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A View from The Close 127: End of Michaelmas Term 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I write my last View from the Close of the calendar year. In January I start my fifth year as Headmaster, and I look back over the last four years with great pride in what has been achieved at the College, and what the pupils have done to raise their game and ambitions. It was super to have the success celebrated by the TES School Award nominations – a great testament to lots of hard work from pupils and colleagues, and also lots of fun in the process.

It’s wonderful to report that Project 150 work is going well. Architects plans for Farthingloe and the theatre are reaching their conclusion, with much detailed discussion taking place. The ongoing development of the site continues, with classroom and boarding house upgrades.

Parents of pupils in the Year 11 will, in the New Year, receive a copy of the new academic prospectuses for the two Sixth Form pathways – the A Level+ and the Careers Programme. Later in January, all parents will receive copies of the four new academic prospectuses, the additional being the GCSE+ and the Years 1 – 8 Connected Curriculum. First being taught in September 2019, these new courses – which are the catalyst of Project 150 – will make a significant difference to our pupils’ learning experience at the College, and ensure that we are the South East’s Sixth Form destination of choice.

I have been very proud of the achievements from all pupils this term. Junior School sport has continued to improve, with great leadership from the senior pupils, and Olivia Kibler’s superb county level cricket selection was particularly impressive. In the senior school, Evy SIddan’s selection of the UK bobsleigh training team has been a great achievement, and Emily Calder continues to excel in her martial arts work. Drama continues to keep raising its game, and I was delighted with the work that Mr Wilkinson has done this term with the new Creative Digital Media Department. It has caught the entire school’ imagination.

I include with this letter my end of term assembly from the Senior School that I delivered yesterday. I hope that it shows the variety of success from pupils in all areas this term, and perhaps provides something to read whilst you’re picking at the leftovers on boxing day.

All it remains is for me to wish all pupils, parents and staff a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year. 2019 will be a vintage year for Dover College.

Yours faithfully,

Gareth Doodes.


Final Assembly Michaelmas 2018

I’m going to start today by looking at the success of the College’s academic progress this term.

The creative curriculum has had connections and relationships as the main themes. I have seen many examples of your work, from many departments, and been impressed with how you can think differently and connect subjects as diverse as DT and French, as evidenced by a magnificent wax Eifel Tower. There have been so many marvellous achievements and I would now like to present a summary of the many amazing things you have been learning and excelling in this term.

In ENGLISH Year 7 started the Michaelmas term by going on an adventure into the unknown; from quests to slay dragons to exploring the edge of space. They explored what drives people to seek out adventure and wrote their own thrilling stories. They have finished this term wondering about their identity, all trying to answer the question ‘Who am I?’

Year 8 have been studying stories about great detectives and baffling mysteries, trying to work out the formula to create their own best-seller, and finding out what it’s like to work for a charity and persuading others to take action.

Year 9 have discovered how writers of horror stories exploit our greatest fears and more recently they have been questioning how they each make choices and what influences these choices.

Year 10 and Year 11 have been busy preparing for their GCSEs, but this did not stop them recognising National Poetry Day by becoming guerrilla poets and sharing their favourites across the college. They also attended a modern interpretation of Macbeth to further support their understanding of English Literature.

Year 13 students travelled to London for an inspirational Drama and Poetry Study Day. They heard from a selection of the foremost speakers in their field who were passionate and engaging. This enrichment day provided fresh perspectives, greater motivation and increased determination to succeed.

Finally, we are proud of all the pupils from Years 8, 9 and 11 who have been chosen to have their Stranger Sagas put into print by the Young Writers company this month.

Certificates are awarded to the following for the effort they put into their reading:

  1. Demira Govender
  2. Nicholas Proctor
  3. Sebastian Powell
  4. Tyler Henderson
  5. Maddie Warnock
  6. Charlotte Hodkinson
  7. Jimmy Irwin
  8. Kirsten Blackburn
  9. Erin Harris
  10. Anna Grant

20 gifted and talented MATHS pupils from Years 10-13 were entered into the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge and a record 12 pupils achieved certificates: 1 Gold, 9 Silver and 2 Bronze.

