Daneshill Diary 29/04/16

Headmaster’s Notes

As always the start to the summer term has been exhilarating and we have barely had the chance to draw breath. The weather has kept us guessing but thankfully all of the children managed to take part in fixtures in their first full week back, which hasn’t always been the case in previous years. The calendar for the summer term is full of opportunities for everyone and I am sure the Daneshill Diary will continue to be filled with positive stories in the weeks ahead.

I hope that you enjoy the extended weekend. When we return on Tuesday it will be compulsory summer uniform for the pupils so let’s hope the barometer is heading in the right direction.

Mr Spencer

Rocket Science

Last week a very excited group of Year 3 pupils planted seeds for the Royal Horticultural Society’s Rocket Science Experiment.

The RHS Rocket Science project, in partnership with the UK Space Agency, is a UK wide experiment and a fun, interactive way to get students thinking about how plants might grow in space.

In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station on Soyuz 44S. The seeds were held in microgravity for 6 months with British ESA astronaut Tim Peake taking charge of them whilst on the ISS for his Principia mission. The seeds returned to earth in April 2016 and Daneshill School was one of 10,000 schools to receive 100 seeds from space. These will be grown alongside seeds that have not been to space to see if there are any differences in growth. No-one at Daneshill School knows which seeds have been to space and which have remained on Earth.

Students will care for the seedlings, record their growth and observations over 7 weeks, and enter data into a database. After all the data has been collected, the results will be analysed by professional statisticians. Leading scientists from the RHS and European Space Agency will interpret the results and draw possible conclusions, publishing their results on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening website.

We are delighted to be taking part in Rocket Science. It will be an exciting way for our young scientists to contribute to a National experiment and share their learning with the whole school community. Hopefully their experience with Rocket Science will encourage and also inspire them to find out more about careers in STEM subjects including horticulture, plant science and the space industry as a whole.

If you would like to know more about Rocket Science, you can:

Miss Spencer & Mrs Jeffreys

Warrior Adrenaline Race 2016

The pupils in Year 8, and a small team of staff, transformed into racing warriors at the weekend whilst attending the annual Warrior Adrenaline Race in Hertford. This is the second year we have attended this event and it proved to be another successful outing!

Undeterred by the inclement April weather, the staff team; made up of Mr Baldwin, Mr Webster, Mrs Pursell and I, attacked the course first. We were easy to spot as we allowed the children to decorate us with face paints much to their amusement! Over hay bales, through tunnels in the river, through muddy swamps and under cargo nets we went. Thankfully after 60 minutes we emerged as a team to be cheered on by a roaring Daneshill crowd who saw us through the water submersion tank and across the finish line.

It was then the turn of the children. I am delighted to report that all 21 children in Year 8 signed up for this challenge and all 21 children made it across the finish line. This was quite a gruelling 5km course with some tough obstacles but the Daneshill spirit carried them through. I was exceptionally proud of how each and every one of them threw themselves at this course. It was a new experience for all of the pupils and the majority have asked to do another obstacle course ASAP! I am delighted that the children have had their eyes opened to the fun world of obstacle racing (or at least I think it’s fun!) and I hope this will inspire them to try new things, to work together as a team, and to look forward to their impending Three Peaks Challenge in June.

Mrs Blomfield

Year 2 Science Workshops

Year 2 enjoyed a visit to the science laboratories last week where they carried out a number of different activities. They examined their finger prints, made their own experiments up using some basic equipment, tried to balance a coke can with some water as well as making balloon kebabs, foaming monsters and electrical bugs.

It was a wonderful opportunity for both the children and parents to experience the labs and enjoy this brilliant facility. Whilst the children were being entertained with elephant’s toothpaste and igniting metals in water, I spoke to the parents about the essential skills we encourage through Science at Daneshill. All of the activities on offer encouraged the children to try ideas out, to experience ideas that did not work, and to think how they could change their approach. Resilience is increasingly important in today’s society and the more we can encourage children to feel comfortable with experimenting with their ideas, the more we will be equipping them with life skills. We look forward to welcoming the Year 3 children in a few weeks’ time.

Mrs Blomfield

Year 6 Blenheim Palace Prize Giving

On Thursday 14th April, Oliviya Howe, Harry Burleton and Thomas Dyer attended a Prize Giving at Blenheim Palace on behalf of the whole of Year 6. In September, the year group entered the annual competition that Blenheim’s Education Department organises. The pupils’ designed a large batik that was inspired by autumn leaves and their efforts were rewarded with a Group Prize from the Duchess of Marlborough.

Oliviya, Harry and Thomas were presented with the award by the Duchess of Marlborough herself. The ceremony was followed by an ‘amazing’ tea, which capped off a memorable day for all.

Mrs Caratelli

Maths Challenge

This week we return with our weekly Maths Challenge. This half of term they will be linked with Geography as these two subjects are in the spotlight.

