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Taunton School
Taunton School
Taunton School
Taunton School
Taunton School Taunton, Somerset Visit
school
Taunton School
Taunton
619 pupils, ages 13-18
Mixed
Day and Boarding

Taunton School

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Our View

A proudly inclusive school that excels in academics as well as co-curricular subjects, Taunton Senior School offers families a compelling all-through educational experience with children moving seamlessly from pre-prep to prep to senior school, meaning parents don’t have to worry about multiple school locations as their children move up the years. This is just one of its strengths in an area with plenty of independent schools vying for pupils. Others include its sporting reputation – it’s been voted seventh best school in the country for sport – its noteworthy Combined Cadet Force which is the largest in the south-west, and its four different curriculum pathways after GCSEs.

Where?

The school is located in a leafy residential area of Taunton not far from Somerset County Cricket Club’s grounds – at night, you can see the floodlights twinkling. The 56-acre campus incorporates a mix of old and new buildings that are tasteful and functional rather than imposing. Sports grounds are to the front and the rear, with a few extra pitches across the road.   

London Paddington is just one hour 50 minutes away which makes weekend exeats convenient for London families. Day pupils are served by 11 bus routes that run as far as Exeter, Glastonbury, Sidmouth and Yeovil.

Head

Although the pre-prep, prep and very successful international schools are located on two separate sites with their own Heads, James Johnson has oversight of all the Taunton schools and works with tireless purpose. Engaging and full of energy, he is passionate about what Taunton offers. It’s ‘unpretentious but aspirational’, he says, a place where inclusivity and diversity are more important than grandeur. Mr Johnson comes from a family of teachers and he was head of senior school at Ardingly College before joining Taunton in September 2022. He says he wants the school to ‘add more value than anyone else’ and is acutely aware of the area’s competitive market but sees that as a challenge: ‘We must be excellent. There is no room for complacency.’ He’s joined a school which has already completed the building of a new dining hall, with separate sections for the prep and for the senior school, an amazing new sixth-form centre and an impressive library. Other plans include moving the international school onto the main school site.

Admissions

Children do not have to undergo any formal testing to get a place, but a one hour, online cognitive ability screening assessment gives the school the necessary information before arrival. Pupils visit, have a face-to-face interview if possible, after which they can opt to come for a taster day and if they’re considering boarding can come for a sleepover to experience what it’s like.   

Nearly all of the prep pupils join the senior school, with around 20 or so new children coming from other feeder schools. After GCSEs, around 35 pupils will leave, usually for sixth-form colleges, while 60 or 70 new students will start. To join the sixth form, pupils are expected to get five GCSE passes at grades 9-5.

Academics and destinations

The school gets outstanding results – in 2022, 92 per cent gained a grade 9-4 at GCSE and in A-level, IB and BTEC, 48 per cent of all grades were A* or A. The school is unusual in offering so many pathways at 16+ and it works hard to find the right route for each child. Generally, class sizes are around 20 for core GCSE subjects and the average size in the sixth form is between 10 and 12.  

Pupils are expertly guided by the careers department, which helps them explore all the options for when they finish school – be that university, the armed forces, apprenticeships or internships. The vast majority (94 per cent) go to university or colleges, both in the UK and overseas. In the past 10 years, the school has sent more than 40 students to Oxbridge. 

Co-curricular

The school is well known for its sporting prowess, regularly taking on competitive teams and winning, but the focus is on inclusiveness, with everyone getting an opportunity to shine. The usual sports are all on offer as well as a broad range of the not-so-usual, including rowing, boxing, taekwondo and rock climbing.   

D&T and art are strengths at this school. The D&T rooms are modern and fully equipped with laser cutters, 3D printers and spray booths. There’s a hi-tech music studio too, and pupils have individual music lessons and can take part in weekly teatime concerts, among other regular performances.  

Drama is inclusive, with open auditions that don’t just favour the leavers. The school stages a drama and a musical every year. Pupils talked about how they like it that teachers share out the big roles so everyone gets a chance to be in the spotlight.

Boarding

The five boarding houses are all on site and in close proximity which makes for a very sociable community of boarders – although house loyalty is strong, especially when it comes to house singing.   Pupils pop back at breaktimes for toast (or waffles as they were eating on our visit) and constantly bump into each other at weekends. Saturday school finishes at 12.35pm and optional trips are organised on Sundays. The houses also arrange their own Sunday activities – Big Brunch is particularly popular.  

