The teaching staff at Daneshill really are second to none. Over the past week I have had several opportunities to witness their care, dedication and sheer professionalism. The net result is a body of extremely happy children who feel cared for, valued and very lucky to attend this school. This is exactly what a prep school should deliver.
It has been a very busy week which including stilt-walking on Monday (see Headmaster’s blog), more trips for Years 2 & 3 and a superb result at the Bradfield Science Challenge and in our sport fixtures. We also said goodbye to Miss Peters as she begins her maternity leave. Although I do not see her getting much rest with twins on the way!
Year 5 Science Quiz
On Tuesday 26th September our Year 5 Science Team consisting of Cala Marcos Bancroft Cooke, Saffia Rougier, Tom Fitzgerald and Ijoba Olopade travelled to Bradfield College to take part in their Annual Prep School Science Challenge. We were greeted by the Director of Science who welcomed us and informed us we were going to be watching a nitrogen bomb later on in the afternoon. Needless to say he had the attention of our children in an instant!
The afternoon was spent working on team challenges in each of the three scientific disciplines. Our pupils mixed chemicals to try and identify some unknown samples, investigated whether maggots prefer the dark by creating, recording and concluding their own experiment, and even made their own loud speaker from some card and wire. It was a wonderful afternoon and brilliant to observe our children working so cohesively whilst having fun, which is the most important part of enthusing children about any subject. The afternoon was rounded off with some demonstrations from the Head of Science mixing colourless liquids, pouring liquid nitrogen on the floor and two impressive nitrogen bomb explosions! The announcement then came that our Daneshill team had come 3rd out of 34 schools. A tremendous achievement from our Year 5 pupils.
We would also like to invite parents into the Science Foyer from Monday next week to see our ‘what does Science look like to you’ display. It is an opportunity for children to articulate their thoughts and passion towards Science and initiate some family debate!
Other activities going on in the science block so far this term include our junior scientists investigating water pressure by making Cartesian divers and also predicting and investigating how water pressure changes in a bottle. In addition this week they viewed weird and wonderful specimens using the microscopes and created their own stomatal prints to prove how leaves carry out gas exchange. We have also been called out to be reptile experts and investigate a beautiful grass snake meandering through the school grounds. There is never a dull moment where Science is concerned!
Year 3 trip to Highclere Castle
On Thursday, Year 3 had a fantastic trip to Highclere Castle to visit the Egyptian artifacts. Not only did we learn about the Ancient Egyptians but we were also lucky enough to visit the wonderful grounds. The adults all seemed very excited about being surrounded by familiar sights from Downton Abbey! We had the chance to dress up as if we were from the Ancient Egyptian times, many of us suiting the long wigs and beautiful dresses. See if you can spot us from the photos! After dressing up, we went downstairs into the cellars to look at some real artifacts from thousands of years ago! We learnt that when people died their organs were removed and put into canopic jars and then their bodies were wrapped in linen cloth – we actually saw some linen cloth that had been preserved and was over three thousand years old! We have also learnt that persevering, like Howard Carter did to find Tutankhamun’s tomb, can bring you great achievements. As a year group, we have decided that we are going to persevere even when we find tasks tricky.
This week Reception have been working particularly hard learning and using their phonics sounds. They have enjoyed visits from ‘Fred the frog’ who they have helped read simple words and they have even had visits from strange aliens speaking a made up language! The children are beginning to blend their sounds using their phoneme fingers to help them. Well done Reception, keep up the wonderful work!
Year 1 have so enjoyed their Pirate writing which went on display this week. Some extremely cheeky Pirates managed to break into 1B and steal the treasure! Fortunately all the parrots that the children had made were able to describe the pirates in detail so we are all hoping to catch them soon and retrieve our gold! It was so exciting to see the children engaged and on task and some wonderfully descriptive sentences were produced by all! Wearing their special sparkling Pirate rings obviously helped hugely too!
As soon as Year 2 arrived at ‘Butser Ancient Farm’, they travelled back in time. Their senses were overwhelmed as they were taken inside an authentic, fire lit roundhouse. No rest for our Celts though as it was straight to work in the fields. The children loved finding pieces of chalk and banging them into dust with their ‘Butser bashers’, moulding clay pots by creating ‘mushroom thumbs’, as well as rubbing leaves on chalk to make them green before using flint to carve Celtic patters. Our guide was constantly praising the children for their lovely manners, enthusiasm and developed questioning, calling them “a delight”. With a fun filled day of hands on learning and positive praise, we could not have asked for more. Well done Year 2.
