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DCPS website
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DCPS Matters
​Issue 24
​9th November 2017

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Headmaster's News

Happiness and Resilience

These are our values for November and we have now gone full circle as we started looking at our new set of values this time last year.  We spent a great deal of time putting these together and I have been really pleased with the way that the children have embraced them so enthusiastically.

Whenever I speak to people visiting our school I tell them that, more than anything else, we want our children to be happy and to enjoy their education.  If we can achieve this then learning becomes that much easier, less of a chore and more of a pleasure.  Of course, not everything in life can be fun and this is where resilience kicks in.  Winston Churchill is alleged to have said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”.  The quote is also attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but whoever said it, the sentiment is absolutely spot on.  Learning is a lifelong journey and it can never be a smooth path all of the time.  The ability to bounce back when things go wrong or do not work out as we had hoped, is often what sets the really successful people apart, and by successful I do not necessarily mean those who are the “big hitters” in their chosen professions, because success can mean different things to different people.  How important is emotional intelligence in defining success?  Most people, I suspect, would say that the most important aspect of their lives is to be in a strong and stable relationship, with a loving, supportive circle of family and friends to help them through the challenges that life inevitably throws up. 

As a headmaster and a parent, I am convinced that our children need to be resilient, have the right to be happy and need to be given strategies to help them cope with disappointments as well as exposure to different activities and events that can contribute to their happiness.  We all respond in different ways and this is what makes the job of a teacher so challenging, so rewarding and such tremendous fun!

Art Success

Many congratulations to Esther Belcher who was a runner-up in her age group art competition at the Draycott-in-the-Clay Show and Caoimhe Crawford who was voted the best in her age group in the same competition.  Jimmy Spooner was the overall winner for every age group, which is a superb achievement and DCPS won the prize for the best school and a cheque for £100!  Well done to Mrs Belcher and all who entered!

Speed Reminder

Please can I remind parents to drive slowly around the one-way system, as recently we have had reports of several parents driving too fast. Thank you.


Pupil of the Week
Week 7 - James L, Ellen C and Isla S

Pupil of the Week
Week 8 - Yr 3 - Reuben A-D
Yr 4 - JosephineB/Max A
Yr 5 - Finley A, Tilly B
Yr 6 - Joe B, George B, and Oscar M.

Caught Badges
Well done to Stan D, Georgina B and Seb B for receiving Caught Badges. They were 'caught' being kind, helpful and thoughtful. 

Congratulations to all the pupils who have received their LAMDA certificates this week. Special congratulations must go to Max W who took his Grade 5 LAMDA exam and achieved a Distinction. This exam is the equivalent to a GCSE level exam, which makes this even more impressive. Well done Max!

Pre-School News

The Owls have been painting Poppy pictures and making Poppies in Forest Schools and learning why we recognise Remembrance Day.

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The Squirrels have been learning their shapes and colours by making a colourful shapes rocket.

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Pre-Prep News

Reception have been learning about different celebrations and faiths.  We have learnt about Diwali and we made diva lamps and Rangoli patterns.  We have learnt why we celebrate Bonfire Night and listened to the story of Guy Fawkes.  In Forest Schools we made lovely sparkling fireworks and we thought about some descriptive words.  This week we have been remembering those people who died in the wars.  We have made and painted poppies using water colours.

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PP1 - Towards the end of the last half term, Pre-Prep 1 explored the work of Andy Goldsworthy, an artist who uses nature to create artwork. The Children in Pre-Prep 1 have worked with Mr Eley to use materials from around the school to recreate artwork.  The children had an amazing time and had lots of fun identifying different shades, colours and textures in nature.  Their artwork has been inspirational.

Mr Eley

PP1 - Pre-Prep 1 had great fun playing in the leaves at Forest School last week.  The children looked at all the different sizes, colours and types of leaves and then enjoyed making leaf angels.  We then thought about bonfire night and had fun making edible fireworks out of marshmallows, chocolate sauce and colourful hundreds and thousands – yummy!  Well done PP1

Mrs Clews

PP2 - Over the past couple of weeks the children in Pre-Prep 2 have been learning about measuring, including looking at estimating, measuring in centimetres and metres, telling the time, positional language and turns. We have explored measuring and positional language in many different ways using decimetre strips, 30 centimetre rulers, hands, clocks, beebots and games. We have had lots of fun!
Mr Eley

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Well done to Joules Pritchard, Iliyin Khan, Gabriel Burrows and Pippa Rees for gaining their Bronze certificates.

