Senior School Expansion

Senior School Expansion

New Senior School to Open in September 2020

There is now a greater choice for Surrey pupils heading towards their GCSEs as Downsend School in Leatherhead, Surrey expands to include a Senior School offering from September 2020.

The new Senior School will educate girls and boys up to Year 11, seeing them through the completion of a new 3 year GCSE Programme. Reflecting significant capital investment by the school’s owner, Cognita Schools, the development builds on Downsend’s track record as an established preparatory school with strong academic results alongside character development and well-being, particularly in the areas of Sport and the Performing Arts.

Over the last six months we have worked closely with Cognita Schools and their project and design specialist to agree the scope of the works and the investment required. This has resulted in a more comprehensive project that will deliver not just the new Creative Arts Centre but significant improvements to both the Lower and Upper Schools as they become the Junior and Senior Schools.

The centre-piece of the development will be a purpose-designed Creative Arts Centre, providing a multi-purpose performance auditorium, new teaching rooms and other specialist facilities for Drama and Music.  It has been designed to maximise the potential of the site and provide new connections between the Sports Hall and the Turret buildings.  All four schools in the Downsend family will benefit from its use and our pupils will have the wonderful experience of staging productions in a tailor-made setting.

The Lower School will be refurbished as it becomes the new Junior School and will include a new Library and resource area at the heart of the school. A suite of spaces will be created to include an informal break-out area adjacent to the Peterborough Hall.  The Social Area will be converted to provide the Junior School with its own flexible specialist teaching space for Science, Technology and Art.

Extensive internal refurbishment of the Upper School will deliver new specialist facilities and an enlarged Library to support teaching and learning to GCSE level. Remodelling of the existing cloakroom and changing area will offer a new, larger Food Technology Studio as well as an informal pupil break-out area for accessing digital resources and private study.  The existing Food Technology Room will be converted to provide an extension to the refurbished Library and a direct link through to the remodelled ICT Suites.

Over the last four years, the school has seen improved academic standards, most recently achieving outstanding Common Entrance success in 2016 and 2017 with 100% success rate. Since 2014 Downsend pupils have gained 190 Senior School Scholarships, over 50 of which have been Academic Awards, and increased the A*-B Common Entrance grades from 79% to 89%.

As we move further along in the process we will update this page, so check back here to keep up to date.

Update – MARCH 2019 

You can now view the pdf document of our new Public consultation boards here.

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