NEWS - Taunton School

18th October 2013

Paralympian Katrina Hart inspires the next generation of athletes

Paralympian Katrina Hart inspired pupils at Taunton Preparatory School when she led a circuit fitness session last week.

The pupils were excited to meet Katrina, a multi-medal winning 100m and 200m sprinter, who was born with cerebral palsy and has won gold, silver and bronze medals at the Olympic, world, Commonwealth and European IPC games.

Katrina was at the school to promote the importance of exercise and fitness. During the morning all pupils from Years 3 to 8, and a few keen members of staff, took part in the circuit in the school’s sports hall.  The children also got to hear about how Katrina’s disability affected her during childhood and how her PE teacher at school inspired her to never give up and to become an Olympic athlete. 

Atul Gudsoorkar, in Year 3, said he was “surprised to have an Olympic athlete here but inspired to win his own bronze medal in 2028!”


Verity Winsor, in Year 8, said: “The circuit was quite tiring but good fun.  It was quite sad to hear how Katrina was affected when she was born but amazing how active she is and how she managed to win an Olympic medal”. 

Katrina said: “I was inspired by my PE teacher and that is how I got into sport at school. I was taught how important it is to maintain your fitness and have a healthy lifestyle. I hope that the children will be encouraged to try different sports, as one size doesn’t fit all and there are so many to choose from.”


18th October 2013

Taunton School philosophy students meet Buddhist monk

Taunton School pupils had the chance to meet a real Buddhist monk at their recent Philosophy Day. 

The Year 9 students welcomed special guest speakers Nandiyo, a Buddhist Monk from Hartridge Monastery, near Honiton, alongside three philosophers, Steve Hoggins, Joseph Tyler and Charlotte Knowles, from the Philosophy Foundation in London.

The students took part in a range of workshops centred on fundamental matters, such as existence, reason, and mindfulness. They looked at understanding the complexity of moral reasoning, and were encouraged to think about their own personal identities and how to create a balance within their daily lives. 

Calum Pinn, a Year 9 student, said: “Learning about Buddhism was the most interesting part of the day; it has made me more content with my life and more peaceful.  I really enjoyed meditating.”

Lucy Regan, also a Year 9 student, said: “It was so relaxing and interesting to hear about the life of a Buddhist monk.”

Fiona Wreford, Acting Head of Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics, at Taunton School said:  “Students got to see how critical and reflective thinking, as well as intelligent dialogue, are important tools for both academic progression, and for personal reflection.”


18th October 2013

Taunton Prep School Choir sing their way through Switzerland

Thirty excited Taunton Prep School pupils have been singing from mountain tops in Switzerland on their annual choir tour.

As well as impromptu alfresco public singing, the children aged 10-13, have been singing in the most revered and outstanding Swiss and French venues.

The choir have been performing in the beautiful Chateau de Chillon, made famous by Lord Byron’s poem ‘The Prisoner of Chillon’, the nostalgic Notre Dame Cathedral in Lausanne and the quaint Church of L'Assomption (Known as St Andre) in Evian, France.

They also enjoyed a cable car to the summit of an Alpine mountain, visited a Swiss chocolate factory and went on a boat cruise on Lake Geneva.

Before they left for Geneva, the choir performed to friends, family and staff in the School Chapel, in their debut performance (on Thurs 13th Oct). The children were amazing, performing with energy and enjoyment.

In previous years the choir has visited Lake Garda, Salzburg, Venice, Rome, Prague, Verona, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Florence and Madrid and have had the amazing opportunity of performing at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican in Rome and in St Marks' Cathedral in Venice.

Daisy Jacabi, a Year 7 pupil, said before they left: “I’m excited because I have never really gone on something like this before. It will be amazing to be there in person.”


18th October 2013

Teams take on the challenge at Taunton School

Over 70 children competed to be crowned winners of the annual Prep School Challenge at Taunton School, on Sunday. 

In bright sunshine and wearing a rainbow of different coloured team t-shirts, pupils from Taunton School Prep, Taunton School International Middle School, Sherborne Prep School, St Peter’s Prep School, Polewhele House and West Hill Park competed against each other in a series of challenges for the Prep School Challenge shields.

Fun was had by all as the pupils, split into Under 11 and Under 12 teams, had an amazing time orienteering, building with Lego, competing in a quiz, taking part in an aquatic challenge in the pool and the Superstars Challenge obstacle race. The winners, Sherborne Prep School, retained both titles.




18th October 2013

Taunton School pupils volunteer to help refugees

Pupils from Taunton School learnt what life might be like for a refugee as they helped to pack donations for homeless children.

The whole of Year 7 visited RAFT, Refugee Aid From Taunton, based in The Old Market Centre, last week.

The children were inspired to visit because they are currently reading ‘Trash’, a book about a group of children who have to survive in difficult circumstances.

They learnt about the work carried out by the RAFT volunteers and got stuck in to help. 

The children met staff at the centre, had a tour of the building and looked at Christmas boxes aimed at child refugees. They also wrote messages to hang on teddy bears, packed warm clothing for children and organised a delivery into boxes.

Pupil Zoe Lucas said: “It made us think about how lucky we are and encouraged us to donate. I think I would work there so that I could make someone happy and to help someone who needs it. I would love to see the smiles on the faces of the homeless children who were being helped and supported by organisations like RAFT.”


The pupils are planning a jumble sale at school after half term to raise money for RAFT and any left-over items will be sorted, packed and donated to the centre. 


18th October 2013

New computer suite wows students at Taunton School

You’d be forgiven for thinking that you had walked onto the set of the latest sci-fi movie when you enter Taunton School’s new computer suite. 

