Daneshill Diary 21/10/16

Headmaster’s Notes

Thank you to you all for a very happy and successful half-term. I think the children are all ready for a holiday but equally they have achieved a great deal since the beginning of September.

There have been a number of highlights this week. Many congratulations to the Daneshill Equestrian team who competed at Bradfield College last Sunday. The team finished in 5th place overall which is a fantastic achievement.

The Year 3 play, based on the musical words from Roald Dahl’s creations, was brilliant. The singing, acting and confident speaking, tinged with plenty of humour, was uplifting. Well done to all the children in Year 3 and, of course, Mr Soper and Mrs Mannion.

On Thursday we had the first School Council meeting of the academic year, which was held in my study. There were elected representatives from Years 3 – 8 and we discussed items raised by the children. I do feel that it is very appropriate that the children have a ‘voice’ in the school and I hope our half-termly meetings will be enjoyable and productive.

On Friday we celebrated our Harvest Festival, which provides the school community with an opportunity to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. I know that the items donated by parents will be gratefully received. We also bid farewell to the six Spanish children who have joined our Year 7 for the past three weeks. It has been a pleasure to have them in the school. Thank you so much to the parents who have looked after them so generously.

Lastly, may I remind everyone of the importance of safety in the car park. After half-term the evenings will become darker so please always ensure that driving and safety in the school grounds is given paramount importance. Children should never be walking in the car park without an adult nor arrange to meet their parents in the car park.

I do wish you all a happy and relaxing half-term break and I look forward to welcoming the children back on Wednesday 2nd November.

Mr Wansey

Dahlicious Delights

Roald Dahl’s imaginative and inspired children’s tales were brought to life this week by Year 3. Dahl’s magical story-telling is as fresh now as it was when he started putting pen to paper following his years as a fighter ace in World War 2, and Year 3 celebrated his 100th anniversary by producing a concert in his honour. In truly dramatic style, they acted out scenes from his stories and enthusiastically performed songs from musicals inspired by his books, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach and Matilda. Year 3 worked hard learning their lines and song lyrics and the result was, as the BFG might have put it, both splendiferous and gloriumptious! There is clearly a wealth of talent in Year 3, which Mr Soper and I look forward to nurturing over the coming years. The dramatic and musical future at Daneshill looks very promising!

Mrs Mannion

Pre-Prep News

What a successful end to our topic on Dinosaurs. It was wonderful to see both the girls and the boys so engaged in their learning and all of the parent feedback has been so valuable. This week we performed a mini assembly initially to the Nursery and then to the Year 1 classes. We sang a dinosaur song and recited an entire story ‘We are going on a dinosaur hunt!’ This has given us more confidence to perform to an audience in preparation for our Christmas production.

Year 1 pupils transformed into shape detectives this week as they spent time spotting different shapes in our environment and learning some of the 2D shape names such as pentagon, hexagon and rhombus. The children also enjoyed learning the Spike Milligan poem ‘Ning, Nang, Nong’ complete with actions and expressions and put on a lovely performance to Reception who were very amused by the silly words!

At the end of the week a scary visitor crept into the classrooms during science… the Big Bad Wolf! He was searching for the three little pigs so it was up to our Year 1 scientists to make the sturdiest house using the best material to keep the little pigs safe. Thankfully the children worked together and built a solid house made from concrete blocks which survived the huffs and puffs of the naughty wolf!

The Year 2 pupils were full of enthusiasm as they took part in the whole school assembly this morning, celebrating the Harvest Festival.  They worked together to create a beautifully bright and colourful harvest basket, full of pastel fruit and vegetables for the classrooms and they thought hard about what we should be thankful for at this time of the year.  Thought provoking prayers were also written and we reflected on how mature and confident the children have become when they take turns to say the prayer at lunch time to the whole of the Pre-Prep.

It has been such a fun filled and busy first half term and when we return from our break there will be lots to look forward to, including casting the Christmas production!

From all of us in the Pre Prep we wish you a lovely half-term holiday.

The Pre-Prep Teachers


Tuesday 18th October


U.9 A vs. Thorngrove                          W 5 – 1

U.9 B vs. Thorngrove                          W 3 – 0

U.8 A vs. Thorngrove                          W 8 – 3

U.8 B vs. Thorngrove                          W 3 – 2

Wednesday 19th October


U.13 A vs. Thorngrove                        W 6 – 1

U.13 B vs. Thorngrove                        L 1 – 4

Colts A vs. Thorngrove                       D 2 – 2

Colts B vs. Thorngrove                       W 5 – 3

Colts C vs. Thorngrove                       L 0 – 8

Colts D vs. Thorngrove                       L 1 – 3


U.13 A vs. Thorngrove                        D 3 – 3

U.13 B vs. Thorngrove                       W 4 – 3

U.11 A vs. Thorngrove                        D 3 – 3

U.10 A vs. Thorngrove                        W 3 – 1

U.10 B vs. Thorngrove                        W 3 – 0


It has been a pleasure to return to Daneshill and work with familiar faces – both staff and players!  I have been hugely encouraged by the excitement and enthusiasm shown towards hockey, and the positive effect the achievements of the GB team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio has had on the pupils.

