Welcome to the Upper School

“Children are becoming the leaders of their own future; they show resilience and real determination to succeed.”

From the day they cross the Sacred Lawn, the area of manicured grass in front of Howard House is fondly known, and enter Year 6, something quite indefinable happens. (I choose to call it empowerment.) From that moment onwards through to Year 8, our children acquire a cognitive sense of what is required of them. More importantly, and this is what I am really proud of, they want the academic success for themselves – they want to achieve, they want to excel, in their pre-tests, Scholarships and at Common Entrance. We may have put the academic pathways in place, but it’s the children who confidently rise to every challenge, take examinations in their stride as part of a natural progression and set the bar higher and higher every year.

Education is about developing people. We nurture our children to take responsibility for their own learning, to have belief in their individual ability and to have a positive outlook on life. They attain high standards due to the demands of a dynamic curriculum; they celebrate the victories on the sports field and grow stronger from the defeats. By the time they leave us, they will have developed into confident, polite young teenagers prepared academically and socially for their transition to a wide range of senior schools, ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that await.

That is what I believe we do so well here in our Upper School and here throughout Downsend: We Inspire Young Minds so our children can embrace their future.

Karl Newland
Head of Upper School

Pupils can assume leadership positions as prefects, digital leaders, sports captains, heads of house or peer mentors, developing the new skills that responsibility brings.

Pupils in Year 8 have the privilege of their own common room in Howard House. With a new study centre and specialist teaching rooms fitted with multi-media technology, it offers an inspirational learning and Virtual environment for teacher-led or independent study.

Regular one-to-one sessions with their individual tutor help children to talk through future plans or any concerns. Staff and pupils have a natural rapport; relationships are relaxed with clear boundaries of respect.