Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning

Underpinned by our Future Skills vision, our teaching and learning is innovative, high-quality, forward-thinking and personalised.

An integrated, consistent curriculum

Our aim at Downsend School is to deliver a truly integrated experience from the moment children join us at age 2, all the way through to their GCSEs. We do this by working together as a team at every stage to ensure consistency in the delivery of core subjects and how we talk about ‘learning language’ with each other, with the children, and with you as Parents.

A focus on skills as well as subjects

We take the very best of STEAM and the 4C’s (Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Communication) to underpin the curriculum and to focus on the kinds of skills so demanded by employers of the future. Teaching educational theory through endless regurgitation has had its day, and so we look to the future to teach resilience, adaptability, collaboration, creativity, and how to fail and get back up again – as the very cornerstones of academic excellence.

We do this through our School Improvement Plan, combining educational practice with learnings from partners in industry to ensure we’re tapping into the ever-changing future landscape to ensure our children enter the next step of their journey with their eyes wide open and able to respond to the challenges of a big data world and the very real possibility of working alongside robots


Developing digital natives – 1 to 1 devices for every child

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 child from Year 3 and above, enabling us to move seamlessly to online learning and to increase levels of digital skill. We use the devices alongside best-in-class technology platforms for personalised learning as well as our traditional teaching methodologies.

Personalised Learning

Children learn in different ways and our teaching at Downsend addresses the needs of a wide variety of learning styles including kinaesthetic, visual, and auditory learning. We do this so that children can adopt a full range of strategies and skills in their learning. It is important that children are encouraged to make decisions about their own learning and to develop self-awareness. In time, they will use their strengths to support subject areas that need repetition and revision

Simplifying achievement metrics 

We understand that getting a sense of your child’s achievement is sometimes difficult to quantify and benchmark. We seek to ensure that there is consistency in our assessment process at each stage of the school, and how we report that to Parents in a way that makes sense. We do that by creating a School Assessment Team, in which the Head of Little Downsend and the Heads of Junior and Senior Schools come together to assess and benchmark data against national averages, and all the data we have access to, to ensure that you are getting a consistent picture of how your child is progressing, and an action plan for necessary support.

Learn more about the approach in each area of the school, and our excellent academic achievement:

Our Results

Downsend is the complete package. Take a look at our outstanding academic results to find out more.

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Little Downsend Teaching

From messy play to readers, writers and thinkers.

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Junior School Teaching

A focus on brilliant basics and a love of learning in a supportive, creative environment.

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Lower Senior Teaching

Specialist subject teaching prepares our young people successfully for academic achievement – but a Downsend pupil aspires to more.

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Upper Senior School Teaching

Downsend's three year GCSE programme will provide exemplary specialist teaching in small class sizes.

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Downsend offers ambitious and varied Enrichment opportunities, including our groundbreaking 'Stretch' Programme.

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Downsend was proud to be a finalist in the Independent School of the Year Awards for Sporting Achievement.

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Creative Arts

Downsend's £5m Creative Arts Centre launching in early 2021 will be the jewel in the crown of our Creative Arts provision.

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