Daneshill Diary 26/02/16

Headmaster’s Notes

The abilities of our Year 8 pupils continue to be recognised with Ellen Green being awarded an All-Rounder Scholarship and William Wyatt being awarded a Sports Scholarship to Lord Wandsworth College. This is a fantastic achievement for both of them and we are very proud of their success!

As you will see from the following articles it really has been an action packed week and with our first Chess Tournament taking place at Daneshill on Sunday and our equestrian team competing at Bradfield; the weekend promises to follow suit.

Mr Spencer

Science Quiz Final

Wednesday 24th February was a big day in the Science calendar. Our fantastic quiz team made up of Viola Mansfield, Tommy Guy, Harry Aldred and Alex Harker were set to take part in the final of the National Schools Science Quiz.

On a frosty morning we made our way to The University of Oxford Natural History Museum. I was accompanied by the team’s loyal fan club (aka parents, grandparents and Uncle Gav!) and we took our seats at the back of the lecture theatre. Ten schools had made it to the final which was an achievement in itself as four hundred and twenty schools had originally entered the competition.

After a slow but steady start we held our own in the first half of the quiz edging into first place after twenty questions. Astoundingly we held onto first place for the next eighteen questions. There were a few of the other teams in threatening positions but our children remained composed and determined. Questions thirty nine and forty were, however, incredibly difficult. At this point it should be stated that the knowledge these four children have is unbelievable. At times it surpasses GCSE level or maybe even slightly higher when it comes to the grasp they have of some of the scientific disciplines. Anyway, the children went to Oxford to win and were courageous in their efforts in the final two questions. Unfortunately, however, we pinned all our hopes on one answer for each question, which were both incorrect and when the results were announced we had been pushed back into fourth position.

I hope once you have read this you will appreciate how brilliantly our children performed on the day against the best of the best. The winning team in the end was Westminster. We worked out that 1680 children took part in the competition and our Daneshill team finished in the top 16. An incredible achievement for the team and Daneshill. I would like to congratulate the children for being inspiring, brave and courageous and the parents for all of their support throughout!

Mrs Blomfield

Science and RE in the Spotlight

The staff have been overwhelmed by the response to the Subject in the Spotlight debating competition. It has been wonderful to hear the corridors filled with children having their own mini debates whilst waiting for their next class. As staff we have even been secretly interviewed about our own opinions on zoos and robots! It has been very hard to pick the teams as the standard of speeches has been phenomenally high with pupils brilliantly arguing for and against each question whilst also concluding with their own opinions. The names of the House teams will be announced next week.

Debating is a wonderful skill which can be used in every subject at school, with any topic at home or in a workplace so why not organise a family debate! It’s a great way to engage everyone and you could take turns to pick the topic.

Mrs Blomfield

Inter House Maths Challenge

On Tuesday every child in the school from Year 1 to Year 8 took part in a Maths Challenge. For the pupils in the Prep School, the challenge involved answering as many multiplication and divisions linked to their knowledge of their times tables as they could … in five minutes! Incredibly some of the children achieved scores of over 190!!! The results were as follows:

• Yellow 40 house points
• Red 30 house points
• Green 20 house points
• Blue 10 house points

Congratulations to all the children who took part.

Mrs Caratelli

News from the Pre-Prep

This week Reception completed their Chinese New Year topic with a whole class dragon dance to the beat of the drums. There was endless activity in the role play area, which was set up as an airport. The children created passports, posed as air traffic control and even had ‘in cabin service’, with snacks and beverages being served! All of the children took part in a writing experience as part of a whole school initiative and we all look forward to the feedback.

This week Year 1 were introduced to a new Julia Donaldson text which follows the adventures of an unlikely superhero called ‘Superworm’. The story lent itself to exploring features of a newspaper which allowed the children to become reporters and write their own articles. We have also focused on the use of connectives to extend and join our sentences using words such as ‘and’, ‘because’ and ‘but’.

Through rhyme and songs the children looked at the twelve months of the year and how they can be divided into the four seasons. The children discussed how the trees and their surroundings change through the seasons. The children’s multiplication knowledge was put to the test on Tuesday during our times table themed maths lesson, which involved multiplication bingo and a short quiz that the children loved taking part in. Year 1 ended the week by counting forwards and backwards in twos, fives and tens.

Year 2 have had a busy first week back after half-term. In English they have been looking at ‘story settings’ and how to use a wide variety of vocabulary to set a scene, to entice the reader to want to read on, and to see what will happen next in a story. They have all been set the challenge of joining up their writing after completing a thorough introduction to the ‘Letterjoin’ cursive handwriting scheme.

