Daneshill Diary 25/09/15
As always the start to the academic year has been exhilarating. All of the new staff and children have settled in well and we find ourselves at the end of the second full week having barely had enough time to draw breath!
Certainly it is good to see Mr Bibbo back as our football coach. He has lost none of his enthusiasm for Daneshill and this has been reflected in the majority of the performances by the boys’ to date. The girls have equally benefited from coaching sessions in netball and hockey delivered by national level coaches from Surrey Storm and Bradfield College. Our young athletes have also been in sparkling form and won the Beechwood festival on Thursday.
I am increasingly impressed by how packed our days are with an ever increasing diversity of events. Our equestrian and golf teams will be in action next week whilst our senior pupils are already sailing, rowing and climbing on a weekly basis.
In the middle of the school Years 3 and 4 have experienced outdoor learning days at the Gordon Brown Centre and Ufton Court. For many Ufton Court poses their first ‘formal’ overnight stay and I am delighted to hear that it was a huge success.
Year 6 have been to Blenheim Palace for the day and Year 2 are eagerly awaiting their trip to Butser Farm on Tuesday.
I wish you all a good weekend and let’s hope the best side wins on Saturday night!
Year 6 Visit to Blenheim Palace
On Thursday 17th September, Year 6 set off on a tour of Blenheim Palace. The theme of the tour was the life of Sir Winston Churchill and the part he played in the Second World War. We also found out about the role the Palace played and the sanctuary it provided for around 400 boys from Malvern College who were evacuated there. By all accounts their dormitories were crammed into the Long Gallery and they had some of their lessons sitting on their beds!
The pupils also had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the stunning gardens that were designed by Capability Brown. Maths was then on the agenda as the pupils paced out the Grand Court so that they could estimate its dimensions and use this to work out the scale of the visitors’ map on their return to school. They will be using this in Art and Maths to create designs for a large batik, which will be submitted as an entry to the annual competition that Blenheim’s Education Department organises.
A great day was had by all. The guides commented on how enthusiastic and keen the children had been and one group of American visitors remarked that these children would be the Oxford graduates of the future!
Well done, Year 6.
Year 4 Visit to Ufton Court
On Monday, thirty five very excited Year 4 pupils and four equally as excited members of staff were warmly welcomed to Ufton Court for two days of fun-filled activities. Undeterred by the relentless rain, the girls and boys had an action packed morning exploring Saxon ‘runes’ and learning some Viking/ Saxon games with plenty of healthy competition on show! After lunch, they had the excitement of settling into their rooms and making their beds (a novelty for many). The historical photomapping around the grounds in the afternoon allowed them to learn about the features of the buildings and the beautiful gardens at Ufton Court. The build-up to the Saxon feast involved storytelling and the allocation of roles and costumes for all. The pupils then headed to the barn for a banquet feast of gammon, bread and vegetables, which was washed down with some special ‘wine’ (or blackcurrant squash!). The evening culminated with marshmallows and toast around the campfire and a sing song with Mr Soper.
As is customary with shared dorms it was an early rise with many tired looking children (and staff) making their way down to breakfast in the morning. Sadly there was more rain but with waterproofs to the ready the children embarked on some orienteering in high spirits. The re-enactment of the Viking crusade in the afternoon captivated the children’s imaginations and gave them an insight into the countries the Vikings visited, the possessions they collected, the battles they fought, and how peace was achieved with Alfred the Great.
The two days certainly broadened their historical knowledge of the Saxons and the Vikings. Perhaps more importantly though it provided the children with the opportunity to get to know each other even better through the various teambuilding activities that were on offer and take away happy memories of their first overnight trip.
“Best day ever”
“We love Year 3”
……..were just some of the comments after the children spent an adventurous day with their classmates at the Gordon Brown Centre, Rotherwick. The aim of the day was to build friendships, encourage co-operation and develop teamwork at the beginning of Year 3. Activities included low ropes, an assault course, shelter building, fire setting and cooking popcorn. The children also enjoyed meeting the new baby goats!
All the Pre-Prep have had a wonderful start to this new academic year. We feel very lucky to be able to welcome so many new faces to the department. All the children have settled well and are making new friends in their new classes. It was great to hear such praise from all the teachers in assembly this morning applauding how the children are trying their best and working hard.
We wish you all a happy and restful weekend to allow the children to return to school on Monday for more fun and learning.
It has been another happy week in the Nursery with everybody now settled into Daneshill life. It is amazing how the Fledglings from last year have matured over the summer and are now such inspiring role models for our new children.
This week we have been learning numbers, doing puzzles, and counting shells and marbles. It has been great fun reading the ‘Wow! Said the Owl’ book and making our own colourful owls.
We introduced the new ‘a’ sound and the children have loved making and playing with their snappy alligators and doing grown up writing in their sounds books.
Oh what a busy week we have had!