Gryffin House Ramsay House Tudour House Bern House
**PLEASE NOTE - CHANGES TO ANY MONTH'S ACTIVITIES BELOW IS THE PEROGATIVE OF HOGWARTS STAFF.
September Activities: When we build our new team of first and second-years, it's important to begin with work that will contribute toward building group unity, spirit and a desire to succeed. By tradition, our first activity is called Severus Snape's Snake Dance. We all know that Professor Snape was the real hero of the Harry Potter stories, and this activity is a tribute to that importance. First done at Westford School in 1989 by 5th - 8th-grade students, the snake dance is a challenging and fun way to work together and achieve a goal. Patience, attention to what we're doing, cooperation...these are all elements of the snake dance.
Our second activity is the highly anticipated Hat-Naming Ceremony. Which house will you be sorted into? Only the Sorting Hat knows! Brothers and sisters sometimes are sorted into the same house, but it is just as likely that you will be in a different house all-together. What we know from the history of the school is that all four houses (and one that ceased) have won the house cup on more than one occasion, so there is no reason the believe that your house will be anything but champions for 1018-1019! One curious belief is that Westford Hogwarts houses are really code-names for the Hogwarts houses in Harry Potter...Sorry, no so! During this ceremony, we will also be introduced to our prefects (house leader) and appointment of Scouts (2nd officer) for the houses. The Scout stands for the prefect when activities require leadership when the group leader is absent. Scouts also are house organisers, assisting in the prefect's work.
The final activity for September is Filius Flitwick's Keys to Success Meeting. Hogwarts students develop important rules and guidelines for promoting successful school years. This is an active-thining/reflecting meeting. Remember that we are a NO BULLYING SCHOOL, so we want to create a positive environment to reinforce this very important idea. At the close of this meeting, active participants will receive their own key to success for the year.
October Activities: The Grey-Lady's Team Spirit Poster Challenge: This is a tradition spanning the life of Hogwarts School at Westford. You will see examples of posters created over the past, as well as get pointers on ways to create awesome posters of support for your houses. The best are chosen for points, but all posters are put up in hallways, classrooms and team room as reminders of our allegiance to teams.
Bernie Bott's Halloween Grab-Bag of Penny Candy Sweets: Last year we made candy bars of particular weird and wonderful designs. This year, we'll have a Halloween version where each of six candies in a "grab bag" represents a penny candy version. You'll have a chance to write out what each item in your bag is, but keep in mind that standard candy ingredients are NOT what Bernie Botts would make!
*If opportunity permits, we will have a Halloween get-together. However, in 5/6, there is no costuming or candy used. For our get-together, we have activities like "Outrageous Animagus", "House Elf Relays", and "Dragon-Tails Slaloms." These are intended to be just for fun and entertainment.
November Activities: The Fat Friar's Keychain of Thanks Challenge: Each house will receive sheets with keys shaped on them and a place to write a comment about something they are thankful for. These are submitted to a professor to make sure the reflection is genuine and worthy. If it passes muster, the paper is cut out and made a link on a chain. These will be suspended from our team room ceiling, side-by-side (by house.) when the month ends, the team with the longest chain wins. This is a good time to take stock of who we are and the many things in our lives we should be thankful.
December Activity: Bartering. "One man's trash is another man's treasure" is an expression that forms the basis of our activity. Here's a chance just before the holiday(s) to swap items, food, or services for something you find appealing. The headmaster will provide you with additional information at team time. This is a tradition of our team that has taken place for many years.
January Activities: As winter settles in, it's a good time to get up and move around. Professor Slughorn's Dodgeball Keys Whip-'n-Flip is the classic dodgeball contest...with a twist. In this version, Before each group of players (by houses) are given sealed envelopes. Most of these are empty, but a few have papers drawn with keys on them. When a contest ends, each team that has put out opponents with keys on these papers will roll dice to see how many points their teams pick up. Of course, putting all members of opponent house teams out of the game is the only way to ensure that "key" papers will be used. However, in a timed game, it's entirely possible that a team would "win" the game by numbers but receive no chance to roll for points. Ouch!
We will also continue with Rubeus Hagrid's Wintertime Scavenger Hunt. This is a month-long challenge that asks house members to locate hard-to-find items in nature outside of school and bring them in for house credits. Additionally, during this month, when you go snow-shoeing with Professor McQuade, there will be keys hidden, (but in sight,) along the trail waiting to be found. Find any of these, and your house picks up valuable points! You are reminded that if you look for scavenger hunt items at home, you are required to have an adult with you. Going into the forest alone is ill-advised.
February Activity: It's time to take stock of what school materials remain in the supply closets. This is when Potion AuProfessor Severus Snape's Auction takes place. Of course, the Half-blood Prince would NEVER make available to first and second-years materials from the "special" section of his supply. But there's some really awesome stuff available still. Bezoar, Pepperup Potion, Bubo-tuber Pus...They're all here to bid on for house use. Use your knuts, sickles, and galleons wisely!
March Activity: Dobbie's Rock - Paper - Scissors Tournament - All Hogwarts students will have a chance to show their skill in predicting what opponents will put onto their fingers as we have repeated "best of five" matches. Out of necessity, occasional opponents might be from the same house. This one requires pre-training and practice to be good at. In fact, I will post videos on R-P-S strategies for you to train by!
Final House Results - School Year 2017-2018
Congratulations to Tudour House - winners of the Westford Hogwarts House Cup for the second year in a row. With this accomplishment, each house has now accomplished house cup top honours twice. The following are the final standings for the year:
Tudour House - 921 (record points ever scored) Gryffin House - 850 Ramsay House - 768 Bern House - 706