Tatler Schools Guide 2016

Tatler Schools Guide 2016 p49

One savvy insider describes Dauntsey’s as ‘a very unpretentious country school that confidently stands among the grander options’. Another tells us it’s very much a hidden gem – low-key locals and landed types leave fashionable alternatives nearby to the Londoners. Dauntsey’s is a Guide newcomer, and it’s come on leaps and bounds from its agricultural roots: we are mightily impressed. They scored a very competitive 80 per cent A*-B at A level last year, with seven Oxbridge offers. Highbrow malarkey, like the performance of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies by an all-boy dance troupe, occurs alongside the first-ever amateur production of Mamma Mia! The 1st XV rugby team reached the quarter finals of the NatWest Cup, and the cheerleading team, the Dauntsey’s Dynamites, won the school’s division in the southern regionals. They appointed a head of ‘adventure education’ last year, who introduced climbing, canoeing, rifle shooting and outdoor cooking to help build life skills and resilience. For almost 45 years, pupils have taken to the high seas in the Jolie Brise, the school’s 56ft gaff cutter (built in Le Havre in 1913); she won the Cowes Small Ships Race in 2014. Head Mark Lascelles say the school asks pupils to do three things; give their best, look after one another and have a spirit of adventure. Mr Lascelles was lower master at King’s Canterbury, so he knows what he is doing. Watch this space – Dauntsey’s might just become one of those fashionable places itself.