Return to Standard View

A View from The Close 126: 7th December 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I am very much looking forward to the end of term festivities, as well as reading 310 reports this coming weekend! As you would have expected, there is lots going on in the coming few days. Tomorrow evening, we have the Christmas Concert at 1930 in Menzies, and on Sunday there is a launch by the famous P&O Choir of their new CD. Next week we have the Junior School Christmas Lunch on Monday, the Sixth Form Christmas Dinner that evening, the Senior School Christmas Lunch on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the College Carol Service at 11am.

I will write more in my end of term letter next week, but I do look forward to seeing parents at the upcoming events, and hopefully as many as possible at this afternoon’s FODC Christmas Fair in the Refectory, where there are Christmas Gifts and German themed food. Here’s to a bratwurst or two!

As ever,

Gareth Doodes.



Tuesday 27th November

U15 Football vs St. Edmund’s
The College fielded a weakened team at the request of St Edmunds who had a powerful midfield, organised defence and skilful front line.

The score at half time was 0–5 and Jaiden Flisher (10, School) had to come off with injury. David Yeadon (13, School) gave a strong half time pep talk and the side played with much more passion, organisation and conviction in the second half. David continued his coaching through the second half and helped the team enormously. Seb Klappa (10, School), Sammy Smee (10, School), Lenny Eigen (11, School) and Elliott Nugus (11, School) closed down their forwards. Matthew Chan (10, Leamington) tackled everything and anything that moved. Isaac Hackett (9, School) found some space on the left and Manuel Govantes Nunez (11, School) and Max Ritchie-Coombs (9, School) did well down the right. Nico Ibor Larranaga (10, School) distributed well in midfield and Juan Reina Muniz (11, School) had a strong half (coming on for Jaiden). Sam Dehghan (10, School) was outstanding in goal all afternoon and made a string of excellent saves.

The second half was close. We lost it 1–  and our goal came when Isaac cut in from the left and drove an unstoppable shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal.

A full under 15 team would have had a very close game.

Wednesday 28th November

U13 Hockey vs St Edmund’s
The Priory girls played at home on Wednesday and came up against a strong St Edmund’s outfit in both A and B teams. Two hard fought losses were the outcome although the inclusion of 3 Under 11 girls, Olivia Kibler (6), Ciara Flisher (6) and Phoebe Davis (6) did serve to bolster the ranks as they added their quality to the teams.

Thursday 29th November

1st XI Hockey vs Bethany

A very well-matched fixture, the girls’ last of the season, finished with an undeserved 2-1 loss. The clear highlight was Ellie Willetts’ (13, Duckworth) reverse stick finish, scoring what she claims to be her first ever goal for the College in what was her last ever hockey game. Player of the match was Imogen Davis (13, Duckworth) and along with the two aforementioned Juliette Jordan (13, Duckworth) also played her final game for the College.

1st XI Football vs St Edmund’s
Despite a goal from Bekas Yusuf (12, Leamington), the boys went down in an away defeat, unfortunately allowing the streetwise St Edmund’s side to take the upper hand in all facets of the game.

2nd XI Football vs St Edmund’s
Leo Tardieu (11, Leamington) scored two superb goals and was Man of the Match as he, Ben Kibler (13, Leamington) and Lucas Wood (11, Leamington) stepped down to strengthen the 2nd XI. The Canterbury side scored a few more however, and ran out 4-2 winners, playing the conditions very well, especially against the wind.

3rd XI Football vs Gad’s Hill
The Gad’s team played our youthful 3rd XI and immediately took the upper hand with some very physical play. Despite a good finish from Nico Ibor Larranaga (10, School), who followed up a twice saved penalty rebound to slot home, the visitors came away with the victory.

Saturday 1st December

1st XI vs Sevenoaks
Another very even match between these two sides resulted in a 2-1 home win for Sevenoaks. Our Senior boys played very well, and with much improved discipline from the previous week, but they came up against a strong side with a quite exceptional goalkeeper who was able to keep us from equalising on many occasions.

U15 vs Farrington’s

A 4-1 loss.

U13 vs Farrington’s

The U13s played at home in terrible conditions, in the midst of two BBC Weather warnings for wind and rain, and showed terrific resilience and fight to outmanoeuvre a Farrington’s side, who are coached by the County coach and play weekly in a competitive league. Our second from Sam Smith

(8, Priory) was truly a collectors’ item, from outside the box with his right foot in off the post, though going in 2-2 at half time having played with the wind, the boys knew they were in for a battle and rose to the occasion splendidly, keeping the ball on the floor and passing with speed and accuracy, with most of the second half taking place in the opposition half. The hardy spectators were duly rewarded in the penultimate minute as Alvaro Govantes (8, Priory) followed up a speculative effort, rebounding in the box to fire home from close range. A great end to the boys’ season, the most successful U13 group in some time.