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Main Prep News

Year 3 
In Science this week Year 3 have been learning about teeth! We have looked carefully to identify the different roles of each type of tooth and most importantly, how to look after them. Having watched a rather gruesome powerPoint about how teeth can decay, the children learnt about how they should care for their teeth.

We have also set up an experiment to investigate the effects of a variety of different types of drinks on teeth. Since egg shells, like teeth, are full of calcium we have placed eggs in beakers of Coke, Sprite, milk, orange juice and water. We are going to observe what happens to the egg shells over the next few weeks and I am preparing myself for a very smelly classroom!

Ms Hart

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Year 4 - National Memorial Arboretum

Year 4 took a special memorial trip to the NMA, Alrewas.  They arrived at the NMA and were taken straight to their first activity.  Chris was our host, who gave us all some information on some of the Corps in WW1.  The children made armbands to show which Corps they were in and they stood up to inform the rest of the class what their particular Corps did and why it was an important role in the War.  The Medical Corps, Signal Officers, WAAC,  and The Land Army to name a few, and we realised how important each of these jobs were.  We also learned that the NMA is a place where everyone (National) can come to remember (Memorial) in a place of trees (Arboretum).

We then attended a short service where we stood quiet for the 2 minute silence that their chapel observes everyday at 11am.   Chris then took us on a tour of the NMA where we walked respectfully around and were shown many different types of memorial.  The Land Army, Gallipoli and The Royal Mail Memorials were amongst ones we visited.  Some children had names that they were searching for and found family or friend's names on the memorials.

At the end of our tour with Chris, we were invited to have our own remembrance circle where the class read out our Roll of Honour followed by a poignant poem and a few words of remembrance finally laying a wreath as part of honouring the fallen.  After lunch, we went for a long walk to find the trenches, and the children were able to go into them to see how terrible the conditions were for the soldiers.  We made our final visit to the main memorial where the children were amazed at how many names were carved into the white stone, a few of the children noticing that there were many slabs of stone still remaining for future soldiers. 

The children behaved beautifully throughout the trip with respect and attention to others around them, we were very proud that they were so good and looked so smart!  We would like to thank the NMA for all their hard work; many of the workers there are volunteers who provide information to the public about the memorials and help with the upkeep of the place.  We would also like to thank Mrs Emmerson-Friend for organising such a worthwhile and interesting school trip.   

Some of the children's quotes:

Emily "This was the best ever trip I've ever been on!!"

Charlie  "My favourite bit was when we went into the Trenches because it was interesting, there was a little office place and a secret door."

Emerson "I enjoyed looking at the trench, it was fun inside.  I think the men at war would've been scared, cold and muddy."

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:  Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.  At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them." - Laurence Binyon, "Ode of Remembrance"

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Year 5 trip to Cromford Mills

Year 5 had an absolutely brilliant day visiting Cromford Mills to help our learning with this term's history topic: the Industrial Revolution. Our day started by meeting 'Mr Frost', a Mill supervisor who was dressed in appropriate clothing to reflect his position of employment at the Arkwright Mill in 1771. We were able to learn more about Sir Richard Arkwright told by himself through the technology of CGI film, from his humble beginnings as an apprentice barber back in Preston, through his innovative entrepreneurship years when he designed and patented his famous Water Frame (at one stage earning money from 111 factories throughout the country), to the many court cases where he ultimately lost his famous patent and his death at just 59 years old. The water frame revolutionised the weaving industry changing from a skilled worker weaving one thread at a time to a machine that was operated by cheap, unskilled workers spinning 96 threads at a time. Cromford Mills was the very first factory to use water to power machines ever built in the country making this site a unique place in history.

After introductions to the key people for the day, the children themselves went back in time changing to become 1771 working children where they met Mr Clack, the Mill manager and Jinny another mill worker. The children undertook tasks such as carding (using specially designed utensils to get the knots out of cotton), spinning (turning the carded cotton into a fine thread), weaving where the children got to make friendship bands to keep and finally signing their indentures to agree to work at Arkwright’s factory for the next 7 years, for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week with just Sundays and Christmas Day off each year, abiding by the many rules they had to follow, otherwise they would be fined or sacked. As a result of their beautiful handwriting when signing their indenture Finlay, Freddie and Billy were immediately promoted from mill work to the Mill office also giving them an enormous pay rise from 12p per week to 18p per week! Seb G was also found new employment working for Mr Clack, as well as Verity B being appointed to be a maid to the Mill manager. Caoimhe was shown a different type of life as Miss Arkwright, one of the Arkwright family and she loved the superior clothing and treatment she was given. Meanwhile Stan got moved into a job deemed more 'suitable' working as a Privy boy and Joe G was reassigned to factory floor cleaner, picking up all the cotton off the floor in quick time to avoid being crushed by the many machines. 

