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Big thing made of sparking young imaginations, strength of parental relationships and atmosphere full of warmth. As with youngest pupils, attention to detail is good, from homework – ‘just enough to stretch you,’ says year 7 pupil – to carrot-focused...

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What the school says...

Downsend School introduces children to the important world of learning in the nurturing environment of our three pre-preparatory schools. Aged six, they automatically move on to our preparatory school, where they progress through the Lower and Upper Schools until they leave at 13. Each section is led by highly-skilled practitioners, sensitive to the differing needs of the children as they move through the school.

At Downsend, our teachers understand there is an art to igniting the imagination of a child to create a lifelong passion for learning and discovery, so we offer our pupils an enviable wealth of opportunities to succeed. Academic results speak for themselves and high achievement has become the norm, with a record 46 Scholarships this year to some of the top senior schools. Our children follow a vibrant and engaging curriculum, and the range of activities on offer does not come at the expense of a close-knit community.

Combined with term time schooling, the Downsend+ holiday care provision, run by our own experienced staff, offers 50 week child care.

Your children will take their first steps in education with us and, by the time they leave, will have developed into confident teenagers prepared socially and academically; ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that await them.
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What The Good Schools Guide says

Big thing made of sparking young imaginations, strength of parental relationships and atmosphere full of warmth. As with youngest pupils, attention to detail is good, from homework – ‘just enough to stretch you,’ says year 7 pupil – to carrot-focused discipline, detentions possible but rarely necessary...


Since 2013, Mr Ian Thorpe BA MA (40s). Previously four years as headmaster at Chinthurst School and before that head of junior school at City of London Freemen’s, preceded by stints all over the place, from Caterham Prep, where he was deputy head, to Witham Hall (deputy head and housemaster).

Married to ‘very patient’ wife, a teacher at Caterham, attended by two sons. A former grammar school boy, he’s bright, jovial and energetic (looks exactly like sportsman he is, PE his main degree

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Special Education Needs

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Aspergers Syndrome [archived]
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders [archived]
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Delicate Medical Problems [archived]
English as an additional language (EAL)
Epilepsy [archived]
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
Not Applicable
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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