The boys started the new Co-Curricular Activities Programme this week with excellent enthusiasm, which was unsurprising! A few impressive statistics to kick-start the first write up of the year; there has been a 97% uptake of boys taking part in activities (225/231), of which the average number of clubs attended per boy is four clubs per week, showing just how keen the boys to make the most of the opportunities presented to them. This year we are pushing for 100% participation so if you are one of the six to not be signed up to a club yet; please come and find me!
The breadth of the boys’ clubs span across the academic, sporting, musical, creative, artistic and community-based pursuits in order to encourage the enrichment of each individual and total 56 different activities across the week. Of these clubs, sporting activities make up 36%, music ensembles 30%, academic clubs account for 18% and include clubs for all core subjects: Maths, English and Science, and 16% of clubs being creative, artistic and community-based.
This week’s write up looks at the start of two of the larger clubs on the programme: DAS and Cubs; as well as Art, Yoga and Chess.
DAS is an integral part of the Senior School at Davenies as it teaches the boys invaluable skills designed to enhance their all-round education and teach them essential life skills. The aim is for them to leave Davenies well prepared for the next stage of their educational careers. To integrate Year 7 into the programme, both year groups enjoyed a DAS Movie and Pizza Night in their Monday session. This was a wonderful way to bring both year groups together and set expectations for the exciting year ahead.
Cubs have been thinking of others this week as they discussed what charities they would like to support. The boys also enjoyed their first Stalking of the year and had a drive on badges with Akela setting the challenge for the Silver Scout Award.
Experimental Art Club have already set about constructing their first project of the term which is a variety of coasters. Their first session consisted of prepping the clay and they have successfully completed the base layer with decorations.
Yoga on a Wednesday morning is new this term and a chance for boys to find their inner Zen with Mrs Gemmell. With the weather being so glorious, the boys started this club with an outdoor session. Yoga not only helps the boys to relax but will enable them to reap numerous benefits over the course of the term from improved flexibility and balance to giving them more energy and relieving and stresses of a busy school life.
In Chess, boys familiarised themselves with the rules of the game and roles of each chess piece through a number of 1v1 matches. Mr Sayers has also set up the much anticipated Ladder Competitions. It is hoped that over the course of the school year, Davenies will be able to field a number of boys in competitions to represent the school, further building on the squad’s win over Chesham Prep in the Summer Term last year.
Senior Production will host a Jungle Book preview day on Tuesday 26 September for anyone that wants to attend and run from 4:30 – 6:00pm.
The Activities programme is well and truly up and running as it continues to gain momentum, best demonstrated by the project brief in Green Power Racing at the end of last week. Further highlights focus on how things have started in DAS, Experimental Art, Science Club and Triathlon.
Green Power Racing
It is full steam ahead for the new Sustainable Club initiative Green Power Racing. In this club, Years 7 and 8 will be lucky enough to design, build and race their own sustainable racing car on tracks such as the famous Silverstone, which hosts the British Grand Prix. Not quite Formula One, the Formula 24 category-car will run on green energy in 90-minute races on race day when completed.
Boys listened and learnt about their race brief, delivered by Ms Goddard, as the project will span the entire academic year. It is designed to give the boys a taste of racing in a safe environment, whilst inspiring future engineers through engaging with challenging maths and technology tasks which will be key for the future. Teamwork will be essential if they are to build a sleek design whilst being as eco-friendly as possible.
Following an evening of Top Gun and Dominos last Monday, Mr Tennant and staff set about telling the boys of the high expectations expected this term. There are a host of really fun things for the boys to learn new skills by practicing in unfamiliar environments.
Most skills that will be taught will be needed in the future as being part of a team in their jobs e.g. committees, etc. At some point throughout the term, all boys in Years 7 and 8 are going to experience being a leader and in charge, as well as being in a team that is led. All boys need to be the best they can in both roles, just like in their future workplaces where they will need to be able to switch roles and skills to navigate careers.
As mentioned, leadership and teamwork are the skills that will be in action this half of term. The session started with ‘What makes a good leader?’ Having had the pleasure of welcoming back the 2018 alumni, they all spoke of the skills they learnt in DAS as being essential to success at their senior schools.
