Hermes

Please click here to access this week’s Hermes.

Half Term

Below you will find further information on:

  • Dean Close Fireworks Display, Sunday 4th November

  • Dean Close Fire Walk, Sunday 4th November

  • Dean Close Foundation Choral Concert at Tewkesbury Abbey: The Armed Man, Friday 9th November

  • Anti-bullying Week, beginning Monday 12th November

  • Christmas Jumper Day, Friday 7th December

  • Chorister for the Day, Tuesday 13th November

  • The Royal British Legion Poppies

  • Medical Matters

  • Term dates

  • Music Lessons Information

  • Personal Items Brought into School

  • Prayer Fellowship Dates

  • Internet Safety

  • Cars on the School Site

  • Dean Close on the Internet

  • Updating of parental details on the school’s Database

  • Message from the Bursary about access to the school in the holiday

  • Handel’s Messiah at Tewkesbury Abbey, Saturday 15th December

  • Ultimate Activity Camps at Dean Close Preparatory School over Half Term

  • Upcoming Events at the Bacon Theatre

General notices

Dean Close Fireworks Display, Sunday 4th November

Please click here to access an invitation to all members of the Dean Close Foundation. The Fireworks display also has a dedicated web page, please click here to access the web page.

Dean Close Fire Walk, Sunday 4th November

Please click here to access information about the Fire walk that is taking place as part of the Fireworks Display and the opportunity to take part and help raise money for the charity Blue Skye Thinking.

Dean Close Foundation Choral Concert at Tewkesbury Abbey: The Armed Man, Friday 9th November

DCPS Chamber Choir and Schola Cantorum will be singing as part of a Choral Concert in Tewkesbury Abbey. Please click here for further details.

Anti-bullying Week, beginning Monday 12th November

During the week commencing Monday 12th November, Dean Close Prep School will once again be taking part in the national Anti-Bullying Week campaign.  This year the theme is ‘Choose Respect’.

The Great Sock Swap!

As part of the Anti-Bullying week, this year all Prep School pupils are invited to take part in ‘The Great Sock Swap’! At the start of the week, during Form time or Tutor time, pupils can bring a bright pair of named socks into School to swap with friends.  There will be a competition to judge the best combination of socks, so the bolder and brighter the better!  This promises to be really good fun and is a great opportunity for pupils to express themselves, and appreciate their individuality and uniqueness.

There will be the chance to swap socks back at the end of the week, but we do strongly recommend you label them with your child’s name if you wish to get them back.

If you have any queries please contact Mrs Davies, Head or PSHCE and Wellbeing: sadavies@deanclose.org.uk

Christmas Jumper Day, Friday 7th December

On Friday 7th December everyone in the Prep School is invited to wear a Christmas jumper in support of our nominated charity ‘Family Space’.  This year, instead of paying for the privilege of wearing a Christmas jumper, pupils will be asked to bring in a donation of toiletries or a small gift for ladies, which at this festive time of year will be distributed locally for others to enjoy.  We are looking forward to joining the Senior School in this initiative and collecting items for this worthy cause.

Chorister for the Day, Tuesday 13th December

Please click here for further details.

The Royal British Legion Poppies

Children are now welcome to bring in some money to make a donation for poppies in Houses.

We also have a selection of alternative items, which have proved very popular in previous years. Please click here to see a list with prices. Pupils are welcome to call into the School Office at morning break from Monday 5th November to make a suggested donation and choose a gift.

If the correct money can be sent in, it would be appreciated. Thank you.

Medical matters

Sickness “48 hour rule”

From time to time children are sick (vomit) either at home or at school. Unfortunately it is not possible to distinguish between the causes, and therefore it is essential that the same rule of exclusion applies in all cases of vomiting or Diarrhoea. Please click here to access the information in the Health Protection Agency document, “Guidelines for the Control of Infection and Communicable Disease in School and Early Years Settings”.

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.

Term dates

Please click here to access term dates for the rest of the academic year 2018-2019.

Music Lessons Information

Starting an Instrument

Is it time to start learning an instrument? It seems as though everyone tries to start on the piano, but this is not always the best instrument to start on. If you would like a ‘taster’ lesson on an instrument please contact Mr McVittie or Mrs Godley and we shall arrange one with the teacher. To start lessons in the Lent term (January), we must have received requests by Friday 14th December.

Stopping an Instrument

A reminder that stopping instrumental learning requires a whole term’s notice. Failure to do so will result in full payment of a term’s fees, even if the student does not attend lessons. To stop lessons at the end of the Michaelmas term, we should have received notice from you at the beginning of September.  To stop lessons at the end of the Lent term, notice will be due at the start of January.

