Dartford Grammar School

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Dartford Grammar School is a selective secondary (ages 11–18) foundation school for boys in Dartford, Kent, England, which admits girls to its sixth form (ages 16–18). All of the students joining the school are considered to be from the top 25% of the ability range, as determined by the 11-plus examinations. The students come from Dartford, neighbouring towns and villages, and nearby London boroughs, as well as an increasing number of students from Essex. The current roll is 1,203, including 461 in the sixth form. The school was founded in 1576 and has seen several different locations since this date. The current headteacher is John Oakes, who succeeded Mr Smith, who retired on 2 April 2009 after 23 years service at the school. The school had two deputy headteachers, Robert Tibbott, and Michaela Kingham who was appointed as Oakes' replacement. In September 2013, Guy Hewitt was appointed as a third deputy headteacher, responsible for Key Stage 4. These are the 3 deputy headteachers currently at the school.

Due to the school's 'Outstanding' Ofsted inspection in 2008, the school was given the opportunity to choose a third specialism, following Language College Status and the IB Programme; the school chose Science, which will result in an increased budget available next financial year. In 2011, the school chose to adopt the status of an Academy, which would provide extra funding to the school, although no name change was required.

Academic performance

In 2010, 19% of Year 11 students gained 7+ grades A*-C in GCSE exams. The school came second in the School Rankings for the new English Bacc in 2010. Most of Year 13 students proceed to university, with a majority gaining their first or second choice of university.Template:Citation needed

As of 2007, the school has been awarded the right to teach the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, becoming the first school in Britain and the first state school in the world to teach the courseTemplate:Citation needed.

Locations and buildings

The school currently is located on Shepherds Lane, Dartford at the top of West Hill, having moved since lessons were initially given in the high street above the Corn Market house, which was demolished in 1769. The school moved to its present location in 1864. The original school house (facing Dartford Road) is now referred to as the Hardy Building, named after the novelist Thomas Hardy who was an assistant architect to Arthur Blomfield, the main architect who designed the building. The original field is now used to house the building additions, which started with the Science block in 1928 (now named the Stephenson building after the late head of Science Dr Brian Stephenson), followed by most of the remaining buildings in 1940. The three-floored classroom building is named after Major Harold Pochin, Headmaster from 1920 to 1946.

Other buildings include the Gwyn building, named after Edward Gwyn, one of the school founders, containing technology and business teaching rooms, as well as the Kaika (Sixth Form) centre, where in 2008, 5 new teaching rooms were opened, mainly for sixth form use, named the 'John Field Suite' after the late chair of the governors, John Field. The Beckets Sports centre is shared with the public in agreement with the school, in the same way as The Mick Jagger Centre, a £2.2 million development financed with National Lottery funding by the Arts Council of England. The Mick Jagger Centre was opened in March 2000 by The Duke of Kent, hosts a number of performing arts events. From Summer 09 to Spring 10, the Mick Jagger Centre and part of the Pochin and Stephenson blocks went under a major redevelopment, which provided a brand new drama studio, a new science lab, a food technology lab, a new staff room, new art rooms and classrooms.

The Keyes Building, named after the aforementioned Sidney Keyes contains many classrooms and also the large Learning Resources Centre (School Library). The current school field is located next to Dartford Technology College, where the pavilion was extended and refurbished in 2008, and dedicated to Arthur Jones, a previous student of the school.

The school is currently undergoing building construction to its Science Block.

House system

The students are divided into five Houses:

  • D'Aeth (Yellow)
  • Gwyn (Purple)
  • Havelock (Red)
  • Vaughan (Green)
  • Wilson (Blue)

The House system was introduced in 1916 with four Houses (Gwyn House being added in 1997). D’Aeth, Gwyn and Vaughan are named after the three founders of the School: lawyer William D'Aeth, merchant Edward Gwyn and William Vaughan, a landowner and philanthropist. Havelock is named after the British General Henry Havelock, a former student at the school, and Wilson is named after another distinguished former pupil, Sir Erasmus Wilson.

Colours system

Colours can be awarded for a number of different achievements. These can range from being an honourable ambassador to the school, to achieving outstanding results in performing arts. Here is a list of colours which can be awarded:

  • A badge with the school crest depicted (known as school colours) on it for representing school in rugby, swimming, cricket or athletics.
  • A purple tie for success in performing arts.
  • A navy blue tie for swimming or other sports.
  • A maroon tie for cricket.
  • Tour Ties to recognise participation in a Foreign Sports tours
  • County Sports ties can be worn or National Ties such as NYO (National Youth Orchestra) ties can be worn

Notable former pupils

Template:See also Former pupils of the school are known as Old Dartfordians

  • Terence Frisby, playwright and novelist
  • Adam Gemili, athlete
  • Dave Godin, music journalist
  • Sir Henry Havelock, general
  • Henry Ambrose Hunt, meteorologist
  • Sir Mick Jagger, rock musician (vocalist of The Rolling Stones)
  • Gareth Johnson, Conservative MP for Dartford
  • Sidney Keyes, poet
  • Matt Morgan, comedian
  • Topsy Ojo, rugby player, London Irish fullback
  • Min Patel, international cricketer
  • Freddie Mawhood, rock musician (vocalist of Donkey Punch)
  • Michael Pearson, clock historian and author
  • John Rushby, computer scientist
  • Graham Smith, milliner
  • Alec Stock, footballer
  • Derek Ufton, Charlton Athletic, England footballer, Kent CCC
  • Sir Erasmus Wilson, surgeon



External links

Template:Schools in Kent