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What says..

‘Every term is always the busiest I’ve ever had,’ says one pupil. Life here is intense, combining ‘the burning heat of a passionate interest [with] a keen eye for the smallest things in life,’ as one pupil put it - and of being understood. ‘One is first a human being, then a musician, then an instrumentalist.’

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What the school says...

Specialist Music School plus GCSE and A level subjects. Entry is strictly through instrumental audition.

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Other features

Music and dance scheme - government funding and grants available to help with fees at selected independent music and dance schools.

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2020, Mr Ben Gudgeon. Previously senior deputy head (pastoral) at Sherborne Girls’ School 2015-2019, where he was in charge of pastoral care, staff development and the co-curricular programme. Before that, head of music at Dauntsey’s School for four years, preceded by a five-year stint as head of performing arts at Churcher’s College. He lives on site with his wife (a teacher at a school nearby), school-age child, and dog.

An accomplished musician, he studied music and French at Bristol and the Sorbonne, followed by vocal performance training and a variety of specialist roles – conductor, accompanist, animateur and teacher (piano and music theory to undergraduates). Moving here, however, has been ‘a very humbling experience – the first time in my professional career that I have not been the best musician...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

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