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.
Some 130 pupils from the Third Form to Upper Sixth have taken part in a Global Careers Festival of Modern Languages, organised by the Languages and Careers departments.
The day-long event was made up of presentations and workshops led by leaders from business and the media who have studied languages at some point in their lives and used languages to progress their careers. The objective of the Festival was to provide an insight into the numerous possible careers that had an element of modern languages linked to them.
Highlights of the programme included; a presentation from a BBC Panorama editor who studied Portuguese; a networking session with representatives from Retail, Marketing, Human Resources and IT, all of whom studied languages at degree level; and an evening showcase led by a classicist who is an ex-editor of Tatler, a multi-lingual lawyer with experience of working at the UN and EU and a Director of a specialist hospitality training organisation from Switzerland.
The school also welcomed back some Old Dauntseians to talk about their experiences after school, having taken languages at A level or at University, including one ex-pupil who studied Portuguese and joined the event from Brazil via Skype.
Demelza Hills, Head of Spanish, Dauntsey’s said:
“Whilst studying languages is experiencing a sharp decline nationally, Dauntsey’s is really bucking the trend with almost all pupils taking at least one language at GCSE and close to a third taking a language at A level.
“Feedback from pupils about the Careers Festival was really positive – many of them had not realised how many skills studying languages could give them.”
One of the pupils added:
“The Festival was helpful because it made me realise the vast number of careers that benefit from using foreign languages directly or indirectly. It was apparent that language touches many facets of the working world. I now know that, whatever I decide to do in the future, my linguistic skills will always have a potential use other than the obvious language careers.”
Dauntsey’s Pupils have an Arctic Adventure of a Lifetime
A group of Second Form pupils from Dauntsey’s spent half term in the North of Sweden on an ‘Arctic Adventure’ of a lifetime.
Their base was the city of Skellefteå which was blanketed in thick snow throughout their stay, with temperatures rarely above freezing and as low as -16°C. The pupils tackled a number of challenges including an alpine luge competition, ice fishing, cross country ski-ing, igloo building, snow shoeing, building campfires and husky sledding. In between challenges, the pupils perfected their snowballing skills, warming up with an endless supply of hot chocolate.
The group also spent some time in a Swedish school, learning about life as a teenager in Sweden and comparing notes about the differences, and similarities, between their schools.
Throughout the trip, the pupils had to shop for their own food at a local supermarket, transporting it back to their cabin on sledges and then cooking all their meals.
Sam Moore, Head of Adventure Education, Dauntsey’s, who led the trip, said:
“This exciting trip has become one of the most popular in our adventure education programme. The students have to look after themselves, their equipment and each other in this demanding Arctic environment.
“We have created an itinerary which includes a mix of challenges in the snow as well as a day at the Boda Borg Centre which is filled with tough quests designed to test the pupils’ both mentally and physically .
“The trip also provides an opportunity to learn about the Swedish way of life and how the locals cope with the arctic conditions in winter.”
One of the pupils added:
“A real highlight of the trip for me was going husky sledding. We loved giving the huskies cuddles and strokes and they were very friendly! As soon as we had harnessed them up, we were quickly on our way, travelling at 20 miles an hour, being pulled by eight huskies along a frozen lake. It was –14 degrees so it was very cold but it was a lot of fun.”
Journalist and Former Cabinet Minister, Michael Portillo Visits Dauntsey’s
Dauntsey’s has recently welcomed journalist, TV presenter and former cabinet minister, Michael Portillo, as part of the School’s Mercers’ Lecture series.
Michael presented his lecture to an audience of 900 pupils, staff and members of the local community, talking about his life in politics and, more recently, in the media.
Born to a Spanish civil war refugee and a Scottish mother, Michael gained fame at an early age as the face of Ribena. After studying history at Cambridge, he entered politics in 1984, serving in Margaret Thatcher’s government.
Michael held a variety of ministerial positions and was seen by many as the natural successor to Thatcher until a shock result in the 1997 election saw him voted out of office in what is now known as the ‘Portillo Moment’. Michael gave many entertaining insights to his time in cabinet and enlightening behind-the-scenes tales of the Iron Lady herself.
Since leaving politics, Michael has reinvented himself as a media presence both in political discussion programmes and documentaries. The audience was fascinated as he related stories of how chance encounters, along with his passion for steam trains, fuelled his second career in television.
Before the public lecture, Michael spoke to a small group of Sixth Formers about his working life and answered their questions with great enthusiasm.
Megan, a Sixth Former from Dauntsey’s who attended both the lecture and the informal group discussion said:
“From his flamboyant dress sense to his bewitching descriptions, Michael held the audience spellbound both at our Sixth Form discussion and during the evening lecture as he gave us a colourful and very entertaining review of his life.
“We would like to thank Michael for one of the most charismatic and amusing lectures we have had the pleasure of listening to.”
Dauntsey’s completes its sports coaching team of excellence
Dauntsey’s has appointed David Hemery to its athletics coaching team.
David won a gold medal in the 400 metre hurdles in Mexico City in the 1968 Olympic Games. He was crowned Sports Personality of the Year that year and later went into sports politics, becoming president of UK Athletics and then Vice-Chairman of the British Olympic Association. In 2011, David became the first Briton to be awarded the European Olympic Committee’s Laurel Award for services to sport.
David will work with the existing team to coach Dauntsey’s pupils in athletics. The School has an outstanding reputation in the field with many of its pupils competing at county level.
Marcus Olsen, Director of Sport, Dauntsey’s said:
“We have a very strong team of professional coaches across a wide range of sports here at Dauntsey’s, many of whom have played at the highest level. We are thrilled to have David join this team and look forward to the pupils benefiting from his experience in the summer when the athletics season kicks off.”
Dauntsey’s stages Lower School Dance Showcase 2020
More than 200 pupils have taken to the stage in Dauntsey’s Lower School Dance Showcase; a celebration of dance featuring 17 different performances.
Pupils prepared for the show during the Autumn term in lessons and extra-curricular clubs. The show presented a variety of dance styles, showcasing the talents, versatility and enthusiasm of the pupils. The audience was treated to contemporary, street dance and jazz to name but a few.
This year’s theme was Dance Through the Decades, with each form showcasing a dance style from a different decade. Parents, teachers and pupils alike were transported back in time as the dancers celebrated dance from the 1920s through to the present day.
Emily Wilkins, Dauntsey’s Teacher of Dance, said:
“Much of the choreography was devised by the pupils themselves and the audience was so impressed by the skill and energy of all the dancers. The staff and technical crew did an amazing job in bringing together such a fantastic show.”
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).