The Pre-Prep Teachers
Weds 27th September
U.13 A vs. Dolphin W 6 – 1
U.13 B vs. Dolphin W 10 – 0
U.11 vs Dolphin L 2 – 3
U.10 A vs. Dolphin W 10 – 0
U.10 B vs. Dolphin W 10 – 1
U.13 A vs. Marlston House D 1 – 1
U.13 A vs. St Andrew’s L 0 – 2
U.13 B vs. Marlston House D 0 – 0
U.13 A vs. St Andrew’s D 0 – 0
U.13 A vs. Marlston House D 0 – 0
U.13 A vs. St Andrew’s D 0 – 0
U.11 A vs. Edgeborough W 3 – 0
U.11 B vs. Edgeborough W 4 – 2
U.11 C vs Edgeborough L 0 – 1
U.10 A vs. Edgeborough W 2 – 0
U.10 B vs. Edgeborough W 5 – 3
Friday 29th September
U.9 A vs Brockhurst T’ment
U.9 B vs. Dolphin ‘A’ L 0 – 4
U.8 A vs. Dolphin W
U.8 B vs. Dolphin W
U.9 A vs. Crosfields Late
U.9 B vs. Crosfields Late
The U.11 B team are having an increasingly good start to the season. The match displayed some fantastic hockey; the Daneshill girls were focused, eager and certainly deserved the winning result. At half-time the score was 3-1 with a goal each from Octavia, Tilly and Alice. We knew Edgeborough would want to come back in the second half but we defended well and made better use of the wings to propel the ball into our attacking half. Eloise played fantastically in goal, using her feet and stick to repel the ball with plenty of gusto. More use of the wings would certainly help this team to improve, but overall it was a superb match with plenty of positive play.
The U10 A and B team faced Edgeborough this week. Edgeborough have historically produced strong hockey teams so the girls knew they would need to draw on the advice from their coaches and stay disciplined and focused throughout.
Our lesson focus this week has been on taking the ball safely out of defence and moving it to our right hand side, which is the opposition’s weak side. It was good to see both teams transferring this skill into their game play and taking a second to think before executing a free hit. The B team impressed me immensely in their game with their gutsy play and strong attacking skills. Every player stepped up to the challenge and our brilliant attackers manged to secure five goals against their opposition. Defensively too, Edgeborough struggled to get near the goal thanks to tight defending by Caitlin Manley and Louise Stamvik.
The A team demonstrated some tenacious hockey this week. There were gasps from the crowd as our girls dived in to tackle big hits without any hesitation – such brave hockey! So proud of the girls for giving everything they had to the game. There were red faces and puffing cheeks but the Daneshill team battled to the end to score two superb goals and win the game. Well done to all, some excellent performances.
It was a great performance from the boys today who despite being split into two teams showed great unity and team spirit to get a well-deserved victory. The first goal came from a long goal kick from Thomas Dyer and was converted neatly by Harvey. After we broke the deadlock 5 minutes in, the goals came thick and fast Archie in particular scored a spectacular goal in the later stages and that along with a very well taken goal by Javier were the stand out individual efforts on the day. A well worked goal from Edward Terry created by Alex Williams was the most satisfying collective effort of the day. Special mention to Archie who scored a hat trick and I thought was brilliant along with James who as usual was great defensively.
Straight from the first whistle it was quickly apparent that there was a sizeable gulf in the quality of the Daneshill team and their Dolphin counterparts. Our boys dominated every area of the pitch and it wasn’t long before Juan put us ahead with a well taken goal. The flood gates then opened and it was simply a case of how many we were going to be able to put pass the Dolphin keeper. On these types of occasions it is sometimes difficult to maintain discipline and a collaborative team approach but thankfully we kept our shape and continued to pass the football. There will undoubtedly be sterner opposition to come but well done to the boys for recording a resounding victory.
Despite an excellent second half comeback, a three goal deficit proved just too much for a valiant U11 side.
A lethargic start to the first half saw the boys 3-0 down within the first 15 minutes. A combination of too many misplaced passes and some tame defending meant that Daneshill struggled to get any meaningful foothold in the match early on.
A Daneshill goal just before half time meant that the boys went into the break with a flickering belief of ‘what might be’. Some honest truths were shared with one another – and a few rallying calls were roared – and all dared to dream of second half heroics.
But it sadly wasn’t meant to be – but not through lack of trying. The boys epitomised a ‘fighting spirit’ right up until the final whistle. Their play was vastly improved and they all displayed excellent grit and determination in staging numerous attacks on a resolute Dolphin goal.
Well tried boys – if you can replicate that show of character in the coming weeks, a first victory of the season won’t be far away.
Another strong showing from the U.10 Bs meant they were able to see off the Dolphin challenge with aplomb. From the outset we looked the stronger as Hugo Yeoman dribbled down field only to be stopped by the Keeper. It wasn’t long before Dolphin’s defence lapsed and Hugo potted the first of his three goals. Dolphin hit straight back though, as some close quarter and physical play saw them forced to take a shot from very close to half way which beat Ethan in goal. Hugo levelled again and we went in 2-1 up at half time. We had a fight on our hands. The second half saw Hugo again dribble up field to score and from there we simply dominated territory and possession. Hugo went into goal and this saw Ethan come out into the midfield to score. Jack Downs then added to his tally from last week as he slammed four into the back of the net. Samuel and James both potted one each while Ijoba defended nobly, ensuring no ball went our side of half way. Now we need to find a suitable challenge for the side after two resounding wins. Let’s look forward to next week when the story continues.