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A View from The Close 138: End of Lent Term 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As I write my last View from the Close for the term, I reflect on the success of the last few months. From the TES School Award nominations to the College being accepted as a Round Square Candidate School, many achievements have been made.

I have just returned from the USA where I had the opportunity to visit three schools – Hotchkiss in Massachusetts, Marvelwood in Connecticut and St. Mark’s in Boston. It was a super experience and I learnt a huge amount about how boarding schools in the US and the UK are different yet have so much to learn from each other.

One of the key reasons for my visit, however, was my ambition to formalise an exchange programme with a US school, and I’m delighted to say that this has happened. From the Michaelmas Term this coming year, every Year 12 pupil – which is this year’s Year 11 – will have the opportunity of undertaking a 10-day exchange with Marvelwood School in Connecticut. For those 10-days the Year 12 pupils will be American students, attending lessons, assemblies, playing baseball, basketball and wrestling. They’ll be accompanied by four teachers who will also teach and involve themselves in the Common Room at Marvelwood, or the Faculty, as it’s known. At the same time, an equal number of US students and staff will join us here at Dover College. As a Round Square School we share the same values, so the time spent there will be seamless with being here. During the exchange they’ll also visit New York city. Above all, I hope that this link will help broaden their horizons, develop their world view, help create long-term friends and connections, and ensure they’re even more part of the Round Square family.

It is wonderful to report that Project 150 is progressing well. Plans for Farthingloe and the theatre are continuing to develop, with exciting discussions taking place. The ongoing development of the site continues, with significant improvement having taken place around the grounds, that I hope you will have noticed.

I have been very proud of the achievements from all pupils and staff this term. Last Saturday saw many of our students, teachers and parents pounding the pavements for the annual Sponsored Walk. It was surprisingly cool, but thankfully it didn’t rain and from time to time the sun broke through the clouds. Despite the long distant and the overcast, cool weather pupils and staff were in high spirits and had a great time taking the opportunity to talk to friends along the way and form new friendships over the day. One of the highlights was the great view from the top of the cliffs, the sun reflected on the water and France could be seen on the horizon.

Many pupils still collecting their sponsorship money and it is still not too late to start – every penny counts towards our fundraising target. We would like to encourage everyone over the Easter break to carry on collecting and sharing the fundraising link online with friends and family.

If you would like to donate please visit:

Many thanks to all of you who sent through messages of support for the Priory boys on Monday (25th) at the U13 National Schools Sevens held at Rosslyn Park. They played a superb game, winning three matches, drawing one and losing one. Perhaps most importantly for the boys, they were able to beat the rugby powerhouse of Colston’s School from Bristol in the last game, which was available on the live stream, much to their excitement. If you didn’t get the chance to see it live, the details are below: (From 5:22:42 to 5:40:32)

Our pupils were great ambassadors for the College, on and off the pitch.

On Tuesday this week a group of students and staff from all ages in the School went to see Matthew Bourne’s now famous production of the ballet “Swan Lake”. This production originally conceived and performed in 1995 took traditional ballet and turned it on its head. Gone were the pink tutus and cast of female swans and in came a testosterone-fuelled troupe of male swans decked out in full-feathered legs and bare torsos.

The pupils were really treated to a fine performance of this iconic work and we look forward to Bourne’s “Romeo and Juliet” which will be coming in the Autumn.

A group of 12 pupils returned from their five-day trip to France this week. They visited the Old Town of Lille, enjoying the French food and shopping. The students had the opportunity to spend time with French families as well as shadowing pupils and getting involved in lesson as a School. They took full advantage to practise their language skills and that they showed themselves to be great ambassadors of the College, confirmed by the outstanding feedback from the host families. They ended up our journey visiting the Chocolate factory from Beussent Lachelle and trying some Cocoa beans and delicious chocolates!

We wish the following students the best of luck on their Gold DofE expedition: Dillon Clarke, Toby Clarke, Elly Laflin, Summer Leigh, Tul Lekhyananda, Izzy Nudd and Ben Preusser.

The Creative Digital Media department have been filming many School events this term including the fantastic performances of this year’s musical, Calamity Jane. They also released the coverage of the Remembrance Day commemorations which perfectly highlighted the significance of this historic event.