There are three houses for the boys and two for the girls. Each has a kitchen-diner, sitting room and ICT suite, all tastefully decorated. Bedrooms are happy spaces that pupils have personalised. The younger children share with one or two others and roommates change each term. By the time they reach upper sixth, students get their own room.  

At the moment, around half the boarders come from overseas and the majority of the UK pupils board full-time; flexi isn’t an option and not many are weekly. They’re all well looked after with each house assigned a boarding parent, an assistant and two graduate assistants.

School community

The school is the right size so that no one gets lost and, between form tutors, houseparents (there are six day houses as well as the five boarding houses), peer mentors, a mental health nurse and therapy dogs, pupils’ pastoral care is in very safe hands.   

The parent body is diverse and the parents’ association puts on events throughout the year to raise funds and give families an opportunity to mix socially.

And finally....

A school with fantastic assets and a grounded outlook, Taunton is unique in being able to cater for children from six months to 18 years old and, with its international arm, from all over the world. It makes for a vibrant and diverse community, and the absence of repeated testing means pupils and parents can relax and enjoy the Taunton journey.

Gallery See All

Actors in costume on stage
Group of Taunton school pupils in blue blazers and striped ties
Senior boys at the start of a sprint race on green grass
Girl and boy working in class with book and silver laptop
Girl in cream top paining in the art room
Taunton School main building
Inside Taunton School chapel
Girl in red white and dark blue top in an exercise bike
Rugby players in white tops with grey skies behind
  • Academic results

    GCSE results
    A level results
    Download results as PDF
  • Subjects offered

    GCSE

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    Economics
    English Language
    English Literature
    French
    Geography
    German
    History
    Information Technology
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Religious Studies
    Spanish
    EAL
    Combined Science
    Global Perspectives
    Key Skills

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    Economics
    English Literature
    French
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    German
    History
    Information Technology
    Latin
    Music
    Philosophy
    Photography
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Psychology
    Spanish
    IELTS

    IB

    Higher
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Design and Technology
    Economics
    English Literature
    French
    Geography
    German
    History
    Italian
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Philosophy
    Physics
    Psychology
    Spanish
    Visual Arts
    Standard
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Design and Technology
    Economics
    English Literature
    French
    Geography
    German
    History
    Italian
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Philosophy
    Physics
    Psychology
    Spanish
    Visual Arts
    Spanish ab initio
    Italian ab initio
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8 -
    Year 9 £8,245
    Year 10£8,245
    Year 11£8,245
    Year 12£8,245
    Year 13£8,245
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8 -
    Year 9 £14,495
    Year 10 £14,495
    Year 11£14,495
    Year 12£14,495
    Year 13£14,495


  • SEND

    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    The Educational Progress Department at Taunton School comprises of a full time Head of Department, three part-time teachers, two teaching and learning assistants, two graduate resident assistants and an administrator, all of whom have at least degree level qualifications, many of whom have specialist qualifications in addition.

    The department offers support in the form of in class support, small group taught lessons and 1:1 lessons. The team work closely with teaching staff, parents and the students themselves to ensure bespoke support is implemented both day to day and in formal examinations. The school's ethos is one of inclusion and independence. Their key aim is to help every student develop the skills they need in order to work independently, so it is often the case that students begin with a high level of support and gradually reduce it throughout their time at the school. This means that when they move on to higher education they are equipped to use a variety of techniques from mindfulness to assistive technology to achieve their potential.


    This school currently provides the following support for pupils' mental health needs
    Any of the students can approach any of the staff and are actively encouraged to do so. All of the staff are trained in mental health first aid and safeguarding.

    The school has a dedicated team of counsellors and mental health nurses who work full-time at Taunton School and are onsite at the health centre which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Taunton
    Journey time to London by train: 105 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Bristol (35 miles)


School Updates

  • Taunton School Appoints New Head of Sixth Form

    Taunton School has appointed Jennifer Taylor as its new Head of Sixth Form.
    Taunton School Appoints New Head of Sixth Form
  • Taunton Student Given Rotary Young Citizen Award 2024

    Anthony Knight was chosen to receive the award for his outstanding contribution to helping people affected by war across the world, raising more than £13,500 for the DEC Ukraine Appeal and UNICEF, with fundraising still ongoing.
    Taunton Student Given Rotary Young Citizen Award 2024
  • Taunton School Swimmers Win Medal in Prestigious National Competition

