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Children allowed to build camps and dens in the woods and play in the adventure playground. ‘No one minds about mud – you just fling on your wellies,’ said one boy. Warren of dorms under the eaves reached by a spiral stone staircase are warm and cosy, with old fashioned iron bedsteads and lots of teddies. Real family atmosphere – feels more like someone’s elegant country house than a school. Bright, light and airy science lab where ‘we love… 

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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 parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2016, Mr Matt Thomas, previously deputy head (academic) at Moulsford Prep. Degree in PE, geography and education studies from St Luke's Exeter; recently completed a master's in educational leadership. Has had a wide variety of roles including teaching GCSE and A level at state schools, being a lead teacher for two education authorities and various positions in independent schools. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, he likes to attend Monday evening lectures there. Enjoys trekking in the Himalayas and has climbed Kilimanjaro; runs marathons and ultra-marathons. Married to Julie and they have two children, both at the school.


Children can join at any time so long as spaces, subject to informal tests in English and maths, a report from their current school and, ideally, a taster day. Parents are made aware of...

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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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