I am delighted to report that the new science building opened this week. This will provide the children with access to two modern science laboratories. Mrs Blomfield and Mr Mikurenda have been actively involved in designing the laboratories to ensure they match the requirements of the department and provide the best learning environment for the pupils. I am sure that Mr Mikurenda, Mrs Blomfield and the pupils will make the most of this excellent facility to yet further enhance the enthusiasm for science throughout the school.
Now that all the Herris fencing has been removed, and the staff car parking area has been reinstated, it will hopefully be much easier for everyone to access all areas of the school estate. I appreciate that this has been a difficult period and I would like to thank all parents for their tolerance and understanding of the situation.
Children in Need
In our Celebration Assembly on Friday the children were told that a special fundraising idea had been agreed so that Daneshill could again contribute valuable funds to Children In Need.
In Pre-Prep, the Friday sticker recipients were told that their awards were to be matched sticker for pound by the Bursar, and in the senior school, every house point awarded that day was also to be worth £1.
Children and staff rose to the challenge magnificently with many children earning several house points and a sense of real excitement that each piece of paper meant that a further pound would be given to help children much less fortunate than ourselves.
Huge thanks to Mr Spencer for the school’s generous contribution and to the staff and children for their wonderful enthusiasm. We raised an impressive £234.00.
News from the Friends of Daneshill
This week all the Class Reps were given the opportunity to try out the new low ropes course, which has recently been installed in the grounds of the school courtesy of some successful fundraising by the Friends of Daneshill. We would like to extend a big ‘thank you’ to Mr Croker and Mr Champness for taking us through some of the challenges and team-building exercises that this equipment has opened up for the school. We all very much enjoyed the experience and it has helped us to understand what the children will gain from the apparatus. The main message we have taken away is that it is absolutely not suitable as a ‘climbing frame’ as part of break-time play as it is very much a supervised activity. Whilst it is not a difficult physical challenge in itself, there is a certain amount of strength and balance required, which the younger children would unquestionably struggle with. Even the Class Reps only narrowly averted a nasty accident caused by a momentary lapse in concentration. Whilst we cannot wrap our kids up in cotton wool, and there is always an element of risk involved in any physical activity, the health and safety of the children has to come first!
News from the Pre-Prep
The pupils in Reception have been learning about different cultures this week with particular focus on Hinduism. It has been great fun dressing up, making Rangoli patterns and designing a Mehndi pattern for our hands. We have been writing cards for our friends and our family and counting sparkly jewels. What a lovely, busy week it has been!
In Year 1 this week the children have enjoyed listening to the story of Oliver’s Vegetables. They were brilliant at sequencing the days of the week and retaining the order of events in the story. The children showed great excitement when Oliver finally found the potatoes at the end of the week. At last he could have chips for his tea! Just like Oliver all of the Year 1 children have been trying a bite of many different vegetables at lunchtimes, which has put a smile on the teachers’ faces.
The children in Year 2 have been working hard on their comprehension skills this week. They had a lot of fun reading the poem ‘The Man Who…’ which is all about Mr Red who wore a saucepan on his head! When they had the opportunity to create their own poems, you could hear the giggles in the classroom as they wrote about people such as ‘Mr Brown who rides rabbits into town’ and ‘Mr Black who keeps sausages in a sack!’
We felt we had to share with you the following: A Year 2 child went home after being told about the Christmas Play and having been allocated her part. When she got home she announced to her mother; ‘Oh you will never guess what the Christmas play is about this year?’ ‘Guess what it is all about baby Jesus AGAIN’ and her mother replied ‘Yes my darling that is why we celebrate the Nativity!’
Hopefully after performing in the play in the first week of December all the Pre-Prep children will take away the true meaning of Christmas, the significance of the special day, and celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Rehearsals have been in full swing for our nativity play. Please remember to keep the morning of Tuesday 2nd December free. For those of you who are new to the Nursery the children are dropped off as normal, you are then invited for coffee in the main school house before returning to the Nursery for a 9.15 performance. The play should end by 9.30 at which point children who are not usually in the Nursery on a Tuesday can be taken home. You are, of course, more than welcome to take your child home, even if they do attend nursery on a Tuesday, after the performance so that you don’t have to make a return journey later.
