Dartford Grammar School

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Vision Projects

Vision is an initiative designed to raise funds for the school, ensuring that our students have access to the very best facilities to maximise their potential and compete on equal terms with independent schools.  It is a way for parents and Old Dartfordians to 'give back' to the school, and by doing so you join our 1576 Society, a growing group of donors who understand our ambitions for the young people in our care. 

This page gives details of the current wish-list together with projects we have completed with the generosity of the Dartford Grammar School community.

To discuss any of these projects please contact either:

The Headmaster Mr Oakes on head@dartfordgrammarschool.org.uk or

The Development Officer Jill Hawkins on jhawkins@dartfordgrammarschool.org.uk.

Click here to download the 1576 Donation Form, and read more by clicking the link on the right. 

Projects for which we invite donations of money, time or skills

DEPARTMENT-LED WISH LIST

We are meeting with Departments here at school to listen to their individual aspirations for the things that will make a difference to their offering and enhance the learning experience of students. The first of these projects - the purchase and installation of photography equipment - was completed in November 2018 and some of the best images will be on display in the new Sixth Form block.

The next item we hope to provide is a bird box with a web cam. We are looking at suitable sites and hope to have this installed before the nesting season this year.

GREENHOUSE AND OUTSIDE SCIENCE AREA

The provision of a greenhouse has long been an idea but it is finally moving to fruition. Discussions on a suitable site are underway and we hope to move ahead with the project soon. We shall be appealing to our community to help us equip the greenhouse, thus enabling our students to enjoy the enriching and tangible experiments that it will offer.

REPLACEMENT OF RUGBY POSTS AT THE SPORTS FIELD

Dartford Grammar School prides itself not only on the great results our rugby teams produce, but also on the breadth of involvement in the sport. The Year 7 & 8 rugby festival is a mere snapshot of the work that goes in by the boys early in their time with us and is always a great success: thereafter most continue in the sport and produce enviable results, and of course we also have a dedicated girls' team in the U18 age group. The posts at the field are now showing signs of age and wear and need to be replaced. Recent investment in athletics facilities has brought those up to standard and we hope to find funds to refurbish the pitches this year.

A JAPANESE GARDEN

The school canteen has an outside space that we have previously thought could be an open-air extension of the dining room for use in fine weather. More recently though, as we have watched the planted areas mature, we are considering the possibility of creating a Japanese Garden in the space, for quiet reflection and in keeping with the integration of a complete Japanese experience into the curriculum. We seek expertise and funding for the transformation of this space before the summer. 

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES IN THE SPORTS PAVILION

The Sports Pavilion building project is complete and we can now accommodate a whole year group in refurbished changing rooms, we have a much-needed separate changing area for our girls' sports teams, and a  bigger area for the Ruck Shop which also doubles as a classroom. We also have a smart new terrace area.

Sponsorship opportunities still exist in this project as we bring it to ever better standards and furnish the areas properly.

THE FLAGPOLES PROJECT

The global community that is fostered by Dartford Grammar School in Languages, exchanges and international relationships continues to flourish and we believe there has never been a more important time to promote internationalism. The ever-increasing array of logos at the foot of the new website homepage do not do full justice to these extraordinary strengths, and an exciting and unusual project is now underway to install flags and flag-poles around the perimeter road of the new Sixth Form Centre, one for each of the languages offered by the school.  This cannot be funded from Vision and we intend to launch a specific fund-raising for the flags we still need to sponsor early in 2019.  

EXCAVATION OF WW2 AIR-RAID TUNNELS

The School has two sets of WW2 Air-raid Tunnels, one beneath the junior playground and one beneath the senior playground. They were used by the school in the 1940s to keep pupils out of harm’s way during bombing raids. When we invited memories of these tunnels we received some fascinating accounts of their use, most notable of which were the diaries of Roy Mack: these can be read on the school website. It is one of our dearest wishes that the tunnels in the junior playground might be restored as a museum of the time. They would provide an excellent hands-on learning centre for our own students and any schools or clubs that wish to visit, and we are currently looking into sources of external funding for this project.