Experimental Art Club
Fresh from the completion of their clay coasters, Experimental Art Club started their new project of Paper Mache Fish. They will use balloons, newspaper, mod roc, paint and varnish over the next few weeks to produce their mod roc fish.
Triathlon Club have built on their energetic start with boys enjoying both the individual and team challenges from the three disciplines; swimming, cycling and running. The warm, dry spell has allowed Mr Thomas to use bikes on the field and already the boys have begun to learn some of the preparation skills required to set up a smooth transition from one activity to another.
Science Club enjoyed their first experiment of the year whereby they worked in teams to create a parachute for their fragile cargo stored inside. Well done to all teams for their collaboration and innovation.
With one eye on next week, the hopeful cast of Senior Production will watch the Jungle Book in preparation for their show.
Week Four saw the start of Senior Production where boys had a preview day and were shown parts of the production they will be auditioning for – Jungle Book. This classic will be showcased later in the year with auditions starting within the next few weeks. As part of the preview, boys were shown the various parts as well as the many songs they will be performing. It is fair to say they were extremely excited! We look forward to the audition process and casting.
This week in DAS saw the return of much loved Task Master from recent years. This was the perfect opportunity for boys to work on leadership and teamwork skills as all boys were given the opportunity to act as group leader in tasks, as well as to then be led; to which Year 7 and 8 responded extremely well. Working in teams, they had eight minutes to solve the tasks which included: Human Spelling, Odd One Out, Treasure Hunt, What’s in the Sock?, Treasure Hunt, Knight’s Journey and many more! All teams showed wonderful collaboration in order to succeed.
Construction has commenced in Green Power Racing! With all member of the Manufacturing Team online, the building instructions and kit manual were distributed to the boys. Year 8 naturally showed wonderful leadership in giving out roles within the team from chief part finder to quality control and much more. The building started on the front of the race car with both lower and upper wishbones being attached and a number of quality checks carried out. We will follow this week-by-week journey to see how this new innovative and sustainable project gets on, although we are a while away from racing!
Week Four of Animation Club and the boys are well underway with their creations, creating animations to rival Aardman itself! We have animations about break dancing LEGO men, a high speed chase, monsters and hurricane survivors! There is no limit to the boys’ imagination and creativity as the boys have added in play dough to bring characters to life with the stop motion app. There are some wild and wonderful story lines… and some very creative stories!
In DT Club this week, Year 6 boys completed a scale model of the Astoria Bridge. DID YOU KNOW? The actual bridge is 6,545 metres long! It is the longest continuous three span truss bridge in the world. It is also known as ‘the bridge to nowhere’ as it doesn’t lead to any major cities!
Judo started well as the boys had a refresher session on looking at ground work to consolidate what they looked at last year and well as to familiarise themselves with the Davenies Dojo.
Looking ahead to next week, there will be no Judo Tuesday 3 October owing to Primary Schools’ Superstars taking place in the Sports Hall. Gymnastics Squad training will also start on Tuesday lunchtimes. Additionally, with Year 7 Open Evening for current Year 6 boys on Monday 2 October, clubs will run as normal and Years 7 and 8 will remain in school for Prep and dinner if helping out at the event.
In between the many rugby fixtures, swimming gala, Lunchtime Concert and assemblies, and on top of their usual engaging lessons, the boys have continued to throw themselves into the challenges and tasks presented in their Activities. This week’s write up looks at Chess, Choir Ensembles, Comic Book Club, Gymnastics, Art and a look at how the Green Power Race Car is coming along!
The ladder competitions are well and truly underway and it is great to hear of two of the senior chess squad pursuing their passion for chess outside of school. Congratulations to Neil (Year 5) and Nicholas (Year 7) for their performances representing Buckinghamshire Chess in the Junior Chess Championship at the weekend. Nicholas, having raised his ranking points by 50 in one competition, also qualified for the London Junior Under 12s Competition which is highly sought after!
The Green Power Racing Team have now split into two: front and back manufacturing teams. This involved having to attach the floor of the race car using a rivot tool before adding the back axel. The boys showed perseverance as the build became challenging but are raring to go for next week.
