Daneshill Diary 12/06/15

Headmaster’s Notes

Yesterday afternoon at the summit of Snowdon our Year 8 pupils completed the Three Peaks Challenge. At the same time they were all told that they had successfully passed their 13+ entry to their first choice of senior schools. Many of them had already climbed their own academic mountains to achieve grades that were beyond their wildest expectations at the start of the academic year. Without singling out individuals the results have been of the highest standard and the pupils can be extremely proud of their achievements. The significance of completing the Three Peaks Challenge is yet a further indication of the togetherness of a group of children who are outstanding ambassadors for Daneshill School. Our list of Year 8 pupils and their senior schools is as follows:

Emily Bloom               Bradfield College

Bella Bullen               Marlborough College

George Craven         Harrow School

Ben Flynn                  Sherfield School

Ella Heffner                Canford School

Charlie Miller               Lord Wandsworth College

James Passmore        Winchester College

Billy Pocock                Canford School

Elysia Rougier             Marlborough College

Matthew Ruffell          Bradfield College

Joshua Selby              Bradfield College

Holly Smith                  Marlborough College

Alex Spiers                 Pangbourne College

Jessica Weedon         Queen Anne’s School

Megan Weedon           Queen Anne’s School

Grace Woodcraft         St. Gabriel’s School

Libby Yeoman              St. Mary’s Calne

During residential week all of the pupils in Years 5 – 8 have been away as well as fourteen members of staff. By the same token the other half of the school has been left behind to enjoy having the school to themselves. Both options require an extraordinary amount of planning and organisation plus the commitment of dedicated staff who generously appreciate the value that such experiences bring to the pupils at Daneshill. The staff left behind have fulfilled all of the everyday tasks that are necessary for the school to function. In addition they have provided ‘outside of the box’ opportunities which the pupils have relished on sunny days here in Hampshire.

Mr Webster has played a significant part in organising these programmes both at home and away and he has been supported by staff who have become specialists in leading pupil activity weeks. Congratulations and a heartfelt thanks to them all!

Mr Spencer

Year 4

This week Year 4 have been supporting ‘National School Grounds’ week and have immersed themselves in the main theme for the week, which has been pollination. Despite all of Years 5-8 being away on residentials there has certainly been a buzz of enthusiasm around the school. The children have taken part in art lessons painting their own bumblebee paper weights and have created pollinator mobiles which they researched during their ICT lessons. We have heard children singing Bill Bailey’s ‘Insect nation’ song through the corridors of the school after their music lesson whilst also relaxing to the sounds of Tchaikovsky’s the ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ as they composed their own poems in English. 

The whole year group took part in a National bug hunt on Monday afternoon after which we submitted our results online. Our data, as well as those from other participating schools around the country, will help to monitor species numbers in Britain so that scientists can build up a clearer picture of population numbers. We also used the data we collected to study, analyse and draw bar graphs in maths.

In Science, the children have been finding out what pollination actually is and why it is so important. The recent and rapid decline of the bumblebee is causing great concern so we have looked at why bumblebees are such good pollinators and have compared and contrasted the honey bee with the bumblebee. They have also all qualified as bumblebee first aiders!

If all of this wasn’t enough we have managed to squeeze in Inter-house rounders and cricket, an athletics masterclass with an International decathlete, a walk and a splash about in the river on the Wellington Estate as well as the Year 4 swimming gala!

Mrs Blomfield

News from the Pre-Prep

The pupils in Reception have been extremely busy this week. We have been learning and writing about transport. Now we can all write sentences by ourselves. We have started making wooden boats and have sanded down our wood and drilled a hole for our mast and sail. What fun!

In Year 1 this week the children have developed their confidence to speak aloud by performing a class assembly in front of the Pre-Prep children and teachers. They shared their knowledge about the tropical rainforests and enjoyed showing off their half-term research. The children continue to develop their knowledge of tropical rainforests by reading a selection of factual books and have been learning about the different layers of the rainforest. They were keen to record these facts in their writing books.

The Year 2 children have excelled themselves this week with some fabulous creative writing in History. They were set the challenge of imagining how it might feel to be in Crimean War as Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole or a British soldier. Some of the reports written were so moving with such compassion and thought. Congratulations children and I am pleased to report that every single one of you has earned a house point!

Pre-Prep Teachers

Nursery Corner

We have had a lovely week in the Nursery with Miss Flood joining us for its entirety which has been enjoyed by all! Preparation for sports day continues with the children all having a chance to show off their speedy running. Mrs Doyle has been working them hard and many of the children have been practising in our garden too. It is such a special day for all and we look forward to seeing you on 26th June.

Our sound of the week has been ‘v’ and many of the children did some fabulous, independent work about animals.

The glorious weather on Thursday was perfect for our Elderflower collection and all the children had a chance to cut the Elderflowers and stir them too – even those children not here will get a chance to do that next week too as it needs to be left for five days. Please can we ask that each child brings in an empty, named, small plastic water bottle for taking some of the cordial home.

Mrs Beeching

Sporting Fixtures
Boys:                                                                           Girls:
TENNIS                                                                         TENNIS
Monday 8th June                                                          Monday 8th June
U.9 / U.8                                  W 4 – 2                          U.9 / U.8                                  W 4 – 1
                                                                                   Tuesday 9th June
                                                                                     U.9 / U.8                                  W 70 – 60

International decathlete, Ben Hazell, came to Daneshill this week to conduct an athletics masterclass for all the pupils in Years 3 and 4. Mr Hazell has been training as a decathlete for over 10 years and has over 16 international caps so to say the children were in awe of him is an understatement!

The children were put through their paces and spent the morning running, jumping hurdles and trying as many different events as possible. As you can imagine all the children were incredibly enthusiastic and were thrilled to be in the presence of one of Great Britain’s best decathletes. It was a truly inspiring and memorable day for all the children in Year 3 and 4.                                                                                              

On Wednesday afternoon the Year 3 and 4 girls came together on a gorgeous sunny afternoon to compete in the inter-house rounders competition. The team spirit and enthusiasm was evident throughout all the matches and it was lovely to see how much the girls have taken on board all the coaching they have had this term. The results were as follows:

4th place – Blue house

3rd place – Green house

2nd place – Red house

1st place – Yellow house

The Year 3 and 4 boys were unfortunately unable to conclude their inter-house cricket. The final, which will be played before the end of term, will see Green play Red with Blue and Yellow competing in a third place play off.

Mrs Blomfield