Houses and towers: getting used to life at QE

QE’s youngest pupils attended a special afternoon as part of a new initiative aimed at helping boys adjust to life at the School. All of Year 7 took part in the activities in the Shearly Hall.

The afternoon was part of QE’s transition programme, which has been established to enable boys to adjust to secondary school and QE’s House system, as well as to encourage bonding and friendships. It is spearheaded overall by Michael Taylor, who is Assistant Head with Responsibility for Extra-Curricular Activities & Transition and also Head of Year 7.

Dr Taylor said: “HM Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw recently highlighted in a special national Ofsted report the importance of supporting and challenging pupils properly when they make the transition from primary to secondary school. The objective of our new programme is to ensure that QE handles this transition as effectively as possible for the benefit of all our incoming pupils.”

""The boys were first organised into their House groups:  Broughton; Harrisons’, Leicester, Pearce, Stapylton and Underne.

They then took part in three competitive tasks:

  • A word search
  • An anagram challenge similar to that on the Countdown TV show in which they had to find as many words as they could within a jumble of letters
  • A construction task involving drinking straws and sticky tape, to find out which team could build the highest free-standing structure in 20 minutes.

The overall winners of the afternoon were Underne House, who successfully assembled a tower that was 8ft tall – nearly twice the height of an average 11-year-old boy!

""Extra-curricular Enrichment Tutor Matthew Dunston led the afternoon, while Dr Taylor and other Year 7 form tutors were in attendance.

Mr Dunston said: “The boys got their first real taste of House competition and did everything they could to try to claim House points. You could see the rivalry between the Houses starting to develop; their commitment was fantastic.”