The former benches and computers have vanished and it has been transformed into a state of the art learning space with brand new hardware. 

Inspired by the learning spaces exhibited at the Apple education conference in London, Simon Ryder, Head of Academic ICT and Computing at the school, brought in furniture designers Zioxi to create the bespoke classroom. 

The suite now has standing desks and tall chairs, granting students the flexibility to move around and gain a truly hands-on experience. Through the incorporation of vibrant colours and top of the range apparatus, the room has been transformed into an ultra-modern hub. 

William Aikhomu, a Year 13 pupil at Taunton School, said: “The new room makes learning more exciting and comfortable as it showcases exactly what ICT is about.” 

Nicole Thomas, also a Year 13 student, commented:  “The room is amazing, and it’s really improving the future technology at Taunton School.” 

The new classroom is also home to a Skype corner that has been set up to allow students to interact with experts from industry. Simon said: “It has gone from a plain classroom to a multi-use space for students to learn in. There is that wow factor when the students come in.” 

The renovation comes at an exciting time for Taunton School. They are currently the only local independent school offering both GCSE and A Level Computer Science courses within the normal school timetable. Students are particularly excited to learn more about the different branches of science, including robotics, cryptology, and computer games design. 



18th October 2013

Traffic Management

Over the summer we have taken some advice on the management of traffic on campus.  As a result, we have developed a plan to introduce a one-way system to the front of the Senior School. This will involve a modest investment to upgrade the road and also some railings to separate foot from vehicle traffic.  I am confident that this new road system will help the flow of traffic and will ensure the safety of our pupils as they move around the site.

The benefits are clear:

·       No large vehicle (lorry, coach or mini-bus) will ever have to reverse when dropping off or picking up pupils. 

·        All vehicles driving around the front of school will proceed in a clockwise direction which reduces congestion.

·         Traffic should flow faster at peak times.

How will it work?

·     On entering the campus through the main gate the two-way system will operate as normal until the corner of the dining room.  From here, the one way system will go clockwise past the Science Block, the New Pavillion and the Grounds department, before rejoining the main access road.

·   Morning pupil drop off will be as normal in the bays beside the Parade Ground, which will continue to be managed by the Facilities team. 

·     Coaches will pull over to the left of the road by the Old Gym and the passengers will disembark directly into a safe walkway which is physically separated from the road by some railings.

When will it happen?  The works are being initiated immediately and my intention is to have the project complete and ready for use as soon as possible, ideally before the nights draw in but until we start the work we can’t give an exact timeframe.

If you have any questions or comments about this initiative or any other, please do feel free to contact me or my Support Services team.


With kind regards

Nicola Miller
Chief Operating Officer


18th October 2013

Taunton School’s Old Library transformed into an operating theatre

Students at Taunton School have been getting the ultimate medical experience this week in a live operating theatre.

Operating Theatre Live took over the Old Library and transformed it into a scene from Casualty.

Wearing surgical gowns and hats, students on the specialist Pre Med Programme and scientists in Year 11 and the Sixth Form, got a real insight into careers in medicine as they got to grips with dissecting parts of a pig.

They took part in a real heart transplant, including an angioplasty procedure and fitting a pacemaker, discovered the anatomy of a brain and eye and learnt real surgical techniques. They also got to amputate a leg and reattach it, remove intestines and practiced giving anesthetic injections. 

The experience for students hoping to establish a career in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and many specialist medical roles, was invaluable as places to study these courses at University are highly competitive.

Edward Mathias, an Upper Sixth student, said: “It is great how the school is offering this experience to us. We are getting an in depth insight into what it is like to be a doctor and it could make or break that decision for some people. It has also been interesting to hear about what it is like personally to be a doctor and how it affects your life.”

Callum Hudson, also in Upper Sixth, said: “It has been really good hands on experience of what an operating theatre is like, seeing the different anatomy that you don’t get to see in the class. It’s quite cool.”

Caro Wedgwood, Head of Biology and Pre Med Programme, said: “This is above and beyond what the students can see in the classroom and the exposure to practical experience prepares our students to have a realistic understanding of medicine and the wider medical profession. It shows the students the reality of the job and helps them decide if it is right for them and what other options they have. We are committed to preparing our students for university and helping them make the right career choices.”


18th October 2013

Taunton School’s courageous pupils are now Channel Swimmers!

Pupils and staff from Taunton School are thrilled that their team of seven 13-year-olds swam 22 miles across the English Channel in an amazing 15 hours yesterday.

Emma Hounslow, Emily Lawton, Skyla Coate, Ollie Halliday, Imogen Childs, Jonny Cole and Annabelle Lewes went toe to toe with the elite of the British Military and came second after being pipped by the Royal Marines, who were just 3 minutes ahead, in the sprint for the shore just before midnight. The pupils beat the staff team by a massive 50 minutes.

On the staff boat were Hayley Mortimer (Director of Co-Curricular / Director of Sport), Duncan Sinclair (Prep School Headmaster), Laura Paige (Year 4 Teacher), Ed Burnett (Deputy Head of Taunton School) and Chris Coleman (Prep School House Master) and parent Jonathan Lawton.

For the last 200m all children swam to the shore together and were euphoric that they had made it.

The teams were spurred on after receiving messages of support from Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington, endurance adventurer Sean Conway and the world record holder for swimming the English Channel Trent Grimsey.

The race began at 9am on Monday (19/9/16) and they swam in relay, taking an hour each at a time, from Shakespeare’s Beach to Cap Gris Nez. It ended in the early hours of this morning in the dark on the shores of France.  

All the children were very tired this morning but are proud of their achievement.

The race was streamed on Periscope and our Facebook and Twitter channels.
The teams have also raised an impressive sum of money for the Royal Marines Charity.

