Dane Court Grammar School is very sorry to announce the death of Miss Alison Sonnex.
The year 2017-2018 has been a record breaking year for table tennis at Dane Court Grammar School and it is difficult to believe that any other school in the country has enjoyed the same level of success across both genders and within all four Year 7 to 11 age ranges.
Tuesday 6 March 2018 Dane Court Grammar School held its first Open Mic Evening. I was overwhelmed by the number of students who wanted to perform, with over 23 acts signing up!
The night was open to any group or performer who wanted to perform in an informal setting. Rohan Terenghi (6N2) did a fantastic job of hosting the evening. We had a range of students performing from year 7, right up to year 13!
Key Stage 5 saw Amelia Bell (6S7) kick off the evening with her beautiful rendition of ‘This Years Love’ by David Gray on voice and piano as well as Lily-Ann Naylor (6H2) with her own vocal version of ‘When We Were Young’ by Adele. Other performances included a mashup of ‘La Vie En Rose’ by Maria Munnich (6B1) on vocals and ukulele and ‘The Man I love’ performed by Joseph Chesters on piano. Johanna Steinvorth (6S2) and Issac Kundukulam (6H2) performed ‘Lost Boy’ by Ruth B on piano and voice.
In year 7 we had performances from Eleanor Golding (7H) who performed ‘Igorni’ by Ludovico Einaudi on Piano, Charlie Luxmore (7S) performed ‘A Million Dreams’ from the musical The Greatest Showman and Angelina Saad (7N) who sang a beautiful acapella piece in Russian. Rebecca Wells performed ‘Hallelujah’ by Alexandra Burke and Tom Couzens and Lexie Vincent (7B) performed a duet on Guitar and Voice of ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele.
In year 8 we had a performance from Liliana Clark (8H) performing ‘Time After Time’ by Cyndi Lauper on Guitar and Voice.
Year 9 showed a real array of talent from Abigail Heyfron (9H) performing ‘How are Things in Glocca Morra?’ by B. Lane with piano accompaniment as well as a group performance of ‘Titanium’ by Sia from class band in 9S. Shayen Kerai performed on Piano and Voice with a Sam Smith chart topper ‘I’m Not The Only One’.
Chloe Strutt (9B) closed the show with a haunting performance of ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ by Elvis Presley.
Thank you to all the performers and support for this event, I am hoping to host another Open Mic early next year and look forward to perhaps adding in some staff performances!
On Thursday 8 March 2018 our Rugby Sevens U15 team won the Kent Schools Shield with a squad consisting of: Finlay Lycett, Cameron Beck, James Crompton, Callum Wilshaw, Billy Mchattie, Rhys Lee, Ziggy Lee, Finlay Keyworth, Ryan Kerry and Cameron Escudier. With victory in their sights, Finlay Lycett captained the team to 5 tough wins. The stand out tries came from Finlay Lycett with blistering pace down the wing to score in the corner and the final try came from Callum Wilshaw from a kick down the wing from James Crompton. He secured the ball and with excellent strength, drove to the line. The team displayed a fantastic array of strength and determination which made up for the lost Kent Cup Final at the same place earlier in the year. Once the final whistle had blown, the boys couldn’t contain their excitement and deserved the well fought victory.
On 10 March 2018, our under 16 girls table tennis team competed in the Butterfly National School Team Championship Finals held at Hinckley Leisure Centre for the right to be crowned National School Team Champions. Their dedicated coach, Rob Pugh, tells the tale of the girls' battle for championship glory.
All epic journeys eventually have to end and for the Dane Court Girls Under 16 Table Tennis team this spectacular, roller-coaster, unbelievable and for me, as the coach anyway, stomach churning trek finished happily.
From November to March the team went from Gillingham (County), London (Zonal), Bristol (Regional) to Hinckley (National), over a thousand miles in total (surely more than any other school in the country?) to finally emerge victorious in their final match against Lancaster Girls Grammar School to clinch third place in the Butterfly English Schools Table Tennis Association National Final.
For three of the team, Catherine Banks, Annabel Cole and Tayla Bayley this day at the Finals was the high point of their five year Table Tennis career at Dane Court as they move into the Sixth Form from September. It is hard to imagine that the school will ever have three better female Table Tennis players in the same year who have all worked so hard and competed so fiercely to fully deserve the outstanding success they have achieved.