In Art, the boys continue to progress well on their Mod Roc fish sculptures, which are coming along swimmingly! This is already the second project of the term after their Clay Coasters. Elsewhere, the Junior School have been creative with the start of their comic illustrations.
In gymnastics, Years 3 – 6 were on the vaults and mats working on a variety of different routines as they look to continue the momentum from last year with the squads competing and succeeding at national level. In addition to the ‘all in’ session, the U9 and U11 squads will train on a Tuesday.
Finally, Chamber Choir rehearsals took place this week as well as Davenies Stingers registration. It was wonderful to see so many take part in rehearsals for the Chamber Choir, as it is such an integral ensemble within the School. Boys who attend show commitment as they rehearse twice a week and perform at a number of events throughout the school year. This term, 30 boys will take part and well done to everyone who took part in the auditions. It was also great to see the Senior Choir Ensemble take part in their first lunch time concert of the term.
With a look at next week, please note that there will be no Art Club on Monday 9 October and Hockey Club will not run on Thursday 12 October.
Over the course of this half of the Autumn Term, boys have collectively taken part in well over 400 separate Activities sessions ranging everything from swimming to Handbells, Experimental Art to Maths. Boys have been given the opportunity to try a whole host of activities in order for them to find their passion and pursue it. With the full programme only running on Monday 16 October next week, and after a busy half term, it is nice to reflect on the many achievements of the boys as well as look forwards to what they can expect in the second half of term.
The Senior School have embraced the spirit of DAS with all making progress in their leadership and teamwork. This was best illustrated this week by a host of groups taking part in the first of a number of Team Challenges – the Mannequin Challenge. The mannequin challenge refers to a viral video trend in which a group of people are filmed frozen in position like mannequins. The task was to create their own video, set to music, using the boys’ entire group. They had 20 minutes to create the master piece then all of Years 7 and 8 came together to enjoy the clips. We had everything from the Junior Playground, to a scene in the Pre-Prep and out on the rugby pitch. Other team challenges coming up include the Semaphore Challenge and Crossing the River.
On top of the weekly DAS sessions, Years 7 and 8 have enjoyed a group Pizza Night as well as Mountain Biking as part of Whacky Weekends, with many more to look forward to next half of term. These include a DAS Terrarium Workshop and a trip to Vicarage Road for Watford v Rotherham.
Sticking with the Senior School and Senior Production’s The Jungle Book, auditions have been completed and well done to all who auditioned – we look forward to following the cast on their journey to curtains up next year! Mrs Marshall and her directing team are still deliberating over parts and these will be announced after the Half-Term break. Any questions on Senior Production in the meantime should be directed to Mrs Marshall, or the boys can use the new Senior Production Team to check the rehearsal schedule and when they are needed.
Unsurprisingly, the Davenies’ Cubs Pack continues to go from strength to strength as they have embarked on a number of activities this half of term. They made the most of the sunshine last week as they had green fingers and enjoyed planting a number of bulbs out the front of Davenies, which will flower in the Lent, as part of a gardening badge.
With sustainability in mind, Green Power Racing has really taken off this term. The Formula 24 car is coming along well, with the floor being fixed into position by all 26 rivets. This project will span the entirety of the academic year before it is deemed race-worthy!
Two gymnastics squads have been picked to represent Davenies in November at Haberdashers (ISGA two-piece boys) as well as for IAPS at Kent College. This is as a result of their engagement in the Co-Curricular programme which has enabled them to get to competition standard. The boys have started training twice a week and we will follow their journey to competition day.
Maths Club has continued at a rate of knots, the boys have tackled topics like shoe sales, snack surpluses and other less sibilant subjects. Those who are preparing for entrance exams have managed to show a marked improvement from the start of term and continue to thrive on the most challenging of work. All in all, Maths continues to thrive with the boys’ never ending enthusiasm.
The Junior Choir have been in good voice this half of term, with over 30 boys involved! The boys have been learning how to listen to each other in a group of people and have already started to learn some songs for the upcoming Christingle Service. Well done to all boys who have taken part, and we look forward to hearing what they have been learning very soon.
