Dean Close Foundation

This is an exciting era for Dean Close, with the establishment of the Dean Close Foundation in 2015 following the acquisition of St John’s on-the-Hill Preparatory School and three nurseries in the Chepstow area.  In 2017 the Foundation purchased a further two nurseries, Tree Tops in Cheltenham and Gloucester, taking its total number of nurseries to five.  The amalgamation of Dean Close with St John’s has brought benefits to both, with substantial investments in the fabric of St John’s as well as sharing resources such as professional sports coaching; whilst providing Dean Close with a footprint in Chepstow and a relationship with parents looking for an outstanding senior school in Cheltenham.  The diversification of activities in the Dean Close Foundation portfolio has strengthened the financial position of Dean Close and therefore its ability to improve facilities, keep fees manageable and offer the very best to pupils of all ages.  After considerable investment and changes in structure, the schools and nurseries are all thriving and highly successful.

Preparing for the future

For the past year we have been working on ambitious development plans, with the central aim of giving pupils even better preparation for the future.

Our developments will be across three important aspects of Dean Close:

Campus:

The new Day House Village, currently under construction in the Senior School, will provide wonderful accommodation for day pupils, and at the same time will free space in the centre of school for the development of an exciting 21st century academic centre. There will be hubs for science, technology and maths, and for the humanities, economics and business.

Alongside a rolling programme of exciting boarding house refurbishments, this will be the largest investment in Dean Close’s facilities for decades. The development is being led by teachers and their ideas for innovative new ways of teaching and learning. With the excellent facilities we already have for sport, music, drama and art, these new teaching and learning spaces will enable us to give Dean Close pupils an edge in their preparation for the future.

Curriculum:

Moving away from Common Entrance is opening up the prospect of a much more creative and interesting curriculum for pupils at the top of the Prep School, and at the same time providing the opportunity to get a head start in learning the skills and approaches needed for success at GCSE and A level.

Linked with this is a programme of curriculum development that we are calling Skills for the Future. This is a thoroughgoing review of our teaching programmes from the youngest in Squirrels to the Sixth Form, to ensure that in the classroom, as well as in the diverse range of activities pupils enjoy here, we are developing qualities such as digital literacy, financial acumen, the ability to self-regulate and the capacity for collaborative work.

We anticipate that the real scope for OD and parental support in this area of development will come in the form of help with work experience, mentoring and networking – in the Senior School, and beyond.

Community:

We are launching a new bursary scheme to provide very generous means-tested fee-assistance to talented and financially-deserving pupils. While an obvious benefit of the scheme is the life-changing opportunities for those who win Foundation Awards, an equally important benefit will be the growing diversity of pupil-backgrounds as the scheme expands.

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