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News

Coronavirus information

Weekly coronavirus-related news summaries from March to September 2020

  • Minimising risk and dealing with anxiety +

    boars head 54x64px Whilst we have been sheltered in our homes, it is natural to feel some anxiety about venturing back into the wider world. As you will be aware, students of compulsory school age must be in school unless a statutory reason * applies. We are here to support our students and their families – we will work with you to support you as best we can so that students can start accessing face to face education with us again.

    If you choose to keep your child off school and your child is not Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV), is not self-isolating and does not have covid, or any other illness, or any other pre-agreed absence, the absence will be classed as unauthorised.

    * Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) Students and Shielding

    We understand from the most recent government guidance, 'that many children identified at the start of the pandemic as clinically extremely vulnerable are not at increased risk of serious outcomes from coronavirus (COVID-19) and children are gradually being removed from the shielding patient list (SPL) as appropriate, following review with a clinician'. (Schools Coronavirus Operational Guidance February 2021)
    If your child continues to be classified as clinically extremely vulnerable, you will have received a recent shielding letter.
    The advice for pupils who have been confirmed as clinically extremely vulnerable is to stay at home as much as possible until further notice. They are advised not to attend school while shielding advice applies nationally. We will continue to provide remote learning for these students.
    If your child is CEV, we would ask for you to contact the School Office to notify us of this at the earliest available opportunity, providing a copy of the shielding letter sent to confirm that they are advised not to attend.

    Please find below a brief summary of some of the measures we will be using to minimise the risk with some suggestions of how students and their families can help us in this respect.

    A full outline of our current protective measures can be found on the school website.

    What we are doing in school to promote safety What students and their families can do to help
    Symptoms
    We are vigilant regarding symptoms in our students in school. Someone presenting symptoms will be sent home straight away or be supervised under strict guidelines provided by the government to make sure the risk of spread is minimised. Stay at home if you have symptoms of the virus (use government guidance ).
    Stay at home if you have been abroad following government guidance .
    Collect children as quickly as possible if you are asked to.
    Testing
    Home testing kits provided to parents/carers collecting symptomatic children, and to staff who've developed symptoms at school (if unable to get a test elsewhere.) Arrange a 'standard' coronavirus (PCR) test and inform the school if there is a positive result
    3 lateral flow tests provided to students within school, then home testing kits for testing of students twice a week. Carry out the home testing on Sunday and then on either Wednesday or Thursday.
    Staff will also carry out the home testing on Sundays and then on either Wednesday or Thursday.
    2 lateral flow home tests per week offered to staff.
    We ask students and staff to share all test results with us, we'll keep accurate records of all results and will only share health records with the relevant people.
    Cleaning
    Deep cleans in the areas that a symptomatic person or student who has tested positive has been.
    PPE will be disposed of properly, following decontamination guidance .
     
    Cleaning staff will regularly clean frequently touched surfaces including:
    Banisters
    Bathroom facilities (including taps and flush buttons)
    Door and window handles
    Light switches
    Fingerprint scanners
    Remember the basics of good hand hygiene and the 'catch it, bin it, kill it' ethos.
    Avoid unnecessary touching of banisters/switches etc.
    Try opening swing doors with your elbow.
    Teachers to wipe the teacher's desk and any shared equipment available on arrival e.g. remote controls, HDMI cables. Teachers will use their own pens and board-markers. Don't touch anything in classrooms that is not your property unless directed by a member of staff.
    Track and Trace
    Thorough records kept to enable us to track and trace contacts of a positive case. We would ask parents to collect students as quickly as possible if you are contacted as part of track and trace procedures. Students should self-isolate as per the government guidance .
    All close contacts to self-isolate in line with current government guidance.
    Work with the local health protection team if there are 2 or more confirmed cases within 14 days, or an overall rise in sickness absence where coronavirus is suspected. Advice given by the team will be followed.
    Hygiene
    Sanitisers at every entrance to the school and mounted on walls in the corridors.
    Promotion of good hand hygiene. Reminders given to students to sanitise wash and sanitise their hands frequently.
    Sanitise your hands every time you enter the building.
    Remember 'catch it, bin it, kill it'.
    Wash your hands more frequently.
    Remember not to touch your mouth, eyes and nose.
    Thorough cleaning at the end of the day.
    Shared resources, such as sports, art and science equipment, will be either:
    cleaned frequently and meticulously, and always between groups using them; or
    rotated so they can be unused and out of reach for 48 hours (72 hours for plastics) between use by different groups.
     
