Big Spring Term Gameshow

Big Spring Term Gameshow

Throughout the Spring Term, Ridgefield’s House Assemblies have been the base camp for a long-running, unpredictable gameshow named Don’t Lose Your Ticket.

I have often billed House Assemblies, for all Houses, as “the best 20 minutes of the week,” and this has been particularly true in the Spring Term. Every week from January to March, Ridgefield’s pupils took part in a succession of games and tasks, hoping to avoid elimination from Don’t Lose Your Ticket, an overarching game that was always hiding in plain sight.

In the first week of January, everyone filled in a form and picked a number between 1 and 150. If more than one pupil chose the same number, that number went unclaimed. 41 numbers were claimed that week, and all the others were randomly allocated to everyone else the following day. The winners of that week’s main House Assembly task (a series of riddles and logic puzzles) were rewarded with a second number between 1 and 150…

..but 15 numbers (including 1 and 100) were eliminated that week, because one of the questions in the assembly task asked the pupils to “vote out” some numbers!

The formula was slightly different in some other weeks, but the general format remained the same throughout the term. Nobody in Ridgefield knew what their number was – they only knew which number they’d requested – but everyone knew that their task was to avoid letting their number get eliminated!

One week, Heads of House Will and Katie hosted a great quiz game, and the winning year group won the right to eliminate some numbers. Another week, Miss Henry hosted a brilliant musical game based around the introductions to some famous songs, and the winners won the right to eliminate some numbers. In another assembly, it was a game of “last contender standing” in a tossing-the-coin game, and the last contender standing won the right to choose a group of numbers to eliminate. In several other assemblies, the games were Taskmaster-themed (including “invent the best title for a Hollywood blockbuster film about Ridgefield”), and the winners of these games won the right to eliminate some numbers.

By 10 March, the week after the end of the Upper Sixth’s mock exams, we were down to the last 14 competitors (out of 137). The last 14 faced off in a tricky quiz, with everyone in the House having the power to eliminate them by offering correct answers. The anticipation for each question was palpable. Six pupils clawed their way through the quiz and qualified for the final: Abbie (Lower Sixth), Celia (Lower Sixth), Florence (Third Year), Isabelle (Third Year), Will (Upper Sixth), and Zac (Third Year).

The grand final took place on 17 March. The final task was to design the best, most imaginative and most celebratory prize for someone celebrating the first anniversary of a significant career milestone, such as joining a new school (or House!) or starting a new job. While everyone else in Ridgefield was designing their own ideas, the six finalists were on their own, composing their bids for victory. They presented their prizes at the end of the assembly, and our specially commissioned panel of judges (Mrs Mugridge, Miss Henry, Mr Griffiths, Mr Hillier, Mrs Yankova, Mrs Datta, Miss McGlashan, Mr Whyatt, and Mr Evans) secretly voted for our favourite prizes.

It was an extremely close vote. Florence’s prize (a “Name a Star” award) received lots of acclaim, but it didn’t quite beat Isabelle’s submission (a superbly drawn bespoke plaque with customisable text), so Florence took second place and Isabelle became the champion of our thrilling gameshow. She took nine weeks to see off all 136 of her compatriots in Ridgefield, but she got there in the end and thoroughly deserved the victory!

Thank you to everyone in Ridgefield for taking part with an abundance of House Spirit. Here’s to many more unpredictable House memories this term!

Mr R. Evans

Head of Ridgefield

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