Daneshill Diary 18/10/13

Headmaster’s Notes

Mario Theodorou, who coaches football to all the boys from Reception to Year 8, also has a degree in History and Politics. He was, therefore, fully aware of the significance of Wednesday’s Derby fixtures against local rivals, St Neots. The U13s, U11/10 (Colts A, B, C and D) all won, with our only casualty being the Colts E team who lost. We were all particularly pleased with these results. Well done the boys! 

Miss Milly McManus, a former pupil of Daneshill, is joining the Girl’s PE Department on a part time basis after half term. Milly, who was a sports scholar at Wellington College, graduated from Manchester University this summer. She will be assisting Miss O’Neill as a Netball coach.

Wishing you all a happy half term!


Mr Simon Spencer

Senior School Exams

As we reach the end of what has been a successful and productive first half of term, we start to look ahead to the coming weeks.  You may well have noticed the calendar entry for Exam Week (Years 6-8), beginning the first Monday back after the break. It is not my intention for the word “exam” to strike fear into the hearts of any child … or parent!  Exams (along with tests, assessments, quizzes or whichever word we use) are often not viewed as enjoyable, but should certainly not present too much anxiety for any child. 

At this stage in their school career children in Years 6–8 benefit hugely from practising “test conditions” so that when public exams arrive in years to come they do not present a problem.  Those in Years 3-5 can expect some tests during this week too, which will gently introduce them to the process. These tests help teachers to gauge a child’s progress. They also provide us with a formal understanding of each child’s attainment. 

Both the children and staff have worked incredibly hard thus far and certainly deserve a rest. I encourage parents to ensure that the half term break does not become overly focused on revision; I do hope that your children will have plenty of time for fun and relaxation.

Miss Rebecca Swyer

News from the Pre-Prep

Thank you to all the parents who were able to come to Parents’ Evening on either 10th or 16th October to discuss how your child/children have settled into their new class this term. It is extremely rewarding for the form teachers to have a chance to chat about the progress the children are making with their parents and to show them all the hard work that has been completed in the last six weeks. On behalf of all the Pre-Prep staff I would like to wish everyone a happy and restful half term.                                                                                                                                                               

Miss Bridget Bull

Nursery Corner

What a fantastic first half of term we have all had in the Nursery. The new children are well and truly settled and those who have been with us a while are enjoying exploring the range of new activities we offer. Our hedgehogs are looking fantastic – all varnished and gleaming – and our new hedgehog wall display is worth a quick visit: all the children’s hand prints make up the spikes and they have thoroughly enjoyed watching Mr Hedgehog come to life!

Thank you to all those who have already brought in the waterproofs – it has made such a difference during our wet days and has allowed the children to get the essential fresh air that we are lucky enough to have in abundance here. Please do keep them coming in after half term.

On our return we will be discussing the people who help us at school and all the different jobs that they do, as well as continuing with our sounds and shape work. 

We hope you all have a restful half term and look forward to seeing you back here on the 30th.

Miss Kate Flood

Year 3 Time Travellers

Last week, on a misty, autumn morning, an excited Year 3 embarked on a journey of discovery. Our destination? Highclere Castle (now famous as Downton Abbey). The seat? 100 years ago, of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. With his archaeological colleague, Howard Carter, this Earl famously found the Tomb of the Egyptian Boy Pharaoh, Tutankhamun. Today, the 8th Earl and Countess welcome visitors to the Egyptian Exhibition situated in the cellars of the Castle.

First the children viewed many beautiful artefacts and an intricately painted coffin of a noble woman from 3,500 years ago. In the Discovery Gallery, the children were very surprised by the life-size wax models of Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter! They explored the life of the Earl of Carnarvon: his passion for cars, his talents as a pioneering photographer and his travels and leisure in England in Edwardian times.

Finally, the children were taken on an amazing journey beginning in November 1922 … Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter had cleared the steps and passageway down to the sealed door which led into the antechamber of Tutankhamun’s tomb…an audible gasp of ‘Wow!’ was heard as children looked at the ‘wonderful things’ found after fifteen long years of searching.

