On Thursday 21 March, we had the wonderful opportunity to host Alex Gregory, two-time Gold Medal Olympic Rower, as he gave inspirational talks to some of our students. The Head Student Team and the House Captains had the pleasure of taking part in a special presentation after school, where they were given advice about conquering their upcoming challenges in the IB program as well as their responsibilities as leaders within the school community.
Alex related his success story to the pressures and trials that we face. He made it clear that "communicating the pressure that you're under is the key to success" and advised the students to seek help from teachers as well as from each other, especially in times of great pressure. Teamwork is a crucial part of success and communication is what keeps teamwork strong. He also encouraged students to "keep consistent" He counselled them that it was the consistent rowers that were the best - not the ones who only trained and performed well some of the time. The students were encouraged to keep consistent in their work and studies so that they could rely on it when it really counts.
Our gratitude goes to Alex Gregory for the wonderful opportunity that the students were given, and Mr White who helped arrange it for them.
Written by Miss R Neve
On Wednesday 13 March Mr Towe and Miss Neve accompanied eight of our best year 10 mathematicians to the Canterbury Maths Feast. The competition consisted of four rounds and students competed in teams of four. Our teams were; Team A: Oscar Phillips-James, Ben Jellett, Erin White and Christopher Nisan alongside Team B: Oliver Goult, Kirsten Hutchinson, Tom Askin and Ben Geraghty.
The first round involved a variety of maths topics and had to be completed in silence. Both teams made a strong start with high scores in this round. The second round required pupils to teach themselves an A level maths topic which they were then required to apply to a set of problems. Once again both teams put in strong performances putting them well ahead of most of their competition. Team A did particularly well in this round and were crowned champions. The third round was based upon ‘Play your cards right’ with teams being asked to solve problems and to determine whether the next answer was higher or lower than the previous. Team A once again managed to gain a top score. The final round was by far the most challenging with the top score for this round being 10 out of a possible 20 marks. In this round pupils were split into two pairs within their teams and sat at opposite ends of their table with an adjudicator between them. Each team then had five minutes to answer questions which pairs completed alternately. Added to this was the jeopardy that the second pair's problem could not be solved without the first pair's answer.
Both teams demonstrated excellent mathematical prowess as well as exemplary teamwork. Team B were also highly commended by the event organisers for their consistently high scores in all rounds, despite narrowly missing out of being round winners. A special thank you goes to Mr Towe who drove us there and used his mathematical skills during the event, despite it being his day off.
The year is 1155. Henry II has just become king of England (October 1154). This is the first time for over a hundred years that someone has become king in England without arguments or fighting. In fact, a period of fighting between Henry and the previous king Stephen had only ended in 1153 when it had been agreed that Henry would become king on Stephen’s death. Now in 1155, the new king Henry is passing through Kent. The manor of Dane Court in East Kent is holding a banquet in his honour. Invited to the banquet are the villagers of Dane Court and its five neighbouring villages. Present at the banquet will be not only the king, but also the Lords of each village (Barons or Knights) and Barons and Knights who are travelling with the king.
Back in 2019, our medieval extravaganza took place for the 24th year running, since its inception in 1995. The Year 7 students performed their various roles admirably as they enacted their medieval characters. They were set the task of deciding what it might have been like to be a medieval peasant or a Baron, Knight or Lady and whether wealth had any influence upon happiness and quality of life. The students have been studying the medieval period in their history lessons and in Food and Nutrition lessons they looked at food and clothing for the rich and poor in the 12th century.
Once the food was consumed individuals were thrown into the stocks by the Bailiff, for certain misdemeanors which their Parents had disclosed. Others went to bob for apples or to experiment with wooden games that might have been played in those times. A few talented peasants attempted to write with a quill and ink and realised how highly skilled the monks were in those days, recording information exquisitely and illuminating letters, intertwining them with images of birds, foliage and shapes. Some peasants visited the apothecary (Mr Lyons), who explained how the sick would have been treated. His bowl of wriggling maggots caused many students to scream out with disdain, imagining how it would have felt to have them placed upon an infected wound.
King Henry II (Mr Baker, with his Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine - Mrs Stivarius) then invited his subjects to be entertained by many great talents, including the Old Luvvies (the English Department) enacting a tale from Chaucer; a most talented juggler (Mr Shane Lycett); some exquisite dancers (the House Captains); a Rap delivered by two amazing and gifted brother and sister rappers (Adam and Erin Marshall); and our brilliant musicians who provided a backcloth of music from the era and the Maestro (Mr Jon Williams) who taught the Peasants to sing an authentic song from the era called 'Summer is i cummin in'. The finale was an inter house jousting contest. The event was skillfully co-ordinated by our Master of Ceremonies, Mrs Radley. Our thanks to all who helped to set this up and to clear away afterwards! The Food and History departments.
