Daneshill Diary 03/03/17

Headmaster’s Notes

I am pleased to announce that we have had more scholarship success this week with a number of our Year 8 pupils being acknowledged by their senior schools. Scholarship awards are always extremely competitive, especially in these current times, and we admire all of our pupils who put themselves forward to be a potential scholar and are prepared to put themselves in the lime light of trying for an award.

On Monday we received the news that Flick Young had won a Dr Gray All-Rounder Scholarship to Bradfield College and Jessica Bettesworth a Music Exhibition. On Wednesday Camilo Cowan was awarded an Art Scholarship to Lord Wandsworth College and on Thursday news reached us that Hal Gavin had been awarded an Academic & Drama Scholarship to Lord Wandsworth College and India Fulford an All-Rounder Award.

I would like to congratulate all of the pupils on their fantastic achievements. Well done!

On Thursday we also received news that four of our Year 6 pupils have been offered places at Wellington College for September 2018. Congratulations Emily, Saskia, Candida and Robin.

Thursday was certainly a busy day as all of the children and staff celebrated World Book Day and the school was awash with literary characters. Later in the day we had a fantastic turn out from parents in Years 5 & 6 who attended an information evening on the benefits of Year 7 & 8 at Daneshill with Mr David Griffiths, our Headmaster elect, as our guest speaker. Mr Griffiths will hopefully be visiting the School on a number of occasions next term when he will have the opportunity to meet the rest of our parent body.

Finally, many congratulations to our Year 5 & 6 Science quiz team (Harry Alfred, Alex Harker, Ciaran Churcher and Monty Cross). They competed in the National Prep School Final in Oxford on Friday and just missed out on third place. The standard of scientific knowledge was exceptional.

Have a very happy weekend.

Mr Wansey

World Book Day

For the World Book Day celebrations this year we invited three guests to join the children at Daneshill: Melvin Burgess, Lauren St. John and Chloe Inkpen. We feel that it is a valuable time for professionals, who are experts in their field, to come and share their knowledge and passion for what they do.

We were particularly privileged to invite Melvin Burgess, who has won awards for his writing including the Carnegie Medal and Guardian Fiction Award, to speak to Years 7 & 8. He did a specific writing workshop with each year group later on in the day. When pupils reach Year 7 we are trying to encourage them to develop their own personal style of writing. It can be a particularly exciting stage of their development, as their maturity allows them to create greater subtlety within their writing. So Melvin’s workshops were ideal to support what we are trying to develop in school and at the same time allow them to meet a high profile author and to learn first-hand about the writing process.

We have some very keen writers at Daneshill and we are fortunate that as many boys enjoy creative writing as girls. Pupils are given regular opportunities to read their work aloud, develop as young writers and take pride in what they can create. Year 8 wrote the morning book day assembly, where they mixed up fairy tales and gave them a modern twist. At the top of the School it is wonderful to see writing in action, such as for performance, as well as in the very high levels attained by them in their formal examinations.

Lauren St. John spoke to Years 3 to 6 about her passion for animals that inspired many of her best-selling books. Pupils were quite entranced by her stories as she told them about growing up with wild animals around her. Chloe Inkpen is visiting Pre-Prep. She is a well-known author and illustrator. It is wonderful for the children to see from a very young age how special books can be and to see her draw some of her well-loved characters right before them.

The School came together for our annual book quiz, so once again the School was transformed into a world of books with weird and wonderful characters round every corner. Huge thanks to our parents for supporting our book fair and the making of many intricate costumes.

We are sure there must have been some late nights for some as the last bits of paint, foil or accessories were gathered and completed! A very busy but wonderful week!

Miss Clegg

Pre-Prep News

What a fabulous time we have had this week.  The excitement levels for the children have been at an all-time high with celebrations for Pancake Day as well as World Book Day!

As a school we feel that reading is key to learning and our aim is to allow the children to explore and expand their knowledge through the stories they read.  It was brilliant to have an array of characters arrive into the Pre-Prep on Thursday morning.  Miss Honey to Captain Hook, Sophie in her nightgown to The Demon Dentist with his power tool, everyone made an enormous effort and we must congratulate all the children and their incredible parents for providing us with such entertainment!  We had a wonderful parade with a ‘costume conga’ and we then all took part in a whole school book quiz which was a delight for all.

The Pre-Prep Teachers


Wednesday 1st March


U.13 A vs. Edgeborough                                 L 4 – 17

U.13 B vs. Edgeborough                                 L 4 – 18

U.13 C vs. Edgeborough                                 L 4 – 8

U.11 A vs. Edgeborough                                 W 20 – 2

U.10 A vs. Edgeborough                                 W 8 – 2

U.10 B vs. Edgeborough                                 W 3 – 2

U.10 C vs. Edgeborough                                 L 0 – 2


U.13 vs. Pangbourne                                       L 5 – 55

U.11 A vs. Dolphin & St Edward’s                   W 6 – 0, W 3 – 1

U.11 B vs. St Edward’s                                     W 8 – 1

U.11 C vs. Dolphin & St Edward’s                   W 4 – 1, W 8 – 0

U.10 vs. St Edward’s                                        W 9 – 4

Friday 3rd March


U.9 A vs. Holme Grange                                 W 5 – 4

U.9 B vs. Holme Grange                                 W 6 – 2

U.8 A vs. Holme Grange                                 W 10 – 1

U.8 B vs. Holme Grange                                 D 0 – 0


U.9 A vs. St Neot’s                                          W 13 – 5

U.9 B vs. St Neot’s                                          W 19 – 11

U.8 Red vs. St Neot’s                                      W 10 – 9

U.8 Blue vs. St Neot’s                                     W 8 – 7


U.13 C

The U.13 C team have made excellent progress this term. The team have really gelled and are now aware of their positional responsibilities across the court. Their communication and team work must also be commended as they are a tight knit group who work incredibly hard in lessons. During training this week the team have focused on movement skills with particular attention given to ensuring they are in front of their defender when taking the ball. I could see the team really thought about this during the game and executed some perfect moves.

