The year is 1155. Henry II has just become king of England (October 1154). This is the first time for over a hundred years that someone has become king in England without arguments or fighting. In fact, a period of fighting between Henry and the previous king Stephen had only ended in 1153 when it had been agreed that Henry would become king on Stephen’s death. Now in 1155, the new king Henry is passing through Kent. The manor of Dane Court in East Kent is holding a banquet in his honour. Invited to the banquet are the villagers of Dane Court and its five neighbouring villages. Present at the banquet will be not only the king, but also the Lords of each village (Barons or Knights) and Barons and Knights who are travelling with the king.
Back in 2019, our medieval extravaganza took place for the 24th year running, since its inception in 1995. The Year 7 students performed their various roles admirably as they enacted their medieval characters. They were set the task of deciding what it might have been like to be a medieval peasant or a Baron, Knight or Lady and whether wealth had any influence upon happiness and quality of life. The students have been studying the medieval period in their history lessons and in Food and Nutrition lessons they looked at food and clothing for the rich and poor in the 12th century.
Once the food was consumed individuals were thrown into the stocks by the Bailiff, for certain misdemeanors which their Parents had disclosed. Others went to bob for apples or to experiment with wooden games that might have been played in those times. A few talented peasants attempted to write with a quill and ink and realised how highly skilled the monks were in those days, recording information exquisitely and illuminating letters, intertwining them with images of birds, foliage and shapes. Some peasants visited the apothecary (Mr Lyons), who explained how the sick would have been treated. His bowl of wriggling maggots caused many students to scream out with disdain, imagining how it would have felt to have them placed upon an infected wound.
King Henry II (Mr Baker, with his Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine - Mrs Stivarius) then invited his subjects to be entertained by many great talents, including the Old Luvvies (the English Department) enacting a tale from Chaucer; a most talented juggler (Mr Shane Lycett); some exquisite dancers (the House Captains); a Rap delivered by two amazing and gifted brother and sister rappers (Adam and Erin Marshall); and our brilliant musicians who provided a backcloth of music from the era and the Maestro (Mr Jon Williams) who taught the Peasants to sing an authentic song from the era called 'Summer is i cummin in'. The finale was an inter house jousting contest. The event was skillfully co-ordinated by our Master of Ceremonies, Mrs Radley. Our thanks to all who helped to set this up and to clear away afterwards! The Food and History departments.
Last year’s record of success was always going to be an extremely tough act to follow and it is true that 2018-9 was not as rewarding in terms of medals and achievements but it was still a fine year for Table Tennis at Dane Court with many excellent performances from both teams and individuals.
In the County Team Championships at the Medway Sports Centre back in November pride of place goes to the Under 13 Boys team consisting of Ben Allinson, Aarav Shah, Henry Mason and Lucas Harris who finished Runners Up and took the silver medals. The Under 16 A team of Louis Lines, Jayson Morley-Stone, Will Barker and Nikos Whittaker did very well to come third and clinch bronze medals as did the Under 16 Girls team of Beth Brenchley, Sofia Williams ,Paige Austen and Amy Wright. The more inexperienced Under 16 Boys B team of Russell Perry,Connor Regnauf-Dardennes, Riley Watkins and Finn Connelly won one and lost one of their group matches which was not enough to qualify for the next stage.
In the Boys County Individual Tournament Ben Allinson reached the Under 13 Final thus becoming the first Dane Court boy to reach a County Final. He lost a tight match in 3 sets to claim the silver medal while Henry Mason won a bronze medal in the Under 13 Consolation event. In the Girls Individual Tournament Beth Brenchley played really well to win the Consolation event for the Under 16 Girls and so take the gold medal.
Many Dane Court students play at Thanet Vikings Table Tennis Club and it has been encouraging to see so many compete regularly in the Thanet adult league and gain some impressive victories. Aarav Shah recently became the Thanet Under 12 champion while Ben Allinson was runner up in the Under 14 event. Louis Lines has been part of the successful Thanet Vikings Junior team that has notched up some brilliant results while he also won the Allocated Doubles event at the Thanet Table Tennis Championships. Finally it is great to see Catherine Banks, the highest ranking Dane Court player in the local leagues, going to Wolverhampton in April to represent the school and Kent in the National Schools Girls Under 19 Table Tennis Championships.
Kent Mountain Centre 2018
Written by Mr M Alderson
In what must have been Dane Court Grammar School's fortieth year of visiting Kent County Council's outdoor adventure centre, we were blessed with calm, sunny weather to greet our group of 32 year 9 students.
