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Cottage System
A key objective of Dr. Graham’s Homes is to provide its students with a “home away from home” and this is ensured through the unique mechanism of the Cottage System, which has been in place since the School’s inception.

There are 21 Cottages across the campus to accommodate the boarders. Some of these date back to the early 1900s and are named after the benefactors who contributed towards building them. Hence names such as Wales Lodge, Mansfield, Elliot, McGregor, Fraser, Bene, Thorburn, Woodburn, Murray etc. One of the core features of the Cottage System is that there is a couple in charge of each Cottage, who play the dual roles of caretaker and parent. Unique to Dr. Graham’s Homes, the Cottage System is not found elsewhere in the country.

The Cottages accommodate students of different age groups. This enables the children to live more like a family with the older children nurturing and caring for the younger ones. It helps children of all ages realise their roles and responsibilities, and they learn to grow up interdependently and to love and care for each other. The Cottage is a place where students come “home” after school and where they can cook in the Cottage kitchen on weekends. 

At Dr. Graham’s Homes, children are encouraged to be both independent and interdependent through helping with various household activities like cleaning, washing and cooking. The ambience of each Cottage reflects the warmth and love of a home.

Another unique feature of the Cottage System are the Cottage ‘Uncle’ and ‘Aunty’ who live with the children and are accepted as ‘parents’ by them. After the age of five, children move into the Cottage where they spend the rest of their school life which can extend up to ten years. They identify themselves with their Cottage and build strong emotional bonds with their fellow boarders which often last throughout their lives.

The Cottage System is also the basis for numerous inter-cottage events and competitions. Awards for the best cottage range from sporting events to theatre, singing, elocution, debating and even gardening and the annual award for the “Best All-Round Cottage” is coveted and closely contested.

Conceived by Dr. Graham, this unique system ensures the wholesome development of students and creates an environment that enables them grow up into value-based, responsible citizens. Friendships forged in the Cottage often last a lifetime, beyond school. The system provides for a very strong emotional connect with the Homes and what it stands for.