Two weeks ago, Nayland experienced yet another successful house day, with students coming together under the banners of either Draco, Aquila, Pheonix or Pegasus House to celebrate a day of whanaungatanga – the chance to feel a connection to their school and have a whole lot of fun in the process.
The four houses went through a series of events including the Field Fiesta, Wet’n’Wild, the Culture Clash, Aerial Art as well as learning and performing the school haka. Houses accumulated points for each event throughout the day. After all points were accumulated, Phoenix was in fourth place, Draco in third place, Pegasus in second and Aqulia in first place.
All this fun and competition doesn’t happen by accident. Nayland College is lucky to have four fantastic Heads of House whose hard work goes into making the day a success.
A big thank you to our wonderful Heads of House: Jo Cotton, Colin Gravett, David Munro and Julia Hodgson. They were supported by a fantastic group of students who stepped up to be house captains and leaders and really did a great job of running the day.
To find out what makes House day so special at Nayland college, we asked Pegasus Head of House David Munro, and Aquila Head of House Julia Hodgson about their experiences of house day.
Why is house day important?
Julia: It is a chance to regroup after a long summer break and regain house unity and spirit through a variety of fun activities that encourage all year levels to interact and engage together.
David: House day is important because it is the first opportunity new students to get to see exactly what houses are about at Nayland College. Houses are about taking every opportunity that comes your way, being a member of something bigger than yourself or your class and having fun. They are also an awesome opportunity to interact with other students and even teachers in a different way, outside the normal confines of a classroom.
What really impressed you about the day in general?
Julia: I thought it was a great example of the amazing students we have at the school. It was great seeing them getting involved in every activity that they could. The house leaders and captains also showed brilliant leadership for only being a few short weeks into their role.
David: I was amazed how much our students got into House Day this year. The noise, colour and excitement was fantastic and really makes the event worthwhile. The buzz amongst our staff afterwards, especially our newest members, was brilliant as well. The students really enjoyed themselves and this rubbed off on the staff as well.
What goes into preparing for house day?
Julia: A whole lot of teamwork and clarifying all the events and logistics behind each activity. Also prepping the house leadership team for their roles and ensuring everything is done before the day to ensure success and smooth sailing as much as possible. Plus - some late nights and early mornings to get prepared!
David: Preparing for House day is a lot of work. We normally reflect on the previous year’s events, keeping what works well and changing what did not. Then we have to agree on events, organise the facilities and materials, plan out the day and prepare information for staff and students. And that’s all before the day even arrives. We also have to sort our own houses out and even organise our own costumes. But all of it is worthwhile in the end.
What is your favourite event?
Julia: I thought wet and wild was an awesome addition that anyone could join in on - plus Aquila absolutely smashed it!
David: My favourite event is the Dry Person Carry in the pool. The way the students muck in, work together and encourage each other along is great. Plus - it always amazes me how many students are willing to (try) carrying me (and my increasingly large carcass) across!
How did the house leaders and captains fare?
Julia: Really well considering they were a new team working together for the first time. They had a really positive and energetic attitude towards contributing wherever they could.
David: Our house leaders and captains were fantastic! A large number of them were new to the role and we put a huge amount of responsibility on them to organise our houses on the day, especially for events like the Aerial Art and the Culture Clash. But they came through with flying colours. We are very lucky to have such an outstanding group of House Leaders and Captains this year.
Julia - as someone new to the school and new to being a Head of House, how was it for you?
I thought it was an awesome showcase of the students at Nayland as far as them getting involved and having friendly competition among the other houses. The weather was great and the positive attitude of the Aquila house was absolutely second to none. It made me very proud to be the Head of House for such an amazing group of students. Plus we won!