Hamish was understandably emotional this morning and when asked said when asked this morning: “My boys and girls were magnificent and showed courage well beyond their years. I have way to much pride coursing through me at the moment. Suffice to say that they were more courageous than most military teams I have taken across, none hesitated, none gave less than their best and all showed the selfless commitment that make great teams. They are all a great testament to what Taunton Preparatory School nurtures and develops.”

They were accompanied by three boats and an official observer from the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation (CS&PF). 

Anyone wishing to sponsor the event should visit the teams Just Giving page:


18th October 2013

New Head of Cricket at Taunton School announced

Taunton School is delighted to announce top cricket coach Pete Sanderson is joining their elite team of sports coaches. Pete has just been appointed as Director of Cricket and takes up his new appointment in January. He is currently first team analyst and coach at Somerset County Cricket Club and has worked with many top cricketers over the years. Pete is a Level 4 coach and also coaches the Somerset Cricket Club Academy Structure.

In his new role Pete will be continuing to work alongside Somerset CCC and former England opener, Marcus Trescothick, who is Head of Cricket Development at Taunton School.

Pete said: “I have made a decision to leave Somerset after 23 years to come to Taunton School which is an inspirational, challenging and ambitious environment. I am honoured to be continuing my coaching career at the school. One of the key reasons for me taking up the post is the exciting environment at the school where there is a culture of cricket and an aim to help Somerset's cricket in the future. Having worked with players such as Jos Buttler, Nick Compton, James Hildreth and Marcus Trescothick, I aim to use those experiences to produce a cricket programme that caters for all players from elite down to C teams.”

He joins Taunton School’s other professional coaches who include: Former Exeter Chiefs and Toulouse player, Nic Sestaret (Director of Rugby) and Former England Development Squad Manager and Galmington Regional Coach, Lisa Manley (Head of Netball).

Headmaster, Mr Lee Glaser, said: “Pete is a vastly experienced and respected coach. I have no doubt that he will build on our previous successes and drive our cricket on to great success.”


18th October 2013

BBC Coast presenter comes to Taunton School

Taunton School is delighted to be welcoming BBC presenter Nicholas Crane from the BAFTA-winning TV series Coast later this month.

Nicholas, who is best known as the lead presenter of the popular TV programme – which has reached a landmark tenth series, will be giving a History and Public Arts lecture discussing ‘map lines’ on Wednesday, 28th September, at 7pm, in the Arts Centre.

The geographical writer and broadcaster is the current president of the Royal Geographical Society. As well as Coast, he also presented BBC’s Map Man, Great British Journeys and Nicholas Crane’s Britannia and Town, a BBC/Open University co-production.

Nicholas said: “It’s always the greatest pleasure to meet the next generation of geographers and I’m looking forward immensely to my visit to Taunton School.”

Nicholas has been the lead presenter on more than 80 BBC films and has contributed to a further 20, since 2004.

In 2002, Nicholas published ‘Mercator: The Man Who Mapped the Planet’ the first English language biography of the world's greatest cartographer.

Sixth Form Geography students will get the chance to meet and dine with Nicholas, alongside the Geography department and Headmaster Lee Glaser, before the talk.

He follows in the footsteps of a host of geography experts including Dr Nick Middleton (Oxford University, writer and TV presenter), Will Millard (‘Hunters of the South Seas’ – BBC), Professor Iain Stewart (BBC’s the Rise of the Continents) and Simon Reeve (most recently seen on the series ‘Greece’ on the BBC) in giving geographically related talks at Taunton School.


18th October 2013

Countdown to Taunton School's epic charity swim

Pupils and staff from Taunton School are gearing up to face the challenge of a lifetime next week when they swim across the English Channel in a charity race. 

A team of seven pupils aged 13 who attend Taunton School and a team of five staff and parents are eagerly awaiting a suitable window of good weather and calm sea conditions to take the plunge and swim a relay of 22 miles in the ‘Taunton School Channel Titan’. 

The two teams are not only swimming 18.1 nautical miles from Shakespeare’s Beach to Cap Gris Nez, they are also racing against an elite team from the Royal Marines. The open water race is scheduled to take place between September 15th and 22nd. The swimmers, who are all members of the Taunton School Long Distance Swimming Club, will be dodging large vessels as they cross the busiest shipping channel in the world during their hazardous journey. 

They will be accompanied by three boats and an official observer from the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation (CS&PF). Each swimmer will be in the water for up to an hour at a time and they plan to all swim the last 150m to reach French soil together.  

The unique experience will raise funds for the Royal Marines Charity (RMC) and the teams have already reached over half of their £5,000 target.  Ahead of this massive challenge set by Hamish McCarthy, Head of Geography in the Prep School, pupils and staff have been undertaking a rigorous training programme over the last 12 months. They have been open water swimming weekly at Lyme Regis, Brixham and Clevedon and training with Taunton Deane Swimming Club and at the Wiveliscombe Lido. In October last year, they swum 2.5 miles across The Solent from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight, where they set some of the fastest times ever recorded and raised £16,000 for the spinal charity Aspire. They also swam around St Michaels Mount, Marazion in Penzance. 

Hamish, a former combined services open water swimmer, said: “The Royal Marines Commandos say on being a Royal Marine that ‘it’s a state of mind’, and at Taunton School we think we have that state of mind.  In raising money for the Royal Marine Charity and racing against the Royal Marines, we hope to prove it. The gauntlet was thrown down to the Royal Marines and these pupils answered my advertisement for 'brave boys and girls to participate in a hazardous challenge’. These intrepid young children have already joined an international fraternity of open water swimmers who readily accept hazardous conditions, who brave the seas, demonstrating courage, endurance and teamwork, not for pay or prizes but simply for the knowledge that on that day they could achieve something truly great.”

