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Dean Close School

School rating 4.6 / 5 by

Shelburne Road Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL51 6HE United Kingdom
Boarding
None to None
Day
PK to 12th
Gender
Coed

Academic

Dean Close School review by .

Dean Close School (DCS) pursues the GCSE and A level programs still followed by most schools in England and Wales. It consistently performs reasonably well in both sets of examinations (as gauged by, for example, the Daily Telegraph's league tables), and Oxbridge admissions are, I believe, generally a respectable 5-10%. Class size varies considerably between subjects, but more than fifteen students in a class is unusual. In optional subjects, particularly languages at A level, classes can be very small indeed, even one or two students. I imagine that, in general, staff at the school are approachable, and teachers are very willing to help out with problems pupils have. This is emphasised in the 'tutoring' system, which provides pastoral care to all students, and in sixth form, helpful guidance and help for university applications. The work load was manageable, and during the school holidays, set work was fairly small. The school is not at all an 'exam factory', although, as is usual, many teachers plan their lessons aimed at exams. It was clear, when I was there, though, that extracurricular personal development, in music, drama and sport was far more enthusiastically promoted than at other schools, indeed, friendships with senior staff suggested that some saw this emphasis as too great.

College Counseling

There is a head of UCAS applications at Dean Close, in the final term of....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

I entered the preparatory school with an academic scholarship into year 6. The test....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

DCS boasts a splendid range of boarding accommodation, in single-sex houses, and incredible day facilities, as well. As a day pupil, I had a study of my own for two years of my five at DCS, and shared with one or two others the rest of the time. Food is quite good, and day pupils staying on for drama, music, or sport, are free to eat dinner at the school, I believe. Facilities are mentioned above, for the most part, but aside from that, the main building of the school is a fine Victorian mansion, and whole....

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