Gold certificate: Tom Yuan

Due to his outstanding score, Tom also was invited to and competed in the next round of the Olympiad.

Silver Certificates: Tim Wu, Lucas Zheng, Summer Leigh, Greyson Guo, Tim Liu, Mehrdad Ameri Vamkani, Ethan Zhao, Chang Jin & Sam Zhang

Bronze Certificates: Siyu Chen & Iulian Barascu

We also sent a team of four pupils (Summer Leigh, Tom Yuan, Tim Liu and Lucas Zheng) to take part in the Regional Heat of the UK Mathematics Trust Senior Team Mathematics Challenge at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys. They competed against 22 other teams from selective grammar and independent schools and colleges across East Kent. In a difficult and challenging event, the team worked remarkably hard and placed 14th; an amazing achievement, well done team.


It has been another fine term in HISTORY with plenty of students making exceptional progress throughout. In Year 7 there has been a huge amount of work done on medieval castles and all pupils are embarking on the annual castle-building challenge. Year 8 are over half way through their scrapbook on the Tudors and Stuarts and Year 9 have explored the causes and consequences of WWI. Special mention goes to Maisie Wells as she managed an A grade in recent project work.

In Key Stage 4, the GCSE courses continue at a pace and many students such as Emily Calder, Seb Klappa, Nathan Hall and Harry Cordell have distinguished themselves at this level.


Thinking Differently has truly been embraced by the SCIENCE department this term. Students have been tasked with learning about plant cells, the structure of a leaf and the National Grid, but the way in which students have presented their ideas have been novel and inspiring. Lottie Hide’s plant cell cushion not only serves as a comfortable sofa adornment, but it demonstrates every organelle in the cell. John Rufus decided that the most appropriate material to construct his leaf cross section with was a brick and two planks of wood. This sounds wholly inappropriate but the model is incredibly precise; a beautiful piece of creative thought. Rosie Baldwin decided to go all out with her model of the National Grid. Pieced together from a cardboard box, drawing pins and string, the model truly shines when you switch on the fairy lights. Illuminated are all the gas terminals; another truly fantastic and inspirational piece of work. The Science staff look forward to seeing all the creative things the students will undoubtedly produce over the next two terms, and they promise to not set off the fire alarm.

This term, ECONOMICS students have been busy taking part in the UK's premier investment competition, trading on the virtual stock market, with over 400,000 students playing for top prize of winning a trip to New York! Three teams from Dover College are currently competing in the competition. They are:


Market Munchers – Harry Cordell, Jarred Tobin and Yzin Khader

The Wolfes of Dover – Layth Khader, Elliott Nugus, Dan Walters & James Hide

Timers Display – Marie Ramme, Julian Barascu, Tim Wu & Wenjie Bai

Their current leaders at the point of writing, out of 2,500 teams nationally, are as follows:

The Wolves of Dover – 391 (a fantastic ranking)


In BUSINESS STUDIES, the enterprise team have been busy looking into the recycling provision at Dover College. As you can imagine, this is a big task as there are many areas of the College to look at. However, the focus for this term were the boarding houses. The enterprise team thought of the idea, conducted primary research and did all the costings. They also used their transferable skills in presenting this information to the myself and the Bursar. The idea was received positively so watch out for changes in the recycling procedures in the boarding houses very soon.

It has been another exciting and busy term in ART with pupils creatively exploring ideas and techniques in many varied ways. Pupils inspirations have come from a wide range of subjects, from portraits, natural forms, and plastic pollution to mould and tyre patterns!

Earlier in the term pupils from year 7 took part in the International Peace Poster Competition. Our congratulations go to Demira Govender, James Irwin and Maddie Warnock who had their colourful artworks selected, and were among more than 600,000 entries worldwide. I would like to present a Lions International Peace Poster Certificate to Maddie Warnock was absent when the certificates were originally handed out. We will find out next year if their designs have been chosen.

Earlier in the year pupils in the department looked at ways we could remember the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Students explored and drew many ideas including drawings of Captain Wilfred ‘Billie’ Nevill, as a way of remembering him and all those pupils from Dover College who went on to lose their lives. We were very proud this term when on Remembrance Sunday the sculpture of Billie Nevill, sculpted by artist Hannah Stewart, was unveiled.

