Daneshill Diary 19/06/15
It has been a truly amazing week at Daneshill. Boys and girls of all ages have been struck by a cartwheel virus which means that many of them are upside down at every available opportunity. Our first ever all-girls cricket XI had a home match against St. Andrew’s. ‘I think Julia just got one of those four things’ I overheard one of the St. Andrew’s players saying to her team mates whilst walking the boundary. Fortunately Julia didn’t score too many more fours and Daneshill’s record stands at played one, won one. The tennis team won their fixture against Papplewick. The visiting boys were magnanimous in agreeing to let the girls play as well. A decision that they quickly regretted when they took to the court against the Smith girls! Athletics has had a week in the spotlight with perfect timing in the run up to Sports Day. New Children’s morning on Thursday was a real delight and our Year 8 helpers were reminded of when many of them arrived nine years ago.
The positive atmosphere in the school has been infectious and even the most exhausted members of staff have been lifted by the feeling of fulfilment.
Outside of school a number of girls took part in the ‘run for life’ charity event on Tuesday evening as a result of their own initiative. The Daneshill team was the first across the line and a substantial amount of money was raised.
News from the Pre-Prep
What a joy it was to hear the children arrive into the Pre-Prep building on Wednesday morning. There were gasps of wonder and surprise as they swam under the sea to their classrooms. Every child was very proud to show their parents the beautiful artwork they had created. The teachers had collaborated and worked late into Tuesday night to transform the corridors into an underwater wonderland; praise and recognition from the parents has been very rewarding and appreciated! We hope that the new children who joined us on Thursday will remember the displays as much as their fun filled morning.
The ‘safari bus’ role play has been a complete hit and the children have been looking through their binoculars and enjoying their trips around Africa! Before boarding they have to write their name on their ticket and show it to the driver who checks all is well – and then off they go! They have encountered zebras, meerkats and even a cheeky elephant. Such fantastic, imaginative play to witness!
We have decanted the elderflower cordial which the children made last week and many were able to take some home – thank you to all who remembered to bring in the bottles – and everyone has had the opportunity to try some in school at snack time which was exciting.
It was a delight to welcome some of our new September children this Thursday, all of whom got into the spirit of Africa and left as zebras! It was also wonderful to see how excited our current children were to go and explore the Reception classroom and spend time with Mrs Smith and Miss Pearcy. A successful morning all round.
Wow, what a busy sporting week!
Despite having just arrived back from school residentials, a number of pupils from Years 4 – 8 competed in the South Region Biathlon Championships at Aldershot Garrison on Saturday 13th June. The team had to complete an 800m run before moving to the pool to complete their swimming race. It was incredible to have so many pupils at the event and to see the fantastic times they ran and swam, with some achieving season personal bests.
The pinnacle of the athletics calendar arrived this week; the IAPS regional athletics finals. Over 60 of Daneshill’s finest athletes surpassed the minimum qualifying standards, which allowed them to compete in this elite event, alongside 600 competitors from over 30 of the leading independent schools in the South Region.
The boys travelled to Bracknell on Monday and the girls to Guildford on Wednesday where they met exceptional talent which pushed all of them to their limits. Despite the challenge, the teams certainly held their own across many disciplines. There were numerous personal bests and many pupils qualified for the finals, with some receiving top three placings, which was exceptional. The Daneshill pupils displayed their usual grit and determination and pulled together as a team, supporting each other brilliantly. The teams have been attending early morning training sessions at school to prepare for the event and it has been humbling to see so many of the older pupils taking the time to coach the younger pupils with their disciplines, showing true Daneshill team spirit.
Special mention for the following pupils who received top 3 placings:
Alex Spiers Yr 8 – GOLD High Jump (qualifies for the National Championships)
Cameron Spiers Yr 6– GOLD Javelin (qualifies for the National Championships)
Grace Weedon Yr 4 – GOLD 100m and 200m
Saskia Lea Yr 4– GOLD Throwing and SILVER 100m
U10 Girls Relay – GOLD (Grace Weedon, Saskia Lea, Eliza Harker, Lilias Hoare-Nairne)
Nick Legh-Smith Yr 4 – GOLD High Jump
Katrina McNair Scott Yr 5 – BRONZE High Jump
James Passmore Yr 8 – SILVER Javelin
Solomon Arbib Yr 4– BRONZE 600m
William Toosey Yr 7 – BRONZE Javelin
U12 Boys Relay – BRONZE (Sam Jefferson, Jake McGregor, Guy Stevens, Orlando Kennedy)
Harry Stevens Yr 7 – BRONZE 800m
Amazingly, some of these boys took part in a tennis fixture against Papplewick upon their return from the athletics on Monday evening. The team of twelve U.13 girls and boys, took on an all-male Papplewick team and did exceptionally well, winning the competition with five wins, two losses and a draw.
Tuesday saw an historic day for the school with our first ever girls’ cricket match against St. Andrew’s. St. Andrew’s won the toss and elected to bowl. Daneshill batted brilliantly and scored 114 runs for three wickets, off 18 overs. Our girls put up a strong display of talent when they took to the field taking 7 wickets in 18 overs, with a wicket maiden coming from Georgia Lea in Year 7. A great first game for the girls.
To round the athletics season off, a team of 30 athletes from Years 3-6 took part in the Beechwood School Athletics Festival on Thursday afternoon. Undoubtedly, there were some tired legs for the competition after their busy week, but you could not tell as we began to dominate the hurdles heats with numerous wins and the same followed suit in the sprints. I could hear rumblings in the crowd as the other schools were wowed by our strength on the track. Some teachers even questioned me as to how we have managed to field such an exceptionally fit group of athletes at such a young age, which made me very proud. I, of course, did not reveal our secrets!
The wins kept rolling in as we also made our mark in the field events. I was especially delighted with the Year 3’s who were competing against Year 4’s and the same for the Year 5’s who ran up an age group against the Year 6’s in some events, although it was impossible to tell as the excellent results kept tallying up.
Daneshill were triumphant in the end, winning the competition by a large margin. Another superb afternoon of athletics, which was enjoyed by all.