Basic Information & Location
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.
Dean Close 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 300 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 achievements across all ages.
Verbum Dei Lucer – God’s Word, a Guiding light.
The main purpose of the Dean Close curriculum is to offer a challenging and balanced academic education, equipping pupils for the opportunities and demands of their future lives. The school aims to stretch the minds of the most able pupils while ensuring that those of more moderate ability obtain the necessary qualifications and the greatest intellectual satisfaction of which they are capable. The Director of Studies advises pupils on subject choices at all stages of their progression through the School.
A committed common room uses a range of teaching styles to deliver a broad-based curriculum, with most pupils sitting 9 or 10 GCSEs. Alongside core subjects, there is a genuine breadth of choice from Design Technology to Greek and from Physics to Spanish to Drama.
Class sizes average between 15-20 and all classrooms, laboratories, library facilities and seminar rooms are fitted to the very highest standards with state-of-the-art technology. Coupled with an excellent teaching staff, this is what accounts for the 98 percent of pupils who obtain university places each year.
Pastoral Care & Boarding
Dean Close is very much a boarding school, with a full programme of teaching and activities all through the week and at weekends. The School has a healthy mixture of Day and Boarding pupils plus a small number of Flexi Boarders who stay one or two nights per week. With families from as far afield as Australia or as close as across the road, the School does the utmost to accommodate the different needs and circumstances of each individual family. Dean Close puts huge emphasis on developing the whole person and the pastoral systems are geared to achieve that end.
The primary unit of pastoral care is the House. All pupils are members of a House, headed up by a Housemaster or Housemistress and supported by Assistant House staff and tutors, one of whom will be their academic mentor whom they meet weekly for a discussion about their progress. In the Sixth Form, pupils are able to choose their own tutor, often picking someone who teaches a relevant A level subject or somebody with whom they have forged a very positive relationship with in their earlier years at School. New pupils are helped with the process of choosing by their Housemaster or Housemistress.
Extra-curricular & Personal Development
Dean Close School has a fantastic reputation for its Music, Art, Drama and Sport for which each has a dedicated and substantial department with dedicated purpose-built facilities and highly experienced and qualified teachers and coaches.
The co-curricular programme is very broad, with dozens of clubs and activities taking place outside of the classroom. These activities take place throughout the week, although there is an emphasis on certain aspects at particular times during the normal weekly schedule. For example, Monday afternoon sees a programme (MAA) devoted to creative opportunity, hobbies and clubs, physical pursuits and intellectual extension activities. Wednesday afternoon sees a focus on Service activities, especially CCF and Community Action.