House Traditions and Sports Roundup.

One delightful aspect of concluding the Autumn term in school is the array of opportunities to celebrate Christmas. We eagerly embrace the festive spirit before dispersing to our families, and for many, relishing in the festivities once more. At Wycombe Abbey, we are mindful to also pay attention to the period of Advent and our remarkable Phish and Phire Choir recently orchestrated a pupil-led Advent service during our concluding evensong of the term. This thoughtful approach adds a special touch to our seasonal festivities, fostering a sense of community and reflection during this joyful time.

Traditionally, Advent is a period of prayer and reflection in anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ, God born in the flesh. We reflect on the nativity scene, with Jesus born in a stable, bringing great joy. Gold represents His kingship, frankincense His holiness. We also contemplate myrrh, symbolizing His death and sacrifice for our sins. This period directly correlates with the season of Lent, anticipating the spirit of Christ entering our lives. Therefore, Christmas is a deeply moving and symbolic religious event that we should not forget!

Keeping with tradition, here is how Barry prepares for Christmas. From December 1 until term ends, Barry House experiences one of the most fun and festive times of the term. For the Lower IV’s and new pupils who joined in September, this is a great opportunity to see how we celebrate this festive time of the year. 

In Barry, House mothers and daughters exchange Advent calendars to count down the days to Christmas. Some calendars are traditional, while others feature chocolate, tea, or even a jigsaw puzzle or two. 

Christmas trees, with origins tracing back to Eastern Europe, have been associated with the Christmas celebration since at least the 1500s. Initially adorned with candles to symbolize stars, these trees have evolved over time to include lights, tinsel, and various decorations. In our Barry tradition, LIVs undertake the responsibility of decorating the Christmas tree, and it culminates with the youngest member of the group, Ceci, placing the star at the top, adding a personal touch to our House tradition.

On the last Friday of the term, the House gathers for the annual Christmas movie – the choice for 2023 was “Home Alone,” same as last year, it looks as if we might be on the brink of a new tradition! House staff, with the help of Leanna, made popcorn and hot chocolate for everyone.

Saturday is spent shopping for the dorm feast and sorting out costumes and makeup for the House Party. The House party is coordinated by the Head of House and her team of Lower 6 monitors. Every year group is given a theme for their costumes; LIV (Disney heroes), UIV (Disney Villains); LV 2010 Artists; UV (Aesthetics); L6 (Kardashians), Staff (Narnia). Rahi and Annika described the House party as fun, entertaining, amusing, well-coordinated, and “far superior to the other Houses”- well you’d hope they would say that wouldn’t you. Flo and Natalie described House party as memorable and full of community spirit. Well done, Mons. A great end to Saturday night.

Sunday is dominated by the House Christmas lunch and the Fourth Form and Seniors Carol Service. Lunch was scrumptious – Chef Paul and his team did an amazing job. The girls entertained themselves during each course – playing charades and Heads-Up. Christmas crackers are always a favourite, with the small toy, paper crown, and joke bringing so much joy. Fun fact – Christmas crackers were first created in London around 1846.

The Christmas Carol service was a beautiful occasion, embracing traditional hymns and readings; filling the chapel with warmth and joy uniting the School community in the spirit of the season.

On behalf of Barry House, I would like to wish you and your family a blessed and joyous festive holiday.

Sports Round-Up by House Captains – Issy and Cosima

Traditionally the end of term also brings with our “Funals” which mark the end of that term’s House Games activities. The whole term has been an eventful one for Barry’s sportswomen. The 2nd Team emerged victorious in the house netball competition, showcasing exceptional teamwork and a positive attitude. Meanwhile, the House 1st team secured a commendable 6th place in the fiercely competitive Finals. The UIVs demonstrated their talent, claiming 3rd place in the House Dance competition. The support and Barry blue in the crowds have been brilliant.

On the lacrosse field, Barry fiercely battled, for 5th place in the playoffs against Campbell. Individual achievements shone brightly with notable successes in swimming, fencing, and badminton. Many Barry girls have branched out and tried new sports during House games, such as rugby, volleyball, and trampolining.

The coming term will commence with the House cross-country competition and the fun run, and we hope that all who are new to Barry enjoy it.