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A View from The Close 124: 23rd November 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As I type, the U13 Fives Team are playing a competition at Eton, and the Refectory is filled with some brilliant work by the pupils who have put together a superb exhibition. School House are stinking differently, and we had an awesome chapel from Duckworth who encouraged us to thank differently!

Next Friday we will unveil the new Christmas tree outside the Refectory, and parents are invited to Carols around the tree ay 1630 after Evensong with Hot Chocolate.

As ever,

Gareth Doodes.



U13 Football
The Priory A team boys had a superb week with two hard fought and well deserved home wins. Gad’s Hill on Monday were far stronger than we anticipated and it took a great deal of time before we were comfortable in the game, only 2-1 up at half time. We eventually ran out 5-1 winners as our superior fitness, in particular, created space all over the field. Nicholas Proctor’s (8) first goal of the season was just reward for his hard work, and was the highlight of the match. On Wednesday we welcomed Northbourne to Farthingloe and had a point to prove after losing heavily away in the first game of the season. The tables were turned, and a great game of football was the result. A 2-0 victory was very sweet after what had happened away from home and we controlled the game from start to finish with solidity in defence and lightning speed on the break. 15 players were used in total and all played their part in the victory.

Tuesday 13th November
U16 Girls Football
Unfortunately, the girls cup run came to an end on the 1st XI pitch at Farthingloe against local rivals Dover Girls Grammar. It was a superb game of football and despite scoring an excellent goal through Lottie Hide (9, St Martin’s), two defensive aberrations were our undoing and our visitors were deserved winners.

Wed 14th November
The 1st XI faced last year’s winners Simon Langton in the Kent Cup at Farthingloe and were hugely unlucky not to proceed. We played some great football, against a physically intimidating side, with Bekas Yusuf (12, Leamington) and Ryan Sewell (12, School) both scoring superb, precise goals. Once again a defensive slip was to prove costly and after levelling the game we switched off at the back and they were able to steal the victory from under our noses. Hopefully this will prove a valuable learning experience for the remaining four games of the season.


Outward Bound Boarders
Last Saturday, over 100 boys and girls from all four houses made their way to Grosvenor Hall in Ashford. Junior School parents will know the location as the destination for the Y5 and 6 residential in the summer.

The morning was clear and crisp. The boarders were cold, anxious and yet excited to get onto the challenges and begin to push their limits. The groups were divided up into houses and then off they went to climb, swing, jump, abseil, zip wire and scream their way through an entire day of thrills and excitement. Over the mutual fear and anxiousness of waiting to go and the encouragement and elation of achieving a task, the boys and girls bonded. The staff were eager to have a go and Mr Flower, who was adamant at the start of the day that he was ‘just going to watch’ decided that being a bystander was too boring and he ended up screaming and swinging at the same time.

As the houses of Duckworth, Leamington and St Martin’s left at the end of the day, School House stayed over. Adding extra activities throughout the evening (including climbing at night) and into the Sunday. Culminating in the whole house shouting encouragement at boys that at the beginning of the weekend couldn’t climb above two metres, achieve personal goals or ascending to the highest point and zip wiring down to the ground.

We have booked in for next year already, and the boarders with us in September 2019 will definitely have a day to remember.


School House ‘Stink Differently’!
School House are once again being creative with what they are selling at the FODC Christmas Fair. Having made various items from Bird Houses to Christmas Baubles, this year they have decided to go a completely different direction.

Here you can see Joan from Year 11 helping make the next batch of Dover College soap. The 100% organic soap comes in a range of different shapes and scents, from ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Jingle Bells’ to mint and jasmine and lavender and winter berry. With all of the fresh ingredients harvested from the Dover College gardens.

Already proving a big hit on campus with sample bars being given out to members of staff, the bars will be available at the FODC Christmas Fair for as little as £1 per bar. With all money going to charity, School House are hoping to ‘Clean Up’ (sorry!).


University Challenge
Leamington House beat St Martin’s in the semi-final of the College’s University Challenge. The boys prevailed despite questions on Ballet and Contemporary Pop while the girls were stumped by questions on famous cricketers!

Duckworth overcame School House in the second semi-final. They were level with seven minutes to go but surged ahead at the end despite thinking the opposite of north was east.

The final takes place after Chapel tonight!


Duo Bizart
Last Thursday (15th), a professional piano duo from Belgium came to entertain years 3-8 with music and fairy tales. We were taken on an interactive journey that started with them lost in Dover needing directions from the pupils. We found ourselves in a magical land and the story of Cinderella set to music by the little known Percy Pitt.

There was acting, pictures on screen for the children to enjoy and match to the music they heard, and even some wigs, crowns and masks!

They learnt about some forgotten games like playing with the spinning top or blind man’s bluff, accompanied by the music of Georges Bizet (“Children’s Games”). In blind man’s bluff’, Geoffrey was blindfolded and had to play without seeing the keys!

Finally, we were treated to Maurice Ravel’s “Mother Goose” Suite, which included tales of Tom Thumb, the Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Laideronette, Empress of the Pagodas and the Fairy Garden.

One highlight was the players dressing as the two characters, one with flowing golden locks, the other wearing a scary wolf mask, whilst playing and ‘singing’ to each other musically.

This was a wonderful hour of musical entertainment, which engaged our pupils whilst teaching them about emotions, expression and the power of music to convey our thoughts and feelings.

Further information can be found here:


VSBW - Joint Venture VolkerStevin & Boskalis Westminster

With the help of St Mary’s Primary School and Dover College

Theme:  Regeneration, Recycling and Remembrance
St Mary’s Primary School and Dover College were collaboratively inspired by science and engineering activities to construct a replica of the bascule bridge to be installed in the Dover Marina as part of the Dover Western Docks Revival.

The bridge made from recyclable materials and had moveable parts which demonstrated how the bridge operates.

Dover smART Project and VSBW Engineers taught 22 pupils how the leaf is counterbalanced by a weight. The bridge was painted to resemble a WW1 Dazzle Ship and in remembrance, decorated with poppies bearing the names of fallen soldiers from Dover.


Certificates of Achievement & Effort (Awarded 19/11/2018)

Demira Govender (7, Priory)
James Irwin (7, Priory)
Maddie Warnock (7, Priory)

For their participation in the Lions Club Peace Poster Competition

Mathilde Leprovost (12, St Martin’s)
For her hard work and commitment in helping to make the Remembrance Poppies

Emily Calder (10, St Martin’s)
Tamzin Vickers (10, Duckworth)

For consistent hard work both in and out of lessons

Design & Technology
Evy Siddans (11, Duckworth)
Sam Smart (11, School)

For their outstanding work and exceeding their predicted levels

Anna Zhang (13, St Martin’s)
For her perseverance and consistent hard work towards her photography


Duke of Edinburgh
Edward Aylward-Lopez (11, Leamington)

Tamzin Vickers (10, Duckworth)


Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal. The boxes have now been counted and collected and are at the distribution centre being sorted, and packed into shipping containers ready to be shipped around the globe. If you donated online and added a barcode to your box you should hopefully receive an email in January informing you of the destination of your box.

I am pleased to announce that we sent a total of 285 boxes this year. These gifts are invaluable to a child who has never received such a gift before. It is a powerful symbol of hope that someone, somewhere, cared enough to pack a gift meant just for them. Without your participation, the charity Samaritans Purse would not be able to reach the children that are in need, and a shoebox that has been filled with gifts and packed with love has a big impact on a child at Christmas time.