Philanthropic at DGGS
At Dartford Grammar School for Girls, we place immense value in fostering a spirit of kindness and charity within our school community.
As such, various philanthropic activities are organised throughout each term by students and staff alike.
Philanthropic Events at DGGS
On Friday 3rd February, thanks to the students’ leadership in designing and planning the event, Dartford Grammar School for Girls contributed to the NSPCC Numbers Day. By raising £520 in support of this national event, we were able to make donations to various projects across the UK that support millions of children and young people. In addition to inviting students to wear green or patterned clothing non-uniform (or something with numbers) for a minimum donation of £1, Aishah and Rommy were joined by Precious in 9C when hosting other events at lunchtime outside X11. These included:
- A bake sale
- Fun challenges
- A raffle
Together, the students were able to raise a stunning £520, with more money still coming in from the non-uniform day.
Moreover, during lunchtime on Thursday 23rd February 2023, two students from 8L -- Vedanti and Ivié -- led a bake sale outside of X11 to help raise money for the charity Mermaids. By selling a range of items, from cupcakes to doughnuts, the duo successfully raised a stunning £85.65.
The two conducted themselves with complete professionalism and were a delight to support as they spoke with students from Year 7 all the way to Year 13. The same is true of Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 students who offered their help during the event to ensure that everyone was served and that the bake sale was a success.
Building on an exemplary first term, the whole-school community at Dartford Grammar School for Girls once again helped raise money for a variety of causes over the course of the last seven weeks.
Term 2 began with our two lead Sixth Form Philanthropic Representatives, Temi and Rebecca, raising money for Remembrance Day by providing students and staff with poppies, wristbands and pins to aid current servicemen and women in the armed forces as well as their families.
Our students’ charitable contributions continued in November with Children in Need, in which members of the school community were encouraged to set themselves sponsored challenges to complete either in or out of school. Students in every year group, as well as members of staff, got involved by completing sporting challenges and sponsored silences. Across three different areas, DGGS managed to raise £1309.96 for charity, thanks not only to a non-school uniform day but also sponsors from students in Year 7 and Year 8, as well as the Year 13 House Captains' charity stalls (which also featured brilliant students in 7I and their bingo game).
Miss Hewlett and her excellent Year 12 CAS group are to be congratulated for raising £253.75 for Ellenor through a charity bake sale that they held on Thursday 17th November. The Year 12s worked masterfully, creating a very efficient and crowd-pleasing event.
In an effort to support the CAS group’s raising of money for, Rebecca, Temi and other members of Year 13’s Student Leadership team sold refreshments at various after-school events, including the Winter Concert, Sixth Form Open Evening and the Student Leadership Team’s International Evening. The latter event was especially exciting as students and their families prepared food from a range of cultures, much to the delight of those in attendance.
Students also participated in Toys for the Tree – an annual DGGS tradition in which students get together as a form group and purchase a gift, or make a financial donation, for someone in need during the festive period. The event culminated in students in each Key Stage assembling in the main hall to decorate the DGGS Christmas Tree with stars signed by every student from every form.
Philanthropic Term 2 2022
The charitable efforts of students across DGGS were in full effect right until the final full day of term, with our annual Christmas Jumper day being on Thursday 15th December to support the charity Centrepoint.
Over the course of the first term of the academic year, the whole-school community at Dartford Grammar School for Girls has helped raise an exceptional amount of money for numerous causes.
On Friday 30th September 2022, our first major charity event was led by Year 7 students in aid of the National Deaf Children’s Society. Having baked cakes to commemorate the European Day of Languages, students in Year 7 baked and decorated cakes for the Modern Foreign Languages department to celebrate the many languages spoken by students in the school community. Cupcakes and slices of cake were then sold to students across the entire school for 50p and £1.00 respectively, resulting in £147.48 being raised. It was heart-warming to see the school community come together for such a worthy cause.
Halloween was once a great tradition in the DGGS sixth form. Every year, students in year 12 and 13 would never fail to dazzle in creative and spirited costumes: a superhero could be hanging out in the library or an escaped prisoner would be queuing up to buy lunch. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic, as it did with so many other great things, halted the tradition in 2020, and it failed to resurface thereafter.
This year, Year 12 students decided to revive the tradition and establish, once again, the annual sixth form dress up. Hard it was though at first to convince people that dressing up would be a great idea that would bring loads of fun, the 4th of November was a great success, with much of the sixth form getting involved in ways that were so creative it was spooky. Costumes were so well thought out this year that it was possibly one of the best Halloween dress ups the school has seen.
