It has certainly been a busy and rewarding year so far for our Partnerships team, who have worked to develop a full programme of events and activities, involving a number of local schools in the area.
A highlight of the year will undoubtedly be the Mid Wilts Primary School Dance Festival which took place prior to the February half-term. This is the second year of running the show, in which 13 primary schools and one secondary school took part. The schools arrived at Dauntsey’s mid-afternoon, had a run through of their performances (all to the theme of ‘Dance Through Time’) and then learned a finale dance, prior to the evening performance. It was a fantastic collaboration and produced a powerful and memorable end result.
One school commented:
We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity you have given to our littlies, allowing them to experience something which they have never dreamt of experiencing before. They went home happy and tired and we have had super feedback from parents already. A true sense of elation!
We are fortunate to have such wonderful facilities here and are keen to enable other schools to benefit from them. Here, Gay Butterworth, Head of Partnerships shares a brief update of what else has been happening:
· Mid Wilts Cross Country took place in the School grounds in September, involving seven schools and 150 children
· Table Tennis for Girls – we have been working with Wiltshire Table Tennis to set up and run coaching sessions here. We have a regular group of 16 pupils and they are making great progress
· Netball Club Rallies – we have run a series of weekend rally days in conjunction with four local netball clubs. More than 200 girls have attended each session and feedback from parents and club coaches has been fantastic. We are now planning a summer tournament day
· Netball umpiring course – a group of ten Lower Sixth students from Dauntsey’s have learnt how to be netball umpires. They help out with Lower School clubs and the netball club rallies
· Beginner and Improver Hockey Coaching – in partnership with Devizes Hockey Club we have run two sessions as well as a six-week course, coached by Devizes coaches, and put in place by Dauntsey’s. This has been a great new partnership and we look forward to working with Devizes in the future
· Rugby Workshop – We hosted two classes from Bishops Cannings School. They spent an hour working on different stations including basic ball skills, mini games and running into tackle bags! They then had snacks (always a favourite!) and watched Dauntsey’s 1st XV team train. We hope to run some regular TAG rugby sessions and schools will be invited to come and play other schools or have some coaching
· Woodland Adventures – This project is aimed at KS1 (ages 4-7). Dauntsey’s minibuses pick up a group from a local primary school. They come to the Manor woods and take part in outdoor, fun activities; log climbing, bug hunting, tree climbing, hide and seek, clay face making. It ends with some games around the fire, hot chocolate with marshmallows
· Library mornings – Schools have been asked to invite two pupils to come to Dauntsey’s and ‘learn how to be a librarian’ for a morning. They will be shown how to sign in and check out books, stack shelves correctly amongst other things. They will each be given a book off the ‘Dauntsey’s Dozen’ book list when they leave
We have more activities planned and look forward to getting staff and pupils involved. Watch this space!