Taunton School has strong military ties and shares a long association with The Royal Marines and all parts of the armed forces. 

Anyone wishing to sponsor the event should visit the teams Just Giving page.


17th October 2013



18th October 2013

2016 GCSE Results

Our 2016 GCSE results have been outstanding and we are delighted for this year’s cohort.

“ I am incredibly proud of our GCSE students, this year’s results are the best for six years and continue to demonstrate our academic strength and progression.  This cohort have put in tremendous amounts of hard work and I am delighted that their efforts have been rewarded with such success.  As ever, our dedicated teaching staff continue to provide a challenging and inspiring environment for learning - their invaluable guidance and support, alongside the commitment of our students, are evident in our results.  100% pass rate and 28% A* is very pleasing and we will continue to build on these strong results” commented Mr Lee Glaser (Head of Taunton School).


A special mention to Abi Casson, Will Doherty, Annabel Flook, Charlotte Hamilton-Meikle, Tia Hawkins, Yusra Inam, Amy Lloyd-Jones, Eleanor Smith and Josephine Taylor, who all achieved an incredible 10 A*s or more. Annabel, Amy and Yusra were our top three students with exceptional results: 11 A*, 11 A* and 12 A* respectively.

We look forward to welcoming our students back to school very shortly, to continue the hard work and academic success into the Sixth Form.


18th October 2013

2016 A Level Results

Taunton School is delighted with this year’s A Level results.  Our sixth form students have excelled themselves and have significantly outperformed last year’s cohort.  We are equally proud of the achievements of our BTEC students and those who have studied the International Baccalaureate (IB), the latter becoming increasingly popular. 

With an overall pass rate of over 98%, an A*-C rate of 85% and A*-B rate of 68%, Taunton School has shown itself as an academic leader.  Students achieved a 100% pass rate in 26 out of the 30 subjects offered on the A-Level course.
Individually, 28 students achieved 3 As or better with Head Boy Liam Travers, obtaining the equivalent of 4 A* in the IB Diploma. We have every confidence that these statistics herald the birth of exciting and lasting growth in academic performance at Taunton School.

“The list of other students who achieved outstanding results was lengthy, although the success of the entire cohort is to be celebrated” commented Mr Lee Glaser (Head of Taunton School),
“These are excellent results and I am extremely proud of all of our students. They have shown that their hard work, alongside committed teachers and supportive parents, really does pay dividends. I am particularly delighted with the increase in the number of A* -B grades, 68% is an outstanding achievement and the highest since 2009. I am committed to ensuring that we will continue to build on this momentum and our academic depth across all subjects.  Our teachers have delivered academic depth, exceptional support and demonstrated why Taunton School is the right choice for so many students at Sixth Form. That said, it is the students who have backed that up with hard work and their success is greatly deserved.”

The vast majority of all our students are going on to their top choice university, including King's College London, University College London, Bath and Exeter. Our diversity and global outlook has further led to students obtaining university places in eight different countries across Europe, in the USA and in Canada. 

In its inaugural year, BTEC Sport and Exercise Science saw very strong results with a third obtaining the maximum grade - triple star distinction, which equates to 3 A*. Hayley Mortimer, the school’s Director of Sport said:

“All students achieved excellent results. The BTEC course has enabled pupils to gain sought after places at the University of Bath, currently ranked top for its Sports provision. Pupils with a BTEC are better prepared for the style of learning at university as well as becoming more independent in their own journey.”

The popular Taunton School Pre-Med programme was also very successful with all future Medics, Dentists and Vets obtaining their first choice university. 

“All students not only met but exceeded their university offer requirements.  They are a group of highly dedicated and motivated young adults who thoroughly deserve their success – a record breaking year!” Caro Wedgwood, Head of Biology and Pre-Med programme.
Our 2016 results illustrate the breadth of excellence amongst our sixth form students. This year's leavers are going on to study subjects ranging from medicine, aeronautical engineering to psychology, music, veterinary medicine, sport science, languages, arts and humanities. Taunton School truly provides opportunities for everyone. 


18th October 2013

English Schools Athletics Champs in Gateshead

Alex Brown competed at the weekend in the Junior Boys High Jump did very well indeed to finish 7th out of 17, jumping 1m72cm. Although this was down on his best of 1m78cm competitors across the board faced unfavourable conditions, and Alex, in his first major championship, had a great result.

Laurie Dawkins competed in the Senior Girls javelin. With a year in hand in this age group, and with mixed form leading up to the event, Laurie threw a very impressive 41m05cm (National Standard) to take 3rd place and to reassert herself as one of the very best in her age group in the country.

An excellent showing from the two Taunton School athletes!


18th October 2013

Taunton School coach pickup/drop off - NEW STOPS

Taunton School is pleased to offer a trial service of 3 additional stops within a 4-mile radius of Taunton school, on the daily coach routes in and out of School.  The trial will run through the Autumn 2016 term and if successful, will be part of a wider review of transport services, that may see Tube-style zoning, with more stops and affordable daily transport options being offered.

The stops will be;

Sheppy’s Cider Farm (A38)
Pick up @ 0755           Drop off @ 1740

Hankridge Retail Park
Pick up @ 0758           Drop off @ 1725

Bishops Lydeard (A358/Station Road Junction)
Pick up @ 0755           Drop off @ 1740

The cost of the service will be a flat fee of £2 per day for a guaranteed pre-booked seat.  If you would like to take advantage of this service please contact



18th October 2013

Taunton School delighted with 2016 IB success!

Over 200 students have attained the IB Diploma at Taunton School since we became an IB World School in 2007, and the cohort of 2016 produced some wonderful results.

