Pupil Profile: Rosie, First Form
Rosie joined Dauntsey’s from a primary school in London where her are parents are based.
“We looked at a few schools but already knew some girls in the sixth form at Dauntsey’s who were very enthusiastic about the place and that convinced us!
“At first it was difficult moving to boarding and I was the only one joining from my school in London so I didn’t know anyone. But The Manor is such a welcoming place and everyone is very kind and supportive. It’s like a second home and you can always talk to someone in the Second or Third Form and ask for advice which is really helpful. All the staff are great too.
“I love having so much space here – my school in London just had a concrete playground but here we have acres of woods and lots of facilities to make the most of. We recently had a camp out where we had to make our own shelters. We shared ours with some of the Third Formers – it was such a lot of fun.
“The Manor staff organise lots of trips and outings. I really like the shopping trips – it gives us a chance to get into town and have some freedom. In School, one of my favourite places is the Art building. There are some amazing facilities there and it is really nice being set apart from the main School.
“Of course, I miss my parents but we talk every evening and tell each other about our days and I go home each exeat and holiday. Dauntsey’s is a great community and I am very happy here. My sister is due to join me in a couple of years – I think she will really like it too!”
Pupil Profile: Bear (Henry), Third Form
Bear has boarded since First Form, joining from a local primary school to join his sister who was already at Dauntsey’s, their father is in the Army. Bear recently took the part of Billy in the School’s recent hit production of Billy Elliot. His sister played opposite him in the leading role of Mrs Wilkinson.
“My parents visited a lot of schools before choosing Dauntsey’s. What sealed it for them was, during a tour of The Manor, seeing a Third Former helping a First Former who was struggling to get a toaster to work. It showed them how supportive pupils were to each other, regardless of their year group.
“The Manor was my first experience of boarding but it has been great. Everyone is very friendly and it really does feel like a home from home. We have a lot of fun outdoors which I love. We put together big football matches with all the year groups and prefects and have freedom to head off to the Manor woods and build dens. Mr Hurst organises lots of fun activities at the weekends. One of my favourites is watching movies with pizzas and snacks – it’s really nice to relax with my friends.
“Playing Billy in the December musical was a big highlight for me. I have always wanted to be in big stage shows and Billy Elliot was an amazing experience. It was exhausting but the audience reaction was so fantastic, it made all the work worthwhile. At first it was really strange to be playing opposite my big sister but it has definitely brought us closer together, sharing something like that.
“My sister and brother (who also went to Dauntsey’s) have always told me to have a go at everything here, there are some really incredible things to get involved in.”
Pupil Profile: Elisabeth, Third Form
Elisabeth joined Dauntsey’s in September 2016 with her twin, Maria. This was their first experience of boarding as previously they had been at school in Dubai, where their parents are currently based.
“We looked at a couple of schools before choosing Dauntsey’s. I really liked the fun and interesting ways in which lessons were run but the main attraction was The Manor. It feels like a real home and is such a great place to go back to after lessons in the main school.
“I feel a bit homesick when I say goodbye to my parents at the start of term but there is always someone to talk to, either friends or staff. It has really helped having my twin sister here, we shared a room in the first term but are now in different dorms as we change rooms each term which is actually a great way to get to know other people.
“One of the best nights at The Manor so far has been the Pub Quiz – we were split into teams, dressed up in costumes and had such a funny evening. Everyone got involved, the staff too, it was great.
“Another highlight of life here is the Moonrakers programme which is a programme of outdoor activities for all Third Formers and takes place every Friday afternoon. We all work as a team on different tasks and recently had to do a river crossing which was scary but fun.
“At exeats I go to my grandparents who live in England or sometimes I have day pupils to stay at School which is always lots of fun. Of course I miss my parents but there is plenty of time to keep in touch with them every day either calling or texting them.”
Pupil Profile: Maria, Third Form
Maria joined Dauntsey’s in September 2016 with her twin, Elisabeth. This was their first experience of boarding as previously they had been at school in Dubai, where their parents are currently based.
“When we were looking at different schools, I immediately liked The Manor – it was so homely. I was also very keen on the Art School which is separate to the main School building and a great place to focus on art which is one of my favourite subjects.