After a morning of role playing and hardworking, the afternoon was spent on a tour of Cromford, visiting Mr Frost's home as well as Jinny's house, visiting the water well where water would be stopped and stored on Sunday due to a day's shutdown ready for use on Monday and the village lock up where rule breakers would be held until they could be placed before the court, fined and punished or in the worst case scenario transported to Australia. 

We returned back to the Mill site to learn more about the Mill itself and the boys were invited to join the Arkwright militia where they would be taught how to fire weapons and defend the Arkwright Mills against the plight of the Luddites. All boys were excited to be given this opportunity though the girls were somewhat disappointed to learn that they were much too delicate to be exposed to such risk.

After an amazingly fun filled day, year 5 seemed happy to transform back into 21st century schoolchildren and return to school ready for their weekend off.

A huge thank you goes to Michael Ledger at Cromford Mills for organising such a fabulous day for us, Mrs McKenzie, Mrs Wilson, Mr Harrison and Mrs Morris for their help throughout the day and all of year 5 for engaging so well in the day, especially the children given specific roles for playing their roles in such good spirit. 

Year 6
Our science lessons started with a bang the first day back after half term.  'Spooktacular' science provided Year 6 pupils with the opportunity to test their alchemy skills and create magical potions and edible delights all with a Halloween theme.   Behind the magic the children were learning about chemical and physical and reversible and irreversible changes that take place.  It has been brilliant reading their completed 'spooktacular' booklets and seeing photographs about the spells and concoctions they created at home following on from the lesson. ​

Dovedale Dash - Sunday 5th November

Fortune favoured the brave on Sunday at a boggy but gloriously sunny field above Dovedale.   It was a little chilly and the heavy rainfall the previous evening had caused some parking problems but this did not dampen our spirits.

The turnout from Denstone Prep School was superb.  The children had fun playing and the parents enjoyed a chinwag in the sunshine until the delayed racing began.

The children's race began behind Thorpe Cloud, they circumnavigated the base of the hill, coming along the path next to the river itself, past the stepping stones and up, up, up, up the very, very, very steep hill to finish.

Every child really dug in and gave it their best with huge smiles on their faces. However, it's worth mentioning three pupils individually who I'm sure we shall see on the athletics circuit in years to come: Sammy Emmerson, Rosalia Carroll and Daniel Foster.

The main event followed.  A four and three quarter mile race down the hill, through the valley and straight across the river itself, before trailing out across the fields returning along the same route taken by the children.  

It is always exhilarating to watch, however, this year was even better as our very own Mr Emmerson came in 70th out of over 1100 runners.  Among the other competitors was Mrs Dalton (Tommy's mum) and Richard Wason (Mrs Wason's son).

We are very much hoping that you too will get the bug for this fantastic family morning and join us on the first Sunday of November next year !

Photos courtesy of Mr Dalton

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​Sport's News

Twycross U9A v DCPS U9A

Twycross: 2


The Under 9A team got us off to a great start with a solid 2-2 draw against a good Twycross team. Playing on an Astro designed for 5 a side football rather than hockey the girls did incredibly well to adjust to a different set of rules of hockey for the afternoon. DCPS played incredibly well with fantastic effort throughout as they worked together to get some solid hits at the goal. Tilly M looked absolutely solid at the back and was very unlucky against 2 unstoppable shots, Ellen and Katie were fantastic at getting their feet round and clearing the lines, Lottie, Evie and Emily worked superbly well in the midfield and Imogen was always willing to get stuck in. Goals eventually came from Captain Charlotte and Imogen who both took their opportunities well to ensure a draw for the first game of the afternoon.

Girl of the Game: Emily for her consistent effort, listening and positive attitude.

Twycross U9B v DCPS U9A/B

Twycross: 2


The second game saw more fantastic effort from a mix of A & B team girls. Tilly M was more composed in her defensive D, stopping the ball and taking her time to clear the lines. Even continued her great form, this time scoring a good goal and Lydia grew into the game well. Evie, Lottie and Rosie this time ensured DCPS spent more time attacking the goal than defending it. And Isabella looked very positive and busy up front. Goals from Lottie and Ellen ensured the team stayed unbeaten for the second time this afternoon.

