Daneshill Diary 28/02/14

Headmaster’s Notes

The exciting news this week is that Anna Swart (Head Girl) has been awarded an academic scholarship to St Swithun’s at 13+.  This is an outstanding achievement and one that recognises a very worthy recipient.

Scholarship awards are extremely competitive, especially in these current times, and I admire everyone who is considered to be a potential scholar and is prepared to put themselves in the lime light of trying for an award.

Anna is an excellent role model for others in that she is both modest and unassuming about her undoubted ability.  These are admirable qualities in someone who is a genuine catalyst for so many good things at Daneshill.  I am sure she won’t thank me for embarrassing her!

Mr Simon Spencer


Many parents will be familiar with being assigned to various houses during their schooling days and this is something that Daneshill enjoys too. Being part of a team is something that we enjoy throughout our lives and at Daneshill the children thrive on a competitive spirit. What makes these weekly meetings enjoyable for teachers too is to see pupils working amongst differing year groups.  Elder members of the school can listen and sometimes take heed of younger pupils’ ideas too.

This week we have discussed ideas for Lent and perhaps parents may notice a new pact or two around the house in the near future!

Houses have also enjoyed general knowledge quizzes, SMART targets, Sochi Olympic 2014 facts and composing new house mottos and chants.

House points play a huge part of day-to-day incentives for the children, and overall house points are eagerly anticipated on a fortnightly basis.

Next term Year 2 pupils will be allocated houses.  Which house will it be?

We have recently been highly creative by coming up with new mottos and chants – here are our four houses’ contributions:

Yellow House: Nightingale

Motto: ‘As Bright As The Sun.’
Chant: ‘For we are jolly good Yellows…

Green House: Austen

Motto: ‘Green can be extreme,

When we work as a team.’

Chant: ‘We are Green house, we’re the best,

We will put you to the test

Get out your hanky and dry your eyes,

Coz we are going to beat you guys!

Red House: Calthorpe

Motto: ‘Working Together Is Our Goal.’

Chant: ‘Red’s the best, we rock and rule,

We’re the coolest in the school!

Blue House ‘Wellesley’

Motto: ‘Bright Almighty Blue,

We Are Proud, Strong and Joyful,

An Epic, Awesome Crew!’

Chant: “Blue, Blue, what an awesome crew,

We are the house that is going to come through!

Mr Tim Soper

Marathon Sponsorship

On April 13th Mr Burton-Brown is running the London Marathon in aid of Meningitis Now (formerly the Meningitis Trust).  Meningitis is a terrifying disease that can strike in hours and can affect anyone, of any age, at any time.  It is particularly serious because the symptoms are so varied, it progresses so quickly and can be very easily confused with symptoms of far less serious illnesses.  Oliver (Year 4) was seriously ill with Meningitis when he was younger, so Mr and Mrs Burton-Brown have personal experience of this disease.

Any sponsorship would be very gratefully received at http://www.justgiving.com/Ben-Burton-Brown1. India and Oliver will also be selling Meningitis Now wristbands in school at £1 each.

West Side Story

To return to school after half term and set off on the very first ‘school night’ with such great gusto on our Year 7 & 8 Theatre trip to see West Side Story at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking, showed the enthusiasm and energy for new experiences that I have already come to expect of Daneshillians.  The show started fifteen minutes late which held our return up a little. So, after a rather late night, it was with even more amazement that when I mentioned the idea of more theatre trips, there were 100% resounding cheers amidst the bleary eyes! West Side Story is an excellent reinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet, thereby neatly dovetailing with our studies, yet it is also enormously entertaining.

And this new production was the best I have seen – as one of the boys said, “how amazing that a fight scene made up of dance and music can still be so very tensely dramatic.”  The romance, violence, drama and tragedy all came across through this powerful performance by an intensely strong cast – the quality of their voices were stunning and it is very tempting to attempt a Daneshill version!  The last word must about the pupils though – they were an absolute pleasure and delight to take to the theatre, and I genuinely had other members of the audience seated close by keen to tell me what a well behaved party of school children they were.  You can be proud that their theatre etiquette was immaculate.

