Colleges house proud
A kaleidoscope of colourful kids flooded the playing fields of two local colleges with fun and games and leadership-testing competitions.
Thousands of students at Waimea College and Nayland College dressed-up bright for their schools' House Day competitions yesterday.
Fair-play, participation and team-work were themes at both colleges, with a spirit of belonging and student unity promoted by the schools.
The houses at Waimea - Rutherford, Cooper, Hillary and Sheppard - are named after four Kiwi cultural icons who have impacted our national history.
At Nayland a more contemporary system was introduced last year, with houses named for four famous south sky constellations - Aquila, Draco, Pegasus and Phoenix. That theme was based on a Nayland motto, "reach for the stars".
Waimea Houses spent the day battling for house points in various "fun" competitions based at the schools' pool, and on the playing field. There was also a four-way chant-off, won by blue house Sheppard - led by the dramatic house captain duo of Mikaela Davenhill and Corey Bosecke.
Mikaela said her house spent three weeks preparing for the festivities, but only had time for four proper practices.
"It has been so stressful, but it was absolutely amazing to win."
Physical education teacher Murray Turner said Waimea students demonstrated plenty of leadership potential. The competitive events had been structured to allow for maximum participation and fun.
At Nayland the structure was similar, with a focus on school unity, but a point of difference was that Nayland houses had not yet elected their leaders. Challenges were designed to let students demonstrate their leadership skills, before house captains were elected next week.
"It gives natural leaders within the houses a chance to step up," teacher Eliot Smith said.
Deputy principal Trevor Olley said it was great to watch students who did not always come across as leaders step up and take charge of their houses on the day.
He said Nayland's new house system was just great.
"It's about breaking the big school into smaller groups so the kids can better develop a sense of belonging.
"Another reason [for introducing the house system] was to increase the pool of leadership at the school, and we have done so by about 20-fold.
"The House Day offers something for everyone. It suits our diverse range of kids we have here at school."
Vertical form classes, which included students ranging from Year 9 to Year 13, were introduced to Nayland two years ago in conjunction with the house system, Mr Olley said.
"They allow new students to see the passage through school through the eyes of the older kids."
- © Fairfax NZ News