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Downe House School

What says..

‘For our sporty eldest it was like putting a dog in the chicken shed,’ laughs one parent; ‘She’s outdoors every evening, she was so cooped up in London,’ says another. Very strong lacrosse and netball, hockey growing, year-round tennis, cricket and athletics in the summer. As we drove into the grounds on a sunny morning, we saw girls out practicing their serves. ‘Not a school that hangs its self-esteem on being academic, it’s about developing your character,’ parents say, ‘so you can be academic, but you don’t have...

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What the school says...

Downe House has always aimed to celebrate individual achievement within a boarding community framework by giving girls the maximum range of opportunities possible. Whilst our facilities are constantly developing, our primary focus is on people and pastoral care which underpin all achievement.

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 1997, Emma McKendrick. Studied German and Dutch at the University of Liverpool, during which she spent a year teaching in Germany. Thence to a PGCE (Birmingham) and Royal High School, Bath, where she became head at the tender age of 29. The big job at Downe House came four years later; her early alumnae are now prospective parents.

Rarely do we come across a head who commands such unanimous respect and admiration. Parents often gush, of course, but at Downe House they really go for it: ‘The most phenomenal head I’ve ever come across’; ‘extraordinary woman’; ‘girls adore her’; ‘just so right, every time’. Always interested to know what former pupils are doing and understands those in her care exceptionally well: ‘She’d not only read her ed psych report,...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

Our Learning Skills Department supports both girls with mild specific learning diffculties and those who are outstandingly able. Girls are supported in a variety of ways. These may include regular individual lessons, occasional group sessions or visits to relevant lectures, workshops and seminars. The Learning Skills Department is an integral part of the school structure and the flow of communication to ensure all girls are supported in lessons is of paramount importance.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dysgraphia Y
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment Y
Hospital School
Mental health Y
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health Y
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

Who came from where

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