    Rooms will be kept well ventilated by keeping windows slightly open and opening more widely while unoccupied. Bring extra layers if it is cold weather – acceptable layers include; plain black jumper, sweatshirt or hooded top (Dane Court PE Hooded tops are acceptable, any logos must be discreet), underneath and in addition to your blazer, not instead of; your coat over your blazer and sweatshirt.
    Bubbles and social distancing
    Continued use of year group entrances and bubbles to reduce individuals mixing. Use the same entrances used in Terms 1 and 2 to enter the building. Stay in your Year group areas and use the one way system.
    Take steps to stay further away from people in the corridors while moving around. Be proactive in protecting yourself. It is acceptable to request that someone stands further away if you are uncomfortable with their proximity.
    Arrive at school from 8am and wait for the start of school in their inside or outside year group zones. Consider staying outside and away from a busier communal space before school.
    Leave the building promptly at 3.20 and keep social distancing from those around you.
    Reminders given to maintain distance and students should not touch staff or peers. If possible, students sit side-by-side and facing forwards. Try your hardest to maintain the 2 metre distance between you and your friends when in school.
    Teachers will try to maintain a 2 metre distance from students and other staff members; although this is not always possible, close face-to-face contact will be avoided, and time spent within 1 metre will be minimised. Allow space for teachers in corridors.
    Where you are allowed to enter a room ready for a lesson, be seated when the teacher comes in.
    The canteen will not be open during morning break.
    Lunchtime will be staggered to create two serving opportunities. Year groups will not mix whilst eating.
    Consider bringing a packed lunch with you.
    Bring a bottle with a sports lid.
    Consider eating and socialising outside to give you more space from your friends and to provide natural ventilation.
    Revised behaviour protocols will minimise unsafe student conduct. Consider how you behave – be considerate of all those within our school community.
    If we see unsafe behaviour, we will challenge it to keep our wider community safe.
    Face coverings
    Face covering will be promoted unless social distancing can be maintained or a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity (or they are exempt from wearing one). We would strongly encourage you to wear a mask in school.
    Make sure you bring a mask to school (unless you are exempt).
    Follow government guidance on mask safety .
    Spare face coverings available for anyone without one or has a covering that's unsafe. Have a supply of face coverings ready at home. Keep a spare one in case one gets lost.
    Lessons and Learning
    Textbooks and student exercise books will be subject to a quarantine period. We will aim to use electronic methods to mark work. Bring all equipment you need for you own use; do not share your equipment with others.
    Some lessons might have revised protocols; we will follow government's guidance for lessons involving drama, singing, chanting, shouting or playing instruments. When working in groups in larger spaces, consider whether you can build in some extra distance from the peers you are working with.
    Remote learning for students are shielding (*see notes below) or are self-isolating due to government guidance.  
    Visitors
    Visitors will have guidance on physical distancing and hygiene explained to them on or before arrival.
    Visits will happen outside of school hours wherever possible.
    A record will be kept of all visitors.
    Parent and carers should not to gather at entrance gates or doors, or enter the site unless they have a pre-arranged appointment.
    Consider whether you can email or call school instead.
    If you need to visit our reception, please sanitise your hands on entry and remain 2 metres away from others.
    Meetings will be conducted by telephone or using video conferencing.
    Where this isn't possible, meetings will be conducted outside, outside of school hours, or in a room large enough to allow distancing.

    Support for students anxious about the return to school

    Consider using our school website support page to explore possible ways to alleviate anxiety:
    http://danecourt.kent.sch.uk/parents8/wellbeing-and-mental-health
    The page includes help for students and directions for parents wishing to support their children.
    Anxiety particularly linked to the return to school can be found here:
    https://www.priorygroup.com/blog/managing-children-s-fears-around-returning-to-school-after-coronavirus-lockdown
    If your child is experiencing extreme anxiety and you can foresee difficulties that we may need to address to smooth the transition back to face to face learning, please let Mrs Holmes and Mrs Ives know as soon as possible on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will endeavour to work with you to address these issues.

