21 Feb Colourful tradition continues
Nayland’s back field featured almost every colour of the rainbow on Friday the 10th February when the school celebrated its annual House Day. The event is one of the biggest on the house calendar. While house Draco members put on green and purple, Phoenix wore red and orange, Pegasus sported yellow and black, and Aquila white and blue. Each house was also spectacularly represented by its own mascot.
Staff and students alike embraced the opportunity to dress up – with some interesting results. Year 13 students Mackenzie and Madeleine got sudden inspiration during tutor time the day before. The result was eye-catching, with the girls’ mock police uniforms sourced from Save Mart and the $2 shop. “We feel like we’ve got power,” Madeleine said. “It feels like we’ve got more power than the teachers,” Mackenzie added.
The events on the day were wide-ranging, beginning with a water ferrying obstacle course, water balloon throwing and a cardboard ‘chariot race’. Houses then moved on to competitions at Nayland Pool featuring an inflatable obstacle course, the dry carry, and the noodle run. Back at school, other challenges included performing a haka and the ‘culture clash’ where students designed chalk art, composed poetry, and created a house chant, as well as balloon and human sculptures. All events provided houses with the opportunity to earn points.
New Deputy Principal Jane Townsend was enthused by the event. “I’m really impressed by the house spirit, dress-ups, mascots and banners. It’s part of the Nayland culture,” she said.
In true Nayland spirit, It wasn’t just current teachers who attended either. Former teacher Max Riley was welcomed back as he came and supported the day. He was instrumental in setting up the house system five years ago. “There are two new Heads of House,” he said. “It’s a mission, so I said I would come back and help.”
Staff were impressed with the way students took ownership on the day. “It’s great to see the different kids that step up for different events (…). There’s something for everyone,” Head of Pegasus House Dixie McDonald said. Head of Phoenix, Jo Cotton, agreed. Though she’d lost her voice by the end of the day, she did manage to comment on how she’d taken a backseat while many Phoenix students stepped up.
Provisional results at the end of the day put House Draco on top with 317 points. Next was Phoenix (302), Aquila (300) and Pegasus (289). The points for the culture clash activities are still to be announced. Draco student leader Vika Piukala was ecstatic with her house’s performance on the day, describing it as “a dream come true.”