learning through secondary to tertiary education.

Head of House: Ms. Melanie Newby,

Rutherford House

Ernest Rutherford ( 1871 –1937) was a New Zealand-born British physicist. In early work he discovered the concept of radioactive half-life and later won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 1907 Rutherford and Thomas Royds proved that alpha radiation is helium nuclei. He is widely credited with first “splitting the atom” in 1917 in a nuclear reaction between nitrogen and alpha particles, in which he also discovered (and named) the proton.

Charity Connection – ImpactHK

Rutherford House supports ImpactHK, a charity that supports people experiencing homelessness in Hong Kong.

Head of House: Ms. Karen Coulson, 

Wilberforce House

William Wilberforce is remembered today mainly for his long parliamentary campaign for the abolition of the slave-trade. The Act of Parliament for Abolition finally became law on 25 March 1807. Wilberforce students should take inspiration from his dogged stance, standing up for what is morally right.

Charity Connection –
Wilberforce House has an annual Charity Week where every Form holds different fundraising events as well as a whole House fundraiser. The Wilberforce Walk has raised thousands of dollars for their designated charity.

Wilberforce House supports the;
Chicken Soup Foundation
The Chicken Soup Foundation provides education and health services to those that need it in Hong Kong

Head of House: Ms. Laura Hjelmeland,

Specific Roles

The Senior Heads of House will have a depth of understanding of the broad needs of each child and will develop a close relationship with both student and parents. Each student is placed within a tutor group. The Form Tutor is a House member who supports and guides students, both socially and academically, on a day to day basis.


The wellbeing of children is very important, which is why we have created a curriculum through which students gain the knowledge and skills they need to help manage their lives.

  • In Years 7&8 students look at topics such as Wellbeing and Identity.
  • In the Middle School, students have lessons every week on issues such as self esteem and risk.
  • Targeted lessons concentrate on specific issues at key points in students’ development. For example, in Year 9 there is a Sexuality and Relationships programme and in Year 10 there is a Drugs and Alcohol education programme. This often involves guest speakers.
  • In Years 12&13 students start a programme which includes sessions on mindfulness, stress management and life beyond school.

We view wellbeing as a whole school responsibility that extends to every member of the community and underpins our core values.


The Guidance Team welcomes regular communication with parents to ensure that students are happy and successful at school. The main points of contact at school should be; the Form Tutor, the Senior Head of House and the dedicated staff members as the Child Protection Officer, Beth Hall and Mark Jobling, Vice Principals.


We recognise that as children grow up they can face problems which are more easily solved if they are able to speak with someone in confidence. For this reason, in addition to House Staff, we have counsellors available. Students are sometimes referred by House Staff but they may also self-refer by contacting a counsellor directly.

Kate Yu is a full time Counsellor on site and available to students Monday-Friday. We are also fortunate enough to have part-time counsellors to allow for greater student support. All counsellors can be contacted using the following email,

Child Protection

The English Schools Foundation believes that every school community should work collaboratively to protect and promote the welfare of every child. In line with this, we believe that children have the right to learn and can only reach their full potential in a safe environment, free from fear of any form of physical or emotional intimidation.

Beth Hall and Mark Jobling, Vice Principals, are responsible for coordinating all matters regarding child protection in the school.