Once the necessity of, and reasons for, the correct protective equipment were discussed and understood, the Year 3 and 4 boys have been able to throw themselves wholeheartedly into their hockey. Mainly through match play situations, as well as a few specific exercises, they have learnt new skills and found an increasing number of ways to utilise them in order to foil their determined opposition. The rapid improvements have led to some competitive matches and much fun being had by all – staff included!
Looking ahead to the final few days of term next week, please see notices below:
Monday 16 October: Final day of clubs running as normal on Monday.
Tuesday 17 October: Breakfast Club is running. No morning, lunch or after school clubs for Years 3 – 8 owing to ACE Day. Junior Prep, Prep and Late Prep will run.
Wednesday 18 October: Chess and Breakfast Club will run as per normal in the morning. Junior Prep, Prep and Late Prep will run. Prep and Late Prep will be in the History Room.
Please note cricket club is not part of Davenies’ Activity provision so contact them directly.
It has been a productive and meaningful first week back within the Co-Curricular Activities programme in between the wonderful baking that our Cook House boys have been doing for Cook 4 Cook – last year’s Cookery Club clearly paid off!
Highlights from this week include exciting new opportunities in DAS, a special look at what our wonderful community-minded Cubs have been doing over Half-Term, Senior Production, Drama Club and DT.
Throughout Half-Term, a number of our Year 5 Cubs helped Akela at a community event hosted for the Mayor of Beaconsfield and other local dignitaries at the Fitzwilliam Centre. The boys served tea, sandwiches and cake to members of the community and had an opportunity to chat to the Mayor himself and the Town Cryer (who shared all sorts of fun historic facts with them!). Well done to Harry, Cillian, Alex and Mishay for being such wonderful assets to the school and this act will help them earn their community badges.
Elsewhere, our Cubs Pack were set a challenge to complete during the break. Akela set a Beaconsfield Treasure Hunt Challenge for boys to attempt over Half-Term, using their map skills and clues in order to learn some odd facts about Beaconsfield. Unsurprisingly, a large number of the Pack rose to the challenge, tried their best and completed it. Well done to all.
With leadership at the forefront of DAS, Mr Tennant and Mr Sergeant have introduced an award element to it for leadership and teamwork – key skills needed at Senior Schools. The boys are now ready to embark on the next stage of their leadership and teamwork off the back of a great first Half-Term. Year 8 have certainly led the charge and Year 7 are rising to the challenge.
The new half of term introduced the boys to their projects: Endeavour (Year 7) and Dragon’s Den (Year 8). These are exciting new opportunity for boys to develop the key attributes such as approaching tasks with consistent positivity, clear engagement and output and setting a fine example of what DAS is all about.
These are two extended projects that the boys will take part in in their own year groups. The Year 7 Endeavour Project gets the boys to deliver a presentation and speak passionately about their chosen topic. The skills needed include public speaking, which is key to learn and find how they best deliver their talks. They will find that this develops over time. The boys will also have the encouragement of friends and a chance to deliver their speeches a number of times. They will also need to plan a presentation.
In addition, the Year 8 Dragons’ Den Project focuses on starting up a company and pitching their ideas for investment to various stakeholders from teachers to parents! We look forward to seeing how the senior boys get on.
Sticking with the senior boys, the cast list for Senior Production’s Jungle Book is out and rehearsals have started. Well done to all who auditioned and we look forward to following the cast on their journey to curtains up! Any questions on Senior Production should be directed to Mrs Marshall, or the boys can use the new Senior Production Team to check the rehearsal schedule and when they are needed.
This has inspired our younger budding actors in Year 4 Drama Club to explore characters and create short scenes. This week the boys enjoyed using props to develop their characters and bring them together in an improvised scene.
In DT Club this week the boys made Geodesic structures.
There have been many highlights to bring to you from Week 10 of term. This week the Cubs were set a number of challenges as the nights have been drawing in; Triathlon have come indoors for static bike training and swimming; Art Club have been taking inspiration from Christmas as they start their Christmas penguins; chess are preparing for a level one chess examinations and the gymnasts have been finalising their routines before they compete at the ISGA Nationals and IAPS competitions at the weekend.
