Different Coloured T-Shirts?

After missing the final of the World Championships in 2009, David Rudisha told his coach he would break the world record in 2010. And he did!

Since then he has become one of the greatest 800m runners’ athletics has ever seen.

Records are made to be broken, mankind’s natural urge is to supersede all that have gone before; to compete with each other ‘Citius – Altius – Fortius’ as the Olympic motto states.

The values in our Hillcrest Houses are not dissimilar. This week has seen our Inter-House Cross-Country race take place, and I can still hear the cheers ringing around the fields as our students took flight and set off.

It was only a year ago when I joined the school and I still remember that sense of pride I had when I saw all the students in Thor with their blue face paint and t-shirts. This is a feeling that is not exclusive to me but one that transcends throughout the school. Our Houses have similar routines, structures and most important a shared vision. So why is it so important that we wear different coloured t-shirts?

I believe that every teenager needs to belong, to be in a place that gives them pride, strength and confidence. Each House in the Hillcrest community does this by ensuring that every individual is allowed to pursue their individual goals and celebrate their unique talents.

In our House Competitions, every student is encouraged to take part whether in sport, quizzes, problem solving or simply scoring points for participation. Our rivalry is not exclusive to co-curricular activities; our merit system contributes to a house points system so students are rewarded for their academic and behavioural successes as well.

One would think that this causes a sense of bitterness but the opposite is actually true: the ‘House Requiring Improvement’ then develops new initiatives through individual tutoring that monitors how best to keep students reaching their potential. Are these initiatives kept secret? Certainly not! Sharing good practice is the cornerstone of Hillcrests’ success.

As Odin and Zeus embark on a new era with new heads of houses and Thor continues marching on – I want all our students to remain proud of their different coloured t-shirts. They remain the symbol of the very essence that makes our Pastoral System truly remarkable. It is a system that inspires all of our students to be the best they can be throughout all facets of school life.