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Click to read: A View from The Close - 27 March 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Firstly, I apologise for the two weeks of missed Views from the Close. It’s been a little busy here, and my PA has been unwell which means that this vital communication dropped from the radar. It will be business as usual from now onwards.

I thoroughly enjoyed reflecting on a brilliant Lent Term with the Junior School in their celebratory assembly last Friday, decorated with super Easter Bonnets, which were judged by the skilled Mr Lockyer. It was wonderful to see such achievements over the course of the term, most especially in the form of academic progress.

I attach my end of term assembly to the Senior School which chronicles an extraordinarily busy term. From upcycling to Iceland, with numerous sports matches, theme weeks and an ISC trip to Harry Potter, it’s been a Lent Term to remember. This has all been in addition to an extra push on academic work, prioritising teaching and learning and celebrating excellence in the classroom.

I was delighted by the contribution of pupils across the school to the performance of Honk. Well done to Ellie in the lead role, but especially well done to everyone involved, both in front of the set and behind it, too. It was great to see everyone so inspired by Kitty Myers and Paul Young. I am delighted that Performing Arts has got the boost it needed.

DofE numbers have tripled since we became a direct license Centre, and there are numerous training and expeditions planned for next term. Also, our first cohort of Gold Awards are being presented on 24 May at Buckingham Palace. A huge thank you to Keith Cox for his leadership in this area, and his team of helpers which include Justine in the Bursary. It’s a real whole school project!

We had an awesome Open Day last Saturday. On my first March Open Day in 2015 we had four families visit, and one of those was the Kiblers! On Saturday we had 28 families, constituting 33 prospective pupils, with 35 3 – 7 years old visiting for an Easter Egg hunt, and 90 sitting down for lunch. The school was buzzing. People are clearly beginning to think differently about Dover College, and the more this can be celebrated, the better!

I’m looking forward to the start of term – after spending some time with my family over Easter – as I’ll be able to launch Project 150, the College’s new development plan, to the College community. Over five years, the facilities and curriculum here at the College will be transformed for our pupils, and it will benefit everyone from the very start. It’s been a busy few years putting everything together, but what is vital is that the College holds on to everything that it stands for, whilst also making itself fit for the forthcoming 150 years.   


As parents will be aware, Mr Ellerington leaves the College at the end of the summer term. In light of this, I have appointed Simon Kibler as the sole Deputy Head of the Senior School from September, and made the following appointments:


Director of Studies                              David Brooks

Head of Science                                  Robin McNicoll

Head of Maths                                    Sarah Allen

Housemistress of St. Martin’s             Louise Tyrrell


I am delighted that all these key appointments have been made internally, which shows the strength and quality of the staff at the College.


We say goodbye this term to Steph Hooper, who has taught with great dedication and passion in the Junior School, and Malandra Rogers, who has been our Nursery Apprentice. Both go with our gratitude and best wishes for the future.


On Saturday Jess, supported by a number of Dover College mums and staff, will be representing the College at Dover’s Full Moon Walk in aid of Breast Cancer Care. I wish them luck as they walk 10K to raise money for this fabulous cause. If you would like to sponsor them you can do so using the following link:


It remains for me to wish everyone a Happy and Holy Easter, a restful break, and the best of best wishes for a hard-working, revision filled Easter holiday. Boarders are returning on Monday 16 April, and term starts on Tuesday 17 April.


As ever,


Gareth Doodes.