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‘If you want a hothouse, it’s not the place for you,’ said a parent of the academics. ‘But what it does offer is a first-class education where they combine learning with experiences and a lot of time outside.’ History lessons are a firm favourite – easy to see why from the classroom alone, every inch decorated with old flags, memorabilia and even an ancient axe. We saw an English lesson come to life as pupils analysed a poem about refugees. ‘No,’ she said gently when pupils got an answer wrong, ‘but a very good try.’ In another classroom, pupils…

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What the school says...

Sandroyd is a wonderfully unique family school, set in an idyllic environment, that ‘prepares’ children in the very broadest sense – offering academic excellence, and so much more. Sandroyd nurtures a child’s confidence and self-esteem whilst encouraging each individual pupil to fulfill all aspects of their potential: academic, artistic, cultural, sporting and social.

Childhood should be relished, enjoyed and remembered fondly. That’s why pastoral care is absolutely central to everything that we do at Sandroyd. Our friendly and nurturing boarding environment equips children with the confidence and skills to really challenge themselves, to be happy, and to succeed. We are unequivocally proud of being a small school and the benefits it offers to all of our pupils. Our size creates a wonderfully unique family atmosphere, and it allows us to properly focus on the individual needs of each child at every stage of their education.

Sandroyd offers an academically rich and rigorous education that goes far beyond preparing pupils to just pass entrance exams to the country’s leading senior schools.

We inspire interests and develop talents - both inside and beyond the classroom - from music, dance and drama, to a variety of sports (which pupils play every day). Pupils are encouraged to develop the qualities and skills they’ll need for life beyond their school days. We explicitly teach pupils to reason and think, and our challenging ‘Thinking Friday’ questions encourage them to form and express their own opinions.

The result is that Sandroyd pupils really do stand out from the crowd. Don’t just take our word for it; we’re repeatedly told that our pupils are better prepared to successfully face the demands of senior school. Not just in their academic abilities, but, far more importantly, in the vital ‘soft skills’ of confidence, resilience and self-motivation.

All of this takes place in our idyllic rural location, set in 400 acres, on the Wiltshire/Dorset border. There’s always time in the day for pupils to just play and enjoy their childhood – be it riding horses or riding bikes, playing with pets or paints – or perhaps adventuring in the playgrounds or in the woodlands!
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Equestrian centre or equestrian team - school has own equestrian centre or an equestrian team.



What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2016, Alastair Speers BSc MEd PGCE. Runs school with wife Alice, also a trained teacher – ‘the eyes and ears of the school,’ according to her husband. Both were educated ‘just down the road’ (he at Sherborne, Alice at Bryanston) and are ‘delighted to be back in Dorset’. Similar in temperament – calm, measured, laid-back – they share a gigantic study with stunning countryside views. Their home is on site and shared with their children, Hattie and Isla, both at the school.

A career changer, he was a jet-setting consultant engineer for seven years following his degree in building engineering from Loughborough and UWE. ‘Engineering is still my passion,’ he muses, though a role as mentor to new graduate engineers inspired him to think about a career in education. PGCE...

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Special Education Needs

Sandroyd has a Learning Support Unit staffed by [two] fully qualified teachers, who have further training in dealing with children with special needs. If it is felt that a child requires a degree of individual assistance with their academic studies, we have the expertise and facilities to help them. 33 children currently receive some help. Parents may discuss the support at any time. External support services, such as an educational psychologist, speech therapist and paediatricians are consulted for further specialist support when needed. Individual lessons last 40 minutes and take place at a convenient time for the students. Mainstream staff are kept informed of any specific difficulties. On average children receive two lessons a week but this varies depending on individual circumstances. We pride ourselves on the improvements and successes achieved by our students.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty Y
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
VI - Visual Impairment

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