You are here: Home > Headteacher’s Blog > Quizzy Rascals

Quizzy Rascals

It’s that time of year again – the Headteacher’s Quiz – but with so many things to consider, preparing the questions is not as straightforward as you might think…

Firstly, things have to be pitched right. I went to one quiz at a local independent school where the quizmaster came up with questions so fiendishly difficult that everyone gave up. I think this is the only time I was reduced to cheating, simply to avoid further humiliation. On the other hand, pitch it too easy and it gets a bit boring. Getting 10 out of 10 isn’t so satisfying when everyone gets 10 out of 10.

Then there’s the theme of each round, where a local round seems to work quite well. Having exhausted Highgate trivia, this year it might be the turn of East Finchley – where some brilliant questions can be generated. My favourite so far is, ‘Which talk show host was born at East Finchley tube station during an air raid?’ If you get this one right, it’s fair reward for reading my blog.

As a primary school teacher, I think it’s important to cater for individual learning styles; visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. The tasting round has proved popular in the past with crisps, spices and fruit juice challenging contestant’s taste buds. The cheese round nearly started a riot with contestants furious when it was revealed that the gruyere was in fact a mature compté. Picture rounds are good for giving my voice a rest, although saying ‘Where in the world is this?’ ten times in a row, can become a bit repetitive.

The music round is a favourite, where each year a musician is hand-picked from the school’s multi-talented musical community to provide the questions. Last year’s saxophone solo round, played by Dr Sax himself worked very well and ‘Baker Street’ has never sounded better. With Alex’s guitar and Michael’s piano used up, this year’s performer for ‘beat the intro’ is a closely guarded secret – so much so that not even I know who it is. If any musician reading this blog happens to play free on Friday evening, please let me know.

Then there are the rules and code of conduct to sort out, with the ongoing problem of the internet. The rule of having points deducted for phone usage is unpopular as parents feel it unfair to be penalised for checking in with the baby sitter. This year I’ll work on our collective conscience with the message, ‘you’re only cheating yourself’.

With the stakes so high, there are always a few contestants who can get a bit argumentative when they know the quizmaster’s answer is clearly wrong. Here I use the catch-all that my answer is the correct answer, even if it’s wrong. The house always wins.

Generally speaking, the Headteacher’s quiz is a test of who knows the same things as me, so knowledge of cricket, dogs and ice cream is an advantage. This year I started preparing a round based on famous people called ‘Horace’, but this was aborted – there aren’t any.

Do come along on Friday, 7.30 in the hall, you know you want to!

William