There were chipmunks, fairies, pirates, witches, Gilmore girls, gossip girls, and enough Men In Black to take down an entire alien race. The dress up saw characters of the most renowned characters and celebrities cross over in ways that were previously unimaginable. Bellatrix Lestrange could be seen in maths with Miles Morales and Britney Spears. Alvin, Simon and Theodore deemed it perfectly normal to have lunch with Cruella Deville and Corpse Bride. Cinematic and TV universes collided when Arthur the Aardvark was sighted having a lovely conversation with the one and only Harry Potter.
Overall, it’s definitely safe to say that this DGGS tradition was successfully reborn and is here to stay for many years to come. Happy Halloween!
In addition to raising money for national causes like Children in Need and Red Nose Day, students work together to help support local initiatives and charities that have had an impact on their own lives. For example, the Sixth Form Philanthropic leads have organised a monthly collection drive in which members of the school community donate items to specific charities in an effort to help members of the local community during these extremely challenging times. The generosity displayed by all year groups in September 2021 was truly heart-warming. We received a staggering number of donations that will help improve the lives of those in need.
Our most recent event was conducted by Year 7 and the Sixth Form Student Leadership Team in celebration of the European Day of Languages. In September 2021, Year 7 students baked and decorated cakes to represent a country of their choice. The cakes were then put on sale in the playground to celebrate the efforts of their year group, with students in Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, Year 11, Year 12 and Year 13 uniting to help raise over £130 for the National Deaf Children’s Society.
Well done, and thank you, to everyone who participated.
This year despite the COVID-19 situation we were able to carry on with the traditional Harvest Festival. We asked each form to create mood boards instead of creating harvest boxes on a theme of their choice. We’ve had a wide range of unique designs that were sent in. Each form competed for the prize of the best mood board in the year group. The winning entries are shown below:
Children In Need 2020
Children in Need week occurred on the week beginning 9November and was a huge success. Many participated throughout the week to raise money for Children in Need. This included an art competition in which one was to design a Pudsey poster/model/animation. Well done to Amy 8C who came first with her animation, Bianca 9C and Sofia 7K as runners up. Thank you to everyone who applied, the amount of amazing hard work put in was absolutely wonderful to see. The art competition raised £32, whilst the selling of donuts to students in Sixth Form also raised an impressive £47.46.
Throughout the week, the Philanthropic team also sold raffle tickets which amounted to an outstanding amount of £210.73. The sense of community on Friday the 13was heartwarming as we saw many dress up in spotty accessories to support a good cause. We raised £94.04 on Friday alone.
Altogether we raised an impressive total of £384.23 The fact that we all came together, despite Covid-19, to work towards a common cause that allows those in difficult situations to access the help they need, really shows how anything is possible.
On behalf of the Philanthropic team, I would like to thank you tremendously for taking part and supporting this wonderful cause. Finally, a special thank you to Miss Williams and Mrs Kidd, for allowing us to take part in this unique fundraising opportunity.
DGGS Christmas Card Competition
We had a huge number of entries for this year's DGGS Christmas card competition from students from all year groups. The quality and creativity of the entries was so impressive that we found it particularly hard to choose a winner this year, so in a break from tradition, instead of one winner, we selected 2 joint winners: Elodie 7I and Tami 11L. After all, anything goes in 2020!
Both students created designs featuring the school building, with Elodie drawing the school inside a snow globe, and Tami submitting a digital design with Santa flying his sleigh above a snow-covered DGGS.
Huge congratulations to our winners and well done to everyone who took part.
Raising money for survivors of sexual harassment and abuse
Sexual harassment, violence and abuse has been very much in the news over the last month. According to The Survivors Trust, one in four women and one in six men have experienced sexual violence. 15% of girls and 5% of boys have experienced sexual violence by the time they are sixteen. The Guardian reported earlier this month that 86% of women aged 18-24 said they had been sexually harassed in public spaces.
These statistics are clearly not acceptable and so Year 12 (led by Devina 12E) decided to wear an item of red clothing or accessory to spread awareness and stand in solidarity with any victims of sexual violence and or harassment. Students also took this as an opportunity to raise money and awareness for The Survivors Trust. The Survivors Trust is a charity that provides a range of specialist services to survivors through counselling, support, helplines and raising awareness. Many of the students took part and we know that all donations will be gratefully received by The Survivors Trust. If you would like to find out more information about the charity please visit https://www.thesurvivorstrust.org/our-work
Toys to the Tree
For the past 30 years, Dartford Grammar School for Girls has celebrated “Toys for the Tree”, a tradition that we proudly take part in. It is a time to again help those in need reminding us of the less fortunate, especially at this time of year. “A time to be thankful for what we have and each of us to consider our social responsibility to others”.
