Daneshill Diary 07/03/14

Headmaster’s Notes

One of the most pleasant tasks of a Headmaster is having the opportunity to talk with pupils who are shortly to be interviewed by colleagues at senior schools.  The interview process is very much part of the pre-testing routine favoured by an increasing number of independent schools. Daneshill pupils are an excellent advertisement for the school, and in my opinion are very much “proof of the pudding”

The secret of any initial preparation for interviews has to be encouraging children to have the confidence to just be themselves.  Most senior colleagues will have met a significant number of preparatory school pupils and can quickly spot the programed individual with rehearsed responses. I always advise the pupils that whilst it is necessary to imagine what sort of things they are most likely to be asked so that they are not thrown by anything too unexpected, just think for a while before answering.

We are never too old to brush up on our interview techniques and most days of the week I am meeting prospective parents many of whom come prepared with a whole list of questions, which thankfully are not usually too difficult to answer.  Today, however, I was asked an extraordinary question, which I had never been asked before.  I will leave you to deliberate what it might have been!

Practice what you preach might be an appropriate response but thankfully most Daneshill pupils are much more adept at dealing with tricky situations and I am pretty sure they will always have a much better answer for the unexpected as well!

Mr Simon Spencer

Records of Achievement

This half term, children in Years 5, 6 and 7 will receive a Record of Achievement folder.  This is the ideal place to store all of their certificates and reports.  The folders will be kept at home and brought into school on request.  I really hope that the children are excited about keeping this record up-to-date, as it will provide a treasured memory of their time at Daneshill when they come to look back on it in future years. 

The document will help us too, especially in terms of keeping informed of your child’s wider interests and achievements (including those out of school – e.g. awards from Pony Club/skiing lessons/climbing competitions etc.) and writing references for their next school, when the time comes.  It is also a good idea for the children to keep a list in the folder of any achievements which may not have resulted in an award, for example captaining a winning team, scoring a hat trick or being voted onto the School Council.

Mrs Rebecca Moore

World Book Day

World Book Day is yet another Daneshill event which took my breath away! The imagination and efforts of every single pupil was astonishing and there was a magnificent array of characters on display. I very much hope this proves how much everyone enjoys reading! Inevitably, the judging was incredibly difficult – how do you choose the best and runner up in every class, and harder still, an overall winner from such strong contenders? After much discussion I can, however, confirm that the prize winners were:

Runners Up     Year 3              Alex Harker as The Iron Man
                        Year 4              Lili Bryant as Pippi Longstocking
                        Year 5              Cameron Spiers as Mr Bump
                        Year 6              Angus Leech as Willy Wonka
                        Year 7              Ben Flynn as Gangsta Granny
                        Year 8              Daniel, Alex, Sam & Matthew as The Musketeers.
Best in Show   Nursery            Lucinda Taylor as Tiddler
                        Rec                  Martha Moore as The Mad Hatter
                        Year 1              Alfie Esdaile as Wilfred & Hugo Liddiard as Mr Strong
Year 2              Tabitha Lorenz as Kasper, Dominic Wynne-Williams as Willy Wonka & Sam Lloyd as Flat Stanley
Year 3              Lilias Hoare-Nairne as It
                        Year 4              Annabelle Edgington as Thorin
                        Year 5              Hannah Smith as Mr Tickle
                        Year 6              William Wyatt as Captain Underpants
                        Year 7              Matthew Ruffell as Mr Stink
                        Year 8              Charlie, Carlota, Lauren & Kitty as Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Overall Winner                        Grace Ruffell as Miss Root of the Demon Dentist by David Walliams
Mrs Suzy Dixon
Request from the Science Department


Mr Mikurenda has made a request for donations of the following for science activities next term:

·         Large ice-cream tubs

·         Margarine tubs

·         Tabloid-size newspapers.

Please can any of the above be brought into school and left just inside the Science Lab.

Daneshill Equestrian Team

On Sunday, eight girls travelled (with Mums, Dads and Granddad) to Merrist Wood to take part in Bradfield’s inter-prep school show jumping competition.  This was quite an event and saw most pony and rider competitors facing their biggest ever course of scary coloured fences in a huge indoor arena, complete with mirrors and a viewing gallery.  The pressure was on.  Nerves were racing, with Mr Brooks Ward quipping “this is worse than commentating on the Olympics!” and Mrs Moore running round dishing out rescue remedy pastilles.  All credit to the girls and their four-legged friends, who all took a deep breath and went for it – some at quite a cracking pace.  Sighs of relief were breathed all round each time a pair completed the course safely. 

