Underne are the winners of the 2020–21 Eric Shearly House Cup, after a late surge took them past last year’s champion, Stapylton.
The 2019-20 winners had actually been in the lead for the whole year, until a series of strong performances in House competitions in the second half of this term enabled Underne to overtake them. Underne ended the year with 755 points, against Stapylton’s 716 and Leicester’s 713.
Headmaster Neil Enright announced the result in a video message to an end-of-year House assembly which covered all aspects of House activities, from, for example, Languages competitions to charity food collections. Mr Enright said: “Underne last won this competition in 2017, so it’s a delight to see their name going back on this cup and I offer my hearty congratulations to Underne House in particular this year.”
Underne is named after Edward Underne, who became Rector of Chipping Barnet in 1568 and, along with other men of local influence actively promoted the establishment of a School in High Barnet. Queen Elizabeth’s School was duly founded in 1573. Mr Enright presented the cup in person to 2021 House Captain Christan Emmanuel and Deputy House Captain Dan Suciu.
During the assembly, boys heard presentations on the large number of competitions and events held during the year at which House points may be won. Boys may also add to their House’s total by gaining ‘merits’ and ‘good notes’.
Foremost among the competitions, in terms of points available, was this month’s Sports Day, which was won by Broughton, with Underne coming in second. It was a welcome return for the event, which had to be cancelled in last year’s lockdown.
“It was super to see everybody out for Sports Day,” said Mr Enright. “I am also proud of the fact that so many competitions carried on throughout the pandemic and I congratulate everybody involved, staff and pupils.”
The cup is named after Eric Shearly (1920–2005), who dedicated 76 years of his life to QE, where he was both a pupil and a teacher. “He really believed in getting involved in things beyond the classroom,” said Mr Enright.
The final points total and positions were:
- Broughton: 664, 4th
- Harrisons’: 580, 6th
- Leicester: 713, 3rd
- Pearce: 634, 5th
- Stapylton: 716, 2nd
- Underne: 755, 1st
The virtual assembly was introduced by Head of Extra-Curricular Enrichment Rebecca Grundy, who congratulated boys on their participation and competitive spirit, thanked staff in the extra-curricular enrichment team and added: “None of these events would be possible without our amazing Sixth Form prefects team.”
The proceedings were punctuated by musical interludes performed by two pianists: Year 9’s Jason Tao and Shreyas Iyengar, of Year 7, who brought the assembly to an end.
There were a number of presentations and summaries of the year by departmental heads and teachers responsible for particular activities. The areas covered included Music, Sport, drama and chess.
During the assembly, announcements were made of various awards and commendations, such as chess colours and extra-curricular achievement awards.
Charity was another major area of focus, with the assembly running through the year’s work in support of QE’s long-running Indian Sai School Appeal, of the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, of the Poppy Appeal, of the clothing drive to help local homeless people and of the collection of food and hygiene products for Chipping Barnet Foodbank.