There are many families who are simply not in a position to buy presents for their children, the abandonment of animals is at a peak and so rescue centres are extremely busy at this time of year and many charities are working hard to make somebody’s Christmas a little bit better in whatever way they can. In our school, each form group worked as a team to donate money and buy a gift for a charity of their choice and “spread some Christmas spirit”.
Assemblies were held on 3 and 5 December by Amber, Inisha and Dalia (part of the Year 12 CAS Philanthropic group) to spread the message about kindness whilst exploring the charities the school has supported in recent years. Charities such as the Bluewater Giving Tree, Great Ormond Street and Darenth Hospital continue to be popular beneficiaries. A new one for this year was a donation for over 65 trees to be planted for the benefit of everyone in an attempt to help provide clean air.
Sanya 12G and Anju 12C
Harvest Festival 2019
During early October, DGGS hosted a Harvest day competition. Each form created their own harvest box based on any theme they chose. It was a fantastic celebration with a variety of creative and unique harvest boxes with each form competing with one another to win the prize for the best box. Another element of the competition was filling these boxes with lots of non-perishable food items and toiletries which were donated to the local food bank and Help the Aged.
The main message behind the harvest competition was to give to those less fortunate. There are millions of people all over the world who experience food shortages and this may be hard to realise when we are so fortunate and have all the food we need. Organising this competition allowed the school to help many people who may be homeless or do not have enough money for food and so depend on food banks. This is especially the case during the winter months when there is greater need for food because of the cold weather. Therefore, hosting this event allowed our whole school to have greater awareness about the difficulties many face and contribute to such a worthy cause.
This competition enhanced the sense of community within our school as every student in every form came together to help by making the box or bringing a donation. It also enabled us to showcase some of the many creative talents, as the photos demonstrate.
Overall, it was a successful and fun event that highlighted the importance of giving within our society.
On 11 November DGGS held a two-minute silence paying tribute to all the people who died during both wars. It also marks the day World War One ended. In the lead up to this, we sold poppies around the school to raise money for all those whose lives have been affected by the war. Students were keen to get involved and we managed to sell a vast array of poppies. Some students even made a donation to the charity on top of the poppies that they bought.
We have yet to be told by the British Legion how much we raised but regardless of the amount, it is such an important occasion to mark one we should still learn from. Mrs Pritchard led a thought-provoking assembly with a fellow student reading out a poem.
Halloween dress up - Mary’s Meals
The Sixth Form students participated in a Halloween dress up day which allowed them to dress up as their favourite characters or Halloween inspired costumes to raise money for Mary’s Meals. Mary’s Meals is a charity which aims to provide chronically hungry children with one meal every school day, encouraging education that can lift them out of poverty. The day was one filled with childhood reminiscing and laughter and we thank everyone for their participation on their day and contributions towards such a great cause! Awards were given to Caitlin 13E and Caitlyn 12G for their fantastic efforts dressing up.
Pudsey Children in Need
On 15November, the school participated in the nationwide Children in Need day and since its establishment in 1980 the BBC's UK charity has raised over £1 billion for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK. Students paid to wear Pudsey inspired accessories which included head pieces and spotty socks. The Philanthropic CAS team in Year 13 coordinated a range of special events at lunchtime in order to raise money for the charity including a Find Pudsey hunt, a bake sale and guess the number of sweets in a jar.
An update on Toilet Twinning
Earlier this year, in July, we held a fundraiser to twin our school toilets. For this we put on a bake sale with a chocolate theme and also sold entries for the game ‘Where did Daisy do it’. Through this, we successfully raised around £70 which allowed us to twin our toilets.
We recently received a document certifying that all of your contributions paid to construct a toilet in Jaravikuba, Mzimba district in Malawi and our toilets are now in fact twinned! Not only does this help to restore dignity in poverty stricken areas but improves sanitation which prevents illness so families can work and children can go to school. Toilets also prevent the need for open defecation which puts women at risk of being attacked. It further empowers women by allowing girls on their periods to go to school as there is access to toilets.
As toilets are something we often take for granted, it is absolutely fantastic that our school community was able to contribute to such an empowering scheme.
Toys for the Tree
For the past 30 years Dartford Grammar School for Girls has celebrated, “Toys for the Tree”, a tradition that we proudly take part in. It is a time to again help those in need reminding us of the less fortunate, especially at this time of year. “A time to be thankful for what we have and each of us to consider our social responsibility to others”.