Mrs Suzy Dixon

News from the Pre-Prep
We are thrilled to hear you have all had such a good half term.  The children have recounted lots of fun adventures and some have even mentioned they saw the sun again!  It was only a week but so many of the children have shot up in height recently and are starting to look and act very grown up.
The teachers are thrilled to see some of this maturity reflected in the children’s reading, writing and their growing empathy and thoughtfulness towards each other.
We cannot believe that we have already reached the half-way point of the academic year.  Yet, we are excited about all of the new challenges ahead, challenges you will be able to read about very soon!
Miss Bridget Bull
Nursery Corner
Such smiling faces arrived through our doors this week with tales of skiing, holding crocodiles, playing on the beach and watching Mr Peabody! All children have enjoyed recounting their week’s adventures and it has been lovely to hear them speak with such excitement and confidence in front of their friends.
The children have thoroughly enjoyed playing Shopkeeper to the “Smartest Giant in Town”, supplying him with new shirt, trousers, belt, tie……! They have taken on the roles beautifully and we are enjoying using the theme in our cross-curricular activities. Does the Giant’s shoe hold more bears than their shoes? Who was helped first, who was helped last? How did the Giant feel when he shared his clothes? In fact, we are able to cover all the seven key areas of development with this one story, but the overriding theme is exemplified by the final sentence of the book: ‘To the kindest Giant in town’. 
Miss Kate Flood
Sporting Fixtures
Boys                                                                                     Girls:
RUGBY TERM                                                                        HOCKEY TERM
Wednesday 26th February                                                    Tuesday 25th February
First XII vs. St Francis                           W 48 – 10                 U9 A vs. Thorngrove                W 3 – 1
Colts A Tournament at Brockhurst         3rd Overall               U9 B vs. Thorngrove                 W 3 – 1
Colts B vs. St Pirans                              L 0 – 20                    Wednesday 26th February
Colts C vs. St Pirans                              L 21 – 28                  U13 A Berkshire Schools Tournament at Bradfield College 6th
                                                                                               U11 A vs. St Gabriel’s                W 7 – 2
                                                                                               U11 B vs. St Gabriel’s                W 3 – 0
                                                                                               U10 A vs. The Abbey                L  3 – 6
                                                                                               U10 B vs. The Abbey                L  0 – 4
Friday 28th February                                                           Friday 28th February
FOOTBALL                                                                           U9 A vs. The Oratory                TBC
U7 Red vs. Papplewick                           1 – 1                      U9 A vs. St Neot’s                     TBC
U7 Blue vs. Papplewick                          0 – 0
                                                                                             U8 Tournament at St. Piran’s      P5, W0, D3, L2

Weekly Sports Reports

A good week of fixtures was kicked off on Tuesday afternoon with our U9 hockey teams dominating their matches against Thorngrove. Both Daneshill teams were strong from the start and scored some great early goals, which helped their confidence grow. They continued to put their newly acquired skills and tactics into play and managed to maintain their lead throughout the games. All games were won by Daneshill with final scores of 3-1 and 3-1.

The U13 hockey A team travelled to Bradfield College on Wednesday to compete in the Berkshire Under 13 Girls In2Hockey tournament. The sun was shining and the girls were in good spirits as they began their quest to become County Champions! The first pool of matches were against some big Secondary Schools but the girls did not let this faze them and they started their first game against Waingels well, managing to hold onto a draw until the final whistle. The second match against Marist School started brilliantly with an early goal from Daneshill. Marrist’s equalising goal was short lived as Ella Heffner cracked a blinding goal past their keeper taking the score to 2-1 to Daneshill. Just when we thought we were home and dry Marrist’s top player managed to dribble the ball past several players and our GK to equal the score seconds before the final whistle. The game finished a 2-2 draw but the girls and coaches were pleased with how they played. We held a very strong Kennet School to a 0-0 draw in game three and finally got our first win of the day against Kendrick School in the final game in the pool. 

The girls waited in anticipation as the results were announced and were absolutely delighted to hear that Daneshill were through to the Cup competition in the afternoon, meaning we were amongst the top 8 Schools in the competition. 

We had two games to play in the cup against St Mary’s Ascot and Lambrook. The girls held St Mary’s to a 0-0 draw in what was a very hard and fast game. Special mention to Lauren Wyatt who made some great saves as GK, especially given she had never played GK before. Our final game against Lambrook was particularly tough, as the Lambrook players were used to playing on a full sized pitch and were big hitters which Ella Heffner experienced first-hand with a big hit to the chin! Brave Ella shook it off and carried on to the final whistle. Lambrook asserted themselves from the start and dominated play winning the game 3-0. We were out but not down as Daneshill finished in 6 place overall out of 18 Schools. It’s a fantastic achievement and Mr Takher and I are very proud of the girls. Big thank you also to all the parents who came to watch and to support the team too! 

Miss Kate O’Neill

This week has seen some fantastic challenges on the Rugby pitch. The First XII played St Francis at home in their first home fixture of the term.  The home side were too strong in the end and ran out worthy winners, having dominated at the set piece and breakdown.  The Colts A participated in the Brockhurst 7’s tournament and finished 3rd overall.  They shrugged off two early defeats to finish the tournament on a high.  St Francis were too strong in the Colts B and C matches but the boys got a lot out of the fixtures, showing their mettle when the chips were down.
Mr Scott Baldwin