PUPILS at a Linwood school are gearing up to meet challenges set by a new ‘house’ system.

All 700 pupils at St Benedict’s High are now members of four new houses, named after inspirational saints.

Each group strives to gain points awarded by teachers for a number of categories.

These are given for effort, behaviour and homework, good attendance and departmental awards in each subject.

Pupils can also earn health and wellbeing points by walking or cycling to lessons.

In addition, ‘house hero points’ are awarded for exceptional contributions to the ethos of the school and the local community.

Headteacher Alan Taylor told The Gazette: “The creation of these house groups is designed to provide the best possible level of support and advice for our pupils and, at the same time, strengthen the Catholic ethos across the school.

“With this new system we also expanded our leadership opportunities, with a number of new pupil leadership roles created.”

The saints, chosen by the pupils themselves, include St Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz.

The Gazette: The banners are adding an extra splash of colour at the school The banners are adding an extra splash of colour at the school

Another is St Oscar Romero, who spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture in El Salvador.

Also chosen was St Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese-Italian Canossian religious sister active in Italy for 45 years, after having been a slave in Sudan.

And the best known of the four is St Teresa of Calcutta, also referred to as Mother Teresa, who founded the Missionaries of Charity that has thousands of nuns and is active around the globe.

Meanwhile, pupils have also been helping good causes by collecting for foodbanks, sending gifts to a partner school in Malawi and donating cash to St Vincent’s Hospice, in Howwood.

Mr Taylor said: “We encourage our pupils to help others in need and they are always enthusiastic in their response.

“They know that a little help from a lot of people can make a huge difference.”

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