Swedish Martial Arts Council International Championships

Emily Calder (10, St Martin’s) travelled with her team to Sweden on Thursday (29th Nov) to attend the Swedish Martial Arts Council International Championships. 

The British team consisted of Kick Boxing participants and Taekwondo Martial artists. Emily being one the of latter.

The following two days saw hundreds of martial arts performances with Emily being entered into four categories: 

Single Forms

Paired synchronized forms

Team synchronized forms

Point stop sparring

Emily performed phenomenally, achieving the following as an individual:

Single Forms                                     Gold

Paired synchronized forms            Gold

Team synchronized forms             Bronze

Point stop sparring                          Silver

Emily’s main strength is forms, so to even get in the ring and participate at sparring at this level was a milestone, but she achieved Silver which is incredible. She has even decided that next year she would like to take part in the kick-boxing as well.

Emily’s achievement is absolutely fantastic!


Mr Brooks’ Assembly – Monday 3rd December 2018

Sit up straight. Go and tidy your room. Make sure you clean your teeth. Tuck your shirt in. Roll your skirt down. Get a shave. Don’t go to University get do an apprenticeship, don’t get a job go to University.

Does it seem like adults are always telling you what to do? Like they know best and your just stupid.

Here at Dover College at the start of term adults have told you not to have your phone during the school day. Is this just another example of grown-ups telling you what to do?

I’m going to tell you what happened to me last summer. My phone had an update. Part of this update was an app that allowed me to play a game for free. It took my interest straight away. It involved projecting a fireball towards discs to blow them up, but this was special because the ball I fired bounced around destroying all the discs it touched. And you know what I was really good, I could work out the angles. I soon achieved level 8 and then I stumbled.  Every time I tried I failed to kill all the discs, and each time I had to watch an advert before I could have another go. And just as I was beginning to give up, ‘quelle surprise’ I was now able to pass the level and move on. And after a couple more successes I failed again and had to watch the ads. I became quite frustrated that I couldn’t complete this level no matter how many times I tried and how many ads I had to watch. Again just as I was thinking about giving up I skilfully passed and moved on to the next level. This went on for a few weeks. The more levels I passed the less I wanted to give up because I had invested so much time in it. I must have watched hundreds of ads, that spookily catered for my interests. But the funny thing was the app seemed to know when I was about to give in. It seemed to be able to calculate the optimum number of fails that were needed in order for me to continue playing. There seemed to be a perseverance algorithm personal to me. I didn’t realise this then I was just addicted to killing multi coloured discs with my fire ball. Addicted. Last thing at night before going to bed. First thing in the morning before breakfast. On and off all day. At night I had strange dreams of things and people I had encountered that day bouncing off walls and smashing into colour squares aligned in geometric patterns. I slept poorly for weeks, I was becoming more-grumpy, this game was affecting my life, affecting the relationships I have with my family.

 I stopped. For a few days all I could think about was loading up the app and having just one go, but I didn’t, I was strong. After a couple of days, I uninstalled the app, to take the temptation away. I started sleeping better, spending more time with my family and reading for pleasure, getting my life back. So, I stand here and tell you to stop playing addictive games. What do you hear? Another adult telling you what to do?

Who designs the games? Who gets paid to sit in expensive chairs in expensive offices and work out how best to sell the app. And, why did that one game out of the millions out there end up on my phone. Like Miss Allen, I google maths puzzles all the time and geometry resources. Perhaps my google history was feed into a very clever algorithm and out popped my game, ideal for me, guaranteed to get me hooked, with an 80% probability of at least 700 ads watched. I uninstalled, but know they know how far I would go, what’s next?

Middle aged executives in big companies are paid fortunes to find out how they can come up with apps for kids. What colours do they like, what animals do they think are cute, what do they google, how old are they, what is their educational level, what gender are they, what weaknesses do they

have. How can we get them to play more, watch more ads, pay small amounts for extra fireballs, be enticed to start taking chances, going 50/50, start gambling? Only a little, and only for coins or powerplays or a few £’s, not too much that anyone who pays the bill will notice, not yet.

These are profit orientated adults, grown-ups who are very cleverly telling you what to do, they don’t care about you or your well-being, they just want profit. Why do I stand here, an old man, and think I have the right to tell you what to do, how am I any different to those company executives. Because I care about children and I passionately want them to learn and read books and talk to family and friends and excel and believe that anything is possible. I say it because I believe in you not because I want your money.

