Dover College


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  • Category: Nursery / Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory / Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 162 (Boys) 118 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 3 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1871

General Information

At Dover College we believe wholeheartedly in developing confidence in young men and women giving them opportunities which they perhaps would have never experienced and encouraging them to exceed their own expectations.  We’re proud of being a family school where pupils are known individually. Our community spirit is central to this; we have a large number of families who live on site and their warmth of welcome and inclusivity encourages a home from home for boarders and day pupils alike.


Our class sizes help.

With a maximum of 15 pupils per class, teachers think differently delivering creative teaching which encourages independent and critical thinking, achieving exceptional results. Our academic programme is bespoke, individualised as much as possible at GCSE and the diverse and extensive post-16 curriculum includes both A-levels and BTECs.

Our school size helps.

Everyone at the College is well known and nobody is left out. We support each other in an environment that feels more like a family than a school. We eat together, pray together and stay together.

Our creative curriculum helps.

The Dover College Curriculum priorities are to engage and enthuse children in the learning process. We seek to foster in a child’s curiosity and a real enjoyment of lifelong learning. We achieve this with a broad and balanced curriculum delivered in a structured yet creative way, which provides a seamless transition from Junior School to Senior School.

Our community helps.

Welcoming pupils from across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas teaches everyone to think differently, to be inclusive, unprejudiced, cosmopolitan and outward-looking.

Our activities programme helps.

Our sports and activities promote leadership, teamwork and self-belief. We use our proximity to the sea for sailing and arrange international sports tours.

Our support for life after Dover College helps.

Our University and careers advice is second to none, and we have close links with higher education establishments around the world.

Our location helps.

We are two minutes by road from Dover port, an hour by train from London, and just over an hour and a half by road from Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow airports. We want our pupils to think differently, to discover their talents, to develop confidence and to realise their dreams. Only in an environment where children feel cared for and valued will this happen.

Isn’t it time to think differently?


Scholarships are awarded to new and existing Dover College pupils at 11+, 13+ and 16+ levels in the following categories: Academic (11+, 13+, 16+), Art / Design Technology (13+, 16+), Drama (13+, 16+), Music (11+, 13+, 16+) and Sports (11+, 13+, 16+). Some bursaries are available, please contact the school for details.

Open Days

2020. Open Mornings: Sat. 14th March and Sat. 16th May.

If you wish to book a visit, please contact us via or telephone 01304 244522.



Day Fees (to include lunch). Little Learners and Reception (Age 3+, 4+): £2665 (KCC early Years Grant available for eligible pupils). Year 1 - Year 6: £2980 - £3675. Year 7 - Year 13: £42400 - £5550. All per term.

Weekly Boarding. Year 7 - Year 13: £7700 - £9350 per term.

Full Boarding. Year 7 - Year 13: £9075 - £11,550 per term.

Dover College has a long history of welcoming Forces Families. Should you be entitled to the Continuation of Education Allowance, Dover College’s bursarial system tops up your allowance so that you only need to pay 10% of our full boarding fees,


ISI Inspection 2017
Good Schools Guide review 2018

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Gareth Doodes

Contact for enquiries: Alison Wilson, Registrar

Dover College
Effingham Crescent
CT17 9RH

[t]: 01304 244522

Location Description

We are two minutes by road from Dover port, an hour by train from London, and just over an hour and a half by road from Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow airports.

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School News

Dover College independent day and boarding school Kent

To view the latest news from Dover College please click NEWS

Dover College independent day and boarding school Kent

Dover College is delighted to announce that from Monday, 29th October we will be opening the gates to our Outdoor Nursery.

We are providing three and four

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year olds the opportunity to learn through adventure and exploration in our fully equipped outdoor classroom, situated within the beautiful surroundings of Dover College.

Children can immerse themselves in nature, helping them to become creative, resilient little learners whilst allowing their imaginations to run wild. Children will build confidence and self-esteem as well as learning about peer interaction.

We follow the core Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, learning in a safe and secure outdoor environment, where free play, fresh air, exposure to the natural world and physical activity are an integral part of learning. Sessions will be led by fully qualified teachers and assistants.

Sessions are only available on Monday mornings and run from 8.30am to 1.30pm.

All pupils will need to register in accordance with the Dover College admissions process with places allocated in line with the College Admissions Policy.

