Downside School

Downside School

Type: Day / Boarding / Co-ed
Age Range: 11-18
Head's Name: Andrew Hobbs
Address: Stratton on the Fosse
United Kingdom
Phone: 01761 235102
Division: South West

School Profile

Downside is one of England's oldest and most distinguished Catholic schools. It is an independent, co-educational, boarding and day school for pupils aged 11-18. Founded in 1606 in Douai (in France), the School is now housed in magnificent buildings at the foot of the Mendip Hills, twelve miles south of the City of Bath.

Downside is a strong academic school. Outstanding examination results are a priority. Everyone is encouraged to aspire beyond their academic expectations and the School has a thriving academic life with pupils going on to the top universities in the UK, the USA and Europe. Importantly, Downside also aims to educate young people through a Christ-centred curriculum to develop as future leaders in 21st Century society.

Downside is a school that aims to develop the character of its pupils, emphasizing the importance of moral courage, integrity and service to others. It also endeavours to provide pupils with what may be referred to as a sense of 'the poetry of life', a sense of its beauty, form, mystery and joy. As a traditional, Catholic boarding school which delivers a tangible sense of community – while also welcoming day pupils – Downside is a family-orientated school, one that fosters a great sense of loyalty among its pupils, delivering a real sense of human flourishing.

The quality of the school’s pastoral care is excellent. 85% of Downside pupils are 7-day-a-week boarders and approximately 20% of its pupils are from overseas. Weekends for boarders are busy with a full programme of activities.

Downside offers an exceptionally wide choice of co-curricular activities to its pupils. All boys and girls are expected to participate; there are extended time slots for activities, clubs and societies on every weekday afternoon and a huge range of activities also take place outside the formal co-curricular times. The School is particularly renowned for the quality of its drama, music and sport. Facilities are excellent at Downside and include an indoor swimming pool.

Inspired by the Rule of St Benedict, Downside guides young people to combine prayer and work ('ora et labora'), while also developing the important qualifications and skills that will secure their future careers. It is a remarkable, inspiring place.

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