Daneshill Diary 27/09/13

Headmaster’s Notes

3am Monday 23rd September baby Lara, 7lbs 11oz, arrived. Sounds fairly routine but 52 hours in the maternity wing of the Queen Charlotte Hospital, Hammersmith is an experience that Adam will probably find hard to forget. It was the culmination of what had been a fairly torrid few months for him (and Marina!!) as he had to balance his responsibilities at Daneshill during a particularly difficult summer. The fact that he did so almost single-handedly is a testament to his commitment to the school.

So the aspirations and hopes of a young family begin – we know a bit about that at Daneshill.

The hard work of the teaching staff at every level of the school was rewarded this week in a series of achievements that ranged from the completion of a first sentence in Reception to a wide variety of entries for our school poetry competition.

The notable success of the mixed golf team at Bradfield, ably led by the Head Boy, deserves special mention. A further example of the developing talent within this sport. Well done!

My week finished in a much more relaxed fashion than the way in which it started. A more familiar and comfortable role of discussing how we can best fulfil the potential of current pupils, whilst leaving the babysitting duties to Mrs Spencer.

Mr Simon Spencer

Deputy Head’s Review

I felt compelled to write a short entry for the Daneshill Diary this week. As a new member of staff I have been amazed at our community’s dedication to diversity. All play their part in enriching school life and this week, like every other so far, has been a perfect example of the dedication to this cause. Year 7 were inspired on Monday by the birthplace of Churchill. On Tuesday our senior squad took on some formidable opposition and won the Bradfield Golf Tournament. On Wednesday year 2 re-enacted Celtic life. On Thursday a bush craft expert taught year 7 & 8 how to purify water, track animals and light fires through friction and this morning, we are joining the largest coffee morning in the world in aid of Macmillan. Quite remarkable!

Mr Andy Webster

Year 7 Art trip to Blenheim Palace

On Monday 23rd September, Year 7 visited Blenheim Palace. Walking in the footsteps of past and present Duke’s, Sir Winston Churchill, Malvern College evacuees and the MI5, the tour inside the Palace was excellent and captivated Year 7’s imagination. Through the art and artefacts, the history of the Palace came alive; the magnificent painted ceiling in the Great Hall; the stag’s eyes that follow you down the corridor; the tapestry of the dog with what appears to be horses hooves; the elaborate organ with a cricket ball dent; and the tombs below the Chapel. Afterwards, the Marlborough Maze provided an ideal place to expend surplus energy, with a race through the maze with a record time of just under three minutes! With time to do some sketching and visit the Butterfly house, the pupils have come back inspired with plenty of ideas for entering the Annual Heritage Competition later this term.

Mrs Clare Lock and Miss Kate O’Neill

News from the Pre-Prep

Year 2 travelled back in time 2000 years and became Celtic villagers on an ancient farm adventure. The children did not even mention the x boxes or the television!

We were all absolutely transfixed once inside the smoky roundhouses. They sat on their animal skins learning how the ancient Celts lived and survived their everyday lives. Life today is very different! The children made chalk carvings using flint and dock leaves to warn off any unwelcome visitors, they built part of a wall using ‘Clunch’ and became Archaeologists digging up Celtic treasure from the Iron Age.

A big thank you to Butser Ancient Farm for such an enjoyable day!

Miss Bridget Bull

Nursery Corner

The children have all settled in very well and are beginning to make new friendships. They have very excitedly been bringing us their photographs of themselves as babies and toddlers. The children have also been telling us all some ‘snippets’ of information about their families – quite revealing really- there is apparently a big ‘sweetie’ eater out there!!! We will continue with these themes about ourselves and our families next week.

Next week will also see the first of, hopefully, many walks around our beautiful surroundings, as we look for the changes that autumn is bringing to the countryside. We shall start some collections of leaves, sticks and conkers to put on our nature table.

Miss Kate Flood

Sporting Fixtures

On Wednesday the First IX took on Dolphin. After scoring first and then giving up the lead they were able to power away for a 6-3 victory. Both Alex Brown and Billy Pocock scored hatricks as they were set up by their team mates in what was a real team effort.

The U11 A team were away at the Dolphin Tournament. Here they played some of the larger prep schools from the area. We recorded wins against St Edwards and Waverly plus a draw against The Dolphin to go through to the Semi-finals. An unfortunate goal meant we were knocked out by St Pirans who went on to win the tournament. But finishing 3rd out of ten sides was a great effort and the boys should be proud of themselves.

The U10 A’s are travelling very well and recorded their 3rd win of the term. A 7-0 victory over Holme Grange sees them keep their unbeaten record with 19 goals in 3 games.

A special mention this week should also go to our year 3 boys who were away for their first ever match for the school. 3 very close games ensued and all boys were able to enjoy some very competitive matches. We recorded 3 losses but the boys will be much the better for the experience. The A’s went down 2-1, the B’s 1-0 and the C’s 6-0. At the time of writing we are getting ready to play Dolphin who are always a tough assignment. The boys are really looking forward the match to see if they can record their first wins.

The girls continued to be resilient in a tough start to the season. This week we played St Andrews and The Abbey and both schools have real netballing pedigree. It is in this context that congratulations needs to go to our U9 A team who scored an emphatic 6-2 victory on Tuesday afternoon. In other fixtures the girls are showing exemplary teamwork and determination and against such challenging opponents they are learning at a rate of knots! Well done girls!

Mr Scott Baldwin and Miss Kate O’Neill