I include with this letter my end of term assembly from the Senior School that I delivered today. I hope that it shows the variety of success from pupils in all areas this term.

There will be an Easter Sunday Service in the School Chapel from 10:00 on 21st April which everyone is very welcome to attend. It will be followed by refreshments in the Refectory.

All it remains is for me to wish all pupils, parents and staff a very Happy Easter. As I reminded pupils at the end of my assembly today:

Thoughts become words,

Words become actions,

Actions become character,

Character is everything.

Yours faithfully,

Gareth Doodes


Final Assembly Lent 2019

The English Department has had a very productive term.

Year 7 have explored science-fiction stories and questioning what the future will look like and how we will cope with the change. They finished the term dramatically crash landing onto an uninhabited island, exploring its terrain, writing descriptively about its flora and fauna as well as how to survive.

Year 8 have explored the differences between appearance and reality and how they could use their English skills to reveal hidden truths. Their term has ended with looking at how poems create impact, rouse different emotions and make people reflect on human behaviour in wartime.

Year 9 read powerful and challenging pieces of fiction, non-fiction and poetry which explored what it is like to be different. They analysed how writing can challenge perceptions and help us to empathise with others.

Year 10 have been learning the old lesson that crime does not pay through Shakespeare’s moral lesson play Macbeth. To murder any man is a crime but those who lived at the time of Shakespeare thought that the murder of a king was the greatest of all. In Macbeth they have seen the effects of uncontrolled ambition on a man.

Year 11 went to GCSE Poetry Live! In London and heard the poems they have studied being read aloud by their writers. Since then they have been busy preparing for their fast approaching GCSEs.

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

1. Demira Govender 

2. Nicholas Proctor

3. Scarlett Rathmell

4. Angelique Taylor

5. Maddie Warnock

6. Charlotte Hodkinson

7. Jimmy Irwin

8. Clayton Ferguson

9. Gabriella Hood

10. Louise Wallace

The International Studies Centre has awarded a certificate to Kevin Ju for his excellent effort and commitment in his preparation for the IELTS exam for which he gained an excellent score.

This term Dover College has participated in two major Mathematics Competitions. First was an Intermediate Mathematics Challenge that involved over 250,000 students from 3,000 schools and colleges across the UK. We entered twenty pupils, with 12 gaining certificates. 

Here to collect their certificates today are: 

GOLD certificate - Lucas Zheng
SILVER certificate - Tim Wu
BRONZE certificates - Sam Smart, Frank Yang, Kal Mere, George Ting and Imogen Langley.

Secondly, the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust held a Team Challenge Regional Final competition for teams of four pupils from Year 8 and 9. Our team members demonstrated excellent problem solving skills during each of the challenges. 

Certificates are awarded to:

Anna Grant
Libby Turbutt
Sebastian Powell
Nathaniel Turner

Science students have had the opportunity to discover and design their own experiments. Year 8 students have been embarking on an ambitious project to design a model of the solar system. This will hopefully see the large card planets laid out on Farthingloe under the watchful eye of a drone!

Year 11 Chemists designed working water filters from rocks, sand and charcoal. The water that dripped through looked a lot more appealing than the starting pond water!

Year 13 physicists had a fantastic opportunity to work with radioactive sources on a school trip, overseen by Mr Tse.

Certificates - We have some awards for exceptional work in Science this term:

KS3 Scientist of the Term – Rishma Patel
KS4 Scientist of the Term – Aleks Babaev
KS5 Scientist of the Term – Lou Demleitner
Scientist Star Award – Kirsten Blackburn

In History a number of students have put in exceptional effort with their studies. The examination year groups are heads-down ready for their exams, but special mention goes to students in years 7-10.

Year 7 have been delving into the medieval period and building amazing castles, while Year 8 finished their extensive projects on the Tudors and Stuarts. Many prizes have been handed out already but special mentions and certificates go to the following students for their overall performance...


Year 7:
Maddie Warnock
Demira Govender
James Irwin
Tilly Curtis
Poppy Harris

Year 8:
Clayton Ferguson
Archie Seward
Harry Martin

Year 9 have been making great progress with German History whilst Year 10, well in to their first GCSE, have been experiencing the Cold War in all its terrifying glory. Special mentions and certificates go to the following students who have all demonstrated a strong-can-do attitude…

Year 9:
Six Osman Titcombe
Maisie Wells
Erin Harris
Kirstin Blackburn

Year 10:
Emily Calder
Imogen Langley
Harry Cordell

The Upper Sixth have been working on their Geography coursework recently: Jack Dewick is investigating the River Dour, Isa Mohammed is looking at patterns of crime in Ashford and Theo Collins has been comparing the real and perceived location of the CBD in Folkestone.

