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A View from The Close 128: Start of Lent Term 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

A warm welcome back to everyone after the Christmas Break, and I hope that 2019 proves to be a year of great happiness and success for your children and everyone involved with Dover College.

We welcome some new members of staff this term. Miss Chen is our new Mandarin and Chinese Teacher, Dr Gabb is our new Latin teacher, Mrs Hebblethwaite joins the Modern Foreign Languages Department, and Mr Stedman is our ICT teacher. We also warmly welcome Taylah Hutson as our new Gap Student. Taylah will be living in St. Martin’s House. The Junior School staffing remains unchanged, although we do welcome Rhiannon and Eloise, student teachers from Canterbury Christ Church University, who will be learning their craft from our brilliant staff.

Jane will have sent through dates for the coming term. However, the College is working hard focussing on the delivery of our new exciting curriculum from September 2019. More details can be found on the College’s website – for the Junior School http://www.dovercollege.org.uk/junior-school-intro and for the Senior School http://www.dovercollege.org.uk/senior-school-intro. The new curriculum brochures can be found at the bottom of the page. Hard copies of the new Sixth Form provision have been sent to all Year 11 pupils, and copies of the GCSE+ and will be sent to Years 6, 7 and 8 parents this coming week. Junior School parents will receive a copy of their Connected Curriculum brochure at the same time.

I am very grateful to Rupert Hill for taking over the leadership of Leamington House this term. At short notice Rupert has moved in and already galvanised the house and shown it the love and attention the house deserves. I am delighted to have him leading the boys.

In our beginning of term meeting, I spoke to all the staff and asked that they help develop in our pupils a number of key skills which aren’t to be found in exam papers or subject lessons.
 

These were:

A sense of urgency;

Critical thinking;

Creativity;

Commitment to the class or House, and School;

Humility;

Grace and dignity;

Positivity and optimism.
 

In my Junior and Senior assemblies, I focussed on three of those. Firstly, I asked that this term each pupil recognises the importance of working as a team in their houses, and also in class. ‘Collect Merits of House Points for the benefit of your house. Look out for your house, your friends in the house, and your house staff. The team around you will support and nourish you in your daily life.’

Secondly, no one can underestimate the importance of positivity and optimism. The optimistic person will look for solutions, will have the smile to brighten a room, will want to explore. But also, to be content, you need to explore and discover, you need to stretch yourself, and you need to be constantly searching. I finished with a quote from Albert Einstein:

‘In order to be content you must also have the possibility of developing you intellectual and artistic powers to whatever extent accord with your personal characteristics and abilities’.

In short, I don’t want my pupils to ever stop searching, thinking differently, inquiring and questioning, and working hard so they develop the intellectual and artistic powers which are so strongly rooted them all.

Yours faithfully,
 

Gareth Doodes.
Headmaster