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Yehudi Menuhin believed in the importance of a homely, family atmosphere in his school, and we saw children playing contentedly in the school’s leafy grounds, cheering on their friends in the lunchtime concert, and generally appearing happy and at ease. Students attested to the kindness of the staff. ‘The school’s been really patient with me,’ said one, philosophically. ‘When I first came, I wasn’t a well-behaved child. Anywhere else would have asked me to leave...

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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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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 April 2020, Ben Gudgeon, previously deputy head, pastoral, at Sherbourne Girls’. Mr Gudgeon read music and French at Bristol University and at the Sorbonne. Following this he undertook graduate studies in vocal performance, conducting and piano in the USA, where he also taught undergraduate music theory and piano. Before turning to teaching, Ben spent ten years as a freelance musician, working as a tenor lay-clerk, animateur, accompanist, musical director and jazz pianist. Prior to his current role, he was head of the faculty of performing arts at Churcher’s College, and then director of music at Dauntsey’s School. Married to Melissa, a teacher of religious studies, the couple have a six-year-old son.


No set entry point. The process is long and thorough: preliminary audition, then main audition, then a three-day residential assessment during which they...

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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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