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.
Dauntsey’s Sixth Former makes pizzas for NHS staff and vulnerable adults
Dauntsey’s Sixth Former Amber, and her brother, a student at Trinity College, Dublin have been busy during lock-down making Neapolitan pizzas for NHS staff and vulnerable adults.
14th May 2020 — Using locally milled flour, San Marzano tomatoes, Fior di Latte mozzarella, and basil grown in their garden, they have become experts in making their favourite food and giving it away to those who very much deserve a treat.
“We have hired a mobile wood-fired pizza oven and are transporting it around the area to make fresh pizzas to order. The oven gets so hot, cooking each pizza takes only a minute so we can cook three at once. We are aiming to make more than 100 pizzas per day.
“We have donated more than 160 pizzas in the past week or so, with many more booked for the next couple weeks. Tomorrow we are making 60 pizzas as a surprise for care home workers in Melksham and, later in the week, we are making pizzas for the Devizes and Chippenham homeless shelters. It’s incredibly heart-warming and has been a great use of this time at home. It has really helped me keep busy and motivated throughout this lockdown. It is hard work but incredibly rewarding.”
As an Upper Sixth pupil, Amber has missed out on doing her A-levels this year.
For more information please visit https://pandemicpizza.co.uk
To pay for the ingredients and the hire cost for the mobile wood-fired pizza oven, the duo has set up a GoFundMe page. Please support Amber and her brother by donating here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/5sazz-pandemic-pizza
Dauntsey’s Launches Enrichment Programme for Upper Sixth Students
Dauntsey’s has launched a new enrichment programme for its Upper Sixth students whose A-levels have been cancelled due to Covid-19.
28th April 2020 — Once assessments are complete, the students will be able to take part in a series of enrichment courses designed to challenge and stimulate and provide a head start on life beyond school, whether it be in the world of work, University or a gap year.
The courses range from An Introduction to Law to Spanish for your Gap Year through to Pre-University Social Sciences and an Introduction to Gothic Literature. The sessions run remotely from early May through to July.
One course already proving popular is the The Dauntsey's MBA-lite, run by the School’s Bursar. For those 18-year old students interested in finance, business management or accounting, the course is intended to provide a taster of some of the technical concepts that drive management decision-making. It will include recent case studies of real-life business issues and consist of six one-hour weekly tutorials run via Microsoft Teams, supplemented by reading materials and independent research relevant to each week’s tutorial.
Sam Moore, Head of Adventure Education, and the mastermind behind the programme, said:
“Education is about much more than exams and the cancellation of the summer exams has given us the opportunity to offer our students a range of enrichment courses. These may be relevant to their chosen higher education course or future employment, they may provide an opportunity to study something completely different or learn a practical skill.”
Mark Lascelles, Head Master, Dauntsey’s added:
“We very much hope that students will sign up for a range of courses and will enjoy learning without the pressure of exams on the horizon. Staff have been incredibly enthusiastic about the opportunity to share their knowledge and interests in a very different way to teaching within the curriculum and I am really looking forward to seeing Dauntsey’s on-line enrichment courses in action.”
The full list of courses on offer includes:
• Pre-University Social Sciences
• Aspiring to Lead
• The Dauntsey's MBA-lite
• Introduction to Law
• An Introduction to Engineering at University
• British Sign Language and the Rest - Non-Verbal Communication
• “Lesser than Macbeth; and greater”: a module on Shakespeare’s key works
• An Introduction to Gothic Literature
• A Nascent Nation: A Narrative of Italy in the Nineteenth Century
• Theatre in Lockdown
• Global Catastrophes – a Short History of the End of the World
• Reading Club
• Introduction to Interesting Psychology
• Theory of Knowledge; How do you know you know what you know?
Pupils from Dauntsey’s have been cooking up some delicious treats thanks to several different cookery courses that have been running at the School in conjunction with Vaughan’s Cookery School.
6th April 2020 — Led by Peter Vaughan, an award-winning chef and a member of the highly respected Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, a course for Years 10 and 11 has included the foundation skills a chef will cover at the beginning of their training. Professional Kitchen Essentials offers Sixth Formers an internationally recognised qualification which will help them gain employment as hosts in ski chalets, as yacht crew, or as junior chefs in a commercial kitchen.
Eighteen Sixth Form pupils, and one member of staff, have now completed the Level 2 Award in Culinary Skills, validated by the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality (CTH), which has been taught by professionals from Vaughan’s Cookery School over the past two terms. The curriculum covered food preparation and good kitchen practice and they all gained a certificate in food hygiene and safety awarded by Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).
The courses were planned to culminate in pupils running a “pop up” restaurant, hosting a three-course meal for their invited guests and demonstrating their newly acquired skills to parents and teachers. Unfortunately, in the end these did not take place, owing to the fact that the School closed early this term because of corona virus.
Mark McFarland, Second Master at Dauntsey’s, said:
“Learning to cook nutritious and tasty food is an incredibly important life skill and both these courses have provided fantastic training for our pupils as well as offering them the opportunity to find future work whilst studying or travelling.”
Archie, a Sixth Former who has recently completed the Kitchen Essentials course said:
“The course has transformed the way I think about, and prepare food, and I have had great fun learning some really useful skills with Peter and his team. My cooking has improved hugely and I have really enjoyed making some great dishes for myself and my family.”
Peter Vaughan said, “At a time when so much of the food we eat is overly processed, denatured and packaged, it is imperative that young adults learn some kitchen navigation. On this course, the students control the ingredients and learn how to blend flavours, textures and tastes. By preparing food from scratch, they know exactly what is in their food. By the end they are equipped to be able to transform basic ingredients into delicious dishes and serve them with pride.”
For further information about Dauntsey’s School, go to www.dauntseys.org or follow us on Twitter at Dauntsey’s@DauntseysSchool.
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.
19th March 2020 — 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.
5th March 2020 — 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.
24th February 2020 — 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.”
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.