There are many families who are simply not in a position to buy presents for their children, the abandonment of animals is at a peak and so rescue centres are extremely busy at this time of year and many charities are working hard to make somebody’s Christmas a little bit better in whatever way they can. In our school, each form group worked as a team to donate money and buy a gift for a charity of their choice and to spread some Christmas spirit.
Assemblies were held on 3 and 5 December by Amber, Inisha and Dalia (part of the Year 12 CAS Philanthropic group) to spread the message about kindness whilst exploring the charities the school has supported in recent years. Charities such as the Bluewater Giving Tree, Great Ormond Street and Darenth Hospital continue to be popular beneficiaries. A new one for this year was a donation of over 65 trees to be planted for the benefit of everyone in an attempt to help provide clean air.
So finally, we hope you have a Merry Christmas and never stop giving and remember that a little kindness has a lasting effect.
Sanya 12G and Anju 12C
We raised over £8000 for our various charities in 2018 - 2019, details of events held are below;
Toilet Twinning Charity Day
This charity raises funds for people living in poor communities in the world so they have clean water, can access toilets and learn about the importance of hygiene. We organised a “Where did Daisy do it?” bingo and a “Toilet Twinning Charity Bake sale”. Both were a huge success and we managed to sell everything that was brought in and spread awareness of the Toilet Twinning charity.
In total we raised £69.30 for the charity, meaning that we raised enough money to twin one of the school toilets with another toilet from a poorer country. It was a fantastic opportunity to get the school involved and encourage people to help disadvantaged individuals in other parts of the world. We hope in the future we can twin more toilets.
PRIDE at DGGS
In support of PRIDE and to raise awareness amongst students, we organised a rainbow photo booth with an array of pride-related props and flags for all to come, share their pride and take a nice picture whilst listening to a collaborative playlist of students' favourite LGBT+ artists. A pride flag was flown and we sold rainbow bands and rainbow lollies to symbolise solidarity
Two charities benefited from the £160 we raised; Stonewall and the Trevor Project. Stonewall have played a vital role in LGBT+ related campaigns such as lifting the ban on LGB people serving in the military and allowing same-sex couples to adopt. They now work to improve inclusion in school environments and empower individuals.
The Trevor project is another amazing charity which works with suicide prevention and mental health support amongst LGBT+ people via a free helpline. This is of extreme importance considering how significantly higher suicide rates are for LGBT+ individuals and how prevalent discrimination can be in some communities.
This event not only brought individuals together from all year groups but also provided another key stepping stone for creating acceptance within our school environment. It was lovely seeing how supportive and accepting our school community is.
Term 2 is always a busy one at DGGS for the Philanthropic Team as there are so many events taking place, both national events that we wish to support and also some of our more traditional fundraising which takes place in the run up to Christmas. All in all it has been a fantastic term with over £2500 raised to date and hope that the next term we continue to build on this total.
Christmas Fundraising - The annual Humanities Christmas Lecture took place on Wednesday 5 December and successfully raised £232 in aid of Crisis. On Tuesday 18 staff took part in a Xmas jumper day to coincide with the school Christmas dinner in order to raise money for Save the Children. The Sixth Formers will be holding their Annual Christmas party on Thursday 20 December and their ticket includes a donation to Centrepoint, the teenage homeless charity that work hard to ensure that children are not sleeping on the street.
Toys for the Tree - Toys for the Tree is a DGGS tradition that has taken place for many years. As a school we believe it is important that, as we head into a period of festivity, we take the time to remember that not everyone will have a Christmas that is magical. There are far too many children, teenagers, adults and families who find this time of year very stressful and difficult. Animal rescue centres see the number of animals abandoned over this period escalate significantly. It is so important that students see that by working collectively as a form group, small donations can come together to enable them to become a significant amount which is enough to buy a gift for a charity of their choice. In the school assembly held on the 4 and 6 December, we explored the many reasons why we hold this important philanthropic event and celebrated the students’ kindness. Many donations went to Ellenor Lions Hospice, Willow Ward at Dartford Children’s Ward and the Bluewater Giving Tree. When the Philanthropic Prefect Cerys and fellow team member Heather, delivered the presents to Bluewater, they were amazed at the number of stars hung on the tree, representing real children of all ages who need an act of kindness. Along with the stack in a box ready to be added, it really brought home how important these gifts really are to those that receive them.