Twenty six students passed the Diploma with an average score per candidate of 33 points and almost all of them met the offer conditions for their first-choice university.

Head Boy Liam Travers, a scholarship recipient from Hemyock, scored a massive 43 points out of a possible 45 and is looking forward to taking up his place at LSE to study Geography.  43 IB points is equivalent to 5 A Levels – 3 x A* and 2 x A.

Hera Bradly, our Head Girl, from Minehead, was one of four students who obtained a very impressive 39 points. Hera met her offer to study Medicine at UCL – one of the most competitive courses in the country.

Other successful IB candidates are moving on to study at Bristol, Cardiff and East Anglia as well as universities in Europe and North America. Several are embarking on gap years, and one German student will be taking up a prestigious BMW internship.

IB Coordinator, Mr Martin Bluemel said:

I am very pleased with this, our ninth set of Diploma results. IB has become a distinctive part of what Taunton School is about and our students, whether they hail from near or far, have once again impressed me with their willingness to aim high and extend themselves beyond the confines of a ‘normal’ sixth form curriculum.

Taunton School Headmaster, Mr Lee Glaser said:

These results show that our students are working at a very high standard. I am extremely proud of their efforts and also of the efforts of their teachers and the support they have provided, throughout this academically challenging course. Taunton School is driving forward in line with its vision of excellence and we look forward to news of further successes later this summer.

The IB Diploma is one of three Sixth Form routes available to Taunton School students, along with A Levels and BTEC Sports and Exercise Science. Students have a free choice of pathway and whilst there is no ‘typical’ IB student, those who choose IB enjoy its breadth and global perspective, as well as the opportunities it offers for making links between subjects.

The Diploma Programme consists of nine elements: six academic subjects and three core components called Theory of Knowledge, the Extended Essay, and a self-development course called Creativity, Activity and Service. 


18th October 2013

TPS Students take to Channel waters for national challenge

Taunton Prep School students featured in the ITV News last night as they prepare for a Charity race across the Channel against the Royal Marines!

They are doing incredibly well with their training and money raised will be going to The Royal Marines Charity. Read the story on their JustGiving page, and if you have some pennies to spare, they would love your support. 


10th October 2013

18th October 2013

Ending the year with a bang!

TUESDAY, June 28th is the date for the Fireworks concert which this year features a dome stage on the front of school. 

The Prep School will take the first hour from 6:15 leading into the senior school musicians playing a variety of wonderful music in many different styles – from orchestra playing Schubert and ET, to the girls choir singing Lady Marmalade, big band, rock bands, funk bands, string quartet, chapel choir, Brazilian percussion ensemble, the list goes on.  

It will all climax with a 20 minute popular medley of David Bowie alongside other great pop and rock standards performed by the orchestra, rock band and choirs. 

Fireworks will be set off over the school in the final ten minutes to this music creating a wonderful celebration of the musical life of our school.  

Parents, Staff, Governors, pupils and anyone with a love of music is invited to come along, bring a picnic and some champagne to enjoy what will be a wonderful, sunny and highly enjoyable evening of entertainment in the surroundings of our lovely school.  

 Book your ticket today...



18th October 2013

Taunton Preparatory School appoints new headmaster

THE Board of Governors of Taunton School are pleased to announce that, after an extensive recruitment process from a very strong field of candidates, they have appointed Mr Andrew Edwards as Headmaster of Taunton Preparatory School from 1st September 2017.

Andrew is currently Head of Park School in Bournemouth where he has served since 2011.  Previously he was Director of Studies and Head of Modern Languages at Castle Court Prep School and was Head of Modern Languages at Port Regis School for six years.

Having gained a BA Hons in French with German at the University of Manchester, Andrew went on to qualify as a lawyer and started his working life with a City of London law firm before deciding that his future lay in education.

Andrew holds an Associate Diploma from the London College of Music in the cello and is a qualified coach in cricket, tennis and football. He is married to Robyn (Sport, French and primary school class teacher) and they have two sons aged 13 and 11.

Andrew commented “Taunton Preparatory School is a terrific school and it is great honour to be asked by the Governors and by Mr Lee Glaser to continue the excellent work being done by Mr Duncan Sinclair.

As part of the very rigorous selection process, I spent three days in Taunton, during which time I was hugely impressed by the many pupils and staff whom I had the pleasure of meeting.  

The breadth of opportunity for all, the drive for excellence and a wonderfully warm ethos of respect and good manners are just a few of the many reasons why I am so excited about joining the school.  Before starting as Head in September 2017, there will be plenty of opportunities, I am sure, for me to meet pupils, staff and parents so that I will be fully prepared to hit the ground running.”

Lee Glaser added “I am very excited about working with Andrew. We have a shared vision for the whole school and we will work together closely to ensure that our agreed strategy is implemented effectively.”




10th October 2013

18th October 2013

Empowering students at Taunton School to have a voice

AFTER seeing the headlines about sexual harassment in schools, Ed Burnett, Deputy Headmaster-Pastoral wrote the following for the Independent Schools Council's blog declaring teachers must listen to the voices of their pupils and address their real issues.

'As for many people, I imagine, 'everyday sexual terrorisation' sprang out at me from the online education news last week, filling me with anxiety about the fate of my own child and triggering a bout of self-interrogation: What are we getting so wrong with our young people, if one in eight pupils has been sexually assaulted and one in three feels unsafe walking home?

I am sure there will be doubters and those who claim that the situation is being exaggerated. However, I would say that these figures do fairly represent the damage done to this generation of children.

As recent findings demonstrate so starkly, it has become common for young people to behave in ways which would simply have been unacceptable when I was growing up in the 1980s. Now, acts which even 20 years ago would have happened only in the farthest realms of our imaginations have become normalised.