U.11 A

The U.11 girls continued their run of success this week in a fixture against Edgeborough School. The team looked impressive from the start demonstrating strength and vision with slick, accurate passing up the court. The whole team defended incredibly well and the defensive unit prevented the Edgeborough attackers from having very few shots at goal. Our lessons this week have been focused on the ‘clear and drive’ and I was delighted to see the girls recalling their training in the match situation, creating space with cleanly executed moves and set plays. Delighted with the progress this team has made over the past few weeks. They have trained hard and focused in lessons and the results speak for themselves. A great win for the girls.

Mrs Cowd

U.10 A

The girls have worked so hard in lessons, at clubs and in previous matches so were excited to try out their new tactics and set plays against Edgeborough. From the start they played well, catching cleanly, moving into spaces with confidence and throwing the ball accurately. Four quick goals by Jemima and Lola gave us a strong lead which we kept throughout the whole match. Edgeborough scored a couple but Katie, Freya, Isla and Claudia defended well, keeping the ball out of the goal circle, intercepting the ball over and over again and clearing the ball efficiently. With Lily and Imogen feeding the ball into our attacking circle with precision, we scored four more super goals, winning 8-2. The best match of the term, with the ball moving through every position from defence to attack and the players having huge spaces to run into. A thoroughly deserved win after a lot of hard work.

Mrs Barnes

U.10 B

The girls got off to a good start, with the goal shooters netting early goals to put Daneshill into the lead. This success in the shooting circle was mirrored at the other end of the court with Daneshill combining beautifully to defend their goal.

The U.10 B girls went from strength to strength in the second third maintaining their dominance in possession and scoring goal after goal.  Edgeborough tried to pull it back towards the end of the game, but our girls were just too strong, proving that teamwork and perseverance wins in the end!

The final score was 3-2 to Daneshill.

U.10 C

In the first third both teams were evenly matched and showed some good ball skills. After a reshuffle of positions in the second third we began to dominate the court. After some initial shooting phobia the girls braved it and made numerous attempts at goal. However, luck was not on our side and the second third ended 0 – 1.

Edgeborough fought back in the last third, making the girls work hard in defence. However, some poor marking and pacing gave Edgeborough numerous shots at goal. Although feeling somewhat disappointed, we were in good spirit and determined to make a comeback.  Some accurate passing and great teamwork gave the game good pace. Unfortunately the final score was 2-0 to Edgeborough. Well done to the girls for keeping their spirits high and doing their best!

Mrs Fevrier


Apart from a knocked finger by Thomas, we sustained no long term injuries this week which is a plus. Despite the score, the boys played with determination and a relentless energy to go forward and support. Ultimately, Pangbourne had larger numbers and size paid off, but Daneshill showed a different character on the field throughout the match having long periods of possession and making some crunching tackles.

Player of the game was Hal, who made a few excellent carries and developed some timely passing.

Mr Berwick

U.11 A

A very impressive effort from the U11’s saw us bring home our first wins. We had been very brave in defence up until this point and our effectiveness at the ruck had improved but we had struggled to recognise space when it was present and use it but I am delighted to say that this changed today! This has been our focus for the last two weeks and so it was a proud moment for all involved. In the first match against Dolphin, Arthur scored a try from the kick off which set the tone. From there it was clear that we had made a decision to be first to the ruck and then re align, looking to find space. It wasn’t always successful, nor was it always pretty, but when we got it right we looked superb. One try to Will Swart resulted from an accurate cut out ball from the first receiver, it was fantastic and I hoped the boys realised what they had just achieved. In the second match St Edward’s provided some very stern opposition and neither side gave an inch. Alex Harker deserves a mention here as he repeatedly tore into the St Edward’s defensive line making some very good yards for us. The difference between the two sides was our ability to hold a defensive line and close space as one or two of their runners were very fast. Because we came up as a line and shut them down, the ball was not able to reach the pacier boys. All in all todays matches were a real squad effort and every boy contributed to two great Daneshill performances!

Mr Baldwin

U.11 B

An increasingly excellent performance from the B squad. We were slow starters and allowed some of St Edward’s big ball carriers to dominate. Only stoic last gasp defence kept the score to one try a piece in the opening quarter. Where we dominated throughout was at ruck time as our superior technique and awareness provided either relentless possession or a steady stream of penalised infringements from the opposition. This dominance of ball in hand created an inevitable shift in momentum and the second half saw a string of sublime scores, many of which involving multiple phases and multiple pairs of hands. An excellent team performance.

Mr Webster

U.11 C

It was a very successful afternoon for the U11Cs. By playing one game of tag rugby, the boys had a great opportunity to continue the development of their passing and support play, working well as a team to construct longer phases of attack. Although their contact game was sadly a little one-sided, it was pleasing to see the boys play with such direction, physicality and structure.

The team thoroughly enjoyed their victories and I hope that they can use them to boost their confidence for the remainder of the season.

Mr Kinsey


Great team work was very evident in this game and lead to a great win for the boys. Our handling skills have really come on since our last game and it was down to the boys to decide when to pass and when not.

Reading the game in front of you is a very difficult thing to do, but their recent work on the foundations of rugby have meant they can now be more confident at retaining the ball in contact. Shantanu was a good example of this as he looked to look after the ball effectively.

Ben was rewarded with a good try, side-stepping four players to finally dot down. There were tries from many others in the team; a mixture of being solid through the middle and pace in the wider spaces.

Well done boys, the work in lessons is really starting to show.

Mr Soper