Our School community is lively, creative and caring; it is a happy place with a strong family atmosphere, where friendship matters and where the courteous informality between staff and pupils is highly valued. Our pastoral framework is simple – it is one of warmth, care and discipline, where individual needs are addressed. Academic endeavour is at the heart of our School and it is expected that pupils will leave us with strong examination results. In addition, we aim to instil a love of learning and a curiosity that will ensure pupils make the most of the many opportunities on offer outside the classroom. We have a strong spirit of adventure and a passion for a wide variety of extra-curricular activities including music, drama, sport and art. We believe if we get the environment of the School right, where courtesy, consideration for others and kindness are valued above all else, then every single one of our pupils will grow up to be confident without being arrogant, in a tolerant and harmonious atmosphere where they are happy, stimulated and inspired to succeed. For more information please visit our website which we think will give you a real flavour of Dauntsey’s.
Scholarships & Bursaries
At Dauntsey's we are committed to promoting and rewarding excellence in a wide range of areas. Thus we offer a number of scholarships to young people who can show us how their various talents would enrich our school community.
Scholarships and awards are available for boarding and day places at 11+, 13+ and 16+ and carry a maximum fee remission of 10%. Scholarship supplements are available to those who have been awarded a scholarship and provide financial help with the school fees.
Dauntsey's School operates a 100% Bursary place scheme. The scheme has been approved by Governors to widen access to the excellent education and development opportunities offered by Dauntsey's to children whose parents could never ordinarily contemplate private education on financial grounds. For more information please visit our website.
Admission to Dauntsey’s is at 11, 13 and 16, and is by examination, school report and interview or, for Sixth Form by I/GCSE grade predictions or equivalent and interview.
The first step in the admissions process is to complete and return the registration form, along with the registration fee. You can download the registration form from our website.
Dauntsey’s December production of "In The Heights" is a hit
A cast of 160 pupils, supported by more than 30 technical crew and band members, have delighted sell-out audiences with a challenging, energetic and exciting production of "In the Heights".
From the writer of Hamilton and Disney's Moana, Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical tells the story of a vibrant community in New York's Washington Heights neighbourhood.
The show received standing ovations from audiences totalling some 3,000 who watched performances over the five-night run. The cast was made up of pupils from years 7 to 13 and, for some, it was their stage debut.
As always, the School’s hi-tech sound and light system brought the musical to life in spectacular fashion, and the band performed the extraordinarily challenging score with great skill, energy and enthusiasm.
Chris Walker, Director of Drama, said;
“In The Heights is a show about community. The fast-paced rap, sharp dialogue and belting songs fused with Latin rhythms and culture make for a show that lives long in the memory.
“Our young cast, dancers, musicians, stage team and technical crew have worked intensely for 10 short weeks to make this a simply extraordinary experience for audiences and pupils.
“Dauntsey’s has once again raised the bar for what is possible for school productions. Taking on this hugely complex show was a mountain to climb and the young people and staff truly scaled the peak. Our show was as close as possible to the West End production.
“We were fortunate to have the wisdom and guidance of Jimmy Norden (who played drums, in the original West End cast) and Cleve September (original West End cast member of In The Heights and Hamilton) to help the pupils achieve excellent results.
“It was a truly special show and an unforgettable experience.”
Audience reviews include:
“Mind-blowingly good by an enormous cast and orchestra! Such a depth of singing, acting & dancing talent. Spontaneous and fully deserved standing ovation.”
"If In The Heights is a contemporary call for community, the cast, band, crew, and production team showed just how Dauntsey’s is every bit one quite brilliant community!”
The December production has become a musical tradition for Dauntsey’s and In the Heights follows spellbinding shows including Our House, Les Misérables, Mamma Mia and Billy Elliot.
Adventurer and TV Presenter Ant Middleton Visits Dauntsey’s
Dauntsey’s has recently welcomed the adventurer, TV presenter and former soldier, Ant Middleton to the school as part of the Mercers' Lecture Series.
Ant presented his lecture to a sell-out audience of some 950 pupils, staff and members of the local community, talking about his journey from life in the British military through to his role today as an inspirational survival expert.
Ant built his lecture around four ‘columns’ to visualise the route to become a stronger person. One of these columns represented integrity. Ant explained that you have to be true to yourself to achieve success and shared his experiences to reinforce this lesson. He spoke candidly about some of the failures in his life, explaining that he accepts his previous mistakes but lives ‘in the moment’, there being no such thing as ‘the past’.
Ant also talked about his adventures climbing Mount Everest and re-enacting Captain William Bligh’s journey as the captain in Mutiny on the Bounty.
Before the lecture, Ant ate dinner with a group of Sixth Formers. They had the opportunity to ask him a range of questions which covered his experience on set filming, his upbringing and how it influenced the man he has become. Fear was a common theme, particularly when talking about his time in the military. Ant spoke about different ‘bubbles’ of fear, suggesting that we should take control of our fears to become stronger both mentally and physically.
