A view from the Close, No. 62

7 October 2016, No, 62

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Two weeks ago I mentioned my heartfelt belief that we needed to be strong in the face of the rising tide of ‘phone and tablet usage to protect our children, encourage debate and ensure that they are being educated properly – and properly rested.

Part of my focus was the use of tablets and mobiles in the bedroom. This week, in the Times Educational Supplement, a report has been published about the use of mobile devices by children in their bedrooms. The full article is here, https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/using-mobile-phones-during-night-affects-our-school-work-teenagers, but key findings after undertaking a survey of 2,745 11 – 18 year olds found that 68% believed that their use of ‘phones during the night affected their school work, with some pupils spending an hour on their ‘phones after they have gone to bed.

As and when I find articles that I believe are useful and should be shared, I’ll pass them on. However, there is growing evidence that we’re facing a challenge as teachers and parents, and both need the support of each other to ensure that our children and pupils are not starting life at a disadvantage due to the misuse of technology.

Whilst I was away, Duncan Ellerington gave an assembly on astronomy – a wonderful reflection on the need for us to respect our environment and care for our planet. I have attached it to this email.

I want to focus this week on the amazing efforts of our sportsmen and women, and the renaissance that is occurring in this area of College life.

It has been an extremely busy week for the College on the sports fields, with both Junior and Senior school teams recording significant victories. On Tuesday the Under 16s started very brightly against the wind versus Lingfield Notre Dame but this was not to be backed up in the second half with a strong and physical Lingfield recording a 3-0 victory. There was a chance to right the wrongs from Tuesday and to put any worth woes from last weekend firmly in the past when the senior teams welcomed Battle Abbey to Farthingloe on Thursday. With two extremely proficient, disciplined performances both the 1st and 2nd XI ran out convincing winners, 6-0 and 4-1 respectively, to put their season firmly back on track.

The Under 13 hockey teams played away at St Lawrence on Wednesday and recorded one win and a loss. The A team went down 1-0 in a high energy match whilst the much improved B team recorded their first win of the season with a 2-0 scoreline.

The Junior School enjoyed very competitive matches against local rivals Northbourne Park on Wednesday and Spring Grove on Thursday. In three of the four matches the football teams were convincing winners, and the girls’ hockey teams followed suit in two very good Northbourne matches, winning one and losing one. Cumulatively, across all the junior school fixtures the goal difference was plus eleven, a testament to the attacking play of our teams.

Despite these other successes, it was once again the Under 13 footballers who provided the highlight this week, winning the Director of Sport’s Team of the Week for the second consecutive week. Competing in the prestigious Shapira Cup at Junior Kings, the boys performed magnificently winning their group and reaching the semi-finals, finishing in fourth place overall from ten competing teams. This was an excellent achievement and the boys involved were terrific ambassadors for the school, playing smart and looking smart in their new kit. The College had not been present in recent years at the Shapira Cup and we look forward to going one stage further next year.

Looking forward to the next week, highlights include two senior hockey matches against Ashford for Under 15 and the 1st XI, the senior football teams welcoming St Edmunds on Thursday, and junior school football and hockey matches on Friday. The sponsored walk will provide an outdoors experience away from competitive sport for all our pupils to share a moment of physical endeavour and achievement.

Away from the sports field, there are several other exciting developments afoot with a physiotherapy triage clinic now firmly established for our senior athletes on Monday lunchtimes. We have also been delighted to welcome back Old Dovorian Sammy Moore, currently on the professional books at Dover Athletic, on an informal consultancy basis. He will be sharing best practice from his professional experience with our football teams and staff, a welcome boost for the second half of the season to come. You can keep up to date with all the latest sports news on our new Twitter feed, @Dovercolsport which has results and updates from all areas of sporting life at the College, including our Sailing and Horse Riding programmes in Senior Games. Competitive sport may not be for all at Dover College, but health and fitness certainly are.

Our annual Sponsored Walk will be taking place on Saturday 15th October. The walk covers a distance of approximately 15 miles starting in the historical town of Sandwich and ending back at Dover College. As many of you are aware our nominated charity for this academic year is Teenage Cancer Trust, and all funds raised from the walk will go to the charity.

Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. They need expert treatment and support from the moment they hear the word ‘cancer.’ Teenage Cancer Trust are the only charity dedicated to making this happen. Dover College’s support means that the Teenage Cancer Trust can provide specialist care so young people aren’t alone and can face cancer together. The College will help the Teenage Cancer Trust to provide the best cancer care in the world to young people.

All pupils should now have received a paper sponsorship form and are encouraged to gain as many sponsors as possible prior to the event. (A form is also attached) In addition to the paper sponsorship form there is an online sponsorship campaign through the website JustGiving. Staff, pupils and parents are encouraged to share the link in order to widen our sponsorship appeal.

If you would like to donate online, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/DoverCollegeCharity

Donations between £1 and £10 can also be made by text message. Start your message with DOVC50 stating the amount you would like to donate and send to 70070. Every penny of your donation goes to our chosen charity, you may be charged for your text message – please refer to your network operator’s standard rates.

I hope that everyone has an enjoyable weekend and are preparing themselves for the sponsored walk!

As ever,

Gareth Doodes.


Sponsorship Form – October 2016

Astronomy Assembly – Dover College

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