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School Spirit Week fosters collaboration, creativity and confidence

ACG Tauranga’s second School Spirit Week was a resounding success, with student House leaders taking the reins to build on the momentum of last year’s inaugural event.

The week of activities is designed to allow students to unwind and have fun following their midyear exams. Events included Kiwiana Day with futsal; Pyjama Day with a lunchtime movie; TV Show character day with basketball; and Professions Day with a game of Capture the Flag.

Senior student Summer Fidow said this year’s event was even better than last year.

“More students participated and there were new themes for each day. We hope it will become an annual event as it allows students to be as creative as possible. As more of the older students get into the spirit of it, the primary students are encouraged to participate and dress up as crazy as they can.”

Mei Hutchinson, who came up with the idea last year after participating in a similar celebration at her previous school in Beijing, said Spirit Week was designed to encourage school spirit and allow students from all year levels to unite. It also makes for good House competition, she said, with different ages participating together in sport and parading down the catwalk.

House leaders learnt a lot from their organisational roles.

Tarawera House Leader Subina Siwakoti and Mauao Deputy House Leader Lina Hutchinson both chose to take on leadership roles to step up, step out of their comfort zone, learn how to be role models and help others out.

Te Awanui House Leader Jesse Weston enjoyed how the week brought out diversity in the student body. “It is refreshing to see how people enjoy themselves given the current theme. I feel like it is a really good way to get people participating in events.”

Wairoa Deputy House Leader Laoise McCarthy said the week taught her the value of getting to know the kids in her house and to acknowledge others’ success in the activities.

Tarawera Deputy House Leader Hana Connell said the week had taught her collaboration, creativity and confidence.

“In a school you don’t often get to see your peers’ personality and creativity come out, especially with students that you don’t interact with on a daily basis, so it’s really awesome to see students’ personalities arise through how they dress up and how they approach the week.”

Teacher Jackie Webb said school-wide events like School Spirit Week encourage students from all year levels to collaborate, participate and compete in a safe and supported environment.

“The week allows students, even if they are not in an elected leadership position, to take on responsibilities within our school community and develop leadership skills. Spirit Week provides an opportunity for all of our students to establish their place, in both their Houses and school wide. One of the many benefits is that students share their creative costume ideas, while also taking the opportunity to legitimately engage in amusement at the staff dress ups!”