Frequently Asked Questions

What Parents Ask During a School Visit

What scholarship opportunities are available?

Children can apply for an internal 11+ Scholarship in Y6. Available scholarships include: Academic, Music, Drama, Sport, Art and Design Technology. Talented scholars receive generous financial assistance with tuition fees, which can continue to age 18 (Year 13) at Dean Close Senior School.

What senior schools do children progress to?

A number of our pupils’ progress each year to Dean Close Senior School, where our pupils are guaranteed a place (provided the child will be able to access the curriculum). Our pupils go to a wide range of senior schools including: Monmouth School for Boys; Monmouth School for Girls; Clifton College; Christ College Brecon; Marlborough College; Malvern St James; Shrewsbury School; Wycliffe College; and King’s School Gloucester.

What do we offer in wraparound care?

There are a wide range of after school clubs and activities available to all children from Years 3 – 8. Many are for pure fun. Others, involve specialist preparation for formal exams to give an additional focus for progress, achievement and satisfaction. Pre-Prep after school care from 3.30pm until 6.00pm is free of charge. Prep school after school supervision from 4.30pm until 6.00pm is free of charge. Children can join the boarders for their evening meal at 6:00pm. Further late stay is also available from 6.15pm – 8pm. An additional charge will be added to the end of term bill. By prior arrangement children can arrive from 7.30am.  A complimentary breakfast is available at 8am.

What do we offer children gifted in sport/art/academics/music/drama etc, and those requiring learning support?

We recognise and support the needs of those children who have been identified as having ‘high learning potential’. There are a variety of opportunities for particularly able children and those with a keen interest in a subject. Programmes are put in place to support individuals with a particularly high level of ability; for instance, extra language sessions for those excelling in a foreign language. Furthermore, there are a range of external trips and competitions which allow children to broaden their horizons. Those taking scholarships in Year 8 are given a more complex and demanding curriculum in both the academic sphere and in Music, Art, DT, Drama and Sport. In addition to the provision within lessons for children of different abilities, there are various clubs and activities in school which can help develop special interests. If a child has a special educational need, the school does all it can to meet those individual needs. If a child displays signs of having a learning difficulty their teacher alerts the Head of Learning Support, as detailed in the school’s Learning Support Policy. The department offers a range of support in the areas of literacy and numeracy. Specialist tuition, individual, paired or in small groups, is tailored to individual needs. St John’s charges for the provision of Learning Support where individual lessons are provided and this is detailed in the fees booklet. The Learning Support Department offers specialist support for pupils with dyslexia and provides a structured course to develop spelling, literacy, comprehension, numerical and study skills. Various multi-sensory techniques are used.

Please explain the relationship between Dean Close St John's and Dean Close.

The Dean Close Foundation was established in 2015 following the acquisition of St John’s on-the-Hill Preparatory School (and various nurseries) by Dean Close. The amalgamation of Dean Close with St John’s has brought benefits to both, with substantial investments in the fabric of St John’s as well as sharing resources such as professional sports coaching; whilst providing Dean Close with a footprint in Chepstow and a relationship with parents looking for an outstanding senior school in Cheltenham. The diversification of activities in the Dean Close Foundation portfolio has strengthened the financial position of Dean Close and therefore its ability to improve facilities, keep fees manageable and offer the very best to pupils of all ages. After considerable investment and changes in structure, the schools and nurseries are all thriving and highly successful.

Who is the Head?

Mr Nick Thrower is the Headmaster at Dean Close St John's.

How does a typical day run, and what are homework expectations?

Here is a detailed breakdown of the Pre-Prep school day: The Prep school day consists of seven 50 minute lessons per day except on a Wednesday when the afternoon is dedicated to Games. Age appropriate levels of homework are set on a daily or weekly basis.

Do they have class teachers/subject specialists?

Pupils have a form tutor who they see every day. As well as checking that they are keeping on top of their academic studies and giving relevant feedback from other subject staff, the form tutor’s role is to encourage and support pupils. In the Pre prep French, music, art and physical education are taught by dedicated specialist teachers from the Prep School, giving the children an early advantage in experiencing and developing their skills in these subjects. From Y3 this also includes Design Technology, ICT, Science and Drama; and from Y5 also Maths, English, and Humanities.

How many pupils/class sizes/boy girl split?

Approximately 150 pupils with an almost even boy:girl split. Class sizes are generally about 12-15 pupils, and will not exceed 20.

How do we register/sign up, and have we space for next year?

We currently have spaces available throughout the year groups. Please contact Head of Admissions, Leana Ward on for a Registration Form. To register your child at Dean Close St John's, a registration fee of £100 is required. A deposit of £250 is payable for pupils in Kindergarten to Year 2, and £500 for Year 3 to Year 8 on the submission of the Parent Contract. This will be deducted from the final invoice. For parents who are resident overseas the deposit is a full term’s fees.