Mrs Hardy also completed the 177 crocheted poppies that she begun making 4 years ago. Recycled poppies were also created during this term by pupils in both the Junior and Senior school. These were displayed on the close and our thanks go to Miss Walters for organising this, and special mention also goes to Mathilde Leprovost for her exceptional effort in making so many.

Art club has again proved very popular this term, and pupils have used this activity to work on their own projects and develop new skills. Special mention goes to Ayomide Kuteyi for her creativity in both drawing and her use of the glue gun. Also to Hannah Cummings and Tilly Curtis for their delightful three-dimensional Father Christmas scene, complete with sleigh! Well done to all.

Finally, we say a sad farewell to some of our pupils who have been with us for one term, all have made excellent progress within the art department and we shall miss them. However, we have never used so much red paint thanks to Manuel Govantes, and we thank Lily Reif for donating some of her paintings to us, as she has painted so many in recent weeks.


The GEOGRAPHERS have been active with a visit to London University for a series of lectures including an excellent presentation on the new Anthropocene era.

Junior classes are enjoying their courses and it is a testimony to Mr Kibler’s excellent work with Year 7 on maps and mapping that none of Year 7 have got lost going from classroom to classroom!


It has been another very busy term in Design & Technology. The Year 11 pupils have been feverishly working away on their projects and special mention goes to Sam Smart for effort.

The Lower Sixth have used heat treating and CAD to good effect in their Year 12 Design and Make project. Ben Preusser and Khodani Mudogwa deserve special mention for their hard work.

In Year 10 the pupils have been working on their lamp designs, and the ideas and projects have been varied and interesting. Well done to Jarred Tobin, Lin Lin and Thomas Baker for their hard work, with special mention to Alicia Myers.


In Modern Languages Department, a great deal has been happening on the Creative Themes of Connections and Relationships:

  • Year 7 have been writing to their Spanish pen pals in Bilbao and creating fantastic displays about their favourite pets;
  • Year 8 have made vocabulary jigsaw puzzles while Year 9 have connected Dover to other cities around the world and created tourist leaflets;
  • Year 10 have learnt to describe friendships and family relationships and Y11 have taken over the lessons and delivered class presentations about their favourite world celebrations;
  • The Sixth Formers have debated on topics such as the yellow vests protests, women’s rights and social and gender inequality – Thinking Differently and proposing an International Men’s Day to mirror the International Women’s Day on the 8th March. They have also analysed the complex relationships that bind the characters from Sac de Billes, Au revoir les enfants, Réquiem por un campesino español and Pan’s Labyrinth.
  • Everyone made a tremendous effort back in September for the European Day of Languages, either by baking for our international cake sale or Thinking Differently by creating amazing “we are all connected” projects. Congratulations once again to everybody and specially to the winners: Cameron Matthews, Connor Harris, Ella Ray and Verity Watkins.

Our stars this term have been:

Cameron Matthews & Isla Taylor: for consistent effort in Spanish and French

Nathaniel Turner: for Thinking Differently and going the extra mile in Spanish and French

Erin Harris & Kirsten Blackburn: for Thinking Differently and being extra creative in the “how to get ready” project in Spanish

Charlotte Hide: For improved progress in French

Max Ritchie-Coombs: For improved progress in French and Spanish

Lucrezia Cerino & Kal Mere: For excellent progress in French and Spanish

Joseph Payne-Martínez: for his improved debating skills in Spanish

Simon Gignoux: for his excellent work on Sac de Billes and Au Revoir les Enfants


It has been a whirlwind Michaelmas term for the Media department.

The Year 10 and 12 students met their new qualifications for the first time and took to it straight away. The Year 10s have learned to edit, and started on the theoretical framework of media analysis. The Year 12 students have been involved in filming a number of events around Dover College, including House Music, Remembrance Sunday, and a number of other performances and activities.

We have already been able to instil a love of the media throughout the school with all year groups engaging in film-making, animations, vlogs and video productions for assemblies.

There are so many students who have shown either a natural flair for the subject or worked hard to achieve that it has been difficult to narrow down anyone for special mention, however a few have gone just that little bit further and they are recognised with our awards.

