The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) is a real adventure from beginning to end. It doesn't matter who you are or where you’re from. It is the world's leading youth achievement award, it gives millions of 14- to 25-year olds the opportunity to push themselves to be the very best they can be. The award was founded in 1965 by HRH Prince Philip.
The award is aimed at both able-bodied young people and young people with disabilities and has become one of the best known self-development and adventure schemes for young people.
The programmes are at three progressive levels, which can commence the year a person turns 14 years of age and, if successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. To complete all three awards takes between one and four years. There are around 300,000 participants enrolled annually, with the award, expanding to 140 other countries.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award will not only add to the CVs and University applications of those students involved but you'll find yourself helping people and the community, getting fitter, developing skills such as teamwork and survival skills, going on an expedition and maybe taking part in a residential activity (Gold only). Your programme can be full of activities and projects that get you buzzing. Along the way you’ll pick up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Dear Families, Thanet District Council have some money that they have been given from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) to support households who are at risk of losing their home, either by way of rent or mortgage arrears as a result of COVID-19. This fund is available to anyone and everyone and you do not have to be in receipt of benefits to be eligible. The criteria stipulates that households who have been adversely financially affected as a result of the pandemic are prioritised.
The funding will enable Thanet District Council to:
Boost the support for private rented sector tenants to financially recover from impact of the pandemic and prevent them losing their homes
Support landlords in recovering from the loss of rental payments received where the tenants have fallen into rent arrears
Support the containment of COVID-19 outbreaks by supporting households to remain in their existing homes and prevent households from becoming street homeless, or resulting in insecure and transient housing arrangements
Provide support to homeowners who may be at risk of having their homes repossessed as a result of COVID-19
I hope this is useful Anita Ives Pastoral support officer
Schools Police Officer - survey
Written by Mrs A Ives
Dear families, Please see the contact below from Kent Police. We would be grateful if you could take part in the survey and encourage all members of the family to do so. We don't yet have a schools police officer in place but are really excited that we will get one in the future. Many thanks Anita Ives Pastoral support officer
"As you may be aware Kent Police have created a Schools Team. This will mean that when fully implemented every secondary, further and higher education provision will have their own Schools Police Officer. In order to understand how we can shape our role and our engagement with young people we have designed a survey that we would like children, teachers and parents to complete.
Could I please ask for your help with this and ask if you could please share with the children themselves and staff members."
Last term, we surveyed all students to get a feel for what it’s like to be studying at Dane Court. We asked about our school values and teaching strategies, as well as perceptions of behaviour, bullying, wellbeing, extra curricular opportunities and the impact of PSHE.
Over 400 students responded (just over ⅓ of the student body). Across all year groups, an average of 91% of students say they enjoy school (with 99% of students in year 7 claiming they enjoy it at least some of the time).
Our school values encourage everyone in the community to be caring, open-minded and principled, and this is reflected in the survey results: 95% of students in years 7-9, and 82% of students in years 10-13 agree the school encourages them to respect people from other backgrounds and treat everyone equally. A high proportion of students perceive the behaviour of other students as good, and the majority of those who are aware of bullying agree that it is dealt with quickly.
This year, we have introduced three evidence-informed teaching strategies, to ensure high quality talk, regular retrieval and opportunities for silent, independent practice in all lessons. Students in all year groups recognise the benefits of these strategies - for example, 76% of Yr 7 students feel more confident taking part in discussion using the ‘Think Pair Share’ strategy. 93% of all students agree they feel more confident tackling new tasks when teachers model perfect answers - something we will continue to do in all subjects.
Our PSHE/SRE programme has been developed this year and already it is having an impact, particularly in the younger years: 73% of year 7 and 8 students feel these lessons give them confidence when dealing with health and wellbeing issues.
The events of the past two years have made extra-curricular provision difficult, but one of our aims this year is to revive previous opportunities and add to our extra-curricular offer. It is hugely encouraging to see that 54% of students are now taking part in a range of activities outside the classroom; Year 12 is the most active year group, with 71% taking part in clubs and groups.
We asked students what the best things about being in Dane Court are, and received a range of responses. Here is a snapshot:
Year 7:‘It’s fun and educational at the same time and the teachers are always nice and helpful.’
Year 8: ‘Being accepted for who I am by other pupils.’
Year 9: ‘Having fun, making memories, learning new things.’
Year 10: ‘Wide range of opportunities given, mainly academically, and the attitude of teachers towards learning.’
Year 11: ‘Being able to learn in a comfortable and safe environment.’
Year 12:‘The IB is a much better choice than any other offered nearby.’
Year 13:‘Dane Court feels like a community and I will be sad to leave.’
We also asked what we could do better, and many students responded ‘nothing!’ Some students requested more support with mental health, so we have recruited three new members of staff as Welfare Mentors and trained a group of Year 13 students as Mental Health Ambassadors. Over the coming weeks, we will work with year leads and mentors to address any other concerns or suggestions raised in the surveys.
We would like to thank all students who took part in the survey - it is hugely valuable being able to see our school through the eyes of the students. We will run a follow-up survey in April, so please encourage your children to take part.
