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School describes teaching as ‘a mix of tradition alongside emerging technologies’. Parents praise ‘academic rigor’ and attention to ‘basics’ - grammar, pencil grip, handwriting, poetry recitations etc. Across all age groups, we observed fun, interactive and creative teaching. Drama ‘really strong’ - not surprising under this head. Head of drama values ‘communication, presentation, confidence and teamwork skills as vital skills for life’. Music less of a forte. Everyone learns the recorder - ‘It can be painful to hear,’ grimaced one boy. ‘But its lovely when we have learned it,’ chimed an optimistic sidekick. School does ‘really well at’ at sport ‘considering their size’, say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2018, Dominic Rhys Smith MA. Raised in Neath, Wales, attending St Joseph’s secondary in Port Talbot where he ‘plugged away’ at rugby, but his real penchant was for drama and history. Awarded an exhibition during his time at New College, Oxford where read history and wrote, directed and trod the boards in ‘countless plays’. Chose teaching over ‘pursuing academia’, becoming head of history at Hampton Court House, London, where during seven ‘happy’ years, he rose to head of upper school and met and married his wife. Short stint as deputy at Leaden Hall, Salisbury (due to merger) before deputising for two years at Westminster Under School. With three daughters nearing school age and keen to escape the ‘high pressures’ of London schooling, he spotted an ad for Ruckleigh headship: ‘The rest – pardon...

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