Dauntsey’s School Review: Ranking, Fees And More

Dauntsey’s School, nestled in the picturesque countryside of Wiltshire, England, stands as a beacon of academic excellence and holistic development. Established in the late 16th century, this esteemed co-educational independent school seamlessly blends its rich heritage with innovative educational practices. With its expansive campus and state-of-the-art facilities, Dauntsey’s provides a nurturing environment that fosters both intellectual curiosity and personal growth, ensuring its students are well-prepared to thrive in the modern world. Read our full guide below.

dauntsey's school review

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Table of Contents

Summary Of School

  • Type of school: co-educational boarding & day school
  • Age range: 11-18
  • Pupils: 860; sixth formers: 280
  • Fees: Day £22,800; Boarding £37,740 pa
  • 2023 A-Level Results: 42% A*/A
  • 2023 GCSE Results: 66% 9/7

Dauntsey's School Overview

Dauntsey’s School was founded in 1542. It was one of the first independent schools in the UK to go fully co-educational in 1976. The school provides a great environment for aspiring mathematicians, scientists, and linguists. Outside of classes, drama is their strongest department and there is also the adventurous Moonrakers programme dedicated for Third Formers.

The school believes in developing respectful and trustworthy friendships between both genders from a young age. Dauntsey’s School also encourages independent development and achievements. 

More than 75% of Dauntsey’s leavers enrol at one of TIMES’s top 15 universities or Russell Group universities. Additionally, there are around eight pupils each year who get into Oxbridge. The most popular course choices at the university level are science, medicine, and language.

Dauntsey's School Courses / Programmes

Dauntsey’s School offers A-Level and GCSE. 

Pupils have twenty-six A-Level subjects to choose from. Students are advised to study three A-Level subjects and an option of either an A-Level subject or an additional qualification. The school offers options such as the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), Maths for Science and the school’s new Leadership, Sports and Adventure (LSA) course. 

Half of the Sixth Formers take Maths, two-thirds of the year group choose three science IGCSEs and the rest do dual award science. GCSE pupils are spoiled with new science labs for doing practicals. As a result, more than a third of the Sixth Form students at Dauntsey’s end up pursuing STEM subjects at the undergraduate level. Besides these two fields, pupils in linguistics, especially German and Spanish, and Literature are high achievers. 

From the Third Form onwards, pupils can access the school’s careers counselling. Students typically consult the school counsellor about subject options for the I/GCSE syllabus, although the school also offers advice and guidance on A-Level courses, work experience, university applications, personal statements and more. Both Old Dauntseians and current pupils can access this service.

Dauntsey's School Application Deadline

For those aiming for 16+ entry in 2025 at Dauntsey’s senior school, it’s essential to note the following pivotal dates. The registration deadline is set for 14th October 2024. Subsequently, academic scholarship exams and ad hoc exams will take place on 9th November 2024, with scholarship assessments scheduled for the week commencing 11th November 2024Entry interviews will be conducted in the week starting 18th November 2024, and offer letters will be dispatched by 1st December 2024.

For students applying to Dauntsey’s in Year 6 entry in 2027, here are the crucial dates to keep in mind. The registration deadline for boarding places is on 14th October 2024. During the Autumn Term of 2024, the ISEB Common Pre-Test will be conducted at various schools. Applicants will then have an opportunity for a Taster Day and formal interviews at Dauntsey’s on February 2025. Offer letters will be sent out in March 2025, followed by the Dauntsey’s Adventure Day in April 2025. Assessments for scholarships and awards are scheduled for February 2027.

For Year 7 applicants, the boarding registration deadline is 1st January 2025. The ISEB Common Pre-Test will be taken early in the Spring Term of 2025. Prospective students can then attend the Taster Day and undergo formal interviews at Dauntsey’s on 11th March 2025. Offers will be dispatched in March 2025, and the scholarship and award assessments are set for February 2026.

For Sixth Form (16+) Entry in 2025

Registration deadline
14 October 2024
Academic scholarship exams and ad hoc exams
9 November 2024
Scholarship assessments
w/c 11 November 2024
Entry interviews
w/c 18 November 2024
Offers letter sent out
1 December 2024

Dauntsey's School Ranking

In 2023, 47% of over 1150 entries awarded 9-8 grades and 66% 9-7 grades.  34 pupils attained a clean sweep of 9-7 grades and well over half of the 127 pupils achieved at least seven 9-7 grades. 

At A-level, 13.8% of the grades awarded were at A*, 42% at A* – A and 70.6% A* – B, while twenty-seven pupils achieved all A* and A grades.  

Dauntsey's School Fees

Fees and associated charges payable from September 2024 are shown below:

  • Day pupils £23,730 (£7,910 per term)
  • Boarding pupils £39,270 (£13,090 per term)
  • Flexi-boarding (Years 7 and 8 only) £29,640 (£9,880 per term)
  • International boarding pupils £45,330 (£15,110 per term)

* The fee for international pupils includes all English as an Additional Language (EAL) lessons, tuition, examination costs of the IELTS programme, four airport transfers per term, membership of the Dauntsey’s International Society and visa application support.

There is a 10% discount on boarding fees for the second and subsequent pupils of the same family studying at Dauntsey’s together. The fee is to be reviewed each year.

Deposits

Parents will pay a £1,000 deposit upon acceptance of a place at Dauntsey’s. Parents of international pupils will pay an additional deposit of £10,000. The school will retain this deposit until the pupil leaves the school.

Payment method

The fees are to be paid in advance by the first day of each term. Should the payment be delayed, a surcharge of 1.5% per month or part thereof will occur. Dauntsey’s also offers a one-year fee advance scheme and a fee refund scheme. Please contact us for more details.

Other charges:

Learning Support

£40/lesson for one lesson per week. If the pupil requires more lessons per week, the subsequent lessons will be charged at £30.

