Dean Close is a co-educational day and boarding school in Gloucestershire.
About the school
Dean Close School is a co-educational day and boarding school which provides continuity of education from age 2 to 18. The School was established in 1886, and is set in 50 acres of parkland in the centre of Cheltenham. Visitors regularly comment on the atmosphere, saying how warm and friendly they find it and it is felt that this positive environment can be attributed directly to the Christian heart and principles of the School. The School is renowned for focusing on individual development. Small classes, excellent learning facilities plus a 550-seater professional theatre, amphitheatre, 2 floodlit astro-turfs, 25m indoor pool, climbing wall, indoor rifle range, dance studio and fully equipped gymnasium all help to nurture each child’s strengths and talents. With around 290 pupils in the prep school and 500 in the senior school, Dean Close is small enough to allow everyone to know one another and to feel valued. It also allows everyone to get fully involved in the life of the School. However, it is large enough to have an extremely strong boarding community, vibrant and exciting creative arts, impressive academic results and great sports results across all ages.
Following an exciting nomination and shortlisting process at the start of this year, Dean Close School has been crowned the Best Independent School of the Year at the first ever SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards.
8th June 2018 — Warden, Emma Taylor, and Dean Close School Headmaster, Bradley Salisbury were amongst 250 guests, dignitaries and hopeful businesses gathered at Blackfriars Priory in Gloucester for the inaugural Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards. Excited to be a part of the celebrations and nominated with Kitebrook Preparatory School, Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Hopelands Independent School, Malvern St James Girls’ School, Rendcomb College, The King’s School; the Dean Close representatives were delighted to accept this prestigious award.
Dean Close staff and pupils give over and above what is requested of them time and time again, staying late for music rehearsals, travelling to matches in all parts of the country, organising visits, trips and speakers to enrich pupils’ learning, providing extra coaching or tutoring to achieve the very best grades or just reassuring a pupil who may be missing home. The award is a wonderful way to give public recognition for the extraordinary, and usually invisible efforts every pupil and member of staff make to create this remarkable community.
SoGlos said of the School, “The winner of the Independent Schools Award is more than just a school; it’s a vibrant, colourful community, where all pupils are given the opportunity to thrive. With some of the best educational establishments battling it out to be crowned as the winner, Dean Close was set apart with its vast offering of academic and artistic subjects as well as outstanding pastoral care.”
Headmaster, Bradley Salisbury, said, "It was wonderful to be part of an event that spanned the whole of Gloucestershire and to be recognised alongside some very well established businesses as well as some brand new enterprises. The most satisfying part was that we have been voted for by members of the Dean Close community – parents, pupils and staff. To know that those individuals are ready to support the School in a public setting is incredibly encouraging."
Thank you to everyone for voting and supporting the Dean Close community in winning this very special award.
DEAN CLOSE INTERSCHOOLS SHOW JUMPING COMPETITION 2017
The annual Dean Close Inter-Schools Show Jumping Competition was a roaring success with 217 riders from over 40 schools competing in the beautiful setting of Rectory Farm, Gloucestershire.
26th June 2017 — The annual Dean Close Inter-Schools Show Jumping Competition was a roaring success with 217 riders from over 40 schools competing in the beautiful setting of Rectory Farm
The annual Dean Close Inter-Schools Show Jumping Competition was a roaring success with 217 riders from over 40 schools competing in the beautiful setting of Rectory Farm, Gloucestershire thanks to impeccable organisation and team work on the day, from both the Dean Close Team and all of the visiting competitors.
All of the Dean Close riders rode extremely well and the day ended on a high with Molly Davies coming second individually in the 1m class, securing her a place at the Nationals. Molly then went on to win the 1.10m class as well on her horse benny who “jumped like he had springs in his feet!” according to one spectator.
Fleur Cradock, Equestrian Manager, said: “It was wonderful to see all the riders and schools get so much enjoyment and fun from the day. There were many comments on the smartness of the arena party helpers, who all looked great in their Dean Close kit. Everyone was willing to muck in where possible, the pupils were a credit to the School and their help was much appreciated”.
The success of the day was made possible by a lot of team work and notably the support of generous sponsors of the competition; Fencing Britain, Dever Saddlery, Alex Hall Farrier and Adjacency recruitment consultants.
DEAN CLOSE MEETS THE PRIME MINISTER AT CHELTENHAM SCIENCE FESTIVAL
It was with huge surprise that Dean Close pupils from the Prep and Senior Schools greeted the Prime Minister, Theresa May, when she walked up to their activity stand at this year’s Cheltenham Science Festival.
7th June 2017 — It was with huge surprise that Dean Close pupils from the Prep and Senior Schools greeted the Prime Minister, Theresa May, when she walked up to their activity stand at this year’s Cheltenham Science Festival. Located in the centre of the Discover Zone inside the Town Hall, Mrs May appeared late in the afternoon just a couple of days before the General Election.
Accompanied by a swarm of press photographers, the Prime Minster said hello to all the Dean Close team and spent several minutes talking to the children about the Periodic Table bookmarks which were being made at the Dean Close stand. She seemed thrilled to be given her own bookmark with her name made up of the correct elements.
Pupil, Hannah Porter said, “It was really exciting, the Prime Minister was very nice indeed and asked us about the activities we were doing. We all shook hands with her and we had our photograph taken, I think we even made it onto Sky News! Today was a fantastic experience which I will remember for a very long time.”