Of course, social media has a huge role to play here and even the best informed schools cannot fully appreciate how deep-seated this problem is because it is so well concealed behind the sleek facade of their students' digital devices.

The 'horseplay' referred to in the articles is just the tip of the iceberg and I do share these worries about how some schools may be condoning a culture of bullying with their language and how they respond to reports of trouble.

So what can we do about it? Top quality personal, social, health and economic education (PSHEE) lessons, staffed by specialist teachers rather than those with periods to fill on their timetable, are a start. However, too often PSHEE programmes are not relevant to students' real issues.

In order to know what to deliver during these lessons, schools need to walk in the shoes of their pupils and understand the pressures they are under every day.

Student feedback, or 'voice', must be ingrained into the fabric of school life. Strong prefect bodies must be developed. These need to have reach into lower year groups, and to be trained to flag issues as they occur, with the aim of creating an atmosphere for positive change. Each prefect group should foster good behaviour and a trend of aspiration. The prefects should have pride in the legacy they leave behind.

Schools must empower pupils and encourage them to found and run their own societies, thereby building a campaign culture. At Taunton School the recently-formed feminist society was created from just such a belief, rather than being plucked out of the air by a teacher. Campaigning pupils have persuasive powers ten times greater than the most inspirational teacher.

Therefore, I was delighted to be told in no uncertain terms by a group of year 9-11 pupils to "stop banging on about banter versus bullying" and address the real issue they were grappling with - body image.

I had a huge slice of luck with my subsequent phone call to Natasha Devon, who happened to be free at very short notice, and came to deliver her powerful message to our students within a week of them asking to have guidance on the matter.

No school is perfect, and Taunton School has its share of gender conflict, but we do know that to beat 'everyday sexual terrorisation' we need to do a lot more than merely keep an eye on it.

The key to eradicating this scourge is to recognise that our pupils are our most important resource both in terms of explaining the issues which need to be addressed and also for delivering deep-rooted change. I am also sure that that this sort of bottom-up revolution is vital if an institution is going to throw off its old habits.

Yes, all staff must start to appreciate that their language and first instinctive response to situations are vital in setting and maintaining the high standards which young people want from their schools. A really simple example of this came in the recent talk by Natasha Devon, when we considered the potential damage that could be caused by thoughtlessly banding about old adages like telling a boy "don't cry - crying is for girls".

Guarding against this sort of unhelpful language is as important as anything else we can put in place to ensure the happiness of our young people while they are at school'.

Pictured: Ed Burnett and Natasha Devon 



18th October 2013

Shield maidens and warriors bring viking history to life in Year 3

LAST week, Year 3 enjoyed a Viking morning, where the day began with Mr McCarthy creating a Shieldwall (using rugby tackle bags!) for the ‘Battle of Ethandon’ re-enactment, where King Alfred beats the Vikings! 
In addition, they designed and made their own shields and pendants.  
To end the morning, children produced a longship collage scene, under the guidance of Mr Ashmore.
All of this work will be on display for our Parents’ Day celebrations, so do pop down to the Junior Corridor to take a look!
Bryony Finch


18th October 2013

Year 4 take a walk on the wild side

ON the Tuesday before the half-term holiday, the Year 4 children set off on an adventure to Bristol Zoo to link in with their cross-curricular topic this term, the Rainforest. The day was a huge success, with the sun shining as an added bonus! 
The children were lucky enough to take part in a ‘Rainforest Experience’ workshop run by some of the Educational Team at the zoo. This talk took place in the Education and Conservation Centre and was a great opportunity for the children to show off their learning. They also got to see and touch some real creepy crawlies, including a hissing cockroach and a giant thorny stick insect! 
Year 4 discussed why the rainforest habitat is teeming with life, and explored what we can do as individuals to protect the rainforests of the world, which are rapidly disappearing. The children all participated with enthusiasm, with some ‘digging deep’ in order to find the courage to hold a hissing cockroach! 
We stopped for a picnic lunch on one of the beautiful lawns, which was followed by the opportunity to explore the different zones in the zoo. A great day was had by all, with the children representing TPS very well. In fact, one lady in the Butterfly House remarked, “I have never seen a better behaved group of children”. Well done, Year 4!
Laura Page


18th October 2013

The RAF fly in for STEM morning

OUR Year 8 pupils started the final half of the Summer term with an energetic and exciting show from the RAF STEM presentation team. 
The theme was ‘The Theory of Flight’ and there were lots of demonstrations including a camera drone, a jet stream and a pair of miniature jet engines that span at 200,000 RPM and made so much noise that the rest of the school thought a helicopter had landed. 
The show was fast-paced and interspersed with lots of fantastic video clips of RAF aircraft. As expected, there were plenty of volunteers for the interactive parts. The bonus at the end was to see how fast toilet paper can be unrolled in a jet stream.
Simon Williams


18th October 2013

Fighter pilot visits CCF

LIEUTENANT Colonel Phil Kelly of the Royal Marines came to TS recently to talk about his career as a Military Pilot.
Phil Kelly has enjoyed a varied and exciting time in the Royal Marines and is the only RM Officer qualified to fly the F18 Super Hornet. 
Most aviators are by nature outgoing and Colonel Phil gave an interesting and amusing talk about flying which all the cadets enjoyed and even Phil’s daughter Mary refrained from uttering those immortal words, “Daddy you are so embarrassing!”
Phil’s main message was that given grit and determination young people can achieve much in life whilst having fun into the bargain.  
Simon Nicholson


