Taunton School

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Taunton School
Taunton School - geograph.org.uk - 79881.jpg
Motto Ora et labora - Worship and Work (senior school); Carpe diem - Seize the Day (preparatory school)
Established 1847
Type Independent school
Day and boarding school
Religion Christian
Headmaster Lee Glaser
Location Staplegrove Road
England Coordinates: 51°01′35″N 3°06′56″W / 51.026282°N 3.115493°W / 51.026282; -3.115493
Gender Co-educational
Ages 0–18
Houses Fairwater, Wills East, Wills West, Weirfield, Woodyer, Evans, Bevan, Goodland, Besley, Marshall, Jenkin, Foxcombe
Colours Blue     , Red     , White     
Alumni Old Tauntonians
Website www.tauntonschool.co.uk

Taunton School is a co-educational independent school in the county town of Taunton in Somerset in South West England. It serves boarding and day-school pupils from the ages of 13 to 18.

The current headmaster is Lee Glaser, appointed in the autumn of 2014.[1]

The school campus also includes Taunton School International for overseas students; Taunton Preparatory School, serving boarding and day-school pupils aged 7 to 13; Taunton Pre-Prep School, serving day-school pupils aged 4 to 7, and Taunton Nursery, serving pupils aged 2 to 4.


Taunton School was founded in 1847[2] as a boys-only school for dissenters - those who were not members of the Church of England.[3] Right from its founding, it was in direct competition with the other schools in Taunton: King's College and Taunton Grammar School (both Church of England) and Queen's College (Methodist). Its first site was at the southern end of the town.[citation needed]

In the 1870s, the school's governors purchased a site at the northern end of Taunton, on Staplegrove Road. They had built, by Joseph James, a gothic-influenced building, in the prevailing style of the period. The school is constructed in a C-plan, with a 50-foot (15 m) high tower. Grey stone came from Somerset's Mendip Hills. This large building still dominates the school's 90-acre (36 ha) campus today. It is a Grade II listed building.[4]

The school was a founding member of the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships and has hosted the tournament numerous times.[5]

A chapel was built in 1907[6] in contrasting style to the rest of the school. Its sponsor was the wealthy Sir Henry Wills, later Lord Winterstoke. Wills was a director of Bristol-based family firm, Wills Tobacco. This company later joined with several others to become Imperial Tobacco. Two features in the chapel are especially of note: the organ and the mosaics. In 2007 on the centenary of the founding of the Chapel the original pipe organ was removed, it being replaced by a new digital organ which was funded in part, by donations from Old Tauntonians.[citation needed]

In September 1971 Taunton School began the merger with Weirfield School, an independent boarding and day school for girls, which was also situated on Staplegrove Road, by admitting girls into the Sixth Form. Then in 1976 Taunton School completed this merger with the rest of the senior section of Weirfield School. This became one of the earliest fully co-educational independent schools in England. Additional buildings were erected on the original Taunton School campus, and Weirfield continued as a girls-only junior school.[citation needed]

In 1990, in order to create closer links between the two junior schools and Taunton School, Taunton Junior School (originally known as Thone) and Weirfield were renamed Taunton Junior Boys School and Taunton Junior Girls School, respectively. As both Junior Schools needed modernisation, building began in 1993 on the boys' site (Thone) to create a new joint boys and girls school, which was partly financed by the sale of the Weirfield site. In 1994 both schools were located at the Thone site and they were renamed Taunton Preparatory School.[7] A classroom block in the Preparatory School is called Weirfield, as is the main senior girls' Boarding house.[citation needed]

Notable Old Tauntonians[edit]

Former pupils of Taunton School are known as Old Tauntonians.

Academic Results[edit]

A Level Overall Pass Rate: 2009 - 98%[citation needed]

International Baccalaureate The first cohort of students sat the IB Diploma in 2009.[citation needed] All 15 students passed with an average Diploma score of 34 points (4 points above the World average). 5 students achieved at least 37 out of 45 points including one student who achieved 43 out of 45 points.[citation needed] This result ranked the school as the highest IB newcomer in the UK by the Financial Times.[26] In 2010, one student achieved the highest possible mark of 45 points.[citation needed]

GCSE Percentage of pupils who gained at 5 grades A* - C 2009 - 98%[citation needed]

University Progression Over the past years, some students have gone on to universities including Oxford and Cambridge.[citation needed] Approximately 96% of all Sixth Form leavers take up University or College places.[citation needed]

Sporting Performance[edit]

The School's Boys 1st team hockey were unbeaten through the seasons of 2011 and 2012 in competitive Saturday Fixtures including a 7-1 win over Milfield.[citation needed]

In 2010 Taunton School reached Boys National Finals at U16 level in both Indoor and Outdoor Hockey. In 2012 they reached National Finals at U18 level in Indoor where they reached the semi-finals.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Taunton School headmaster John Newton leaves to take up new post, Somerset County Gazette
  2. ^ "Taunton School International". UK Boarding Schools. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  3. ^ "Inspection report on Taunton School". Independent Schools Inspectorate. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  4. ^ "Taunton School". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  5. ^ "Debating". Bishops Blue. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  6. ^ "Independent Schools". Folm and TV locations. Movie Makers Guide. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  7. ^ "Taunton Preparatory School : Middle School Building". Steel Coleman Davis. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  8. ^ "John Cameron". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  9. ^ Foot, David (2000-03-02). "John Cameron". Obituaries (London: The Guardian). Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  10. ^ "The MT interview: Mark Getty". Management Today. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  11. ^ "Alan Gibson". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  12. ^ Boulger, Demetrius Charles (2009). The Life of Gordon, Volume I. The Echo Library. ISBN 978-1406893458. 
  13. ^ "Aftab Habib". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  14. ^ "John Jameson". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  15. ^ "Player profile: Thomas Jameson". CricketArchive. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  16. ^ 'MALPAS, Sir Robert', in Who's Who 2012 (London: A. & C. Black, 2012)
  17. ^ "Peter Redgrove". Obituaries (London: The Independent). 2003-06-18. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  18. ^ "Peter Redgrove". London: The Telegraph. 2003-06-18. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  19. ^ "J.M. Roberts". London: The Independent. 2003-06-03. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  20. ^ "Ian McNeice". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  21. ^ Kay, Richard. "Will Osborne be at Nat's 1m party?". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  22. ^ "Sir Peter John WESTMACOTT KCMG LVO". HEC. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  23. ^ "John White". Wisden. Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  24. ^ "Tim Wilcox". Perfect People. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  25. ^ "John Rae". Obituaries (London: The Independent). 2007-01-25. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  26. ^ "Taunton School's IB success". Dickinson British School Consulting. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 

External links[edit]