UPDATED: Start of term 3 - COVID-19 testing
Written by Mr M Jones
Happy New Year. I hope that you have enjoyed a peaceful holiday.
Yesterday, the Department for Education issued updated Covid-19 safety guidance for schools. The main points concern the use of face coverings, on-site Covid-19 testing at the start of Term 3, new rules about self-isolation, and daily testing for close contacts of Covid-19.
On-site Covid-19 testing schedule
Students will be offered one on-site Covid-19 test on Tuesday 4 or Wednesday 5 January according to the schedule below. Although testing is voluntary we would encourage as many students as possible to take part in the on-site testing offered to help facilitate the safest possible school environment for their return to school for Term 3.
Please be aware that the guidance around testing in the 90 days following a positive test has recently changed. The guidance now states: Even if your son/daughter has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they are strongly encouraged to take part in on-site LFD testing or test at home once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection. If your son/daughter chooses to test at home please report the results to school. Students not taking part in the on-site testing should return to school at the same time as their form group according to the testing schedule below. If students are unable to attend their time slot, they should test at home - there will be no 'catch-up' opportunity.
Safety measures on the first testing day
Our testing centre is based in the sports hall building. Students must not enter any other building before completing their test. They must use the gate immediately in front of the sports hall.
Wear a face covering, unless exempt, until instructed to remove it by the testing assistant
Use the hand-sanitisers when asked to do so
The full schedule of testing and phased return to face-to-face teaching is below.
Tuesday 4 January 2022
Year 11 and 13: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test. After their test and 15-minute isolation period students will return to normal lessons in school if the result is negative. Students in year 11 should wear school uniform.
Year 10 and 12: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test and return home as soon as their test is complete. Learning resources will be uploaded to Google Classroom according to timetable. Students return to school on Wednesday 5 January.
Year 7, 8 and 9: Live remote teaching according to timetable.
Wednesday 5 January 2022
Year 10, 11, 12 and 13: Normal lessons in school.
Year 7 and 8: COVID-19 testing followed by return to normal lessons (see timings below)
Year 9: COVID-19 testing only (see timings below). Learning resources will be uploaded to Google Classroom according to timetable. Students return to school on Thursday 6 January.
Year 7 and 8: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test. After their test and 15-minute isolation period students will return to normal lessons in school if the result is negative. Students should wear school uniform.
Year 9: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test and return home as soon as their test is complete. Learning resources will be uploaded to Google Classroom according to timetable. Students return to school on Thursday 6 January.
Year 10, 11, 12, 13: In school for normal lessons.
Updated guidance from the Department for Education
The most important and immediate change for students is about the use of face coverings in school.
As before Christmas, face coverings should be worn by students, staff and visitors in communal areas and corridors. In addition, it is now recommended that students wear face coverings in classrooms. Face coverings are not required in PE lessons, or when students are outdoors.
The following detailed information is taken from the DfE’s guidance to schools (full information for parents and carers is here). We would be very grateful if you would discuss these changes with your son/daughter.
Face coverings help protect the wearer and others against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of COVID-19.
From 4 January 2022, we recommend that in those schools where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms. This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons. This is a temporary measure.
Where pupils and students in year 7 and above are educated, we also recommend that face coverings should be worn by pupils, students, staff and adult visitors when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas. This will also be a temporary measure.
These pupils and students must also wear a face covering when travelling on public transport and should wear it on dedicated transport to and from school.
Face coverings do not need to be worn by students when outdoors.
Circumstances where people are not able to wear face coverings
There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. Some people are less able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others.
In relation to education settings, this includes (but is not limited to):
children under the age of 11 on 31 August 2021
people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
people for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
people speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
avoiding the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
removing a face covering in order to take medication
Changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for Covid-19
Since Wednesday 22nd December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.
Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self- isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to school from day 8
Daily testing for close contacts of Covid-19
People who are fully vaccinated, or children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months, identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend school as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.
Many thanks for your continued support with these measures.
We’re looking forward to welcoming the students back to school this week and we hope to see you soon.
Mr M Jones Headteacher
Kent Mountain Centre 2019
Written by Mr M Alderson
On the 27 October 2019, thirty one year 9 students made the journey to North Wales for the annual outdoor activities week of adventure and excitement. Our fourty year relationship with Kent Mountain Centre (KMC) has seen hundreds of Dane Court students make that journey to participate in one of the most challenging and adventurous programmes offered by any visiting school.
As always, the group were well prepared for the challenges of the mountainous Snowdonia National Park and the nearby rugged coastline. With expert guidance from the tireless KMC instructors, our students reached mountain summits and tackled river gorges, mountain crags and sea cliffs. Evenings were filled with outdoor problem solving activities in the grounds of the Centre and a visit to the excellent local indoor climbing wall. And, now in its tenth year, the Dane Court KMC blog was maintained every evening by a dedicated band of students and staff who produced illustrated daily reports to update parents and friends back in Kent.
The Dane Court Grammar School Parents Association's monthly boot fairs usually take place at the school from 6:30am on the second Saturday of each month with breaks over winter and during the summer holiday. Read more...
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