Throughout this academic year I have shared with this community my belief and passion regarding the need to foster CHARACTER in every young person. As the school year gradually moves to its conclusion there have been and still remain a number of opportunities for students to demonstrate these values. The Moselle Valley and German Exchange students have returned with greater confidence in their language ability than when they left us and have evidently developed positive relationships whilst abroad with their German peers. As is usually the case, our MFL team reported that our students’ attitudes were exemplary and that they received many compliments from hosts. My thanks to Mrs Robinson for leading her final visits after so many years committed to successful MFL teaching at Denefield.
Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy, so they know the value of things, not the price.
On Tuesday 5 July we held our Sports Day; as is always the case, students participated with great commitment to win the treasured Sports Day trophy, held for the past two years by Sulham House. This year witnessed more close competition in both the track and field events, and we now have to wait in anticipation for our eventual winners to be announced in the final assemblies on Wednesday 20 July.
The last few weeks have also seen great success for our teams in both athletics and cricket teams. At the Athletics Town Championships we saw our teams win 27 medals and, as a result of some fabulous individual performances, five of our Year 7 students have been selected for the Reading Schools’ Athletics Association team.
In cricket, Year 9 are currently undefeated in the league after beating Theale Green and Little Heath, and are now guaranteed a semi-final place. We will watch with interest to see how they get on. In Year 7 and Year 8 it has been a mixed picture, but our boys continue to work hard showing ambition and resilience as a team to improve further for their next match. In rounders our Year 9 A team finished second in the Reading Schools’ Competition, with our Year 9 B team in third position. Well done girls!
Tennis is now emerging as a favourite at Denefield, with many of our Year 8 boys participating successfully against other schools. I shall watch with interest how they progress through the summer. Congratulations to all participants!
As you will be aware we held our very own Race for Life at the school on Friday 1 July 2016. Over 100 students from our local primary schools joined us in raising money for Cancer Research UK through running, walking and dancing their way round the 5km course. Collectively a total of over £13,000 was raised which we are absolutely thrilled with. Particular thanks to Mrs West, Deputy Head, for her organisation of the event, the PE department for marking out the course, and to Tesco and Waitrose for supplying us with bottled water at no cost. It was a fabulous event, which we look forward to recreating next year.
The beauty of life does not depend on how happy you are, but how happy others can be because of you.
Our very first Character Week takes place during the week 11-15 July 2016 and aims to provide students with the opportunity to really engage with the values that we have been developing this year. Throughout the week, Year 8 and Year 9 students will experience many new things, participating in workshops for either one or two hours. These will include: meditation; growth mind set; tap dancing; art therapy; logic puzzles; learning of languages such as Dutch, Russian, Indonesian and Italian. Year 9 will also benefit from listening to a Holocaust survivor which will reinforce the values of empathy, tolerance and respect.
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions
Whilst the excitement builds for Year 8 and Year 9 in school, for Year 7 the annual visit to Crickhowell is approaching. With canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing, bush tucker trials, hill walking and camp fires to look forward to, I have no doubt that students will return full of CHARACTER, having enhanced their self-confidence. I shall very much look forward to my visit on Tuesday 12 July to see how they have settled, participate in some activities with them and observe their personal development.
Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it.
The Year 7 students attending Crickhowell will not be the only students sleeping under canvas during CHARACTER week. Students who are not going to Wales will also have the opportunity to experience a night under the stars in the grounds of Denefield, as they too learn the key skills of survival, courage and resilience.
Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right
Finally, it is only a week until our very own Denefield Summer Fayre: Friday 15 July, 5.00pm to 8.00pm. Please keep the evening free and join us on what promises to be a very special occasion. Students and staff have been working hard to ensure that we have numerous activities to enjoy on our summer’s evening. As well as stalls selling goodies, we will have competitions, music and dance, burgers and ice cream. Why not join in the tug o’ war or try your hand at the egg and spoon race? You could even be brave and hold a reptile or two or take a spin on the tea cup ride! The Fayre will be on the school field from 5.00pm. Entry is £1 per adult, 50p per child and under 11s are free. We look forward to seeing you all then.
Dates for your diary:
Character Week and Year 7 visit to Crickhowell 11-15 July 2016
Denefield School Summer Fayre 5.00pm - 8.00pm 15 July 2016
Uniform Sales Event 4.00 pm - 7.00pm 18 July 2016
Year 6 Induction Evening 7.00pm 18 July 2016
Miss L A Dawe
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