As always after a new hall display goes up it has been fantastic to hear the excitement from the children and parents as they explored ‘going into the woods…..’ and meeting the three bears, the Gruffalo, owls, foxes and discovering a bluebell wood and haunted house!

Pre-Prep Teachers

Nursery Corner

Everyone has returned looking fresh faced and full of beans after half-term and it was lovely to hear what the children had been up to. From recalling birthday parties with snow machines to visiting dinosaurs in London, the children were confident and eager to tell others their exciting holiday news.

We have been dancing, leaping, hopping and skipping around the Nursery, acting out a range of bugs that we know of, all due to the introduction of the ‘b’ sound this week. Everyone should have come home with a beautiful, bouncing, butterfly too.

Our season tree has been pretty busy and each branch now represents one of the four seasons. We have been discussing the differences between the seasons and listening to some season songs, with actions, to help support our learning. The weather this week has been perfect with the chilly Winter mornings which have then turned into sunny days, tempting us to think of Spring!

Have a wonderful weekend

Mrs Beeching

Sporting Fixtures
Wednesday 24th February
U.11 A vs. Berkshire Schools Plate Final
U.10 A vs. Farleigh T’ment DNQ

U.13 A vs. Horris Hill L 19 – 50
U.13 B vs. Horris Hill L 0 – 10
Colts A vs. Horris Hill L 1 – 10
Colts B vs. Horris Hill W 4 – 1
Colts C vs. Horris Hill L 2 – 9

Thursday 25th February
U.13 A vs. Berkshire Schools Plate Semi-Final

Friday 26th February
U.9 A vs. Farleigh L 1 – 2
U.9 B vs. Farleigh D 0 – 0
U.9 C vs. Farleigh L 1 – 4
U.8 B vs. Farleigh D 3 – 3

U.8 A vs. Alton Convent 3rd

U.9 A vs. Horris Hill D 4 – 4

The first week back after half-term has been a busy one for the girls, with both the U.11s and U.13s participating in their respective Berkshire Schools In2 Hockey Competitions.

The U.11s were up first at Bradfield on Wednesday. The squad found the going tough in the first two games, falling to defeats against The Abbey and Lambrook. Thankfully the girls responded to this and their improved application resulted in an excellent 4-0 victory against a Highfield team. This result saw the girls’ progress to the Plate competition where the girls went from strength to strength, beating Oldfield 3-0, before grinding out a 1-0 victory over Holme Grange ‘B’ thanks to a breakaway goal.

This put us top of the group, and a semi-final against LVS Ascot. The girls started the game brightly, going 2-0 up within 3 minutes. After weathering a small LVS storm the girls scored a third which secured victory. The Plate final saw us pitted against Holme Grange ‘B’ who were eager to attest their defeat in the second group stage. They started quicker than Daneshill and threatened without being able to take the lead. However, 2 goals in 2 minutes left an untenable mountain to climb. On another day, the girls could have been celebrating a success, but the way they played during the day showed that they can feel confident going forward as a team, and their displays were of a high quality. Special mentions to Poppy Evans and Oliviya Howe who shared the goalkeeping responsibilities, along with Tilly Scott Knight who finished with 5 goals, and Emily Goor who scored 4 times. Hopefully they can repeat this feat going into their tournament next week.

The U.13s competed in their tournament on Thursday, hoping to repeat or improve upon the achievements of the U.11s the day before. In keeping, the U.13s had a slow start to the tournament, losing their first 2 games. However, their performances finally clicked into place, and they went on a superb unbeaten run, winning their next 8 matches. What was even more remarkable is that they didn’t concede a goal during these matches, with Olivia making some great saves to keep out the opposition. Unfortunately, their unbeaten run came to an end with a 1-0 defeat in the semi-finals, but the girls can go away with their heads high after a great run. Everyone played their part in the unbeaten run and great performances, with special mention to Georgie Brooks-Ward and Georgia Lea who scored a number of great goals.

The third tournament of the week involved the U.10s, who headed to Farleigh for an inter-school tournament. In a shock for the girls, they had to play on grass which none of them had done before! They put in a lot of effort and kept working hard, but unfortunately they came back with a record of Lost 4 and Drawn 2. The girls all know that they can play at a higher level and they will be striving to put that right next week.

Mr King

This week provided a tough challenge for all of our teams as we came up against Horris Hill. For the most part it was a mental challenge and whether or not we could start strongly against what we knew was going to be a tough and physical side. As a general trend, our second half performances were much stronger than our first. Obviously the challenge now is to learn to start with belief and accuracy from the first minute, no matter who the opposition.

Good luck to the Year 2 boys who are playing their first inter-school match against Papplewick later!

Mr Baldwin