Which School Salisbury?

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    We have moved at short notice to the Salisbury area and I am working against the clock to find secondary and primary schools for our daughters (aged 10-16). I have made contact with St Edmund’s, South Wilts Grammar School and The Godolphin/Salisbury Cathedral School/Dauntsey’s. If anyone has children at any of these, and can give me information, I would love to hear from you – all are excellent and now I have confused myself! Thanks, Sophie



    South Wilts is widely regarded as the best school in the area if your daughters have passed the 11+. Lots of my friend’s daughters go there & always have high praise for it. Their girls have all got amazing GCSE results & have gone onto the 6th form there.
    I think the other schools you mention are fine (albeit, v expensive aside from St Edmunds), but South Wilts would be my choice if I were in your position. Good luck 🙂



    Unfortunately I have to abstain from this conversation… 😉 But looking at local media coverage of GCSE and A-level results, Godolphin came out on top! But, of course, it’s not just about the academics.

    Good luck with your decision making. It’s tough when there are so many good schools in one place.




    I have a daughter at St Edmunds and one starting in Sept. My elder daughter has done exceptionally well, excelling in all subjects. I am particularly impressed with their continuous assessment and level of pastoral care. Bullying is rare and there is a very happy, caring feel. We chose not to send our daughters to South Wilts as the atmosphere is very academic and pressured and the attitude of the school was quite self centered and focused on results. We wanted our children to be well rounded and nurtured for who they are. This certainly happens at St Eds. As far as fee paying schools go I have not heard any bad reports. If I could afford it, I’d send my children to Godolphin but I honestly don’t think it would buy them a better education, just a more privileged experience.



    I have had three children (two boys and a girl) through Dauntseys and cannot recommend it highly enough. All three did very well and were nurtured through their school days. Each child is completely different and Dauntseys catered for them all in their different ways. In my opinion it has produced three very well rounded and successful children. Although they are (as all schools these days) very focused on the academia, they do provide and encourage the children to do all sorts of other activities and offer a hugely wide range of options for them to try out. Of course the big one is the Tall Ship, the Jolie Brise, on which all three have had some utterly fabulous holidays and learnt a lot about life during their time with her – all three are qualified as Day Skippers as a result. They have also played sports to a high level, done drama, music, played polo and evented, DOE and the Devizes to Westmister Canoe Race and adventure training as well as gaining good results at GCSE and A level – all went on to University (one still there) and two have graduated with good grades. Due to the proportion of Day children, many of their friends live reasonably close and, so far, they have all stayed in touch with many of them and see them on a reasonably frequent basis. It is of course more expensive than the South Wilts option (and from what I hear that is an exceptional school – my daughter has friends who were there and they are lovely- as are the girls from Godolphin). You need to try and meet children who have been to all the schools, that in the end was what decided us on Dauntseys – the kids we met were polite, aware and achievers. You can’t ask much more! Good luck with it.



    Thank you all for taking the time on a Bank Holiday to reply to my questions, I so appreciate it. Your answers are just what I needed, and I feel happy that it will not be possible to make a wrong decision with any of the schools. Sophie



    If you are thinking of somewhere to send your younger daughter, I can recommend Leaden Hall. It is an all girls school in The Cathedral Close. They have pretty much 100% pass rate to the senior school of your choice so would be a good place to spend a year before moving on. Have a look at the web site. They are very flexible with starting dates and will show you around anytime. Both my girls went there and were very happy.



    I have to add my mite here for Dauntsey’s! Our son and daughter both went there and loved it. Our son was always an outgoing bright spark and expected to do well and did, but Eve was a bit more problematic with zero self esteem (age 14: ‘I’ve decided I want to work with animals’, ‘why particularly?’ ‘it’s the only thing I can find where you don’t need any qualifications’) getting Cs and Ds for everything when she first arrived (at 13) then thanks to Dauntsey’s for GCSE got nothing lower than a B (with several As and an A*) and straight As for A-level. This sort of transformation couldn’t have been achieved without excellent teaching and a happy child. She went on to theatre school to do a degree in technical theatre and is now as happy as a sandboy making a very good career as a Sound Technician on musicals in London. Without the breadth of activities and possibilities at Dauntseys I shudder to think what might have become of her. I expect South Wilts is wonderful if your children are extremely academic: we know 2 sisters, one highly academically driven who loved it, the other very bright but not so driven who was utterly miserable and has left to do A-levels elsewhere. Godolphin I know little about other than they used to gain kudos by having boyfriends from the dodgier bits of Salisbury, possession of an ASBO being a particular attraction! However this might well have been stamped out by now – I certainly hope so. But certainly the long-standing reputation of Godolphin is extremely good. I hope these bits and pieces help a little. Good luck!



    Sorry if this is too late in the offing, I have just discovered these forums. If you are looking for a school just out of Salisbury you should try St Mary’s Shaftesbury; it’s a wonderful happy community for girls aged 11-18, and the girls thrive academically and in all areas of school life. The teachers are wonderful and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough. There is also a daily return minibus route from Wilton which is extremely helpful. Good luck


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