Tegan, a Lower Sixth student from Dauntsey’s, who attended the lecture said:
“Ant inspired the audience with his powerful mindset and the way in which he maintains a positive attitude, no matter what the situation might be. He certainly inspired the younger audience to want to achieve their goals but also to realise that it’s possible to take different opportunities as you work towards these goals.
“He showed that anything is possible with a strong mindset and we would like to thank him for such an inspirational and entertaining evening.”
Dauntsey’s Jolie Brise wins the ASTO Small Ships Race
Dauntsey’s Tall Ship, Jolie Brise, has won the ASTO Small Ships Race.
Crewed by pupils with the support of more experienced sailors, the ship was first to cross the finish line, in spite of challenging weather conditions, in the day-long race across The Solent.
Florence, a Sixth Former from Dauntsey’s, who helped crew the ship, said:
“It was an amazing opportunity to participate in this event. I had done a couple of longer cruises around Norway and Denmark on Jolie Brise but this was my first chance to be in an official race.
“On the morning of the race, we finished preparations and headed to the start line. It was magical to see all the boats sailing alongside each other and so inspiring to watch them head off, not just as an onlooker but as an involved crew member. Despite the lack of wind, we were determined to proceed in the race, working hard to navigate the difficult sailing conditions.
“When we worked together, we were able to gain some speed by manually pushing the boom out. This put us at a much greater advantage over the other teams and we raced ahead. We ended up winning as a result of our perseverance, while a lot of the other crews gave up, something we were commended for at the awards ceremony later that evening.”
The ASTO Small Ships Races are a youth event open to any Sail Training vessels of which at least half the crew is under 25. Small Ships races are run under the rules of Tall Ships Races but with, as the name suggests, some smaller vessels involved (usually under 24 metres long, with up to 16 trainees on board).
Dauntsey’s has presented a cheque for more than £10,300 to The Jemima Layzell Trust, the School’s chosen charity for the last academic year.
The charity was set up in memory of Jemima, who died from a brain aneurysm in 2012, to help young people with brain injuries.
A total of £10,344.70 was raised by pupils through a range of activities including a Lip Sync Battle, a Runathon, a Boules competition, bake sales and “mufti” days for pupils. Large contributions also came from sponsorship of those pupils who took part in the gruelling Devizes to Westminster canoe race at Easter.
Jane Hubbard, Head of Charities, Dauntsey’s, said:
“We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the Jemima Layzell Trust – pupils, staff and parents – and are delighted to have been able to raise such a fantastic amount for this important charity.”
Each September, the School community votes to adopt a charity for the forthcoming academic year. In the past ten years, Dauntsey’s has raised almost £236,000 for a variety of good causes.
The charity chosen for the new academic year (2019/20) is The Verunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the continent’s most biologically diverse protected area, and the local men and women risk their lives on a daily basis to safeguard the Park’s exceptional wildlife, including the last of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas.
The Park is also committed to supporting local communities and has a vision for responsibly harnessing the Park’s natural resources to create new opportunities for the four million people that live close by.
Dauntsey’s New Director of Drama Unveils Ambitious Programme for 2019/20
Dauntsey’s new Director of Drama has announced an ambitious Drama programme for 2019/20. Chris Walker, has announced the programme for productions this year.
The Autumn term will start with:
Living with Lady Macbeth. November 19 – 21. A surprising and interesting look at Shakespeare’s classic character from a different perspective by Rob John.
In the Heights. December 3 – 7. Winner of the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations. From the writer of Hamilton and Disney’s Moana, Lin Manuel Miranda.
The Easter term programme will be made up of:
Lower School Dance Show. January 28 – 29. Transport back in time as we celebrate dance through the decades from the early 1900s to the present day. Involving performances from all First and Second Form classes and Lower School dance clubs.
Division. February 11 – 13. What keeps us together and what tears us apart? Continuing from Dusk and Datum, Matthew Herring’s new play Division explores the break-down of a family and the consequences therein.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. March 18 – 20. The hilarious musical comedy with music and lyrics by William Finn and book by Rachel Sheinkin.
The Summer Term will feature:
Lower School Play: Treasure Island. June 22 – 25. Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved classic is updated and adapted for the stage by Stuart Paterson.
Dance Showcase. June 29 & 30, July 1. A celebration of student work from throughout the year including performances from GCSE and A level pupils, Dauntsey’s Dance Company, Upper School Street Dance, Lower School Dance Company, GNI and many more.
Hansel & Gretel. June 30, July 1 & 2. Hansel and Gretel will be put to the test! Armed with their very last slice of bread, will they eat to survive or leave a trail home instead?
Chris Walker, Director of Drama, Dauntsey’s said:
“I am excited to unveil such a diverse programme for this year, my first at Dauntsey’s.
