Highlights of the Week 

  • The Mathematics Show on Friday afternoon. 
  • The Drama Recital which took place on Thursday lunchtime. We will publish a recording of the recital next week. 
  • Our Wednesday Webinar, which this week featured Gerard Elias QC, who spoke about the importance of perseverance and working hard. 

Please don’t hesitate to make contact with the School if you have any questions. We will be constantly reviewing and updating information. Pupils must check their school email accounts on a daily basis.  



Wednesday’s Chapel Service 

Headmaster’s Assembly: Friday 5 February 

Success Beyond School: Free expert advice on guiding your child to a successful career (Parent webinar by InvestIn)

5th & U6th Pupils and Parents: Exam Update 

We have been wrestling when to schedule trial exams for the 5th Form due to Pearson and CIE’s intention to run the May/June exam series this summer. With iGCSEs starting as early as 5th May this caused real difficulties in having enough time to run trial exams in the Trinity Term; alternatively, scheduling them for as soon as possible after 8th March involved a degree of risk surrounding a prompt return for pupils on that date and felt rather rushed. 

Earlier this week Pearson announced that their iGCSE exams would be moving to Centre Assessed Grades and on Thursday afternoon CIE confirmed the same arrangements. This allows us to plan with more certainty, so we can now confirm that there will be no public exams for GCSE/iGCSE or A Level and that we plan to hold our trial exams after Easter close to the start of the Trinity Term.  

More details regarding the exact timings and content of these exams will follow in the second half of term; in the meantime it is important that pupils complete their coursework to the best of their ability as this will be likely to contribute to Centre Assessed Grades. 


Remove Parents’ Meeting 

Friday 12 February, 2.00-4.00pm  

The Parents’ Meeting for parents and guardians of Remove pupils is on Friday 12 February, 2 – 4 pm.  All Parents’ Meetings will be conducted via video calls using Parents Evening System https://deanclose.schoolcloud.co.uk  and the instructions for booking and making video appointments are attached here.    

Each parent/guardian can book up to ten 5-minute appointments with subject teachers, and can then invite one more person (parent, guardian or pupil) to join the appointments, so a meeting can be conducted from two separate devices (smartphone or laptop).  If you are unable to make the appointments that you wish to, please contact your child’s tutor who will be able to obtain feedback from the relevant member of staff for you.  If you wish to speak to your child’s tutor or Houseparent, please e-mail them directly.  

The booking for appointments is now open and closes at 6pm on Thursday 11 February. 

If you encounter any issues this article may be useful – Video Appointments: Troubleshooting Issues 

If you have any problems logging in or making appointments, please contact isams@deanclose.org.uk. 


GCSE and A-level Subject Choices 

Fourth and Fifth Form pupils will be given electronic Forms on Tuesday 9 February, to submit their GCSE and A-Level choices, respectively.  Here are pdf versions of the GCSE Forms and the A-Level Forms as well as a copy of the GCSE options and the A-Level booklets.  They should discuss their choices with their parents, teachers, tutor and Houseparent before returning the Form.  The deadline for submission is 6pm on Monday 22 February.   If they have any questions or problems with the Forms, please e-mail Mr George (ageorge@deanclose.org.uk) for GCSE choices or Mr Wilkes (mwwilkes@deanclose.org.uk) for A-level choices.   


House Solo Singing Competition 

All Decanians are welcome to enter the singing competition; entries must be classical songs/arias and songs from stage shows.  It is expected that everyone who has singing lessons in school will enter, but we understand that there are some pupils for whom it is not possible.  Please follow this link for the entry form and full details of how to enter, the rules of the competition and how to upload your recording: https://cutt.ly/Lkk1qGN  You may need to paste the link into your web browser. 

A copy of the requirements and uploading information will also be sent by email to everyone who submits an entry form. 

The deadline for uploading entries is the end of the day on Sunday 21st February and the winners will be announced on Tuesday 2nd March. 

If you have any queries, please contact your singing teacher, Mrs Klemz shklemz@deanclose.org.uk or Mr Franks dafranks@deanclose.org.uk. 



Next week is National Apprenticeship Week and there are a vast range of virtual opportunities on offer for pupils and parents to explore these exciting pathways. A great place to get started is checking out the events promoted by WorkPays (here or here) and the Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge for Schools project. Pupils should keep an eye on their emails and https://dcslibrary.com/careers for further opportunities. 


Carducci Quartet Concerts 

There is an incredible lineup of world class artists performing a wide range of styles and repertoire, and our very own ‘quartet in residence is thrilled to be performingThere is a particularly strong choral connection with the festival, which might be of particular interest to current pupils, parents and Old Decanians as well!  

Alongside the high quality of performance, the Festival is very much about solidarity between musicians in this incredibly challenging time as the proceeds will be used to support musicians, and fund education and diversity projects. Do please support this fantastic initiative by clicking on the link below: 



The Flecker Challenge 

Please see attached the details of the Flecker Challenge as launched by Mr HoleThis competition is designed to test your thinking beyond the set curriculum and you are being challenged to choose a subject area of your choice and complete a project set by that department.  

This will provide the opportunity for you to pursue an area of study that you’re really interested in and present your work and ideas in an imaginative and informative way. This is to be worked on mostly outside of lesson time in the first half of this term and to be completed by Monday 22 February, the first day after half term. 


Weekly PDT Challenge 

The PDT Department are running a weekly challenge. There are categories for best Junior (4th & Remove) and best Senior (5th & 6th Form). Please email your responses to this week’s challenge to Mr Evans at ddevans@deanclose.org.uk by Thursday 11 February at 5pm. 

Week 4 Encryption 


Cheltenham Educational Partnership 


Dean Close is acting as one of the 7 collection points around Cheltenham for laptops and tablets to be cleaned up by IT Schools Africa and redistributed to disadvantaged pupils. For more information, please see below! 



Big String and Big Blast 

We are thrilled to report that The Big String will be returning in 2021, and for the first time we’d like to introduce its sister project, The Big Blast! 

Scheduled as two days per project, these opportunities are open to young string, brass or wind musicians from across the county, from pre-grade 1 (grade 1 for wind and brass) to grade 8+, whether already involved in an ensemble or not.   

In partnership with Dean Close School, and taking place at The Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham, musicians will rehearse in small, socially distanced groups, culminating in group recordings that will be blended post project to produce a mass video presentation. 

Tuesday 13th & Wednesday 14th April 2021 – The Big String – for string musicians 

Thursday 15th & Friday 16th April 2021 – The Big Blast – for brass & wind musicians 

The generous support of Make Music Gloucestershire allows places to be offered for a fee of just £40 per student per project.  Due to the nature of the projects, and taking into consideration COVID regulations that may be in place at the time, PLACE ARE LIMITED! Further information can be found here! Please complete the google form here to express your interest in taking part.  Spaces will be confirmed by the middle of February. 


The Dean Close Business Club 

Monday 8 February, 9.00am 

Parents, Pupils and friends are warmly invited to attend our online Foundation Business Club meeting on Monday 8 February. Join us to listen to Emma Taylor, Warden of the Dean Close Foundation, speak on the current effects of COVID-19 on the Dean Close Foundation. The Warden will discuss the impact for this generation of pupils, across the private and public education sector, and what the Foundation are doing to mitigate this impact. Further details can be found HERE!


The Week Ahead 

CLICK HERE to access the Live Website Calendar. 

If you have any queries or comments, please contact ashall@deanclose.org.uk.