The interform lunchtime House football finished this week culminating with the Year 11 final. It is something new, a bit different, paradoxically casual and competitive at the same time - and it has been an absolute triumph. This has happened because there is something special about it which reflects the spirit of our school.

It isn’t particularly important that it is football – it’s just that all you need is a ball, students have worn their uniform with bibs and trainers and we are fortunate to have the astroturf. What is important is that it has been played without exception in a spirit of fun and mutual support. There has been a tangible sense of joy at playing with each other and both defeat - even by penalty shoot-out – and victory have been equally greeted with smiles and handshakes. To be honest, the standard hasn’t been particularly high and it has rained most days but it has been embraced by a large proportion of the school community as the forms compete for points for the Houses. On a typical day around 300 students and numerous staff have watched; there has been encouragement, jokes and lots of laughs. It has been great because our students are great and want to participate, because they want to take part or watch even on a grey, wet lunchtime and because they feel part of something – a school community in which giving it a go, supporting each other and enjoying being with each other are important and valued by all of us.

We have a huge amount going on in school through the House system and beyond; next time, it won’t be football at lunchtime in the rain but those same qualities will shine through and we celebrate and cherish them.

Year 7 winnersYear 8 winnersYear 9 winners

Year 10 winnersYear 11 winners