Welcome from our Headmistress

Mrs Emma McKendrick has been leading the Downe House community for over twenty years. It is her firm belief that providing girls with a wealth of academic, pastoral and co-curricular opportunities will allow each girl to grow into a confident young woman prepared to take on the world.

An adventure in education

Joining us at Downe House will be the beginning of an exciting and fulfilling journey in which your daughter can expect to be challenged and supported in equal measure.

I believe that as a school, we have a responsibility to provide our pupils with as many opportunities as possible – academic, co-curricular and pastoral – to allow every girl to grow and develop, and to discover and build on her individual strengths.

A full boarding education provides us with two precious commodities, time and space. These, coupled with excellent teaching and pastoral care, ensure that we are able to offer a broad curriculum, an outstanding range of activities and first class individual care.

Joining Downe House means that you will become part of a community that embraces its pupils, parents, past parents, alumnae, current and past staff. It is our firm belief that if we all work together with one common purpose of supporting our pupils, past and present, to reach their potential, they are far more likely to achieve real success in all spheres.

It is our aim that girls should be fully prepared for life beyond Downe House and leave us with the confidence to take up places at top universities in the UK and overseas and then move on to embark successfully on the widest range of careers across the globe.

Downe House is a very special place and I hope that I, the staff and girls, will have the opportunity to meet you and show you everything that is achieved by the girls on our beautiful site.

Mrs Emma McKendrick

Introducing Mrs Emma McKendrick…

In Episode 1 of the Downe House Podcast series, Mrs McKendrick talks about the importance of kindness and compassion.


Why choose Downe House?

We understand that choosing a school for your daughter is a complex process. Find out what makes a Downe House education stand out and why you should choose us.



Downe House was founded in 1907 by Olive Willis in Kent and moved to Cold Ash in 1922. Since then the School has grown and evolved whilst staying true to its founding principles. Find out more about our history.



Downe House (RG18 9JJ) is located on a 110-acre site in the village of Cold Ash in West Berkshire with excellent transport links just two miles from the M4 and A34 and under an hour’s drive to Heathrow Airport. Explore our location.


Tours & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House is to experience it for yourself. Book a personal tour or join us at one of our Open Mornings, available throughout the year.

A flexible and modern approach – Full Boarding | Flexi Boarding | Day Pupil – what’s your Downe House journey?
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