Hermes

Please click here to access this week’s Hermes.

Half Term

Below you will find further information on:

  • Term Dates (all parents)

  • Response from the Headmaster to the Parent Satisfaction Survey 2019 (all parents)

  • Year 7 and 8 Short Story Writing Competition 2019 (parents of children in Year 7 and 8)

  • Linguascope Access (all parents)

  • Drama (all parents)

  • Music (all parents)

  • Be a Chorister for a Day (parents of boys aged 6-10)

  • Internet Safety (all parents)

  • Anti-Bullying Week (all parents)

  • Christmas Appeal for ‘Family Space’ (all parents)

  • Charity Fair (all parents)

  • Christmas Jumper Day (all parents)

  • The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal (all parents)

  • Dean Close Choral Society (all parents)

  • Handel’s Messiah at Tewkesbury Abbey (all parents)

  • Candlelit Nine Lessons and Carols (all parents)

  • Ultimate Activity Camp (all parents)

  • Dean Close Christmas Hockey Camp (all parents)

  • Parents Activities (all parents)

  • Prayer Fellowship Dates (all parents)

  • Auction of Promises (all parents)

  • Medical Matters (all parents)

  • Parent Groups on Social Media (all parents)

  • Personal Items Brought into School (all parents)

  • Dean Close on the Internet (all parents)

  • Updating of parental details on the School’s Database (all parents)

  • Cars on the School Site (all parents)

  • Upcoming Events at the Bacon Theatre (all parents)

  • Message from the Bursary about access to the School in the holidays (all parents)

General notices

Term Dates (all parents)

Please click here to access Term Dates.

Response from the Headmaster to the Parent Satisfaction Survey 2019 (all parents)

Please click here to access the Headmaster’s response.

Year 7 and 8 Short Story Writing Competition 2019 (parents of children in Year 7 and 8)

It is the time of year, once again, when members of Year 7 and Year 8 have the chance to show off their talents as short story writers. This is a voluntary activity over the half term period – but we do hope to receive as many entries as possible from both year groups when we return to school after the break. If you can encourage your child to take part in this positive and creative activity, that would be wonderful.

Pupils have been introduced to a choice of four titles during Week 7 and have had time to work on generating initial, interesting ideas. They may well want to share these ideas and drafts with you over half term.  Have a great time sharing story ideas together … but please let them do the writing, for obvious reasons!

Children choose one of these four options:

  1. Write a story that begins with these words: ‘Never go back,’ they always say. Well, I didn’t believe them, until one day…. (you decide on your own title)
  2. Write a story which starts with a door closing and ends with a door opening.              (you decide on your own title)
  3. Write a story which includes the following words at some point, spoken by an elderly character: “Oh No!  Not again!  I can’t believe it!”  (you decide on your own title)
  4. Write a story entitled: “The Mysterious Hat”

Entry information for children

  1. Write your story during your wonderfully long, two week half term.
  2. Your story must be typed and it must be between 500 and 700 words in length.
  3. Type only on one side of each piece of paper that you use.
  4. Type your name, your form – and the number of the title that you are writing about – on each sheet of paper (as a header).
  5. Staple your sheets together if you use more than one.
  6. The deadline for handing in your completed story to your English teacher (Mr Standing, Mr Donnelly or Mr Shelley) is Friday 8th November 2019 – the Friday of the first week back to school, after half-term.

Prizes

Year 8 1st Prize                      £12 book token

Year 7 1st Prize                       £12 book token

Year 8 Runners-up                  £8 book tokens

Year 7 Runners-up                  £8 book tokens

Certificates of participation will be given to all entrants to say thank you and well done.

If you have any queries, please email Mr Shelley at rpshelley@deanclose.org.uk

Linguascope Access (all parents)

The MFL and EAL departments subscribe annually to Linguascope, an online platform for modern languages which we encourage students to use as a revision tool. We have recently renewed the subscription so please note the updated login details:

https://www.linguascope.com/

Username: dcps

Password: rickerby20

Once logged in to the student area, you will need to click on one of the following:

Elementary (Year 3)

Beginner (Years 4, 5 & 6)

Intermediate (Years 7 & 8)

Drama (all parents)

DCPS Production of the Musical ‘Annie’

The Senior Play performances are on Wednesday 27th, Thursday 28th and Friday 29th November at 7pm in the Centenary Hall.  The anticipated running time is 2 hours.  Entry is by ticket only and should be booked via the Bacon Theatre box office, or online at www.bacontheatre.co.uk

We politely ask that you order the actual number of tickets you require, and that any surplus tickets are returned as soon as possible to the Prep School Office, so that they can be re-allocated to those who are on a waiting list for seats.

Music (all parents)

Starting and Stopping Music Lessons

Please can we remind parents that the deadline for signing up for music lessons starting in the Lent term, is Friday 13th December 2019. To stop lessons requires a whole terms’ notice.  Failure to do so, will result in full payment of a terms fees, even if the student does not attend lessons, because we are contractually obliged to pay the music peripatetic, unless they received a terms notice.  To stop lessons at the end of the Michaelmas Term, we should already 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.

