The Dover Federation for the Arts Multi Academy Trust (DFAMAT) is a family of schools and colleges which serves the Dover community and beyond. It comprises Astor College, Barton Junior School, Shatterlocks Infant and Nursery School, White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts and Pebbles Nursery. We have a well-established reputation for offering our pupils a safe and caring environment in which they can be happy and thrive as they learn. Ideas and opportunities are explored with enthusiasm through a broad and balanced curriculum throughout the Trust. All our young people, from the youngest to the oldest in our community, are encouraged and supported to be the very best versions of themselves possible.
For us as Trustees, the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students are always top priorities. At all levels, individuals have the opportunity to extend their interests and develop their talents through collaboration and celebration within strong and imaginative teams.
Our four schools are ably run by their Principals and Heads of School who, along with the Company Secretary make up the Executive Leadership Team led by the Chief Executive Officer. There is a Board of Trustees and four local Academy Boards which focus upon individual establishments.
The DFAMAT is very proud of the commitment, expertise and dedication of its staff. We value the development and nurturing of personal responsibility and leadership within a friendly and mutually supportive atmosphere. It is important that new staff should feel able to share this progressive and exciting ethos. A full Induction programme is provided for new staff.
The Trust family belongs to a national and international community of learning. We benefit greatly from a wide range of cultures and networks established over many years. Our rich history of achievement in the Arts, both inside the curriculum and outside it, has provided generations of young people with the confidence and openness necessary for modern life.
We place great importance upon inspiration and creativity within Teaching and Learning and the high standards inherent in that. Staff are encouraged to build on their skills through Continued Professional Development. The DFAMAT provides many opportunities for the in-house exchange of ideas and strategies between staff. It provides breadth and depth of experience in leadership at all levels.
Every single child is entirely unique. It is our belief, as Trustees, that helping to provide each one of them with the best life chances possible is the most precious of privileges.
The Astor College vision is to motivate all students to achieve their best in a safe, caring and stimulating environment. We offer a range of opportunities that stretch, challenge and develop resilience for every student.
Astor is an 11-19 Secondary Academy which is part of the Dover Federation for the Arts Multi Academy Trust. To support our vision and core values we pride ourselves in the broad and balanced curriculum we offer. This enables our students to develop, not only the core academic knowledge and understanding, but also important life skills for their future.
Entry for pupils into Astor at the beginning of Year 7 is guided thoughtfully and imaginatively by the College. We recognise that this is a huge transition for children and families and do our best to manage as smooth a process as possible from Primary to Secondary education.
The Sixth form at Astor is very strong, offering a wide range of A level courses. Specialist staff look to the future for their students who, in the majority, achieve the places of their choice on courses in Higher and Further education.
We work closely with external partners to ensure that we give the best opportunity and chances to our students and this in turn enables us to access new and exciting projects and programmes that further enrich the learning experience we offer.
The Astor College motto of ‘Adaptable, Creative and Proud’ underpins all that we undertake, and this focus, supported by the passionate and committed staff has seen our academic achievements improve year on year.
The resolute commitment to ensuring the best possible outcomes for some of the region’s most vulnerable pupils is shared by all staff. The school is warm and welcoming, providing a safe and nurturing environment in which pupils do increasingly well.
Ofsted, November 2018
Ofsted, December 2018
Pupils love their school. They told me that their fellow pupils are kind and staff help them in both their learning and play. Special focus weeks and the plethora of real-life experiences which underpin learning ensure that Shatterlocks is a memorable place to learn and grow. Care is taken to support pupils in every aspect of their lives, both in and out of school. Consequently, they flourish and are well prepared for the next stage of their education.
Ofsted, July 2018
White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts is a happy place to work and learn. This two-form entry Primary Academy is set on an elevated position overlooking Dover Castle and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. The Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Special Educational Needs department is housed in a new, purpose built, two storey building. Our creative curriculum is enhanced by a wide variety of extracurricular clubs and activities offered throughout the year which include sports clubs, craft, arts, dance, gardening and puzzle club. We also run a very popular Breakfast Club and Care After School Hours (CAST) facility.
Our children enjoy coming to school and are proud of their school community. They uphold our school ethos to ‘work hard, behave well and care for one another.’ The active College Council represents the views of our children and have been instrumental in bringing about many improvements such as the trim trail, fund raising, charity events and redesigning their uniform. Our fantastic staff team are dedicated to ensuring that every child is happy and successful in all aspects of school life.
Outstanding provision for child and family welfare and wellbeing permeates the ethos of the College. In January 2019, Ofsted graded the school 'good'.
Pupils and staff enjoy warm relationships. Staff know pupils extremely well, helping to nurture and guide their development. Interactions between pupils and adults are heartfelt and genuine. In return, pupils treat the staff with the utmost respect. Pupils flourish within this trusting and caring environment.
Ofsted, January 2019
Pebbles Nursery is situated within the purpose-built Early Years Department of White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts. This private nursery is open during school hours and offers 26 places per session for 2, 3, and 4-year olds. The experienced and capable staff team are led by the Nursery Manager and a qualified, experienced Early Years teacher. Pebbles Nursery offers full day care and flexible sessions. The newly refurbished suite and extensive outdoor learning space provides young children with an excellent start in life. Pebbles Nursery was graded outstanding by Ofsted in September 2013.
The nursery prepares children exceptionally well for their move to school and the leadership and management of the nursery is exceptional.
Ofsted, September 2013