    Here is some specific advice from our colleagues at Thanet Inclusion Support Service. It is possibly aimed at parents of slightly younger children, but it does contain some useful advice if your child is worried about our return to school.

    preparing your child for the return to school

    Other useful websites:

    Click below for a series of short videos on building resilience in children provided by the Kent Resilience Hub:
    https://kentresiliencehub.org.uk/resources/resilience-webinar-for-parents/

  • Week commencing 21 September 2020 +

  • Week commencing 7 September 2020 +

    PE extra curricular activities for term 1 2020-2021We are offering a limited number of extra-curricular PE activities during term 1.
    Information here.

  • Week commencing 31 August 2020 +

    • We have published an addendum to our full attendance policy
    • We have published our policies specific to sixth form on conductdress code and attendance and punctuality.
    • Headteacher Mr Jones wrote a letter to all parents and guardians welcoming existing and new students at the start of term 1.
      Accompanying the letter was a message containing details of the first two days of term and an notice about students' personal water bottles and which types are safe to be refilled using our free water dispensing machines:
      - Staggered leaving times: this will continue until Friday 11 September. The exact timings can be found on the timetable that was also sent out last week. From Monday 14 September all students will be leaving at 3:20pm.
      - School site will be closed promptly at 4:30pm daily- Water bottles: students will be allowed to refill water bottles at the water stations around the school as long as they have a removable drinking section, please see illustration below:
      Acceptable Not acceptable
  • Week commencing 24 August 2020 +

    • A message from Mr Pleasant & Mrs Linton to students joining our sixth form or continuing their studies:
      "Dear students & parents, here is the letter sent previously which outlines the arrangements for the first day in September. We look forward to welcoming you between 8:00am and 8:30am through the main entrance."
    • Head of School, Mr Jones has written to all parents regarding face coverings in school. Read the letter here.
    • We have received information from our school bus operator Stagecoach and Kent County Council (KCC).
      Read more here.
    • We have published our usual Summer Mailing for the academic year 2020-2021. It contains the latest versions of information and policy documents most of which are relevant to all students and parents.
      Documents related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here.
    • To accommodate our COVID-19 precautions, there will be a few changes to routine activities so we have written to all parents with some requests and advice to help the start of term run smoothly. Here is a summary.
    • On Thursday 27 August 2020 we sent two emails to parents of students due to attend school from Thursday next week. They contain detailed information and guidance about our full reopening next week.
      The following file contains all the information from both emails in PDF format: 
      pdf Emails to parents about first two school days in September 2020 (581 KB)
    • If you are considering paying us a visit or have an appointment, please read our COVID-19 Visitor Policy first.
  • Week commencing 17 August 2020 +

    • The letter accompanying the GCSE results collected in school by year 11 students on 20 August 2020 is available here.
    • We have prepared a fact sheet about this year's GCSE results for year 11 students and their parents to them help understand the information they will receive tomorrow.
    • ALL year 10 students
      Ms Rolls has written to all year 10 students regarding the procedure for receiving GCSE Statistics results.
      Read the year 10 letter here.
    • ALL year 11 students
      Ms Rolls has written to all year 11 students regarding the procedure for receiving GCSE results on Thursday 20 August 2020.
      Read the year 11 letter here.
  • Week commencing 10 August 2020 +

    • ALL year 11 students
      Ms Rolls has written to all year 11 students regarding the procedure for receiving GCSE results on Thursday 20 August 2020. Read the letter here.
    • Message for all year 13 IBCP students
    • As you know, the results for your vocational subject arrive in school on Thursday, 13 August 2020. You will need to come into school at a certain time (dependent on the career-related subject you studied) to collect your result.
      Details of the times, coronavirus precautions you will need to take and what to do if you need to do if you cannot attend are in this letter from Mrs Linton.
      For all enquiries about remarks and resits for the IB May 2020 exams, please contact Mr Pleasant, Head of Sixth Form This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
    • ALL year 13 students
      This week is important for many of you;
      - waiting for your vocational results (see above also)
      - told by universities that you must wait until A Level results are released before confirmation of your place.
      We're here to help should you consider making univeristy applications through Clearing.
      Read more
  • Week commencing 3 August 2020 +

    • The sixth and final part of our guide for students starting with us in year 7 has been posted on the Year 6 transition page (you will need to scroll down to find it).
  • Week commencing 27 July 2020 +

    • We have published Part 5 of our guide to starting in year 7 at Dane Court Grammar School. It can be found on the Year 6 transition page (you will need to scroll down a little).
  • Week commencing 20 July 2020 +

