Shapwick School

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Shapwick School
Shapwick School.JPG
Motto The same road by different steps
Established 1974
Type Specialist school
Headmaster Martin Lee
Founder Colin Atkinson, CBE
Location Shapwick & Burtle
England Coordinates: 51°08′32″N 2°50′03″W / 51.1422°N 2.8341°W / 51.1422; -2.8341
DfE URN 123929 Tables
Students 160
Ages 8–18
Houses 4 boarding houses
Former names Chalice School
Edington & Shapwick School

Shapwick School, also known as Shapwick Prep and Shapwick Senior School, is a special school based on two sites in Shapwick and Burtle,[1] small villages on the Somerset Levels in Somerset, England. The fee-paying school specialises in educating pupils with dyslexia and its related learning disabilities such as dyscalculia, Developmental coordination disorder, pragmatic language impairment, and specific language impairment.[2] It has 141 pupils aged 8 to 18, 94 of which are boarders and the rest are day pupils.[1] The school is unusual for having two headteachers, split across the two sites, one of whom directs the academic programme, while the other is head of boarding and pastoral care.[1] Pupils aged 8 to 12 attend Shapwick Prep in Burtle, those aged 13 to 16 attend Shapwick Senior School in Shapwick, and A-level students receive direct support from the school, board in Burtle, but study at Bridgwater College.[1]

The school is accredited by the Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils (CReSTeD),[2] and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.[3]

In November 2010, the school gained national attention when it was featured in a BBC Three documentary Kara Tointon: Don't Call Me Stupid about actress Kara Tointon who suffers from dyslexia.[4] Tointon visited the school to see how it approaches the teaching of pupils with dyslexia. She sat in a class, learning new techniques for addressing her own dyslexia, and talked to some of the pupils about their experiences.[5]


In 1974, Colin Atkinson, a former cricketer for Somerset County Cricket Club and head of Millfield, established the Chalice School in Glastonbury to teach pupils with dyslexia.[6] It used the old school in Burtle, where in 1981 Edington Senior School was started. In 1984, Shapwick Senior School was established. The two schools worked together until 1994 when they merged to become came Edington & Shapwick School, operating on the two sites in Shapwick and Burtle, and run by joint headmasters. In 2009, the schools were renamed to Shapwick Prep and Shapwick Senior School.

From 1994 Jon Whittock and David Walker where joint headmasters, until David Walker's death in May 2011.

As of May 2013, Jon Whittock has stepped down as Headmaster of Shapwick School and the deputy head, Martin Lee has taken over as head starting his first academic year in September 2013.


  1. ^ a b c d "Shapwick School Inspection report for residential special school" (PDF). Ofsted. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Full List of CReSTeD Schools". The Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "bulletin" (PDF). Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. August 2004. p. 22. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "TV star Kara Tointon films documentary at Shapwick School". Bridgwater Mercury. Retrieved 21 November 2010. 
  5. ^ Cramer, Shirley (15 November 2010). "A unique TV experience". Dyslexia Action. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Development of Shapwick School". Shapwick School. Archived from the original on 29 July 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 

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