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What says..

School has willingness to accommodate those whose interests don’t follow those of the common herd. You don’t have to love rugby, for example – table tennis or badminton enthusiasts are catered for with equal dedication, while one upper school basketball fanatic dreamed of dedicated hoops that ‘didn’t wobble.’ Well-structured curriculum, where academic focus, though sharp, isn’t allowed to blot out cookery and sewing, both on offer all the way to year 11. ‘Hats off to school for exam preparation,’ said mother, child in proud possession of several excellent offers....


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What the school says...

Inspiring young minds - this is not just our motto but the blueprint of our school. Downsend is an established, academic preparatory school which is dynamic and contemporary. We provide each child with a broad education, through experiencing a vibrant school life that extends beyond the classroom, and provides outstanding academic development. We encourage our pupils to become well-rounded individuals in a modern society. Staff and children enjoy excellent relationships and pastoral care is of paramount importance.

Our aim is to ensure that Downsend offers our pupils a wealth of opportunities to develop their individual skills.

We achieve this by:
• Providing a welcoming and stimulating environment;
• Finding areas where each child can succeed and gain confidence;
• Offering excellent all-round education for examination success;
• Developing potential both inside and outside the classroom.

We have:
• Happy and well-motivated children;
• First-rate facilities for Sport, Music & Drama;
• Extensive ICT, Art, Design and Food Technology provision;
• A large range of extra-curricular activities and extended day care;
• A dynamic holiday care programme outside normal term time, offering 50-week care to the children of working parents.
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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2013, 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 subject at Exeter). Refreshingly candid about strengths. He’s a ‘good all-rounder,’ he says, with knack of getting what he wants – likely to come in handy for persuading ‘supportive’ bosses at Cognita, school’s owner, to declare corporate wallet open.

Trilingual in French and Dutch...

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Special Education Needs

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
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
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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