Daneshill Diary 04/10/13

Headmaster’s Notes

I am extremely pleased to announce that we are reinstating the traditional celebration of Harvest Festival and that Reverend Tara Hellings, formerly a teacher of Music and Latin at Daneshill, will be returning in her new role to lead this service. You can read details below of how parents and pupils can best support this worthy initiative.

As we grow older we become more conscious of the changing seasons and their importance to the cycle of our lives. Sometimes we may even feel that we have experienced all four seasons in one day (with apologies to all Crowded House fans!) but autumn is always a particular favourite of mine, not least of all because it heralds the start of the new academic year and the endless possibility of positive change. Having just experienced an exceptionally warm summer period we immediately become conscious of the consequences of the lack of rainfall and how dependent we are on the forces of nature. In the past week we have celebrated National Poetry Day, which was based on the theme of water, and many pupils picked up on this idea as well as the metaphorical way in which water represents life.

The symbolism of fruitful and abundant crops reminds us of those less fortunate than ourselves, even those closer to home who still experience a lack of food. We do support a number of charities throughout the year, and I am happy to announce the total donations that have been made to the charities listed below:

Jeans for Genes £450

Macmillan £538

Kids Kidney Research £2000


Mr Simon Spencer

Harvest Festival – Friday 11th October

We will be holding a traditional Harvest Festival in school on Friday 11th October.  We are very excited to welcome back Reverend Tara Hellings who will lead a full school service (all children from Nursery – Year 8) in the Sports Hall.  This service will start at 9am, so please ensure that Pre-Prep children are dropped off in good time.

We are supporting a local charity, Launchpad, which helps some of Reading’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged people to turn their lives around and fulfil their potential.  The charity began over 30 years ago by running a single soup kitchen; now they work to provide accommodation, support, education and counselling to people in the town who need help. 

We are asking each child to bring in a small offering of tinned or non-perishable food (nut-free please) that we will deliver to Launchpad.  Fresh food will also be gratefully received, though you will appreciate that this has a short shelf-life.  It would be very helpful if children could bring their donation in to school on Thursday 10th, in advance of the service.

Miss Rebecca Swyer

Nut Free School

I would like to take this opportunity to remind parents that we have a significant number of pupils at the school with nut allergies. In some extreme cases exposure to even the smallest traces of nuts could potentially cause life-threatening reactions. Whilst we work extremely hard to protect pupils from any form of contamination whilst they are at school, we do rely on the full support of parents to ensure that nothing is sent in to school that would contravene this good practice.                                                                              

Mr Simon Spencer

News from the Pre-Prep

We have been busy, busy, busy in the Pre-Prep this week! Having been blessed with some wonderful weather, the children have enjoyed some great playtimes out in the sunshine. The changing seasons have inspired us to create a new hall display so all the children are busy painting, drawing, cutting and sticking beautiful autumnal pictures. We hope these will be on display in time for our first parents’ evening next Thursday.                                                                   

Miss Bridget Bull

Nursery Corner

The children have all thoroughly enjoyed our role-play this week which has included the ‘baby’ dolls and dressing up. As you can imagine, the corner has been filled with girls wearing crowns and princess dresses! Don’t despair as the boys have also enjoyed dressing up as firemen and Thomas the Tank Engine whilst building train tracks that run the length of the nursery.

We continue to extend the Viking group’s knowledge of sounds through a variety of activities. They would be more than delighted to show you different objects at home that start with the sounds /s/, /a/, /t/ and /p/.

With autumn leaves now falling outdoors the children are excitedly running around trying to catch them before they reach the ground. Next week we are going to talk about that perennial favourite, ‘the hedgehog’.

Miss Kate Flood

The Magic Paintbrush

The theme running through assemblies at the start of term was adventure. The children have been encouraged to be daring, to try new things and to push themselves to their limit. This week the focus has shifted to creativity, and in Monday’s assembly I read the children my favourite childhood story, ‘The Magic Paintbrush.’  I think, as adults, we can easily forget the power of simple story books. I was surprised to see just how captivated they all were as the slideshow of scanned images from the book played out on the projector as I read. More surprised, however, were the children, when I informed them that they would each have a magic paintbrush waiting for them in their pencil case when they returned to class. The story of the book is of a girl called Shen who finds a magic paintbrush that will turn anything she paints to real life and her battle with the evil emperor who demands that she paints him a tree of gold coins. You can imagine the excitement stirring in the room at the prospect! The message, of course, was that the ordinary brushes, pens or pencils the children own are, in fact, magic as they can create drawings, music, poems and formulas that hadn’t previously existed 5 minutes beforehand. The children all left the hall in anticipation, ready to cast their spells!