The Sixth Form went to an excellent lecture at the Anthropology and Social Science Institute at the University of Kent on the Changing Space of War.

Certificates for sustained hard work go to:

Tommy Yuan
Jack Dewick
George Ting
Alicia Myers in KS4
Kirsten Blackburn

All of Year 7 and 8 have shone all term but best homework of the term award goes to:

Isaac Hackett

We are looking forward to another good term in the summer with lots more hard work and the excitement of the Inter-House Geography Challenge.

It has been an exciting and busy term in Art & Design with pupils creatively exploring techniques in many varied ways.

All GGSE and A Level pupils have spent most of this term working towards their examination projects. To name a few; Juliette Jordan has been photographing the inside of pianos, guitars and an assortment of other musical instruments, while Harrison Seal and Lawrence Dougall have made work from looking inside washing machines and dishwashers. Imogen Davis has researched and explored plastic pollution, and Siyu Chen has developed a series of photographs, she took of the sunrise on a flight between Shanghai and London. Our pupils really have explored so many diverse ideas.

Art club has again proved very popular, and pupils have used this activity to work on their own projects and develop new skills. Special mention goes to Demira Govender and Charlotte Hodkinson for their delightful painting studies. Also to Mia Roth who sadly leaves us this term, but has experimented with photography and the many ways you can photograph her favourite subject ‘chocolate’!

Certificates are awarded to the following for the effort and achievement: 


Louise Wallace (Yr9) - for her effort and hard work in class.
Kirsten Blackburn (Yr9) - for her effort and hard work both in and out of lessons.


Edoardo Calamida (Yr12) - for his perseverance and enthusiasm towards his photography project.


Ella Ray (Yr7) - for her effort and hard work towards her artwork.

Mathilde Leprovost (Yr12) - for her commitment and exceptional effort towards her art project.

Design Technology

Maisie Wells (Yr9) - for outstanding progress in the workshop.
Thomas Neale (Yr10) - good leadership in the team projects.
Sam Smart (Yr11) - for outstanding GCSE coursework.
Lawrence Dougall (Yr13) - for completing his Year 13 project to a very high standard.

This term in the Drama department has seen a hugely successful production of Calamity Jane. The Cast was exceptionally strong not to mention our ‘all female’ stage crew who did a brilliant job, with the performance falling on International Women’s Day! The Stage Manager of the West Yorkshire Playhouse was in watching the performance and commented on how efficient the backstage crew were, so a big well done to them.

The results from the Michaelmas term LAMDA exams arrived this term and yet again every pupil was successful. We look forward to seeing some examples of their work in the Summer Term LAMDA Presentation Evening.

Certificate for Outstanding Effort Goes to:

Rosie Baldwin

Musically this term much focus has been given over to the school musical, Calamity Jane as mentioned in the Drama report.

As well as starring roles within the choir singers, Summer Leigh, Silvio Conte and Izzy Nudd, stepped up to perform well in Calamity Jane, as did Harvey Mashiter-Yates, playing both the sax and clarinet.

The informal concert saw some notable performances from Nick Proctor and Sebastien King (drums) and vocal solos from Libby Martin, Juliette Jordan and Edward Aylward Lopez. Stefano Guan showed increasing confidence performing again on the glockenspiel and pianists Rosie Baldwin and Liulian Zheng negotiated their solos confidently. A pleasing stand-out rendition came from Imogen Langley, playing Bach on the cello.

The Chapel Choir’s repertoire of weekly anthems, also included Sunday choral Evensong, with stunning solos from Summer Leigh and Edward Aylward Lopez. Looking ahead the choir will be singing in Canterbury cathedral in the first week of the Summer term. The choir’s activities culminated in the Words & Music for Lent last week, “The Journey to the Cross”.

Finally, it has been great to see the progress of the Rhythm Hub percussionists and we look forward to further treats from them next term.

