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A View from The Close 129: Friday 18th January 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The Headmaster is currently on a pupil recruitment trip to the Far East and sends his best wishes to you all from a hot and humid Singapore.

This week we were lucky to have former pupil and famous popstar, George Lam, visited the College with his entourage to film the College grounds and buildings in preparation for his European tour later this year. We look forward to seeing the footage in due course.

The swimming gala was a great success with a number of School records broken and pupils excelling for their Houses.

The end of the week sees the School Prefects attending the Old Dovorians Cocktail Party at the RAF Club in Mayfair, London accompanied by Tom Butt, Jack Payne, Rupert Hill and Mike Vanderhoeven.

On Saturday, the boarders are off on a School trip to visit the historic Chatham Dockyards with a private tour included, whilst a large proportion of the academic staff are being trained in mental health first aid.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Kibler
Deputy Head


Sports Update

Knole Run

Six boys represented the College in magnificent fashion at Sevenoaks on Saturday (12th) with good running condition underfoot on a cool, windless afternoon. Sam Smart (11, School) led our boys to the finish of the 5.8 miles course, followed by Toby Clarke (12, Leamington), Jack Hanson (12, Leamington), David Yeadon (13, School), Ben Kibler (13, Leamingotn) and Tul Lekhyananda (12, School).

Out of 45 competing teams of 6 runners, our boys came 29th, a brilliant effort one place ahead of Radley, two ahead of The King’s School, Canterbury and three ahead of local rivals Duke of York’s.

KSSA Championships

This Saturday (12th) the Sports department took a squad of six to compete at the Kent Schools’ individual championships. In what was a highly competitive event, with at least 20 competitors for each event, Dover College’s swim team of Oakley Price (8, Priory), Nathaniel Turner (8, Priory), Maisie Wells (9, St Martin’s), Adam Frost (10, School), Erin Seal (11, Duckworth) and captain Libby Kerry (13, St Martin’s) all performed extremely well. Despite having a small squad, four of the swimmers placed in the top six within their events, Nathaniel Turner won both the Breaststroke and Backstroke, Adam Frost finishing second in the backstroke and third in breaststroke, Erin Seal finished 6th in backstroke and 5th in freestyle and finally Libby Kerry, despite injury, finished 6th in the freestyle. A superb effort from all our competing athletes.

Libby Turbutt (9, St Martin’s) competed a year up in the U15 South of England Indoor Championships on Sunday in the Long Jump, Triple Jump and Shot Put. She finished 7th in the Long Jump and 4th in the Triple Jump, a great result considering she competed against the very best girls in the South of England, most of whom are a year older.

This week, the Sports department look forward to our first rugby and netball fixtures in Priory, and the Kent Schools’ Cross Country on Saturday.

Superstar visits Dover College!

On Wednesday (16th), George Lam 林子祥 (Leamington 1966), visited his old School to film the grounds for his upcoming European tour.

George Lam (born 12 October 1947), also known professionally by his surname Lam, is a Hong Kong-based veteran Cantopop singer, singer-songwriter, music producer and actor. He has remained popular for four decades. George produces most of his own albums, writes many of his own songs, occasionally writes for other artists, and covers other people's songs. In recognition of his contribution to the music scene, Lam was awarded numerous awards, including the Golden Needle Award in 1994, the CASH Hall of Fame Award in 2003, the J.S.G. Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, and the RTHK Hall of Fame Award in 2016. To date, he has held 21 concerts and most recently touring around the world to celebrate his 40th anniversary in music.

George studied at the renown Diocesan Boys' School in Hong Kong. When he first went to the UK in 1965, he attended Dover College (a Leamingtonian) under the headship of Timothy Cobb and joined the basketball team. He then moved to the United States for many years before returning to Hong Kong.


Guesthouse Chapel

For a whole term now the Chaplain and Headmaster have been organising a Service in Chapel on Sunday mornings at 10.00am, with the added help of Rupert Hill. We have deliberately made this open to the public as well as to members of the student body and the staff. Do please feel free to come and join us on any Sunday when there is no Whole School Eucharist. The service is normally Holy Communion but non-communicants are very welcome. It is a quiet, reflective, spiritual service, lasting 45 minutes, and followed by coffee and croissants. 

It takes place even in the holidays. Numbers are currently between 10 and 15 and we sit in the choir stalls. On Christmas Day, however, we numbered 65, with a good number of families with children. Why not give it a try?

Duke of Edinburgh

Hai Di Martinez (13, St Martin’s) and Sam Smart (11, School) both achieved their Silver DofE Awards. Congratulations to them both!

Beautiful Poetry

A number of poems written by Dover College pupils have been chosen for publication by Young Writers’ for their Poetry Escape competition. Choosing poems is, to an extent, subjective and editors’ preferences do come into it however, the poems were chosen for

their perception, imagination and creativity as well as expression, originality and use of language. Poetry Escape – Essex and Kent, is scheduled for publication on 31st March 2019. As a participating school we will receive a complimentary copy of the book which will be available for all to view in the Learning Resource Centre. Congratulations go to the following:

Maisie Wells                           A Life Lost

Erin Harris                               Music Moonlight-Flit

Amira Ostalski-Khan              Change

Louise Wallace                       Why Me?