Trial Music Lessons

The music department are able to offer a one off trial lesson (on a first come, first served basis) on a number of instruments after half term. This opportunity is directed at anyone, but would be most suited to those who do not yet learn an instrument, or only learn one instrument and are interested in exploring the possibility of learning something new next term. The instruments on offer are: clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, cornet, tenor horn, French horn, euphonium and trombone.

The current cost of music tuition is £245 per term (based on 10 lessons), together with £40 for the hire of an instrument, should this be necessary. Following the trial, anyone interested in starting a new instrument in January will need to email Mrs Godley by Friday 13th December at the latest.

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

Be a Chorister for a Day (parents of boys aged 6-10)

An opportunity to sing evensong with the choristers of Schola Cantorum in Tewkesbury Abbey and to join them in rehearsals Dean Close Prep School. Please click here for further information.

Internet Safety and October 2019 news from HMC (all parents)

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: http://eepurl.com/xyjOb.

The most recent HMC update on current UK trends in young people’s online habits can be found using the link below:

https://www.hmc.org.uk/blog/new-daukhmc-report-identifies-latest-online-trends/

The links below are particularly useful when considering your child’s online safety:

www.thinkuknow.co.uk

www.net-aware.org.uk

www.getsafeonline.org

This is a subject parents often raise when discussing the challenges posed by the use/overuse of technology.  By being well informed about developments in technology, aware of your child’s use of a device and pro-active in offering alternatives to the entertainment provided by technology are positive steps parents may wish to consider during the half term break.​

Parents guide to Fortnight Chapter 2

Fortnite Chapter 2 is just the latest instalment of this hugely popular gaming experience. Enjoyed by millions of children and young people all over the world and accessible on almost every platform and every device, its brand continues to get stronger and stronger. But should parents worry? Can the game become an addiction? And how violent is it? Find out with this new guide.

Created by gaming expert Mark Foster, this guide provides expert insight into what makes Fortnite so popular. Highlighting the main features of the game and providing useful tips for parents and carers, this guide is a must read to better understand the whole Fortnite phenomenon. Please click here for further information.

Anti-Bullying Week (all parents)

During the week commencing Monday 11th November we will be taking part in the National Anti-Bullying Week.  The pupils will take part in some break time activities on Tuesday and Thursday, and will be offered the chance to wear odd socks on Tuesday the 12th, the brighter the better!  All pupils will also be given a Dean Close Anti-Bullying wristband to wear during the week.  The theme is ‘Change Starts With Us’, emphasising the need for a community drive on inclusivity and widening our friendship circles to include people we do not usually talk to.  The pupils will also complete a survey on bullying so we can check on how safe they feel at school. This is done every year around this time and has resulted in changes to break time supervision and a friendship bench too.

I am sure you will all want to support this critical initiative but if you have any questions, please email Mrs Sarah Davies, Head of PSHCE and Wellbeing on sadavies@deanclose.org.uk.

Christmas Appeal for ‘Family Space’ (all parents)

All pupils will be given a full tube of Smarties after House Cross Country, kindly donated by Family Space. Our Christmas charity appeal this year starts with eating the Smarties and then filling the tube with coins, preferably 20ps.  Please return the full tubes after half term to Houses.  It would be wonderful to have a really positive response to this appeal and half term may provide good opportunities for pupils to do some useful jobs to earn the money to fill the tube.

Charity Fair (all parents)

All parents, family and friends are invited to the Dean Close Preparatory School Charity Fair, starting at 2.30pm on Friday 22nd November.  Our nominated charity for the second year is ‘Family Space’ – a local charity supporting families as they manage the ups and downs of family life.

Children may come to School in home clothes on the day, but we would be grateful for a £1.00 donation for the privilege.  Children may bring up to £5.00 in small change (in a purse or wallet) to the Fair. For parents there is no limit!  As usual, there will be lots of stalls devised and set up by the children themselves.

If you have anything we could auction, please contact Mrs Hunt: alhunt@deanclose.org.uk

Christmas Jumper Day (all parents)

On Friday 6th December everyone in the Prep School is invited to wear a Christmas jumper in support of our nominated charity ‘Family Space’. Pupils will be asked to bring in a donation of £1.00 for this event.

The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal (all parents)

After half term 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. Pups are welcome to call into the School Office at morning break from Monday 4th November to make a suggested donation and choose a gift.

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

Dean Close Choral Society (all parents)

Parents, Staff, ODs, Friends, Neighbours – all are welcome to join the Dean Close Choral Society; an ability to read music at some level is helpful.  Rehearsals are on Tuesdays at 7.00pm for an hour in the music department at the Senior School.  The rehearsal dates for our next concert are: 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th November, 14th, 21st, 28th January, 4th February and an afternoon rehearsal on 9th February.

We will be performing Puccini’s ‘Messa di Gloria’ on Sunday 9th February in the Pittville Pump Room as part of the Senior School’s Spring Concert

Contact Sylvia Klemz (shklemz@deanclose.org.uk or 01242 258000 ext 272) if you would like further details.

