GIFS House System

The GIFS House System was adopted in order to nurture the student body as a whole.  It is designed to promote school spirit and give a sense of belonging to all staff and students. Throughout the year, a range of house events and activities are organized to encourage healthy competition and peer support.

The House System is an inclusive program that requires a cohesive and team orientated approach from all students. It provides opportunities for leadership, teamwork, individual talent, creative development, physical skill, and intellectual challenge. All competitions reflect this ethos and students are required to work alongside other students from all age groups.

GIFS Houses are named after Korean mythical characters: Bonghwang, Gumiho, Haetae, and Dokkaebi.   Each student that attends GIFS is assigned to a house in our system.  Siblings are kept together in the same house.  House events and competitions add fun and camaraderie to our school community.

** Please note that the House Crests that you see above were designed by one of our own very talented art students, Yon Doo Kim.  We think they are outstanding!

The Bongwhang House represents a power sent from the heavens to the ruler.   It’s birdlike body symbolizes the six celestial bodies and is a symbol of high virtue or grace.  Bongwhang also symbolizes the union of yin and yang.  In Korea, Bongwhang was used as a royal emblem (especially for queens – the dragon being the emblem of the king) and appears in the current presidential seal.

The Dokkaebi House represents a mythical being that appears as a grotesque goblin in Korean folklore and fairy tales.   The Dokkaebi is a mischievous creature that is fond of practical jokes and is also known for rewarding good people with wealth and blessings.  They are known for playing tricks on travelers and challenging others to wrestling games.

The Gumiho House is represented by a creature that appears as a nine-tailed fox in the oral history and legends of Korea.   In those legends, a fox that lives a thousand years turns into a Gumiho.  It can freely transform, turning into a beautiful woman that plays tricks to accomplish evil deeds including the flesh of its enemy.  Gumiho are considered bloodthirsty and malignant but can become permanently human and lose their evil character by an exercise of will.

The Haetae House represents a legendary creature that appears in Korean and Chinese mythology.  Haetae is a master of fire and is a guardian against it.  In shape it resembles a dog with a Lion’s mane, similar to the Dogs of Fo in China.  The Haetae has many powers including the ability to stop, go backward, or fast forward through time.  Haetae sculptures appeared in the Joseon Dynasty in architecture as they were trusted to protect Hanyang (now Seoul) against the forces of nature and to provide law and order to the populace.