Equality nowadays is sometimes taken for granted. People sometimes say that racism and homophobia are outdated beliefs that society has grown out of. Unfortunately events such as the recent shootings in an Orlando nightclub and the Islamophobia backlash show that this is not the case. This is the very reason that Dane Court works and will continue to work for all forms of equality. We have six particular equality characteristics that we promote throughout the school:
On Tuesday 17 May Dane Court hosted a group of students from the University of Kent who ran an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-gender) Mythbusters session for our year 12 students. These university students held an open and honest question and answer session, addressing many issues raised by our year 12 students about a wide range of topics, from coming out, to support groups, to clarifying terminology, to how a heterosexual person can best support LGBT people. The session relied on the questions that our year 12 students asked, and to hear the thoughtful and genuine questions really showed how sensibly people take these issues. Numerous year 12 students commented about how knowledgeable and informative the Mythbusters were, and how helpful they were in explaining things in a clear fashion. This was the second year that the University of Kent have run this event for our year 12 students. They will evaluate this scheme as a pilot before hopefully rolling it out to other schools in the local area. We hope to be able to continue and develop this link with the university, broadening to tackle other equality characteristics as well.
Our Equality display board features a rotating series of role models for each of our six characteristics. These role models are selected from those suggested by students and staff in response to a whole-school questionnaire. It is fantastic not only to see the different people identified as role models, but also the explanation that accompanies their choice.
However, it is not just through special events and displays that we aim to tackle discrimination on these characteristics, it is also in lessons themselves. Teachers already include aspects of these equality characteristics in some of their regular lessons, and we are developing this further. As part of our equality ethos and the development of the key stage three and four Identity, Culture and Education curriculum, we are sourcing and creating resources to promote equality with our students. Next year, each of the six terms will include a specific equality characteristic as a theme within assemblies and mentoring to provide time for staff and students to reflect upon these particular issues. It is our aim through the work that we do that we are preparing our students to go into the wider world and hopefully make it a fairer and safer place for everyone regardless of sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, disability, or gender.
For a short while last week, we hosted dozens of characters last appearing in nursery rhymes, action movies, fairy tales and vivd imaginations. Drawing to an end their hard work and learning over the years, our year 13 students indulged in the tradition which brings glamour and sparkle to the corridors of Dane Court. They later gathered in our theatre, along with their form mentors, to celebrate the highlights of their time at Dane Court.
IB exams are currently in full swing and we wish everyone in year 13 the very best success.
Two teams of Y12 students from Dane Court Grammar School participated in the Engineering Education Scheme culminating in a celebration and assessment event at the University of Kent last week. The Engineering Education Scheme provides talented Y12 students the chance to explore the opportunities presented by careers in engineering.
The scheme consists of a number of phases which include a company induction day, a scheme induction day, the project, a two day regional workshop at Kent University and a celebration and assessment day. During these phases the team will learn about the task then develop a solution over a period of about six months. The project concludes with a technical report compiled by the team which they present to a panel of practising engineers.
This year one of our teams worked with Instro Precision Ltd, Broadstairs developing a cost effective training device to measure angles of azimuth and elevation. Our other team worked with Integrated Technology Ltd, Ashford developing a data logging device to measure the accuracy of the temperature of a dry heater block.
Both teams presented their work at a celebration and assessment day which showcased the work of fifteen other schools from across the county. The team representing Instro Precision Ltd was thrilled when they were presented with the Frank Manning Award for the best overall performance at the event. All Dane Court students were awarded Gold CREST certificates in recognition of their achievement. CREST is the British Science Association’s flagship programme for young people. it is the only nationally recognised accreditation scheme for project work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
Sixth former Alice recently took part in Brighton marathon with the aim of raising awareness and much needed funds for her chosen charity, Action Duchenne.
Action Duchnne. initially called Parent Project UK, was set up in 2001 by Nick Catlin and Dr Janet Hoskin, after their son Saul was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The charity was the first organisation in the UK dedicated exclusively to Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy and, with the help and support of friends and supporters and other Duchenne families, developed into a national organisation.
Alice explained ‘When I first started training and fundraising for the marathon I was rather anxious but keen to get started. I began my fundraising by starting up a Just Giving page and spreading the word via social media. However I soon realised that I was going to need to do some kind of event to make up the £500 I planned to raise before running the marathon so I decided to organise a quiz night at my school and shared the sponsorship money with the David Shepard Wildlife Foundation as it is a charity that Mr White is a part of and he helped a lot with the running of the event. I also did a number of assemblies at school to raise awareness about the illness and about what I was doing to help raise money for the charity.
I found the marathon a real challenge and at the start line I was very nervous but with such a positive atmosphere I was able to cross the finish line with a grin on my face and have a strong sense of pride for myself and everyone else that had completed the run. I managed to complete the marathon in a respectable 4 hours 37 minutes and 4 seconds and have raised more the £1300 for the charity. I hope to run another marathon in a few years but would like to concentrate on my studies for the time being.’
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a common genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood, affecting approximately 1 in every 3,500 male births (around 2500 people have DMD in the UK). To find out more about the charity, Action Duchenne, or to donate to the help support sufferers of the condition please visit: http://www.actionduchenne.org/