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.
Teenagers are wired for adventure, adrenaline and challenge – and the new Dean Close Adventure Department is built for just that.
10th November 2020 — Teenagers are wired for adventure, adrenaline and challenge – and the new Dean Close Adventure Department is built for just that.
Mountain biking, paddle sports, mountain adventures, rock climbing, bush craft, slack lining, orienteering… the possibilities are endless.
Adventures start on school grounds:
· ‘Bike Park DC’ for the mountain bikers
· the climbing wall and bouldering facility
· the swimming pool for the kayakers, paddle boarders and canoeists
· The brook for bushcraft, hammocks and slack lining
As technical skill develops, we make the most of our local area:
· The mountain bikers hit the Forest of Dean, Cleeve Hill, Leckhampton, 417 Bike Park and Cranham Woods. Some of the best mountain biking in the UK is right on our doorstep.
· Climbers can reach for new heights at The Warehouse in Gloucester, Boulders in Cheltenham and on real rocks in the Wye Valley and on Cleeve Hill
· Paddlers learn their game at Croft Farm, Cotswold Water Park, the River Avon, the River Wye and Cardiff International White Water Centre
· Adventures on foot throughout the Cotswolds, the Wye Valley, Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia and further afield. Escape the town and breath the mountain air
All this skill development prepares our pupils for big adventures.
Mr Beecham, Head of Adventure has experience leading expeditions trekking, paddling, biking and volunteering in the South American Andes and Amazon, Canadian Rockies, East and West Africa, Nepal, the Alps and Artic Norway.
Pupils can bring their adventure ideas to us and we will work to bring them to life.
“Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades Forever and forever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnished, not to shine in use! As though to breathe were life!” – Alfred Lord Tennyson
Television presenter Angellica Bell was guest speaker at Dean Close Prep.
29 June 2019, Dean Close Preparatory School was thrilled to welcome British television and radio presenter, Angellica Bell as their guest speaker to their annual Speech Day, marking the end of the school year. Angellica Bell is best known for her presenting on CBBC, The One Show and for co-presenting The Martin Lewis Money Show. She also won the 2017 series of Celebrity MasterChef.
3rd July 2019 — 29 June 2019, Dean Close Preparatory School was thrilled to welcome British television and radio presenter, Angellica Bell as their guest speaker to their annual Speech Day, marking the end of the school year. Angellica Bell is best known for her presenting on CBBC, The One Show and for co-presenting The Martin Lewis Money Show. She also won the 2017 series of Celebrity MasterChef.
Speech Day started with a reflective end of year Chapel Service at the Senior School, after which parents could visit the ‘French Café’ to enjoy fresh coffee and pastries served by pupils. Throughout the morning the children’s classrooms were open so parents could review their work, including projects such as; Viking Longboat races, biography reviews, rainforest activities and in the science laboratories parents could even take the Dean Close Bushtucker Trial, as pupils were offering mealworms, locusts and crickets as alternative sources of protein, perhaps the food of the future!
If parents weren’t feeling peckish they could take a leisurely walk to the School’s beautiful outdoor theatre to watch pupils perform a play entirely in Latin, which was impressive as most of the actors were just 13 years old.
Parents then made their way to a large marquee on the school field to take their seats for speeches and the prize-giving ceremony. In his speech the Headmaster, Mr Paddy Moss, encouraged his pupils to be of service, to help others and to be outward looking. He went on to explain that 10% of life is what happens to you, 90% is how you react to those experiences. He asked them to take the time to grow from what life ‘sends’ you with a good combination of resilience and positivity. He ended with a quote from Aristotle: “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.”
Prize-giving followed, where pupils who have excelled in certain subjects or made great progress throughout the year received prizes, for instance the award for Academic Endeavour was won by Henry Read and the cup for General All-round Citizenship was won by Tom Elwes. In addition, this year there were also the Value Prizes. These were awards presented to pupils from each year group who had clearly emulated the school values of integrity, honesty, resilience, kindness, service and respect.
