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Downe House School

Downe House School

Downe House, Cold Ash, Thatcham, RG18 9JJ, West Berkshire

+44 (0)1635 200286



Downe House School
School type Girls' Day & Boarding Senior & Sixth Form
Founded 1907
Headmistress Mrs Emma McKendrick
Date Appointed September 1997
Girls Age Range 11-18 years (boarding from 11)
Number of pupils 580
Day fees per annum £11,840 per term
Boarding fees per annum £15,920 per term
Average Class Size 15-20
Associations BASE, GSA, ICGS, HMC, ISC

Downe House - a traditional boarding school with a modern twist. Discover a world-class education and a world of opportunities.

Downe House is one of the top all girls' boarding schools in the UK, offering a world-class traditional independent education with a modern twist. With a focus on excellence and the individual, girls are encouraged to make the most of the exceptional academic, co-curricular and enrichment opportunities on offer and to create their own paths, focus on their personal development and be authentic to themselves.

"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." (DH parent)

Supported by personal tutors, girls excel not only in their studies but in sport, creative and performing arts and music, going on to study at the top universities in the world. A Microsoft Showcase school, we equip pupils with outstanding digital skills, preparing them for a fast-developing world of work and modern life.

The school's strong global outlook prepares young women to be world-ready, offering them opportunities to study and work abroad. In Year 8, all girls spend a term at Downe House Sauveterre in France, and in years 10 and 12, girls can take part in a Global Exchange Programme, with 16 schools across five continents. The Sixth Form takes this further, offering global internships, which this year features more than 25 internships spanning five continents, alongside a Mini MBA, the Ivy House Leadership Award, and a Sixth Form Interview Training Programme which uses VR and AI technology. There is also DH LINKS, a comprehensive networking and careers initiative that connects pupils with parents and alumnae to gain professional insights and inspiration, along with our World Ready Programme, which we layer into every aspect of school life, tailored for every stage of development, to prepare them for the wider world. Girls leave Downe House with confidence - empowered to succeed.

Academically, Downe House encourages ambition and aims to ignite a love of learning through a supportive community. Although personal triumphs and individual achievements are the most celebrated within the school, the foundation of academic success is evident from its GCSE and A Level results. This year, at GCSE 80% of grades were 9-7 (58% 9-8/A**-A*) and at A Level, 84% of pupils achieved A* to B grades. Over 90% of the Class of 2023 graduates are heading off to their preferred university choice, including some of the world's top universities and institutions.

Downe House was founded as 'a school where every individual within the community matters', and we hold true to this ethos today. We work in partnership with parents to ensure that every Downe House pupil leaves school with a lifelong intellectual curiosity, the confidence, skills, and know-how to be successful and to face life's challenges, and a steadfast place in a lively school community.

Hear from our pupils, alumnae and staff about what makes Downe House special in The Downe House Podcast on all major podcast platforms.

To discover more about Downe House, visit us at one of our Open Mornings throughout the year or book an individual visit - we would love to see you.