15 June 2016
By Caoimhe Devaney and Nicola Kenny, Holy Child School Killiney
Last October 13 students and two staff visited our sister Holy Child school in Mayfield, Sussex. We were there for the special Cornelian Spirit Day celebrations on October 15th to mark the founding of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. Following a Mass with the whole school community we participated in the Inter-House tournaments: the four Mayfield Houses competed in various events including sports such as hockey, volleyball, whist card games and even a whole school singing competition. Every Holy Child Killiney girl was adopted into the House of their 6th form buddy. We wore face paint in the different House colours and engaged in some friendly competition.
We all had a wonderful day, and this inspired us to bring the idea back to Holy Child Killiney. We all agreed that there are so many benefits to having Houses, including breaking down barriers between years, and encouraging school spirit. On our return to HCK the Sixth Years put together detailed proposals regarding House Names, membership, colours, activities, and characteristics. We were delighted when the Board of Management, the Parents’ Association, the Staff and the Students’ Council agreed with the proposal.
On Sport’s Day, the House System was introduced to school for the first time, after many weeks of planning and preparation. We were honoured to welcome three of our House Patrons to HCK. Sr. Madeleine Mulrennan, Sr. Geraldine MacCarthy and Sr. Mary Hilary Daly are all past Principals of Holy Child, and were really pleased to be invited to be House Patrons. Ms. Cluskey and her team had prepared a leaflet with the House Characteristics and details of Cornelian Celebrations, and had also sourced wrist bands in the House Colours. We began with a lovely Prayer Assembly led by the Chaplaincy Team, and the winners of the Cornelia Connelly Competition were announced. Then Ms. Cluskey unveiled the new House Shield.
Our Teacher House Heads were introduced to the school body and every girl’s name and staff names were called in their respective houses.
The House System Notice Board was unveiled, and we gathered in each of our House groups to hear some words from our House Patron, and prepare our chant. We all got into the spirit of things, using everything from drums, banners to face paint. Everyone was in great spirits as we played various games during sports day and participated in a series of house activities, including performing our House chant.
It was so exciting to see our idea become a reality and we were delighted that there was such a positive reaction to it. Congratulations to Madeleine House who won the House Shield for the very first time, but we know the competition will always be strong as girls build up Connelly Points for their Houses. It was such great fun and we hope that this new system unites the school body for many years to come.