What makes a Downe House girl? The answer is in the Downe House DNA:
- Outward looking
- Digital Ready
In the classroom, on the pitch, on stage and everywhere in between, these values are the hope, aim and aspiration for every girl in the school. However, there is no ‘typical Downe House girl’. Upon stepping through the school gates, every student is treated and celebrated as an individual. Whether she is an artist with an aptitude for mathematics, a scientist with a love of music, or an athlete with an interest in politics, Downe House will introduce, nurture and encourage every student’s passion.
The dynasty of Down House women who preceded, and the sheer variety of the career paths and achievements of our alumnae is testimony to our ethos. They all carry with them the imprint of the Downe House DNA.
At a glance
Established in 1907, Downe House is a traditional boarding and day school with a modern approach for girls aged 11-18. Situated in a beautiful Berkshire 110-acre woodland estate, Downe House offers family-friendly boarding balanced with an exceptional range of opportunities. Downe House has been a Microsoft Showcase School since 2018.
Downe House honours an exceptional programme to nurture global citizens and expands the girls’ cultural horizons. Every girl in the Lower Fourth (Year 8) spends a term at our school in France, the Downe House Sauveterre, a beautiful chateau that allows the students to experience French life, language and culture. Older girls have the opportunity to take part in the Global Schools’ Exchange Programme, studying abroad in one of 15 partner schools across 6 continents. There is also a Global Internship Programme as well as DH LINKS, the School’s comprehensive networking and careers initiative, along with our World Ready Programme, which is layered into every aspect of School life, tailored for every stage of development as girls progress up through the year groups, to prepare them for the wider world.
Academically, Downe House encourages ambition and ignites a love of learning through a supportive community. The curriculum includes the study of English, History, Geography, Religious Studies, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Latin, Greek, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Design and Technology, Information & Communication Technology, Music, Art, Drama and Theatre Studies, Food Technology and Textiles. In addition, Classical Civilisation, Business Studies, Sports Science, Politics, Economics, Photography and History of Art are offered at A Level. Leiths Food & Wine Certificate is also offered to girls in the Sixth Form.
Although personal triumphs and individual achievements are the most celebrated within School, the foundation of academic success is evident from the GCSE and A Level statistics. In 2021, at I/GCSE 89% of grades were 9-7 and remarkably 71% achieved grades 9-8 (A*-A**). Most pleasing of all was the number of grade 9s across all the subjects, which once again stands at 46%. At A Level 98% of girls achieved A* to B grades with the A*/D1/D2 percentage remaining consistently high, at 51%. These outstanding results ranked Downe House as the fourth best Girls Boarding School in the UK, and achieved places at some of the world’s top universities for our graduates.
“Downe House was everything we hoped for in the next step for our daughter’s education. You have evidently done a wonderful job of creating the right environment to foster achievement and happiness.” (New parent, 2021)
Downe House was founded as ‘a school where every individual within the community matters’, and this has not changed. We work in partnership with parents to ensure that every Downe House girl leaves School with a lifelong intellectual curiosity, the confidence that she can face life’s challenges, and a steadfast place in a lively school community.
Downe House offers idyllic accommodation onsite, with a wealth of activities as part of our boarding model. So well-suited to the needs of a busy modern family that over 90% of girls are boarding students. Offering both boarding and day places, Downe House provides every girl with the gift of time and space for extra-curricular activities balanced with important family time.
Fees per term (until December 2021)
£14,030 for boarders
£10,435 for day girls.
Girls may enter the school at 11+, 12+ or 13+ upon successful assessment, interview and Common Entrance. Girls can also join the Sixth Form after completing our interview and entrance test.
Application for entry should be made well in advance. Prospective parents are asked to make an appointment to visit the School and meet the Headmistress prior to their daughter’s start date.
The School offers a number of Academic Scholarships at 11+, 12+, 13+ and for entry into the Sixth Form. Scholarships are also awarded in Music, Art and Sport (11+ and 13+) and Drama (13+ and 16+) and there are Headmistress’s Awards for outstanding all-round performers. As a Scholar or Exhibitioner, girls have access to our specialist Scholarship programme which offers a range of specialist enrichment activities to inspire her and extend her knowledge. A mentor is provided to guide and encourage her on her journey as well as important leadership opportunities, designed to stretch and challenge her. For more information on Scholarships please visit the website – https://www.downehouse.net/admissions/scholarships.
Downe House is committed to extending access to the education and welcoming girls who would otherwise be denied the opportunity of a boarding experience of the highest calibre and quality. For more information on Bursaries please visit our website – https://www.downehouse.net/admissions/bursaries.
An easy drive from London takes you to our beautiful, secure school campus in the heart of rural West Berkshire. Our stunning 110-acre woodland estate overlooks the historic Berkshire Downs.
Girls enjoy the close proximity to other schools for match fixtures and enrichment events, as well as hosting and attending socials with local prep schools and independent schools such as Eton College, Radley College, Bradfield College and Harrow School.
Be a Downe House girl
As one Sixth Former summed up the experience, ‘I left Downe House with the feeling there was nothing I couldn’t achieve.’
Downe House School is a Registered Charity, number 1015059. Our aim is the provision of a sound and broadly based education for girls, which will equip them for university entrance and beyond.