I have had the pleasure of hearing the songs being practised and as usual I have been astounded by the speed at which such small children have learnt their words!
I hope that you have all found a jam jar – so many surprising ‘creations’ are coming to fruition at this time of year – the excitement is building!
You will have noticed that we have put up a bare tree in the entrance hall. This is the children’s ‘tree of achievement’ and what we would very much like is for it to be used for us to celebrate any achievements that your child accomplishes at home. It may be as simple as staying in their own bed, getting dressed by themselves or riding a bike with no stabilisers. Please feel free to write any of your child’s achievements on the leaves provided in the basket, and then stick the leaf onto the tree. This will enable us to share stages of development. The leaves will then be taken and put into the learning journals as keep sake. We very much look forward to seeing our tree covered in leaves very soon.
Weekly Sports Reports
Huge congratulations to the U.13 A team for their terrific win over St Andrew’s on Wednesday. The girls have really applied themselves this week, determined to go out hard against a notoriously strong St Andrew’s side. Lessons have focused on positioning around the circle, ensuring the girls are in front of their opposition when asking for the ball, and holding space. The shooters have begun to look at circle rotations and this proved successful in their fixture. The U.13’s appear to have really turned a corner this week. A fantastic result for the girls!
The U.10 A team suffered the loss of two key players on Wednesday due to illness and injury so the team had a bit of a reshuffle with Henrietta Boyle stepping up from the B team and Poppy Evans volunteering herself for the difficult job of goal scoring. Henrietta played like a true champion, bursting with energy and determination, and making superb interceptions throughout. Poppy made an impact straight away and scored the first goal within minutes. Poppy went on to score 6 goals in total, a great effort from a girl who hasn’t played a shooting position all season! The whole team played brilliantly and I was extremely proud of their efforts. The win was very much deserved.
The U.8 and U.9 teams continued their success by securing further wins against St Piran’s on Friday 14th November. The teams played like true professionals, moving the ball at speed down the court, and making valuable interceptions throughout. The girls also demonstrated their versatility by constantly changing positions without any impact on the score.
On Sunday 16th November the Year 5-8 Gym Squad competed in the Basingstoke Gymnastics Club Championships against 5 other clubs in the surrounding area.
Each gymnast competed on the trampette, vault and floor, demonstrating various skills which we had all been training hard towards during our gym squad sessions. All of the squad performed a somersault on the trampette, and some with twists. On the vault many of us performed handstands over the vault and on the floor demonstrated a steady sequence of floor skills.
Daneshill dominated the medal table in the categories that they had entered with exceptional success from Tom Swart and Archie Beresford-Davies for winning the overall medal. In total Daneshill achieved 36 medals.
A comment from Mrs Doyle:
‘As a whole, Daneshill performed exceptionally, they looked smart and supported each other throughout their performances. I was very proud of them all. I would like to thank Mr Croker and Miss O’Neil for their extra support and to Miss Flood in her assistance on the competition arena. To add to the Daneshill take over, two judges were also ex-pupils from the school and commented on how great it was to see the gym continuing and the high standards being achieved. I am looking forward to the next competition and hope to also bring you more results then’
Well done to you all.
It has been a good week in boys PE department. We faced St George’s Windsor on Wednesday and they provided some stiff opposition. Under the walls of the castle the First XI showed great character in their 2-1 win. This was their second on the trot against tough opposition. The Second’s had a good, competitive match. The score was 3-3 with 10 minutes to go but a couple of lapses in concentration saw St George’s pounce to take the win.
The Colts A registered another good win through crisp passing and an understanding of the game, this was their last game and they really showed the improvements they have made throughout the term. The Colts B’s and C’s had a tough workout but will be the better for it going into next week’s House competition. The Colts D’s lost their match but have discovered the art of scoring, popping another couple of goals in the back of the net to add to their tally.