Academic achievement awards:

Lottie Hide and Six Osman Titcombe for thinking differently about prep, combining good subject knowledge with creativity and strong technical skills.

Ana Pardo Torres and Alicia Myers are commended for their hard work.


INTERNATIONAL STUDY CENTRE students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have been learning about

adventure and adventurous sports. Students have been reading a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, doing role play and taking part in a literary circle, where they have been discussing different aspects of chapters of the book.  For improving their listening skills, the students have been listening to authentic texts including song lyrics.

ISC students in Year 10 did fantastic projects. In teams they had to create a new chocolate product. They made the boxes, a poster and acted out a TV commercial in front of the other Year 10 group. They showed great imagination and creativity and gave serious but fun presentations. 

ISC students in Year 11 wrote some excellent Christmas letters, including achievements, holidays, important events and some humour.

Outstanding pupils in all 4 skill areas:

Erwan Gaborieau Year 7

Martin Jeanson Year 8

Stuart Yuan Year 9

Gleb Gorodetskiy Year 11

Ida Obermann Year 12

Mathilde Leprovost (14 years old doing IELTS) Year 12

Kevin Ju and Marie Ramme Year 12 – really working hard

Bob Ren Year 12 – doing his best at IELTS having scraped through KET


This year Mrs Myers was delighted to start teaching Year 8 Drama, she says ‘what a fantastically talented year group they are! This School is going to be in for a real treat when this cohort start their GCSE performances!’

LAMDA lessons are still going from strength to strength. We now have our LAMDA tutor on site two days per week to accommodate all of the pupils. These pupils took their exams on the 6th of December, I am proud to add that LAMDA had to send two examiners as we have so many pupils sitting exams!

This year’s musical has been announced, auditioned and cast…watch out next term for ‘Calamity Jane’. We have a cast of 30 and a full tech team of over 10 pupils.
Our most epic project this term would have to be the choir and individual performers involvement in ‘Return of the Unknown’ a huge immersive theatre project run by ‘The Marlowe’ commemorating Armistice 100. It was a beautiful project involving over 900 performers (professional and community) and saw over 4000 audiences through its doors.                                                          


Our musicians have been busy this term, especially now in the build up to Christmas, but also throughout the rest of term. House Music was a highlight of the year with every pupil in the School taking part in a flash back to 1978.

Underpinning all that we do is of course the Chapel Choir, who sing anthems for you all so beautifully each Friday afternoon. This term we have focused more on Remembrance because of the 100th anniversary of the 1st World War, and songs taken from the Marlowe community event, “Return of the Unknown” led us up to that important date. Remembrance Day itself included the unveiling of the Billie Neville statue with the choir singing, “We will Remember Them” and the Last Post played by Year 7 pupil Geoffrey Richter.

On Monday 3rd December, we held our Advent Carol Service in the School Chapel, atmospherically lit by hundreds of candles. This is a very special occasion for many here at Dover College and this year was no exception. Amongst all the processions and carols, there were fine solos from Juliette Jordan, Izzy Nudd, Dillon, Toby Clarke, Angelique Taylor, Jonny Heaver, Edward Aylward-Lopez and Summer Leigh. The choir sang fantastically and several parents commented on how lovely the Service was.

The Christmas Concert this term was again held in Menzies Hall and focused on a number of soloists, small ensembles and the choirs and bands. Music ranged from Stolzel’s “Christmas Cantata” to Mabel Scott’s “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus” with solos from Jonny Heaver and Imogen Davis and many memorable tunes for everyone to remember after the last notes had faded away.

I can only speculate upon what will happen in the Christmas Carol Service on the last day, but I can say that the choir will, as always, be working right up to the last minute. Who will be singing the 1st verse of “Once in Royal David’s City”? Nobody knows yet…

Thank you to all our musicians for all the hard work they put in, especially at this time of year.


In our Charity Committee it has been wonderful to see the start of our fundraising events this term for this year’s nominated charities, Young Minds and Dover smART Project. Various events have taken place during the term including, Milkshake Monday, Fairtrade Friday, my favourite -Waffle Wednesday, and Festive Friday.

