House System

Cheers erupt as the winning House is announced.  Students from kindergarten through high school rise up to celebrate the accomplishments of the entire year.  The older students take the hands of the younger ones as they claim the prize of a job well done.  Taking the Bradford Cup and lifting it above their heads, they make the traditional victory lap as the school’s new celebrated BRADFORD HOUSE CUP CHAMPION.  This is a scene repeated each year at our annual end-of-year picnic and one of the beloved traditions at Bradford Academy.

For several years, the school has divided its students into four groups or “Houses.”   This aged tradition finds its roots in English boarding schools and the practice still remains in many scholastic institutions throughout the English speaking world.  Each student, when enrolled at Bradford, is randomly placed in a house named for an important city in the life of William Bradford, the school’s namesake.   Throughout the year the Houses compete in various athletic and academic competitions and their standing in each competition earns points towards the House Cup Championship.  The students enjoy a Soccer tournament, Greek Olympics, Spelling Bee, and Bible Bee.  Other events include the Field Day, Summer Reading Contest, 100th Day Rodeo Round-up, and even the average GPA all factor into the competition.  Older students and younger students work together building friendship and a sense of teamwork, motivating and encouraging each other to do their best.

The houses have also enlarged their bonds of friendship by engaging in service projects and social events.   While building tight friendships within a class is important, Bradford’s House system also helps children build friendships across grade levels and develops a unique sense of camaraderie.  It is another reason Bradford Academy is a special kind of community!


The houses are named for the four places William Bradford lived during his exemplary life. He was born in Austerfield, Nottinghamshire, England (near Sherwood Forest).  As a boy he attended a Separatist congregation nearby in Scrooby. With the Separatists he moved to Leiden, Holland.  Finally, in the story we Americans know and love, he founded Plymouth Plantation near what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts.


Dual Scarf Color
Single Color
Ancient City (used during Greek Olympics)
Austerfield Black/White Black Athens
Leiden Red/Black Red Mycenea
Plymouth Red/White White Corinth
Scrooby Red/Gray Gray Sparta