Dear Parents and Guardians,
Firstly, I would like to congratulate Allana Gambrell (P5), who received the first Bronze Star of the term during the Harvest Festival Service on the last day before half term.
During the holidays, twenty-nine pupils attended the Basque Country Hockey and Football tour. They all played incredibly well and the Sporting achievements did not stop there! Olivia Kibler (Sh, Priory) has been selected for the U13 Kent Cricket this week; Emily Calder (5th, St Martin’s) was victorious at the World Taekwondo Championships in Sardinia and Nathaniel Turner (3rd, School) has become the fastest U14 boy in Kent, the fourth in South East England, 20thin England and 31stin Great Britain for swimming.
This Sunday, the College’s Remembrance Service will be taking place from 10:30 in the Chapel, followed by a reception of soup, tea and coffee in the Refectory. Staff and pupils are expected to attend and we would be delighted if you could join us too.
We look forward to welcoming the Headmaster back from his educational trip in Dubai next week and look forward to another exciting week.
U16 Basque Country Hockey and Football Tour
After several weeks of exciting build-up, and months of preparation and planning, a group of 29 pupils spent a fantastic first part of half term in the Basque Country. The group was based in the excellent Koisi hostel in San Sebastian, and had an exceptionally busy itinerary in the five days on tour. Aside from the matches themselves, the group spent time on La Concha, Zurriola and Zarautz beaches, had a surfing lesson in some fierce seas, travelled up the Mount Igueldo funicular, explored the old town of San Sebastian on foot, watched the La Liga match between Real Sociedad and Real Betis and had a Pelotalesson in France.
The unbeaten girls played three full matches on tour, under lights against Liceo Santo Tomas (1-1, Lottie Hide with the goal), Real Sociedad (0-0 draw) and RC Joloseta in Bilbao (1-1 draw, Angelique Taylor (4th, Duckworth) scoring). The 12 girls al performed superbly throughout, displaying resilience and determination against some excellent opponents.
The boys lost their first match at Dunboa Eguzki in Irun 3-2 with goals from Jaiden Flisher (5th, School) and George Menges (4th, Leamington). They came back strongly in their next encounters, drawing two matches and finishing with a 1-0 win in Zarautz, with a goal from Tom Baker (5th, School). All 17 boys played their part and represented the College with distinction on the field of play.
The pupils involved, led by tour captains Emily Calder (5th, St Martin’s) and Seb Klappa (5th, School), were excellent ambassadors for the College and all justified their selection for the first co-educational overseas sports tour from the College in many years. The 4thand 5thForm pupils will from the core of Senior teams moving forward in years to come, boding well for the future of hockey and football at a senior level at the College.
Poppy Appeal 2019
British Legion poppies, bracelets and metal pins are available to purchase in the Prep School, Priory Lodge Reception and Houses.
Last year, Dover Collect helped the Dover White Cliffs British Legion raise £61,000!
This week the Prep School and the Senior School collaborated on a joint art installation for Remembrance Sunday.
On Monday, the Prep 5 and Prep 6 pupils under the expert tutelage of Mrs Irwin and Miss Walters made over 300 poppies using cake cases, buttons and pipe cleaners.
Then on Thursday, pupils from across the Senior School spent the afternoon with Mr Irwin attaching the poppies onto a 5-metre net. They then carried it out to the chapel ready for Tony and Jen from the site team to attach it to the chapel wall.
The overall impact of the piece has been fantastic and we have had lots of positive feedback from pupils, staff and parents.
The piece is designed to represent the Old Dovorians that have fallen in war and will have a poignant significance on Sunday.
Mr Payne & Mrs Marié-Payne’s Assembly
Teenagers nowadays will mainly keep their social media open and accessible for everyone to see in order to get ‘likes’ on their pictures and videos. The more they get, the better they feel. How can they get more than 50 likes if their profile is private and only accessible for their friends and people they know? If anyone can access their profile then so can their future employers.
What they need to understand is that by not setting their profile private they are easily exposed to the outside world and are more likely to feel angry, annoyed, worried or even sad at times. Perhaps they are not getting enough likes on their pictures, they might receive a negative comment or not get the attention they feel they deserve.
The question they need to ask themselves is the following: How would they feel if their profile was showcased on a large screen in front of the whole school including their teachers?
Going online can easily change our students’ mood, emotions and well-being. This is why building digital resilience is important, meaning that they have the ability to understand when they are at risk online, they know what to do if anything goes wrong, they learn from their experiences of being online and are able to recover from any difficulties or upsets.
If they realise the balance has shifted and going online is not making them feel supported, empowered and happy, we want them to have people they can turn to. We have a team of digital ambassadors here at the college who are available for our students, as well as all of the staff members. Everybody needs a break from time to time. No one is perfect and we will make mistakes. Perhaps take some time offline. Think about your physical health and put your devices away at night to get a good night’s sleep.
