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Downe House is a family friendly girls’ boarding school with a unique blend of traditional values and forward thinking, where every girl is encouraged to explore and discover all her strengths. Not tied by the constraints of a traditional school day, we can provide an exceptional range of co-curricular and enrichment opportunities both inside and outside the classroom.
Of course, academic results matter greatly to us and we expect girls to aspire to excellence in all they do, both in the classroom and beyond. However, we place equal importance on equipping every girl with a well-established work ethic and a core set of traditional values, skills and beliefs that will allow her to flourish in today’s rapidly changing world.
With only girls in the classroom, in the science labs, on stage and on the sports field, both intellectual and physical confidence can grow without any stereotyping or gender-weighted expectations.
So many things make the difference at Downe House. For girls in the Lower School, it includes the term spent in France by all Lower Fourth girls. The Upper School and Sixth Form have the opportunity to take part in our far-reaching Global Schools’ Exchange Programme with 16 partner schools across six continents. Not to mention our Elective Programme which provides ‘super-curricular’ academic enrichment to challenge and stretch able girls and a holistic approach to wellbeing through the ‘Finding Balance’ programme which gives girls the tools for life to care for themselves as well as each other.
We aim to ignite a love of learning and take each girl on an adventure in education to ensure that when the time comes to leave Downe House, she believes that there is nothing that she cannot achieve in the world.
Gifted & Talented
Girls are awarded Scholarships or Exhibitions on the basis of outstanding ability and potential in academic subjects, art, sport, music or drama. As a Scholar or Exhibitioner, girls have access to a rich and varied programme of specialist enrichment activities to inspire and extend their knowledge, a mentor to guide and encourage and important leadership opportunities designed to stretch and challenge.
The Learning Skills Department is an integral part of Downe House that focuses on individual progress and aims aims to enable each girl to learn in a way that suits her unique profile, and to promote those skills for learning that will underpin consistent progress across the subject range. The Department can support pupils with a range of specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, mild speech and language and semantic pragmatic language disorders, low level attention deficit (hyperactive) disorder, as well as those in need of skills development.
The team consists of five well-qualified and experienced specialist teachers and it is well resourced with a variety of games, computer programmes and texts.
Bursaries & Scholarships
Bursaries: We are committed to offering talented girls access to a Downe House education, regardless of their means. In 2019, 22 girls benefited from full and partial means-tested bursaries. Our means-tested bursaries are available at all points of entry to Downe House and vary in size based on the circumstances of the applicant’s family. We offer financial assistance as high as 100% plus an allowance towards School extras, recognising that a Downe House education encompasses more than classroom learning.
Scholarships: We award scholarships to girls with Academic ability, Art, Sport, Music and Drama. Being a Scholar is a position of honour and privilege at Downe. Whilst it does not carry any remission in fees, it does give your daughter a wealth of additional support and additional curricular opportunities alongside the chance to play a key role in the life of the School. These awards open a world of opportunities from which a Scholar or Exhibitioner can expand her learning and explore her own gifts.
Girls who apply for a Scholarship sit an examination and although no special preparation is required, girls must be registered before sitting for an Award. Age of entry is normally in line with general Admissions ages – 11+, 12+, 13+ and 16+. Candidates must be under 12, under 13 and under 14 on 1 September following the examination. Girls sitting for entry to the Sixth Form must be in the final year of their GCSE studies or equivalent.