June 18 2021 | Issue no. 204
Head Master's Notices
It was disappointing, but not surprising, to hear the Government announce on Monday that restrictions will remain in place until mid-July. This will have little effect on day-to-day life at school, in what has been an excellent term in many ways, but it does mean that we have had to postpone a number of key events, such as New Pupils’ Day, and revise our plans for the Performing Arts Celebration and Art Exhibition in the last week of term. Sadly, the announcement will also impact on our poor Upper Sixth leavers, since we now need to review, again, the arrangements for Speech Day, Prize Giving and the Summer Ball. We are currently investigating what is and isn’t possible and I will write on Monday, once we have made the key decisions.
It has also become apparent that COVID infection rates are on the rise once again and that schools nearby have been hit very hard with outbreaks. I am delighted that we have got to this point in the term without a single positive case and simply ask you to be vigilant for the last fortnight of term. I would be grateful if you would continue to test your children twice a week and do please keep them off school if you are at all worried. I am anxious that everyone should get to the end of term fit and healthy and that our overseas pupils can get away, as they need to quarantine for 14-21 days in hotels on arrival in their home countries.
In other news, I congratulate the Fourth Form on completing their exams, the final set of assessments this term, and during the mini-heatwave too; I hope that the Third Form enjoyed going off-timetable for the ‘Big Futures’ Careers Event yesterday and I wish them the best of luck on their revised Moonrakers Camp in and around Wiltshire next week; I am pleased that matches were also played against South Wilts Grammar, Beechen Cliff, Marlborough College and St Mary’s Calne; and I look forward to our first Well-being Week.
There are fixtures tomorrow against Lord Wandsworth College and Kingswood and I wish you all a super weekend.
Whole School Notices and Reminders
Next week marks Well-being Week across the School. World Wellbeing Week is a yearly campaign run by Wellbeing World and aims to raise awareness of wellbeing and explain why it matters.
Throughout the week we will be using the mnemonic MAGIC, developed by the NHS, to encourage all at Dauntsey's to focus on five factors which play a key role in achieving a sense of wellbeing.
Mindful – take notice
Active – take physical exercise
Generous – find ways to give
Interested – keep learning
Connected – reach out to others
What is happening in school?
- The History Department are encouraging mindfulness in class with five minutes of Gregorian chants at the start of lessons.
- Whole school photography competition on the theme ‘the world around us’. There will be a staff prize and a pupil prize. Please send entries to Reprographics.
- Words of Wellbeing message board. Pupils can write uplifting words, quotes, wellbeing tips etc. during short breaks on the Quad (Esme Wall/Aza Too).
- Fitness Activity Sessions - Every morning next week (08:30-08:50) Miss Wilkins will be hosting these sessions on the front field. Fruit kebabs will be on sale afterwards by the Romania fundraising team. All staff and pupils welcome!
- Upper Sixth 24hr Runathon - Mr Fulling has organised this event for Thursday & Friday- please give the runners some encouragement!
- Activity Challenge Card - Miss Bradley & Mr Devney are running this scheme for First and Second Form. Merits will be awarded for participation (Challenge Cards can be collected from the PE Department).
- House Table Tennis Competition - Evans House are running this in the evenings throughout the week.
- Tinned Food/Donation Collection - Please donate - Reverend Johnson is arranging this collection for The Filling Station (a Swindon based charity that gives food to homeless people). We have all heard the phrase ‘it is better to give than to receive’ and this is backed up with psychological studies that have found we increase our sense of wellbeing when we are thoughtful and generous to others.
For many years, at Harvest, we have collected tins and food to support The Filling Station. Many of our older students have gone with Reverend Johnson on Thursday evenings to help with cooking and to give out food and drinks.
We would like to make a small contribution to The Filling Station to help their work through the next months and we are asking every pupil to bring in two tins of food (ideally: baked beans, tinned meat or rice pudding) or alternatively to donate £1 that can be used by the charity to buy other food.
It is a great charity that does such important work but it relies completely on donations.
- Savoury Bake Sale - Lower School pupils are hosting this sale for Charity on Wednesday in Short Break.
