It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as the new Head of School at Dane Court. My name is Andrew Fowler, and I have come to Dane Court from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith, where I was in charge of curriculum, timetable and the music department. Previously I worked in comprehensive and independent schools in Warwickshire, Berkshire and County Durham.
I was attracted to Dane Court by the outstanding quality of the teaching and learning opportunities that the school offers to its students, and the excellent relationships between students and members of staff. The progressive and forward-thinking nature of teachers and students here inspired me right from the start. Our house system offers wonderful support to students and a sense of identity. These are all aspects of school life that I value, and that I want to develop further.
Once again 'Zoo-lab' visited Dane Court with their collection of creepy crawlies to enthral students. The purpose was to demonstrate the diversity of life which lives in the tropical equatorial rainforests and how important it is for the world to preserve all the different species living there.
Students greatly enjoyed holding the snake 'Cleo' and were particularly thrilled to hold 'Steve' the millipede, the Giant snail 'Henry', a rather large stick-insect and Amazonian milk tree frog which was most attractive.
Keeping up to date with the latest developments in digital technology can be very challenging for parents, yet we all want to protect our children from coming to harm via on-line activity. Almost all of our students are never far from their devices and encouraging their positive use is very important. However, there are times when the technology makes bullying much easier and knowing how to help your sons and daughters protect themselves might be very helpful. Kent police recommend the Digital Parenting website as it has information about security settings and protecting on-line identity as well as hints on how to make the best use of tablets and smartphones.
Fourteen Japanese teacher trainees from Chaucer College in Canterbury visited our school recently as part of their outreach programme. Dane Court ab initio and IBCC students studying Japanese enjoyed sessions learning Japanese Calligraphy, Manga drawing and Sushi making. The Sushi making session proved very popular and the students were able to make a wide variety of Sushi experimenting with different ingredients and flavourings. It was a great opportunity for all to experience the cultural differences and share some time talking in native Japanese. The visitors had an opportunity to observe English lessons and help develop language skills in a Japanese lesson.
Thank you to the vast majority of parents who have heeded our request not to bring cars on to the school site to collect their children at the end of the day.
Unfortunately, several parents are still driving onto site and we would ask again, on health and safety grounds, that these parents refrain from doing so.
Whilst we understand that roadside parking near the school is at a premium, please park safely and considerately, particularly around school finishing time when numerous public service buses stop in both Broadstairs Road and Fairfield Road.
Dane Court staff and students got a head start on this year's Sport Relief excitement.
The charity reckon that our area raised more than its fair share of cash in 2013 and invited us to put on a special day of physical fund raisers a full three weeks before the rest of the nation.
The PE department swung into acton organising an impressive range of challenges from staff versus students dodgeball and non-stop badminton to climbing a mountain on our school climbing wall.
Following on from the success of reaching the U13 girls rugby National finals last year, Dane Court now have promising teams in two age categories. With the U13s having moved up to U15 level, they continued their success by becoming Kent champions this week.