After another overnight Travelodge stay, this time in Leicester, the team arrived at Hinckley on Saturday, March 10, excited (whatever Tayla might have said. I know Tayla you really were excited!) and a little apprehensive, about taking on the other three best school teams in England. First up the Charles Read Academy, Corby Glen, near Grantham, Lincolnshire. Never heard of them? Well by the end of the day they were deservedly the National Champions. Their top three players; Mollie Patterson (Number 3 ranked Junior Girl in England); Darcie Proud (Number 11) and Danielle Kelly (Number 20). Some team to play against in the first match and unfortunately although the Dane Court girls fought hard against these three top quality opponents, they were unable to lay a glove on them and our opponents all comfortably won their two matches. However, the Charles Read Number 4 player was not at the same level as her illustrious team mates and both Tayla and the Dane Court Number 4, Beth Brenchley, managed to make the final score a more respectable 6-2 in favour of the Lincolnshire school.
Next up another extremely tough match against our old rival Okehampton Community College, Devon, who in 2016 and 2017, had beaten Dane Court 8-0 and 7-1 at the Regional Final. Their top three players; Mari Baldwin (England ranked Junior Girl Number 12); Emily Haskell ( Number 28 ); Zoe Bennett ( Number 73 ); Again these girls were unstoppable but again Tayla and Beth beat their Number 4 player to make the final score another 6-2 defeat which was at least our best ever result against Okehampton who then went on to lose narrowly against the Charles Read Academy and so finish Runners Up.
Then the final game against a very good Lancaster Girls Grammar School team who had also lost both their previous contests. They just had the one England ranked player at Number 98 so Dane Court definitely had a chance of clinching third place but it was never going to be easy. Three of the 8 games went to final set deciders but each Dane Court girl held their nerve to win them all and with three other victories this time we were on the right side of a 6-2 scoreline. Catherine Banks, the Dane Court Number 1, really hit top form in this game to win both her matches with some clever chopping and blocking allied with her natural attacking game while Annabel Cole got the first set against her England ranked opponent and then beat the Lancaster Number 3. Tayla again came up trumps to win both her games and with Beth winning one of her two matches the victory was secured. This led to a real sense of achievement that we had competed at the highest possible level of schools Table Tennis and had managed to win a match and earn the accolade of being the third best team in the whole of England.
As far as I am aware (and I am sure Mr Towe will correct me if I am wrong?) no Dane Court school team has ever achieved so highly in a truly National competition and that is why these girls deserve an enormous amount of credit. For me personally it has been a real privilege to see them develop both as people and Table Tennis players (I was also lucky enough to teach all four of them History at some times before I retired and they were all good History students). There have been no egos in this team and they all listen and respond positively to advice although they must be sick of listening to me telling them things that some of the time they knew only too well! I really hope they all continue playing Table Tennis because it is a great sport to be involved with for so many reasons and next year if, she continues playing, Beth will take on the role of Number One and team captain as the school looks to build another successful team around her.
Once again massive thanks to Helen (Annabel’s Mum) for driving us all those miles; for Debbie’s (Tayla’s Mum) unstinting support over the last few years; also to the PE staff at school for their support; all the Dane Court teachers who allowed the girls to miss lessons for Table Tennis and very importantly to those people at Saint Anthony’s Table Tennis Centre and Hartsdown who have coached, encouraged and helped the girls in so many ways (too numerous to mention but you all know who you are).
On Saturday 13 January 2018 the Dane Court swim team competed in the Kent Secondary Schools Individuals Gala. Overall Dane Court won 18 medals.
"For a moment time seemed to pause as every child in every room on every floor seemed collectively hold their breath and clench their fists in hopeless anticipation."
January 2017 saw the publication of the first edition of 'Eloquent', Dane Court's new creative writing themed magazine. The first edition, entitled 'By Candlelight', has been written and edited by a talented team of Year 12 students, with other submissions coming from students in Key Stages 3 and 4. With the pupils' continued hard work, the magazine has become a regular feature at the school.
The publication contains an extremely impressive breadth of styles of writing, ranging from crafted short stories and amusing book reviews to insightful political comment and analysis. The publication showcases the impressive literary skills of our pupils and is testament to their team work and organisation.
Most importantly, it's an extremely good read.
Some writers in issue #4 (Winter 2017) remember the horrors of war one hundred years ago while others gently prepare us for festive celebrations.