Hermes

Please click here to access this week’s Hermes.

Half Term Mailing

Below you will find further information on:

  • A letter from the Headmaster regarding staff changes in Fortfield (Fortfield parents)

  • Instructions on how to access Parent Portal and the iSAMS App (all parents)

  • Year 8 Trial Exam Timetable (Year 8 parents)

  • Pink Dinner, Friday 1st March (all parents)

  • Dean Close Community Clay Pigeon Shooting, Friday 8th March (all parents)

  • Invitation to a Parents’ Talk, Monday 11th March (all parents)

  • Dean Close London Business Club, Thursday 14th March (all parents)

  • Dean Close Community Golf Day, Friday 29th March (all parents)

  • Vienna Ballet, Saturday 30th March (all parents)

  • Internet Safety (all parents)

  • Term Dates

  • Reading – Year 7 and 8

  • Speech and Drama

  • Music

  • Boarders

  • Prayer Fellowship Dates

  • Database Updates

  • Medical Matters

  • Message from the Bursary

  • Bacon Theatre Information (all parents)

  • Ultimate Activity Camps (all parents)

General notices

A letter from the Headmaster regarding staff changes in Fortfield (Fortfield parents)

Please click here to download the letter from the Headmaster.

Instructions on how to access Parent Portal and the iSAMS App (all parents)

Please click here for information on how to access the Parent Portal and iSAMS App and the Effort Cards that all pupils will receive at the start of half term.

Year 8 Trial Exam Timetable (Year 8 parents)

Please click here to access the Year 8 Trial Exam Timetable.

Pink Dinner, Friday 1st March (all parents)

Please click here to access information about this event hosted at Dean Close to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Charity.

Dean Close Community Clay Pigeon Shooting, Friday 8th March (all parents)

Please click here to access further information. Join Old Decanians, Staff, and Current & Past Parents at Ian Coley Sporting for a morning’s shooting and tuition. Suitable for beginners and advanced shots.

Invitation on a Parents’ Talk, Monday 11th March (all parents)

Please click here to access information on this presentation to parents.

Dean Close London Business Club, Thursday 14th March (all parents)

Please click here to access further information.

Dean Close Community Golf Day, Friday 29th March (all parents)

Please click here to access further information. All are welcome to join us for a round of Golf at Cotswold Hills Golf Club, Cheltenham. All in aid of Nyakatukura Memorial Secondary School, a School that Dean Close has supported since 2005.

Vienna Ballet, Saturday 30th March (all parents)

Please click here to access information about this event hosted at Dean Close.

Internet Safety (all parents)

Safe Use of the Internet

Dean Close Preparatory School is committed to promoting the safe and responsible use of the internet and as such we feel it is our responsibility to raise particular issues that are of concern.

Technology is continually evolving and keeping up with the pace of these changes can be very hard. As mentioned previously, the internet advisory service ‘Childnet’ offers regular updates for parents to which they can sign up – http://eepurl.com/xyjOb.  

Of growing concern is the inappropriate use of OoVoo, Snapchat, Skype, Instagram, Facebook and other texting sites amongst our young people. Please note that the minimum age for many of these sites is 13 or above.

Primarily, these occurrences and reported incidents of misuse of social media sites happen at home, after school hours, when children have access to web sites that are blocked in school. With this in mind, and in response to concerned parents who have asked for advice regarding internet safety, we feel it important to point out to parents the risks of unregulated use of such sites. This may help you to make informed decisions as to whether to allow your child to have a profile or not and when and how to monitor their use, particularly at night time.

There have been some questions raised in the media recently about the amount of time children are allowed to have access to screens and the Government have issued guidelines, to support parents in this tricky area of supervision. Please see the links below which explain these guidelines and a website which offers suggestions to support parents in this area.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-cmo-commentary-on-screen-time-and-social-media-map-of-reviews

For your information, our policy in the boarding houses is for all electrical items to be handed in before pupils go to bed.

  • Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 stop using electrical items by 7.15pm.
  • Year 6 stop using electrical items by 8.00pm.
  • Year 7 stop using electrical items by 8.20pm.
  • Year 8 stop using electrical items by 8.40pm.