Class Performance lesson

The class music lesson immediately following half term will be a Class Performance lesson, with all pupils who have instrumental or singing lessons (either in or out of school) being expected to perform a piece to the class. If a pupil learns multiple instruments, they may perform on one, or all of their instruments, whichever they prefer. From experience, we do find that regularly performing is hugely beneficial in several ways. Learning to cope with the inevitable nerves really equips pupils to cope better with future performances and music exams and really does boost self-confidence and facilitate a real sense of achievement. Pupils are often inspired to take up a musical instrument they had not previously considered and really enjoy celebrating the progress a pupil has made since they last had the opportunity to hear them perform. Mr McVittie and Mrs Godley really look forward to hearing the many and varied performances after half term.

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

Personal Items Brought into School

All Houses are fully resourced with games for pupils to play and there are also numerous soft balls provided for pupils to play with at break-times and lunchtimes. We actively encourage pupils to play with these resources, but recognise that some pupils prefer to play quieter and less active games. Therefore, Match Attack / Pokemon cards (and similar type cards), and any other toys brought into school from home have historically provided an alternative source of entertainment.

We constantly reiterate to pupils that they have to be prepared for the possibility that their cards or toys may, in certain circumstances, become mislaid or damaged. The School will not take responsibility for these circumstances but will assist, when time allows, in resolving any potential conflict situations.

If any toys or cards are found in lessons and become a hindrance to teaching and learning, they will be confiscated immediately.

In certain situations, it is appropriate for a very small minority of children to have an object to hold that helps them to concentrate if it has been specifically suggested by the Learning Support Department.

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.

Michaelmas Term dates:

Friday 16th November

Friday 30th November

Internet Safety

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 to. Please click here to access the link.

The Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, has published a simplified Social Media Terms and Conditions for all the popular accounts. Please click here to access the link.

The effect of social media on young people is a large topic at the moment. Charlotte Robertson, Digital Awareness UK co-founder, said: “One of the biggest topics around at the moment is excessive social media consumption and how it is affecting our physical and emotional wellbeing. A lot of them [children] are waking up sometimes with over 100 notifications from conversations that have happened overnight. They want to be that person that is responding at 01:00, and seen to be quite cool, to make sure they catch the joke – it’s a huge driver, that anxiety of wanting to know what’s happened.”

HMC chairman Mike Buchanan said: “The data suggests those who do check their phones, they’re mostly driven by not wishing to miss out. Clearly there are some times when children are not concentrating because they are tired, and that has an obvious impact on their ability to keep up with what’s going on – there is a desire to stay within the group. It’s not that this [technology] is all horrible and terrible and that we should all be wringing our hands. It is more a case that here’s the reality, let’s use it and try to influence the use of technology in a positive way.”

Almost half (45%) of young people are checking their mobile phones after they have gone to bed, a poll suggests.

A survey of 2,750 11- to 18-year-olds found one in 10 admitted checking their mobile phones for notifications at least 10 times a night.

The poll was carried out by Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference.

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.

This year all our Boarding Houses have introduced two tech-free days each week on a Tuesday and Thursday. The basic rules are are no phones or tablets on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Caldecote and Fortfield, except for contacting home. They are encouraged to participate in other, more communal activities.

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.
  • 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 if 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

www.getsafeonline.org

If you have any queries please contact Mr J Harris, Deputy Head, Operations: jebharris@deanclose.org.uk

Cars on the School Site

Thank you for your care in dropping off your child at the start of the school day.

We would like to remind you of the following:

  • Please use the drop off area outside the Centenary Hall where a member of staff will be happy to help your child out of the vehicle.
  • Please refrain from parking your vehicle on the road outside the Fortfield boarding house as this causes vehicles to back up onto the Lansdown Road and also means that others find it difficult to park in the spaces opposite.
  • The speed limit in the school grounds is five miles per hour to ensure the safety of all of our community.
  • The safety of everyone on our site is of paramount importance. Therefore, the school asks that no one parks on the grass verge of the public highway outside the School drive or within 15 feet of a junction. Vehicles, so parked, can create other driver blind spots which could lead to an accident. This especially applies to the school exit onto Lansdown Road, the site of several previous collisions.
  • Please could all members of the school community be aware that there are marked disabled parking spaces at the front of the School. It is important that these are only used by registered disabled badge holders. It is most inconvenient if these spaces are blocked by other cars at any time.
  • Please take care when exiting the school gates as pedestrians may be walking on the path.

Dean Close on the Internet

If you don’t currently follow Dean Close on Facebook, we strongly encourage you to visit our page where we post lots of news, photos, videos and details of upcoming events.  The page link is https://www.facebook.com/DeanCloseSchool.

Alternatively, you can follow us on Twitter: @DeanCloseSchool ; or even Instagram: @deanclose_prepschool

Updating of parental details on the school’s Database

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.

Message from the Bursary about access to the school in the holidays

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 liablility 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.

Handel’s Messiah at Tewkesbury Abbey, Saturday 5th December

Please click here to access further details.

Ultimate Activity Camps at Dean Close Preparatory School over Half Term

Please click here to access further details.

Upcoming Events at the Bacon Theatre

Please click here to access further details.