Why Choose Dean Close?
Why Dean Close?
Being a Decanian means you are part of a very happy, stable family. Our long history of co-education, our beautiful 50 acre site and our strong pastoral reputation are significant strengths.
With 900 pupils shared between three schools, from ages 2-18, Dean Close is small enough to allow pupils to get to know one another and to feel valued, yet big enough to have vibrant and exciting creative arts, impressive academic results, great sports and an extremely strong day and boarding community, making it possible for every child to achieve success and gain confidence.
Visitors regularly comment on the atmosphere, saying how warm and friendly they find it, with good relations between staff and pupils. It is felt that this positive environment can be attributed directly to the Christian ethos of the School which is not measured by formal activities or events, but by our overwhelming commitment to each individual. Dean Close welcomes pupils of all faiths and none.
‘Thinking Beyond the Curriculum' Award
Dean Close was delighted to win this Award after being shortlisted against five very successful and well-known schools. The judges said that they were really keen to make their awards different, and instead of replicating the same old categories they wanted to give space and a platform to schools who are really forging ahead with innovative ideas and initiatives. They were really impressed by our Skills Lab initiative in the Senior School, as well as our new Saturday curriculum introducing Five Time in the Prep School.
Great Location on One Site
Sitting on the outskirts of a Regency spa town in the heart of the Cotswolds, Dean Close owns the largest single piece of land in Cheltenham, with a glorious 50 acres of woodland and beautiful grounds, as well as a plethora of Victorian and modern buildings, all situated on the edge of Cheltenham town. This allows each of the senior, prep and pre-prep schools to share in a plethora of state-of-the art facilities which include indoor and outdoor theatres, floodlit pitches, 25m swimming pool, forest school, climbing wall, cookery school, dance studio and much more.
Dean Close DNA
Across all ages, the curriculum has weaved within it five key skills for the future, known as the 5Cs: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, compassion, communication. These will enable our pupils to have the flexibility, resilience and confidence to enter the world of work, knowing that the jobs they will do, in many cases, are ones we cannot currently imagine.
These specific skills have been chosen to help our pupils flourish in the widest sense of the word; careers and future employability are vital, but we also want to enable them to live out our core values of courage and love, contributing to their communities, long after they have moved on from Dean Close.
The range of experiences, opportunities and the ethos delivered at School through the values and skills, when fitted together, form a DNA profile which makes every pupil’s experience distinctly Dean Close.
Founding Christian Ethos
Dean Close School was established in 1886 on an Evangelical Christian foundation within the Church of England, and this is still very much lived out in who we are today. This is seen most obviously in the way that at Dean Close we value every person, regarding them as uniquely created and loved by God.
The School welcomes pupils from all faiths and none, and as such we are well aware that many pupils will not share the Christian values of the School but everyone is encouraged to explore what they think of the world around them. Equally those who have a faith, however certain or not, are fully supported in their spiritual quest. A lively Chaplaincy team run a number of activities for those who are interested including Growing Leaders, Alpha, Christian Union and camps, House bible studies and welcome a number of inspirational speakers each year.
One Happy Community
Dean Close is an incredibly welcoming place where people are genuinely interested in one another and all faces are familiar. We keep our feet on the ground and many visitors to the School comment on how friendly and wholesome they find it. Although relatively small, the School competes at a high level in everything it does and aspires to think, often performing very successfully against schools much bigger in academics, sport, drama and music, whilst maintaining an intimate feel. Our large and active Old Decanian Society speaks volumes for the friendships and love that many have for their old school.
With its strong sporting tradition there is a sport-for-all philosophy with many pupils playing team sports each week whilst also producing successes in county, through to regional and up to national level in a variety of sports, most particularly hockey, rugby, tennis and equestrianism.
This is achieved through the high standards delivered by a group of top-level coaches, many of whom have played or coached at professional or international level, as well as the wide range of facilities which include extensive grounds for rugby and cricket pitches, a large sports hall with gymnasium and dance studio, water-based astroturfs, tennis and netball courts, an indoor 25m pool, climbing wall, rifle range and mountain bike track.
International Quartet in Residence
Music is huge and vibrant here with unparalleled opportunities for pupils of all ages and abilities.
Since 2011 the School has been fortunate to have the world-renowned Carducci String Quartet in residence as our Head of Strings. They are recognised as one of the most exciting young string quartets where they perform in the most prestigious venues all over the world. The members of the Quartet all teach weekly instrumental lessons across our three schools, from baby strings to chamber music groups, from orchestral sectionals to performing A Level set works and pupil compositions. They encourage pupils to develop a love of music through playing a string instrument and inspire existing players with additional coaching and masterclasses. And we are lucky to be able to attend their regular performances at Dean Close.
Busy Theatre Life
Theatre is culturally and academically vital to the life of Dean Close, offering a varied and challenging diet of plays and musicals. Both the prep and senior schools have their own exceptional theatres and facilities, whilst also sharing a woodland amphitheatre within the school grounds. Aside from plethora of productions that take place each year, many of our pupils opt to take Speech and Drama lessons with GCSE Drama and AS Theatre Studies also very popular.
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