18th October 2013

Scandal in the Old Library

ON May 27th, The Jemima Layzell Trust held a charity Murder Mystery night at Taunton School where Old Tauntonians, current Tauntonians and Make Performing Arts tutors put on a fantastic performance of Agatha Christies ‘The Patient’ under the capable direction of Sam Dunn (OT).
Guests dressed in 1920s black tie, started with welcome drinks where they mingled with the cast and were introduced to the characters. Following a two course buffet the plot began to unfold with guests interrogating the suspects before entering their guesses into a draw. 
Thank you to everyone who supportedthe night, the charity had hoped to raise £400/500 at this event but raised a tremendous £700. They have now raised 21% of their target for 'Seat Support'- specialist seating for children with brain injury as requested by nurses and Occupational Therapist Louise who works at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
Taunton School and The Jemima Layzell Trust would like to say a special thank you to the Murder Mystery cast and The IOUs who played for free and remained right until the very end of the evening.
Thanks also to the event sponsors AR Blaze and all those who donated prizes (Muddy Dog, Hi Ho Silver, the Brewhouse, Mark and Janine Harris, RG Spillers, Linda Vijay and the Fisher family).
What a wonderful night! 


10th October 2013

10th October 2013

10th October 2013

17th October 2013


18th October 2013

TSLDSC brave the Black Waters of Clevedon

PUPILS from Taunton School Long Distance Swimming Club took to the cold water at Clevedon Marine Lake for their inaugural sea swim of the new season.  
The ensemble were split into two groups, the initial foray of experienced Solent swimmers quick to rekindle their prowess in the open water efficiently completed their 3-4 laps in 30 minutes. 
They were followed by a second group of novices from Years 7 to 9 who, despite initial nervousness on entering the sea, quickly proved their mettle completing over 30 minutes and exhausting 'the old man of the sea' Mr McCarthy as he challenged Sophia Wilson and Hetty James to a final dash to the steps.
Key to successful safe open water swimming is an effective safety organisation and for this swim the ever vigilant Mr Coleman, on escort kayak, was joined by Miss Mortimer as our beachmaster providing over watch for all pupils entering and exiting the sea lake.  
The arrival of the clubs’ new tethered orange floatation aids facilitates yet another layer of safety for the club as they train ready for the St. Michaels Mount and English Channel challenges that lie ahead. These not only improve visibility of swimmers but also allow something to hold onto if participants feel the need to discuss stroke technique or the 'chocolate hue' of the sea in this particular area of the South West.
The new training venue is excellent for the club's preparation as it facilitates a 500m circuit in a safe, shallow, walled Victorian sea pool where parents and pupils alike can watch and encourage the efforts of their team mates. 
For this initial swim all participants wore wetsuits of a kind, less two sturdy masters leading from the back of the pack, who lacking modesty, braved the chilly waters in just their swimsuits one notably remarking afterwards that it was quite unlike anything he had previously experienced in South Africa. Luckily the waters of the Bristol Channel are notoriously murky and only their brightly coloured hats were on show, the rest thankfully covered by the Clevedon black water!                          
Hamish McCarthy


10th October 2013

10th October 2013

17th October 2013


18th October 2013

Year 3 get back to nature

YEAR 3 enjoyed a day out of the classroom where they were able to see some of their learning in ‘real life!’ 
In Science, the children have been studying 'Plants and Growth', and walking around the beautiful grounds of Hestercombe allowed them to see pollination and seed dispersal ‘in action’.  
They also went on a scavenger hunt to collect items for their Art challenge in the afternoon. We had some wonderfully creative ideas, using leaves, pine cones, flowers, twigs etc. These included a fairy, an under-water scene, a mountain, a dinosaur and a waterfall. 
There was also lots of fun playing near the waterfall; building dams, splashing around and going on a rock hunt!
The weather was just perfect, not too hot, nor too cold, so all-in-all, Year 3 had a great day out!      
Bryony Finch


10th October 2013

18th October 2013

Rebels, brandy and fossils

ON the best day of the Spring to date, Year 6 enjoyed a combined History and Geography trip to Lyme Regis. 
Putting classroom theory into practice pupils learned about the birthplace of palaeontology, the town's smuggling past and the importance to science of Mary Anning. As a woman she received small opportunity to enjoy much scientific credit or plaudits for her discovery and for the development of the new science of Palaeontology.  
The field trip was split into two groups. Focussing on the more recent history, a local history guide, Christopher, took us on a guided tour of Lyme Regis, where he entertained us with fantastically interesting stories about the local area; who would have known the first Governor of Bermuda came from Lyme?! Sir Walter Raleigh was a frequent visitor to the port of Lyme Regis? Smugglers hid barrels of brandy in the graves in the cemetery and that the town was a ‘hotbed’ of rebels, both during the English Civil War and during the Monmouthshire Rebellion. 
The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the chance to step outside the traditional classroom environment and experience “hands on” History outside. All embraced the chance to really look at the History around them and marry the knowledge gained in the classroom to an outdoor setting.
 Looking further back into History, this term Year 6 Geographers have been conducting group PSB enquiries into the development of life on the Earth and the mass extinction events that have changed the direction of the evolutionary tree. Crucial to their studies has been examining and researching the fossil remains of creatures that previously, swam, crawled and roamed our planet.  
After a quick review of what they have learned so far, a short brief on the Geology and Palaeontology of the region, we went into the Lyme Regis Fossil Museum to examine some of their excellent finds and learn about Mary Anning.  
The knowledge collected here has added the final chapter to their forthcoming group presentations. Never forgoing the opportunity to dress up some of the boys and girls donned the garb of the Victorians who not only came to Lyme Regis to collect fossils but also to 'drink' the sea water...for its health benefits apparently. Not convinced of the benefits of drinking sea water the pupils also enjoyed a picnic on the beach and the obligatory ice-cream. 
H McCarthy & Mrs J Hall-Tomkin