Angellica Bell said, “It was wonderful to be invited to such an extraordinary school, where they celebrate not only academic and co-curricular achievement, prizes were also given to those children who had demonstrated the school’s values which are so important to help shape a healthy, positive society. I asked the staff, parents and children to consider the qualities their hero might have or someone they looked up to and then try and emulate those qualities themselves - to be the very best person they can be - to be their own hero. Wishing the Dean Close Community a well-earned rest this summer.”
Dean Close Preparatory School pupils 'explore' the Rainforest.
Monday 3rd June, pupils at Dean Close Preparatory School enjoyed a colourful Rainforest Day. The Year 3 classrooms were alive with beasties, bugs and other exotic animals from the rainforest, as they welcomed rainforest expert and explorer, Paul Carpenter for the day.
11th June 2019 — Monday 3rd June, pupils at Dean Close Preparatory School enjoyed a colourful Rainforest Day. The Year 3 classrooms were alive with beasties, bugs and other exotic animals from the rainforest, as they welcomed rainforest expert and explorer, Paul Carpenter for the day.
Dressed in their best jungle costumes, pupils aged seven and eight spent the day with Paul learning about life in the rainforest. Using different animals the workshop took the children through the various levels of the rainforest, starting at the floor where all number of creatures live - including the ‘cleaners’ who are responsible for taking care of the rainforest floor by eating the rotting wood, leaves and fruit. Then they explored the creatures that live in the under story, such as the tree frog, before finishing their journey in the hidden world of the tree top canopy.
Throughout the day the children also had the opportunity to look at some rainforest artefacts such as, a fish tooth, crocodile and python skin, palm oil, cocoa beans and an armadillo handbag! The class had to choose one artefact and make a close study of it and draw a still life. The drawings were fantastic!
“It was really interesting to hear about some of Paul’s travels. The children were really engaged and asked some brilliant questions such as, ‘What was the biggest spider you’ve ever seen?’, ‘Have you ever had a creature named after you? (The answer was yes!)’ and ‘What was your favourite adventure?’ Fantastic!” said Mrs Matthews, Year 3 Teacher.
“Rainforest day was fun because we got to touch animals we had never seen before!” said pupil, Noah Chatterton Y3.
Hordes of Vikings rampaged through Dean Close Preparatory School when pupils came to school dressed as Nordic warriors ready to enjoy a day experiencing some of the skills a good Viking would have needed, over a 1000 years ago. Throughout the morning Jarl Charlie showed pupils how to weave, make wooden shields and build a Viking longboat, whilst sharing interesting facts about the people who raided and traded from their Scandinavian homelands.
10th June 2019 — Hordes of Vikings rampaged through Dean Close Preparatory School when pupils came to school dressed as Nordic warriors ready to enjoy a day experiencing some of the skills a good Viking would have needed, over a 1000 years ago. Throughout the morning Jarl Charlie showed pupils how to weave, make wooden shields and build a Viking longboat, whilst sharing interesting facts about the people who raided and traded from their Scandinavian homelands.
Firsty the young Vikings built a ship from the keel up, using rivets and guts to hold the planks securely in place. The Vikings built their boats mainly of oak, they used pine for the mast and the oars were made of ash. The planks were held together with gut and walrus whiskers and they finished the last planks of their boat with Megginhoofer, Viking for thick planks. The end result was an impressive Viking long boat, 6 metres long, which was quarter of the size of a real long boat.
The children also learnt how to spin wool and weave it to make cloth, this proved to be a very tricky skill! Then they spent time designing a fierce dragon head and tail for their long ship.
One pupils said, “Building the wooden shields was really hard work – they were so heavy. The viking men and women must have been super strong to hold the shield and try and fight. I found it nearly impossible to use the shield to protect myself whilst trying to pick up a wooden sword, really tricky!”
Teacher Mr West said, “A brilliant interactive day, bringing together a variety of new skills and knowledge!”
