Welcome to Downsend School

Inspiring Young Minds. Creating Incredible Futures.

Downsend is an innovative and forward-thinking independent school, with a new vision; to inspire a generation to embrace the future, shaping incredible people who will make change in our world.

At Downsend, we prepare our young people for the future with a creative and problem-solving approach. We think big, we celebrate innovation, and we never hold back.

We are delighted to announce that all four schools in the Downsend family have been judged to be ‘excellent in all areas’ by the Independent School Inspectorate.

Downsend is future focused in a rapidly evolving world.

From Nursery through to the Senior School, day to day life at Downsend is fast-paced, inspiring and immersive. We bring learning to life, providing opportunities for growth at every age.

We're passionate about providing the best, most innovative experience possible. Find out more about our Future Skills Vision below:

Head's Welcome

Meet the Head.

Described by the Good Schools Guide as ‘refreshingly candid, with a knack for getting what he wants’, Ian Thorpe has been Head at Downsend for 10 years. A forward-thinking Head, Ian has been responsible for significant change at Downsend.

His can-do attitude, relentless energy and good humour, coupled with an impressive track record from Chinthurst, City of London Freemen's and Caterham School, mean that Downsend benefits from the best of both worlds – the ability to choose the best of the sector, whilst also innovating to do things differently.


Excellent learning locations.

Innovative modern spaces bring specialist teaching to life at the Main School, while Little Downsend offers a home from home for our littlest children, with outstanding outdoor spaces for exploring and learning.


A new era for Downsend, welcoming babies to the family.

We are delighted to now welcome babies to the Downsend family. Little Downsend Ashtead is proud to provide an exceptional foundation for children aged 6 months to 4 years.

Passionate and inspiring leadership, down to earth, fantastic facilities and a modern, forward-thinking approach.

 – A Downsend Parent

Our Schools

Little Downsend Ashtead (0 - 4 years)

Little Downsend Ashtead is a Nursery and Pre-School for children aged 6 months to 4 years old.

A short walk from Ashtead Village, with its independent shops and cafes, Little Downsend Ashtead is perfectly located for new parents looking for a nursery within walking distance that has a quiet, welcoming presence.

Little Downsend Epsom (2-7 years)

Little Downsend Epsom is a Nursery and Pre-Prep for children aged 2 years to 7 years.

Occupying a beautiful piece of land with a grassy field, garden and play areas, both children's and parent's needs are catered for in quiet surroundings.

Little Downsend Leatherhead (2-7 years)

Little Downsend Leatherhead is a Nursery and Pre-Prep for children aged 2 years to 7 years.

The largest of the three schools, Little Downsend Leatherhead benefits from a huge play area, an acre of grassy fields, forest school, stage and climbing equipment.

Downsend School (8 - 16 years)

Downsend School houses Year 3 to Year 11. Featuring a brand-new Creative Arts Centre, extensive sporting facilities, 25m pool and a wide range of specialist labs and studios, Downsend offers pupils an exciting place to learn. Conveniently located just outside Leatherhead, the campus has a leafy, suburban feel whilst being easy to get to by car, train or bus.




Follow Downsend on Social Media

Is your child between 4 and 7 years old? Join us for our “Discover Little Downsend’ event on Friday 14th June from 9:30-11:00am at Little Downsend Epsom and find out more about our innovative future skills approach, while your child joins in the fun with a range of exciting activities! Visit downsend.co.uk or call 01372 372311 to book your place. Booking link in bio.

#downsendschool #cognita #inspiringyoungminds #preprepschoollife #surreyschools #independentschool #ewell #epsom #ewellvillage
During the Bank Holiday weekend, our Senior School students embarked on their expedition for the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. They received training in first aid, navigation, camp craft, and nutrition. Additionally, they learned how to pack their rucksacks efficiently to minimize the weight they carried. The students were lucky to have good weather as they embarked on the journey with enthusiasm, covering a substantial distance over a couple of days while navigating the local area. Congratulations to all for their fantastic efforts and for stepping out of their comfort zones.

#downsendschool #independentschool #dofebronze #dukeofedinburgh #surrey #surreyhills #boxhill #surreyschools
With a firm focus on the importance of respecting children’s views and their right to play and enjoy recreational activities, the Junior School at Downsend School celebrated their first ever UNICEF Day last week. This was not an idea that came from staff but rather from our highly engaged KS2 UNICEF Club who planned all of the activities of the day themselves, linked closely to articles 12 and 31 from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. From teambuilding activities, such as learning to communicate without words, to creating their own videos about the history of UNICEF, and making ‘Rainbows of Wishes’ thinking about what they would like for their future and the futures of other children around the world, the children thought about the importance of their views and vision and celebrated creative activities.
The day rounded off with our very first ‘Rights Run’, where children from Year 2 to 6 ran through blue powder paint to represent the reach of UNICEF around the world and how their vision reaches us all. It was a truly wonderful celebration of UNICEF and of how the opinions and ideas of our children at Downsend are always at the forefront of our minds as we strive to shape incredible people with a truly global perspective.

Clare Kirkham, Head of Junior School

#DownsendSchool Cognita Schools Group #UNICEF #UNICEFFOREVERYCHILD #juniorschool #IndependentSchool #surreyschools #surreyhills
Please join us on Saturday 15 June at 9:30am for our Open Morning.

Discover a more innovative approach to education, in our modern and inspiring school environment. Take a tour of our spacious and flexible learning spaces, including the Linford Theatre and music and drama studios in our new Creative Arts Centre. Take a peek at our sports grounds and our swimming pool. Meet our incredible students and dedicated academic staff and gain an insight into our creative and future-focused curriculum.

Book your place today via link in bio or call 01372 372311 for more info.

Rated ‘excellent in all areas’ by the ISI, Downsend School in Leatherhead is a leading independent day school for boys and girls up to age 16. Limited spaces available in all year groups. Applications are welcomed all year round.
In the first half of our Summer term, we were thrilled to receive the gold award for the Woodland Trust Green Tree Award through a scheme with The Woodland Trust! This achievement is thanks to our dedicated student committee and our Eco-Lead, Mrs. Ludlam. Our students did an amazing job collaborating, implementing, and advocating for initiatives that are helping our planet. They planted and celebrated trees, fostered outdoor lessons, created art using natural resources, organized successful book swaps, and promoted pre-loved mufti day. Well done to everyone involved! Now our fantastic Eco Team is working towards the Platinum Award!

#downsendschool #ecoschool #woodlandtrust #woodlandtrustuk @woodlandtrust #inspiringyoungminds #sustainability #gretathunberg #independentschool #privateschool #surreyschools

Downsend School

Admissions: 01372 372311

General: 01372 372197