Last year’s record of success was always going to be an extremely tough act to follow and it is true that 2018-9 was not as rewarding in terms of medals and achievements but it was still a fine year for Table Tennis at Dane Court with many excellent performances from both teams and individuals.
In the County Team Championships at the Medway Sports Centre back in November pride of place goes to the Under 13 Boys team consisting of Ben Allinson, Aarav Shah, Henry Mason and Lucas Harris who finished Runners Up and took the silver medals. The Under 16 A team of Louis Lines, Jayson Morley-Stone, Will Barker and Nikos Whittaker did very well to come third and clinch bronze medals as did the Under 16 Girls team of Beth Brenchley, Sofia Williams ,Paige Austen and Amy Wright. The more inexperienced Under 16 Boys B team of Russell Perry,Connor Regnauf-Dardennes, Riley Watkins and Finn Connelly won one and lost one of their group matches which was not enough to qualify for the next stage.
In the Boys County Individual Tournament Ben Allinson reached the Under 13 Final thus becoming the first Dane Court boy to reach a County Final. He lost a tight match in 3 sets to claim the silver medal while Henry Mason won a bronze medal in the Under 13 Consolation event. In the Girls Individual Tournament Beth Brenchley played really well to win the Consolation event for the Under 16 Girls and so take the gold medal.
Many Dane Court students play at Thanet Vikings Table Tennis Club and it has been encouraging to see so many compete regularly in the Thanet adult league and gain some impressive victories. Aarav Shah recently became the Thanet Under 12 champion while Ben Allinson was runner up in the Under 14 event. Louis Lines has been part of the successful Thanet Vikings Junior team that has notched up some brilliant results while he also won the Allocated Doubles event at the Thanet Table Tennis Championships. Finally it is great to see Catherine Banks, the highest ranking Dane Court player in the local leagues, going to Wolverhampton in April to represent the school and Kent in the National Schools Girls Under 19 Table Tennis Championships.
Kent Mountain Centre 2018
Written by Mr M Alderson
In what must have been Dane Court Grammar School's fortieth year of visiting Kent County Council's outdoor adventure centre, we were blessed with calm, sunny weather to greet our group of 32 year 9 students.
As always, there was excited anticipation mixed with a little apprehension as we arrived at the Kent Mountain Centre (KMC) set on the shores of Llyn Padarn at the foot of Snowdon in North Wales. We were welcomed by the friendly KMC staff who, as usual, smoothed the way to our settling in.
Our weeks at KMC are always action packed with outdoor activities every day starting soon after a good breakfast and finishing in time for a well-earned evening meal (with a packed lunch in between, obviously). After dinner there are more indoor and outdoor activities followed by supper and a welcome bedtime.
I am pleased to report that the weather remained pretty much perfect all week. We even had stronger winds on the days we visited the sea level traverse (which is always more fun when the waves are bigger) and lighter breezes when we ventured onto the mountains.
The group were outstanding; full of awe and enthusiasm. They thoroughly enjoyed their experiences (just look at the photos below) and returned home full of stories about their adventures and carrying memories that will last a lifetime.
During their time at KMC, the students contributed to a live on-line blog which forms a journal to keep parents and friends up to date. You can read the Dane Court KMC Blog here.
KMC 2019 takes place in the week after autumn half term. It is open to all current year 8 students. Introductory letters will be available for download here or students can pick up a copy in C2.
Love is the theme for this edition of the student newspaper, Chatter. Naturally, with Valentine's Day on the horizon, it prompted thoughts of love and happiness, but also echoes of the trappings of commercialisation enforced by another retailer spend-fest. 'What's Love Got To Do With It', was debated, the results of which you can read on page 3 in 'The BIG Debate'.
Food Tech had another busy term with the Year 9 Valentine's Bistro. Students planned, prepared, cooked and served a two-course meal for their selected staff couples to have a 'blind date'. 9D had a brilliant day and took a risk to pair our Head, Miss Greig, with a mystery man! Wonderful dishes and Mrs Baker's photographs can be seen on pages 7-9.
Among many other articles, we talk about the history behind Valentine's Day, having a Chinese buddy, have a number of things to make and do, feature some of our new House Captains and the incoming Student Heads of School, and see Joe Allen and Harry Day, again 9D, who triumphed in the Key Stage 3 Talent Show. We hope you take time to read through this edition of Chatter and we would love to hear your views or ideas for other editions.
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...