School Sport

Sport is part of our DNA.

From supporting budding athletes through an elite pathway to providing all pupils with the opportunity to represent their school through competition, the aim is the same. To promote positive wellbeing and develop character and resilience that comes through participation in sport.

Our ethos has been commended time and time again. Shortlisted in the Independent School of the Year Awards 2022 for Sporting Achievement, following on from a Finalist position in 2019, we are proud of our reputation for a holistic commitment to sport.

the sporting curriculum

We love sport in all its forms.

We offer Football, Rugby, Cricket, Hockey, and Swimming alongside Athletics, Gymnastics, Badminton, Basketball, Cross-Country, Biathlon, and Tennis.

Depending on your child’s age, we’ll focus on the development of different skills – from gross motor skills and coordination at Little Downsend and the Junior School, to agility, cardiovascular endurance, and power in the Senior years. We use cutting-edge technology to film our matches and study game-play, tactics and technique.

We focus on a holistic approach to sport, teaching the importance of movement alongside the fundamentals of nutrition and an understanding of the human body. All pupils have at least 3 hours of PE/Games a week as part of the curriculum, with opportunities for extra-curricular clubs and matches.

In Games, we play:
  • Autumn Term:
    Hockey (girls) and Football (boys)

  • Spring Term:
    Netball (girls), Rugby (boys to Y8) and Football (boys Y9-11)

  • Summer:
    Cricket (all)

In PE, we teach:
  • Gymnastics

  • Swimming

  • Athletics

  • Speed Agility and Quickness

  • FUNdamentals

Sporting Success

We are proud and delighted to hold many sporting titles.

Sporting successes:
Hard to argue with sporting success that regularly makes local headlines. Girls' sport as strong as boys.

– The Good Schools Guide


Year after year our teams surpass themselves.

We are unbeaten in many sports, and always compete to win, showing grit and determination across the sporting spectrum! Our sporting successes are significant.

We featured in The Cricketer’s top 50 Junior schools for cricket and have been shortlisted for the Independent Schools of the Year Award for Sporting Achievement 2022 and 2019.

Our first class sporting provision, coaching and opportunities for young people mean that they are often identified to play for national teams, such as the Independent Schools Football Association National Squad, where players are shortlisted for an elite slot.


Dom Sibley, England Cricketer

Many Downsend pupils have gone on to achieve significant sporting success.

We are proud to count Dom Sibley, England Cricketer, as an alumnus of the school and local area.

As a school, we cheered Dom on as he achieved his maiden test century in South Africa in 2020, and he continues to inspire us all.

Practice makes perfect.

Sports Practices run every week and are open to all pupils.

Our PE and Games Team hail from some of the best schools in the country for sport.

Headed up by Grant Lawrence, former Lead County Rugby Coach for the Rugby Football Union, coach of the DDP and EPDG at Harlequins and Teacher of the Year 2015, the team are all specialists, dedicated to getting the best sporting performance from every pupil.

Read more about a few of our PE and Games Team, Grant Lawrence, Marie Seivewright, Thomas Hyam, Marcus Bell, Emma Magee and Craig Moore in our Teacher Spotlight Series.

#TeamDownsend Ethos

In 2019, we introduced a sporting ethos to inspire pupils, staff, and parents.

We encourage our incredible athletes to work as a team, creating positive relationships, to excite and engage, to set high standards and to compete to win.

Our RESPECT ethos unites our community in a love of the game for all the right reasons.

Fantastic Facilities

Downsend pupils benefit from:
  • Extensive football, rugby and cricket pitches

  • A 200m grass athletics track

  • Four outdoor cricket nets

  • All-weather Astro turf

  • A hard playing surface allowing for 6 tennis courts and 4 netball courts

  • A 25m indoor swimming pool

  • Full-size sports hall with facilities for basketball, badminton, netball, 5-a-side football and 4 indoor cricket nets

  • Sports pavilion, providing additional changing facilities, a café, and spectator areas.

Downsend School

Admissions: 01372 372311

General: 01372 372197