Although we cannot govern matters occurring out of school hours which is parental responsibility, we will take action if a problem comes to our attention that involves the safety or wellbeing of any of our pupils, including reporting the use of inappropriate images of young people to the police, as this is a legal matter.

Should you decide to allow your child to have an online profile we strongly advise you to make sure your son/daughter understands the following rules:

    • Always keep your profile private.
    • Never accept a friend who you do not know in real life.
    • Never post anything which could reveal your identity including photographs wearing school uniform where possible.
    • Never post anything you wouldn’t want your parents or teachers to see.
    • Never agree to meet somebody you only know online without telling a trusted adult.
    • Always tell someone if you feel threatened or someone upsets you.

 

We recommend that all parents visit the CEOP Think U Know website for more information on keeping your child safe online www.thinkuknow.co.uk. ; www.net-aware.org.uk and www.getsafeonline.org/

Term Dates

Lent Term 2019

Half Term:      Friday 15th February (1.30pm after Service at Tewkesbury Abbey) – Sunday 24th February

(Boarders return by 6.00pm)

Exeat:              Friday 8th March (3.45pm after Chapel) – Sunday 10th March

(Boarders return by 6.00pm)

End of Term:  Friday 29th March (12.45pm after Chapel)

Trinity Term 2019

Start of Term: Tuesday 23rd April

(Boarders return by 6.00pm)

Exeat:              Friday 3rd May (3.45pm after Chapel) – Monday 6th May

(Boarders return by 6.00pm)

Half Term:      Friday 24th May (3.45pm after Chapel) – Sunday 2nd June

(Boarders return by 6.00pm)

End of Term:  Saturday 29th June 1.00pm at the end of Speech Day

Michaelmas Term 2019

Start of Term: Monday 2nd September

(Boarders return by 6.00pm)

Exeat:              Friday 27th September (3.45pm after Chapel) – Sunday 29th September

(Boarders return by 6.00pm)

Half Term:      Friday 18th October (1.00pm after House Cross-Country) – Sunday 3rd November

(Boarders return by 6.00pm)

Exeat:              Friday 22nd November (3.45pm after Chapel) – Sunday 24th November

(Boarders return by 6.00pm)

End of Term:  Friday 13th December (12.45pm after Carols by Candlelight)

Reading – Year 7 and 8

Top 10 Recommended Reads

All mums and dads want their children to be keen readers – and so do we! Our ‘TOP 10s’ recommended reading lists will help – as long as they are linked to two other vital ingredients … please read on …

I am sure you will agree that no book lists, on their own, are guaranteed to turn children into keen readers; however, book lists coupled with encouraging, positive and patient parental support – and also coupled with encouraging, positive and patient teacher support – now that sounds like more of a winning combination!

When you click on the link, the actual lists of recommended books start on page 10; before that you will find several pages of very useful advice about reading. I have written these pages in a relaxed style, hoping that you, as parents, will find time to read these pages with your children – together. Reading the advice pages together will help you to engage in a very positive conversation with your children on this vital subject.

The ‘TOP 10s’ consist of 14 different genre lists. On each list there are roughly 10 recommended titles – hence the ‘TOP 10s’ name. Some of these recommendations come from DCPS English staff and our librarian, and some come from a team of enthusiastic readers in Year 7 / Year 8 – novels that they have loved and want their friends to enjoy as well. That’s the best sort of endorsement for any book. Happy reading, together!

Please click here to access the list.

Any queries, please contact Mr Shelley, Head of English at rpshelley@deanclose.org.uk

Speech and Drama

The Junior Forms’ Play – Shakespeare on Trial

All pupils in Years 3, 4 and 5 will be performing in this BBC play in which The Bard is on trial, accused of writing boring plays. He attempts to defend himself in court, calling on his characters to save his skin, under the watchful eyes of the dubious crowds in the gallery and the judgement of the bore-o-metre.

Performances in The Centenary Hall will be on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th March Tickets (free of charge) will be made available shortly via the Bacon Theatre website www.bacontheatre.co.uk.

