The Downsend Diploma

The Downsend Diploma

The Downsend Diploma has been developed as an exciting and innovative award for our Key Stage 3 pupils. It is designed around a rigorous academic core, combining the best of the ISEB syllabus and the Middle Years International Baccalaureate (IB) alongside a programme to foster the holistic skills required to become confident, independent young people.

Each pupil is assessed, rewarded, and recognised for their achievements across a breadth of areas, and for the skills they develop.

The Downsend Diploma is based on the following pillars:

In recognition of its importance within the Diploma the academic aspect is given a double award. ‘A’ Grades in CE exams are given a value from Gold to Bronze. This decision is made by the Headmaster.

This programme offers an opportunity for pupils to develop their ability to work in a team, to use their problem-solving skills and to prepare for the next step to GCSEs.

Pupils who wholeheartedly throw themselves into the spirit of the programme will achieve the highest award.

This decision is made by the Deputy Head.

This element of the diploma focuses on creating active, informed, and responsible citizens who are willing to take responsibility for themselves and for their communities. We seek to reward those who are:

  • concerned about the welfare of others
  • articulate in their opinions and arguments
  • capable of having a positive influence on the school
  • active in their houses, forms and around the school
  • responsible in how they act as citizens
  • informed about social and wider world issues

Pastoral contribution including house points and commendations earned, alongside participation in house events, open mornings, and assemblies. This decision is made by the Deputy Head.

Music and drama play a huge part of school life at Downsend. There are choirs, chamber choirs, rock bands, and brass ensembles for pupils to participate in as well as dedicated instrument lessons and regular performances to parents, local community, and nationwide competitions. There are drama productions throughout the year and the quality of acting singing and dancing is high.

Art and Technology are also key parts of the Creative pillar, focusing on artistic and design skills as well as coding and programming.

This decision is made by the relevant Head of Department.

Leadership roles are awarded to those pupils who act as role models to other pupils, and who can be relied upon to act as ambassadors for their school. From pupil council representatives, Digital Leaders, Peer Mentors, Year 7 ambassadors, House Captains to Prefects and Head Boy and Head Girl, there are a variety f leadership roles across the school to enable pupils to put theory into practice.

Positions of responsibility in the Senior School provide the opportunity to earn a sliding scale of house points according to the role. This decision is made by the Head of the Senior School.

This award is presented to those pupils who have achieved at the highest level across a range of sports at Downsend. Whilst performance in the various activities is valued, equal importance is placed on effort, attitude, attendance at practices, and overall commitment. With this approach, we aim to reward those who demonstrate a positive approach to sport as well as reasonably strong performance.

This decision is made by the Director of Sort.

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