10th October 2013

18th October 2013

Breakfast in France

CHILDREN in Reception enjoyed a French breakfast of croissants, pains au chocolat, jam and fromage outside in the Pre-Prep playground. 
Mael and Paul in Year 6 told the children about what they eat for breakfast in France and answered questions from the children about French food, including snails and frogs’ legs. 
Louise Ashmore


18th October 2013

Practice makes perfect

LAST week, the Dance GCSE students completed their practical assessments. Each dancer performed fantastically with confidence and enthusiasm. They were extremely professional and the moderator had nothing but praise for their work. 
The dancers performed their group work, solos and one another's choreographies. Each dancer has completed four practical dance units with the written exam left to do after half term. 
Thank you to everyone who has supported the group. 
Emma Mannings


18th October 2013

Mr Fil Came demonstrates the challenges children can face to learn

A large group of people including parents, teachers throughout the whole school and the heads attended a PTA meeting in the Old Library to hear a talk on educating children of all abilities. The speaker was internationally renowned education speaker, Mr. Fil Came from Learning Works.
The evening included a presentation, videos, as well as a series of interactive exercises designed to show parents the difficulties some children face. These included carrying out simple tasks with gloves on which demonstrated some of the issues that children with dyslexia may face and learning to juggle, a task designed to show how taking on new instructions and undertaking a new task at the same time may confuse those with dyslexia.
Future PTA meetings will feature an evening on IT and Internet safety and a presentation on how parents can create the correct atmosphere for their children as they prepare for exams.
Paul Billings


18th October 2013

Engineering is everyone's game

Eleven girls from Years 10 and 12  joined girls from other schools at a conference held at Red Maids School in Bristol. 
The focus was women into engineering and science and the day included two inspiring presentations from engineers as well as practical workshops ranging from medical diagnosis to robotics and solar panel construction. 
The girls gained a lot from this experience, with some useful contacts being made and many things to follow up. This was a very enjoyable day and the girls were super ambassadors for Taunton School.
Dr James Penny


18th October 2013

PTA join forces for Summer Fair

AS I write this everyone at the PTA has their fingers crossed for good weather on Thursday, May 26th, the day of the Summer Fair. This year’s summer fair promises to be the best yet, with new and exciting events for the children to take part in, as well as the traditional favourites.  
We are delighted that with the help of Hamish McCarthy, the Royal Marines will be in attendance, giving a weapons display and also bringing their climbing wall, something I am sure that will prove to be exceptionally popular. They will not be the only one of Her Majesty's forces present as we will also be visited by the local constabulary, who will be bringing a modern Hi-Tec police car for the children to view.  
Of course the old favourites will also be there, Soak the Teacher (the teachers will be hoping for a warm day!), Sumo Wrestling, a Pimms tent and the ever popular Tombola and Raffle. The children will also take part and we look forward to seeing their innovative stall ideas. 
The PTA organised a hog roast, which will also be available at the Prep School sports and parents days.
Special thanks this year should go to Donna King who has put in huge amounts of energy and time in to organising the Fair, without parents prepared to help out this type of event, that the children love so much, would not take place.
I hope you all had a great day and the sun shone!
Paul Billings


18th October 2013

Plenty to celebrate in Junior Maths Challenge

THIS year we have had an excellent set of results. An amazing 25 pupils gained a certificate. An increase of 56% on last year! Very well done to all pupils who participated.
Ron Hornsby 

Will Andrews, Flora Collier, Edward Cousins , Max Davies, Max Fletcher, Oliver Halliday, Charlotte Hicks, Annabelle Lewes, Calum Pinn, Philip Pullicino and Katelyn Quantick.

Jonathan Cole, Daisy Downham, Jesper Harrington, Ben Pomeroy, Maisie Raven, Elen Roberts, Adi Sharma, Ben Shattock, Luc Simon and Sam Stevenson
Gold: Skyla Coate, Kate Foster, Izzy Glaser, Kit Lloyd.



18th October 2013

Preparing for the wider world

FROM sunglasses to pens, cups to badges, there were plenty of freebies on offer at our North American University Fair. However, more importantly students from across our Taunton site and from the local area, were able to take up the opportunity to learn more about USA and Canadian university systems. 
One size certainly does not fit all and although most of our students continue on to British universities the afternoon allowed clear comparisons to be made. With the threat of increasing UK fees and large numbers of graduates applying for the same jobs, studying overseas is one of a number of ways to make your CV stand out from the crowd. 
The American Liberal Arts Programme allows students to study a broad range of subjects for two years before specialising. This allows you to try new subjects before selecting your specialism. 
In Canada many CO-OP courses offer multiple paid work experience which are an integral part of a degree and are assessed. Employability is the latest buzz word in the world of recruitment and any degree course which equips you for the world of work is worth careful consideration.
A global education equips young adults to thrive as global citizens in a global economy. I would encourage all students to consider all options for their next step beyond Taunton School. Parents are always welcome at our careers events to learn about all the opportunities their sons and daughters have in the coming years. 
Next term we will be hosting two events, the Student World UK Tour by a group of international universities and a Business, Law and Finance Careers Fair.
Richard Judd,
Head of Careers 


18th October 2013

Nursery 4 enjoy Pirate week

SHIPS Ahoy!! The Pirates landed in Nursery Four last week.

As part of their 'Commotion in the Ocean' topic the children enjoyed a week of pirate activities.

On Thursday children followed maps, made earlier in the week, to find hidden treasure around the school grounds and Friday they leart about the story of  Peter Pan and Captain Hook with Mr Riggs. 

Karen McGough