Handel’s Messiah at Tewkesbury Abbey (all parents)

Join us on Saturday 14th December at 7.00pm in Tewkesbury Abbey. Tickets are available from Ticketsource or from The Abbey Shop, 01684 856148.  Please click here for further information.

Candlelit Nine Lessons and Carols (all parents)

The whole Dean Close Community are warmly invited to the candlelit Nine Lessons and Carols in Dean Close Chapel on Wednesday 11th December at 7.30pm. This is a lovely festive event and is followed by mulled wine & mince pies in the Dean Close Dining Hall.  Please click here for further information.

Ultimate Activity Camps (all parents)

Ultimate Activity Camps are back this October half term and will be here at Dean Close from Monday 28th October until Friday 1st November 2019.

  • Days run from 8.30am until 5.15pm (Extended Day Pass for an extra £5.00 covers 8.00am until 6.00pm).
  • For children aged 4-14 years.
  • Book by the day or week.
  • Children get to enjoy some fresh air fun, meet new friends and try new activities!
  • To book a place, please visit their website www.ultimateactivity.co.uk  or call their friendly and helpful customer service team on 0330 111 7077.

Dean Close Christmas Hockey Camp (all parents)

This December, we are running a Christmas Hockey Camp here at Dean Close and as always, it is open to all girls and boys. We are offering an EARLY BIRD discount of 10% if you book your son/daughter onto the camp for the full 3 days only. Early bird discount will end on Tuesday 5th November. There is no discount code needed, it is already calculated in the overall price for 3 days.

Dates:                  Wednesday 18th, Thursday 19th and Friday 20th December

Ages and times:      7-11 years: 9.00am – 12 noon

12+ years:  1.00pm – 4.00pm

Please click here for further information. To register and pay for the camp, you can visit the website: www.deanclose.org.uk/courses or alternatively call Lydia Day on 01242 267431 or email enquiries@deanclosevenues.co.uk

Parents Activities (all parents)

We extend our facilities and our expertise to all parents! Dean Close Services run weekly group Tennis lessons as an opportunity for parents to meet, socialise, improve their tennis skills, get fit and have fun. There are a couple of spaces still available in our Thursday Intermediate and Friday Advanced groups.  If you would like further details or would like to book your place starting after half term, please contact Lydia Day on: enquiries@deanclosevenues.co.uk or call 01242 267431.

Prayer Fellowhip Dates (all parents)

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

We meet from 8.30am – 9.40am at Dean Close House. Michaelmas Term dates are as follows:

Friday 8th November

Friday 22nd November

Friday 6th December

Auction of Promises (all parents)

Parents are invited to join us at an Auction of Promises. The reception will be planned and canapés prepared and served by our Lower Sixth Leiths group.  All proceeds from ticket sales and from the Auction will go to the Julie Kent Foundation Award for a transformational bursary.  Please click here for further information or visit www.deanclose.org.uk/jkfoundationaward to book your tickets.

Medical matters (all parents)

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. In the Health Protection Agency document, ‘Guidelines for the Control of Infection and Communicable Disease in School and Early Years Settings’, the guidance is:

Diarrhoea and Vomiting exclusion

Diarrhoea and / or vomiting commonly affects children and staff and can be caused by a number of different germs, including viruses, parasites and bacteria. Infections can be easily spread from person to person (by unwashed hands), especially in children. In general, it is recommended that any staff member or child with diarrhoea and/or vomiting symptoms must stay away or be excluded from the school or early years setting until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours (the ‘48 hour rule’) and feel well. Personal hygiene whilst ill must be very strict. If your child is sick at school, we will ask you or your emergency contact to take your child home. They should not return for 48 hours. We appreciate that this is inconvenient in many cases, and you may not believe your child is ill, but you will appreciate that we do this in all cases and it should reduce the risk of infection for all children in school.  As an example, if your child is sick at lunchtime on a Tuesday, they should not return to school until after lunch on Thursday, provided there have not been any further episodes of vomiting. Pupils should also not swim for a week after vomiting or diarrhoea. Thank you for your understanding with this.  Further guidance on infection control may be found on the Public Health England Website.

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.

Parent Groups on Social Media (all parents)

Please can we remind parents to be especially careful in what they choose to post on social media sites and parent group chats. We recognise the usefulness of such forums, but would impress upon the importance of retaining the anonymity of all those spoken about as well as any specific details of situations arising. As a school, we will take action when pupils’ well-being, performance and progress is effected by use of social media by pupils, but we cannot manage parental use of it and so seek your cooperation in this area.

If you read or see information of concern to you, please come and talk with us at school.

Personal Items Brought into School (all parents)

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.

Dean Close on the Internet (all parents)

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 (all parents)

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 click here to access the form to advise the school of any amendments or additions, 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.

Cars on the School Site (all parents)

Thank you for your care in dropping of 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 casuses 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 on parks on the grass verge of the public highway outside the School drive or within 15 feet of a junction. Vehicles, so parked, can creat 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.

Upcoming Events at The Bacon Theatre (all parents)

Please click here for further information.

Message from the Bursary about access to the School in the holidays (all parents)

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.