Mr Andy Webster

Sporting Fixtures

Boys (vs. St Francis)                                               Girls

U.13                             W 9 – 2                                    U.13 A vs. Yateley Manor                                  W 7 – 3

U.11 A                          W 3 – 1                                    U.13 A vs. Edgeborough                                   D 5 – 5

U.11 B                          W 5 – 3                                    U.13 B vs. Yateley Manor U.13A                        L 0 – 8

U.10 A                          W 6 – 0                                    U.13 B vs. Edgeborough U.13A                         L 1 – 18

U.10 B                          D 0 – 0                                      U.11 A vs. St Joseph’s College                          W 6 – 1

                                                                                      U.11 B vs. St Joseph’s College                          W 11 – 1

From Friday 27th September

U.9 A vs. Dolphin         W 10 – 1

U.8 A vs. Dolphin         W 8 – 0

U.8 B vs. Dolphin         W 6 – 1

Daneshill pupils are utilising our fantastic swimming pool this term and the squads for the school teams (years 4-8) are up-and-running. Coach Mr Turner is spending time on adapting stroke technique into an ‘Olympic style’ so we’re looking forward to seeing some exciting things in the pool in the next few weeks.

We have had a good week on the netball courts with the U13 teams playing a triangular fixture on Wednesday. The A team were victorious against a strong Yateley Manor side, clinching a brilliant win of 7-3. They also drew with a previously unbeaten Edgeborough squad with a score of 5-5: a truly brilliant result.

The U11 teams were also triumphant against St Joseph’s College this week with the A team winning 6-1 and the B’s securing a superb 11-0 victory.

The boys have had an enjoyable week in which we have focused our training on defensive techniques, teaching the boys not to simply jump at the ball but rather hold off their man and shepherd them to towards the touchline. I am pleased to see that this has seen some real improvements on match day.

Match play and match awareness are starting to click into place as our defence is combining with some wonderful attacking play at all levels. We have had an extraordinary number of hatrick scorers this week, and a big well done goes to all of the boys who have contributed to those goals. It was great to see Aleks Dekic proud as punch to receive those hard earned cookies and even better to see him sharing out his prize with his team! A big well done to all the boys this week. We play Papplewick and Dolphin next week, two tough schools, so fingers crossed the hard work in lessons can pay off!

Mr Scott Baldwin & Miss Kate O’Neill

National Poetry Day: Inter-House Poetry Competition

Thursday 7th October was National Poetry Day and, naturally, Daneshill celebrated it in style! Every child from Year 3 – Year 8 had studied a poem in their English lesson on the theme of water. This inspired them all to write a poem of their own.

Most pupils chose to enter the Inter-House Competition and there was a phenomenal standard of entries. These imaginative and exciting poems were very hard to judge, but we finally came up with a winner for each year group, an overall individual winner (Libby Yeoman, Year 7) and a winning house (Austen House – Green).

These poems were all read out in our Poetry Day Assembly on Thursday to celebrate the day as well as the Daneshill talent. Many thanks to everyone for getting so involved and working so hard.

Mrs Suzy Dixon

Droplet School

Top of the world, ice meets the sky

Nothing is moving, not even a fly

“Hello,” said the droplet, I’m looking for some friends

Who’ll race down the mountain and all around the bends.

I’m all alone now but that doesn’t have to be

If the sun melts your grip and you come along with me

We’ll join together forming ribbons on our way

If you want some fun then “Yes” is what you’ll say.

The more friends we have the faster we will go

Speeding away from the glassy white snow

Tumbling together, spinning round and round

Forming channels in the rock as we race on down.

We’ll laugh like thunder as we bounce left and right

And chase the mystic rainbows, shimmering bright

What’s at the end of them? I bet you want to know

We’ll soon find out and then off we’ll go!

We’ll race off the cliff edge in a heart-stopping rush

Then fly through the air with a certain kind of hush

Below you’ll see a bubbling, burbling pool

But no need to worry, it’s only Droplet School!


By Libby Yeoman, Year 7