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    and changes to the school day Read More
  • Colour Run 2015

  • Tallinn top sports day 2015

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Japanese Pen Pal Project

penpal2This year, IBDP students studying Ab initio Japanese have begun correspondence with students attending Kitakyushu National College of Technology in Fukuoka in Japan. Pen pals were assigned to each student, and started by sending an introductory letter in Japanese to said partners, before receiving a reply in both English and Japanese. We have found it very beneficial to our studies because it gives us sufficient practice in reading and writing Japanese outside the classroom. This will continue for the present students until next year as the next line of students begin their pen pal project.

One of Year 13 ab initio Japanese students says “I like the idea. It is enjoyable because it’s different to writing in exams. It’s also helped me with using sentence structures, using extensive vocabulary, and reading Kanji characters”. Some comment on how, “It’s fun to communicate with Japanese people abroad.” Others have also expressed interest in questioning their pen pals about their different culture and lifestyles, stating that, “It was enlightening; I enjoyed communicating with someone from a different culture as it helped me better understand the culture.”

Having initially started from an idea presented by one of the students in the previous year, there are high hopes that this will be an activity for all Japanese Ab Initio students to participate in for years to come. If possible, this sort of correspondence could lead to future exciting developments for IBCP students studying Japanese and culture.


A visit to Middle Temple

royal courts of justice 250pxA group of Dane Court students, comprising both years 11 and 13, visited Middle Temple, London on the 22 September 2015 for an advisory talk with successful environmental law barrister Alex Booth. Departing promptly at 8am on Tuesday morning, flasks of warm tea in hand, we were fully prepared for the coach journey ahead that would take us ever-closer towards an enlightening day at Middle Temple; one that promised us an intriguing glimpse into the world of law and successfully endeavoured to teach us what it truly means to be a member of the bar.

After a journey rife with excitement and an air of ever-increasing anticipation, we finally arrived at the Inns of Court in which Mr. Booth practices. After a relaxing and informative walk around the gardens and grounds surrounding the various buildings in which the chambers were situated, we felt sufficiently refreshed and eager to learn more about the profession that so intrigued us. Upon entering the luxurious building a sense of awe was instilled in us, perhaps even coupled with a slight sense of intimidation in those of us unfamiliar with such grandeur. Even the cloakrooms in which we deposited our coats and bags upon arrival seemed pristine.

With anticipation, we followed Mr Booth into a traditional and welcoming space that provided the pleasant offer of an assortment of comfortable armchairs that presented an optimum view to absorb the informative talk that we were eager to receive. Alex Booth began by informing us of the positive and rewarding aspects of being a barrister, he went on to explain, however the workload that such a profession would encompass, highlighting both the effort that we would have to put in our education and after qualifying as a practicing barrister, and the paths which we would have to take to reach our goals.

He also gave us insight into some of the cases that he has undertaken and how to deal with emotional strain , particularly in relation to dealing with a client with whom you feel perhaps more hostile towards and the importance of giving everyone fair representation, therefore finding aspects of their case with which you can relate. However, importantly, he talked of the extreme exhilaration that comes from winning a case which is often preceded by a great deal of hard work.

The whole group walked away from the talk with significantly opened eyes as to how the justice system works and were given an insight into one of the more simple elements of life as a barrister by eating in the dining hall. This particular room appeared to harbour paintings on all walls which rather eerily followed us as we ate our hearty meals of steak and chips that were kindly provided for us as part of our tour.

With our stomachs sufficiently full and satisfied we were able to take a wander around the London Supreme Court, where we had the wonderful opportunity to take a glimpse inside some of the many empty courtrooms and experience the setting in which many barristers make their cases.

To finish off our trip we took a stroll through Covent Garden in small groups, taking the opportunity to look around quaint shops and market stalls and perhaps buy souvenirs of the experience. When the time to depart the city arrived, each and every student felt more knowledgeable about the profession of law and when stepping onto the coach we all felt the impression the trip had made upon us sink in and wondered as to what our future careers might hold.


facebooktwitter swirl3 100pxWe encourage students to make use of their digital devices to support their learning. However, there are occasions when they can be used inappropriately and there have been incidents of cyberbullying that have been brought to our attention.