School assessment for exam access arrangement, including the SENA application within the access arrangement year is £200.

English as an additional language

Individual Lessons £26 per lesson

Shared Lessons £16 per lesson

 

Music

Per instrument £35/instrument/lesson

For two or more instruments £35/instrument/lesson for the first instrument and £27/each additional instrument/lesson

Use of school’s instruments £55/term.

During school holidays, there is no charge for theory lessons or for use of school instruments when available. The instruments cannot leave the school premises unless there is adequate insurance cover from the parents. If the pupil wants to discontinue music lessons, there must be one full term’s notice in writing.

 

Speech and Drama

Individual lesson £18 per lesson

Duologue lesson £12 per pupil per lesson.

Pupils can complete a graded exam at least once per year, although it is not compulsory. Exam fees vary depending on the grade.

 

Moonrakers

Third Form pupils can contribute £225 to attend the Moonrakers Camp in North Wales during the Summer Term.

 

Examinations

Individual entrance fees and additional administration costs of national examinations are charged individually.

 

Insurance of Personal Effects

The school does not take responsibility for pupils’ personal effects when they are at school. Pupils can consider extending household insurance policies for their clothing and personal effects while at school.

Dauntsey's School Entry Requirements

Entrance examinations for international pupils include English, Maths and Science. Applicants can take it at their agent’s offices, their own school or British Council offices. Then they will attend interviews in person or via Skype in the same week.

For those who need language support, experienced English as an Additional Language (EAL) teaching staff will give them appropriate support individually at Dauntsey’s.

For 11+ (Year 7) entry

Selection is based on English comprehension and composition, Maths, and a verbal reasoning test in multiple-choice form. Prospective pupils can choose either day or boarding options.

Prospective pupils will take their own EAL exam and a Maths exam in January of the year of entry. They will then take an interview with a senior member of staff to evaluate their spoken English skills.

For 13+ (Year 9) and 14+ (Year 10) entry

Selection is based on the ISEB Common Pre-Test and interview, or the results of the school’s entrance exam. There are only boarding places available at Year 9 point of entry.

Applicants of Years 9-10 will need to take EAL, Maths and Science exams at their current schools or a British Council office. After that, they will have an interview via Microsoft Teams.   

For Sixth Form entry

Selection is based on predicted grades, school references and an interview. There are both day and boarding places available.

Besides the usual EAL, Maths and General Paper exams and an interview, Sixth Form applicants also need to achieve Band 7 at the IELTS to enter top UK universities. 

British pupils are expected to achieve a minimum of three A and three B grades at GCSE.

Dauntsey's School Reviews

Pupil
5/5

“I’ve always felt I can rely on my tutor and House staff for support in academic and non-academic ways throughout my time here. I have also felt able to ask other members of staff who are not involved in my House for help too.”

Third Form pupil
5/5

“The school makes it cool to learn and we are taught to value others’ achievements too. The teachers are excellent, they are interested and interesting – and sometimes amazingly kind.”

Third Form Boarder
5/5

“Everyone is friendly and supportive. There is a great sense of community and there are loads of people to turn to for help – I’ve certainly never felt lonely.”

Sixth Form pupil
5/5

The visiting speakers broaden our knowledge and get us thinking well beyond what we need to cover for A levels. It’s a privilege to hear from leading minds – it makes you want to read more widely and get more involved.”

Dauntsey’s parent
5/5

“For me, the winning factor at Dauntsey’s is the open, friendly and fun atmosphere in the school whenever I visit.”

Dauntsey's School Accommodation

The school provides their boarders with 5 spacious boarding houses, some with ensuite facilities. 11-14 year-old pupils stay at the co-educational Manor while senior pupils stay in single-sex boarding houses. 

The communal area includes kitchens, a workspace, and a decent recreational area. Pupils from day houses share the same set of facilities, minus the bedrooms. Meanwhile, pupils from junior houses have their own on-site day centre.

Weekend life includes morning lessons, team sports and various activities such as going to the cinema at Salisbury, playing trampoline in a park, ice-skating or baking. Sixth Formers have the “17 Club” as a taster of a students’ union.

Dauntsey’s offers a 24-hours Medical Centre operated by registered nurses on the Main School Site. The Junior Boarding House also has a smaller Sanatorium run by registered nurses from 7-8.30 AM and 7-9 PM.  

Dauntsey's School Student Services and Extracurricular Activities

Pastoral Care

Housemasters and Housemistresses of each House take care of the overall welfare of their pupils. Then there are House Tutors to support and monitor how their small group of tutees from each house grow academically and socially. There are also the School Chaplain and Counsellors and a Pupil Listening Service. Pupils are encouraged to seek immediate help with issues such as school bullying.

Extracurricular Activities – Music and Drama

Drama is the school’s major strength. There are at least 7 school productions each year, which are well-known for their high standards. Recent public showcases include famous pieces such as Les Misérables and Mamma Mia.

Music is a part of the curriculum.  There are over 70 concerts, recitals, music competitions or master classes each year with opportunities for all kinds of interests. 

Pupils can choose Dance as part of their curriculum from the First to Third Forms. There is an Annual Dance Show that involves over 200 pupils. 

Sports

The girls mostly play hockey, netball, athletics, and tennis while the boys play rugby, hockey, cricket, athletics, and tennis. There are 740 team matches played each year.

The adventure spirit is well-encouraged in Dauntsey’s via a wide variety of adventurous pursuits. Moonrakers is an adventurous training programme especially incorporated in the Third Form’s curriculum. The pupils will live outward bound in Wales and choose an adventure from ocean sailing on Jolie Brise, the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Scheme, the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race, the Brecons Challenge and Triathlon training.

Dauntsey's School Contact Information

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