Girl of the Game: Isabella for superb effort making tackles and really getting involved in the game.

Twycross U9C v DCPS U9B

Twycross: 1


A superb effort from the U9Bs saw them secure a resounding 1-1 draw with Twycross to ensure an undefeated afternoon for the DCPS Under 9s and 8s. Lydia looked more confident at centre back taking her time and making some clear passes out to the wings where Beatrice and Holly were always waiting to receive passes and get down the pitch. Further excellent work from Isabella in her second game of the afternoon, Josephine and Rosie ensured the ball was generally going forward and Heidi was starting to get more involved with the game. A sweet solid strike from Beatrice gave DCPS the goal to ensure the 1-1 and her consistency with some wonderfully powerful strikes of the ball was a delight to behold.

Girl of the Game: Beatrice for some great strikes towards goal.

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St Anselms v DCPS

St Anselms A - 3

DCPS A - 1

Despite a well taken goal by Isobel W created from some good team play from the DCPS A team to give us an early lead, DCPS were not strong enough to hold onto their lead as St Anselms A team fought back to win 3-1.

Girl of the Game: Darcie W

St Anselms B - 7


Girl of the Game: Verity B. Had it not been for her outstanding ability between the goalposts the scoreline would have undoubtedly been double figures.

St Anselms C - 5


DCPS v Twycross House

DCPS - 8

Twycross House - 0

A much changed ‘A’ team took to the pitch for a match against Twycross House and finally a team performance to be proud of was produced.

Despite some girls missing the match due to workshops at Denstone, the hockey term finally came alight with every expectation being met and a team performance of the highest calibre being produced by Verity, Georgina, Caoimhe, Evangeline, Hannah, Darcie, Tilly D and Emily.

Right from the very start as soon as Twycross House took the first push back, Darcie pounced to win the ball, dribble down to the attacking D and gave DCPS a 1-0 lead in the very first seconds on the game.

2 further goals in the first third for Darcie giving her a personal hat-trick and a quick attack and goal from Twycross House gave DCPS a 3-1 lead at the end of the first third.

The second third saw more of the same with great play from the back with Verity B powerfully clearing her goal line, Georgina, Caoimhe and Evangeline absolutely solid in defence, Hannah, Darcie and Tilly D running the midfield and Emily always creating problems for the opposition in the attacking D led to more goals for DCPS in the second half. Four goals for Tilly D and a fourth also for Darcie gave the team of DCPS a superb 8-1 victory.

Whilst Twycross really struggled to get to grips with the grass surface, Denstone Prep were for the first time this term proactive in their hockey and always looked in control of the game. DCPS went straight into tackles from the very first whistle, their teamwork, looking up and passing was slick and accurate, the movement from all players was absolutely superb, the talking and support of each other was excellent and the effort, commitment and determination from every player was unquestionable.

To finally see the team playing as well as we know they can was an absolute delight and we can only hope this form and effort remains now for the rest of the term!

Girl of the Game: every single player, they all put in maximum effort, showed their true skills and ability and represented the school and themselves so proudly!

Please don't forget to show your children this newsletter, so that they can see the photos and news too.


The Nearly New Shop has moved to upstairs in Main Prep (Mrs Moseley's old office). Due to lack of space, we'll stop selling generic items i.e. White shirts, shorts and trousers. No more donations of these please.

Any donations of children's sized hangers would be very welcome.
Reminder: items sell at approx 1/3 JL price; parents can receive 50% of selling price, 50% to PTFA (or 100% to PTFA) 
Next openings: November 16th 8.15-8.45am/3.30-4.15pm.

Christmas Fair - Thursday 7th December 3.30 - 5.30pm
There will be a Home Clothes Day on 24th November, payment will be a chocolate bar or similar. Please leave in boxes provided in both departments.

Easy Fund Raising
Please remember when shopping online, whether it's Christmas presents or booking your next holiday, please join the Easy Fund Raising website and collect for Denstone Prep costs you nothing but the children reap the benefits!

Facebook and Twitter
Please 'Like' and 'Follow' our school Facebook account and Twitter account if you haven't already. We do utilise these apps regularly in order to communicate with our school community. Also, if any of you would be able to leave us a review on Facebook that would be brilliant. Thank you.

Many thanks

Mrs Warrilow

Dates for the Diary

The school calendar is available at


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