We shall rehearse the play in the week prior to the performance and all those with lines are urged to memorise them in advance of rehearsal week.

Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts

Pupils who take extra-curricular Speech and Drama lessons have been entered for the Festival from 10th to 19th May. Details of classes and the timetable will be published at a later stage.  Pupils are encouraged to type up their performance pieces and start memorising their lines.

Music

Starting and Stopping Music Lessons

Please can we remind parents that the deadline for signing up for music lessons starting in the Trinity Term, is Friday 29th March 2019. To stop lessons requires a whole term’s notice.  If you wish for your child to stop lessons at the end of the Trinity Term, you must inform us by the end of the first week of the Trinity Term.

Any queries, or if you wish to start or stop an instrument, please email Mr McVittie or Mrs Godley at dcpsmusic@deanclose.org.uk.

Boarders

After half term, there will be an opportunity for each House to have their own charity focus, supporting Family Space. To coincide with World Book Day on Thursday 7th March, Houses will be given a book trolley to fill with books that have been donated by pupils.  Books can be new, or ‘as new’ and should be appropriate for everyone from babies up to children aged 11.

Please send books into School and share the happiness that you have experienced from being able to curl up with a book, with others, in this simple way!

Prayer Fellowship Dates

At Dean Close we believe in the importance of prayer in underpinning all that we are and do as a school. The Prayer Fellowship is therefore seen as an essential part of supporting and upholding the school.

The Prayer Fellowship is an informal gathering of parents from the Pre-Preparatory, Preparatory and Senior schools, who meet over coffee to pray for the whole School. Everyone is welcome to come along.

We meet from 8.30-9.30am at Bayley House, the home of the School Chaplain, for coffee followed by prayer.

Lent Term dates:

Friday 8th March

Friday 22nd March

Database Updates

The School Office needs to ensure that all details held on the database are up-to-date and comprehensive. The information is held confidentially within School so that we can contact you quickly if there is ever an emergency, and to comply with our legal obligations.

Please advise of any amendments or additions using the attached form, including any other information you feel is important to share with the School’s staff (e.g. serious allergies, etc.). Please check mobile telephone numbers and email addresses as these can change more frequently than other contact details.  If you live overseas, we also need the details of your child’s UK guardian.  Please hand in this sheet to the School Office as soon as possible, or email Mrs Smith at dcpsoffice@deanclose.org.uk.

Please click here to access the Database Updates form.

Medical Matters

Nut and Seed Allergies

Please be aware that some pupils have serious nut and seed allergies. We would therefore ask that no food is brought into school or the boarding houses that contains nuts or seeds.

Medical Information

If your child’s medical or dietary needs have changed since entering the School please email the medical centre medical@deanclose.org.uk so that our records can be kept up-to-date.

Asthma

Pupils with asthma must carry their own inhaler at all times. We also ask that a spare inhaler, which can be kept at School, is handed into the School Office on the first day of term.

Message from the Bursary

Parents and pupils are reminded that the School premises are closed during the holidays. For the sake of residents and paying customers, and to avoid liability issues, permission will not normally be given for use of facilities.

If you need access to the School, for example to collect something that has been left behind, please contact the Estates Department on 01242 258050 so that arrangements can be made.

Bacon Theatre Information (all parents)

Please click here to access further information on events at the Bacon Theatre.

Ultimate Activity Camps (all parents)

After another successful year, Ultimate Activity Camps are returning to Dean Close Preparatory School in 2019 with their fun and engaging holiday programmes. Ultimate Activity Camps offer exciting activity day camps for 4-14 year olds with over 40 activities every week delivered by engaging and enthusiastic staff who will instruct and encourage children to try new activities and make new friends – and naturally have lots of fun!

Their dates are below

  • Easter:            Monday 8th to Thursday 18th April
  • Summer:        Monday 22nd July to Friday 23rd August

Please visit www.ultimateactivity.co.uk for details and their Early Booking Offer (ends 12th March) – or telephone on 0330 111 7077 (local rate).