Orange and Black are not just Ensworth’s school colors; they are the basis of a long-standing spirited tradition that dates back to the 1960s. When students are in Grade 1 at Ensworth, they are assigned to the Orange or Black team, and they remain an “Orange” or “Black” throughout their time at the Lower/Middle School. Family members are always assigned to the same team, adding a generational element to the tradition.
Grandparents Day was first held at Ensworth in May of 1970. It was started at the suggestion of the Board of Trustees that it was important to have “a specific day set aside for the purpose of inviting the grandparents to visit the school to observe how it functions during a working day.” The first Grandparents Day was so successful that Headmaster Esty Foster agreed it should be made an annual event.
The House Competitions at the high school campus began in the 2008-2009 school year. The house names—Morality, Truth, Vitality, and Integrity—were drawn from the Mission and Vision Statements and were decided upon by the students. Students are assigned to a house at the beginning of their Grade 9, remaining in those houses for the rest of their time at the high school. At the beginning of the year, each house elects two senior captains, a male and female. These captains help create activities throughout the year, and they lead their team during Spirit Week and help build spirit within the student body.
Excursions into the community have always been a part of Ensworth’s program. Whether it be a trip to Cheekwood or Washington, D.C., students participate in off-campus trips to complement their learning in the classroom. All excursions provide opportunities for students to bond with fellow students and faculty members. Through exposure to new environments and activities, students expand their horizons and challenge their perspectives. Through these shared experiences, classes learn to work together and relate book-learning to real life.
The Book Signing has been a tradition at the high school campus since the opening of its doors. It is the first official ceremony students take part in when entering the high school. Students line up outside of Founders Hall in alphabetical order, waiting for the Dean of Students to call their name to enter. Upon entrance to Founders Hall, students walk up to the podium and receive the signing pen from the Dean of Admissions. Students’ names are read aloud as they sign, and they shake hands with the Head of the High School and the Head of School. Students then proceed through the hallway, which is lined with faculty cheering them on and congratulating them. Once the signing is done, everyone convenes at the opening assembly.
Each senior at Ensworth is tasked with creating a senior tile. This program provides each senior with a unique and creative opportunity to leave his or her artistic mark on the High School Campus. Seniors can design their tile with their initials or a design that represents their personality and their time at Ensworth.
The first Pancake Breakfast was held in April 1981. The Grade 8 students decided that the breakfast would be their class project to help raise funds for the class gift to the school, to be presented at their graduation ceremony. The students cooked and served the meal themselves, helping to feed six hundred people in two hours.
Both the Lower/Middle school and High School campuses enjoy spirit-building activities during the year. The Lower/Middle School has four Spirit Days throughout the year. And the High School Campus takes part in a Spirit Week each spring. These spirit activities are designed to bring the school together and encourage healthy competition among the student body.