On Friday, Sept. 1, the Kingswood Oxford Upper School gathered to watch and celebrate the sorting of new students into their Houses.
Kingswood Oxford has four houses: Lancaster, York, Windsor, and Nottingham. Lancaster and York hold historical significance, with their origins tracing back to the Kingswood School, the all-male institution that merged with the all-female Oxford School to create Kingswood Oxford. As you enter campus from Trout Brook Drive, there are two birds on top of the gate pillars. One bird says “Lancaster” and the other says “York.” Windsor and Nottingham’s colors are gray and orange, representing the colors of the Oxford School. The houses were well thought out and have meaningful ties to Kingswood Oxford’s history.
The House system was started two years ago by former Speaker David Shi and former Dean of Students Krista Sahrbeck. Their ultimately successful plan was for the Upper School to be divided into four houses. These houses would then participate in various competitions throughout the school year, encouraging student engagement and participation.c Director of Academic Planning and Student Government Advisor Carolyn McKee said. “It is something that the student government oversees, but everyone in the school belongs to and participates in.”
This theme of school spirit and belonging to a house was highlighted during the House Sorting ceremony, which took place during Community Time in Roberts Theater. This event was for new students and teachers who had not been sorted into a house. Students and teachers formed an eager line, and when their turn was up, they picked a color unveiling the house they would be in: gray for Windsor, orange for Nottingham, red for York, and black for Lancaster.
The new students were excited to find out which color they would represent. “When I picked gray for my color, it was really exciting because everyone in Windsor cheered for me, which made me feel welcome and excited to be in that house,” junior Reagan Heafey-De Angelis said. It was also a good time for the audience. “It was fun seeing all the new students who would be joining Nottingham,” junior Jenna Kanaan said. “I’m looking forward to meeting all the new students in my house through the competitions that we have.” That excitement is exactly what the ceremony was hoping to foster.
Looking ahead, Student Government hopes to host house activities once a month. These activities will be friendly competitions that give everyone a chance to earn points for their house. Additionally, there might be some community service events, such as a Thanksgiving food drive. Not only will students be doing good for others, but the house that collects the most in donations will earn a reward. Towards the end of the year, Cup Day will make its awaited return.
This day gives students the chance to take a break from their classes and participate in different field games to earn points for their houses. “Personally, I love Cup Day because it is playful and spirited,” Ms. McKee said. “Whether you are the most competitive person in the world or not there is something you can get involved in.”
Overall, in looking at the plans for the house system this year, the main objectives are to foster school spirit and form bonds. “The goals this year are to have everyone in the school working together and forming bonds with each other,” senior Speaker Nicolas Tippner said. “We want to try and get everyone involved and participating in competitions as well.” Student Government is enthusiastic about this year and all they have in store for us.