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The School Badge

Early History

The Dinnington High School Badge has not changed much over the years, it is still distinguishable from the first 'House Shield' design of 1935; albeit a little watered down. The first badge associated with education on the site was that of the technical college - a shield design encompassing a lantern with the latin, 'Fiat Lux' (Let there be light) - the relevance of this biblical phrase is unknown, there is no connection to light and Dinnington, it can only be assumed to be a motto for the sake of a motto.

The first school badge came about when the first building on the current site was erected; along with the formation of the Boys' and Girls' Departments. The badge, which is still used today for ceremonial purposed within the school, resembles a coat of arms with the school houses on a shield upon a crossed mace and key, topped by a cap of maintenance - that said, the badge is not in fact a coat of arms, as it was never granted one by the college of arms - and so it is simply a decorated shield. The thinking behind the coat of arms style was to embellish the school and its grand new buildings, creating a grammar school feel in a comprehensive school.

The shield holds symbols of the four school houses: 

Segrave: after the de Segrave family who owned much of the local area in the 16th century prior to the Athorpes.

  • Originally from Leicestershire, a younger brother of the Segrave family: Nicholas had land and a manor in Dinnington.

  • Their family coat of arms was a rampant lion, originally with a crown.

Hatfield: land-owners in Laughton-en-le-Morthen in the 17th century.

  • Originally spelt Hatfeild as you can see on the Hatfeild Arms sign.

  • Incorporation of a cinquefoil – a five petalled flower we now call a potentilla.

Osborne: the family name of the Duke of Leeds who had property in Kiveton Park.

  • A heraldic tiger – has no stripes but has a black ruff and a fancy tail.

Athorpe: owners of Dinnington Hall in the late 1600’s to 1700’s.

  • Now that same hall is a care home on Falcon Way.

The mace is a symbol of the authority of the school, what authority that is we don't know - it is normally typical of further education colleges and universities - the school mace went missing in the 70s. The key is a common symbol in education, often seen as the key to knowledge, or in religious schools the key to heaven (typically crossed keys). The cap of maintenance is a symbol of the monarch, in 1941 this was swapped for a golden crown, reasons unknown. The mace and key were also dropped.

The basis of the 1941 badge stayed the same up until 2017, although at some point the crown was also dropped. In 2016 under the command of Rebecca Staples, the school attempted to change the badge for the very first time since 1941 - Athorpe House (which had been defunct for some years) was to be dropped, and the new badge was to consist of a tri-colour shield made of three abstract shapes symbolising the remaining houses. This concept was met by anger from students, alumni, and the community, who felt the badge had thrown away the great history and symbolism of the school.

There was a swift u-turn, and a second proposal came about which modernised the classic house crest with newly drawn components, a slightly adapted shield shape, and lighter colours.

 

For long there has been ideas that Dinnington's school crest inspired the crest of the famous Hogwarts School, the setting of the fictional tales of Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.  The school badge existed long before Rowling even began to write the Harry Potter books - the uncanny resemblance of animals representing houses, a quad-shield design, and the same colours in the same order and segments gave many ideas about whether Dinnington inspired the Hogwarts shield. There is little chance Rowling knows of the school, though the town, and wider community like to believe that the wooden walls of Dinnington had some part to play in building the stone walls of Hogwarts Castle.

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The traditional ceremonial crest of the school,

recreated for the 280th anniversary by members

of this alumni association.

 

It is free to download and use, both for personal and commercial use, but credit to the alumni association must be given in the context of commercial use.

Unknown - 1935

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Shield

1941 - 2017

2017

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