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House Program

New Oriental Academy’s educational philosophy and its curriculum are strongly influenced by two main branches of Chinese philosophy, namely Confucianism and Taoism. The five philosophical systems of Confucianism, Taoism, Mohism, Legalism and the school of Logicians represent the strongest and deepest cultural foundations in China, and have been influencing literature, history, politics and even economic evolution and development for thousands of years. At the same time, these five philosophical systems perfectly complement Western cultural systems in education and elsewhere.  

The House system is a traditional feature of Western schools. It is a wonderful melting pot that brings together students from different cultures and backgrounds. It advocates learning and communication in many fields, for mixed age groups, through competitions, teamwork and collaboration, so that students can accept and integrate different ideas and cultures. At New Oriental Academy, each House has its own name, color, and logo. When students and teachers join the school, they are allocated to a House according to their language, cultural background and gender. In addition to ongoing academic House activities, there are formal House events every two weeks which may be sports or calendar related.

As a complement to Grade and Class groupings, the vertical approach of the House system at New Oriental Academy brings an alternative, refreshing, real-life sense of identification that has enormous benefits for students and staff of all ages and backgrounds. The influence of the Chinese Philosophy and culture along with Western approaches such as the House system, makes New Oriental Academy a rich and fulfilling proposition for staff and students.

Confucianism advocates faith, clemency, benevolence and love. It is a foundation for everyone for living and self-improvement. It teaches that everyone has responsibility to show benevolence and love and to jointly shoulder the undertaking of a nation. Not only does it correspond to Western values such as tolerance, freedom, democracy, humanism and humanitarianism but it also fits with the educational aims that are upheld by New Oriental Academy, that is to cultivate caring individuals who have a sense of responsibility. An important reason for New Oriental Academy’s SERVICE mantra is that we believe that a person who is capable of loving will also have awareness of service. Students will recognize that showing love and caring brings happiness and feelings of warmth, emotions that are often represented by the color pink. 

Taoism insists on governance by doing nothing that goes against nature. This is reflected in New Oriental Academy’s education philosophy in that only by following nature can we liberate ourselves.  It advocates respect for personality and for individuality that may be hidden behind common features. Releasing unique personality traits brings success, which to some extent corresponds to the Theory of Evolution as advocated by Western naturalists. New Oriental Academy employs modern, hi-tech and international methods in its education delivery. We advocate that our students “set themselves free”, that they release their inner talents, their unique personality traits and make their own special contribution to the world. Since Taoism values the natural development of personality, it is represented by the colour purple.    

Legalism embraces the concepts of legal doctrines, fairness, justice and logic similar to the ancient Roman legal system, principles that are upheld by New Oriental Academy in education. Justice is the foundation for society and is based on principles that should be questioned and amended if necessary. Logic is based on science and is arrived at through exploration and development. Legalism is about reflecting on what you know and what you learn, thinking how to behave in society, shouldering responsibility and duty for society and the world. Be open-minded and receptive to contradiction, criticism and conflict when among those from different backgrounds or with different ideas. Since the colour yellow represents justice, it embodies legalism. 

Mohism values fraternal cooperation, corresponding with Confucianism. However, it emphasises connections with the outside world too, as well as a responsibility to help others by means of active persuasion. This corresponds to humanist care that is helping others, setting a good example and promoting peace. Mohism combined with the other four philosophies as advocated by New Oriental Academy helps to build a campus community that works together in harmony. Being capable of caring for others and co-existing with others is the foundation of Mohism and is an important quality for students and faculty at New Oriental Academy. Since Mohism values helping each other and living together in peace, it is best represented by the colour green. 

School of Logicians  values logical argument, which corresponds to critical thinking in modern education, and to the science inherent in New Oriental Academy’s programmes. Logical argument is not only an academic feature, but also an important thinking model for study, work and life. Throughout history, during times of academic exchanges and East-West integration, this philosophy was also embraced by Western schools of logic. It advises followers not to blindly follow or copy others, but to act according to circumstances, to engage in change, and to think meticulously. These qualities are important for New Oriental Academy students today.  Blue, which represents calmness, is the perfect colour for School of Logicians.    

The western House system that is based upon the five philosophies of ancient Chinese culture and teaching are of key importance in New Oriental Academy’s education model. It will help to develop young people to have both ethnic understanding and an international and modern outlook. It is a unique system that embraces and unites New Oriental Academy’s students and faculty into one family with a collective purpose. Combining theory and practical, it nourishes its family in terms of personal growth, curriculum construction, service activity and campus culture.  


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