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A View from The Close 139: Friday 26th April 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The Easter sunshine looks set to desert us for the beginning of term. Cooler conditions will certainly suit our GCSE and A Level candidates who are already revising hard and whose exams start very early in the term due to the timing of Easter. May I ask that if you are with your siblings around the Sports Hall or Menzies during exam season that you be aware that public exams will be taking place in these buildings. 

The end of term’s View from the Close summed up an incredibly busy and successful Lent term.  At the various end of term assemblies, I was delighted to present prizes to children for a truly wide range of endeavours, as well as excellent academic achievement and industry.

I am very grateful to Canon Toby for leading the Easter Service, where we also welcome Bishop Michael Turnbull, the former Bishop of Durham, who confirmed Freya in Year 12 and her brother, Alfred, who is in Year 6 at Northbourne Park School. Toby also leads a weekly service in Chapel each Sunday, and parents are always very welcome to join us in this uplifting and personal service, which as you can imagine from Toby is both thought-provoking and fun.

Staff news

I am delighted to announce that on 13th March, Pam Hopkins welcomed a baby girl called Aoibheann (A-veen). Congratulations to her and Craig. She will be returning to work on 24 June. I am pleased to confirm that Therese Taylor is now the College’s Director of Studies and am very grateful to her for all she has done to prepare us for the new curriculum in September 2019. Laura Walters is now the permanent Priory House Housemistress, where she’s already done sterling work and won over the children and parents alike. Martyn Prince becomes Staff Tutor and after Robin McNicoll informed me that he’s going to be moving to a new school in September 2019, Jess Morton will step into the role of Acting Head of Science. We are delighted that Colin Stedman will be staying with us.

We welcome Julia Mitchard as Head of Computer Science & Digital IT and in the Bursary, to Helen Hori, who starts today as Finance Assistant. In Estates, to Liam Cummings, who joins us as a Temporary Painter & Decorator.

Open Morning        

This term’s Open Morning takes place on Saturday 18th May and we would be grateful for your support in bringing it to the attention of any of your friends who may be considering private education for their children. As before, may I ask you to keep in touch with our Registrar, Alison Wilson on if you are intending to send a sibling to us in the years to come. We very much wish to keep families together and siblings do have admissions priority, as long as there is a place available.  We have a very strong number of children remaining at and joining Dover College in the Junior School and Senior School in September, and this term saw the largest number of pupils at the College in a summer term in living memory.

Building Works      

Much has been done over the holidays with the completed renovation of the Maths, Economics and Business Studies classrooms in the Astor Block, a new fire escape outside of St. Martin’s house and improvement in the fabric of the grounds. Planning permission has been put in for Project 150 building work, too. I will keep parents informed of progress.

Round Square

There has been much work undertaken on Round Square, and we now have a formal link with Marvelwood School in Connecticut for our exchange programme. Laura Walters will be liaising with pupils about elections to the Round Square committee, and we are preparing to take two pupils and staff from the committee to the Round Square World Conference in October which will take place at The Emerald Heights International School in Idore, India. Please do encourage your children to take part.

My PA, Jane, sent a copy of important dates to parents before the start of term. I would, however, encourage parents to ensure that Prize Day is firmly in the diary on Thursday 4 July. We’re looking forward to welcoming Lord Archer as our guest speaker who will undoubtedly be entertaining and informative, reflecting on his teaching career at Dover and his achievements afterwards!

Jess and I look forward to seeing you over the coming days and weeks.

With my best wishes.

Yours faithfully,

Gareth Doodes.


Dover College Goes Dutch

Dover College sponsored Deal and Betteshanger Under 12 Rugby team travelled to Holland over the Easter weekend. The squad, that has amongst its team members of Dover College, played a number of matches culminating a very successful tournament win. The college players of Seb Powell, Captain (8 Priory), Jimmy Irwin (7, Priory), Nicholas Proctor (8, Priory), Nathan Powell (8, Priory), Archie Grove (8, Priory), Libby Frawley Bailey (7, Priory), Hector Hodkinson (7, Leamington/Priory), Finlay Clark (7, Priory), Geoff Richer (7, Priory) and not forgetting Ollie Irwin (R, Junior School) as mascot spent three days in the north of Holland.

One of the benefits of playing in Holland was that the girls could join the boys to play competitive games. The first match on Saturday was a mixed session with RC Eemhof and was a hot and sweaty affair with some great play from all sides. The Sunday saw the whole team de-camp to Hilversum for the Rugby festival. Over 1000 players took part and the team played four matches. It was clear from the start that the teams well-rehearsed passing put them at an advantage and we conceded only one try in the first match, but scored 4. Over the next three matches we conceded only one more try, and put away an impressive 22 tries to win the cup outright.

Thank you to all of the team coaches, parents and players for making it happen and here’s to next year.

Gold Success from the Brecon Beacons

On March 27, a group of seven Gold DofE participants left Dover College to face the rigours of the Brecon Beacons for their practice expedition. They had to; navigate their way across “wild country”, carry everything they needed for several days unassisted expedition, camp and cook and care for each other to prove to the safety supervisor that they were ready for their qualifying expedition in June/July. The supervisor was especially impressed with their navigation and teamwork skills and all seven passed with flying colours.

The seven are: Dillon Clarke (12, School), Toby Clarke (12, Leamington), Elly Laflin (12, Duckworth), Leigh Summer (12, St Martin’s), Tul Lekhyananda (12, School), Isabella Nudd (12, Duckworth) and Ben Preusser (12, School).  We wish them every success with their Gold Qualifying expedition.

