Daneshill Diary 09/05/14
In the past fortnight, three former pupils have returned to Daneshill as prospective parents. Two of them left before I joined the school but one was a pupil in my early years. In all three cases it was the first time that they have been back since they left.
It is always fascinating to see how animated they become when renewing their acquaintance with familiar haunts albeit that many parts of the school buildings have been upgraded. There are always stories about members of staff fondly remembered for their eccentricities and unique ways of teaching pupils how to learn. In addition there are also accounts of fellow pupils and their achievements beyond Daneshill.
Our school has played a significant part in the lives of many Hampshire families and it is a timely reminder that we are the custodians of a successful legacy that draws people back, and further indication of our need to preserve all the many good things that form childhood memories.
They say that happiness is the key that unlocks so many good things and certainly we want our children to be happy. It is also true to say that hard work seldom goes unrewarded and I rather suspect that many of our childhood memories rather forget how tough things could be at times.
The failure to conjugate Latin verbs could have dramatic consequences that were perhaps pushed to the backs of our minds by our preference to remember the scoring of a winning goal.
I am sure that the endless sunshine of childhood summers must have experienced wet days as well but we can quickly forget such things. Fortunately we have had glimpses of sunshine this week. Cricket, rounders, tennis and golf have happened with the promise of much more to come. I look forward to the School swimming gala on Monday with the certain knowledge that it will not fall victim to the weather and hopefully no one will be too upset about getting soaking wet.
Science in the Spotlight:
Over the Easter holidays, pupils in each year group were invited to produce a piece of work to enter a competition all linked to the theme of "Energy". Every child who entered was awarded two house points and some of the best entries are now on display in the entrance hall.
Year 3 – "Design a presentation menu for the food eaten on one day of the holiday"
Best Entries: Harry Aldred, Emily Baugh, Harrison Cleaver.
Year 4 – "Where do wolves get their energy from?" or "What does your invented animal eat?"
Best Entries: Poppy Evans, Viola Mansfield, Maddie Woodcraft
Year 5 – "Design a recipe for a new meal" – There were lots of very tasty looking ideas for this one but the entries from Annabel Spratt, Jack Pocock, Phoebe Esdaile and Hannah Smith impressed most as they included nutritional analysis. All entrants will be asked to cook their meal next weekend and bring it in to sample on Monday 19th May. We look forward to everyone seeing and, most importantly, tasting each other’s recipes!
Year 6 – "Where does electricity come from?" – We had entries from nearly everyone in Year 6 but those from Harry Hare, Harry Steven, Oliver Beresford-Davies and Amelia Livingstone-Booth were the pick of the bunch.
Years 7&8 – "Write an essay to discuss one of these statements: "Coal, Petrol and Food are really stored sunshine", "Animals need plants more than plants need animals" or "Our modern lifestyle is unsustainable – Heavy stuff! The entries from Elysia Rougier, James Passmore and Matthew Ruffell were the most thorough and well-argued.
This week we welcomed ten, fertile hen’s eggs to the school. Clearly the chicks were keen to get a taste of school life as seven of them hatched overnight, and two the next day. The hatched chicks soon fluffed up and are now busy eating and gaining weight.
News from the Pre-Prep
The children in Reception have been exploring their new topic “Let’s Creep”. The tadpoles have been closely observed as we watch the changes taking place. The children are now able to talk about the lifecycle of a frog. Another minibeast being investigated is the ladybird. We have been gathering information from various sources and have linked topics such as time and feelings to this. We have been out in the grounds gathering these critters, with much joy and excitement! We can’t wait for next week as we turn out attention to ……….Spiders!
In Year 1 the children are enjoying the new topic of Tropical Rainforests. This week we have explored the locations of the tropical rainforests, which led to an interesting discussion about the difference in climate between the UK and equatorial countries.
What an amazing day Year 2 had on Thursday as they donned their medieval costumes and learnt all about what life would have been like living in a castle hundreds of years ago. It was certainly a hands-on day in which History was brought to life. I would like to echo the sentiments of Sir Lionel (Mr Marsh) who acknowledged that it would not have been possible to have so many workstations had it not been for the kind mums and dads who gave up some of their precious time to support the children. Thank you for your support! Mr Marsh, who has been coming to Daneshill for 8 years, also stated how impressed he was with the positive attitude and diligence demonstrated by the children who were all so keen to learn.
‘The Jolly Postman’ has continued his journey around the nursery, involving the children in a variety of activities. These have included sorting by size, story sequencing, cutting and sticking shape houses and ordering by type. The post office continues to be a great success with Mrs Beeching and myself being ‘delivered’ letters and parcels on a regular basis. This topic has concluded with a display of shape houses where some of the children have written their own house names – a very proud moment for us!
Next week we are moving on to ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’. This will be the basis of a topic on healthy eating, sequencing a story, counting and ordering the days of the week. We will also be planting seeds ready for our final topic on flowers and Minibeasts. So much to do and so little time to do it all in…
This week we introduced the sounds /z/ and next week we will move onward to /w/.
Weekly Sports Reports
Sunshine…showers…sunshine…showers; it’s been one of those weeks! The U.10’s were left frustrated on Wednesday when Queen Anne’s made the early decision to cancel their tournament due to ‘forecasted’ heavy rain. Thankfully (for our senior girls) the predicted rain never appeared, which meant our U.13’s and U.11’s were able to play some fixtures against Thorngrove.
After last week’s victories the U.13 teams were full of confidence and played some excellent rounders with big hits and strong fielding. The U.13 B team fielded superbly well, with impressive one handed catches from Carlota Schoendorff, and consistent batting from Eleanor Gullett.
The U.11’s had a great win on Wednesday, scoring 18.5 rounders to Thorngrove’s 15. It was the first game of the season so the girls were raring to go and as Georgia Lea belted the first ball bowled across the field their confidence soared! More big hits and further rounders were scored by Charlotte Wiltshire, Lara Coppen-Gardner, Sienna Fowler, Georgie Brooks Ward, Amelia Livingston Booth and Bella Horsfield. Two fantastic catches were made by Ellen Green, and Issy Thomas played a strong 3rd base. Overall it was a strong performance from the team and an impressive start to the season for the U.11’s.
The U.9 and U.8 rounders teams did fantastically well against St Andrews last Friday (2nd May) for their first games of the season. The U.9 team had a nail biting match but they managed to hold onto their lead, winning 17.5 to 16.5. Due to poor weather, the U.8 teams had not had a great deal of practice but this didn’t deter the notoriously energetic and positive squad. Good fielding by Lilias Hoare Nairne, Eliza Harker and Grace Weedon prevented the opposition scoring many rounders and great batting by Eliza Burgess added points to our tally. The final score was a respectable 4.5 – 8 to St Andrews.
The U.9 and U.8 mixed team had not played together before but they quickly established themselves into a team, which looked like it had played together for a long time. Brilliant fielding by Kayla Whittle at backstop and Grace Ruffell at second base stopped the opposition scoring half rounders, and the whole squad batted really well, particularly Natalia Ivanov and Bella Mogg who despite having not played a great deal of rounders, scored points and demonstrated good decision making. The girls won the game 4.5 – 2.5 – Well done girls!
This week saw the first fixtures of the term as we were lucky enough to get a game in against Holme Grange on Wednesday. The pitches were a little wet which meant turning to an Incrediball. But never the less we got a game in. We also experimented by playing pairs matches at all levels. The advantage being that every player had the opportunity to bat and bowl. I thought it worked well and a mixture of the two types of matches (Pairs and 11 a-side) could be the way forward in terms of catering for all ability levels. The boys enjoyed their cricket and earned themselves some great reward during the matches.