The Challenge

Look at the map near the office. Main roads are called ‘A’ roads, for example the main road that runs near school is the A33. Smaller roads are called ‘B’ roads.

There is one road that goes from Alton to Basingstoke, which road is it?

There is one road that goes from Alton to Odiham, which road is it?

Write both answers on the paper provided, and don’t forget your name.

Mrs Caratelli

News from the Pre-Prep

In Reception, we have started our new topic ‘Growing’. We have looked at the life cycles of butterflies and frogs and have enjoyed learning interesting new facts about them from non-fiction text.  We have made some symmetrical butterflies for our display. We have also started a listening skills task which we are going to do every week. In Mathematics we have been doing our own money problems which involve addition and subtraction.  We have related this to going shopping and saving money.

It has been a great start to the Summer Term in Year 1 as the children have been encouraged to explore their senses in our new topic about the rainforest. The children were introduced to the line of the equator and the tropic lines using a globe. They then took their learning further by identifying the rainforests on a map and labelling the continents. It was fascinating to hear the children’s ideas about what they would see and hear if they landed in the middle of a rainforest. We were particularly impressed with their descriptions of some of the animals including ‘I can see a beautiful blue butterfly, fluttering through the tall, green trees.’

The Year 2 children have returned to school with lots of enthusiasm about being back with their friends and ready to learn. There is also great excitement about our two new topics. In History we are learning about two kind and caring ladies who looked after injured soldiers during the Crimean War – Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole.  In Science we are discovering various ‘Habitats’ which we hope to explore within the school grounds on warm, sunny days. To inspire the children we are off on a school trip to investigate woodland habitats at Alice Holt next Tuesday.

Pre-Prep Teachers

 Nursery Corner

It has been a fantastic start to the Summer Term in Nursery with all our new children settling in extremely well.  Self-selecting activities is actually one of the EYFS goals for children of this age and it is exciting to see that our new friends are inquisitive and engaged and able to source activities of interest around the nursery with minimal support.

We have been enjoying ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ and our role play is now the Bear’s cave!  We all decided that actually if the family hadn’t run away the Bear would have invited them all in for tea and that’s just what we’ve been doing in our ‘cave’.

Outside the ‘mud kitchen’ has been a huge success with lots of delicious concoctions being made!  The digging zone has also been made a hub of activity with the addition of some large trucks as well as the spades and forks – the children have been making worm homes in the back of the trucks and really enjoying getting their hands dirty!

Have a super long weekend and see you all on Tuesday.

Mrs Beeching

Sporting Fixtures

Wednesday 27th April


U.13 A vs. Thorngrove                        L by 9 Wkts

U.13 B vs. Thorngrove                        L by 48 runs

Colts A vs. Thorngrove                       W by 3 Wkts

Colts B vs. Thorngrove                       W by 16 runs

Colts C vs. Thorngrove                       W by 19 runs


U.13 A vs. Yateley Manor                    W 9.5 – 5

U.13 B vs. Yateley Manor                    D 7 – 7

U.13 C vs. Yateley Manor                    L 3.5 – 11.5

U.11 A vs. Yateley Manor                    L 5 – 6.5

U.11/U.10 B vs. Yateley Manor            L 6.5 – 16.5

U.10 A vs. Yateley Manor                    D 4 – 4

Friday 29th April


U.9 A vs. Papplewick                         L by 30 runs

U.8 A vs. Papplewick                         W by 11 runs

U.8 B vs. Papplewick                         L by 7 runs


U.9 A vs. Holme Grange                   W 15 – 10

U.9 B vs. Holme Grange                   W 13.5 – 2.5

U.8 A vs. Holme Grange                   W 18.5 – 14.5

U.8 B vs. Holme Grange                   W 14 – 11

On Wednesday the boys played Thorngrove, which saw a mixed start to the season. The Colts teams triumphed across the board but the seniors clearly have a lot of work to do if they are to reach their potential.

1st XI  Lost: Daneshill 47ao  Thorngrove 48/1

The 1st XI got off to a shaky start to the season. We lost the toss and were put in to bat on what was a slightly slow and green wicket. The Thorngrove bowlers started well, pitching the ball up at a reasonable clip and with the third ball of the innings they got their man as Sami Virji was bowled. A brief spell of Daneshill impetus was ended when Will Wyatt top edged a ball to mid-off and then the rot set in. One of the hardest things to do as a batting side is to stop the slump when it occurs and the challenge proved to be a bridge too far for us. Oli Beresford Davies was run out, Harry Stevens was bowled, Jack Pocock was bowled, William Toosey was stumped and George Munn received the obligatory wrong decision but was on his way none the less. Max Antelme and Jack Kellard looked to put a partnership together but they too fell prey to the full, straight deliveries of the Thorngrove side without building on the hard work they had put in. Some late resistance from David Wilson and Jake McGregor saw us through to 46. It was going to take some early wickets and a bit of luck to get over the line and, though we threatened, Lady Luck wasn’t smiling. Thorngrove knocked the total off in 8 overs. Plenty to work on going forward but challenges can be exciting!