All the year groups have been put through their paces with specific emphasis placed on the basic principles and techniques, the concepts of the game and the rules of play. All of the pupils have responded and developed incredibly well and, whilst we still have a lot of work to do, I am pleased with the progress thus far.

Throughout the year groups we have been focusing on the pupils’ hand position on the stick, passing and receiving, the position of their feet in relation to ball, moving with the ball in the right position (with head up), jab tackling and block tackling. We have practiced moving into space and creating space for others. Additionally, we have been working on not playing ‘blind’ hockey ensuring we are able to control the ball and release it to a teammate who in turn is moving into space. As the sessions have advanced, we have begun to look at the ‘W’ shape in our team structure and short corner attack and defence, shooting, controlling the ball on the reverse stick and looking at the ‘clock system’ of how to get the ball back to the strong ‘3 o’clock position’ when facing the opposition.

The Year 7s and 8s have shown tremendous progress and although they have had a tough start to the term, often playing against some very good teams, they have equipped themselves well and enjoyed their fixtures. The Year 6s have progressed well through the term and have competed well in all their fixtures with some promising talent in the year group. The Year 5s have done extremely well with their silver medal at the Bradfield tournament being the highlight of the season so far. There is, undoubtedly, real potential with this group of girls. The Year 4’s attitude to training and matches has resulted in the success they have had. The grit and determination of certain individuals in this group has certainly made me proud! Finally, the Year 3s have adapted well to match play and again there is great potential.

With hockey now being introduced to the pupils as young as Reception, I feel that the future is bright for the sport at Daneshill. The majority of the young players are picking up a hockey stick for the first time and are able to do basic ball control and make passes and understand even at this early stage some of the rules and concepts of hockey, which is very pleasing to see.

I would like to thank all the staff for their drive and passion for sport at Daneshill and I look forward to yet more success in the second half of term.

Mr Takher

Colts A

The Colts A drew today’s match, but they felt like winners. Last week’s second half performance was erased from the memory and replaced with images of a team who wanted victory, learnt from the mistakes of the first half and very nearly pulled it off!

The first half saw us create chances but struggle to finish them off. Our decision making was poor, I would say. We took too long on the ball in the midfield meaning that our chances came with little time to finish. Thorngrove made the most of their possession and we found ourselves 2-0 down at half-time. It didn’t reflect the full story of the game but we knew if we were to come back into the match we had to improve, namely in the speeding up of our transition from attack to defence, following up our shots to get the rebounds, playing the ball up field earlier by taking less touches on the ball and believing we could win. We did all of that in spades. Marios and Will created many chances and all of the attacking four found themselves in positions to score. Thorngrove were determined, however, and made us work hard for every goal with some good saves and defensive play. Finally at the three quarter stage we broke them, scoring twice in quick succession. Our momentum was only stopped by an unfortunate injury to their Keeper. The break in play gave Thorngrove time to capture their breath and the last 2-3 minutes were fairly even with both teams having the chance to score; it was a real cliff-hanger of a match.

Mr Baldwin

Colts B

The Colts B put in a determined performance on Wednesday and should be very proud of their efforts. The start of the game was a little bit scrappy and against the run of play Thorngrove took the lead. Thankfully we started to dictate play though and soon equalised through Cameron. Jude followed this up with a well taken goal and Edward added a third. Thorngrove were awarded a direct free kick just before half-time which they rifled into the top corner leaving the score 3 – 2 at the break. In the second half we knew that the next goal to be scored would be crucial and thankfully it was Freddie who slotted home. Barnaby capped off the day with a wonder strike to take the game away from Thorngrove. It was a great afternoon and our most complete performance of the season. Well done!

Mr Spencer

Colts C

I wonder how many times, in the entire history of football, a side has followed 11-0 and 10-0 victories with an 8-0 defeat? Probably not that many. In spite of the final score line, this was the C’s best performance of the season in many ways. The valiance of all the boys was truly outstanding. Against a very strong and talented opposition, not a single head dropped and all boys courageously defended their goal until the final whistle. Robin Rattray, in particular, made some magnificent saves, and Harrison Cleaver, Oliver Groslin and Henry Horniman regularly threw themselves in front on oncoming attackers.

While the Colts C behaved humbly in victory last week, they showed sportsmanship beyond their years in their loss this week. They must be commended for their grace, their respect and the way that they tirelessly strove for what would have been a much-deserved goal.

Mr Kinsey