RSA Cup 2016 – and the winner is…

For the second consecutive year, students across the RSA Family of Academies competed for the RSA Cup on Friday 1 July, with Holyhead School the reigning champions. Before the final round, the four teams faced each other in an elimination round consisting of quick fire questions. Quick thinking and accuracy were the characteristics that would prove essential, for the two teams with the highest scores would secure a place in the final, whilst the remaining two would say farewell to any hope of winning this year.

And so the four teams sat in the spotlight three times, Whitley, Tipton, Holyhead, and the new entrants Church Hill teaming up with Arrow Vale and Ipsley to make Team Redditch, mustered their intellectual capacity in hope of reaching the final. Roisin Ellison and Georgina Chatfield, RSA elimination round quizmasters, rattled off a series of challenging general knowledge questions. The calibre of students were high, with correct answers to and fro, not one team taking a decisive lead.

Time favoured Tipton and Team Redditch – despite showing a deep and wide breadth of knowledge, Whitley and Holyhead narrowly missed out. After this, we were treated to a performance of music from students at Holyhead, which energised the teams for the final push and allowed the audience to relax from such an intense elimination round!

Before taking charge of the final round, Matthew Taylor kindly offered students the chance to ask questions about the EU referendum result, offering a level of insight accumulated from experience working in politics. The students from the RSA Family of Academies really appreciated this opportunity and asked thought-provoking questions, proof of the intellectual curiosity being nurtured within our schools.

For the final round, questions were divided into 8 topics: music, film, art, sport, history, science, geography and a picture round. Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, looked eagerly through the question sheet as the atmosphere at Holyhead School buzzed with excitement and anticipation. The difficulty of questions had increased, both teams tactically preferring to confer before answering a question. As round one completed, the score was at 130 to Tipton, 120 to Redditch, with no clear winner – tension filled the room.

The beginning of round two saw Redditch fight back. Then, with a burst of correct answers making use of all the team’s knowledge, Tipton went into the lead. As final scores were totalled, the audience were now treated to a spectacular dance performance form Holyhead students. As the audience clapped the dancers off stage, the results had been finalised and a new winner would be announced. RSA Academy Tipton had won the RSA Cup 2016, with the score 250 to Redditch and 320 to Tipton.

It was a tremendous effort from the Redditch team who have made it to the final twice in two years. But congratulations to Tipton who performed consistently well throughout the tournament and are deserved winners.

Dale Holt, team captain of the winning side stated: “It is just as great to win as it does to feel part of and RSA group”

Whilst RSA Academies Programme Manager and quizmaster Georgina Chatfield was full of praise: “Students had to work across year groups, listen to each other, think quickly under pressure – and get to that bell first. Well done everyone.”

Finally Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, commented on the importance of the Cup:

“It was great to be quizmaster again, it’s a wonderful combination of testing young peoples’ knowledge and having a good time. It’s great to see children and young people from across the RSA family mingling together so positively – and we all got to delight in music and contemporary dance performances from our hosts, Holyhead School. Congratulations to everyone who took part.”

The schools across the Family have another chance to put their students to the test next year for the RSA Cup 2017, hosted by the new champions, RSA Academy – we’re looking forward to it already!