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What says..

 This is a family-run prep school that makes the most of the outdoors too – overalls and wellies for outside play, and lessons in the forest school. ‘Our children are happy there, and safe, and cared for, and challenged.’  Science is popular and practical. Other subjects like history also use this tack – each year group has a history day, Vikings or Normans, for example. Pupils dress up, make weapons, re-enact battles.  The school council is busy ‘making small changes that make a big difference'; pre-prep would like mangos and strawberries in fruit snacks...

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Headmaster

Since 2001, Marcus Gunn MA (Ed) PGCE BA IAPS. Originally from Yorkshire, studied history at Liverpool, and qualified as a teacher almost a decade later. During that time, as well as windsurfing whenever possible, he taught history and games for five years, taking on such a wide range of duties that he now sees the whole experience as an apprenticeship. Studied a masters in education and leadership at 40. Now lives in the school grounds with wife Valerie, the ‘glue that holds it all together.’ As well as matron duties she hosts events for parents, even taking them out for a coffee and chat if needed. All three children have flown the nest. As a couple, they have transformed The Downs School from a failing boarding school to a leading prep. It is obvious...

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Special Education Needs

At The Downs we try to cater for the needs of all the children. In doing so we offer about 45 (50) lessons a week of learning support in numeracy and literacy. Some of the children supported have been assessed as dyslexic or dyscalculiac, others have been identified as needing some help from their teachers. We offer help to any reasonably bright children as long as we have the facility to do so; if after assessment, we feel they need some support, we will not offer a place unless we have the space in the allocated (5) lessons a week. The Learning Support we offer is of a very high quality; indeed it is excellent, however, we do not 'market' the department.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers
Aspergers Syndrome [archived]
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders [archived]
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Delicate Medical Problems [archived]
Dyscalculia Y
Dysgraphia
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL)
Epilepsy [archived]
Genetic
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 Y
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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