There is always a full and varied programme of sport, outward bound activity, society meetings, lectures, plays, films, debates and other organised activities in which to get involved. A number of specialist sixth form societies such as the Francis Bacon Society (a dining society), the Quarshie Society (reading society), the Classics, Scholars and Science societies all attract high profile guest speakers.
Sixth formers serve on numerous school committees, captain sports’ teams and play prominent roles in drama and music. Those who demonstrate initiative are encouraged, for example, to start up their own societies, direct theatre productions and organise charity events. A team of Prefects, led by the Head of School, is responsible for much of the School’s leadership.
Dean Close is one of the foremost hockey schools (boys and girls) in the country and pupils play at a representative level in many other sports as well. Regular overseas tours are an additional highlight for many 1st teams. The Combined Cadet Force, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and Community Action programme provide a wide variety of activities and opportunity for leadership. A purpose-built music school is linked to a professional theatre and both host a variety of dramatic and musical events.
FRANCIS BACON SOCIETY
The Francis Bacon Society is a Sixth Form dining society which organises black tie events and invites guest speakers to give an after-dinner talk. There are several dinners each year and every Sixth Former attends at least one dinner in their time at Dean Close.
Most recently speakers have included:
- Designer and entrepreneur, Cath Kidston
- Undercover Police Inspector
- The Queen’s Helicopter Pilot
- Chairman of the Met Office
- Raymond Blanc
- GB pentathlete
- Founders of organic food producers, Muddy Boots
- International athlete, David Moorcroft
The evening begins when guests arrive to a glass of champagne. They then take their seats and Grace is said in Latin before they begin a full course dinner. After dessert there is a Loyal Toast followed by the introduction of the Guest Speaker. Pupils then give a Vote of Thanks, Toast the School and finish with cheese and port. At the end of the evening pupils have the opportunity to chat informally with their guest.
The second dinner of the year was attended by 6th Form who study Business, Biology and are doing Leith’s Cookery course. The speakers were a young couple – Miranda and Roland Ballard, who left their jobs in London (Miranda was PA to Sir David Frost) to start an organic beef company based at Roland’s father’s farm in Worcestershire. They started from nothing and now supply organic beef burgers to Waitrose. We ate their burgers with caramelised onions and mozzarella on a bed of mash and green vegetables with a beautiful jus and they were extremely tasty. Miranda and Roland told us of the struggles they faced but also how determined they were to succeed and as a result, were full of great inspiration for our pupils.