The department’s ethos is based upon a Sport for All principle, challenging pupils of all abilities to set and work towards realistic goals and thereby achieve their true potential.

Pupils are taught a broad and balanced physical education programme that includes individual, team and gymnastic based activities that are planned, performed and evaluated, led by professionally qualified practitioners.

All pupils in years 9, 10 and 11 play for a team in the major sport each term (rugby, hockey, netball, cricket, tennis).  Other sports within the curriculum include aerobics, athletics, badminton, basketball, climbing, circuit training, cross country, cycling, fitness training, golf, rounders, squash, swimming, trampolining, volleyball and water polo.  Pupils are competitive within their own sphere, whether that be in inter-house competition, inter-school competition or at representative level.  At the top end, Sports Scholars follow a bespoke regime which aims to foster and develop athletic potential through an individually tailored programme which supports and monitors preparation, progression and performance.

Sporting development is enriched by the breadth of top-level coaches, many of whom have played or coached at professional or international level.  A wealth of state-of-the-art sporting facilities include a £3m sports hall with aerobics room/dance studio, fitness suite and indoor sports hall facilitating badminton, basketball, 5-a-side football, indoor hockey, netball, tennis, trampolining and volleyball.  There are two high spec, floodlit astroturf pitches (with water cannons), over 20 tennis courts, a 25m indoor pool, two squash courts, an indoor rifle range and climbing wall.

Traditionally, Dean Close has been highly successful in county, through to regional and up to national level in a variety of sports.  Mostly recently the under 18 girls qualified for the 2018 National Hockey Finals at the Olympic Stadium, Lee Valley. In addition, boys’ and girls’Hockey teams have been finalists in a variety of age groups every year from 2009 to the present day.

Pupils are given opportunities to travel to a variety of tournaments which work alongside an extensive pre-season training regime for the major sports.  European and major worldwide tours have recently included trips to South Africa, New Zealand, Holland and Malta.


The core curriculum is enhanced by an extensive games and extra curricular programme which includes participatory and competitive elements. All pupils are taught a broad and balanced physical education programme that includes individual, team and gymnastic based activities that are planned, performed and evaluated. At Key Stage 4 pupils are given the opportunity to follow a course in GCSE Physical Education.

In the Sixth Form pupils are able to develop their knowledge further by studying the subject at AS and A2 level.

Primary Aims

  • To promote a culture in which learning is seen as central.
  • To foster independence in and a sense of personal responsibility for learning.
  • To raise standards of acheivement in all areas of school life.
  • To encourage spiritual and moral development.
  • To provide opportunities for personal, social, and cultural enrichment.
  • To increase awareness of the outside world and their future in it.
  • To develop appropriate competence in Information and Communications Technology.
  • To enable pupils to participate in a wide range of sporting activities.

Major Games – Term Timetable

Michaelmas Term
Rugby Hockey
Lent Term
Hockey Netball
Trinity Term
Cricket/Athletics/Tennis Tennis/Athletics/Rounders


During the Michaelmas Term, boys and girls also have the opportunity to play indoor hockey alongside their major games commitment and in the Lent Term boys can play rugby 7’s whilst still playing hockey. There continues to be links with local, national standard clubs which enables both boys and girls to play hockey and netball throughout the year.