The Doon School was founded on the 10th of September, 1935 when seventy two boys moved into the ivory covered, red brick buildings of what had once been the Imperial Forest College and Research Institute in the Chandbagh Estate at Dehra Dun. The founders of The Doon School envisaged a school open to all boys, awarding scholarships to deserving boys from poor families, so as to make the School a public school in the true sense of the word. The students were expected to achieve distinction through what they did rather than who they were or who their parents were. A goal of the school is to provide young Indians with a rounded education, and to instill in them a respect for the ideals of secularism, discipline and equality. The result of this system that Arthur Foot, the first headmaster, developed is evident in the men who have studied there, the Old Boys as they are called. Old Boys of the Doon School are to be found in every facet of our national life; in government, in industry and in professional life.
Students join in grade 7 during the middle of the Spring semester. The academic year runs from April to March with a two month break in June and in December. Founder's Day is celebrated annually in the third week of October. Each semester has a five to eight day midterm break, when students go on trekking expeditions into nearby jungles and mountains.
Students live in one of five residences, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kashmir, Oberoi and Tata. In the first year most students either live in Foot or Martyn House before moving to the main residences. They sleep in dormitories of between four and twenty students. As they advance in school, they move into rooms of two, three or four students.
Facilities: An Overview
A Dosco has access to a wide variety of facilities while at Doon. For the intellectual, there is an excellent library, student run societies that nurture an interest in pursuits as wide ranging as astronomy, debating in english and hindi, mathematics and a variety of student publications including the Doon School Weekly and The Echo (a science magazine). Doon also offers training in a variety of sports including archery, basketball, cricket, diving, hockey, soccer, squash, swimming, tennis and track and field. For the aesthetically inclined, training in Indian classical music, pottery, painting, batik work, sculpture, silk screen printing and theater are some of the facilities the Dosco enjoys. Carpentry, motor mechanics, electronics and computer skills are a few of the other activities that Doon provides its students. Community service also forms an integral part of the curriculum. Students choose from a variety of activities including road maintenance, tree planting, and helping the handicapped. Doon is also a member of the Round Square schools, a consortium of schools which emphasizes community service.
Located in the rectangle formed by the Lesser Himalayas to the north, the Siwalik hills to the south, the Ganges river to the west, and the Yamuna river to the east, Doon provides unparalleled opportunities for the adventurous. New students often make a short but tortuous journey up to Mussoorie to see their first snow. The trek to Nag Tibba is another favorite.
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