Dayncourt School Specialist Sports College
is a mixed-sex, state-funded, comprehensive secondary school
located in the village of Radcliffe on Trent
, in Nottinghamshire
. The school intake covers pupils from ages 11-18, with the upper two years being catered for in the integrated Post-16 (fm. 6th Form) centre. Previously known as Radcliffe on Trent County Secondary School
then Dayncourt Comprehensive School
, and latterly simply Dayncourt School
, Dayncourt was awarded Specialist Sports College
status in September 2002.
Origins and the Canadian influence
Radcliffe on Trent County Secondary School was built in 1957 and enrolled its first intake of approximately 300 pupils at the beginning of the new academic year that September. The school was officially opened on 6th November 1957 by Mr. S. D. Pierce, Deputy High Commissioner
at the time. The Canadian association was apt, as one of the driving motivations for the development of the school was the presence of a sizeable expatriot Canadian population in the district, a product of the Royal Canadian Air Force
's use of Langar airfield
, 5 miles southwest of Radcliffe.
Of the initial intake roughly 20% were Canadian, with the majority of other students being drawn from the village of Radcliffe. As Canadian pupils commonly only attended the Radcliffe school while their parents were stationed at the air base, every effort was made to allow these students to move smoothly between the Canadian and British education systems: four of the initial teaching staff were themselves Canadian, and lessons and timetabling were adapted to better integrate the two regimes. For many years the link between the two countries was symbolised by the presence of a large, 6m totem pole placed on a lawn to the right of the main entrance. The pole was carved from a telegraph pole by an early Canadian pupil at the school, and was accompanied by a smaller 2m pole placed inside the entrance lobby itself. In the mid-1990s it was discovered that the original wooden pole had become dangerously rotten and so had to be removed. A replacement was constructed in fibreglass, and painted by staff and students of the school.
School expansion and a name change
In 1972 the school took on full comprehensive status, and with it a greatly increased catchment area
. Included alongside Radcliffe were the villages of Shelford
, Holme Pierrepont
along the River Trent
to the south, and many smaller hamlets in the surrounding area. It was decided that the school name should be changed to better reflect this wider geographical spread.
No one identity linked these disparate communities. Social and cultural differences were distinctly apparent between agrarian villages such as Shelford and Gamston, the colliery village of Cotgrave, and commuter-dominated Radcliffe. The common practice of naming the school after the local manorial family was not possible as, although both the de Manvers and Pierrepont families were significant historical landholders, neither had held the area in its entirety. The only family to have done so were the De Aincurts, who held the land in the years following the Norman Conquest. Using the modern spelling of the name, it was agreed that the school should be renamed Dayncourt.
Specialist sports college
Sport has always played a key role in Dayncourt's identity. Badminton
World Champion Nathan Robertson
is a former pupil. In September 2002 Dayncourt School was awarded Specialist Sports College
status, after a campaign led by long-serving PE
teachers Dave Bullas and John Jones. The decision marked a significant shift in the evolution of the school, and in particular its integration with the wider local community. Increases in funding which accompany the Sports College status, in addition to the ability to raise extra funding from third parties, have seen a complete overhaul of school sporting facilities in the first few years of the new millennium. A recent grant of nearly £500,000 from the Football Foundation
allowed the school to build a new all-weather pitch facility. Dave Bullas died unexpectedly on the 10th December 2005 and the school decided to name their new facility in his memory. The Dave Bullas Sports Centre
was opened by former Nottingham Forest
player Steve Chettle
on 9 July 2007. Further capital investment is planned for the indoor and swimming facilities in the coming years.
The school badge
The school badge reflects many aspects of local and school history. The field
colours of light blue and yellow are those of the De Aincurt family arms
, dating back to before 1066. In the upper portion a black lion passant gardant
represents both the Pierrepont and Manvers family crests; a black lion forms the central feature of both sets of insignia, although in each case the lion is depicted rampant
. In the lower portion, blue lines are again borrowed from the De Aincurt escutcheon
, but are given a wave to represent the River Trent, which runs along the northern border of the school's catchment area. Finally, the five black blocks represent the five major villages in the catchement area: Radcliffe on Trent, Cotgrave, Shelford, Holme Pierrepont and Gamston.