About the Senior School

Welcome to the Senior School.

As pupils transition from the Junior School, or join us from other schools at Year 7, there is a sense that a next stage of the journey is beginning. Whilst much will feel familiar, we work with our young people to feel comfortable with a greater level of independence and to embrace the changes that a move to a more senior environment will bring.
Our commitment to all pupils achieving their academic potential continues through from the Junior School, whilst interwoven with the development of the future skills your child will need to thrive.

Year 9 is an exciting point in the Downsend journey and represents the start of a three year GCSE, designed to ensure not only the very best GCSE outcomes, but also to provide an opportunity to enjoy the amazing breadth on offer in the Downsend curriculum, and beyond.

In Year 9, students will start to build, consolidate, and apply their knowledge as they work towards their GCSE exams in Year 11. They will be helped and encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and to develop skills that will allow them to flourish both academically and personally.

Meet the Head

Meet the Head of Senior School.

Marc Broughton, our Interim Head of Senior School is currently leading Downsend’s Senior School team to deliver a curriculum that is rich in detail, engagingly taught and full of opportunity, which will allow all of those pupils in his care to be the best versions of themselves. Marc is relentlessly optimistic, a firm believer that everyone can continue to get better all the time and knows that whatever the question, education is always the answer.

Having lived and worked in the Southeast for a number of years, Marc has considerable experience in school leadership and education, with previous roles including Head of Belmont School and Deputy Pastoral Head at Dunottar School in Reigate. Prior to Dunottar, Marc taught at Caterham School for 9 years and began his teaching career at Liverpool College in the Northwest of England.

Brilliant Basics

Delivered by a specialist team.

In the Senior School, we have a strong and dedicated specialist team who have shaped their teaching to deliver the curriculum in imaginative, engaging and inspiring ways.
Our curriculum is detailed and immersive, carefully designed to allow students to fully engage with the subject area without having to rush their learning.

We have a meticulous approach to tracking progress, with individual targets set for each pupil. These targets are reviewed termly, with new approaches taken to stretch higher-order thinking, or support areas of weakness. We use MidYis and Yellis (Year Eleven Indicator System) to help us track baseline assessments, predict GCSE performance and produce a detailed analysis of individual strengths and weaknesses.

Tutors and teachers encourage the pupils to become more independent in their learning with opportunities for self-directed study either in the Senior Library and an open-door policy at break and lunchtimes for pupils to ‘drop in’ if they have any queries. They are also encouraged to set themselves SMART targets during their termly tutorials and are given opportunities to review and reflect on their progress, encouraging greater ownership of their learning and development.

High standards, high expectations. A testament to the leadership, staff commitment and the 'can do' attitude.

– Voice of the Parent 2021

Our approach

Dedicated to success.

Our teaching approach in the Senior School is to empower students with the strategies they will need to be successful learners. Known as metacognition, we work with pupils to use reflective thinking skills to plan, monitor and evaluate how they learn best. Being self-aware enables our young people to be more efficient at focusing on areas they feel they need additional support – both academically and in their social lives.

Our classrooms encourage debate and discussion and are deliberately designed to be interactive and engaging. Real world problems and case studies give pupils a sense of context, bringing learning to life and preparing them for the next stage in their educational career.

Pupils in the Senior School are expected to become more independent learners, developing their ability to think critically, form an opinion and deliver it with clarity.

Our teaching team is made up of subject specialists, each passionate about their subject area. Prepared to push the boundaries to deliver excellence, our teaching team are committed to achieving the best for every pupil.


Shortlisted | Independent Schools of the Year 2022

These highly-regarded awards recognise and celebrate the fantastic experiences and opportunities for students in independent schools across the UK and British schools overseas.

STEER Accredited 2022

We are very proud of our pastoral focus and commitment to the well-being of our students, and STEER Tracking has enabled us to measure, track and improve the self-regulation of every young person in our school; equipping teachers to give personalised support where needed, and to evidence its impact on wellbeing term by term.

Inspiring Young Minds. Creating Incredible Futures.


0 - 4 yrs old


2 - 7 yrs old


7-12 yrs old


12 - 16 yrs old


6 easy steps

Learn more.

Downsend School

Admissions: 01372 372311

General: 01372 372197