Army&You has been exploring the ace amenities on offer at some of the UK’s top independent schools. Here, Principal Alex Foreman takes us for a closer look at The Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover (doyrms.com)…
Tell us about your school’s current facilities.
The Duke of York’s Royal Military School is a full and weekly boarding school predominantly for the children of Forces families. In 2010, the school became an academy, and opened its doors to other children aged 11-to-18 wishing to study and board here, who like the school’s military ethos and traditions. There are 510 students at the school, which is sponsored by the MOD.
The school has recently undergone a huge investment in its facilities. In 2014, over £24.9 million was spent on four brand new junior boarding houses, a sixth form block, a new sports centre built to Sports England specification with an external climbing wall and a new drama black box studio. In addition, two brand new teaching blocks have been built, and the senior school boarding houses have been refurbished. A new floodlit hockey astro pitch and running track now greet visitors as they enter the school grounds and flood lighting has also been introduced to the Parade square for evening practice.
Raked seating was introduced to the Nye Hall Performing Arts Centre, and funding obtained from The Dukies’ Foundation also paid for enhancing the centre’s equipment. A dance studio has also been introduced with a fully sprung floor.
Do you have any plans for future investment?
Plans are in place to update the Cricket Pavilion and enhance the Chapel. In addition, floodlighting for the rugby pitches is being planned to ensure that all sporting facilities can be used into the evenings all year round.
What’s the jewel in your crown?
The school’s jewel in the crown is its 150 acres of land, which enables students to engage in parades, all sports and extra-curricular activities – all on site.
What does having access to top-notch facilities mean to a child’s education?
Our students take full advantage of the space and upgraded facilities on offer to them. As well as the facilities mentioned, the school also has a swimming pool, traditional gym and fitness centre, which enables students to live a healthy lifestyle, all available on their own doorstep in a safe and protected environment. In addition, the new teaching blocks are light and airy, and equipped with modern facilities to ensure that students have the very best resources.
Why should parents pick your school based on your facilities?
So much money has been spent on the school over the last three years, and all our facilities are up-to-date and modern, combined with the military heritage and history of the school that makes us so unique. The Dining Hall has retained all of its traditional features, such as the wooden panelling on the walls showing winning Dukies through the years, and the traditional parquet flooring, wooden benches and wooden tables, but it has been carefully refurbished including the iconic Clock Tower that flies the Union flag.
What are your top three most used facilities?
- Multi-use sports hall
- Parade square
- Nye Hall Performing Arts Centre