Calendar and News
Thank you for visiting The Downs School website and welcome to the new academic year 2014-15. Our vision is clear and simple: to develop well rounded individuals to prepare them for a rapidly changing world. We strongly believe that developing responsibility, resilience, and respect are essential ingredients of this preparation.
Set in the heart of the West Berks Downs, The Downs School is a special place where I am proud to say the staff are totally committed to the achievement and personal development of all our students. Our success is directly linked to a relentless focus on learning and teaching, which is at the heart of everything we do and we are striving to move this beyond outstanding through our philosophy ‘Learning Together, Learning for Life’.
For each of the past 9 years we have been designated a high performing school, and this year we have achieved excellent results for students of all abilities. In 2014 84% of students achieved 5 A* - C grades and above at GCSE (74% including English & Mathematics) which is an improvement on last year and once again the school was one of the top performing schools in West Berkshire. At A Level 70% of entries achieved A* -B grades 36% of grades were A*- A and 10% of the grades were A*. These results are the best the school has achieved for 5 years and not only make us the top performing school in West Berkshire, but also outperforming some influential independent schools within the region. At a time of national variations these results are particularly impressive.
The school provides a balanced approach to the pursuit of excellence by offering an interesting, challenging and lively curriculum. Students gain academic, creative, sporting and social skills,both in and out of the classroom, ensuring well rounded learning experience for all. We are very proud of the confident, determined and respectful students that leave us.
We respect the trust placed upon us by parents who choose our school for their children. Relationships are a key strength of the school, including the partnership with parents, and this ensures that students feel valued and comfortable in a big secondary school environment; we pride ourselves on that small school feel and a strong sense of community.
It is a very exciting time for the school. This year we officially opened our brand new Science block which is now providing our students with 12 fully equipped laboratories, break out ICT areas and a multitude of practical science opportunities. This has allowed us to enhance existing facilities for our expanding and successful sixth form and create a more appropriate area for our library to meet the growing needs of the school. We continue to invest in the environment for learning because we believe our students deserve the very best.
We were judged as outstanding in every category by Ofsted in June last year, which matched the success of our Federated Primary School, Compton who received the same judgment. Our challenge now is move to ‘beyond outstanding’ by constantly striving for excellence in everything that we do so that we continue to achieve the very best outcomes for all our students.
I feel confident that you will wish to join this exciting, vibrant school community and we very much hope you will visit the school while it is in action. Please telephone to make an appointment.
Chris Prosser, Headteacher