- Dean Close School
Dean Close School Motto
Latin: verbum dei lucerna("God's word. A guiding light")
Established 1886 Type Independent Religion Church of England Headmaster Jonathan Lancashire Location Shelburne Road
Students 511 Gender co-educational Ages 2+–18 Website Dean Close School website
Dean Close School is a co-educational independent school in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. The school is divided into pre-prep, preparatory and senior schools located on separate but adjacent sites outside Cheltenham town centre, occupying the largest private land area in the town. Students may be enrolled as young as 3 in the pre-preparatory school, and continue through to 18 at the senior school. The school adheres to National Curriculum guidelines, while retaining independent status as a selective, fee-paying institution. Dean Close is a public school, and a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
The school, originally "The Dean Close Memorial School", was founded in 1886 in memory of local former Rector of Cheltenham and Dean of Carlisle Cathedral, Rev Francis Close (1797–1882). Alumni include the poet James Elroy Flecker, whose father was the school's first headmaster (the old Flecker Hall was named after him), and the artist Francis Bacon.
In the First World War more than 120 former pupils were killed; their names, along with the names of young men killed during the Second World War are recorded in the memorial chapel, which was consecrated in 1923.
The school buildings were requisitioned by the Home Office during World War II and the staff and pupils were relocated to nearby Monkton Combe School. Ultimately, the buildings were not required by the government, and were handed back in 1940. In December of the same year, the school was hit by five bombs during air raids. Two of the bombs caused substantial damage to the junior school and shrapnel damage can be observed on what was the Careers building, now an administrative office.
In 1967, the first girl was admitted for tutorials, and by 1969 the school had started encouraging female applicants to study full-time. Enrolment increased over the next 35 years to create a balanced co-educational environment, with equal numbers of boys and girls in boarding and day houses.
Dean Close hit headlines in 2008 when the media and parents discovered that headmaster Rev Timothy Hastie-Smith, (1998 – 10 October 2008) had appointed a teacher despite knowing that he had been involved in a scandal at his former school, Shrewsbury School. He was elected Chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference for the 2008–09 academic year but relinquished both positions as a consequence of the scandal.
A-Level results in 2007 saw the school achieve a 100% pass rate with 81% of exams graded A–B. These results have put Dean Close in the top 100 schools in England as ranked by UCAS points per candidate. A majority of pupils attend Russell Group universities, with almost one in six achieving places at Oxbridge in recent years.
In 2009, Dean Close pupils achieved the best GCSE results in the School's history with 58.1% attaining A/A*, and with an overall pass rate of 97.6%.
However, in 2010, the same record was yet again broken, with 61.7% of pupils achieving A/A* , with an overall pass rate of 98.3%
There are 10 drama productions every year on average, from whole school musicals to pupil-produced plays. The school has visited the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with their own theatre company, Close Up Theatre, every year since 2004.[as of?]
In the summer of 2009, Dean Close U18 boys hockey team won the Schools National Hockey competition. They also reached the schools National Hockey Finals again in 2010 and 2011.
- Brook Court — Boys' boarding
- Dale — Boys' day
- Fawley — Girls' boarding
- Field — Boys' day
- Gate — Boys' boarding
- Mead — Girls' day
- Shelburne — Girls' boarding
- Tower — Boys' boarding
Houses (Prep school)
- Caledecote — Boarding boys (Year 6-8)
- Fortfield — Boarding girls (Year 6-8)
- Wilton — Boarding Junior (Year 3-5)
- Oaksey — Day
- Deacon — Day
- Yeaman — Day
Notable Old Decanians
- Former students of the school are known as 'Old Decanians', decanus being the Latin for dean.
- George Adamson, environmentalist.
- Oliver Claude Allison, bishop.
- Francis Bacon, artist.
- Richard St. Barbe Baker, environmentalist, forester and writer.
- Francis Berry, poet and critic.
- Denis Burkitt, surgeon.
- Ernest Cossart, actor.
- Basil Dale, former Anglican Bishop of Jamaica.
- William Dimoline, British general.
- Verrier Elwin, missionary.
- Robert Evans, Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford.
- James Flecker, English poet, novelist and playwright.
- Jon Foster, English comedy writer.
- Andrew Goudie, geographer and Master of St Cross College, Oxford.
- Brian Jones, musician, guitarist and founding member of The Rolling Stones.
- G. Wilson Knight, literary critic and academic.
- Gordon Luce, scholar and member of the Cambridge Apostles.
- Samer Majali, businessman.
- Ben Marsden, hockey player for England.
- Mpumelelo Mbangwa, cricketer and commentator.
- John Metcalf, composer.
- Robert Moreland, consultant and politician.
- Geoffrey Page, World War II fighter pilot.
- Hugh Quarshie, actor.
- Bernard Ribeiro, former president of the Royal College of Surgeons.
- Jim Thompson, bishop.
- William Welch, bishop.
- Tom Johnson (rugby union), professional rugby union player for Exeter Chiefs and England
- Peter Browne, professional rugby union player for Harlequins
- Henry C. Staelens, founder of UK sportswear brand, Hexx
See also Category:Old Decanians.
Schools in Gloucestershire Primary ComprehensiveArchway School · Beaufort School · Balcarras School · Brimsham Green School · Brockworth Enterprise School · Central Technology College · Chosen Hill School · Cirencester Kingshill School · Cirencester Deer Park School · Cleeve School · Cotswold School · Dene Magna Community School · Katharine Lady Berkeley's School · Newent Community School · Rednock School · Severn Vale School · St Peter's High School · Thomas Keble School · Tewkesbury School · Wyedean School Grammar Sixth form colleges Independent (preparatory)Beaudesert Park School · Rose Hill School · St. John's-on-the-Hill Independent (senior) Independent (all ages)
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