The creative theme this half term is Relationships. And hopefully you have been reflecting on your relationships. Over the holiday I want you all to think about the relationships you have with friends, family, pets and your phone. That virtual relationship you have with those adults devising the algorithms that get you addicted. These adults are telling you what to do and you are doing it. It is difficult, and there will be times when you can’t think about anything else. But you make the decisions that will affect your life, take a digital holiday, think differently and give up Fortnite for a fortnight, that’s two weeks, and take back control of your life.


St Martin’s House Social
St Martin’s House celebrated the end of a wonderful term with a night of ice skating at the Dover Cruise Terminal. It was fantastic that every girl was able to attend and after the skating we finished the evening off back at the house with a Secret Santa gift for everyone.


English Trip to see Macbeth
On Tuesday 27th November, 36 students travelled to watch Macbeth at the Garrick Theatre, London. The National Youth Theatre production was a version by playwright Moira Buffini; she edited the play down to 100 minutes flat. Billed as ‘gender-fluid’, Macbeth was female and King Duncan was Queen Duncan. Two of the witches were men, one in a tutu! Without being affected by the gender reassignment, the production was intriguing and engaging. Tormented Macbeth struck up a genuine closeness with Lady Macbeth, their murderous turmoil felt real, just as Macduff’s exuded anguish did in the England scene. There was not a drop of blood or any weapons yet the physical violence was a triumph. Put across by a lively, young cast it was enjoyed by both Drama and English students alike.


Dover College University Challenge Final
The staff ran out comfortable winners in the University Challenge match against the College winners, Leamington House.

Mr Irwin was very fast on the buzzer and showed an encyclopaedic knowledge of children’s television and literature. Mrs Plant and Mr Flower were solid on science but wobbly on sport and Mr Prince excelled everywhere but at History where he found the questions were outside his period.

The boys were awed by the eclectic intellect of the staff and sat back in wonder as the staff answered question after question correctly!


#100milemonth - January Challenge

After its success last year, 100 Mile Month is back and will start on 1st January 2019. A perfect challenge to begin the New Year, run, walk, cycle or swim as little or as much as you like each day with the goal of achieving at least 100 miles for the month to raise money for Young Minds.

You could challenge yourself further and if you wish you can boost your mile target and opt for either 150 or 200 miles! (You will need to track your miles, this can be done on a watch, app or tracker online) 

This challenge is open to all the Dover College community, staff, pupils, parents, family and friends. We would like to see as many people getting on board and look forward to seeing both our mileage and fundraising total rise over the month.

To register for the challenge please email Laura Walters -

Registration will close on Monday 31st December

The JustGiving page is already up and running, so please share around.


Academic Certificates

Religious Studies

Effort: Amy Brown (7, Priory)
For intelligent participation in class discussion about various topics we have been studying

Achievement: Maddie Warnock (7, Priory)
For carefully researched and presented homework in RS


Effort: Bob Hao Ren (12, School)
For working extremely hard to get to a higher level of English

Achievement: Lucrezia Cerino (10, Duckworth)
For achieving excellent scores through consistent and steady effort


Effort: Aleks Babaev (9, Leamington)
For always giving 100% in lessons and homework

Achievement: Kirsten Blackburn (9, Duckworth)
For achieving top marks in every piece of work this term and showing excellent understanding of all topics covered


Effort: Matthew Chan (10, Leamington)
Most improved History student this term

Achievement: Oliver Cheeseman (12, School)
For his best ever scores to date in History


Effort: August Moos (8, Priory)
For achieving 100 class points in French this term

Achievement: Nicholas Proctor (8, Priory)
For his excellent performance in the end of module test


Effort: Isla Taylor (7, Priory)
Superb progress and participation in lessons

Achievement: Imogen Langley (10, St Martin’s)
Excellent progress and tests results this term


Dover District Council Local Plan Workshop

On 12th October 2018, Summer Leigh (12, St Martin’s), Jonny Heaver (13, Leamington) and Silvio Conte (13, Leamington), representing Dover College, attended a Dover District Council event to give town planners their views on their vision for the future and what DDC should be focusing on between now and 2037.  The views expressed will be added to those of other groups to formulate the plans that DDC will put in place between now and the time for the next plan – 2037.

The Head of Policies and Planning for DDC, Mr Adrian Fox, commented, “We all agreed in the Office that this workshop with local schools and colleges was the best workshop that we had all the pleasure of being involved with.”. 

The final report is now available to view on the DDC website at

June House, Planning Technical Officer for DDC added, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your students for your attendance and participation at the workshop which was an inspiration to us all”.

A key issue identified by the planning officers as a direct result of this workshop was that DDC need to work on involving young people in the development of the Dover Neighbourhood plan and Mr Cox, Leadership and Service Coordinator for Dover College, will be inviting Dover College pupils to contribute to this venture in the coming months.