In the first class, three out of four riders scored impressive double clears, meaning we took 4th place as a team – well done Flic, Poppy, Issy and Olivia.  The second class was a significant step-up for most ponies, and some put in naughty stops, though Poppy rode a lovely clear round.  Things got really serious in the third class but the standard of riding was very pleasing to see; Emily and Jess rode impressive clears while whizzy Talulla just had one pole down.  In the final class, on the day only Talulla took on the challenge of this huge (1.05m) course, with her pony again just gaining four faults.  Phew!  What a great day out.  Many thanks to all our supporters – I hope we can enter more competitions soon – we certainly have plenty of talent. 

Mrs Rebecca Moore

News from the Pre-Prep

The notice boards for each year group in the Pre-Prep are now up and running, to help inform the parents of what the children are doing each week. Please have a look to see how busy we all are. If parents have any concerns about the curriculum or worries about their child’s progress please do not hesitate to arrange a meeting with their child’s form tutor after school.

There are two dates for parents evening towards the end of this term, when the parents will be able to look in detail at their child’s work.

Miss Bridget Bull

Nursery Corner

Well what a surprise we had – the Smartest Giant visited us last week leaving his enormous foot prints all over the playground – the children thought that he must have used the swimming pool as a bath and then walked across the playground to get back on the road! What excitement we had seeing how many of us could fit in one footprint as well as comparing how many steps it took him to cross the playground compared to us. So due to popular demand he has made a return this week only this time he must have come the other way – he obviously needed another bath! It is amazing how much fun you can have with Maths even at this age and also what brilliant and imaginative young minds we have the pleasure of spending time with here in the Nursery!

Next week we are going to be looking at the people who help us at school and in our communities.

Miss Kate Flood

Sporting Fixtures
Boys                                                                                     Girls:
RUGBY TERM                                                                        HOCKEY TERM
Wednesday 5th March                                                         Wednesday 5th March
First XII vs. St Neot’s                            L 10 – 25                   U11 A vs. Thorngrove               D 0 – 0
Colts A vs. St Neot’s                             W 36 – 14                 U11 B vs. Thorngrove               L 1 – 3
Colts B vs. St Neot’s                              W 55 – 35                U10 A vs. St Joseph’s                W 3 – 0
                                                                                              U10 B vs. St Joseph’s                L 1 – 2
Friday 7th March                                                              Friday 7th March 
U9 vs. St Neot’s                                     L 2 – 11              NETBALL
U8 A vs. St Neot’s                                 D 16 – 16            U8 A vs. The Oratory                W 9 – 0
U8 B vs. St Neot’s                                 D 11 – 11            U8 B vs. The Oratory                W 4 – 1
U8 C vs. St Neot’s                                 L 12 – 16

Weekly Sports Reports

Fourteen courageous Daneshill athletes travelled to Queen Anne’s School on Saturday 1st March to take part in the Queen Anne’s Biathlon Challenge.   The girls from years 5, 6 and 7 were required to swim a timed heat in the pool across a distance of 250m, followed by a 1km cross country run, with little time to rest in-between. There were over 100 girls competing in the competition from 13 local Schools. 

The Daneshill team did incredibly well and showed fantastic team spirit. It was lovely to see such camaraderie from the girls. They supported and encouraged each other the whole way, really spurring their team mates on with positivity and praise, and with lots of hugs at the finish line! I think a few of the less confident performers surprised themselves with their results so I hope they can gain confidence from this. Many thanks to Mrs Barnes for her help in the pool and it was fabulous to see so many parents there too. The final placings are yet to be confirmed by Queen Anne’s but one result given on the day was for Holly Smith who achieved 4th place overall in the U12 category, a wonderful achievement. 

The U10 A had a good week on the hockey pitch as they achieved a convincing win against St Joseph’s with a score of 3-0 on Wednesday. The skills and tactics practiced in lessons are beginning to really show as the team dominated play up and down the pitch, creating many goal scoring opportunities. The U10 B team played brilliantly and had a close game but were very unlucky to lose 1-2 at the final whistle. The U11’s played at Thorngrove and had tough games against their strong squads. The A team fought hard and managed to hold onto a draw whilst the B team unfortunately lost 3-1.           

Miss Kate O’Neill

This week has seen a variation to the norm. On Friday 28th February the Year 2 boys had their first ever inter-school match. We got in a coach and went off to Papplewick School to play football. The boys were very excited and having practiced everything the previous day from the bus trip to changing, we were very prepared! The matches were competitive and some budding young Daneshill stars emerged. Two draws ensued as the Red team drew 1-1 and the Blue team drew 0-0. It was great first experience.

In the prep school we were able to consistently train on the grass for the first time in a while. This meant a nice build up to the fixtures against St Neots. Wednesday was, for once, a sunny day and the conditions made for some good rugby from all year groups. The Colts had a couple of good wins and the First XII fought really hard in the second half, and displayed their defensive qualities and spirit. All of the boys should be very proud of their efforts this week.

Mr Scott Baldwin