Cubs took part in a variety of different activities this week including learning about Remembrance as they prepare to play their part in Remembrance Sunday in Beaconsfield Old Town on Sunday. As part of their session, the boys also made a remembrance garden. Davenies Cubs are part of the community supporting the annual Remembrance Service this Sunday, 12 November. They will ‘march’ with their colours to the war memorial for a short service.
Tri-Club turns Dry-Club as the weather sets in and we are forced to facilitate indoor sessions that use the static bikes, rowers and the pool! This enthusiastic group of wanna-be triathletes have been well organised and up for any combination of disciplines that have included team bike races, individual challenges and group training exercises. Their resilience and efforts have undoubtedly improved fitness and I have been most impressed with their teamwork across the mixed age groups.
Art Club have starting collaging their Christmas words to the mod roc penguin sculptures as part of their Christmas project and sealing them with Mod Podge. We cannot wait to see the finished projects!
Members of the Chess Club will be able to sit their test for National Chess Certificates on 21 and 22 November. If you would like your son to take part, please contact Ray Sayers directly.
Finally, I would like to wish all the boys in the U9 and U11 gymnastics squads good luck at the national competitions this weekend at Habs Boys’ School. The ISGA Competition will take place on Saturday and the IAPS Competition on Sunday. Both squads performed brilliantly last year and we look forward to hearing how they get on! They have a final training session this Friday.
It has been a busy week for the boys as they have done a phenomenal job of representing Davenies at competitions and the Remembrance Parade in Beaconsfield, as well as being productive within their sessions in school. This week’s highlights include the success at national level of our gymnasts at both the Independent Schools Gymnastics Associations (ISGA) Championships and IAPS Nationals, as well as the Cubs marching in the Remembrance Parade.
An exciting weekend of gymnastics took place at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys School.
On Saturday, the ISGA (Independent Schools Gymnastics Association) Championships brought together U11 and U9 teams from Davenies to compete in the tense arena on both vault and floor. Boys had to complete their vaults and nail them before showcasing their floor routines to include balance, flexibility, move sequences and strength work. They could pick up bonuses for performing moves of greater difficulty. In the U9 event all the boys executed and finished brilliantly, showing just how much work they had put into their practice sessions. Davenies boys placed within some of top finishers individually to place them 2nd overall. A fantastic effort.
Next up were the U11s. Competing for Davenies were a mixture of Year 5s and 6s. Following their exceptional skill and efforts on both floor and vault, two of our boys finished 1st =, with two more within the top four. Their team score was enough to place them 1st overall giving them their first National Team Championship gold medal. A remarkable achievement.
Onto Sunday and the IAPS Championships where the U9s team finished 3rd overall. The U11s, hot off the vaulting runway from the day before, confidently stepped up to smash out their routines and vaults for a second time against stronger opposition. To cut an epic event short, Davenies were crowned National IAPS U11 Champions the top four individual spots being awarded to the U11s. With these top finishing places the team, unsurprisingly, came away with the gold medal being crowned U11 Boys 2 Piece Team Champions – quite an achievement!
Credit to all the boys who have worked so hard and will build on this for the future with their eyes on the ISGA 4 Piece National Championships in the new year and thank you to Sarah for her efforts with the boys.
Whilst some boys were competing at Habs’ Boys, the Cubs Pack were representing Davenies in the community at the Beaconsfield Remembrance Parade and service by the war memorial in the Old Town. Boys turned out in immaculate Cubs uniform as they marched through with two flag bearers, Henry and Alfie, with Cillian and Toby who laid a wreath on behalf of the Cubs. This enabled boys to earn their 2023 British Legion Remembrance Cubs badge
There have been many highlights to bring to you from Week 12 of term, including a successful Judo grading for boys in the Dojo, Green Power Racing’s progress in building their sustainable racing car, rehearsals picking up in Senior Production and boys in Tuesday’s Chess Club undertaking their level 1 chess examination.
Grading in the Dojo was a huge success. For the current Year 3s, this was their second experience of grading in the Prep School and they were all aiming to progress onto orange belt blacks from their orange ones and yellow belts. Years 4 and 5 worked on a range of belts including green and blue. Well done to all those who took part and their success was celebrated by all at the end of the session. A number of boys in Year 6 also achieved their brown belt white, which is very impressive!