“We have some wonderful talent here both on stage and behind the scenes and I look forward to bringing this programme to life in the coming months. We are already hard at work on the Autumn term productions.”
Tickets for productions can be booked on-line by going to Dauntsey’s booking page at https://www.dauntseys.org/life-at-dauntseys/performing-arts
Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen, Opens Dauntsey’s Mercers’ Lecture Series
Dauntsey’s has recently welcomed Amanda Owen, the Yorkshire Shepherdess, to the School.
She presented the opening Mercers’ Lecture of this academic year to an audience of 800 pupils, staff and members of the local community, talking about her life as a shepherdess in Yorkshire.
Amanda, shepherdess, farmer’s wife, mother to nine children, photographer and bestselling author, lives with her family on a remote, 2,000-acre hill farm in Swaledale, North Yorkshire. Her inspiring lecture encouraged the audience to pursue their dreams, even if this means taking an unorthodox route. Amanda started life wanting to be a vet but, when her grades did not match her ambition, she trained as a veterinary nurse and her imagination was captured by a book on the life of a shepherd. Encouraged by a love of books, her life has come full circle, as she has now written three of her own.
Prior to the lecture, Amanda spoke to a small group of Sixth Form students on subjects ranging from the names of her dogs, her love of photography and what it is like to raise a family of nine, with all the children pitching in to run the farm.
Riya, one of the Sixth Form pupils who met Amanda, said:
“Amanda’s talk was very entertaining and she answered expertly all the questions at the end which ranged from how she manages with limited broadband connectivity to whether her farm is organic.
“Her passion and enthusiasm for her animals, and farming in general, was infectious and I’m sure that we all look forward to reading her books and watching her next series on television.”
Dauntsey’s pupils raise £14,000 for Romanian orphanage
A group of 22 Lower Sixth pupils from Dauntsey’s spent nine days in Cernavoda, Romania over the Summer holidays, working at The Nightingales Children's Project to support local children.
Fundraising for the trip started in November last year and an impressive £14,000 was raised through a range of initiatives, including a circus-themed charity auction, candle sales and sponsored runs, to name but a few, as well as some generous donations from local companies.
During the trip, the pupils ran a play scheme for more than one hundred local children, many of whom have difficult home lives.
All the money raised goes directly to the Summer School, run by Dauntsey’s pupils, to buy the resources and equipment needed. At the end of the trip the pupils decide how the rest of the money will be used by Nightingales to help to fund longer term projects.
Chris Tonkiss, the teacher from Dauntsey’s who ran the trip, said:
“The Nightingales Children’s Project has been a long-standing commitment for Dauntsey’s pupils and holds a special place in our annual calendar. In the past thirteen years, more than two hundred pupils have gained a huge amount from the cultural and emotional experience of working with children and young people who are living in far less fortunate circumstances than themselves.
“The pupils did a wonderful job raising money for this year’s trip and it was very rewarding to get back to the orphanage, see for ourselves how our past efforts are paying off, and decide how best to spend the new funds.”
If you would like any more information about Nightingales Children’s Project you will find it on their website - http://www.nightingaleschildrensproject.co.uk/index.php
Dauntsey’s Sailing Club’s Isle of Wight Trip Report
A group of 19 Third Formers from Dauntsey’s have spent a fantastic five days on a dinghy sailing adventure on the Isle of Wight.
The weather was great, with a good calm wind at the beginning of the week and quite a choppy ride towards the end. The tides worked in the group’s favour which meant everyone could spend about five hours on the water each day.
The pupils sailed mostly on a Pico, but the more advanced sailors were put in a Quba and a Bahia. Everyone was taught how to rig a dinghy, gybe, capsize and recover safely as well as learn the regatta rules for racing.
The pupils were in charge of preparing their own packed lunches, cooking dinner and clearing up. A particular highlight for everyone was joining the St Helen’s Fort Walk, a summer tradition on the Isle of Wight, where up to two thousand people walk and wade at low tide to St Helen’s Fort and back again.
Some of the group had been on the trip last year and were able to further improve their sailing skills while, for others, it was the first attempt at taking control of a dinghy.
One of the pupils on the trip said;
“I am really proud of myself for trying something new - even if I found it a bit scary at times! It was really hard at some points, but I learned to become more resilient and determined and I didn’t give up.”
Sailing is a popular activity at Dauntsey’s and the School maintains and sails its own Tall Ship Jolie Brise, a 56-foot gaff cutter. She was the last boat to carry the Royal Mail under sail and has won the Fastnet Race three times, including the inaugural race in 1925. In 2013, she celebrated the centenary anniversary of her construction by the Paumelle yard in Le Havre.
All pupils spend 24 hours on board Jolie Brise in their Fourth Form and, if they enjoy the experience, they can join the Sailing Club and sign up for short cruises in the Spring or longer trips in the summer.