RENOVATION OF THE SCHOOL WALL

A close inspection of the wall which runs around the West Hill end of the school, and which dates from the time of the Hardy block has revealed considerable ageing. In particular, the pointing between the bricks and stonework needs attention – loose cement raked out and renewed - and the wall needs to be cleaned of moss and lichen that has taken hold. This might be a good project for someone who has links with the construction industry or free time and is able to turn their hand to the skills and craftsmanship required to restore the wall. We would be very happy to hear from anyone who might like to manage or take on this challenge.

AND POSSIBLY… FOR THE FUTURE…. AN OBSERVATORY

To be sited on the School Field, we are considering the possibility of building an Observatory at the School Field. This will house the telescope donated to the School in 2017, and enable our Physical Scientists to bring some of their studies to life. Again this is a major cost item, but we seek interest, ideas and sponsorship from enthusiastic parties.

  Projects completed with the input of the Vision funds

COMPETITION STANDARD THROWING CAGE (November 2018)

Vision has helped to fund the installation of a competition-quality throwing cage at the Sports Field, alongside the renovation of the site of the old cage into a discus circle. This is a fine example of Vision helping to provide training facilities that match those of the Independent Schools.

PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO (November 2018)

Vision has provided the equipment to create a Photography Studio in the Art Department. This gives our students great new opportunities for photography to take its rightful place both inside and outside the curriculum. 

NEW SCHOOL SHOP (November 2018)

Donations from the Parents' Association and Vision have enabled us to undertake the redevelopment of the old 'outside' urinals into a School Shop. The building was listed, so works were undertaken under strict regulations and with sensitivity, but we now have a new home for the Parents' Association to provide school supplies at affordable prices. Lost Property and second-hand clothing sales also now operate from this new venue.

THE ANDREW TUFFIELD LEARNING SPACE (October 2018)

Sponsored by Andrew Tuffield (OD 76-83) the old art room has become an 'in-the-round' teaching zone that is flexible enough to be used by several departments including Mathematics and Drama. Vision funds are helping to equip the room with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.

THE ALAN SMITH LECTURE THEATRE (September 2018)

Alan Smith (OD 1954-61) generously sponsored the furnishing and equipping of the Lecture theatre in the new 6th Form Centre. We are excited and indebted to him for this donation, as it secures timely completion of an essential new facility which we fully expect will promote even greater interest in Economics, Politics, Law and International Relations at University.

THE GREENWICH QUIET STUDY SPACE (July 2018)

An anonymous donation to Vision enabled us to equip one of the 6th Form study zones created by the new-build. The Greenwich Quiet Study space is central and versatile in use, bringing study into the 21st century.

HEAT REFLECTION & LED LIGHTING UNITS IN THE MAIN CONCERT HALL (Summer 2018)

The tendency to uncomfortable heat in the Concert Hall for audiences in the busy summer months has been tackled by the installation of heat reflecting coatings on the windows and the change of lighting to LED lamps. This project was jointly funded by a generous private donation, the Vision initiative, the Mick Jagger Centre and the School.  

ALL WEATHER RUNNING TRACK AND LONG-JUMP PIT (Summer 2017)

The all-weather track was installed in good time for our athletes to train there in the run up to the English Schools competition. The Juniors won and the Intermediates were third! We are grateful to the Parents’ Association for augmenting funds raised by the PE department to meet the cost of the track.

REDIGITISATION OF OLD SCHOOL PHOTOGRAPHS (2016)

The old school photographs were professionally digitised with funding from the Old Dartfordians Association and now hang in the upper and lower corridors of the Mick Jagger Centre.

RENOVATION OF HONOURS BOARDS (2016-17)

With generous donations from members of our community, (donations from Vincent Moran QC (OD 1977-8), Jackie Borner and David Fellows (OD), with carpentry skills provided by Jim Vice), the damaged Honours Boards we rescued from years of neglect in damp conditions were renovated and now hang in the Stephenson Block. 

RENOVATION OF THE SCHOOL FOUNDATION STONE (2016)

A private donation has enabled us to restore the Dartford Grammar School Foundation Stone which is sited beneath the entrance arch that links the Hardy Block to the Mick Jagger Centre. Such projects maintain and prolong the school’s strong sense of history.