Through the generosity of everyone here we donated a total of 285 boxes to this year’s Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal organised by the charity Samaritan’s Purse. The shoeboxes which were all lovingly wrapped and packed, will have a big impact on a child this Christmas time and it is a powerful symbol of hope to these children that someone, somewhere cared enough to pack a gift meant just for them. 

For the 2017-2018 academic year, The Motor Neurone Disease Association was selected as our nominated charity in memory of Ronnie Philpott. In October we were exceptionally

pleased to present a cheque of £10,431.35 to Clive and Lynn Hudson from MNDA East Kent. Through this donation the charity will be able to continue and expand their amazing support to people living with MND. On behalf of the charity, thank you for all your support.

A number of charity challenges and events are already planned for the Lent term, including, 100 Mile Month, the annual whole school sponsored walk, non-uniform days, and many other themed sales. We are very grateful for everyone’s continued support and donations and we look forward to continuing our fundraising over the coming months. 

The Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award practice expedition took place in the Brecon Beacons on 24,25,26 June 2018. On 24 May 2018, three participants from Dover College attended St. James’ Palace to collect their Gold Level Awards: Matthew Harris, Josh Caskie and Molly Laflin. Their successes were witnessed by Mr Kibler and Mr Cox as we celebrated their achievement with them.   On the 27th November 2018, ex-pupil Nicholas Dean collected his Gold DofE from St. James Palace – making four Gold awards for Dover College this year alone.  

Joseph Payne-Martinez successfully passed a National Citizen Service award and was awarded a certificate, signed by the Prime Minister, Teresa May, at a celebration event at Dreamland, Margate.


We now turn to SPORT.

Hockey at the College has never been more popular, the number of girls consistently training and representing the school in competitive fixtures is the largest the College has seen in recent years. Every single girl in Priory House has represented the College and 40 Senior girls have been training in one of the three Hockey squads.

The 1st XI Hockey team have shown dedication to training all season and have come together well as a team under the Leadership of captain, Ellie Willetts. The last competitive fixture was a fitting end for the year 13’s final match for the College; Juliette Jordan was faultless, Ellie Willetts scored a cracker of a goal and Imogen Davis was player of the match. All three girls have contributed significantly to the team over the years and deserve to be recognised today. A huge thank you is needed for the contribution of Miss Allen with the development squad. The future continues to be bright for girls’ sport at the College as we look to next term and the Netball season.

The U15 Hockey girls have had a tremendous season demonstrating fitness, skill and faultless team cohesion. Emily Calder has led the team superbly and every single girl has been a credit to themselves and the College. With a number of impressive wins and clear progression throughout the season they have set the bar high for girls’ sport and we look forward to what they can offer as they move up through the College. I am grateful to Mr Breeze for his guidance of the group throughout the season.

The U13 Hockey squad made good progress this season with many girls playing the game

for the first time. Libby Frawley-Bailey has been a wonderful addition to the group as Goalkeeper this season and Avy Taylor captained her team with confidence and showed great leadership throughout. Well done girls!


Under the guidance of Messrs Payne and Horner, the Senior boys football have had a much improved season. With many of the boys playing their second or third season of senior football, the team had a much more solid look about it and with key players, especially in midfield, able to stay fit for large chunks of the season ensured there was a consistency of selection that was not possible last year. Over 30 boys represented both the 1st and 2nd XIs this season, showing great strength in depth, with the clear highlight being 26 boys having the opportunity to travel to Belgium and represent the College across six international fixtures. Bekas Yusuf led the line particularly well, the Year 13 boys along the defensive line were compact and Jack Hanson skippered the side well in his first year as 1st XI captain, ably assisted by Ryan Sewell in midfield. The Upper 6th boys will be hard to replace but with a strong crop of Under 15s coming through we are well set for a good few years at the top of the College.

The U15 boys football started the season terrifically with a victory against their U16 counterparts from Tonbridge and had similar high points throughout. Many of this category also had the opportunity to tour Belgium with the Seniors and they will be looking forward to our first co-educational football and hockey development tour to Spain in October 2019, more details will follow at the start of the Lent term. The spine of the team was excellent,

with Jaiden Flisher scoring a hatful of goals, Harry Meadows dominating the middle of the pitch and Seb Klappa and Lenny Eigen proving very effective in defence. Adam Frost and Sam Dehghan (in goal) also vied for the title of Player of the Season as both were a model of consistency in every game they played. They will all step up to 1st XI action next season and strengthen the team.