- Second Form are visiting the Jurassic coast on Tuesday 22 June for a Geography field trip.
- Third Form are out on Moonrakers all week.
- The Spanish Department are focusing on well-being & the pressures of social media with Fourth Form pupils.
- The French Department are focusing on (healthy) Food with Second Form pupils.
- The EAL Department are challenging their younger pupils to create well-being leaflets with advice for new international students on how to settle in at Daunstey’s.
- The Latin Department are asking 1B and 1D to research Ancient Well-being, under the following headings: Diet, Hygiene, Medicine and Happiness.
- The Lower School are doing ‘Well-being Check-ins’ with pupils throughout the week.
- The English Department are challenging pupils to write about one of the ‘Five Ways to Well-being’ & using the ‘Emotion Wheel’ to identify advanced language to describe emotions.
- Look out for a musical performance from the Music Department balcony during Long Break.
We hope you have an enjoyable week!
Some time ago, I wrote to advertise the 'Summer Celebration Week' and gave details of a proposed Programme of Events. The continuation of COVID regulations does, however, mean that we are now having to deliver the four days of Music, Dance, Drama and Art in a way that is both compliant with the rules and ultimately safe for audiences and performers.
With this in mind, we will now only open the event to pupils and the families of those who are performing. As all our venues must run at 50% capacity and half of that will be taken by pupils and staff, tickets will be extremely limited, and some may be disappointed. Families attending will be required to be from one household bubble, and you will only be able to reserve a set number of tickets to ensure that as many pupils as possible can have their families in attendance. Some events will happen on multiple occasions and at different times, again, to allow as many to attend as possible. COVID regulations including one-way systems, masks, hand sanitizing and social distancing will all be in place.
On Monday, I will write to families of all those who have children performing and provide details about how to reserve tickets online, as well as the full timetable of shows. The online box office will be open from Monday. Pupils will receive an email notification of the times of their performance and may already be aware of when they are performing. If, however, they are in any doubt, I would ask that they contact their individual teachers.
Hundreds of pupils have been working incredibly hard across all disciplines throughout this difficult period in our subject's collective history. We hope that some of you can join us in the final week of term for some truly first-class entertainment and celebrate our incredibly talented pupils.
Chris Walker, Director of Drama
Rebranding Boardingware to Orah
Please can our boarding community note that as of 1 July 2021 Boardingware will become Orah – the student enablement platform. Your experience will remain the same, however you will now access the product through the www.orah.com webpage and your apps will be updated with the new name and logo.
Access to Firefly for Leavers
Please can all parents of pupils who are leaving Dauntsey's this summer take copies of your son’s or daughter’s school reports from your parent Firefly account before the end of the month. In the first week of July your child's details will be archived in the school system and you will no longer be able to access your parent account.
Modern Foreign Languages Debate
Calling all Fourth Form linguists! On Friday 25 June during Prep, the MFL Department are hosting a debate in the Pavilion and would love to see as many students there as possible.
Dropping Off and Picking Up
Please could we kindly ask all parents who wait in the turning circle for their children to make sure they turn off their engines rather than leaving them idling. It will help your fuel bills and our air quality!
Dauntsey’s Equestrian team have been out and about, bringing home the rosettes over the past two weekends. The last outing saw two fabulous team wins in Jumping with Style for the 70cm class, consisting of Georgie, Alice and Issie, and for the 1m class, with Katinka, Liv and Serena, showing great riding by all. Super individual performances from Katinka, winning the 90cm class and Serena winning the 1m. We also took home two team 3rds in the other two classes of the day. This takes the school off to the National Equestrian Championships in October. Sophie also qualified for the championships individually at 1m10 show jumping. Well done all!
Covid-19 Testing at Home
We ask that pupils test twice a week and they (or their parents) report the results of their tests online (www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result) every time they take a test, even if the result was negative or void.
All test results must also be reported to the School as set out below:
- Pupils should report the results to the School by sending an email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If the test is positive – Please type “Positive COVID test” in the email subject line and press send. Please also cc your House Master / Mistress and Mr McFarland on this email.