    • In preparation for our return to school in September 2020 and with reference to teaching and learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have written to all parents informing them of the changes that we have made to how lessons will be delivered should their child have to self-isolate, if the year group bubble is required to self-isolate or if the school or the area in which they live, is locked down.
        pdf Teaching and Learning - September 2020 (362 KB) .
  • Week commencing 13 July 2020 +

  • Week commencing 6 July 2020 +

    • Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme results were released on Monday 6 July. They represent the fruits of our year 13 students' exceptional effort over nearly two years. Read the highlights.
    • We are around the time of the year where we would normally have Sports Day, an athletics competition where houses compete. In an attempt to have a school sporting challenge this school year, we would like to invite all students to take part in Virtual Sports Week Challenge, beginning on Monday 13 July 2020 and ending at 3:00pm on Friday 17 July. Read more here.
  • Week commencing 29 June 2020 +

    • To support our face-to-face year 6 transition events planned for 16 and 17 July 2020, we are producing a series of online presentations suitable for both students and parents to help you become more familiar with the school. The first part is available to view on our Year 6 transition page. Please check the page weekly as we will be uploading new presentations each covering a different aspect of school life.
    • All year 13 students
      A letter detailing the arrangements for collecting your IB results is being emailed to you, It is important to read this letter so that you can get your results as quickly as possible.
      IBCP students please note that the results of your career-related qualification are released on 13 August 2020 and you will be emailed instructions on how to receive them nearer the time.
    • We have published an important message from Mrs Rolls for year 11 students. It includes instructions about preparing for textbook return and clearing your locker.
      Plus, updates about Transition activities and GCSE results day.
  • Week commencing 22 June 2020 +

    • We have published an important message from Mrs Rolls for year 11 students. It includes instructions about preparing for textbook return and clearing your locker.
      Plus, updates about Transition activities and GCSE results day.
    • Parents/guardians of students in years 7, 8, 9, 10 or 12: Could you please let us know if you do not currently have access to a fixed broadband connection at home? You can contact us by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., use the General enquiries form on this site or call our main office on 01843 864941.
      Thank you
    • On Thursday and Friday this week we welcome back the first of our year 12 students. Groups of Year 10 students continue to attend school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
      A pdf letter containing guidance for parents of those year 12 students returning (259 KB) was sent home on 5 June 2020.
  • Week commencing 15 June 2020 +

  • Week commencing 8 June 2020 +

  • Week commencing 1 June 2020 +

    • healthy books logoMrs Holmes would like to draw your attention to a potentially useful website.
      She says, "It details book reviews and recommendations for children to help with physical, emotional and mental health, written by someone with a wealth of knowledge on the subject". The following link will take you to each subject and then list the books, and book reviews:
      http://www.healthybooks.org.uk/browse/
  • Week commencing 25 May 2020 +

  • Week commencing 18 May 2020 +

    • KCC logoWe have published three documents providing help and and advice to parents, carers and students about mental health and wellbeing:
      • Mr Jones has written a pdf letter (238 KB) to parents and carers containing information received from Kent County Council
      • A pdf letter (196 KB) to parents from Kent Educational Psychology Service along with a dowloadable version of a pdf leaflet (297 KB) providing Guidance around supporting children and young people's wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.
    • We have launched our transition progamme for year 11 students intending to join our sixth form in September.
      This includes students joining from other schools.
    • Dane Court Grammar School staff were pleased and privileged to provide practical support to Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School's Design Technology department in their amazing visors for health workers project last month. Congratulations to them for being nominated for the Daily Telegraph DIY Lockdown Awards and making it to the top three.
  • Week commencing 11 May 2020 +

    • 4 Beef meatballsFrom the start of Lockdown our Food Technology department has been asking students in years 7, 8 and 9 to get creative in their kitchens with the aim of cooking meals for their families at home and then reporting back with recipes and photos of their creations.
      Initially Mrs Leese recommended a couple of recipes to give the students a little help but the project soon became a popular activity with some students planning day-to-day menus and recording 'consumer feedback'. Click here to see a small selection of meals and individual courses developed by our students over their time in Lockdown.
    • DontBeAfraid 430pxEllie is one of our very talented year 9 students, who wanted to compose a song to express how much she missed her friends and school life here at Dane Court. Ellie has perfectly captured how much school and her friends mean to her, in: 'Don't Be Afraid'.
      Listen and view the video here.
  • Week commencing 4 May 2020 +

