Dauntsey's is a leading co-educational boarding and day school of some 790 pupils aged 11 to 18, set in an estate of a hundred and fifty acres of idyllic countryside on the edge of Salisbury Plain.
About the school
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.
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.
Pupils from Dauntsey’s have recently competed in two of the School’s toughest music competitions.
11th May 2021 — Fourth and Fifth Form pupils took to the floor to take part in this year’s Middle School Music Competition. Each produced outstanding performances, but Ben’s playing of Nocturne in G minor by Fryderyk Chopin and Mambo by Christopher Norton gave him first prize.
This year’s competition adjudicator was the renowned clarinettist and saxophonist, Tim Redpath, who judged each performance remotely using video.
Further up the School, congratulations go to Tom, who won this year’s Gilliat Singing Competition, adjudicated by choral specialist Greg Hallam. Tom performed Se Vuol Ballare from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, followed by Vaughan Williams’ The Vagabond from his Songs of Travel. In the Mozart aria, Tom communicated the outrage of Figaro at the discovery of the Count’s scheming plot and then the determination to unravel the plan and outwit him. In Williams' piece, Tom communicated the changing weather and affect of time, as a traveler engages on a rough journey through the English countryside in the early 1900s.
Gareth Harris, Director of Music, Dauntsey’s, said:
“Performance is such an important part of learning an instrument. We have been unable to hold live concerts so there was a wonderful sense of enjoyment evident in all the individual performances.
“These school competitions allow our pupils to take to the stage, share their love of music and experience the challenge of performing in front of leading musicians. All competitors produced outstanding performances, making the selection of winners all the harder.
“We are enormously grateful to our two adjudicators for judging each competition with great skill and offering excellent encouragement and advice to all those who took part.”
The summer term has got off to an exciting start at Dauntsey’s with a visit from Olympic athlete Roger Black MBE, who officially opened the School’s new all-weather running track.
27th April 2021 — Roger Black is one of the country’s most successful sportsman having represented Great Britain for fourteen years at the highest level in the world of athletics.
Before the official opening, Roger gave an inspiring talk to a select group of pupils where he shared his journey to becoming a professional athlete and compete at the Olympic Games. His message was particularly apt for pupils entering the exam season; “…always try your hardest and give your best. And, if things don’t go as you had planned, don’t worry about adjusting your course, as you never know where this new path may take you.”
Roger also enjoyed some reminiscing about past Olympics with Dauntsey’s Athletics coach and former Olympian, David Hemery CBE.
After a tour of the School led by the Head Boy and Head Girl, it was time for the official opening of the track where Roger unveiled a plaque which will be positioned in the School’s Pavilion.
Dauntsey’s Sixth Former Will said:
“It was a privilege to meet Roger. He was very easy to chat to and really inspiring when talking about his own experiences in world-class athletics.
“Roger said the track was one of the best he had seen, in a stunning setting, and he was really interested in the number of community groups and societies who are able to use the facilities.”
Marcus Olsen, Director of Sport, Dauntsey’s, added:
“We are very grateful to Roger for visiting us this week and giving some of our pupils a day to remember. It is a great start to the summer term, and I am sure he will have inspired many of our athletes to put in even more effort to their training!”
Dauntsey’s pupils launch charity single for Romanian orphanage
A group of 45 Sixth Formers from Dauntsey’s have created a charity single to raise money for The Nightingales Children's Project in Cernavoda, Romania.
8th April 2021 — The song they have chosen is Come Alive from the musical, The Greatest Showman. The goal is to raise £6,000 to enable the Project to continue sponsoring 15 local girls. Keeping these girls in education allows them to fulfil their potential and prevents them being forced into negative life choices.
Dauntsey’s has supported Nightingales for more than 15 years. Each summer a group of Lower Sixth students fundraise and run a summer camp for the young people of Cernavoda. Due to Covid the 2020 and 2021 trips have been cancelled.
Jane Hubbard, Head of Charities at Dauntsey’s, said:
“The Nightingales Children’s Project has been a long-standing commitment for Dauntsey’s pupils and the summer trip holds a special place in our annual calendar. The students regularly raise £10,000 each year, which equates to almost a third of the Charity’s annual budget.
“It has been very disappointing not to be able to run the Summer camp this year and last. Creating a charity single has been a fantastic, Covid-friendly means of raising much-needed funds for Project.”
To make a donation, please visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/ and search Dauntsey’s.
Drama at Dauntsey’s has continued to thrive, in spite of the restrictions imposed by the Covid 19 pandemic.
11th February 2021 — The School’s Drama department has found creative ways of continuing to involve pupils in Drama, whether they are at home due to lockdown, or in school with social distancing measures in place.
Last term, when pupils and staff were in school, Dauntsey’s staged its first socially distanced drama production, Chatroom, a play by Enda Walsh. A powerful depiction of modern-day isolation and the power of technology, the plot depicts five young people who meet on the internet and encourage each other’s bad behaviour. The cast required was small, enabling social distancing on-stage, while a team of pupils from Second Form through to the Upper Sixth were responsible for stage design, lighting and sound.