“The Manor has certainly lived up to my expectations. Compared to my school in Dubai, I have grown much closer to friends and room mates. The tutors are great too and have been so helpful when I have felt homesick. Mr and Mrs Hurst’s door is always open if we want to talk to them – I can honestly say the transition to boarding has been really smooth.
“Moonrakers has been great – it’s a programme of outside activities for all Third Formers which we do every Friday afternoon. I have loved trying kayaking and learning survival skills.
“One of the best trips at The Manor so far was to the Christmas Market in Bath – I loved that and we also went ice skating recently which was very funny. We had a brilliant Manor Art Day where we created some new artworks for The Manor. There is always plenty to do but we do have time to relax and to keep in daily contact with my parents in Dubai through phone calls and texts.”
Pupil Profile: Henry, Second Form
Henry started at Dauntsey’s as a day pupil. He applied for and was offered a Manor Boarding Award which meant he could board at The Manor for half a term in the Second Form. He loved it so much that he is now boarding on a permanent basis.
“We chose Dauntsey’s as both my mum and aunt went there and loved it. We live just five minutes from the School so I started as a day pupil but I really wanted to try boarding. The Boarding Award gave me a taste of boarding life and I’ve never looked back. The Manor is so warm and welcoming and most of my friends are there.
“It really does feel like home and I look forward to heading there after lessons at the main School site – even the food is really good! We have plenty of free time to make the most of the facilities at the Manor – we have a tennis court, a golf course, a small football pitch and the driveway makes a great space for skateboarding. I also love The Manor woods – we can head off there and build dens and just enjoy being outside.
“The Manor staff organise lots of trips and outings – I especially enjoy the shopping trips – they give us a change of scene and we are free to look round the shops with our friends which is great.
“There are lots of clubs and activities to enjoy at Dauntsey’s – in my First Form I did a lot of indoor climbing but now I’m focusing on table tennis and am playing at county and regional competitions which is exciting. I’d recommend Dauntsey’s to anyone – my sister is coming soon and then my younger brother when he’s old enough!”
Pupil Profile: Georgina, First Form
Georgina joined Dauntsey’s from a school in the USA where her father is stationed in the Army.
“My parents looked at quite a few schools but really liked the sense of community at Dauntsey’s – that really stood out for them. It was a big change coming from my school in America but I found the move to boarding OK. I felt homesick at times but everyone is very kind and supportive and there is always someone to talk to if you have a problem.
“The Manor really does feel like a home. The staff go the extra mile to look after us and arrange lots of fun activities. One of my favourite trips was paintballing in the First Form and I also loved having a go at rock climbing. Recently we had a camp out in The Manor woods. I was dreading it as we did not even have proper tents but it was amazing. We had a lot of fun and all ended up singing the House song at the top of our voices.
“Obviously, I can’t go back to the US for exeats but I either have friends who are day pupils to stay at The Manor or go to my grandparents who don’t live that far away. I keep in touch with my parents every day either through messaging or Skype so we are always in touch.
“The Manor is an amazing place to be – I feel very lucky to be here.”
Pupil Profile: Seb, Third Form
Seb joined Dauntsey’s after the October half term in 2016. He had previously been at an international school in Brussels where his father is based in the Army.
“The main thing that attracted me to Dauntsey’s was The Manor. It seemed so friendly and I really liked the idea of living in a separate house, away from the main school building. I joined in the middle of a term which I was a bit worried about but everyone was so friendly. Max was made my buddy – I shared a dorm with him and he was also in my class. He was really helpful and I have settled in so well. I can honestly say that everyone here gets along with each other, it’s very inclusive, nobody is left out.
“In Brussels I spent a long time travelling to and from school each day on a bus. I have a lot more free time here to relax but also to get prep done, and if I have a problem with prep, there’s always someone to ask for help.
“Mr and Mrs Hurst organise great trips – we recently went ice skating and then shopping in Marlborough – everyone had a lot of fun.
