Dane Court is celebrating its extraordinary rating in the Sunday Times ‘Top 200 State Secondary Schools’. The table measures the percentage of students gaining A* and A grades at GCSE and the percentage of students gaining A* to B at A level or equivalent. Out of nearly 3,500 state secondary schools, Dane Court came 98th equal in the whole country, beating other Kent grammar schools, such as Invicta Grammar School (112th), Highworth Grammar School (151st), Maidstone Grammar School for Girls (159th), Barton Court (171st), Sir Roger Manwood’s (174th), Maidstone Grammar School for Boys (180th), Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys (191st) and Dover Grammar School for Girls (194th). Simon Langton Girls came 228th and Chatham and Clarendon House came 292nd.
Paul Luxmoore, Executive Head of Coastal Academies Trust, said ‘This phenomenal achievement is proof of the effectiveness of the International Baccalaureate. Dane Court students are competing with and out performing students in some of the most selective schools in the UK. We offer the IB precisely because it gives our students a massive advantage. Young people from Thanet are easily outperforming those from towns like Tonbridge and this will, in turn, lead to offers from the better universities and better job opportunities in the future. Dane Court is punching well above its weight and that is an achievement that the whole of Thanet should be proud of.’
Andrew Fowler, Dane Court’s Headteacher, said ‘This brilliant result is no fluke. It is the result of very hard work by a hugely talented and dedicated staff, as well as the commitment and intelligence of our wonderful students. I am immensely proud of their achievement and determined that we should perform at an even higher level next year and into the future.’
The International Baccalaureate Diploma requires students to study six academic subjects, including an extended essay, a course of the Theory of Knowledge and 150 hours of community related work. Students must study a foreign language, Maths, English and at least one science. The IB Careers – related Programme requires students to study at least two IB subjects, as well as a vocational subject, together with a very well designed and flexible core that links these areas of study together. There is increasing evidence that universities and employers prefer the IB to A levels because it offers a broader range of study and develops students who are more resilient and self-reliant.
This 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.
Dane 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.’