Rhyddings students took on a day of international themed challenges and activities to mark the launch of a new house system last week.

Based on the five populated continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas), all students and staff have been allocated a house and will compete throughout the year in all areas of school. This will range from attendance and punctuality to sport, performing arts and academic progress. The system has been introduced to encourage students to work together, get involved in more activities throughout school, as well as learn more about the world around them.

As part of the preparations for the new system back in July, former students Natasha Novak and Will Livesey came in to school. They worked with a team of current students to paint a large atlas and some international icons on our main corridor to help create interest in the new system.

For the launch day, each continent house took part in a variety of activities, including sport and team building challenges, an international quiz, arts and crafts as well as the opportunity to ride a horse in the yard! Burnley boxer Chris O’Brien was in school, working with students to see how many punches they could land on the training pads within 30 seconds.

Former Rhyddings students Sean Ainsworth and Alex Whewell came in to help out with the sports activities as part of their work with the Accrington Stanley Football Scholarship programme. The pair are working towards their BTEC Level 3 in Sport after successfully getting a place on their course following their good GCSE results in the summer.

Also present was ‘Animal Man’ Simon Airey from Corner Exotics, who brought in a range of weird and wonderful creatures including a chinchilla, chameleon, African land snail, tarantula, scorpion and even a 12 foot boa constrictor. Simon spoke to the students about the animals, how they evolved, where in the world they come from and how humans are affecting them and their natural habitats.

Deputy Headteacher Adele Nuttall said: “The day was an outstanding success, with students from all years working together to try and earn the most points for their respective houses.

“Older and younger students supported one another and the older students were happy to take on leadership roles and lead by example. Younger students enjoyed the range of opportunities to work as part of a team and communicate with the older students in their Continent Houses.

“Alongside supporting one another and developing confidence in working with new people there was an element of healthy competition, especially with the staff!

“Everyone, including one of our school governors, participated in a variety of fun, challenging and thought-provoking activities focusing on ‘Our World’ to expand their knowledge and understanding of people and places from across our populated continents.

“We’re looking forward to holding more continent house specific events in the coming months.”