The minimum age to open an account on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Kik, and Snapchat is 13.
For Vine, Tinder and Yik Yak it's 17. YouTube requires account holders to be 18, although a 13 year-old can signup with a parent's permission. But according to The Social Age Study by knowthenet.org.uk, approximately 59% of children have already used a social network by the time they are 10.

As a school we have a duty to safeguard our students and while we cannot police their social networking we can try to encourage responsible use. Support from parents and guardians is essential to our success in keeping our students safe, and we know it can sometimes seem an uphill task to keep up with the expansion of social networking.
The following are very useful sites for every one who has the interests of young
peoples’ online safety at heart, and we would encourage you to take some time to explore them:

Parent Info provides high quality information to parents and carers about their children's wellbeing and resilience.

lucy faithfull foundation logo 250pxParents may also wish to take advantage of www.parentsprotect.co.uk

It is a comprehensive resource designed to raise awareness about safeguarding children, answer questions and give information, advice and support with particular reference to child sexual abuse and internet safety. Anyone working with or looking after children will find topics covered very helpful.

Parents: Do we have your correct email address?

icon email promo 250pxWe are making more use of email to send details of important events and opportunities for you and your child or children.

GCSE results 2015

P1030710 250pxDane Court Grammar School is celebrating another year of outstanding GCSE results: 97% of students gained at least five GCSE passes at grades A*-C. 46% of students gained 5 or more grades at A*/A. Among our outstanding students, Gowri Satish achieved 10A* grades and 2 As, Charlotte Butler, Sally Warren and Malgorzata Plichter gained 9 A* grades and at least two further A grades; Sally Warren also scored one of the highest marks in the country in her Further Mathematics GCSE. Banisha Aktar, Sam Nicholson and Lauren Palmer-Jones each gained 8A* and at least 3 further A grades. Other top-scoring students included Niharigah Arulampalam, Adele Atkins, Evan Usher, Bradley Garrod, Elly Harvey, Sophie Mallett, Becky Ward, Vita Welcome and Amod Shrestha, all of whom gained between 9 and 12 A* and A grades. Science results were again extremely impressive, with 87% of students gaining A* and A grades in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

These excellent results mean that the large majority of students have secured the grades they need to progress to high-achieving sixth-form International Baccalaureate courses at Dane Court. Head of School Andrew Fowler said, “these superb results reflect the hard work of the students and the wonderful support they have received from their teachers and parents. A number of students have overcome great personal hardship, and I congratulate them on their success.” Sarah Snaydon, Assistant Headteacher, said “we are enormously proud of all our year 11 students, many of whom have achieved at the highest level. They and their teachers have worked incredibly hard to achieve these superb results.” Chair of Governors Dr Virginia Austin commented, “Governors are intensely proud of the achievements of students and staff at Dane Court.”

Student Gowri Satish said’ I am so over the moon, when I saw my results I couldn’t believe the number of A*’s. I am pleased that all my hard work paid off’

Banisha Aktar said ‘I am really pleased particularly with my Product Design and Physics results as I found these subjects particularly challenging. I never thought in a million, trillion years I would achieve results like these.’

Introducing our head student team

HST15 250pxWe are very proud to introduce ourselves as Dane Court's Head Student team 2015-16! We are a team of year 12s taking either IBDP or IBCP who dedicate our time to ensuring that the Dane Court community is working as happily and harmoniously as possible. This year, for the first time, the head student team are running the school council which gives us the fantastic opportunity to hear what Dane Court students think of their school, and then doing our most to ensure changes and improvements are implemented.
This year we have set up a school canteen committee made up of students of different ages, under the leadership of deputy head boy Ben Parsons, to meet regularly with the canteen staff in order give feedback on the school food. We hope this will be able to resolve any issues that students have previously had with school meals! We are aiming to offer more support to students who are deciding on their further education, especially regarding IBDP/CP choices, by organising Q & A sessions and talks.

Most importantly this year we hope to bridge the gap between students and teachers by being a friendly face of authority around school that all students can approach about problems or for advice. We look forward to meeting you over the next year.

