The Downsend School day starts at 8.30am, although parents are welcome to drop off their children from 8.00am onwards for a supervised period before school starts.
Pupils are formally registered at 8.30am and lessons start at 8.45am. Each day pupils will either have a form period, when form tutors welcome the children to school, deal with any queries, and organise them for their day; or a Lower or Upper School assembly, with a whole school assembly every Friday. The Upper School also hold an extended form period once a week for tutorials and group discussions on current affairs.
All children stay to lunch, which is a two course meal prepared on the premises. The menu is varied and well-balanced with a wide choice of options, including a vegetarian option, with special diets being catered for if possible. The children are encouraged to choose a balanced meal.
The day ends at 3.45pm for Years 2, 3, 4 and 5. There is plenty of flexibility for remaining in school after this time, either in Late Class which finishes at 4.15pm or in Extended Day or at one of the many after school clubs which form part of the school's extra-curricular programme.
The Upper School day finishes at 4.15pm, after which an impressive array of extra-curricular clubs and sports practices are on offer. These provide extension opportunities for students to try new skills and activities and to build scholarship portfolios for various awards, such as in Art, where pupils need to build a large enough portfolio over a number of years in order to be successful in achieving scholarships. Downsend's Extended Day is also available for a small extra charge.
Homework is set in all the academic subjects and pupils spend 30 to 40 minutes per subject per night and are typically given two subjects during the week and three at weekends.