The difficulties of last season in the U13 Football, with a very young side, were soon forgotten this term as the Priory boys had one of the best seasons in recent times. Crushing wins against local rivals Northbourne and Wellesley, a first over Junior King’s in many years, a similar win over Dulwich College Prep and a Plate win at the Shapira Cup were some of the many highlights. Archie Grove was his usual extravagant but effective self in goal, Sam Smith and Nicholas Proctor provided real attacking verve, Ilyad Motiei was superb in defence and our international contingent of Martin Jeanson, Inigo Mayayo and Alvaro Govantes added real bite and quality in midfield. The transfer deadline day move which brought the Powell brothers in further bolstered a talented group. Six year 7 boys represented the A team and every boy in the house once again had the opportunity to play for the College on multiple occasions. Four boys gained selection for the Prep School Pumas, the most from any school involved.

In Girls Football, entry into two Cup competitions was possible this year with the largest number of players in recent years keen to represent the College. The inclusion of several Year 7 girls was especially pleasing and the core of Year 9 and 10 girls from last year did well to adapt, playing several new teams, with the visit of Dover Christ Church in the Cup and away trips to King Ethelbert’s. Isla and Avy Taylor were both selected for the Prep School Pumas and we look forward to the Belgium trip in May and the fantastic opportunities touring provides.

In Eton Fives, Eight Priory pupils put us back on the EFA’s radar, for possibly the first time in 60 years, as we travelled to Eton to compete in our first competition. Trips to Harrow and North Wales will follow in Lent as the renaissance gathers pace towards the renovation of the second Compton Court in the Summer term.

There are a number of Individual achievements of note:

Evy Siddans was one of three girls in the country selected for the GB Youth Olympic Bobsleigh training squad and Emily Calder gained her 3rd Dan Black belt and came back with a collection of medals from an international competition in Sweden. Jack Hanson was selected, a year young, for the Kent U18 Football squad and Tom Baker followed up his third place in the Clay Pigeon Association Premier League with an invite to a GB Shooting Olympic Talent ID day.

67% of Girls and 74% of Boys across the Senior School represented a College team externally this term, something we can be very proud of. The rebirth of the basketball team has provided another competitive opportunity and we look forward to more fixtures for them in

Lent. Over 90 pupils were involved in Senior Inter-house matches in the last week, with an equal split across the sexes, another terrific figure and of great credit to the staff working on Games who have managed to enthuse that number of pupils to get involved in competitive sport.

There are many other highlights of the term, but the one that I want to finish on is Remembrance Sunday. I was so proud of the College on that wet November day as we unveiled the statue of Billie Nevill outside of School House. Every one of you that day were part of something enormously historic, and something that caught the imagination of so many people around the world.

I’d like to thank the Prefects this term, especially Jonny and Juliette, who have been excellent leaders of the community alongside their peers. The Heads of Houses, Ellie, Libby, David and Alessandro have been stalwarts and their work is appreciated enormously.

I have been very lucky this term to have Mr Brooks as Director of Studies. He’s a wonderful, gentle, kind but focussed man who is happy to roll his sleeves up, and in a short amount of time has shown himself to be an exceptional academic leader. It is very special to work with him, and alongside the ever brilliant and hardworking Mr Kibler, who gives more hours to this school that there are hours in a term, they make a brilliant team.

We say goodbye to a number of very special pupils today.

Don’t forget, after our very special and delicious lunch, to thank those staff who look after us, but perhaps don’t teach us. The kitchen staff, grounds staff, maintenance team, cleaners, finance team. They all give so much to the College and often do it without thanks. So please do wish them a very merry Christmas.

It is the Christmas holidays tomorrow. You’ll no doubt be excited about presents, food, festivities, but I ask of you: Don't spend too much money on Christmas but do spend proper time with family and with you friends. To all of you, both pupils and staff, make sure that you rest well. We all deserve a break and sometime stopping is as important as time working.