At Aldwickbury we run a house system known as Sections. As a boy enters into Year 3 he is assigned a Section to belong to for the rest of his prep school career; Lowlands, Midlands, Uplands and Highlands. Sections comprise of a mix of boys from Years 3 – 8, as well as staff.
Each Section have Year 8 boys acting as Section Captains. The Sections compete in a wide variety of activities, ranging from sport to music. Individual cups are proudly displayed on the Section shelf in the Castle Dining Room.
This year Highlands won the Section Cross Country. The run consisted of a lap around the sports fields and through the woods. There was a change in route which made it much longer for people doing it. In each year group there was an A and B race both running a different number of laps. It was great to see both boys and some teachers trying their best.
This year the theme of the section debating was future problem solving.
There were two motions. The first was ‘Science is the answer to our problems’. This involved looking for problems in life and seeing if science might hold the solution. The proposition listed the great things that science had done to improve quality of life, how it would continue to do so, and that without it we would still be in the Stone Age, with infinitely more problems to deal with. Meanwhile the opposition, without denying the merits of science, argued that it could not solve many of our current problems, which are the result of human nature and politics.
The second motion was ‘We should look to the past to solve problems in the future’. Interestingly both the proposition and the opposition chose examples of leaders failing to learn from history to back up their arguments. Leaders who had failed to learn from history should have concentrated harder in their history lessons to avoid making the same mistakes…or perhaps these leaders failed to learn from history because nobody ever does learn from history and it is thus pointless to try.
Well done to all the boys who took part in the section debating. A great deal of preparation had gone into each team’s performance and this really showed. Making speeches in front of teachers, peers, parents and an outside judge is no easy task at any age, moreover the tricky topics set this year demanded clear reasoning. All the speakers spoke persuasively however, making it very tricky for our adjudicator Mr Peter Blair, from Haileybury, to decide a winner. Congratulations to Midlands who came out as eventual winners with Highlands a close second.
Highly Commended by the Adjudicator were Harry H, Thomas D, Alistair C, Jude H, Olly C-H and Luca F.
This year’s Senior hockey competition was great. Each section had an eight man team consisting of boys in Years 7-8. The first set of matches saw Uplands vs Lowlands and in an exciting match full of goals Uplands won. In the match between Midlands and Highlands it was an extremely close match with Midlands just coming out on top after penalty shuffles. A few days later the next set of matches therefore saw Lowlands against Highlands and Uplands against Midlands. In the game between Lowlands and Highlands Lowlands won securing third palace and pushing Highlands into fourth. The final was a great match between Uplands and Midlands with Uplands winning and securing the trophy.
The Junior section hockey was just as exciting. After a close semi-final Uplands beat Highlands while after a 0-0 draw Lowlands won on penalty shuffles against Midlands. On the finals afternoon Highlands manged a 1-0 win against Midlands to be third while despite dominating the 1st/2nd place match Uplands were beaten on penalty shuffles with the practice that Lowlands had had in the semis paying dividends as they won the cup for 2016.
The Section Pancake Races are a fun and unique Aldwickbury section competition that takes place on Pancake Day every year. Each separate year group from Years 5-8 have an eight-man team and all of the Junior boys compete in their own version. It’s a simple race that consists of a pan, the pancakes and a cone to mark out the course. It’s also a great event to watch and all the Section supporters always cheer their section along. The eight men from their Section line up in their year group. They then start off and the race begins. Each man has to flip the pancake once on the way to the cone and after going around the cone they have to flip it again on the way back. When it is the Year 8s turn to do their race it’s slightly different. This time there are 7 boys on each team and a member of staff. Also they have to race while trying to wear a hat. This always adds to the excitement and fun. This year it was a thrilling race and Uplands came out winners and got a prestigious trophy of a frying pan that they added to their trophy collection!
Friday 13th is often thought of as an inauspicious date. However Friday 13th May was the opposite as boys in Years 3 – 8 were treated to a high quality Section Recitation competition. As last year proved we now have tremendous depth in spoken word and performance so we stuck with the format of a group piece and an individual piece. And, as part of our celebration of Shakespeare, both pieces were from his plays: The Group piece was The Seven Ages of Man and the Individual piece an abridged version of Henry V’s Siege at Harfleur speech.
After all sections had performed there were two clear leaders, Midlands and Highlands. Neither could be separated after the individual round with some stunning performances. Nevertheless, a winner had to be found and after some discussion amongst the staff it was felt that Midlands had used the group setting more imaginatively than Highlands. As far as the individuals were concerned it came down to which of the four, after four quality renditions, would we most likely follow into battle? The answer was unanimously Harry Hine. This meant that the Recitation Champions for 2016 were Midlands.
Congratulations to all four Sections for such a good morning and particular congratulations to Midlands.
In February, Years 3-8 lined up for what was to be a very exciting event: Section swimming.
Years 3 and 4 took their seats for the first round, with Lowlands making a good start to the afternoon, taking 1st place, with Toby G (also from Lowlands), taking the individual cup.
Years 5 and 6 were up next with the second round. Uplands took the second bout, but it was very close. Charlie G (Midlands), took the intermediate individual cup, with Ben G in second.
Last, but not least, were Years 7 and 8 with the final round of events, with Uplands taking the final event of the afternoon. Joe P (Midlands) took the senior individual cup, with swimming captain Edward J not far behind.
The results were announced on the first day of next half term, with Uplands running out as overall winners, retaining their title from last year. It was a great day and everyone enjoyed it very much.
Section Champions UPLANDS
M U L H
JUNIOR 115 115 133 126
INTERMEDIATE 107 109 101 103
SENIOR 96 124 99 80
TOTAL 318 348 333 309
Section Tunnel Ball was on the same day as it always is, Jeans for Genes day, so some boys worked hard to launch their rockets while others fought hard with the technically challenging activity of tunnel ball. The Section captains warmed up and prepared their teams with the best game plan ever “keep your legs wide”. The four Sections lined up their green, blue, yellow and red shirts. Mr Preston blew the whistle. Mistakes were made, tempers flared with wins and losses and all the Sections put in a great shift but the overall winners were Lowlands.
The section rocket competition was a great event to start the year, and was well contested but two sections really stood out. In the A teams Uplands won, closely followed by Highlands. And in the B team competition Highlands came away with the win, therefore winning the competition. Thank you to Ms Butler and Mr French for organising the competition.
Lucas J F
Years 5 and 6 Debating Competition
This provided the first taste of formal debating for some of the boys in Year 5 and 6 and over the term many topics were discussed: Should the House of Lords be entirely elected? Should we (the government) spend more money on green energy? Should the voting age be reduced to 12? Should murderers ever be released? Should girls and boys play sport together? Should bullies be excluded from school? Should smoking be banned…?
Points were awarded for strength of arguments, organisation and structure, as well as use of voice and body language. There were some close competitions and some excellent public speaking. In the end, the winners (as in the senior competition) were Midlands who seem to be making debating one of their specialisms.