Termly fees are £170.00 per term with pre-booked ad hoc sessions charged at £20.00 per session.

For further information please contact the Junior School Admissions Office 01304 244523 or

Dover College independent day and boarding school Kent

After years of karate training and with increased physical training this past 5 months, plus curriculum training over the past 2 years and just 6

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months since she achieved her 2nd Degree, Emily, one of our Year 10 pupils, travelled to Swindon on Friday evening to attend her 3rd Degree (3rd Dan) panel grading on Saturday 29th September, which proved to be an intensive four hours of physical fitness and skills examination .

Emily was the only Martial Artist on the day going from 2nd to 3rd Degree – and as such had to perform continuous sparring with the other martial artists (meaning they all sparred against her and then came off while she had to continue onto the next opponent). We are delighted to say that Emily passed her 3rd Degree Black Belt – A total of 11 years in the making

To put this achievement into perspective:

  • There are thousands in the organisation in the UK that are on their journey to Black Belt – who range from aged four to over sixty years old – both male and female
  • Out of these Thousands there are only currently Five females who have achieved Third Degree Black belt in UK
  • Emily is the sixth female to achieve it, and she is the youngest in the UK, and the only one in Kent

Massive congratulations to her for this superb achievement, she is pictured below with Master David Finch.

Dover College independent day and boarding school Kent

Tom, one of our Year 10 pupils, has had a magnificent season of shooting. He has been asked to attend the British Shooting Olympic Talent

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Pool training on the 3rd November which should be a superb opportunity to showcase his talents but the following is a rundown of his achievements so far this year:

Essex Masters C Class Sporting Champion

Clay Classic C Class Sporting Champion

Clay Classic 2nd in Colt Class

World Colt Sportrap Champion

World Sporting Colt Bronze Medal

South East of England Colt Sportrap Champion

South of England Colt Sporting Champion

Colt Challenge Shootout at the Game Fair- shootout between the top 10 Colts in the country, 6th place.

The Churchill Challenge 4th Place in Juniors (U21 category)

British Open Colt Sportrap Silver Medal

British Open Colt Sporting Bronze Medal


In what has been his first real season of full competition this is an unbelievable effort, and one that he and the rest of us are very proud of.

Dover College is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the annual Independent School of the Year Award.

Gareth Doodes, the Headmaster, had this

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to say about the nomination: “To be shortlisted for such a prestigious award is testament to the hard work and vision of everybody at the College to ensure that we are one of the leading day and boarding schools in the southeast. Our exciting Project 150 plans that will be rolled out over the next five years will see our pupils benefitting from an enhanced curriculum as well as upgraded facilities. We are never satisfied with the satisfactory, and will continue to strive to be a school that will offer the best in academic excellence as well as co-curricular activities to our pupils.”

We’re tough on our children. At an age where most countries in the world allow pupils to explore and discover their talents, not even considering

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putting them through examinations until their minds are more developed by the time they are 18, in the UK we give young people the stress of jumping through hoops, this year during a hot summer when they would have much preferred to have been watching the World Cup

At Dover College, despite the heat and the football, the pupils did themselves proud. Headline figures are impressive – 23% A*/A grades with 74% five plus pass rate which included maths and English. But most impressive, as always in a school that prides itself on being non-selective, was the value added that pupils achieved, which was 1, meaning that every pupil who sat GCSEs at the College achieved a grade higher than they were predicted when they started the course.

There were individual successes, such as Summer and Sophia, who achieved an impressive 16 A and A* grades between them, as well as other boys and girls who achieved higher grades than they thought to prepare themselves fully for sixth form study and beyond.

Reflecting on the results the Headmaster, Gareth Doodes, explained ‘We’re privileged to teach wonderful children at the College, and they themselves have this year worked hard to produce some really impressive results. Headline figures are good, but individual stories are even better, and I am delighted with what this super cohort of pupils have achieved.’

Most schools will talk about the ‘best exam results ever’. However, what exam results as statistics don’t show are individual stories. Stories of courage, hard

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work, tears and determination. Stories where young men and women, often when faced with challenges, rise up and reach them. And that’s what has happened this year at Dover College.