Year 11: Appeal for items for the food bank - Lamiya (11P) is a police cadet and organised Year 11s to bring in items for the food bank that would benefit families and individuals. Her focus was to steer away from food items but to focus on cleaning products such as washing up liquid, sponges, rubber gloves, furniture cleaner and glass and window cleaner, kitchen rolls, towels and tissues. Lamiya was delighted with the amount of items brought in by her year group.
Poppy Appeal - As we all know Remembrance Day is on 11 November and this year it was particularly special in that it marked 100 years since the end of World War I. This year the Philanthropic Team sold poppies throughout the school and raised money £145 for the British Legion through the annual Poppy Appeal. A fantastic effort all round and a special than you to those who supported this.
Sponsored Events - So many individuals and classes carried out sponsored events in order to support the day. Overall an amazing £1300 was raised through a variety of different ideas from sponsored silences, silly hair, and netball shoot outs. 7C need a special mention as their form alone raised £355 whilst a group of friends in 10H (Anne Marie, Emily, Celona and Amy) raised £88. As much as we would like to thank and name every individual who did give their time to be sponsored on this day there are far too many to mention but students who raised over £50 individually included Lottie in Year 10 (£215), Tharmini 7I (£78), Jada 7I (£65), Chloe 9K (£60), Olokunbi 7I (£60) and Lara 7K (£58.85).
Overall a £1600 has been sent to Children in Need from DGGS. Everyone should be really proud of their contribution.
Cake Sale - All students were invited to donate home baked goods for a cake sale at lunchtime. The Philanthropic Team were overwhelmed with a wide array of donations and we ended up selling the cakes over two days. The baking was of such a high standard with the fastest selling and therefore most popular cakes being the chocolate ones and brownies. Overall the students worked hard both at home and on the day to raise over £246
Bake off - 9L decided to not do a sponsored event but instead to link in with the cake sale by doing a bake off that then was taken apart and sold in a cake sale. Every member of the form made a cake that had something to do with Children in Need. Some cakes were made in the shape of Pudsey's face; there were spotty cupcakes and a wide array of Pudsey or spotty biscuits and cookies. These were brought in on the Thursday and several teachers judged the cakes by their design and appearance. Many cakes were also highly commended and the overall winners are noted below. 9L sold all of their cakes the following day at the bake sale. It was a great success and they raised lots of money.
- First place: Mia and Jess
- Second place: Eseohe
- Third place: Naomi
‘Pudsey’ Hunt - Running throughout the day was a ‘Find Pudsey’ hunt. Several posters of Pudsey were hidden around the school and the students had to find them. 82 students took part and raised a total of £42. All correctly completed Pudsey Hunt forms were put into a hat and the overall winners were Adanna in 7I and Lara in 7K.
Children in Need at DGGS - Children in Need is a charity we all know well that raises money for children who are disadvantaged by supporting various projects and charities across the UK that work hard to make like a little better for those less fortunate than ourselves. This could be children who are victims of abuse, poverty, neglect or have disabilities that affect their day-to-day life. On Friday 16 November 2018, the whole school was invited to take part in many of the events that were organised to raise money.
October 2018 - Harvest Festival: Term 1 saw our annual Harvest Festival take place, featuring some of the best harvest boxes made by students at the school. Although a great House competition, the reason we do this is so that we are able to help send much needed food donations into the local community where it is really needed. The Salvation Army and Local Food Banks gratefully received a magnificent range of food items so that food parcels can be organised. They were most excited to see boxes of biscuits, advent calendars and slightly more unusual and exotic items present in the donations; items that will just make a food parcel that little bit more special. We would like to thank every form that contributed and we are sure that the recipients of your donations appreciate your kindness.
Once again this year we were thrilled by the standard of boxes we received and the clear amount of time and effort that went into each one across the years. Winners for each year group are currently being decided upon.
September – Jean for Genes Day - This was the first of three planned non-uniform days where we showed our support to Jeans for Genes by wearing denim in some form to school. It is a charity that raises funds to support children affected by genetic disorders, of which about 6000 exist. Some are common, such as eczema, and others very rare such as Elhlers-Danlos syndrome. Statistics show that 1 in 25 children are affected in some way, with over 30,000 children being newly diagnosed each year in the UK. We are proud to say that so far we have raised in excess of £900 for this great cause: a great start to the philanthropic total for the year. This is especially important to us as Ciara, a year 8 pupil at our school suffers from the rare condition of epidermolysis bullosa and wrote a very honest and eye opening account in the latest DGGS times, explaining what it is like to live with a condition such as this.