Sometimes in sport, as in life, you have just got to be patient and wait for the moment to appear. This was certainly the case for the Dane Court Girls Under 16 Table Tennis team as at the fourth time of trying they magnificently qualified for the National Final of the Butterfly English Schools’ Table Tennis Team Championships. Twice the girls had been Runners Up at the Regional Event but this time they went one better by winning the Southern Event at Bristol on Saturday 3 February.
This time the team had the luxury (well the Filton, Bristol Travelodge) of an overnight stay and so avoiding a 5:00am start from Broadstairs and this might have made a difference? They certainly came flying out of the blocks in the opening match of a three schools contest with only the winners gaining a place at the National Final. The opposition from the Holte School, Birmingham were beaten by a margin of 7-1 but that result was bettered by the third team in the tournament, Budmouth College from Weymouth who thrashed Holte 8-0, which meant it was winner take all in the final game between Dane Court and Budmouth.
This turned out to be a tense and enthralling battle between two very talented and closely matched teams. Budmouth had the advantage of having an unusually strong fourth player but not an outstanding top player so it really was difficult to predict the outcome before the start.
Dane Court made the perfect start with Number One player Catherine Banks comfortably defeating the Budmouth Number 2; on the other table Annabel Cole, the Dane Court Number 2, hung in there brilliantly to beat Budmouth’s top player in five sets to establish a 2-0 lead for her team. Tayla Bayley, the Dane Court Number 3, then made it 3-0 with a win against the Budmouth Number 4 before the Dorset school got back into the match with a win for their Number 3 against Dane Court’s Number 4, Beth Brenchley.
Catherine then extended the Dane Court lead to 4-1 with another win and then the nerves began to jangle a bit as Annabel lost to the Budmouth Number 3 meaning that Dane Court still needed one more win from the last two matches. Cometh the hour cometh the girl and this time it was Tayla who produced a great victory against the Budmouth Number 2 to clinch the victory for Dane Court. In the final game Beth played superbly to take the first two sets against the very capable Budmouth Number 4 but then ran out of steam as her opponent came back to win another five-set thriller; this then meant a 5-3 final score in Dane Court’s favour.
The Dane Court parents and coach had by now aged at least ten years watching the last hour and a half’s top quality Table Tennis but thankfully the team had emerged victorious against talented and stubborn opponents who sportingly wished us well in the upcoming Final.
So, it was job done and Dane Court can look forward to playing in the National Final for the first time ever at Hinckley in Leicestershire on Saturday 10 March.
All four of the girls, as ever, produced tremendous individual performances to see the team home. Catherine, the most experienced player, rarely dropped below her very best, and did not lose a single set in either match, using her favourite forehand hit time and time again to win crucial points. Annabel who ended the match looking as if she had run at least a couple of marathons kept calm at crucial times and pulled off the result of the day by beating the Budmouth Number One; Tayla also dug in at difficult times to win all her 4 games while it is hard to believe that Beth, a Year 9 student unlike the others who are in Year11, had only started playing Table Tennis properly a few months ago. She has come on in leaps and bounds as her technique and knowledge of the game improves and it was great to see her achieve 2 wins in the first match and come very close to beating the Budmouth Number 4.
Thanks to all the parents for their great support and especially to Annabel’s Mum for driving us there and back, and along with Tayla’s Mum, staying overnight with the girls and supporting them during the tournament. Thanks also to the Dane Court PE staff for their support and to many people within the Thanet Table Tennis community who have helped, supported and coached the three older girls to become the players they 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 the fourth year running the Dane Court Under 16 Girls team have qualified for the Butterfly English Schools’ Regional Finals; this time though they went one better than the last two years by winning the zonal tournament rather than getting to the next stage as runners up.
"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.
In this assignment my Health and Social Care class and I attended Yoakley care home in Broadstairs on 11 December 2017 and we took part in a group interaction with the residents of the care home and performed a nativity play for the elderly people. I took part in this as a shepherd. The aim of our nativity was for us to work as a group to cheer up the elderly people around christmas time and to get them into the christmas spirit.
A brand new Food classroom at Dane Court Grammar School was opened by Chetna Makan, the 2014 British Bake Off semi finalist on Thursday 7 December 2017.
Dane Court Grammar School celebrated 60 years this summer.The school was officially founded in 1957 and was, until 1980, designated as a selective Technical High School rather than a Grammar School. In 1957 the girls were educated in the east wing, studying subjects such as Biology, French, Dressmaking and Institutional Management. Boys were educated in the west wing, studying subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Woodwork and Metalwork.
Today Dane Court students have the opportunity to study a wide curriculum including all three Sciences, Food, Computing and Design and at least two different foreign languages. The Jubilee Kitchen was created to mark the jubilee year of the School.
Food is studied by all students throughout years 7, 8 and 9 and is available as an optional choice at GCSE level. As from this year students are able to study Food Science and Technology as a Group 4 science option in Year 12 and 13 as part of the International Baccalaureate. A Level Food has been discontinued in England and Wales this course is now unique. Dane Court is one of a very small number of schools in the world offering academic study of food at Key Stage Five.
The school is grateful to Darren Ellis of Kentish Projects, who project managed the new kitchen and to Joe Baker of Enys Surveying for creating the original design; Jamie Gardiner for supplying and fitting the kitchen; Chandlers; South East ME; Dry Construction Ltd and Speciality Breads for their work and generous support.
Year 7 students took part in the International Food Evening at Dane Court with great panache this year, presenting dishes from 34 different countries. All corners of the world were represented. Parents and visitors were bowled over by the huge variety of foods that the students had cooked. Many parents admitted that they honestly did not know what to expect and could not believe the scale of the displays. This year the Food Evening was opened by local celebrity baker Chetna Makan, heralded by The Broadstairs Town Crier. Over 600 people attended.
The school was grateful to the traders who came along to add to the evening with displays of specialist foods and drinks. The school jazz band and talented year 7 soloists provided musical entertainment on stage. Parents kindly donated raffle prizes.
In the weeks preceding the Food Evening, the students had the opportunity to practise their dishes and prepare display materials to inform their guests about their country.
“The students did us proud. They produced some superb food, including a wide range of curries from Thailand and the Far East, maple syrup cake from Canada, sushi from Japan and many other delectable dishes from a diverse range of countries across the world. They enthusiastically enticed the visitors to try their food and were a great credit to the school and to their Parents,” said Judith Baker, Head of the Food Technology Department.