Daneshill Diary 15/05/15

Headmaster’s Notes

On Tuesday evening we hosted a Senior School surgery and welcomed St. Swithun’s and Wellington College.  Mrs Jane Gandee, Headmistress of St. Swithun’s, was accompanied by Mrs Kate Cairns her Registrar. Wellington College was founded 150 years ago in memory of the Duke of Wellington. In the year that marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, it was fitting for the school to be represented at a meeting just a short distance from Stratfield Saye Estate. Mr James Dahl, Director of Admissions and Marketing, was the speaker on the night.

It was a hugely informative evening that gave a great insight into both schools whilst also initiating a debate about the relative values of single sex (girls) versus co-educational education. It was inspiring to note how passionate all three speakers were about education in general.

I would urge all parents to support these evenings as they are both thought provoking and informative. We are very fortunate to have such impressive individuals who are prepared to give up their valuable time to visit Daneshill.

Continuing with the theme of secondary schools, I am pleased to report that Felicity Young (6), Isla Rattray (6) and Stanley Jiang (6) have passed the first stage of their pre-test to Wellington College. Sienna Fowler (7) has been offered a place at St Mary’s Calne and Bradfield College. Sam Jefferson (6) and Oliver James (6) have also been offered places at Bradfield College. Well done to you all!

Mr Spencer

Music & Drama

The Drama and Music department would like to thank the generosity of the Friends of Daneshill for investing in a brand new set of lights for the school. Year 4 have a concert in the new drama studio next week and are all very excited to be the first to use the new lights. The lights are a fantastic addition to the department and we are all hugely grateful.

Momentum is gathering towards one of the most anticipated events of the calendar year; the inter-house singing competition. Houses are frantically rehearsing their songs and eager to hear what the other houses are going to sing. We are looking forward to welcoming Mr. Mountford from Bradfield College to adjudicate our competition.

Mr Soper

News from the Pre-Prep

This week in Reception we have been learning all about our eight legged arachnid friend – the spider! We have learnt lots of interesting facts by looking at different non-fiction books. We were amazed that they have up to eight eyes and that baby spiderlings come from an egg. We made a spider hat and acted out catching flies in our webs. We wrote all about spiders and some of us even wrote a whole page! We have also enjoyed making models of bugs using clay and craft materials.

The children in Year 1 had a fantastic day at ‘The Living Rainforest’ on Tuesday. Whilst exploring the environment, the children saw and learnt about many tropical rainforest plants and animals. The children experienced what a tropical rainforest would feel like and used words such as, steamy, hot, rainy and humid. When they returned to school the children were buzzing with excitement and keen to share the experience of what they had learnt with each other.

There is huge excitement in Year 2 about presenting a ‘Geography Talk’ on a chosen country. Both classes have been thrilled to hear their friends talk about a wide range of countries so far, ranging from Singapore to Germany, the Bahamas to Antarctica! The children have risen to the challenge of sharing some fascinating facts with their friends and on occasions sharing some delicious food to taste. Each child has understandably been a little nervous but once the talk is over and they have answered some questions and listened to their friends pay them compliments, you can see each and every one of them physically grow taller with pride. Very well done so far Year 2 and we are really excited about the all the talks still to come!

Pre-Prep Teachers

Nursery Corner

We seem to have had a week of all weathers. Some days the children have been enjoying the sunshine and warmth in shorts and T-shirts, whilst others they have been back in water proof trousers, coats and wellies. Can I take this opportunity to remind the parents of those children who swim that any practice the children can have of dressing and undressing by themselves is of huge benefit!

We continue with our African animal theme and we would welcome any books from home that are relevant to our topic. Allowing the children to talk through their story of choice is fantastic and provides them with a sense of involvement too. We have been using the internet to find examples of how well some animals are camouflaged and have talked about how important it is for these animals to blend into their surroundings. We have also been listening to the Lion King music!

This week we learnt the ‘z’ sound, with the writing rhyme ‘zig, zag, zip’ to help with formation. 

Have a wonderful weekend and see you all next week.

