Daneshill Diary 15/11/13

Headmaster’s Notes

The suitability of Remembrance Services in Junior Schools sometimes raises strong feelings one way or another. Whatever happens, it is very important to represent views in a gentle and sensitive way especially when you are dealing with the younger pupils.

On a particularly miserable Monday 11th November, amidst the cold wind and showers, at exactly 11.00am, the whole school stood in perfect silence for two minutes.

Anna Swart, the Head Girl, and Sam Steele, the Head Boy, recited the remembrance soliloquy.  The words “they shall not grow old as we grow old” are particularly poignant when spoken by children.

Tom Dainton played the Last Post and La Reveille on his trumpet (the end of the day and the awakening). For those of us who do understand the significance of these events it was a respectful and moving experience.  Daneshill pupils respond without question to the expectations that we have of them.  Their conduct and behaviour was exemplary.

Tom Dainton is a former pupil who first learnt the trumpet at Daneshill as a young boy under the tutelage of Austin Pepper.  We were particularly grateful that Tom had been released from his Sixth Form studies at Lord Wandsworth to play at our service.  Tom is a fine young man who, incidentally, spent his Michaelmas half term working at a school in Ghana helping those in great need of support.

Mr Simon Spencer

Music in the Spotlight

This week ‘Music In The Spotlight’ had over 100 pupils perform infront of 17 different audiences. The variety in style and musical instruments was exceptional.

I have been particularly impressed by the audiences who have attended. They have all been so gripped and eager to give support to their fellow school friends. A favourite moment of mine this week was when a Year 7 pupil accidentally called out to a Year 4 pupil at the start of their piece, "Don’t worry, keep going!"

We’ve also been looking at ‘Sound and Image’ this week and the children were wowed by assembly performances from Mr Timms on the Violin and Mrs Sulley on the flute, with images being projected on to a back-drop. Later, the children found out that even teachers like Pop music!

Next week the senior pupils will have auditions for their production of Oliver!, which will take place next term.

Mr Tim Soper

The School Library

It is so heartening to have a vibrant school library and this library is certainly in the heart of the school. The new team of librarians from Year 7 have been busy since their appointments: Matthew Ruffell, as Head Librarian, Libby Yeoman and Ben Flynn, as his Assistant Librarians, and George Craven, Bella Bullen, Elysia Rougier and Holly Smith as excellent Librarians. This team are very busy sorting through all of the books and planning themes for us to celebrate as well as welcoming others into the library. We have added some comfortable chairs and are working on the displays. Thank you so much to those who have made generous donations of children’s books to add to our shelves – we have lots of space, so we are always delighted to receive books in good condition.                                                                         

Mrs Suzy Dixon

Eco Bag Competition

Wow! … we had some really wonderful design entries in to this competition so a massive thank you to everyone that took part. Mrs Dixon and I had the onerous task of judging the competition. We selected a winner for each year group, from Year 3 – Year 8, and then two overall winners whose designs will be put on the eco bag. 

The winners from each year group are:

Emily Baugh, 3D
Grace Ruffell, 4B
Annabel Spratt, 5W
Sienna Fowler, 6S
Isabella Bullen, 7M
Lily Dekic, 8D

The overall winners are:                                                      

Lilias Hoare Nairne, 3J            
Libby Yeoman, 7M


The winning designs are currently on display on the board outside Mr Webster’s classroom. We hope that you will show good support of the eco bags – they will make great presents for Christmas (or any other time of the year as they are not Christmas related). Use of these bags will hopefully help to cut down the need for plastic bags, and the reusable bag ties in with all the work the School Council are doing to help make Daneshill a “Greener” school. The money raised will go to the Kids Kidney Research Charity. 

Mrs Clare Lock


Remembrance Day Assembly

Remembrance Day was commemorated in assembly on Monday morning through music, images, words, poetry and prayer. As part of ‘Music in Spotlight’, Mr Soper and Mr Timms played a moving duet on the piano and violin of a piece from ‘Schindler’s List’ whilst thoughtful pictures of the world wars were projected on to a screen. The talk was about the importance of camaraderie in war and peace and the astounding resilience of wounded soldiers, particularly the ones who become paraolympians or who undertake amazing expeditions. All Year 8 pupils read out Rupert Brooke’s poem ‘Soldier’ with great sympathy to the meaning.