In a non-selective school, the key figure isn’t necessarily the pass rate (which for us was a brilliant 98%), nor the A* – C rate (which was an admirable 61%), but instead is the value added. This measures what a child has achieved during their A Level studies in terms of progression. And the College’s value added is at 1. Which means that every pupil has achieved a grade higher than they were likely to achieve when they started the sixth form. This has resulted in pupils achieving 250 points per candidate, University offers met and ambitions reached.

At the College pupils don’t just take A Levels. They also study BTECS in a variety of courses. And as schools in the area close creative arts departments due to funding cuts, we’re opening a new Creative Media department to augment our already growing Performing Arts provision, and developing for 2019 a new sixth form course that alongside ensuring academic success, will also develop the key skills of leadership, critical thinking, and service.

The Headmaster, Gareth Doodes, was delighted with what the pupils have achieved. ‘We’re proud of our headline figures, but more proud of the individual stories. Dover College pupils have worked hard, been encouraged to think differently, and can reflect on some wonderful achievements as they go to their chosen Universities. We wish then the best of luck, and will miss them enormously’

Dover College independent day and boarding school Kent

James Tredwell, England International and Kent cricketer has opened the newly renovated strength and conditioning suite at Dover College.
The suite – which features state-of-the-art functional

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fitness equipment – was renovated with the help of monies raised by the Friends of Dover, a charitable organisation which exists to further the education of pupils of Dover College.
The suite will be used by all children in the school but particularly those pupils who are part of the school’s sports teams or studying BTEC Sport as part of the College’s academic programme. Looking to the future, all Key Stage 3 pupils are already undergoing an 8 week block of functional circuit training in their PE lessons. This will start to equip them with the skills and knowledge to train safely and effectively on a more independent basis as they move up into their senior years.
Tom Butt is Dover College’s Director of Sports. He says: “Through regular sessions in this new facility, we are teaching our pupils to understand the importance of proper strength and conditioning and the part it plays in their overall sporting and athletic performance. To have James visit Dover College and officially open the suite was a highlight for our pupils and reiterates that sport provision sits high on the Dover College agenda.”

Dover College independent day and boarding school Kent

Dover College today saw its GCSE results improve on last year’s figures with a rise in the top grades, an increase in pupils receiving five

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passes or more and an increase in the number of points per candidate.

Measuring the GCSE pupils on their potential two years ago and projected results, the average grades they achieved today were nearly one grade higher across all subjects, demonstrating the results that can be achieved by a school that has as its key strengths small class sizes and a personal approach to teaching and learning.

Once again the school produced some quite exceptional results in a number of key subjects. Of the pupils entered for French or Spanish, 50% achieved an A* and no pupils received a result lower than a B grade, with 80% achieving an A* in French. There were similar excellent results of note in Maths and English.

Gareth Doodes, Dover College’s Headmaster, explained:

“At a time when nationally pupils are achieving lower top level grades we are bucking the national trend and demonstrating that our school is delivering some excellent results, enabling pupils to achieve better grades than they would have done elsewhere. Combined with the excellent A Level grades from last week, it is clear that academic results at the College are on an upward curve, which is matched by the ever growing interest in the College and the increase of our pupil numbers in the Senior School.”

Dover College independent day and boarding school Kent

Dover College today celebrated some of the best results on the Kent coast with 44% of all A Level/BTEC results at a four year high

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of an A* or A grade. Over half of all grades were above a B, equating to an impressive average UCAS candidate points per entry total of 93 which is higher than local selective grammar schools on previous year’s results.

The value added through small class sizes and a caring individually focused approach was clearly evident across all departments with 77% of all A Level/BTEC subjects offered by the school recording no grade less than a C. Art, Textiles and Health & Social Care BTEC achieved nothing less than an A grade. Not to be outdone, out of a total of six modern language subjects on offer, including French and Spanish, 63% of all grades received were either an A* or an A.

Gareth Doodes, Dover College’s Headmaster said proudly:

“I am delighted by our excellent A Level and BTEC results. They are a testament to all the hard work of our pupils, staff and parents. In what is an extremely exciting time for the College with the launch of our Project 150 development plans, these results represent a strong platform on which to grow and consolidate.”

“Our leaving pupils can now proceed with confidence to university. They leave the College having had the benefit of small class sizes, creative teaching and high academic standards within a caring, family community.”

A Level/BTEC Results 2016:

A*/A 44%

A*-B 51%

A*-C 83%

UCAS Points per Entry 93

UCAS Points per Candidate 347

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