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.
In spite of the restrictions imposed by Covid 19, music has continued to thrive at Dauntsey’s.
20th November 2020 — Two on-line solo recital concerts took place in September and October, featuring GCSE and A Level students. A wide programme including Mozart, Chopin, Handel, as well as more recent musical theatre numbers, entertained viewers and provided valuable performance experience for the students.
Just before half-term pupils took part in the heats of the Lower School Music Competition. The range of instruments, variety of styles, and musicality demonstrated was impressive, and from 39 performances, eight pupils were invited to compete in the final. The programme included music from Sondheim, McCartney, Mancini, Rebikov, and Duke Ellington with vocal performances and a wide range of instruments including the acoustic guitar, trumpet, clarinet and piano.
The adjudicator for the final competition was Alison Mears, Director of Guildhall Young Artists, who was highly impressed with the standard of all performances and delighted to see live music.
Congratulations to Savin for his performance of Feuilles D’Autumne by Rebikov on the piano, which won the competition. After adjudication the Finals were broadcast on Dauntsey’s YouTube channel.
Gareth Harris, Director of Music, Dauntsey’s, said:
“Our pupils love to sing and play their hearts out and we love to applaud them. Performance is such an important part of learning an instrument and I am pleased to say that we have managed to continue performing under Covid restrictions with some wonderful recitals on-line.
“The Lower School Music Competition was a particular highlight this term with some outstanding performances from a wide repertoire of musical styles and instruments.
“We can’t wait to be back to performing in more ‘normal’ circumstances, but, meanwhile, we will continue to come up with innovative ways to support the students with their musical endeavours.”
You can see Dauntsey’s music YouTube channel here:
Covid 19 has inevitably impacted the way in which Dance is being taught at Dauntsey’s but the School has come up with some creative solutions to continue this very popular activity.
5th November 2020 — Classes are now non-contact and mixed age group dance clubs have been suspended, with single year group sessions replacing specialised groups. There has been a great uptake in Dance across the Lower School, leading many sessions to be held outside, making the most of the large campus setting the school enjoys.
Miss Wilkins, Head of Dance at Dauntsey’s said;
“Restrictions have encouraged us to broaden our Dance offering and add different skills which weren’t necessarily available to pupils before.
“Instead of the usual Lower School Dance Show, we are planning a film showcasing pupils’ work this year. The theme is ‘Movies’ and pupils are busy choosing film locations, costumes and learning editing skills as well as the usual choreography. Planning the film has created a real buzz of excitement, it’s definitely something we will do again, even when we are no longer in Covid restrictions.
“Dance is fantastic for getting young people moving and having fun. It’s beneficial for mental health and encourages pupils to connect with their creative side. It builds confidence and trust and allows pupils to take on leadership roles in teaching and choreography.”
At Dauntsey’s, Dance is on the curriculum for all First and Second formers and pupils can take Dance as a GCSE and A level option. There are many other opportunities to enjoy Dance and classes are open to all, experienced dancers and those who are new to this discipline. Street, Modern Dance, Contemporary and Ballet are all popular sessions.
Dance has grown dramatically in popularity and is now an accepted career option with three pupils recently going on to join Dance schools.
A group of A level Physics students from Dauntsey’s has spent a day on board the school’s Tall Ship, Jolie Brise, measuring and analysing the forces in her rig and sails to determine how she stays upright and why she sails so fast.
16th October 2020 — The trip formed part of their ‘Physics of Sport’ A level module.
Dan Darwell, teacher of Physics, said,
“Sailing on Jolie Brise was a brilliant way to bring the topic to life and perhaps the best ever Physics lesson!”
Dauntsey’s Training Hard for Gruelling DW Canoe Race
Dauntsey’s Adventure team has had the largest ever number of applications to secure a place in the School’s team for the infamous Devizes to Westminster (DW) canoe race, known as ‘The Canoeist’s Everest’.
12th October 2020 — Sam Moore, Head of Adventure Education at Dauntsey’s, said:
“Months of lockdown have certainly not diminished our Lower Sixth pupils’ appetite for adventure. We have had 43 students apply, many of whom have never paddled before. They have been making good progress in the canoes, practising their technique, steering, situational awareness and communication and working towards their best times across our trial course.
“They are setting some competitive times and spending less time swimming in the canal so we are heading in the right direction!”
Each student practices paddling the lightweight and unstable canoes and then takes part in trials to secure a coveted place in Dauntsey’s DW team for the race which takes place at Easter 2021.
The DW involves a paddling a gruelling 125-mile course from Devizes in Wiltshire to Westminster in London and tackling 77 portages (where the crews need to carry their boats around a lock).
Upper Sixth Formers and staff at Dauntsey’s are celebrating a superb set of Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) results with 25% gaining an A* grade and 91% receiving A*- B grades. A total of 55 students submitted an EPQ.
12th October 2020 — Pupils picked a topic of personal interest at the start of the Autumn term, then carried out more than 90 hours of research during the academic year, before writing a 5,000-word report, or creating an artefact, and giving a presentation.
John Tyler, Deputy Head, Academic, Dauntsey’s, said:
“With its emphasis on independent research, self-motivation and organisation, the EPQ is highly regarded by universities and completing the course is an achievement in itself. We are very pleased with these results and there can be little doubt that the pupils’ hard work, time and dedication has paid off.”
The pupils’ project topics underline the breadth of academic curiosity at Dauntsey’s. Topics included:
Analysis of how wood affects guitar acoustics which focused on the creation of a guitar
An evaluation of Shakespeare’s understanding of serial-killers
An original play about the Oscar Pistorius trial
An investigation and projection into the likelihood of Catalan Independence
A look at whether trials should be televised in the UK
An evaluation of whether 1960s Jazz truly was politically radical
As Sixth Formers battle for places at top universities, the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) has become increasingly popular. Most students opt to complete their EPQ by writing an essay on virtually any topic. The marking of the essay is designed to reflect the skills needed at university, with 20% for planning and managing the workload, 20% for use of resources, 40% for developing and realising the project and 20% for reviewing it. Many universities will lower their A level grade requirements if applicants achieve a high score for their EPQ.
The Fourth Form at Dauntsey’s have recently completed their first adventure on the Jolie Brise, the Tall Ship owned, maintained and sailed by the pupils.
23rd September 2020 — The trip provides an introduction to sailing and is a key part of the School’s extensive Adventure Education programme.
The annual sail usually involves an overnight stay on Jolie Brise but, due to current Department of Education regulations, the trip was adapted to be just a full day of sailing with pupils remaining in their House ‘bubbles’, supported by a Skipper, First Mate and Bosun, all from the School’s Sailing Staff.
On board, pupils took part in every aspect of sailing a Tall Ship. They also learnt about the incredible history of this world-famous boat.
Toby Marris, Head of Sailing, Dauntsey’s said:
“It was a great opportunity to take the pupils out to sea and we had fantastic clear day. Few of them had sailed before – and some may never wish to repeat the experience – but the important thing is that everyone had a go and went home with some great memories. Everyone remembers their first trip on Jolie Brise.”
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.