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A View from the Close - 12 January 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,


Welcome back and welcome to 2018!


I am reverting to sending this by email as well as placing it on the College’s website – a number of parents have stated that they prefer it this way.


On Monday I spoke to all staff in their INSET day. I asked them never to be satisfied with the satisfactory, to consistently aim for the very best in their teaching, and to remember the sacrifices parents make to send their children to our amazing school.


On Tuesday I spoke to the Senior and Junior School, reminding them of the need to appreciate beauty as well we welcoming new pupils. I then spoke to them about Saint-Saens’ beautiful tone-poem, Danse Macabre. We then listened to it; the link is here


Today I spoke to the Junior School about resilience. I was delighted to refer to the film Sing, which many of you many have watched over the holiday. It’s all about resilience and believing in yourself. And the magic scene of when Meena overcomes her fears, and is recognized by Buster, is a great epiphanic moment for both of them, and the subsequent re-building of the theatre shows great resilience. The link is here


And on Thursday, Duckworth House spoke to the College about Epiphany, and we chalked the College doors with 20 C + M + B 18; Christus mansionem benedicat (May Christ Bless this Hosue), which also relates to the arrival of the three magi – Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar.


Throughout the week we’ve been focusing on mocks, too, in the Senior School. I enjoyed making it clear to the Year 11 candidates on Wednesday evening that they need to take the work that they’re doing extremely seriously. The time for play is over.


And just as a reminder, on Sunday 21 January we have a Whole School Eucharist which is a day of obligation for day pupils, followed by a reception in the Refectory for family and friends.


As ever,


Gareth Doodes.


Duncan Ellerington


Facing a big birthday in August, Duncan Ellerington has informed me that he will be retiring from teaching at the end of this academic year.


Upon his retirement Duncan will have given over 16 years of loyal service to the College. He is celebrating a big birthday this year and wishes to return to his first profession that – a professional artist.


We will have an opportunity at the end of the Summer term to thank Duncan for all he has done in his roles over the years as Head of Science, Director of Studies, Deputy Head and Deputy Head Academic. I personally will miss him more than anyone can imagine!


Maddie Richardson


Following an intensive trials period since September Maddie has been selected to Kent County Cricket U11 girls 2018 team. A great achievement, as a large number of girls attended the first rounds across the county and we are extremely proud of her. I believe she is the first Dover College female pupil to reach a Kent team in all the years of Kent girls cricket.  


She has been a regular player at Hythe Cricket Club with a number of pupils and has recently played for Eastern Vikings District team. In 2016 she played her first match for Dover College in the U9’s cricket team vs St Lawrence!


Beards galore


There are six members of staff and nine pupils growing beards through January to raise money for MNDA in memory of Ronnie Philpott. It’s excruciating but worth it! Please find below the link to the Just Giving page for the Whiskers for Ronnie January Challenge. Please do donate and also share the link around with friends and family as it would be great to raise as much as possible, the fundraising target is £500 but I am hoping we could exceed this. We would also really appreciate it if you are sharing this link on social media that you use the hashtag: #whiskersforronnie


Payment Diversion Fraud


I want to make you aware that fraudsters are placing themselves in the middle of transactions between parents and private schools.


The fraudster contacts the parents outlining details and payment instructions for the latest school fees. Initial contact appears to primarily be made via email and often from the school’s own compromised email system. However the NFIB has also seen instances where the email address used is similar to that of the school (i.e. nn instead of an m).


The victim then makes the required payment into the bank account which is in the control of the fraudster. By the time the fraud has been identified, the funds have already been dissipated.

In several instances there has been a strong social engineering element at play within the email, with the fraudster suggesting a discount on the fees can be obtained if the parents pay early.




  • Always verify email payment changes in respect of payment fees with the school directly using established contact details you have on file, especially for ones which are not expected or for a different amount than expected.
  • Always review requests to changes for payment requests. Check for inconsistencies or grammatical errors, such as a misspelt school name or a slightly different email address.
  • Don’t be afraid to verify details when being asked to make fee payments into a new bank account.



Senior School Production – ‘Honk’


The Senior School had a fantastic turnout for the auditions of the Musical ‘Honk’, and as a result have been able to create a cast of thirty three pupils and a technicians team of six. More details will be shared with parents later in the term, but please note that the performance dates are Friday 2 and Sunday 3 March in Menzies. Watch this space!