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Dorset House School

What says..

School day isn’t too gruelling, pick up at 4.30pm. Years 5 to 8 stay for prep (very popular amongst parents), plus an option to stay for supper. ‘I’d rather be here than go home early,’ a new child told us, entirely unprompted. Thursday night is tuck night and obviously the most popular night to board. Children can bring bikes in the summer term for evening rides along the downs. Heaven. New parents commented on the ‘strong parent network’. ‘We were welcomed very quickly, with class reps reaching out and playdates booked in.’ Parents are funding…

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What the school says...

I graduated from St Luke’s, Exeter University with a BA (Ed) in PE, Geography and Education Studies in 1995. Since then, I have had experience in a wide variety of roles and types of school which has included teaching GCSE and A level in the maintained sector, being designated as a Lead Teacher for two education authorities and various positions in independent schools. I was Deputy Head (Academic) at Moulsford Prep School before being appointed as Headmaster of Dorset House. I completed a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in 2015.
I am married to Julie and a father of two; Charlie and Isabella both of whom go to DH.
Mountains are something of a passion for me and I have visited Nepal three times, trekking in the Himalayan foothills and on the Tibetan Plateau; I have also climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. I run regularly and have competed in half, marathon and ultra- marathon distances. I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and attend the Monday evening lectures at the Society’s Headquarters in Kensington Gore when I can.
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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2016, Matt Thomas. Degree in PE, geography and education studies from University of Exeter. Married to Julie, with two children. Formerly deputy head of Moulsford prep in Oxfordshire and previously taught in the comprehensive system. ‘It’s useful to have a wide range of educational experience,’ he says. ‘Working in the state sector was a great staffroom environment, very cohesive and tough, yet rewarding.’ Took a brief interlude from education to work in the fitness industry – his few years in the TA must have come in handy! A keen runner, believing there are ‘very few problems that can’t be remedied by a good run’. Says at one time he ‘thought seriously about going into the army’. No intimidating military traits, however, with this ‘friendly and understated’ head.

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Special Education Needs

At Dorset House School, we are committed to providing a learning environment that enables all our pupils to experience success in learning and attain their full academic potential. For some pupils their ability to learn is influenced by the presence of a learning difficulty. Many of these students are bright, enquiring individuals who can learn successfully if a variety of strategies are put in place. This will often mean the use of a differentiated curriculum in the classroom and steps are taken to assess, plan and review, so that appropriate action can be taken to support each child – for example in literacy, numeracy, gross and fine motor skills and other aspects such as study skills. We aim to meet the individual needs of all pupils and, where necessary, provide additional support for them. A small team of well-qualified and experienced learning development teachers are committed to building self-confidence in their pupils, communicating with their parents, and co-ordinating with teaching staff and outside professional agencies as necessary (eg educational psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech and language therapists).

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyslexia Y
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
VI - Visual Impairment

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