I believe that Colleger had a child at DC, and that neither of her children now attend the senior school. She is also v. knowledgeable about various schools. Might be worth searching for her and PMing her as she may have interesting views...
Like you, we knew no-one at the school, but you're very quickly made to feel part of the community, even if you live some distance away. Interestingly, it was the first school we looked at and then (as is often the case) the one we always came back to. It's deceptive in that the 3 schools (pre-prep, prep and senior) are on 50 acres as the buildings face "away" from the main road and look inward onto beautiful playing fields - and plenty of running around space! Our DD left primary school with little interest in sport but has embraced everything on offer and "grown" into new surroundings. Music/drama-wise, they are building a fab new prep school hall/music/theatre/teaching space which will be ready by Oct 2013. They're extremely flexible with boarding days, as the recent snowy/bad weather has borne out. Very grounded school but with high expectations and, as you say, very encouraging, but not pushy - we've really felt that as a school, they "do what it says on the tin" - hope your next visit goes well! PM me if you've any other questions
Thanks! Yes it does help, it means so much more when you hear from actual parents and we don't know any. We've seen lots of schools and this one seems to have high standards but without being too pushy about it - thats the impression I got, anyway. I was concerned about the boarding (looking at weekly/flexi) with the road outside - we really wanted lots of running around space. Another visit planned though . Good to hear about the music!
After considering many schools in Chelt and Oxford, our DD started at DCPS last September as a flexi-boarder. We've been absolutely delighted - the boarding provision is just the right balance of home comforts, fun and structure. Music is second to none, amazing facilities and everyone encouraged to join in, whatever their musical talents - big part of school life. We found the Christian ethos underpins the whole attitude to teaching, inclusion and pastoral care but it's def not "in your face" if those aren't your beliefs. It seems a very balanced, happy school, good social mix with high standards where independence is encouraged but with plenty of support. Hope this helps!
Does anyone have any experience of Dean Close Prep School? We like the Christian ethos but not sure about the boarding provision. Would be good to hear from current parents of yr 4-5 boarders. Is the music as good as it looks on the website?