As always, there was excited anticipation mixed with a little apprehension as we arrived at the Kent Mountain Centre (KMC) set on the shores of Llyn Padarn at the foot of Snowdon in North Wales. We were welcomed by the friendly KMC staff who, as usual, smoothed the way to our settling in.
Our weeks at KMC are always action packed with outdoor activities every day starting soon after a good breakfast and finishing in time for a well-earned evening meal (with a packed lunch in between, obviously). After dinner there are more indoor and outdoor activities followed by supper and a welcome bedtime.
I am pleased to report that the weather remained pretty much perfect all week. We even had stronger winds on the days we visited the sea level traverse (which is always more fun when the waves are bigger) and lighter breezes when we ventured onto the mountains.
The group were outstanding; full of awe and enthusiasm. They thoroughly enjoyed their experiences (just look at the photos below) and returned home full of stories about their adventures and carrying memories that will last a lifetime.
During their time at KMC, the students contributed to a live on-line blog which forms a journal to keep parents and friends up to date. You can read the Dane Court KMC Blog here.
KMC 2019 takes place in the week after autumn half term. It is open to all current year 8 students. Introductory letters will be available for download here or students can pick up a copy in C2.
Dear parents/guardians of year 11 The GCSE examination timetables have been issued to students this week, please keep these in a safe place to enable you to support your child through these examinations. Whilst the timetables have now been finalised the qualification regulators, JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) and government departments responsible for education have prepared and agreed information for schools in the event of examinations being seriously disrupted. This jointly agreed information will ensure consistency of response in the event of major disruption to the examination system affecting a number of different candidates and examination centres.
JCQ has designated Wednesday 26 June 2019 as a 'contingency day' for examinations. This means that students should be available up until 27 June 2019, in case the contingency day has to be used. Please bear this in mind when booking any holidays this summer.
Kind regards Nic Aherne Examinations Officer
Dane Court teacher guest editor of BBC Radio 4 Feedback
Written by Mr M Alderson
When BBC Radio 4 programme Feedback announced that it was looking for guest editors for its broadcasts in the run-up to Christmas, Dane Court Grammar School English teacher Ben Forward was quick to respond. The BBC calls Feedback "Radio 4's forum for comments, queries, criticisms and congratulations" and, as a frequent listener, Ben was keen to get involved. He also knew there would be Dane Court staff, students and parents with something to say about current issues important to the BBC and many of its listeners.
Feedback promptly appointed Ben as its guest editor for the show to be aired on Friday 14 December 2018. Preparations were made to welcome the Feedback team to our school just two days before the broadcast date.
In the programme, students, teachers and parents join a debate to discuss BBC radio programmes and podcasts selected by editor Ben. Later on, programme presenter Roger Bolton met with a student discussion group including head of our very own Dane Court Radio station to tackle, among others, the question "Should the BBC be spending its time and money chasing younger listeners?"
Thanks to the following for their valuable contribution to the success of this venture: Students Josh (discussion group), Ash (discussion group and debate), William (DC Radio interview and debate), Pasan (DC Radio interview), Alfie (DC Radio interview) and Antonio (debate) Parent Ian Barker Teachers Nicola Sotiri, Sarah Stivarius and of course, mastermind and editor-for-the-day Ben Forward.
The year 12 *IBCP Health and Social Care class treated the residents at Yoakley Homes to a Christmas extravaganza when they performed a magical version of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ last week. All the class members took part, including the teachers. Mr Osborne, at six feet eight inches tall just had to be the giant! Each year the Health and Social Care students are given the task of working together as a team in order to produce something for others and this year the residents of Yoakley Homes had asked for a pantomime.
For many of the students this was quite a challenge as they had not performed before, but we were so impressed at the way they came together to create the scenery, costumes, props and refreshments for the performance. The challenge was to present the final show in a week. One of the residents said “It is so kind of these young people to take time off their studies to come and entertain us here. We do like to see them. They are very good!”
*The International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme in Health and Social Care is one of five exciting vocational courses you could study as a member of our sixth form. Alongside the IB Diploma Programme, it forms part of a unique range of opportunities available at Dane Court Grammar School. Learn more about our sixth form.
The Dane Court Grammar School Parents Association's monthly boot fairs usually take place at the school from 6:30am on the second Saturday of each month with breaks over winter and during the summer holiday. Read more...
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