    Four Taunton School students qualified for the finals of the National Bath Cup Swimming Competition and picked up a bronze medal in the 4x50m Freestyle Relay.
    Taunton School Swimmers Win Medal in Prestigious National Competition
  • Taunton Student Named Young Music Theatre Singer of the Year

    A student at Taunton School has been awarded the Taunton Young Music Theatre Singer of the Year Award.
    Taunton Student Named Young Music Theatre Singer of the Year
  • Taunton School clarinet quintet reaches national final of Pro Corda Schools’ Chamber Music Festival

    Taunton School’s clarinet quintet recently celebrated as they reached the national finals of the Pro Corda Schools’ Chamber Music Festival.
    Taunton School clarinet quintet reaches national final of Pro Corda Schools’ Chamber Music Festival
  • Taunton School student qualifies for Olympic swimming trials

    16-year-old Izzy Blackhurst, a student at Taunton School Sixth Form, has qualified for a trial to join the Great Britain Olympic swimming team.
    Taunton School student qualifies for Olympic swimming trials
  • Taunton School production of The Addams Family a triumph

    Taunton School is celebrating the success of its recent student-led production of The Addams Family: A Musical Comedy.
    Taunton School production of The Addams Family a triumph
  • Taunton School 2024 cricket season scores early success as student becomes youngest selected for elite women’s training squad and girls team picks up county trophy.

    A Year 8 Taunton School sports scholarship student has been awarded a place on the Somerset Emerging Players Programme.
    Taunton School 2024 cricket season scores early success as student becomes youngest selected for elite women’s training squad and girls team picks up county trophy.
  • Taunton School Sixth Form student gains unconditional offer from University of Cambridge

    A student at Taunton School Sixth Form has received an unconditional offer to study Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, one of the UK’s most prestigious universities.
    Taunton School Sixth Form student gains unconditional offer from University of Cambridge
  • Taunton School renews cricketing sponsorship deal for former student Tom Abell

    Somerset County Cricket Team’s Tom Abell is to receive official player sponsorship from Taunton School for the second year running.
    Taunton School renews cricketing sponsorship deal for former student Tom Abell
  • Taunton Music Scholar Anthony Knight meets Princess of Wales at Royal Carol Service

    Violinist Anthony Knight, 17, was chosen to represent Taunton School at this year’s Westminster Abbey carol service in recognition of his extraordinary fund-raising concerts to help children in conflict zones around the world.
    Taunton Music Scholar Anthony Knight meets Princess of Wales at Royal Carol Service
  • Taunton School named as one of UK's best schools for cricket by world’s leading cricketing magazine

    Taunton Senior School features in the top 100 and Taunton Prep in the top 50 of The Cricketer’s Schools Guide 2024. Taunton is one of only a handful of schools to have both senior and prep schools mentioned.
    Taunton School named as one of UK's best schools for cricket by world’s leading cricketing magazine
  • Award-winning Taunton School violinist performs with BBC Symphony Orchestra

    Music scholar Anthony Knight, 17, was chosen to play with the world-famous orchestra at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios in London.
    Award-winning Taunton School violinist performs with BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Taunton School appoints female Director of Hockey to complete quartet of top women sports leaders

    Four women now hold key sports management roles at Taunton School for the first time in the school’s history. Laura Bennett, the new Director of Hockey joins Beth Mottram, Head of Swimming, Lisa Manley, Head of Netball and Rachel Lewis, Head of Basketball.
    Taunton School appoints female Director of Hockey to complete quartet of top women sports leaders
  • Taunton School sponsors Christmas production at town’s leading theatre and arts centre

    Taunton Brewhouse is partnering with Taunton School to stage a brand new adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, featuring a professional cast of actor-musicians and a youth ensemble from the local area. The musical is due to open on December 4th.
    Taunton School sponsors Christmas production at town’s leading theatre and arts centre
  • Excellent GCSE results for Taunton School Students

    Taunton School’s Year 11 students have achieved excellent GCSE results this year despite the national trend of declining top grades and a return to 2019, pre-pandemic, grade distributions.
    Excellent GCSE results for Taunton School Students
  • Taunton School celebrates exceptional scores on results day