Dean Close Preparatory School pupils build playground truck for local nursery.
Old Decanian and Head of Design & Technology at DCPS, Mr David Jones, challenged his year 8 DT class to an apprentice style project. The class of 17 had to come up with ideas for playtime toys for the Dean Close Tree Tops Nursery. In consultation with Tree Tops they chose to make a 4 x 4 Truck Climbing Frame. The project, which was partly funded by the Old Decanian Society, took 20 hours to build from scratch and was constructed on site by the pupils and the Mr Jones, whilst eager Treetop children waited for their first ‘drive’.
6th June 2019 — Recently, Head of Design & Technology at DCPS, Mr David Jones, challenged his year 8 DT class to an apprentice style project. The class of 17 were invited to design playground toys for the Dean Close Tree Tops Nursery. In consultation with Tree Tops they chose to make a 4 x 4 Truck climbing frame. The project, which was partly funded by the Old Decanian Society, took 20 hours to build from scratch and was constructed on site by the pupils and the Mr Jones, whilst eager Treetops children waited for their first ‘drive’.
Pupil Serena said, “Being involved in this project meant that I learnt lots of new skills,from brainstorming the project to considering the safety aspect, as well as cutting wood for the first time and the importance of labelling all the elements so that we knew how to put it together! I was so proud seeing it finished and watching the children playing on it.”
Dean Close wins Best Independent School in Gloucestershire, again!
DEAN CLOSE WINS BEST INDEPENDENT SCHOOL OF THE YEAR - AGAIN
21st May 2019 — Dean Close is delighted to have been crowned the Best Independent School of the Year at the SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards for the second year running. This accolade comes just 12 months after winning the award at the inaugural event in 2018.
Following a nomination and shortlisting process at the start of the year, SoGlos readers were invited to vote for their favourite Gloucestershire lifestyle businesses, events and individuals in 22 categories.
Representing the School at the SoGlos flagship occasion held in Gloucester Cathedral was the Dean Close Pre-Preparatory School Headmistress, Dr Carolyn Shelley and Dean Close Preparatory School Headmaster, Paddy Moss. Present alongside 280 other guests, dignitaries and hopeful businesses, they were delighted to accept the prestigious award on behalf of the School. Other nominees included Cheltenham College (runners-up), Bredon School, Hatherop Castle School, Kitebrook Preparatory School, Hopelands Independent School and Rendcomb College.
In its nomination application, the School stated: “At Dean Close pupils arrive at different times in their lives, each with their own story and distinct personality. No two people are the same; in beliefs, abilities, age, ethnicity, gender and background; all these qualities contribute to our uniqueness. It is the Dean Close community’s belief that everyone has the right to fulfil their potential, no matter where that potential is found. It is a foundational principle at Dean Close that every pupil is equally valuable, and that it is our role as educators to help them find their gifts and to give them the inspiration, encouragement and expert input to enable them to shine.”
“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.”
At the award ceremony, SoGlos commended the School as: “A thriving, vibrant, progressive School renowned for focusing on individual development and helping to nurture each child’s strengths. A School that is clearly loved by many SoGlos readers who showed their support with hundreds of votes.”
Headmaster, Paddy Moss, 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."
Speaking about the awards, SoGlos’s group publisher, James Fyrne said: “The level of interest, support and excitement around our awards has been phenomenal. The list of finalists represents the best of the best in Gloucestershire, and the winners should all be very proud in coming top of their categories, as chosen by SoGlos readers.” Winners from other categories included Gloucester Rugby, the Cheltenham Literature Festival and Cowley Manor.
Warden, Emma Taylor, commented: “Winning the SoGlos Award for a second time is a wonderful endorsement; the award is a fabulous way to give public recognition for the extraordinary, and usually invisible efforts every pupil and member of staff make to create this remarkable community. I would like to extend my own personal thanks to the hundreds of voters who showed their support.”