Guide to Independent Schools

School details

Dunottar

Dunottar School, High Trees Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7EL

Enquiries & application

the Admissions Secretary

T:  01737 761945
F:  01737 779450
W: www.dunottar.surrey.sch.uk

Girls, 2½-18, Day
Pupils: 360, Upper sixth 25
Fees: £1015-£3750 per term
Affiliation: GSA, ASCL, AHIS


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School details

Dunottar

What it's like

Founded in 1926, it lies high on the North Downs on the south side of Reigate. The site includes Grade 2 listed buildings set within pleasant grounds, playing fields and a heated indoor swimming pool. A major development programme has provided a new sports hall, sixth form centre, library, art and design technology studios. Teaching facilities are very good. A non-denominational school, but with a Christian ethos; religious studies are included in the curriculum and there is a daily assembly. Academic standards are high and examination results are good. Music is a strong tradition. Sports and games are also strong; high standards are achieved, with many county, regional and national events. A number of extra-curricular activities are provided for all ages and the school participates successfully in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme and the Young Enterprise Scheme.

Pupils & entrance

Pupils: Total age range 2-18, 360 day girls. Senior department 11-18. Entrance: Main entry ages 2-5, 7, 8, 11, 13 and 16. Own entrance test and interview; for sixth-form entry, 5 GCSEs at least grade C (grade B in sixth-form subjects). No special skills or religious requirements. 25% of intake at 11 from state schools (plus some at 16).

Scholarships & bursaries

12 20 scholarships pa awarded at 11, 13, 16 for academic expertise, art & design, music and sport; value 10%-30% of fees.

Head & staff

Headmistress: Mrs Jane Hellier, appointed in 2006. Educated at universities of Durham, Bristol and London. Teaching staff: 35 full time, 10 part time. Annual turnover 4%.

Exam results

GCSE: 41 pupils in Year 11: majority gained at least grade C in 9 subjects. A-levels: 25 in upper sixth: majoirty pass in 3 subjects, with an average final points score of 345.

Pupils' destinations

Almost all sixth-form leavers go on to degree courses (15% after a gap year), 8% to Oxbridge. 10% take courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, 15% in science and engineering, 10% in law, 25% in humanities and social sciences, 10% in art and design, 15% in vocational subjects such as teaching, physiotherapy, 10% in other subjects including business and computing. Others typically go on to management training, banking.

Curriculum

GCSE, AS and A-levels. 19 subjects offered to GCSE, 20 to AS/A-level (including sociology, theatre studies, business and economics). Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level (often 1 in a contrasting subject), 3 at A-level; general studies is taught but not examined. Vocational: Work experience offered; Community Sports Leader Award. Special provision: Some help for dyslexic pupils. Languages: French (taught from nursery), German and Spanish offered to GCSE and A-level, Latin age 11-14. Regular visits (France, Germany and Spain). ICT: Taught as a discrete subject to all pupils. 145 networked computers for pupil use (13 hours a day), with email and internet access.

The arts

Music: Approximately 45% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams are taken. Some 12 musical groups including string group, choirs, orchestra, ensemble groups. Drama and dance: Both offered. LAMDA, modern, tap, ballet exams may be taken. Majority of pupils are involved in school productions. Local music, speech and drama festivals. Art and design: On average, 25 take GCSE, 6 A-level. Design, pottery, textiles, photography also offered.

Sports & activities

Sport: Tennis, swimming, gym, dance, lacrosse, netball, rounders, athletics compulsory. Optional: aerobics, volleyball, basketball, softball, badminton, cricket, table tennis. GCSE short course offered. Sixth form only: kick boxing, sessions at local sports centre, BAGA, RLSS, ASA awards. Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Charity fund-raising; visits to elderly. Clubs include sports, modern languages, debating, drama, chess, bridge, art, design & technology.

School life

Uniform: School uniform worn; dress code (business suits) in the sixth form. Houses and prefects: Competitive houses. Head girl and deputy head girls elected by pupils in Year 9 and above, and by staff. Religion: Non-denominational but daily attendance at assembly compulsory. Social: Sports and games fixtures with other local schools; Rotary Club public-speaking competition; Royal Institute of Chemistry competition; UK maths challenges. Annual visits to France, Germany and Spain. Pupils allowed to bring own car, bike or motorbike to school. Meals self-service.

Discipline

Pupils failing to produce homework once might expect oral correction/reminder; subsequently a report slip to form tutor (who will monitor and report to deputy head as necessary); those consistently failing to provide adequate homework will be detained during lunch breaks and their parents notified. Any pupil caught in possession of cannabis or other drugs on school premises will be suspended pending further enquiries and may be expelled and their parents will be notified.