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 holds Celebration Week of Performance and Art
During the last week of term, Dauntsey’s enjoyed, once again, opening its doors to families and enjoy a series of inspirational performances in Drama, Dance and Music as well as a stunning Art Exhibition.
21st July 2021 — The programme of music included Dance Band performances, a concert of musical ensembles, a concert featuring the School’s major groups, as well as Rock Band and a Musical Theatre Concert Celebration.
Lower School pupils ran a Musical Theatre workshop, while the Sixth Form Dance Club performed a moving interpretation of Black Swan by just nine dancers.
For Drama the Upper Sixth delivered a performance of Education, Education, Education while the Drama scholars screened their film Shakespeare’s Royals.
Finally, the Art Exhibition showcased the work of our Upper Sixth and GCSE pupils. The Art Block was transformed into a Gallery for the week, allowing guests to move between the rooms and appreciate the huge variety of artwork on display.
Mark Lascelles, Head Master, Dauntsey’s, said:
“Celebration week was the culmination of a year of hard work by pupils and teachers to develop an inspirational range of performance and art. The achievements were all the more remarkable given the limitations imposed by the pandemic.
“It was wonderful to be able to welcome some parents back into School again and share the stunning results achieved by our students."
Last week Dauntsey’s staged a dance performance of the psychological thriller Black Swan, for pupils, staff and a small number of parents.
9th July 2021 — Based on the 2010 film of the same name, Nina is a young dancer who struggles to maintain her sanity after winning the opportunity to play White Swan in Swan Lake. The ballet requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. While Nina is perfect for the role of the White Swan, a newcomer, Lily, is the personification of the Black Swan. As rivalry between the two dancers transforms into a twisted friendship, Nina’s dark side begins to emerge.
Emily Wilkins, Head of Dance at Dauntsey’s said;
“This production is very different to anything we have done before. It has much more serious themes which most can relate to. It was a very collaborative process and lots of the choreography came from the pupils.
“Due to the short timeframe and Covid restrictions, I decided to work with a much smaller cast of only nine Sixth Form dancers and we managed to put the piece together in just one term, rehearsing during break and prep times. This process brought the dancers together as they had to rely on each other so much. Each having such an important role has given them the experience of working together as a company, as they may experience in the future if they pursue a career in dance.
“For some, it is their last show at Dauntsey’s, and I am so thrilled that these Upper Sixth students are leaving on such a high. Huge thanks go to all the dancers and also to the technical team who helped bring this production to the stage in such a tight timescale.”
Ed, one of Dauntsey’s Sixth Form dancers in the production, said:
“Dauntsey’s dance is more than just a hobby, it’s been a family to me. There is always someone there to support you and push you to do your best. Friends got me into dance, I wouldn’t have chosen this as a career but now I’m going on to do performing arts, I wouldn’t have made those choices if it hadn’t been for my time at Dauntsey’s.
Two Lower Sixth students, Charlie and Tom, have won Dauntsey’s own adventure race, the Brecons Challenge, recording a time of three hours, 29 minutes and 21 seconds.
5th July 2021 — The race, held in June annually in the Brecon Beacons, involves running over Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Fan y Big (approximately 10 km in distance and 850 m of ascent), followed by a 21 km mountain bike ride through the forest to the Monmouth Canal, to then jump into kayaks to paddle 7 km to the finish line in the centre of Brecon.
Sam Moore, Head of Adventure Education, Dauntsey’s, said:
“This is a really tough challenge designed to test the students both physically and mentally. Congratulations to everyone for taking part and especially to Charlie and Tom for winning with such an impressive time.”
Dauntsey’s Third Formers have completed a week of adventure as the culmination of their annual Moonrakers programme.
1st July 2021 — There is usually a week-long camp in Wales but, due to Covid restrictions, the School developed a creative programme where the pupils were based at the School campus, each participating in four off-site adventures:
· Forest Adventure was spent at Thoulstone Park where everyone was challenged with a series of climbing and ropework adventures and braving a high zip wire
· Paddle Adventure involved spending the day on the Kennet and Avon Canal, learning to handle paddlecraft. Half the day was spent in kayaks, using these manouverable craft to play games, and explore the canal environment. The rest of the day was spent in canoes, journeying along the canal
· Maritime Adventure started at a campsite for the night before pupils boarded the School’s Tall Ship Jolie Brise on the Hamble River and sailed her to Portsmouth. They then launched and boarded offshore rowing skiffs and learnt how to work as a team and propel the skiffs.
· Expedition – this included an overnight camp and two-day exploration of Wiltshire, with pupils being introduced to navigation, lightweight camp skills and the dynamics of managing a team
Sam Moore, Head of Adventure Education, Dauntsey’s, said:
“It’s a core belief at Dauntsey’s that the behaviours that make you successful in adventure are the same as those that make you successful in life. If you’re willing to try new things, be both a follower and a leader, try hard, succeed and fail, it will help you in the classroom and beyond.