Deputy head boys: William Taker, Henry Tucker, Ben Parsons, Martin Docherty
Head Boy: Jordan Potter
Head Girl: Amy Napier
Deputy head Girls: Ria Sareen, Lucy Mackay, Suzannah Fletcher, Sumaiyah Choudhury

HST15 850px

Changes to the School Timetable and School Day

2weekTT 1516 250pxI am writing to let you know about some changes to our school timetable and to the school day, starting in September 2015.
Many of you will already know that GCSE examinations are being reformed, starting with English and Mathematics. Students presently in year 9 will take these new Maths and English examinations in May and June 2017. Students presently in year 8 will take new examinations in all subjects in May and June 2018. These new examinations are designed to be more demanding and to test students’ knowledge and understanding across a broader range of topics. Details are being published by examination boards as the new specifications become available. I will give details of how to find out more in our next electronic newsletter and on our website in June.

Lesson Length: 60 minutes

Dane Court School
Day Times 2015-2016
Period 1 08:40 – 09:40
Period 2 09:45 – 10.45
Break 10:45 – 11:05
Period 3 11:05 – 12:05
Period 4 12:10 – 13:10
Assembly 13:10 – 13:20
Mentoring 13:20 – 13:35
Lunch 13:35 – 14:20
Period 6 14:20 – 15:20

In order to accommodate these changes, we intend to make some small adjustments to the amount of time spent on each subject within our curriculum, giving a little more time to English and Mathematics each week. We have also decided to change from six lessons of 50 minutes each day to five lessons of 60 minutes each day. The total lesson time is unaltered, but the most productive part of the learning time – the middle of the lesson – is extended, and the amount of time spent changing from one lesson to another is reduced. As a school, we are confident that this change will enhance the quality of learning. This change has caused us to make some alterations to the school day times (see right).

Start and Finish Times

From the first day of Term 1, Friday 4 September 2015, the school day will start at 08:40 and end at 15:20. Stagecoach, who run the buses, have told us that this will not pose a problem for bus times, and that they will issue new timetables in due course. After-school activities will start at 15:30, as they do at present.

Lesson Times

There will be four lessons in the morning and one in the afternoon. The new lesson times include 5-minute movement time between morning lessons, as at present. A copy of these new times for your notice board appears at the end of this letter. Mentoring will take place on a rota, as it does presently, a few students meeting with their mentor each day. Most students will therefore be able to have lunch at 13:20 each day. A range of food will be also available at break time. Break will be at 10:45.

Two-Week Timetable

To give us enough flexibility to timetable the longer lessons, from September we will also operate a two-week timetable, made up of Week A and Week B. The two weeks will have identical lesson times, but the balance of lessons may vary slightly from one week to the other. For example, a student in year 9 may have three English lessons in one week and four in the other. We will help students to be clear about which week is which, with suitable notices in student planners and on the plasma screens around school. Many of us have had positive experiences of two-week timetables, as teachers, as students and as parents; any confusion is usually short-lived and easily overcome, but we would ask for your support in making sure students are clear about which week is which.
The first day of the year for students will be Friday 4 September. This will be Friday from Week A. The first full week, beginning Monday 7 September, will be Week B. The weeks will then alternate, the pattern continuing after each holiday. For example, Term 1 ends on Thursday 22 October 2015, in Week B; term 2 begins on Monday 2 November, in Week A. Term 2 ends on Friday 18 December 2015, Week A; Term 3 begins in January 2016 with Week B.

ICE – a new course for Year 10

From September, year 10 students will find a ‘new’ subject on their timetable, called ‘Identity, Culture and Education’ (‘ICE’ for short). The aim of this subject is to offer a broad-based two-year enrichment course, designed to encourage and challenge students to think about issues of vital importance in twenty-first century Britain. This course will make an important contribution to students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural education, and will include taught lessons, discussions, debates, visiting speakers, and practical sessions. ICE will form part of a coherent programme of thinking skills and enrichment, starting with Thinking and Reasoning in year 7 and moving on to Theory of Knowledge and Approaches to Learning in the sixth form.

Information Evening

There will be an opportunity to find out more about the developments I have outlined in this letter on Wednesday 24 June at 6:00pm. You will also be able to ask any questions you wish. All are welcome.
Finally, I would like to mention how very impressed I have been with the attitude and behaviour of our students during this examination period. It has been very good to see the vast majority of them taking the exams seriously, and also taking the opportunities at break and lunchtime to relax and socialise. Thank you for supporting them – and us – so well at this time.
With all good wishes
Yours sincerely
Mr A T Fowler
Head of School

pdf Download the original letter (397 KB)
pdf At-a-glance calendar for 2015-2016 (47 KB)

Sports day 2015
History visit to Ypres
Year 11 red carpet event
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