Verity Watkins                       Wasting Time

Angelique Taylor                   The Ninja

Anna Grant                             Poem On Inner Feelings

Gabriella Hood                       The Elements

Lottie Hide                              Escape

Kirsten Blackburn                  A Darkened Mind

Libby Turbutt                         Why me?


Cake Castle!

Maddie Warnock’s (7, Priory) Christmas prep work was to make a castle…and she made it out of cake!

The Gardens & Grounds of Dover College


So a new year is upon us, even though outside it feels like March! A few plants including the lawn grasses are getting slightly confused as to what is going on weather wiser and we still have Summer flowering fuchsias, Echinops and Rudbekia putting on a nice show while they wait for that heavy frost to end their fun.

Mostly this month its prep work for the coming seasons.  Keep raking up any fallen leaves, including those in-between the ground stems of your shrubs to help prevent rot from having

it’s way. Removing the old leaves from around plants will also help reduce diseases like black spot and rusts next summer as there are spores on last year’s leaf matter just waiting to attack when it warms up. 

If you haven’t already done it grab your secateurs and reduce your Roses by a third in height (during a mild temperature week) this will stop them suffering from winter wind rock until we formative prune in February. Wind rock can cause real damage and is when repeated stem movement in the wind pushes the soil away from the base of the plant causing a dip or hollow which allows damp and frost in and therefore diseases.

Wisteria can be pruned now taking the summer stems down to within 3 or 4 buds of the main framework. It’s also a good time to check your tree ties and climbing shrub ties, making sure they are not too tight or too loose, again stems being rubbed can break the bark away allowing diseases and pests an easy way in.  Prune your Apples and pear trees now to reduce the introduction of fungus diseases into the stem. But as with all pruning try to avoid heavy frost periods as this can cause damage to the fresh cuts and yes you’ve got it...let’s in diseases.

Carry on cutting down to ground level summer perennials, especially your succulent types and less hardy sedums as the frosty weather will cause slimy rotting matter. Grasses can be trimmed now but I always leave mine until late next month as it is nice to leave seed heads for wildlife to feed on and they also look very pretty in frost.

It’s time to move your planted pots into warm sheltered spots and push them together. Keeping them tightly grouped will protect them from frosts even more. Talking of pots, it’s a good time to plant some up for winter colour, I’ve used spring bedding plants such as winter flowering Pansies alongside hardy Cyclamens and Skimmia Rubella` to brighten things up. There is Plenty of winter colour choice around such as Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), Carex grasses and Phormiums with their tall colourful leaves, Short purple Ajugas or even Hardy Sedums alongside Silver tipped Ivy and winter stemmed Cornus.

This time of year the grass is semi dormant with mainly root growth and recovery occurring, and we have finally stopped cutting it, (mowing while Christmas trees are up was not something I thought I would see!). When I first started as a wet behind the ears gardener 30

years ago all grass cutting stopped in late October as the heavy frosts would start. Take out your Christmas shopping bills aggravation by giving lawns a good spiking, using a garden fork or solid tined roller. Spiking improves aeration and drainage, which helps reduce those worm casts. While you are out there why not give it a winter feed to boost root development, it will pay good dividends in summer…helping it to look green and lush or survive longer and recover quicker in drought conditions, spiking will allow the fertiliser to get down to root level easier giving it a head start. Make sure though that you don’t leave feed sitting on a lawn as it will burn. Best to time your feed just before rain or you will need to water it in by hand. Make sure the fertiliser doesn’t contain Nitrogen, you only want feed with a Phosphorus and Potassium mix at this time of year.

The more birds and hedgehogs you can attract the less slugs and snails you will have so remember the wildlife in your garden too…put high energy seeds and fat balls out for the birds……though please take them and peanuts out of those nets you buy them in, many birds have barbs on their tongues which can get tangled and rip in the netting leaving them unable to eat and so die… Place sticks in piles for insects and make warm covered corners for hedgehogs. Put out water to drink throughout the year and if we do have snow and cold frosty weather please make sure you don’t let it freeze.

Around the School apart from the above were going to be looking at some heavy pruning and cutting down and renovating of borders and hedges to get those new shoots coming through in spring. A glasshouse and poly tunnel will be going up as well and we will be starting to put in the new post fencing around the Close and Memorial. Designs for the new borders are coming on well and planting should start in March.

2019 is going to be an exciting time Garden and Grounds development wise.

Update again in February when its Pruning, Manuring and more tidying…


School Notices

We are really excited to announce that Dover College is now a Member School with School Notices, a free online marketplace in which parents, alumni, staff and friends of the school can promote their businesses, buy and sell stuff, rent properties and look for jobs, interacting with thousands of parents in the independent education sector. There are also amazing exclusive offers for members. 

If you have a business that you would like to promote to this network or know one that does, business advertising is chargeable and 25% of any advertising that comes through a Dover College affiliated parent, alumni or local business, is given back to the school to put towards our internal & charitable initiatives.  

So please support us, have a look at and we would strongly encourage you to REGISTER HERE and enjoy the site.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Jessica Doodes –