Our vision helps shape everything we do at Downsend. The academic progress of our children is always at the forefront, whilst never losing sight of the aspiration for our young people to have the skills they will need to become incredible adults, with the ability and the mindset to embrace what the future holds. Everything we do is designed to give children experiences and opportunities that will broaden their minds and their horizons.
Appreciating the bigger picture and the importance of values.
We inspire our children to have a global perspective, appreciating their place in the world, and providing the impetus to make change for the better. Our peer-elected Eco-Committee has championed a range of sustainability initiatives within the school and our community.
We are delighted to have been awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award for our commitment to environmental actions. Every year, we elect both global and local charities that are close to our hearts in order to teach children the importance of generosity and giving back. In 2022, we raised £10,000 for local charities and supported efforts to alleviate the suffering in Ukraine.
Shaping Incredible People.
We never forget that our aim is to ‘inspire young minds’. To us, this means giving children unforgettable opportunities to be inspired by life changing people and experiences. In recent years, the Junior School children have spoken live to NASA astronaut Colonel Douglas H. Wheelock, participated in a live event with renowned author, Michael Morpurgo, had an audience with the CEO of W Series Racing, the pioneering women’s racing series as well as street dancing sessions with Urban Strides. We will always seek out those very special moments to inspire our children.
We work hard to instil values that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. Our values include honesty, endeavour, accountability, respect and teamwork. We blend a traditional focus on good manners, with emotional intelligence, to create well-rounded, charming young people. In 2023 we were awarded the UNICEF Bronze Rights Respecting Award, which recognises our commitment to ensuring our pupils feel confidence within themselves and are empowered to use their voice for good, whilst fostering an awareness of the world around them.
We know that having a creative mindset is one of the most valued skills of employers in the 21st Century. It is not enough to be excellent in the Creative Arts, but being truly creative requires children to ask questions, solve their own and society’s problems. They need to think deeply and mindfully about real-life situations, and to work both collaboratively and independently to find the solutions.
Every lesson, every club, every curriculum collapse day gives children the chance to flex their creativity muscles. We’ve long embraced the concept of STEAM – integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths – and underpinning with excellence in Drama, Music, Art and Design Technology – to make sure that our children are flexing their creativity muscles in every part of their learning.
Aspiring to Digital Mastery.
Being part of a global schools group gives us unrivalled access to the latest Ed-Tech developments. During the pandemic, we rolled out 1 to 1 devices to every pupil from Year 3 and above, enabling us to move seamlessly to online learning and to capitalise on our pupils’ increasing levels of digital skill.
We use the devices alongside best-in-class technology platforms such as MS Teams, Atom Learning and AI based platforms such as CENTURY, to personalise and stretch the learning experience.
Our curriculum helps children to develop the digital skills they will need for communication, information gathering and processing, problem-solving and creativity, teaching them how to use devices as well as software and applications for tasks such as word -processing, research and digital story-telling. As they progress through the Junior School, they build on their skills to develop more advanced skills including coding and data analysis with a focus on digital skills for learning and growth rather than simply entertainment.
To read more about the process we undertook to establish our new vision, and what it means for Downsend pupils, take a look at our brochure, A Vision for the Future – A Guide for Parents.