A unique approach to boarding
At Downe House, we operate a ‘three tier’ boarding system - a unique way of boarding that has been developed to help girls in the lower years settle in as quickly as possible and to assist and support older pupils as their personal needs and learning requirements change.
Lower and Upper School houses
Girls joining Downe House from Prep at 11+ begin their school days in either ‘Hermitage’ or ‘Hill’, our cosy Lower School houses. Located in the nearby village of Cold Ash, Hermitage provides a gentle introduction to boarding by allowing each girl to travel to and from school daily.
At the same time, each girl also becomes a member of one of our five mixed-age houses – ‘Aisholt’, ‘Ancren Gate North’, ‘Ancren Gate South’, ‘Holcombe’ or ‘Tedworth’ - and benefits from all the fun, competitions, challenges and activities that house membership brings.
Progressing into Upper School at 13+, girls move into their nominated mixed-age house, living there until they have completed their GCSEs.
Sixth Form houses
At Sixth Form, girls move into either ‘Willis’ or ‘York’, our Sixth Form houses.
With excellent facilities for living and independent working, these houses have been expressly designed to better prepare each girl for university life.
Enjoying much greater levels of freedom, girls in Sixth Form take more responsibility for their own learning and time-planning.
Benefiting from a more ‘adult’ relationship with house staff, Sixth Form girls enjoy spacious common rooms, regular trips to the theatre, concerts and exhibitions, as well as the freedom to leave the school at most weekends.