    Students at Taunton School are celebrating an amazing set of results as over a third of A-Levels were graded A*-A.
    Taunton School celebrates exceptional scores on results day
  • Taunton School students exceed world average in IB Diploma results

    Twenty-six students from leading independent school Taunton School have achieved strong results in the International Baccalaureate.
    Taunton School students exceed world average in IB Diploma results
  • Old Tauntonian is appointed to top position at motor racing giant McLaren

    Rob Marshall – a student at Taunton between 1975 and 1986 - is to become McLaren’s Formula 1 Technical Director of Engineering and Design from next January.
    Old Tauntonian is appointed to top position at motor racing giant McLaren
  • Taunton School announces appointment of new Deputy Head Academic

    Dr Graham Mallard is set to join Taunton’s senior leadership team this September. He is currently Assistant Head Academic at Clifton College in Bristol.
    Taunton School announces appointment of new Deputy Head Academic
  • Taunton School Sixth Former organises national online conference with top UK academics to unlock the ‘beauty’ of maths

    Year 12 student Simon Ivanov has independently signed up senior university lecturers to take part in his own ‘Simply, Infinities’ conference on May 24th.
    Taunton School Sixth Former organises national online conference with top UK academics to unlock the ‘beauty’ of maths
  • Taunton School Students Participate in International Debating Contest in South Africa.

    Sixth-formers Beth and Lizzie travelled to Durban for the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships – an annual event with 120 students from 35 different countries.
    Taunton School Students Participate in International Debating Contest in South Africa.
  • Taunton School athlete selected for GB Biathle European Championships

    Isla Winslow has been selected for the GB Biathle European Championships this June in Germany.
    Taunton School athlete selected for GB Biathle European Championships
  • Cricketing legends to be star guests at fundraising dinner organised by Taunton School students

    Former England captains Graham Gooch and Mike Gatting are set to talk about their illustrious careers – both on and off the pitch - at the event on Friday May 26 in the school’s Densham Suite. They will be in conversation with BBC cricket commentator, Pat Murphy.
    Cricketing legends to be star guests at fundraising dinner organised by Taunton School students
  • OT Tom Wyatt helps Exeter Chiefs lift 2023 Premiership Rugby Cup

    Old Tauntonian Tom Wyatt was part of the Exeter Chiefs’ team that clinched the 2023 Premiership Rugby Cup.
    OT Tom Wyatt helps Exeter Chiefs lift 2023 Premiership Rugby Cup
  • Taunton School’s Long Distance Swimming Club receives two prestigious awards

    Eighteen students – some as young as 12 – swam the English Channel over two days last August raising money for a local pool which was under threat of closure due to spiralling energy costs.
    Taunton School’s Long Distance Swimming Club receives two prestigious awards
  • Taunton School maintains top ten position in national rankings for best schools for sport

    Taunton School has been placed seventh in the latest Top 200 Sports Schools list – one of the few schools to hold on to their top ten position since the rankings were last compiled in 2020.
    Taunton School maintains top ten position in national rankings for best schools for sport
  • Oxford offers for Taunton School scholars Amelie and Evie

    TWO sixth-formers have received offers to study at Oxford University.
    Oxford offers for Taunton School scholars Amelie and Evie
  • Green Heart opens at Taunton School

    A ‘green heart’ has opened at Taunton School this week, offering pupils the chance to relax in an environmentally friendly haven.
    Green Heart opens at Taunton School
  • Taunton School girls celebrate their best hockey year ever

    Female hockey players at Taunton School are celebrating their best hockey year ever after a string of successes across a number of age groups.
    Taunton School girls celebrate their best hockey year ever
  • WATCH: Celebrating 175 Years of Taunton School

    WATCH: Celebrating 175 Years of Taunton School
  • WATCH: Explore Taunton School's brand new Sixth Form Centre

    WATCH: Explore Taunton School's brand new Sixth Form Centre
  • WATCH: Taunton School Student Testimonials

    WATCH: Taunton School Student Testimonials
  • WATCH: A tour of Taunton School

    WATCH:  A tour of Taunton School
  • See Taunton School in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide

    See Taunton School in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide
  • See Taunton School in our All-through Schools Guide

    See Taunton School in our All-through Schools Guide

Essentials

Address
Staplegrove Road, Taunton, Somerset TA2 6AD

Contact
enquiries@tauntonschool.co.uk
01823 703703

Website
tauntonschool.co.uk

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates


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