Over the last half of term, boys in Green Power Racing have enjoyed numerous successes as they work towards completing phase one of their sustainable racing car build. Having built the front of the race car with both lower and upper wishbones, attached the floor of the race car using a rivet tool before adding the back axel and fixing it into position with all 26 rivets; the boys spent the last session working on an array of different parts in different groups to speed up the project. This included starting work on the steering wheel and rear axel, whilst the other half of the manufacturing team spent time adjusting the suspension.
Senior Production rehearsals have also started with the cast reading through the script and familiarising themselves with their characters. A reminder that Mrs Marshall has posted the rehearsals list on the Senior Production Team and this is where future rehearsals will be posted, along with on the Drama Noticeboard.
Finally, boys in Years 3 and 4 had the chance to sit their sit their test for Level 1 National Chess Certificates and we look forward to receiving their results.
Next week will be the final week of Activities within the Co-Curricular Programme, with the final week just being Breakfast Club, Prep, Junior Prep and Late Prep in the last week of term.
Over the course of the last 13 weeks, the boys have taken part in well over 700 different Activities sessions, ranging from Cubs to Gymnastics; Senior Library Club to Animation. The final week of Activities has seen the conclusion to a number of competitions, wrapping up of projects, numerous rehearsals in music ensembles for the many exciting upcoming festive events and final opportunities to earn badges in Christmas Cubs. Well done to Senior Handbells who also opened Beaconsfield’s Christmas Lights last Saturday.
The boys in Senior Handbells have been rehearsing for the start of their very busy schedule. Last Saturday they opened Beaconsfield’s Christmas Lights in the Old Town, which will be the first of their six upcoming engagements, including the FoDs Christmas Market this Friday and the Carole Service next Tuesday.
Gymnastics hosted the Davenies Club Championships to end another record-breaking term of success. The boys had to perform a floor sequence including strength, flexibility and balance elements in addition to a vault and two skills on the trampette (either a jump or somersault).
There were three medal categories and the highest scorers were :
U9 Boys squad
1st Daniel Y3
2nd Sebastian Y3
3rd Clement Y4
U11 Boys squad
1st Mishay Y5
2nd Matty Y5
3rd Jack Y5
1st Josh Y5
2nd Joe Y3
3rd Henry Y3
Mishay also took the cup for the overall highest score and Daniel won the cup for the most improved gymnast of the year. Well done to all who competed.
After a competitive term of chess, the chess ladder results are in for both the Junior Competition and the Senior Competition. These have served as great preparation for the boys as they will take on the national UK Chess Challenge in the Lent Term. Everyone gets badges and prizes; plus, as players score more points they qualify for additional, bigger prizes.
This term the results are as follows. Boys will collect their medals and trophies in assembly. In addition, well done to the boys who have taken the Level 1 Institute of Chess Exam on the theory of chess and we eagerly await these results.
The ladder prizes go to:
1st: John Y4
2nd: Harry Y4
3rd: Arjan Y4
1st: Oliver Y6
2nd: Harrison Y6
3rd: James Y5
This term, the Senior Library Club have enjoyed exploring the wonderful adventures of Terry Pratchett. They have also enjoyed training as Junior Librarians, learning to issue, return and shelve books, process new books and add them to our collection, and to create and update library displays. They finished the term with the all-important job of creating our Christmas reading section and decorating the Library Christmas tree! They have been a very useful addition to the running of the Library, and we have had a lot of fun along the way.
For the final creative clubs of term, Animation Club had ‘movie night’ with popcorn and watched everyone’s animations. The boys thoroughly enjoyed sharing their weird and wonderful stories, and the skills they have learnt in animation along the way. Experimental clay club have also completed the construction of their Christmas Penguin Project.
Please note that in the final week of this term, starting Monday 4 December, only Junior Prep, Prep and Late Prep will run, as per the calendar. The only morning club will be Breakfast Club.
An excellent term of Co-Curricular Activities. Well done to the boys on all of their achievements.
Mr Fryer, Head of Activities
What others say about us…
Not only going from strength to strength but quietly moving from cosy local prep to major contender, especially if you want to keep all senior school options open. One for the list.
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