Mr Baldwin

2XI  Lost: Thorngrove 134-1 Daneshill 86-4

The 2nd XI decided to field first. Aiming to have all players bowl at least one over meant there was a quick rotation of bowlers. The boys remembered the basics of walking in with the bowler and getting the ball back nice and swiftly for the next delivery. Whist we were not always terribly accurate with the bowling, there was definite improvement from some boys regarding pace and fuller pitched deliveries. Too many extras really paved the way for the rest of the afternoon and this was to be our downfall in the long run. Thorngrove posted a respectable 132-1.  Joe Stickland and Harry Hare led the way well with both bat and ball. With an opening partnership of 48 they set a decent platform but Thorngrove had some bowlers in reserve who we found difficult to put away. We did, however, manage to steal 18 byes in reaching our score of 86-4, which goes to show how many runs are out there if you’re quick enough.

Onwards and upwards!

Mr Soper

Colts A Won: Thorngrove 78-7 Daneshill 79-7

The Colts As enjoyed a positive start to the season with a 3 wicket victory over their opponents from Thorngrove. Having to play with a swing ball instead of a hard ball due to the dampness of the pitch made for a challenging game with runs being difficult to come by. After winning the toss, Thomas Dyer chose to bowl first and a combination of tight bowling coupled with good fielding restricted Thorngrove to 78-7 in their allotted 20 overs. Every bowler had their 2 overs with 7 different bowlers taking a wicket. Both Joey McGregor and Guy Stevens only conceded 3 runs from their 2 overs, and only 1 boundary was scored throughout the innings. Unfortunately 15 wides increased the score to a decent total. Thomas Dyer and Archie Beresford-Davies got the run chase off to a positive start with a 23 run partnership in 4 and a half overs. However, from 39-2, there was a dramatic middle order collapse, with the score after 12 overs reading 49-7. Calm heads were needed and these were provided by Joey McGregor and Lucas Darragh, who exhibited superb resilience, showing how to put away the bad balls whilst picking up runs when they could. Their unbeaten 33 run partnership saw Daneshill through to victory with 2 overs to spare. Joey finished 14 not out, with Lucas unbeaten on 11. Overall it was a solid victory to get the season off to a winning start. We will need to work hard to continue to progress though!

Mr King

Colts B: Won: Daneshill 282 Thorngrove 266

Three out of three for the Colts! The Colts B proved they are going to be a force to be reckoned with this season with a 16 run victory over Thorngrove. The coaches had decided a pairs game would do the boys good so they’d all have a chance to bat and bowl, and all the lads put everything into the game from the off. Our Captain Alex Harker elected to bat first, exuding the confidence needed from the leader of a fresh-faced team, and Daneshill put 282 on the board with only two wickets lost. Of particular note were Solomon, Will Swart and Marios, who showed real grit in their desire to hit hard and run fast. The opposition did find it hard to keep the ball down, however, and we picked up quite a few extras helping us along to the final total. Our turn came to bowl, and the lads did exceptionally well. James Bloom, Will Swart and Marios were our star speedsters, with some of the lads even finding some swing! Freddie and Harvey brought some steady consistency to their overs, slowing down the opposition’s run rate even more. We fielded very well indeed, with Solomon taking a wonder-catch off Barnaby, and kept the runs to a minimum. Looking forward, the boys need to focus on hitting the bad ball hard and not being too tentative, and taking those ever important catches. Great start to the season!

Mr Champness

Colts C: Won: Daneshill 49 Thorngrove 30

It was a fantastic start to the season for the Colts C team. Playing pairs cricket on a decidedly uneven wicket, Thorngrove won the toss and elected to field. It was certainly a bowling track and the unresponsive surface coupled with the startlingly slow pace of attack from Thorngrove meant it was very hard for the Daneshill boys to get off the square. Luckily, our star batsman, Mr A.N. Extras kept the scoreboard ticking over and things were progressing nicely until calamity struck in the 5th over and we lost two wickets and ten runs in two balls. Luckily, the Daneshill spirit kicked in and the boys stoically refused to give away another wicket, reaching a very respectable, but reachable, target of 49 runs. Fears of a Thorngrove fightback were realised in the initial deliveries of the 2nd innings as their opening pair looked both competent and confident. At the half way stage, Thorngrove were ahead on the run rate but the Daneshill boys maintained their concentration and accurate bowling which led to a number of late wickets, including a brace of slick run outs. In the end, Thorngrove were well short and Daneshill won by 19 runs. The C team’s bowling was the most impressive aspect of today’s performance and, based on what I’ve seen, I have set them the target of going unbeaten this season. High expectations indeed!

Mr Webster