It is also important to consider what we are agreeing to when online. How many of us can honestly say that we always read the terms and conditions when setting up social media accounts? By not doing so, we may be agreeing to share information with other sites. Have you ever wondered how the ads on Instagram or Facebook seem show us items we are interested in or have searched the previous day? This is because when agreeing to the terms and conditions on these social media platforms, you have allowed them to receive data from other websites. Some sites are now allowing you to have more control over this data sharing. Facebook has recently introduced a section within its settings called ‘off Facebook activity‘, which is found in the ‘Your Facebook information ‘section on the website and mobile app. Accessing this will show you all the websites, apps and games that have shared your data with Facebook. This section will also allow you to manage your data and clear your history. You can also access all the information Facebook has kept about you including likes, posts, photos and even payment history if you have done so through Facebook. Being able to access and manage this information is a step in the right direction but how many of us knew this information was being shared? I am sure most of you did not know however, if you read the terms and conditions you would have.
Sixth Form Lecture
Noreen Caplen-Spence was our guest speaker today for the Sixth Form Lecture.
She is an amazing woman who has written books and articles for the British council and various other people. She regularly gives talks, delivers CPD and has taught EAL. She was the Head of the International Study Centre at Kent College for 10 years. She is Dan Caplen’s mother, a British R&B singer, songwriter and musician who became famous with this song: These Days’ featuring Jess Glynn and Macklemore.
Our Sixth Formers were fascinated with everything she had to say and has achieved in her life and they had many questions to ask her.
Great excitement in the International Study Centre as staff and students returned from half term to find freshly painted classrooms and a newly created common room area for private study and relaxation. The learning environment is key to our wellbeing and we are grateful to the Bursar and the maintenance team for delivering us such an aesthetically pleasing and efficient space to work within. Keep an eye on the ISC Twitter feed for further photographs and updates of our international students’ learning life.
The Gardens & Grounds of Dover College
So it is Autumn and although it is lovely outside today, warm and sunny with beautiful blue skies, the previous week has been very wet and stormy….Oh the joys of Autumn for gardeners with its beautiful colours and unpredictable weather excitement.
Already we are in November and the pruning season is upon us. Here at the College we are starting our shrub renovations. I am planning heavy-duty pruning over the coming months to rejuvenate our shrubs. Most of the shrubs at main site are flowering just on their stem tips so we need to get in at their base and cut out the older stems and branches to encourage them to send out new ones. We also need to remedial prune several variegated varieties around the sites. Most variegated shrubs are like this due to viruses, which have either been introduced on purpose by gardeners to develop new and pretty colour varieties or have come about naturally over time. A variegated shrub will always try to revert back from its virus colours/patterns to its true leaf/stem colour and to keep the variegated leaves you need to prune out (at first sight if possible) any reverted non variegated stems. Unless this is done each year, the variegation can be lost or you may have to remove large amounts of growth making the shrub look straggly and unbalanced until new variegated growth fills in these gaps. Unfortunately, there are quite a few shrubs like this around site.
We shall also be starting some tree work as soon as the sap drops and the leaves start to fall properly and the deciduous trees become dormant. We wait for this time before starting to ensure the weight of the tree reduces and that also we cause the minimum possible stress to the tree. Even evergreens enter a period of sap drop, leaf loss and slower growth at this time of year. Sadly, we have signs of Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) die back disease here at themain site and at Maxton. Ash die back is caused by a fungi and is causing wide decimation of trees across Europe, so treasure yours if you have a healthy one near you as Native Ash may soon become as rare as English Elm (Ulmus procera) trees.
Trees of course mean leaves and at the moment we are clearing them every day of course when we come back to work the next morning it’s just as leaf covered as it was the morning before. The wet weather has not helped us much as wet leaves are so much heavier to shift and everything takes longer BUT trees are gorgeous so it is worth the two months of leaf de ja vue, aches and blisters.
On the Grounds side, the cricket table at Maxton has undergone its main end of season renovation although there will be continued work right through to next summer to make sure we keep improving the table and outfield. A lot of focus is going on keeping Farthingloe and The Close up and running with all this rain so it’s been aeration and more aeration with solid tinning and slitting to help drainage and reduce compaction so the soil is in an anerobic balanced condition that’s optimum for soil bacteria, biological organisms, leaf health and good root strength and not welcoming to fungal diseases and rot.
There have been some changes to the Grounds and Gardens team with two members moving on to pastures new. We have recently taken on Dave who is a great addition to the department and are also looking to bring in an apprentice over the next few weeks so watch this space.
Mrs Jen Ball
Gardens and Grounds Manager