Mrs Carol Jeffreys & Miss Emma Dolphin    

Une Journée sur la Côte d’Azur

Last Friday Year 7 pupils were invited to join pupils at Lord Wandsworth College for a play entitled ‘Une Journée sur la Côte d’Azur’. The show was put on by a visiting theatre company who provided a fast-moving, fun and educational plot involving real-life language situations and plenty of audience participation. In the frantic search for missing ‘Fifi le chien’ the lead characters sped around Nice and Cannes by moped, train, taxi and boat. Scenes were short and filled with music and film projections; the dialogue was entirely in French so the children had to give their full attention to the plot. Charlie Miller nearly burst with enthusiasm to go up on stage, not once, but twice – he provided a drum roll for an alarming circus act (ask the children!) and then found himself getting married with Fifi in attendance!

It was an entertaining and memorable visit and a great opportunity for the children to hear native speakers perform.

Mrs Emma Passmore

Sporting Fixtures

Boys                                                                Girls

U.13 A vs. St Neots       W 11 – 1                                  U.11 A vs. St Nicholas                           D 4 – 4

Colts A vs. St Neots      W 4 – 0                                    U.11 B vs. St Nicholas                           D 0 – 0

Colts B vs. St Neots      W 6 – 0                                    U.9 A vs. St. Andrews                            W 4 – 0

Colts C vs. St Neots      W 5 – 2                                    U.9 B vs. St. Andrews                            D 2 – 2

Colts D vs. St Neots      W 3 – 1                                    U.8 A vs. St. Andrews                            L 0 – 5

Colts E vs. St Neots      L 0 – 3                                     U.8 B vs. St. Andrews                            W 3 – 1

This week has seen great success on the sports fields. During the week we have worked on movement and decision making in various forms. The game ‘1-0’ proved to be very helpful to the Firsts (U13As) as they were much more clinical in their execution as their movement allowed for greater accuracy and passing. The Colts sides are really starting to gel together, with some great results against the local rivals, St Neots. It was remarked that our lads were ‘able to play with skill and strength, be physical but also respected the game by not questioning the referees decisions nor taking the physicality over the line.’ I thought that was a lovely comment and the boys should be congratulated.  The Bradfield tournament saw the Colts A perform very admirably and they were unlucky not go through losing on goals scored against. Upon reflection it has been a fantastic half term and many thanks must go to Mr Theodorou who has been inspirational in his coaching. We are looking forward to next half term!

Mr Scott Baldwin

As the half term draws to a close, we can reflect on a superb six weeks of girls sport at Daneshill.

The Netball teams have played brilliantly over the past six weeks, drawing on their training sessions to demonstrate newly acquired skills and tactics in their game play. The girls have had some tough games against strong opponents but have risen to the challenge and fought hard week-on-week to produce splendid results.

Mrs Barnes’ Lacrosse club has been extremely popular this term. This club has offered the pupils a great opportunity to experience the game, some for the first time, and to learn valuable skills. The overall feedback from the girls has been very positive and they have really enjoyed the opportunity to try this new and exciting sport.

Daneshill gymnasts continue to shine and Mrs Doyle’s Gymnastics clubs are still the most highly attended clubs in the school. This term the Year 4-6 Gym club have enjoyed using the trampoline, trying hard to land their somersaults and handsprings in style! The Year 2-3 Gym club have been working on balance, which has included handstands, headstands and an introduction to cartwheels. We apologise if your sitting room has been overtaken with children positioning themselves upside down on the furniture!

Year 4 have experienced the highly competitive game of water polo this term. Mr Turner is delighted by the passion the pupils have shown for the game. The shallow end of the pool has certainly seen more goal scoring action, though! I am delighted to report that the Year 6 girls beat the boys in a well fought match – well done girls!                                                                                                                                   

Miss Kate O’Neill