Casting two ‘bubbles’ meant that pupils had to be socially distanced at all times, while the audience configuration had to ensure seating was ‘bubbled’ by year group and by House. In spite of several rehearsals being conducted via Microsoft Teams, the end result saw the cast cultivate relatable and three-dimensional characters, each of them learning a large number of lines in a short timescale.
Following on from this success, the Drama Department has released its first binaural audio performance entitled The Crossing. Binaural is a method of recording sound that uses two microphones, arranged to create a three-dimensional stereo sound sensation of actually being in the room with the performers. The production was devised and produced by twenty Sixth Formers, in response to a true story about human trafficking. The Crossing was created before Christmas, adhering to social distancing guidelines.
As a means of extending its drama offering, Dauntsey’s has launched LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) and more than 40 pupils have opted for on-line lessons with first examinations scheduled for the Summer.
Meanwhile, the School continues to deliver its A level and GCSE courses online and finds creative ways to approach practical work, including on-line improvisations and creative film editing at home.
Chris Walker, Head of Drama, Dauntsey’s said:
“The performing arts are part of the fabric of life at Dauntsey’s and we have all missed being able to run our usual programme of creating and performing Drama through the pandemic. Pupils and staff have been committed to delivering performances, in spite of the many obstacles we face and I am immensely proud of the two productions we have pulled together under very difficult circumstances.
“We can’t wait to get back to something like normality but, in the meantime, we are working hard to ensure pupils can continue to enjoy the creativity and stimulation of drama, albeit from their own homes.”
Chris recommends the following resources to get your drama fix:
Adventure education has always been at the heart of Dauntsey’s but inevitably many of the School’s activities have had to be postponed through the periods of lockdown, due to Covid 19.
9th February 2021 — However, adventure can be found closer to home, in your garden, or even actually in your home.
Sam Moore, Dauntsey’s Head of Adventure Education, gives some tips for creating a sense of adventure, without having to travel very far.
1 Plan a camp-out at night in the garden. Before you go to sleep make sure you look up at the sky and see what you can spot – there are some great apps like Star Walk 2 where you can use your phone to discover which stars you are looking at
2 If heading outdoors isn’t an option, build a den inside using sheets and a rope. Bed-time stories in a den with torches and a hot chocolate are a lot more exciting
3 Learn how to build a camp-fire and then plan, buy and cook a meal on it - and make sure you do the washing up too!
4 Buy a map and explore all the footpaths in the area around your house. Find out what wildlife you can see or hear and make a note of how many different species you can spot. There are some great apps to identify bird song – check out BirdNET
5 Set yourself a mini-challenge. Can you cover every footpath within a two-mile radius of your home within a week? Can you teach a younger sibling how to tie five different knots – or teach yourself if you don’t already know how
6 Learn the main symbols on an Ordnance Survey map – this will be an invaluable skill for any adventure using a map. You will find lots of information on www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk
7 Have an Adventure Film night. There are loads of great adventure films on YouTube, Vimeo, RedBullTV and on platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Curate yourselves a play list, collect some snacks, dim the lights and spend an evening revelling in other people’s adventure!
8 Whatever adventure you embark on outside, remember to leave the world as you find it, or improve it by picking up any litter you come across. Learn about how you can protect the environments you are headed into by looking at the Countryside Code or Leave No Trace for guidance.
9 And, finally, find adventures on-line which will inspire you for when we can travel again – here are some organisations and people to follow:
- British Mountaineering Council https://www.thebmc.co.uk/
- Royal Geographical Society https://www.rgs.org/
- Red Bull have some great content on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/redbull
- Al Humphries https://alastairhumphreys.com
- Belinda Kirk http://www.belindakirk.com/
- National Geographic https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/
Dauntsey’s Stages its First Socially Distanced Drama Production
Pupils and staff at Dauntsey’s have staged their first socially distanced drama production, Chatroom, a play by Enda Walsh.
17th December 2020 — A powerful depiction of modern-day isolation and the power of technology, the play received its first professional production at the National Theatre in 2006.
The plot depicts five young people who meet on the internet and encourage each other’s bad behaviour. The cast required for the play is small, enabling social distancing on-stage, while a team of pupils from Second Form through to the Upper Sixth were responsible for stage design, lighting and sound.
Pupils were committed to getting a production on-stage, after a long break from creating theatre due to Covid restrictions. Casting two ‘bubbles’ meant that pupils had to be socially distanced at all times, while the audience configuration had to ensure seating was ‘bubbled’ by year group and by house.
In spite of several rehearsals being conducted via Microsoft Teams, the end result saw the cast cultivate relatable and three-dimensional characters, each of them learning a large number of lines in a short timescale.
Elise Chambers, Head of Speech and Drama at Dauntsey’s, who directed the play, said:
“The themes in Chatroom are as relevant as ever, as we spend increasing periods of time on screens and we see growing levels of loneliness and anxiety. The clear message is that if we are open to discuss mental health and talk about our problems, resolutions can be found.
“The pupils did an outstanding job in pulling this production together under difficult circumstances. It was wonderful to see them creating theatre once again. Drama at Dauntsey’s is back!”
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.