    • Dinner1 430pxInspired by the tasks being set for her year group by the Food Technology department, Sophia in year 8 devised her own.
      This is her Family Cooking Challenge complete with evaluations or "What went well" (WWW) and suggestions for improvement or "Even better if..." (EBI) ready for the next time Sophia takes on feeding the family for two whole days. Read more here.
  • Week commencing 20 April 2020 +

    • We have written a pdf letter to parents (338 KB) about the Government temporarily extending the eligibility criteria for free school meals to some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds.
    • Kent NHS COVID 19 FAQs for ParentsMrs Holmes asks students - pdf Are you getting enough sleep? (70 KB)  However you answer this question, you should find her notes very useful.
    • Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust have created a COVID-19 FAQs for parents page on their website. It contains lots of useful advice and references to other organisations who can help.
    • Our Head of School, Mr Jones marks the start of Term 5 in a pdf letter to parents (218 KB)
    • IMG 0177 430pxThis week Dane Court staff supported Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School (CCGS) in its truly amazing efforts to provide face shields (visors) for health workers on the frontline in the battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19). Read the story.
  • Week commencing 13 April 2020 +

    • Thanet Inclusion Support Service has provided us with an updated  list of external services to support parents with children at home during lockdown mentioned in this more detailed article.
    • 2 Mini fruity pastiesOur Food Technology department would love all Dane Court students to share photos of their cooking with us.
      Years 7-10 have a Google Classroom space to upload photos of their cooking to. We are so impressed with all of the cooking that has been shared so far. Keep it up Dane Court.
      This week's recipe is for pdf mini fruity pasties (117 KB) . There are some filling suggestions on the recipe - let us know if you come up with any other ideas.
  • Week commencing 6 April 2020 +

    • NHS CoVID 19 Parent Guide 430pxWhen your child is ill or injured it is very difficult to decide if/when to call your child’s GP, NHS 111 or go the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E). During the current situation and while the government is asking everyone to stay at home, it can be confusing to know what to do.
      pdf Here is some guidance (541 KB) designed by primary and secondary care clinicians from Barts Health & North-East London STP.
    • The Chatterers (a group of Dane Court student journalists and editors) have not allowed lockdown to halt publication of the Spring edition of the student newspaper DCGS Chatter. Download your copy here.
    • boars head 54x64pxWe've published an addendum to our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
      You can read it here:  pdf ADDENDUM - DC Safeguarding and CP Policy (257 KB)
  • Week commencing 30 March 2020 +

    • senco 200402 People will be reacting in different ways to the change in lifestyle, and we are aware that some of our students and their families are finding it hard to adjust to the new restrictions. With this in mind, our colleagues at the Thanet Inclusion Support Service have compiled some resources to support parents with children at home during lockdown.
      Firstly, there is a pdf list of external services (300 KB) still available for support or set up to help support the community during the crisis. Contact details for these services are provided, however please bear in mind the speed at which the landscape is changing; some services may be difficult to reach or may have already been withdrawn.
      Secondly, they have created a pdf pack of resources (1.29 MB) to support positive mental health and provide emotional support while at home. These are activities that can be explored by the whole family if necessary.
      If you have any particular concerns or worries, we are happy to hear from you and will do our best to support you. Mrs Holmes (SENCO) can be contacted by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Mr Sunderland at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Mrs Ives at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    • ServiceLearningInLockdown 430pxFaced with a global pandemic, Emily keeps calm and carries on. Service Learning is an important element of our IB career-related programme (IBCP) in the sixth form which could have been hit hard by the coronavirus measures.
      Under normal circumstances students liaise with members of the local community and undertake unpaid and voluntary activities that help the community and also have a learning benefit for the student. That's not even a possibility at the moment but thanks to the swift action and advice of her teachers IBCP student Emily Vaccaro has devised a plan. Read more here.

    • 1 Very tasty red lentil chilliOur Food Technology department has been ecouraging year 8 students to get involved with the preparation of meals at home and many have taken photos of the delicious-looking creations and submitted them to their Food Tech Google Classroom.
      Inspired by the response, Mrs Leese has started uploading more recipes (at least one each week) to this website.
      Take a look here.
  • Week commencing 23 March 2020 +

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Year 7 Lockdown Gallery
Karl Midlane KMC Oct 2019 58
Kent Mountain Centre 2019
CO1A2818
Sports day 2019