Daneshill Diary 22/11/13
Our thanks this week go to Miss Swyer and Mrs Lock whose joint collaboration resulted in the Pudsey Bear idea which was in support of Children in Need. By the end of the day Pudsey was almost completely covered in loose change. Year 8 pupils had the thankless task of counting all the 1ps, 2ps, 5ps, 20ps etc. which will certainly have reinforced their knowledge of decimal currency.
Mrs Lock has also been responsible for encouraging pupils to produce their own Christmas cards. This process, from start to finish, is fraught with difficulties, not least of all meeting the deadlines for printers so that the cards are ready and returned before the end of term. I know from personal experience how frustrating this can be, but Mrs Lock has triumphed in the face of adversity and I am sure everyone will be delighted with the genuinely original cards that the children have produced. Well done Mrs Lock.
The over commercialisation of Christmas should not be confused with the excitement that builds within the School at this time of year as the Michaelmas term reaches its climax and all our traditional annual productions are rolled out. Needless to say, many of these events require a great deal of hard work and rehearsals. The much anticipated Pre Preparatory production is always enhanced by the spontaneity of the young performers who can be relied upon to deliver a number of unscheduled and unrehearsed additions. Our main School Carol Service at St Michael’s Church cannot afford such things to happen. This is a very busy time of year for Mr Soper who seems to take it all in his stride with a few additional musical concerts thrown in for good measure as well as carol singing to the Evergreens in Sherfield-on-Loddon.
Hopefully, you will all be able to find time to support these events and we look forward to seeing you at the school where the mince pies are waiting.
Last Friday, children arrived at school to find a giant Pudsey drawn in yellow chalk on the playground (courtesy of the talented Mrs Lock). The challenge, for Children In Need, was to fill in the bear’s outline with coins. Everybody got straight to work, with some families bringing whole bags full of coins – clearly many piggy banks had been raided! By break time the outline was complete so we began to fill in Pudsey’s tummy. It was wonderful to see children from all year groups working together to bring Pudsey to life. Staff were astounded at how the children’s imagination had been captured; we will definitely use this idea again! The nimble-fingered Y8 had the task of picking up and counting the many hundreds of coins. We added a competitive edge to the excitement by seeing who could make the best guess of the final amount – congratulations to Tommy Guy on coming closest to our final, impressive, total of £475.25. Well done all!
I look forward to welcoming Mr Mike Owen, Registrar at Canford, to Daneshill on Thursday night next week. Mr Owen is coming to tell us about the distinct character of this impressive co-educational Senior School, which sits on the banks of the River Stour in Dorset. I urge all those parents considering Canford as a Senior School choice to attend and ask that you inform Mrs Dainton in the School Office if you will be joining us.
This week in DT the Year 2 children have been learning how to weave … with some fantastic results. They have shown excellent concentration and perseverance as weaving can be rather tricky until you get the rhythm!
Year 1 have been focusing on developing their fine motor skills with colouring, cutting and making some super split-pin Santa puppets. These are very impressive – they have moving arms and legs!
Reception has produced some special wall displays and the Diwali Elephants are definitely worth a visit. The children printed them onto their paper and then decorated them with laces and jewels.
The children have been singing their hearts out this week, practising for the Nursery Nativity which takes place on Monday 2nd December at 9.15 am in our very own Nursery building. We are just about ready to preview the show to the discerning pupils of Reception!
The children are still enjoying visiting the Nursery library and some were lucky enough to go on a big adventure to see the library in the “Big School”. Thank you to Mrs Dixon for allowing the children to visit. We have indeed been invited back before Christmas to see the library decorated for the festive season. As mentioned last week, I would very much like the children to bring in their favourite storybook to share with their friends.
Despite the arrival of the winter weather, we are still managing to get outside – the water proofs are really making a difference, allowing the children to explore and enjoy all the outdoor activities without the worry of getting wet! Kites are still flying, bikes are still racing and our noisy tin musical instruments have been enjoyed by all.
During half term, three of Daneshill’s hard working Gymnasts attended a Talent Identification trial at Basingstoke Gymnastics Club. The sessions are coordinated by high performance coaches at the club who test the children’s flexibility, coordination, and skill level to date. In lessons this term these hopefuls have demonstrated fundamental skills for their age with elegance and poise: attributes that I felt needed recognition.
Parents and children have had their fingers crossed for the last couple of weeks, and I am delighted to finally announce that Olivia Arnold, Imogen Dyer and Sofia Eben Amine have been invited to attend the WA development squad. With Martha Petersen having gained a place last year too, I am very proud of all four of them – Rio here we come!
Daneshill girls faced a cold week of sport but the weather didn’t dampen spirits and they all worked twice as hard on the netball courts to try to stay warm!
The U13 netball squads faced tough opposition on Wednesday in their fixture against Queen Anne’s School. The Daneshill teachers and coaches had been working hard with the girls in recent weeks focusing on ball placement; timing and positional tactics and we were delighted to see the teams put all their coaching points into practice. Being an incredibly versatile squad, we made a few positional changes which worked really well with the players adapting superbly to the new playing positions. The A team fought hard for their 10-8 win and the B team came very close and played brilliantly but Queen Anne’s clinched the winning goal just before full time. All credit to both teams this week. I’m thrilled with the effort they are showing in lessons and their overall commitment to improving their netball skills and team play.
With the Sports Hall being largely out of action this week due to Pre Prep Christmas play rehearsals, our games lessons were slightly out of sync so we decided to give the pupils the opportunity to experience some different sports in their lessons. We switched the boys and girls lessons around so the year 4 and 6 girls played some football and the boys played some netball. All groups seemed to enjoy the temporary change with the year 6 boys in particular demonstrating some exuberant netball skills on court! The boys vs. girls netball match ended in a draw and there are calls for a decider match soon!
National Tennis player, Hannah Smith, attended a National Tennis Camp this week. Hannah, who is in year 5, spent three days training with an elite squad of tennis players and was coached by a team of world class coaches. Hannah said she thoroughly enjoyed her time there and is looking forward to the next one. Everyone at Daneshill would like to wish Hannah lots success for her forthcoming tennis season.