The Dean Close stand will be at the Science Festival Discover Zone from the 6th-11th June. Visitors can learn all about the Periodic Table, the elements it contains, why it is organised the way it is, some of the latest elements to be discovered and fascinating facts about their properties. They can also have a go at the Dean Close ‘Goggle eye challenge’ which is an activity to demonstrate how the eye works. Wearing a pair of inversion goggles visitors can take part in a variety of challenging tasks.
This year’s Commemoration of Benefactors, held on Saturday 27 May, saw over 1000 visitors arrive at Dean Close to celebrate the successes of the year.
4th June 2017 — This year’s Commemoration of Benefactors, held on Saturday 27 May, saw over 1000 visitors arrive at Dean Close to celebrate the successes of the year. For the very first time, the Service was held in Tewkesbury Abbey which involved the logistical accomplishment of busing the entire School community to Tewkesbury and back on a bank holiday Saturday. The effort was deemed worth it for the majesty of the surroundings and the stunning acoustics that resounded around the thick stone walls above the choir stalls.
As everyone returned to School the Houses held drinks receptions around the grounds to welcome families and friends to the event. This was followed by speeches in the marquee from the Chair of Council, Headmaster, Head of School and guest speaker, Benedict Allen. This year the Headmaster touched on our rapidly changing world, questioning the value of a Dean Close education for a future that no one can possibly predict. Head of School, Rory Kavanagh, gave an adroit speech equating his school days to the twists of a Rubik’s Cube before producing a 12-sided version to depict the start of his new life after School, particularly negotiating the student loan system! Finally after handing out prizes on stage, Benedict Allen stood to give an animated and highly amusing speech on his experience of surviving in the Amazon jungle alone, not without a few near-death experiences.
At lunchtime, picnickers stayed inside as the weather looked ominous but it did hold, which meant the traditional cricket fixture of ODs v 1st XI took place as usual, with the School victorious. The Old Decanian Society held a ‘Class of 1997’ reunion outside the pavilion with over 30 ODs and their families coming together for picnics and fun at their old School.
During the afternoon families enjoyed attending the highly impressive art exhibition in the BonBernard Gallery, making their own ice creams in the Cookery School and looking around all the academic displays. Finally the Concert Band provided classic entertainment before the plethora of Uganda raffle prizes were drawn and handed out. At that point, it was officially half term and the School emptied out after a thoroughly wonderful day.
TWO DEAN CLOSE BOYS AWARDED PROFESSIONAL RUGBY CONTRACTS
Upper Sixth pupils, Tom Seabrook and Ed Bogue, have been offered professional contracts with Gloucester Rugby Club.
25th May 2017 — Upper Sixth pupils, Tom Seabrook and Ed Bogue, have been offered professional contracts with Gloucester Rugby Club. Furthermore, old boy Lloyd Evans last week signed a new contract with Gloucester as part of their 1st XV squad for next season. Given the small number of contracts awarded to academy players each season, it is outstanding that two of the coveted places have been presented to two boys from the same school.
1st XV Captain, Tom Seabrook, has been a regular in the Gloucester Rugby’s U18 Academy Premiership league fixtures for the last two seasons. These performances were rewarded with exposure to Gloucester’s Aviva Premiership ‘A’ League Programme. Tom also played representative rugby, being selected for England U18s five times against France, Wales and Ireland, and twice against Scotland, scoring tries in two matches.
Commenting on his time at Dean Close, Tom said: “School rugby for me has been the highlight of my two years at Dean Close. An excellent coaching team that provides individual support on and off the field and a group of lads so willing to learn, made being captain all the more easy.”
Ed Bogue entered the Gloucester Rugby U18 Academy League programme in December 2016 and became a fixture in the rest of the Gloucester campaign, being selected three times for Gloucester United, starting against Exeter Braves. Ed said: “The support system available at Dean Close to balance school work and maximise your rugby potential is faultless. Dean Close have given me many opportunities with the strong relationship with Gloucester Rugby Academy and over the past two years I have seen significant improvements in my performance”.
In recent years Dean Close has developed a strong reputation in schoolboy rugby. Director of Sport Greg Baber-Williams commented: “As a School we are absolutely delighted that Tom, Ed and Lloyd are achieving such high levels of success, and their commitment to achieve those goals should not go unmentioned. High levels of personal sacrifice and exteremely hard work have ensured that the boys have made the most of the opportunities whilst with us at Dean Close. The schools ethos fundamentally focuses on the individual and this is echoed through the sports programme. I have been delighted with the relationship between ourselves and Gloucester Rugby Club and as we embark on the third year as official partners I am certain that we provide an outstanding framework for those seeking to excell in the game of rugby union. Our rugby programme which is under the direction of ex Gloucester player and Academy manager, Andrew Stanley, has gone from strength to strength.”
This year alone Dean Close boasts over 40 boys in the Developing Player Programme at Gloucester Rugby Academy and was well represented in the U16 programme with all 11 players progressing into the U17 pre-season programme this year. Senior Gloucester Academy coach Richard Whiffin had these comments to make on behalf of the academy in light of the success of the Dean Close boys.
“Lloyd, Ed and Tom have all been fully committed to their ambition to get to the next stage of their rugby careers and they fully deserve all of the success that they have recently gained. They all have good attitudes and a desire to continue to improve in every area. Dean Close School has been a vital part in their triumphs and I have been delighted by how well they support the boys and ensured that they have all of the access that they need to not only the academy programme but also their own high level medical and strength and conditioning provision. The school partnership has been a resounding success from our perspective and I know that the boys feel very well supported outside of rugby both academically and socially.”