- If the test is negative – Please type “Negative COVID test” in the email subject line and press send.
- If the test if void – Please type “Void COVID test” in the email subject line and press send.
If the test is positive the pupil, and the household they are part of, should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. They should also order a confirmatory PCR test. If this PCR test result is negative, then it overrides the result of the lateral flow test conducted at home. In addition, a negative lateral flow test result does not guarantee that pupils are not carrying the virus and so they should continue to follow social distancing and other measures to reduce transmission.
The Wiltshire Music Centre, in Bradford on Avon, hosts the County Youth Music ensembles. There are many training and Intermediate ensembles which meet on a weekly basis for beginner and developing musicians. The senior groups meet during the main holidays and for weekend courses during the year. Dauntsey's pupils have been members of these groups for over a decade and we currently have pupils in the Youth Orchestra (WEYO) and Jazz Ensemble (WYJO). The WMC also runs a Young Producers course for anyone looking for experience working in a professional music venue. Auditions are open for places on courses this summer, more information can be found here. Pupils can also contact Mr Harris for further information.
Teen Tips: Wellbeing Hub
Nurturing pupil's mental health and wellbeing.
Developed by child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing experts, the Wellbeing Hub is an interactive online portal, designed to help you guide your child as they grow up.
Please remember to register before you access any of the below, instructions and links for accessing the Wellbeing Hub are detailed here on Firefly.
This Week in the Hub
There are several free events in the Hub this week including tips on Mental Health at University and Understanding Autism. Login to the Teen Tips Wellbeing hub to find out more.
June's Theme - Next Steps
Inspiring Futures Podcast
This week in Inspiring Futures, we talk to Phoebe Tomlinson about her role as a Commercial Officer at the British Paralympic Association. Listen to the podcast here
Register via the Hub Homepage
After managing to hold a couple of successful parent events last week, it is with regret that we have to postpone the forthcoming ones which were due to be held at the school. We all are very hopeful for an active and social year next year.
Unfortunately, Kate & Pam will be stepping down as Fifth Form Year Reps from the end of this term. They have been a strong & active part of the DSPA for five years & we will miss them dearly. This does now mean that we will be in need of Year Reps for the new Lower Sixth. If you are interested on taking on this role, please email email@example.com.
Joining the DSPA
If you would like to sign up, in order to network & keep in touch with year groups, then please do so here, the year group reps would love to hear from you.
If you are not sure if you have already joined then please contact Pip Wall, Membership Rep at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please have a look at our digital noticeboard here. It is our own online community to connect Dauntsey's parents and businesses in order to buy, sell and advertise to each other in one trusted place. If you'd like to place an advert here, please email email@example.com.
Please follow us on Twitter here @DauntseyDspa where we will keep you updated with news.
Lower School Notices and Reminders
Another busy week at the Manor as we hurtle towards the end of term. Congratulations to all pupils for getting through the summer exams. I hope they are all pleased with their results and use each paper as an important learning tool to recognise any gaps in their knowledge.
Final preparations are taking place for the First and Second Form trip to Dorset this weekend. Thursday evening's briefing went well and many were interested to learn that they are likely to find 250 million year old fossils and could be kayaking just a metre above pregnant male seahorses in Studland Bay! Please keep your fingers crossed for the weather.
Mr McFarland formally opened the Manor Vegetable Patch on Wednesday 16 June when Manor tea for the day was relocated to the walled garden. In his speech, Mr McFarland thanked the staff and pupils for their work on the Vegetable Patch and highlighted that it is very much in line with the school's agricultural heritage. He encouraged the pupils to visit and participate in the Vegetable Patch as a way to get closer to nature and support mental health. This was an advance event in support of next week's Well-being Week. Future plans for the Vegetable Patch include the design and construction of a potting shed by departing Upper Sixth Formers and expansion of the orchard. A sensory garden has even been suggested...watch this space! Photos of the day can be found on our News page here.
Hope you all have a great weekend.
Peter Guille, Housemaster