Certificate for excellent contribution goes to:

Harvey Mashiter-Yates

The Media department, has completed eight films and have four in post-production. Highlights include the Year 10 film in collaboration with the Science department - this is currently with the film festival judging panel.

We have continued to provide media output for the School’s events, including the well-received coverage of the Remembrance commemorations and the filming of the Calamity Jane performances.

In Years 8 & 9 the focus was analysing print media and then developing the skills in Photoshop to create eye catching images.

Certificates are awarded to:

Maddie Warnock - For being able to combine her ICT and film-making knowledge to create a really engaging prep.
John Rufus Carleton - His developing skills in media have shown exponential growth in the latter part of the term, some amazing work, keep it up.
Jack Hanson - For bringing his A game to media, always keen to learn, always delivering results.
Khodani Mudogwa - Always the first to complete prep and always to a very high standard, always delivers well in class.

Business and Economics

In Economics, the ‘Wolves of Dover’ got through to the semi-finals of the Investor challenge; a national stock market competition. They were picked from 25,000 students and got through to the top 500, which was an amazing achievement. Unfortunately, they were not picked for the final but finished in 244th place. Congratulations and well done!

Special mention to Layth Khader who has been the driving force of this challenge.

Could the members of the team come and receive their certificates from the London Institute of Banking and Finance:

Layth Khader               Elliot Nugus                 Daniel Walters            James Hide

In Years 8 & 9 Business Studies students explored organisational structures and their effectiveness on the aims and objectives of the business. Bespoke research projects were carried out by year 9 students, looking at Huawei, Apple, Visa and Champion companies.

Special mention goes to Lottie Hide, Alex Babev, Max Richie-Coombs and Amira Ostalski-Khan for outstanding effort.

In Years 8 & 9 globalisation students have been looking at the benefits of the UN and their current projects, including the issues of vaccinations and their impact upon health and life expectancy. Additionally, lots of debate was carried out on the benefits & disadvantages of being part of the EU. Students were able to draw upon their up to date knowledge.

Special mention to Sebastian Powell, Archie Grove, Avy Taylor, Angelique Taylor and Gabriella Hood.

The ICT department would like present Thomas Neale a certificate for his consistent approach to producing his work in Computer Science.

The Sport department would like award two certificates:

Leo Tardieu for working hard to complete his coursework and Sam Smart for completing all coursework to a very high standard.

In Modern Foreign Languages pupils have had plenty of opportunities to put their language skills into practice this term.

At KS3, there has been some inspiring productions of highly creative multi-media projects, enabling pupils to develop their language skills.

At GCSE, pupils busied themselves with a variety of topics ranging from the environment to healthy life style and planning for the future, and many attended the French and Spanish GCSE workshops in London to fine-tune their skills before the exams.

At A level, insightful discussions and presentations ensued, after topics such as “the culture of fame, society in a multi-lingual country, Mexican art, the Chinese New Year, the power of social protest and Brexit”, just to mention a few.

Last week 12 pupils went on the French Exchange. Miss Marie reports that they all took full advantage of this fantastic opportunity and showed themselves to be great ambassadors of the College.

Certificates this term go to:

For Creativity at KS3:

Tyler Henderson
Erin Harris
Kirsten Blackburn
Lottie Hide
Louise Wallace
Poppy Harris
Sebastian Powell
Maddie Warnock
Hector Hodkinson

KS4 Certificates for Excellent Work:

Kal Mere (French and Spanish)                      
Lucrezia Cerino (Spanish)
Harvey Mashiter-Yates (French)        
Edward Aylward-López (French)                   
Daniel Walters (Spanish)                    

KS5 Certificates for Excellent Work:

Freya Laidlow-Petersen (French)                   
Mathilde Leprovost (Spanish)

The Special Awards for the Chinese New Year Culture Project go to:         

Stefano Guan
Kevin Ju
Eve Hu
Anna Zhang
Liulian Zheng
Sunny Song
Olivia Xie

Over the Lent Term a number of Charity whole school events have taken place such as National Popcorn Day, Valentine’s Day sales, Waffle Wednesday, and Fairtrade Friday and the Sponsored Walk.

Last week saw many of us pounding the pavements for the annual Sponsored Walk and well done to all involved. Many of you are still collecting your sponsorship money and it is still not too late to start – every penny counts towards our fundraising target for the charities Young Minds and Dover smART project.