Continued Duke of Edinburgh Success
In the April 2019 edition of the DofE South East Newsletter, current Year 12 pupil Isabella Nudd (Duckworth) was introduced as the DofE Ambassador at Dover College. She wrote about her journey:

“I joined Dover College at the start of September 2016, as a shy and quiet fourteen-year-old, lacking confidence and self-belief, but I was determined to grasp every opportunity that the future would hold.

With my teachers’ reassurance and belief in my abilities, I began to grow in confidence and, with this new unwavering desire to succeed, I stepped out of my “comfort zone” beyond measure. I am now on my journey to completing my Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and I am extremely proud to represent the college as their DofE Ambassador. The Ambassador role is a way to express my excitement and enthusiasm about DofE. It has given me new levels of confidence, and I am now able to speak

confidently when presenting to an audience.

It is paramount for me to educate my peers on DofE and all the sections involved that are needed to complete it. I am always on hand to support those who are wanting to take on new challenges or just need a little encouragement along the way. On behalf of DofE, I welcome you to come alongside me and discover your strengths by taking part in this prestigious award.”

If you would like to be a DofE Ambassador like Isabella, speak to Mr Cox who can point you in the right direction. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop leadership and management skills, contribute to their Volunteering section and help you run DofE!

Credit to DofE South East -

Croquet in the sun!

With the weather brightening up, our pupils could be seen playing a spot of croquet on The Close today.

Dover College Chapel Choir sings at Canterbury Cathedral

Yesterday, Thursday 25th April, the Chapel Choir had the privilege of singing Choral Evensong in the wonderful Quire of Canterbury cathedral. This comes at a significant time in the Cathedral’s history – major renovations are taking place to spruce up the building in time for the Becket 800 celebrations next year, the Lambeth Conference and the installation of a new and impressive organ.

It is easy to overlook the significance and grandeur of this our local cathedral, the Mother Church of the Worldwide Anglican Communion and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Cathedral has a tradition of visitor welcome that reaches back to the days of medieval pilgrimages and remains one of the oldest and most famous Christian places in the country.

The first thing that strikes the singers once in the choir stalls is quite how far apart they are – you can only really hear the other side well when things go wrong! The vastness of the building also brings acoustical experiences unlike our humble school chapel and changes the way one has to sing. Yet singing in this space is a deeply rewarding musical and spiritual experience that few will forget.

Having rehearsed the lengthy processions in and out of the stalls, the ritualistic bowing procedures and where we all needed to line up in St Andrew’s Chapel, we set about rehearsing the music. We brought music from one of our very own, Thomas Tallis, who was ioculator organum (organ player) of the Benedictine monastery of Dover Priory, 1530-31, where the musical resources were an organ and five or six singing boys! So it was that out own choir of 40 pupils and staff sang his Versicles and Responses that preceded a portion of Psalm 119 and later the anthem, the Easter Song of Praise, by a current York composer, Richard Shepherd, uniting past with present. The setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis was by the Victorian composer Charles Stanford. This gave us the chance to show
off the solo talents of Summer Leigh (Soprano and Head Chorister) in the Magnificat and Edward Aylward Lopez (baritone) in the Nunc Dimittis.

A large congregation of parents, staff, friends and visitors to the cathedral took part in this very special service that has been part of cathedral worship for hundreds of years. As the notes soar into the roof space it is humbling to think you are part of a ritual that has been celebrated in this truly magnificent building for many centuries. The choir sang with conviction, accompanied ably on the organ by Mr Lockyer, and there were impressive contributions from all and notably from our two soloists. The group photos after the service will give many something to remember the occasion by and we hope that we will have the opportunity to sing there again in future years. Well done all in the Chapel Choir!

Young Poets

Year 9 and 10 have written entries for the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019. The competition is looking for the best poem by young people aged 11-17. Below are just two of some fantastic entries:

Streaks of luminous yellow, radiant pink
and glowing orange embellished the sky,
hidden beneath the sweet scented flowers
was a graceful and delicate butterfly,

Its wings were folded upwards,
they were a shade of splendid gold
which fluttered as the shy creature
gradually became more bold.

A river bubbled excitedly
from beyond where the flowers stood,
the bitterns there were singing
the dawn chorus as loudly as they could.

By Gabriella Hood (9, Duckworth)

One more minute, one more hour, one more day
without you here,
One more tear, more make-up smeared, from the dismay:
your bedroom’s cleared

Now that you’re gone
the light is off,
Without your hacking cough.

Before we said ‘Goodbye’
I would sit by your side
watching the cancer

My heart ached
as you lost all that weight
when you would shake
just to stay awake.

Another sleepless night.
Loud sirens, bright lights.
I’d just cry and cry
desperate for more time
for you to somehow be alright.

Now, the world has changed.
It’s darker,
feels like empty space.
But I promise I’ll do what you say;
I’ll leave my trace,
Fight to save the human race.

I’ll keep you with me,
through memory
and I’ll remember you
as you would want to be.
So, when that song comes on
I’ll sing along
And it’ll make me think of you.

Imogen Langley (10, St Martin’s)

Recycle with Michael

Over the last few weeks, Dover College has been collecting unwanted clothes and shoes as part of the county-wide Recycle with Michael initiative to divert tonnes of textiles away from landfill. 54 schools in Kent took part, donating an incredible amount of items. However, Dover College was named the winner, collecting 0.41 tonnes of donated goods.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this competition. The Recycle with Michael campaign aims to educate people about the importance of recycling and the Dover College community have really embraced environmentalism and charity.