13th September 19
I can’t believe that we’re already two weeks into term. However, I have been so impressed with how pupils in both the Prep School and Senior School have thrown themselves into lessons and learning, with the College buzzing in the classrooms from day one. So far this week we’ve had fixtures against Wellesley House, Northbourne Park, St. Edmund’s, and this Saturday sees our first senior 1st XI match against Tonbridge at 1415 on Farthingloe. The prefects in both the Prep School and the Senior School have been working hard, with Alex and James reading beautifully in Prep School Chapel this morning, whilst Izzy, Tul and Summer presented to the Senior School in assembly on Monday, explaining what their roles were in the school. Looking ahead, the first Prep School Council Meeting is being held next Tuesday, and we will celebrate Founders Day on Sunday 22 September.
First weekend for the boarders
Every single boarder headed off on Saturday for a thrilling and fun filled day of excitement and challenges. The boarders headed to Grosvenor House, along with their house staff, to take part in a full and exciting day of high ropes, climbing, team building, zip wires and abseiling. A day that was designed to push our pupils (and staff) out of their comfort zones and help them get to know each other. The day was a great success and everyone returned to school in the evening, tired but fulfilled. This is an event that the Dover College house team run every year and they are always impressed how every boy and girl puts 110% into the day. Thanks to all of the house staff for their hard work and dedication.
We’ve been having a major drive on healthy eating and fruit consumption. Dave Evans, our brilliant Catering Manager, tells me ‘ the amount of fruit consumed equates to a minimum of 3 portions per student per day which is exceptional in comparison to other schools I have worked in and I am really pleased the students have embraced the fruit selection available daily.’ I agree! Here’s the list at the end of week two:
Gothia World Cup
The second week of the summer holidays saw pupils from Dover College, who were selected for the Prep Schools’ Pumas, head to Gothenburg to compete at the Gothia World Youth Cup.
With around 1,800 teams from around 85 countries the Gothia World Youth Cup is the world’s biggest youth event and is larger than the Commonwealth Games. 56,000 people, including many parents, family and supporters of the players, were in the famous Ullevi Stadium for the Opening Ceremony.
For the first time, the teams included two Girls Teams. Inspired by the success of the Lionesses at the FIFA World Cup, it was particularly exciting for the girls to have the opportunity to represent England at such a prestigious event.
The Prep Schools’ teams, which involve players from ten years old upwards, were selected following some competitive trials last October. Indeed, players were nominated for the trial from around 60 Schools, so competition was fierce. Selection is an excellent achievement.
Monty Taylor, Freddie Fairclough and Chayce Tobin were selected for the Pumas U12 Boys team and Ronnie Meadows for the U11 Boys. The U12’s found the sleeping conditions challenging, with Monty, Chayce and Freddie sharing floor space with their team mates for the week! Despite the sleep deprivation they held their own on the pitch and tried to display good sporting behaviour in the face of some questionable refereeing decisions. They played Swedish, American and South Korean teams and finished in the top 16 in their league. This was a tremendous result given that the team had not previously played together prior to the trip! The boys came home exhausted having developed new football skills and an appreciation for the home comforts that they had previously taken for granted.
The football itself was fast and furious against teams which in many cases were professional academies and feeders for some of Europe’s top senior sides. The standard was very high but the teams performed well under some excellent coaching. The staff included an experienced Coach and Sports Therapist and outside of matches the players attended workshops covering a wide range of topics such as nutrition, hydration and sleep. The trip also provided an opportunity for players to gain independence and the trip was an excellent opportunity for players to develop life skills.
For the children who were lucky enough to be selected this really was an experience to remember. It’s not often that you have the chance to pit yourself against some of the best young players in the world and they will all undoubtedly return to England better for the experience. Some of the Dover College boys have already been reselected for next year’s squad without having to go through the trial process. This really is a huge achievement.
Trials for Prep Schools’ Pumas next season are taking place at Worth School on Sunday 6th October. I would hope other pupils will get the opportunity to attend for a chance of selection for this incredible experience.