We now move to the Sports report.

Priory Netball

There has been a huge transformation from the start of term. Skill levels have improved combined with unwavering enthusiasm from the girls.

A special mention goes to Candela Garcia who despite having never played the game before featured regularly in the selection. Avy and Isla Taylor, were influential all season and Belle Klappa led the squad as captain, displaying unrelenting positivity and good humour.

U15 Netball

This has been a young team but exciting to watch. The performance of the season was kept to the last game, in a tight match against Bethany. Special mentions go to Maisie Wells for her consistent shooting and a strong quartet in the centre third of Tyler Henderson, Lottie Hide, Emily Calder and Captain Tamzin Vickers.

Senior Netball

It has been a challenging season against some tough opposition. Despite the girls competed with energy and enthusiasm. There are several girls who stood: Rhiannon Church, Evy Siddans and Mia Deverson are all well worth a mention with Paula Fisher proving to be an exceptional player having never played Netball before arriving at the College.

Interhouse Netball

The Netball season closed with some tight matches. Results were as follows, with the captains of each team please coming forward to receive their respective trophy:

Priory – Duckworth

Senior A Team – St Martin’s

Senior B Team – Duckworth

Priory Rugby

Hopes were high for a good season, with a high proportion of the team playing club rugby. Seb Powell missed a few key games through injury but was a calming presence when fit, leading the team exceptionally well as captain. Nathan Powell provided the trickery, with Nicholas Proctor and Sam Smith adding some real speed out wide. The Archie’s, Grove and Seward gave us superb go-forward and Oakley Price, Nathaniel Turner and August Moos all played key roles. Without a doubt, the highlights of the season came at the end of term with the National 7s at Rosslyn Park, recording wins against Stockport Grammar, Burford School and Colston’s School, with Seb getting the last try of the game in a dramatic final play. Colston’s have won the Daily Mail Cup (now Natwest Trophy) a record seven times and have produced over 30 professional players. A brilliant scalp with which to finish the season!

U15 and Senior Rugby

Training was the emphasis for the first half of term, before the 7s tournaments began. Our Invitational 7s, hosted at Farthingloe, was a great success with over 100 boys playing across two age categories. The U15 competed well at the County 7s at Gravesend, coming away with a win and some excellent performances. The Seniors had success at the Society of Heads 7s, with two brilliant wins against LVS Ascot and Clifton High, which took them through to the Bowl final, which was a game too far.

Inter-house Rugby

At Priory level, there was a very competitive and physical battle with some magnificent handling and support play and some crunching tackles! School House won by five tries to one, but the score does not reflect the parity of the match. At a Senior level, School House won both games, 22-10 in the A game and 36-33 in a superbly competitive B team game.

I ask the three School House captains to come forward and receive their respective trophies.

Cross Country

Another season of firsts for our runners saw us better last year’s Knole Run result, get on the podium at the Stevens and Wainman hosted by Northbourne Park, and host our own Invitational attracting 48 runners from King’s, St Edmund’s and Duke of York’s, with three College athletes, Libby Turbutt, Dillon Clarke and Sam Smart making the podium. The Knole result had set the tone for the season, as we finished above Radley, King’s and Duke of York’s. 

Eton Fives

Our inaugural Eton Fives trip to Rydal Penrhos School in North Wales was a great success, with 7 Priory boys making the trip. The boys were terrific ambassadors for the College, playing over four hours of Fives on Friday evening and Saturday. We won more than we lost and each boy improved well over the course of the weekend.

And finally, we come to the Interhouse Competition.

The Interim House totals after the Michaelmas and Lent Terms, taking into account all Sporting competitions, House Music and University Challenge. Although rather one-sided at present, there is all to play for in the Summer with many Whole School events such as House Drama, The Steeplechase and Sports Day to affect the scoring (in reverse order):

Leamington - 3 pts

St Martins - 4.5pts

Duckworth - 6pts

School - 13pts

We say a brief good bye to Miss Tombs today; I say brief, because although she won’t be with us next term, I’ve convinced her to come back full time in September. So is au revoir as opposed to goodbye.

Travel well this holiday. Relax and have fun. Be good. And remember the following:

Thoughts become word,

Words become actions,

Actions become character,

Character is everything.