“Moonrakers has been a real highlight – it’s a programme of outdoor activities for all Third Formers which we do on Friday afternoons. I like to get outside and at weekends sometimes head off to the woods at The Manor with some friends to explore.
“At exeats my parents often come over to see me and of course we keep in touch by phone and text all the time. Dauntsey’s really is a great place to be.”
Pupil Profile: Billy, Second Form
Billy joined Dauntsey’s in the First Form. He is from Hong Kong where his parents still live.
“We were researching schools in England and came across an advertisement for Dauntsey’s. We really liked the look of the place and found out more from the School website. I didn’t visit the School before we signed up but am very happy here.”
“I didn’t feel homesick when I started at The Manor. I had spent some time in Australia away from my parents so being away from home wasn’t completely new to me. I share a dorm with three other boys – we all get on well together and help each other out if there are any problems. We can also talk to Mr Hurst or our tutors if anything is bothering us.”
“Everyone is very friendly here and the staff organise some really good trips. We recently went ice skating which was great fun. On Sundays we can do our own cooking in The Manor kitchens which I really enjoy.”
“Obviously, I can’t go home for exeats and half terms but I either spend time with friends who live in England or go to my guardians. I would really recommend Dauntsey’s to people overseas who are looking at schools in England. It’s a really friendly place – and my English has REALLY improved!”
Pupil Profile: Charles, First Form
Charles joined Dauntsey’s in the First Form from Hazelgrove Prep.
“We looked at a few schools. My parents were looking for value for money and good results and we thought Dauntsey’s offered both! I was originally planning to move at the end of Year 8, when I was 13, but, having chosen Dauntsey’s, I decided to leave my prep school at the end of year 6. I don’t regret this at all – it has been great making friends when everyone was starting at the same time and we are all very settled here.”
“I didn’t have any problems starting boarding at The Manor. It all felt very straightforward and everyone was very friendly – I really didn’t get homesick. The staff here are great – there is always someone to talk to if you need it. They go to a lot of trouble to organise trips and outings for us which are really fun – in particular, I loved an ice skating trip which we did recently. The other great thing about the Manor is the FOOD – it really is good!”
“My favourite hobby is horse riding. I’m a member of the Riding Club at Dauntsey’s. Each Thursday we head off to some stables nearby for a lesson. I have a horse at home so it’s great to be able to continue this hobby at school.”
Pupil Profile: Grace, Second Form
Grace joined Dauntsey’s in the First Form from a village primary school and had not boarded previously. Her father is in the Army, based locally, but her parents were keen to get her settled into a boarding school in the event of an overseas posting.
“We chose Dauntsey’s as it was quite close to where we lived and we had heard good things about it. At first I did find it difficult to settle in to boarding and I missed my family but there are lots of people to talk to and they really helped to get me settled in.
“The biggest differences between my primary school and here is that it’s a longer day and there’s more homework! But everyone is really kind and helpful and there is always someone to help with prep if you need it. The Manor is a very good place to be – it has a family atmosphere and everyone is very close. I share a dorm with three other girls and we all get along very well.
“I’d really recommend Dauntsey’s to anyone!”
Pupil Profile: Louis, Second Form
Louis joined Dauntsey’s in the First Form. His father is in the Army.
“We looked at several different boarding schools and chose Dauntsey’s because everyone was so friendly and welcoming. We really liked the set up at The Manor which is just for the Lower School boarders. Due to my Dad being in the Army, I had changed schools every two years which was really difficult. Just as I got settled with friends, I was moving on again. It’s a really nice feeling to be settled at Dauntsey’s.
“The Manor is such a great place to be – there’s always something going on. I love the weekends there. On Saturdays, we can do our own thing and then on Sundays there is usually a trip somewhere or some kind of activity to get involved in. We recently had a brilliant ice skating trip which was a lot of fun.
“When I started here I found the first couple of weeks were fine, it was only in weeks three and four that I started to feel homesick. But I was OK thanks to having friends who were in the same boat as me and staff I could talk to who were very understanding and supportive.
“I would really recommend Dauntsey’s to anyone and would say to other boys or girls who are new to boarding to keep calm and don’t get too stressed because it does get better and you will be fine!”