Meet The Head

Mr James Cowling

From the moment I first walked through the gates of Dean Close Pre-Prep School in 2009 as Deputy Head, I felt an unmistakable sense of community and warmth that told me this was truly an extraordinary place.

One of the most heartwarming aspects of each school day is observing the children arriving, their faces alight with enthusiasm, often eagerly pulling their parents along. The sound of laughter echoing from the classrooms and the spontaneous singing of pupils at work are everyday occurrences that contribute to our nurturing environment.

As the Head of the school, I have the distinct privilege of collaborating closely with our dedicated staff, engaged parents, spirited children, and the broader Dean Close community to create an atmosphere where every child can flourish.

The adage "a happy child learns best" is one that education professionals universally agree upon. However, with over three decades of experience, I am confident in taking this principle a step further: "a joy-filled child learns even better." Achieving joy in children is a great aim; it comes from a balance of them feeling valued, forming strong friendships, having their basic needs met, and benefiting from a bespoke, vibrant curriculum that plays to their unique interests and developmental needs. Our aim is not just to educate but to infuse our activities with joy, making the learning process a delightful experience for everyone involved.

Dean Close Pre-Prep is committed to nurturing every aspect of a child’s development: academic, personal, social, physical, emotional and spiritual. We offer a balanced curriculum that enables each child to excel, whether their strengths are in academics, sports, the arts, or music—or indeed, a blend of these areas. Our termly calendar is punctuated by ‘Wow Days,' offering children exciting adventures that range from imaginative role-play to inspiring, theme-based activities. Our ethos is anchored in the values of Love, Courage, and Contribution. These are cultivated through acts of kindness, confidence-building experiences, and the practice of empathy, all framed within the context of a healthy Christian ethos.

Being part of Dean Close Pre-Prep School is incredibly rewarding for me, whether I’m strolling through its corridors, visiting our Forest School, cheering on a Year 2 hockey match, or sharing in the joy of a nursery child's creative food-play endeavours. I warmly invite you to tour our school to experience first-hand the vibrant community that makes Dean Close Pre-Prep such a unique and wonderful place for your child to grow and thrive.