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

COMPETITION STANDARD TRAINING CAGE

The completion of the all-weather running track in 2017 provided the opportunity for our track athletes to train on facilities that match those of fee-paying schools. The benefits were immediate and at the 2017 English Schools’ Championships we were crowned as National Champions. In 2018 we came second at both junior and intermediate levels, and analysis of the gaps confirmed our suspicion that our non-track performance was lacking.  We decided that those athletes also deserved fit-for purpose training facilities. We are about to install a competition-quality training cage for the throwing sports - hopefully over the October half-term - to complete the suite of upgraded training facilities. (This project stalled when the cost rose on the very recent introduction of brand new regulations.)

 SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES IN THE SPORTS PAVILION

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

 PERIMETER FLAGS

The global community that is fostered by Dartford Grammar School in Languages, exchanges and international relationships continues to flourish. 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.  We invite sponsorship of the flags, costed at £500 for each flag and pole including installation, with attributions accordingly. There has never been a more important time to promote internationalism and we hope we can bring this project to fruition very soon.

 OUTDOOR LABORATORY AND GREENHOUSE

This is an exciting new addition to the Vision projects – a Biological/Environmental Sciences laboratory to be constructed as a natural adjunct to the outside biological science area and above the old Boiler Room in the Junior Playground. It is admittedly a high value item, but we feel sponsorship of this might well appeal to some companies already known to our community. If you feel you have contact with a suitable candidate, please put them in touch with the Headmaster or the Development Officer for initial discussions.

EXCAVATION OF WW2 AIR-RAID TUNNELS

Recent building work has exposed 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 a by-product of the project would be the illumination of the junior playground. Estimates of costs for the excavation and restoration of the tunnels stand at £60,000. Many Dartfordians already know of this project and whilst we continue to invite memories of their use, more crucially we invite interest both financial and skills-based in the project so that we can take it forward.

RENOVATION OF THE ARMOURY CORRIDOR

Many of our Dartfordians will remember the Armoury Corridor in the Hardy building as an important architectural feature of the school, so named because of its historic use as storage for the CCF.  After decades of  ‘patch repairs’ the corridors glazed upper walls and roof need to be replaced to ensure the safety and the security of the building and to prevent further water damage.

This project is provisionally costed at £30,000. The building work is of a sensitive nature, as the building is listed and attached to the oldest part of the school, but we feel there are opportunities for our community to be involved and we invite conversations with interested parties such as building contractors or a window-replacement companies that would be willing to undertake the work at preferential rates and perhaps have the corridor named in your honour.

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.

OUTDOOR FURNITURE

We are indebted to Independent Catering for funding the provision of furniture for the new 6th Form external open areas. However, the school canteen has an outside space that could be an open-air extension of the dining room for use in fine weather, and we require further robust outdoor furniture, which could of course be attributed to the donor. We also need bins suitable for rubbish and recycling – smaller ticket items that might appeal to some donors.

 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

NEW SCHOOL SHOP

It has long been our wish to provide both our students and their parents with a one-stop shop for uniform and games kit, and at last with donations from the Parents' Association and Vision we have been able 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 by Christmas 2018 we hope to have a functioning operation manned by the Parents' Association that will streamline purchase and delivery of school equipment at affordable prices on the school site. The Lost Property and second-hand clothing sales will also have a natural home and the PA volunteers who run these will no longer be working from a cupboard!

THE ANDREW TUFFIELD LEARNING SPACE

There is a complete transformation going on at present in what used to be the old art room. Sponsored by Andrew Tuffield (OD 76-83) the space is to become an 'in-the-round' teaching zone that is flexible enough to be used by several departments including Mathematics and Drama. This refurbishment echoes the aspirational modern learning design that the Sixth Form block has at its heart, bringing a different excitement and endless possibilities for teaching away from the traditional format. 

THE ALAN SMITH LECTURE THEATRE

Alan Smith (OD 1954-61) has 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

The latest (anonymous) donation to Vision has enabled us to equip the first of the 6th Form study zones created by the new-build. The Greenwich Quiet Study space is central and versatile in use, as all the new facilities tend to be, bringing study into the 21st century.

HEAT REFLECTION & LED LIGHTING UNITS IN THE MAIN CONCERT HALL

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 has been 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

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

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

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. (There are still more to be renovated - some particularly beautiful pieces - and we invite help with these.)

RENOVATION OF THE SCHOOL FOUNDATION STONE

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.