Saint David's Day

When I was a child this was the happiest day in the school calendar, except, of course, for the end of term... We prepared for weeks beforehand. 

The school was divided into four houses - Dyfed, Gwent, Gwynedd (my house) and Powys. The houses were named after the old kingdoms of Wales. Dyfed's colour was red, Gwent's was blue, Gwynedd's was green and Powys' was yellow. 

Some time before in February the competitions were announced. Each subject would set a competition, and there were additional competitions for music and for choral recitation. Each competition could win points to your house's score for first, second or third place, and there would be bonus points for especially good additional entries.

I remember the following : 

For Maths : Make an icosahedron. Make a dodecahedron. We had to find out what it was and construct one.

For Religious Education : Make a model of a first century Palestinian house.

For History and Geography it might be essays.

For English you'd have to write a poem.

Choral recitation - the poem would be published and we'd have to memorise and rehearse it. We won, I think, with our 'Destruction of Sennacherib".

For music there'd be brass, strings, piano and others... I'd play my tenor horn. Others played piano, cello or harp.

Then the big event. The choir competition. We'd sing, in Welsh, in four part harmony, a traditional Welsh song. I remember us singing Cwm Rhondda, I bob un sydd ffyddlon and Dyma gariad fel y moroedd. One year we had to write and perform our own song. We often won the choir competition because we had the school's best pianist and several people who had musical skills.

At the end of the morning the total scores were announced, the shield presented to the winning choir and we all got a half-day holiday.


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