Dover Grammar School for Boys

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Dover Grammar School for Boys
Astor Avenue

, ,
CT17 0DQ

Coordinates51°07′43″N 1°17′26″E / 51.128670°N 1.290470°E / 51.128670; 1.290470Coordinates: 51°07′43″N 1°17′26″E / 51.128670°N 1.290470°E / 51.128670; 1.290470
TypeFoundation grammar school
MottoFiat lux
(Let there be light)
Genesis 1:3
FounderFred Whitehouse
Local authorityKent
Department for Education URN118931 Tables
Chairman of the GovernorsMr Ian Donald
Head teacherMr Phil Horstrup
GenderBoys; Coeducational (Sixth Form)
Age11 to 18
HousesCastle, Channel, Port, Priory
Former pupilsOld Pharosians

Dover Grammar School for Boys is a selective secondary school located in Dover, United Kingdom. The school is situated next to Astor College, which is a non-selective school. It has a strong sporting rivalry with Astor and Sir Roger Manwood's School, a selective Grammar school in nearby Sandwich, Kent. The school was rated by Ofsted as "Outstanding" in May 2010, and is also a member of the International World School programme.[not verified in body]


Founded in 1905 as Dover County School, it was originally mixed-sex and occupied other premises at Ladywell and at what is now the Girls' Grammar at Frith Road, only later splitting into the Boys' and Girls' Grammars. It moved into the present 1930s building in 1931 (with influences from Dover Castle, which is visible from the school), only to be evacuated to Ebbw Vale during the Second World War. R J Unstead, a prolific author of history books for children, attended the school from 1926 to 1934.

The founder and first headmaster of the school was Fred Whitehouse whose personal efforts persuaded the authorities to provide the money for the new building despite the severe economic circumstances of the depression. The building mixes both gothic and classical influences. Whitehouse believed in the maxim often attributed to Winston Churchill that "we shape our buildings and our buildings shape us".

The building was opened by the Duke of York, the future King George VI of the United Kingdom.

It is one of few state school in Britain to have a working organ, which is housed in the Great Hall. The organ goes to Hamburg every 25 years for expert care and maintenance.

During World War II, the school building was taken over and used by the Royal Navy as a station for WRNS.

A notable feature of the building is a large stained glass window showing St. George and bearing the names of past students of the school who died in World War Two. There are separate memorials to students and an English teacher Oliver Tunnell who died in World War One.

It became Grant Maintained in April 1994, after warding off a series of reorganisation proposals from Kent County Council, then a Foundation School in September 1999, and in 2006 a Business and Enterprise College, which it is now. It celebrated its centenary in 2004, under headteacher Mrs Sally Lees.

The building was modified in 2000-2001 to include a second tower that differed from the design of the original tower (known as the Old Tower to pupils) to provide extra access to more IT rooms built over the school workshops.

The school became a Business and Enterprise School in 2006. As a result of the specialism the school received more funding from the government, part of which was invested into a new Business & Enterprise suite. The science labs were also refurbished in the recent years.

In 2009 there were proposals to move the school to Whitfield to be housed in a new building under the Labour government's Building Schools for the Future programme but this was cancelled after the 2010 General Election by Education Secretary Michael Gove. The cancellation of the move was a relief to some friends of the school.

Present day[edit]

The school was recently awarded International Schools Award on account of its links with schools in: France, South Korea, Taiwan, and Ethiopia. The school is also host to the Dover Extended Schools (DES) team, offering a Saturday morning academy for primary and secondary school pupils in a range of languages, arts, and sciences. Other quality marks the school holds include: Teacher Learning Academy Centre, EcoSchools and Healthy Schools.

The sporting achievements are extremely good with football, rugby and cricket teams winning County and District competitions on a regular basis. Athletics take place in the summer. The school has an undersized basketball court in the gym, the enlargement of which is a long-standing ambition. American football and softball have also been played at the school, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s when the teaching staff included Major RA Hoeren, USAAF Rtd.

The school has close links with Dover Grammar School for Girls (DGGS) sharing A-Level students in a number of subjects, as part of the Dover Sixth Form Consortium, which enables A-level students of all Dover schools to attend lessons in each member school.

GCSE results are good, with the percentage of pupils achieving 5 or more grades A* – C increasing from 91% in 2002 to 100% in 2005, falling to 97% in 2006.[1][citation needed] The equivalent result for 2009 was 99%. The school's results are on a general positive trend upwards.[2] University entry levels are good, with recent students gaining entrance to: Durham, Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol, Warwick and University College London.[citation needed]

During May 2009, students funded the opening of the Brian Haines Suite, formally known as L7 (and previously room 17). This was to commemorate the exceptional amount of time that Brian Haines had served the school, from 1971 to 2009. It was decided that Brian Haines' dedication to the school earned this honour.

The school also has a highly successful Combined Cadet Force (CCF) with approximately 50 members which is open to anybody from Year 8 upwards from the surrounding area.

Dover Grammar School for Boys is currently developing the HEdSTART programme; an innovative approach to teaching and learning at Post 16.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Former pupils are known as "Old Pharosians". The term is derived from the Latin word pharos, which means "lighthouse", and refers to the famous lighthouse at Dubris built by the Romans after their conquest of Britain.

In 1995, during the contest for leadership of the Conservative Party between Prime Minister John Major and John Redwood MP it was suggested in the media that Redwood briefly attended the school,[citation needed] however, a search of the school records by deputy headmaster, Dr. Alan Jackson, found no evidence to support this.[citation needed]


External links[edit]