Downside offers an exceptional co-educational boarding experience for students aged 11 to 18. It is set in 500 acres of glorious English countryside just 25 minutes from the famous World Heritage City of Bath.
Downside is committed to working in partnership with families and to providing an environment which nurtures young people of integrity who can think for themselves, stand up for their beliefs, and act to make a positive difference in the world. Its Catholic and Benedictine values provide support and challenge in equal measure for children of any faith or none. The strength and confidence which its pupils and staff draw from belonging to a community, in which kindness and looking to the needs of others is the currency, encourages them to strive to make the most of their unique gifts and to support others to do the same.
Experience the school
Downside is uncompromising in the pursuit of academic excellence. It aims for the highest standards in its extensive and exciting extra-curricular programme, and provide plentiful and varied opportunities for service and leadership. Pupil achievements and successes are celebrated, but not allowed to define them. What is most important is that Downside pupils learn to value themselves and others for who they are, recognising that their achievements are the by-product of their values and accompanying work ethic.
Downside offers a wide choice of subjects at GCSE and A Level. The school is particularly strong in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) subjects.
Co-curricular activities, clubs and societies at Downside provide vital experiences and opportunities, introducing pupils to new experiences, new life skills and new friends. All pupils participate in the co-curriculum programme which runs throughout the week and on weekends. With over 100 options to choose from, there is something for everyone – from outdoor adventure and sports to creative arts and service.
Stephanie from Nigeria, Sixth Form Academic and Music Scholar
"Downside’s impeccable values and ethos reflect greatly on each student and focus on concern for the individual, meaning that everyone’s beliefs are held highly and respected."
Founded in 1606, Downside School is home to 340 boarders and day pupils representing 26 different nationalities — 75% of students are full boarders and 40% come from outside the UK. Downside is based just 25 minutes from the famous World Heritage City of Bath.
Sixth Formers get their own comfortable single study bedrooms while younger students share rooms and have their own space to study.
The school operates 24/7. With a typical day running from 7.30 a.m. to 9.00 p.m., there is plenty of time to relax and reflect after lessons. Meals are served in the Harry Potter-style dining room. Our award-winning catering team provides pupils with a nutritionally sound and balanced diet that is varied, appealing and sustainably sourced.
Weekends are full, busy and purposeful with a whole host of activities and trips available to cater for all age groups and interests. The school remains open for half terms and Exeat weekends, allowing international pupils to stay with their Downside friends rather than travelling home, should they wish to.
Downside has signed up to the Boarding Schools Association Covid-Safe Charter.
The school is a collection of beautiful buildings, the most magnificent of which is the Abbey, visible like a beacon for miles around. Downside is close to the World Heritage City of Bath, which has direct train links to London, and to the M4, M5 and A303 road links. Bristol Airport is only 40 minutes away.
Set in 500 acres of glorious English countryside, Downside has plenty of space for students to grow, learn and flourish. Beyond campus, there are famous tourist attractions including the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge and the spectacular gorge and caves of Cheddar. Cinema, ten-pin bowling and shopping trips to Bath and Bristol are always popular, as are watersports at Cheddar Reservoir or on the River Avon.
Downside is a beautiful and transformative environment with an extensive range of rugby and cricket pitches; tennis, hockey and netball courts; a modern sports pavilion; as well as indoor facilities including squash courts, cricket nets, a fitness suite, swimming pool and a gymnasium.
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