The Importance of Collaboration in House Competitions

House competitions have always played an important role within our closely-packed, family-like school community. We have four houses: the Green Gators, Blue Wolverines, Yellow Jaguars, and the Red Scorpions. The members of these houses are randomly selected, with the exception being that siblings are placed in the same team. This selection process means that most of the time, friendship groups are separated, which sounds quite intimidating. But is it really? Not at all! With the involvement of the entire student body, these house competitions enable students to build friendships across all year levels. The students are supportive of one another, regardless of age, gender, or abilities, and this allows students to push each other out of their comfort zones, and for them to grow as individuals.

Semester one has given us a variety of house competitions. We began with a ‘Cardboard Castle Building’ competition, celebrated Founder’s Day with a speed-stack competition and a cross country run, and wrapped up 2018 with a Christmas-themed poster competition. With the Cardboard Castle Building competition starting off our year, we were able to involve many new students in this activity, making them feel welcomed, and allowing them to build friendships within our houses as we worked together to produce the best cardboard castle. Students had to communicate and work together with a limited amount of time, and houses had to battle for their resources. The castles were scored according to height, overall area, beauty, and stature. Although it was competitive and all of the houses wanted to win, we were all still able to have fun and enjoy ourselves while getting to know each other better, and catching up after a long holiday.

Founder’s Day marked YCIS Shanghai’s 25th and YCIS Hong Kong’s 86th anniversary. We all participated in a series of cup stacking competitions as we fought to record the fastest time. During the cross country run of approximately 3km, the students tested their endurance and stamina, and with the support of each other, everyone finished the run within the allocated time.

Although house competitions can be competitive, it is not always about winning and being in the spotlight. It is a way to bring everyone closer, despite the age differences. Together, we can make memories that will make us smile when we look back, friendships that will last a lifetime, and lessons and skills that will aid us in the future.

By Hei In and Rhena, Year 9, YCIS Pudong Secondary.

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