Mrs Beeching

Sporting Fixtures
Boys:                                                                               Girls:
CRICKET TERM                                                                  ROUNDERS
Wednesday 13th May                                                       Wednesday 13th May
U.13 A vs. Horris Hill                W by 5 wkts                     U.13 A vs. St Neot’s                  W 11 – 9.5
U.13 B vs. Horris Hill                L by 20 runs                     U.13 B vs. Cheam                      L 13 – 20
Colts A vs. Horris Hill               L by 11 runs                     U.11 A vs. St. Neot’s                  W 8 – 4                        
Colts B vs. Horris Hill                L by 48 runs                    U.11 B vs. St. Neot’s                  L 1.5 – 4
Colts C vs. Horris Hill               L by 9 wkts                       U.10 A vs. St. Neot’s                 W 16 – 8.5
                                                                                          U.10 B vs. St. Mary’s                  L 7 – 24
Friday 15th May                                                               Friday 15th May
U.9 A vs. Horris Hill                                                          U.9 A vs. St. Neot’s                    W 8.5 – 8
U.8 A vs. Horris Hill                 W by 41 runs                    U.9 A vs. Yateley Manor             L 3.5 – 7.5
                                                                                         U.8 A vs. St. Neot’s                     W 6 – 2.5
                                                                                         U.8 A vs. Yateley Manor              L 4.5 – 5
                                                                                         U.8 B vs. St. Neot’s                      D 3 – 3
                                                                                         U.8 B vs. Yateley Manor              W 6 – 3
                                                                                         U.8 C vs. St. Neot’s                      L 0 – 4
                                                                                         U.8 C vs. Yateley Manor              W 1.5 – 1
                                                                                         U.9 / 8 vs. St. Neot’s                    L 2.5 – 3.5
                                                                                         U.9 / 8 vs. Yateley Manor            L 4.5 – 5.5

Weekly Sports Reports

An exciting week of sport began with Daneshill pupils travelling on mass to Bradfield College on Monday to take part in our annual inter-house swimming gala. All pupils in Years 5 – 8 from Red, Blue, Green and Yellow house battled it out in the pool in a bid to become the 2015 inter-house swimming champions.

Each team member competed in a number of races, performing a variety of strokes to include butterfly, back stroke, front crawl and breast stroke. There were also a number of relay races with the grand finale being the rubber ring relay race! All good fun!

Blue House were triumphant in the end, a much improved result from last year’s competition where they came fourth! Well done to all involved.

The girls have performed well on the rounders pitch this week, winning fixtures against St Neots in all age categories. Special congratulations to the U.10 squad in their quest to beat their longstanding rivals. The girls finally did it, well done!

A squad of U.13 girls are looking forward to playing St Neot’s in the school’s first ever girls’ cricket match on Monday afternoon. The team has been receiving expert coaching under the guise of Mr Baldwin and Hampshire cricketer, Naomi Lynch, this term so we wish them lots of luck for this momentous occasion. 

Miss O’Neill

Swimming Triangular

All the training and race practice paid off for the U.8 – U.13 swim squads in an exciting gala at St Neot’s on Thursday. Our swimmers competed against St Neot’s and the Grey House in a competition which saw some fantastic performances that resulted in an overall victory for Daneshill.

Thank you to all the parents who came to support the team and well done to the pupils who took part.

The final results were as follows:

 U.13                2nd Daneshill                40 points
U.11                1st Daneshill                  55 points
U.9                  2nd Daneshill                48 points
Overall             1st Daneshill                143 points
                        2nd St Neot’s                133 points
                        3rd Grey House            78 points        
Mrs Jeffreys & Mrs Barnes

This week saw some tough fixtures against Horris Hill. The 1st XI worked efficiently as a team and the boys struck the balance between development and competition impressively. It is fantastic to see the boys working together so well as a unit, despite personal losses or gains. Undoubtedly we will face a sterner test next week from Papplewick but the season has started promisingly. The 2nd XI had a great match against Horris Hill down at Stratfield Turgis Cricket Club. The boys enthusiasm for the game was tangible and both teams epitomised the ‘spirit of cricket’, which is commendable.

During the week we had talked to the boys in the Colts about how to build an innings. We felt it was important to look for ones to get off strike early, defending with an attacking intent, in other words. Technically we looked how to avoid being bowled by the obligatory ‘unexpected movement’ of the ball. Training went well and I felt some good lessons were learnt in terms of the reduction of gaps between bat and pad, and the soft hands being used. Unfortunately, it did lead to some confusion on the pitch as at times both batsmen were not on the same wavelength, leading to run outs. It is easy to say that these errors in judgement set us back significantly in each match but I am really encouraged as it is all to the greater good. The boys’ judgement of a run will, no doubt, improve and it is a clear sign they are not afraid to try in games.

Next week we will focus on similar targets and hopefully the performance will improve.

Mr Baldwin


Last weekend six budding golfers spent the weekend away in Sussex representing Daneshill. Saturday’s match against Windlesham House, Loretto-Edinburgh and Rustington Golf club ended with a satisfactory second place. All the boys played better than their handicaps and enjoyed a sunny afternoon too. Sunday’s tournament hosted by Windlesham House proved a tougher test and even witnessed a hole-in-one by one of our opposition. This weekend sees two more matches, and all the boys are gaining the momentum to play their best.

Mr Soper