MEET THE HOUSEPARENT: MATT WILKES
Telephone: 01242 258015
House motto: sapere aude (Dare to be Different)
Telephone: 01242 258015
House motto: sapere aude (Dare to be Different)
Gate house is a boys’ boarding house, for both full time, and day boarding Sixth Formers. Unlike most houses at Dean Close, our house has a fresh crop of students entering into our tight knit community each year. The general influx of pupils are entirely new, with overseas arrivals travelling from a vast array of nations, thus immediately establishing an eclectic cultural atmosphere and implementing friendships from day one that will last for the rest of the boys’ school lives, and undoubtedly beyond. As the house is only for sixth formers, the unity that is formed amongst us is inspiring and motivating – whilst also providing a peaceful, and productive working environment.
As a small house of around 25 boys, Gate has a tradition of excelling in all aspects of school life, with pupils achieving great success across the board in both curricular and co-curricular activities. Every boy is valued for their individuality, and encouraged to pursue their personal goals; Gate house enables us to thrive, providing us with the necessary support and comfort in a busy and chaotic school life. Sixth Form pupil Alfie says that the “togetherness of all the boys, has really enabled him to strive in a new school community”, despite the overwhelming prospect of joining as a new Sixth Former.
Situated in the heart of the School, Gate’s location is a hub for socialising and collaborating with peers. The facilities within the house are excellent, with individual bedrooms, multiple common rooms and three kitchens, the boys are always well catered for, and the nature of independence and responsibility is perfect preparation for post-school life.
Sixth form only – encouraging independence, responsibility and preparation for life beyond school
Strong friendships – as the majority of the boys are new to the school when they start in Gate they form very strong bonds and friendships that last a lifetime and across continents!
Family atmosphere – there are around 25 boys in the house and this number enables excellent pastoral care and individual attention
Gate is unique in being a Sixth Form only boys’ House, which gives it a different feel from the other Boarding Houses. We prepare the boys for life beyond school by encouraging them to take responsibility for themselves. Given its smaller size (with approximately 30 boys in total), we are able to do this in a compassionate and caring environment. We see life in Gate House as being a good preparation for university and the world beyond. We encourage independence and expect the boys to develop life skills (including cooking in our newly refurbished kitchens) and to work and have fun together in a community.
Our Sixth Form only environment provides an excellent place for studying hard. Students benefit from being within a House with an excellent work ethic in which the whole house is focused on their A Level grades to secure their university place, including those working towards Oxbridge. There is also a strong culture within the House of Upper Sixth boys coaching Lower Sixth boys and passing on good advice on study skills. Students study quietly in their rooms during Prep time from 7.15pm- 9.00pm and are overseen by a Duty Tutor.
The vast majority of boys starting in Gate are new to Dean Close so when you join the Lower Sixth you make friends very quickly. We also have a buddy system in place whereby an Upper Sixth boy will look after a Lower Sixth boy and help them to settle in. So the two year groups merge very quickly and strong friendships are formed. Gate is a diverse House with a very harmonious atmosphere. There are many different nationalities enabling global friendships to be formed and a valuable opportunity to learn about different cultures which is so important in a modern world. Gate has also welcomed many boys from state schools and boys from other private schools who want the challenge of the Dean Close 6th form. Three boys from state schools became School Prefects after their first year and one other became Head Boy.
Being in a smaller House offers more opportunities for taking part in House teams from Public Speaking to Basketball, from Rugby to Chess. Many Gate boys have had the chance to compete for the House and to acquire a new interest or skill. Gate boys have been very successful beyond the House as well. In recent years we have been home to the Captain of Hockey, the Captain of Swimming, the school Chess champion, regional rugby and hockey players and an international hockey goalkeeper as well as Music Scholars.
Mark and Romey Tottman are the Houseparents for Gate. They have been at Dean Close for 10 years. They both graduated from Oxford University and worked in the business world for several years (Mark in industry and management consulting, Romey in publishing) before deciding to make teaching their new careers. They thoroughly enjoy the privilege of being boarding Houseparents and find it rewarding, hard work but also great fun. Mark is also Deputy Head, Academic and teaches in the Economics and Business Studies department. Romey is Head of the Learning Support Department. They have two children who are both at the School.
Your son will also benefit from the pastoral care of our two resident tutors, as well as our friendly and very efficient matron, Claire.
Ready, Steady, Cook – At the start of term boys are put into teams of four, given a budget and have to cook a two course meal. This is always a very popular event and a great way for our new Lower Sixth to get to know the Upper Sixth.
Gate Bachelor of the Year competition – In our House Assemblies during the year we teach the boys practical skills such as how to put a duvet cover on, how to iron a shirt, cooking simple meals and how to tie a bow tie. At the end of the year the Lower Sixth are pitted against the Upper Sixth to establish who will be crowned ‘Bachelor of the Year’!
Lower Sixth Black Tie Dinner – to celebrate the end of a fantastic first year in the House
Dean Close Pre-Preparatory School, fondly known as the ‘Squirrels’, is set in the beautiful grounds of Dean Close School, in a modern, purpose-built building. We have excellent facilities and resources and also benefit from being able to share in the outstanding Preparatory and Senior School facilities on site. We understand that a child’s first experience of school is a vital step in their learning journey, developing the knowledge, skills and self-confidence which lay the foundations for their lives.
Dean Close Preparatory School is a co-educational day and boarding school for children age 7 – 13. The school is set in 50 acres of private land near the centre of Cheltenham. With 310 pupils, the Preparatory School is small enough to allow everyone to know one another and get fully involved in the life of the School.
Set in 50 beautiful acres, Dean Close is a long-standing co-educational day and boarding school for 13-18 year olds, where visitors regularly comment on the atmosphere, saying how warm and friendly they find it.
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