At 11 o’clock the whole school went outside for the Two Minute Silence. We were lucky enough to have an old Daneshillian, Tom Dainton, join us to play the Last Post. All ages respected the silence so well that we felt the day had been suitably commemorated.

Mrs Suzy Dixon

News from the Pre-Prep

There is a buzz of excitement in the Pre-Prep: the children have been given their parts for this year’s Christmas play! Everyone is busy rehearsing, learning their lines, practising new songs, trying on costumes and being measured for new ones. The stage goes up next week to move our rehearsals from the classrooms into the Sports Hall.

The children have also enjoyed going to the Music Room this week to listen to a few of the older children play a variety of instruments and to sing. Some of the children have been inspired to maybe play the flute or the drums when they are bigger. Thank you to Mr Soper and all the musicians for entertaining us so well.

Miss Bridget Bull

Nursery Corner

The children thoroughly enjoyed going to see the Year 5 concert in the music room on Monday morning. They listened to a variety of musical instruments and to some beautiful singing. We were very proud of how still the children sat – Mr Soper commented on this and said that he would invite them back another day.

Books have taken pride of place in role play this week, and the children have been very busy checking books in and out of the ‘library’ we have set up. This change has come about from reading the Book Time story ‘But Excuse Me That Is My Book’, a Charlie and Lola story about choosing books at the library. The children have also discussed their favourite stories and next week will be drawing a cover and creating a character for their favourite story. Please could I ask parents to allow children to bring in a favourite storybook from home next week for us to all to share.

Miss Kate Flood

Sporting Fixtures

 Boys                                                                Girls:

                                                                                      Tuesday 12th November

                                                                                       U.9 A vs. Thorngrove                            W 4 – 1

                                                                                       U.9 B vs. Thorngrove                            W 3 – 0                       


Wednesday 13th November                                       Wednesday 13th November

U13 A vs. Brockhurst                W 12 – 0                     U13 A vs. St. Nicholas                           L 4 – 11

Colts A vs. Brockhurst               W 6 – 1                      U13 B vs. St. Nicholas                           L 0 – 20

Colts B vs. Brockhurst               W 4 – 0                      U10A: Tournament at Yateley Manor      5th Overall

Colts C vs. Brockhurst               W 2 – 1

Colts D vs. Brockhurst                L 0 – 1

 Friday 15th November                                                  Friday 15th November

U8 A: Daneshill Tournament     3rd                                 U9 A vs. Alton Convent                                    W 5 – 2

U8 B: Daneshill Tournament      DNQ                              U9 B vs. Alton Convent                                    L 2 – 8

                                                                                       U8 A vs. St Piran’s                                            L 1 – 2

                                                                                       U8 B vs. St Piran’s                                            W 2 – 0

 During the last few weeks the Year 4-8 gym squads have been working hard on combining complex skills, particularly on the floor. They are progressing well on their ‘round-offs’ and ‘backward flicks’ (jumping from stand, backwards onto their hands!).  Many complex skills have been combined to achieve the level the pupils are currently at and this requires a lot of hard work and commitment in their squad lessons. Well done to all squad members for your dedication to the morning sessions – keep up the hard work!

It has been a very busy week on the netball courts with matches on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday this week.

On Tuesday the U9 squads roared to victory against Thorngrove in two well-spirited games. Both A and B teams combined into one big squad, giving the coaches the opportunity to try new combinations of players and the children different playing positions. I am delighted with the progress the U9 squads have made in the past few weeks. They are beaming with confidence and their game play reflects the coaching points we have been working on in recent weeks.

The U10 A team braved the cold on Wednesday to compete in a netball tournament at Yateley Manor. The girls had a number of games against some really tough opposition but they fought hard and worked brilliantly as a squad, finishing in 5th place overall.

Miss Kate O’Neill

This week has seen some glorious football being played by Daneshillian sides. Last week saw a real focus on personal responsibility and player-centred learning with independent warm ups and self-created scenario trainings taking centre stage during lessons. The children came up with the idea of triangles to beat defenders and tried to combine this with one-touch passing and quick movement. This has translated well into game situations. This week has seen increased movement across the board. At all levels players are beginning to look up before they get the ball. Players without the ball are beginning to make runs and communicate with the player on the ball. This has seen some top football being played and lovely goals scored. The challenge now is to keep this style of playing going!

I am sure all the boys will join me in congratulating our coach, Mario Theodorou, on the birth of his first child, Eleni, last week. We hope to see her out supporting the Daneshill boys before the end of the season!

Mr Scott Baldwin