“We’re celebrating fifty years of Moonrakers this year and the goal of this week, and the whole Moonrakers programme, is to encourage and instil Adventurous Behaviour in the pupils. In spite of having to run the adventures from School, we developed some challenges which required every pupil to find some courage, test themselves and trust their friends, in order to succeed. After a difficult year for all of us, we provided an adventurous and exciting week full of challenge and personal development that the pupils enjoyed and will remember for years to come.”
Last week marked Wellbeing Week at Dauntsey’s. World Wellbeing Week is a yearly campaign run by Wellbeing World and aims to raise awareness of wellbeing and explain why it matters.
28th June 2021 — The School used the mnemonic MAGIC, developed by the NHS, to encourage pupils and staff to focus on five factors which play a key role in achieving a sense of wellbeing.
Mindful – take notice. Take time to reflect and be aware of your surroundings. Notice what you are thinking and be aware of what is going on around you.
Active – take physical exercise. Go for a walk or a run, try a new sport or game.
Generous – find ways to give. Do something for a friend, help at home, organise an activity to raise money for charity
Interested – keep learning. Set yourself a goal, learn a new word or random fact, read a new book, research a new topic that interests you, or just ask some questions to find out more about something
Connected – reach out to others. Try to connect with people around you, spend time with your friends and try to make new friends. Try using different ways to communicate
Through Wellbeing Week the School ran a range of activities, each one linked to one of these five focus areas. For example:
· Mindful – pupils and staff could enter a whole school photography competition on the theme ‘The World Around Us’
· Active - activity sessions were held each morning before lessons to get people up and ready for the day
· Generous – there was a Tinned Food Donation Collection for the local Food Bank
· Interested – as well as various year group trips, the Modern Foreign Languages department explored healthy eating and the pressures of social media while the Latin department asked the First Form to research Ancient wellbeing. There was also the official opening of the Lower School Boarding Vegetable Patch, created to encourage younger pupils to learn about growing their own food
· Connected – the Music department ran mini-musical performances and the English department challenged pupils to write about one of the “Five Ways to Wellbeing” and using the “Emotion Wheel” to identify advanced language to describe emotions.
Greg James, Mental Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator at Dauntsey’s, said:
“We are lucky to be located in such a beautiful part of the country; there is a lot of evidence supporting the mental health benefits of being outside and connecting with nature.
“We also have some wonderful facilities – it was great to see everyone getting involved in some of the activities being organised last week and taking time to think about their own wellbeing.”
Pupils from Dauntsey’s, who have now completed their GCSEs, have been kept busy with a range of non-curriculum courses, thanks to the School’s extensive post-GCSE programme.
18th June 2021 — The programme was developed by Sam Moore, the School’s Head of Adventure Education. The courses ran through last week and were open to all Fifth Formers. Each option was designed to provide pupils with specific life skills; some of these are practical, like First Aid or Cookery, others will affect many areas of their lives, such as teamwork and leadership. Above all, they were designed to be fun.
Those pupils who took the RLSS Lifesaving course and assessment received the UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification which is a recruitment requirement for a number of jobs from pool lifeguard to centre manager.
A popular choice was a Cookery course run in conjunction with the highly regarded Vaughan’s Cookery School in Devizes. This culminated in a Masterchef-style finale as the pupils raced to prepare, plate and serve a meal at exactly 1.30pm.
Other courses open to pupils included:
- Jolie Brise Life Skills – pupils spent the week based on board the School’s Tall Ship, learning a range of skills including cooking, camping, orienteering, emergency First Aid, self-defence and basic car repair skills
- Rescue and Emergency First Aid – an advanced programme which leads to a Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work.
- Jurassic Adventure – some pupils spent the week exploring the dramatic Jurassic Coast in Dorset. The focus was on journeys, with pupils walking, scrambling, climbing, swimming, rock climbing and abseiling.
- Applications of Art – for those students seeking a creative outlet, there was a series of practical workshops and lectures run by professionals from the art world.
- Sewing – pupils learnt how to upcycle garments using hand and machine sewing skills, use a pattern and other basic sewing skills.
- Play in a Week - from conception to first night, pupils were challenged to put on a show which will be performed during the end of term Arts Celebration Week
Mark Lascelles, Head Master at Dauntsey’s said:
“We have had another year of disruption due to Covid restrictions but I have been enormously proud of the resilience demonstrated by the students as they have continued their studies for public examinations, much of it through remote teaching.
“Having completed the final hurdle of exams this month, we wanted to offer courses outside the classroom which are both fun and useful. Each option certainly provided a memorable conclusion to the academic year.”
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.