Admissions process

We are delighted that you are considering Downe House as the right choice for your daughter and will take you through the next steps.

Register your daughter

We always encourage you to come and visit us so you can see school life for yourself and your daughter. After this, the next step is to register your daughter by completing the online registration form and transferring your registration fees. You can also download a pdf of the Registration Form to complete and send in the post to our Registrar.

The details for our Admissions department are as follows:

Miss Angela Nutt
Registrar
Downe House School
Cold Ash
Berkshire
RG18 9JJ

Assessment Days

Once your daughter is registered, and one year prior to entry, girls are invited to attend an Assessment Day which takes place in the Michaelmas (Autumn) Term – we will also request a report from your daughter’s current Headteacher prior to this assessment. Assessment Days at 11+, 12+ and 13+ can be challenging, but we also want the girls to enjoy the experience, and believe it is the best way for us to get to know each girl. At our Assessment Days, girls take part in a variety of activities – from drama and design technology to team building workshops. Every girl who takes part in our Downe House Assessment Day has an interview with the Headmistress, completes a challenging academic test and has a tour of the School as well as lunch with some of our current girls. We know from experience that these different experiences not only show us more than written papers alone, but also give your daughter the chance to experience life at the School.

Following the Assessment Day, each girl’s performance is carefully considered and offers of places are made. These offers are usually conditional on satisfactory results being achieved in the Common Entrance examinations, which are sat in each girl’s own school as the second stage of assessment.

Potential Scholars are also identified after the Assessment Day which begins a separate scholarship procedure.

11+ Entry

11+ Entry means girls join Downe House in the Lower School. Conditional offers are made following a successful Assessment Day in September and girls are invited to sit for either an Academic Scholarship or Common Entrance. These examinations are taken at your daughter’s current school in the January of the year of entry. Approximately 55 girls enter Downe House aged 11+ each year.

The examination subjects taken at Common Entrance for 11+ entry are English, Mathematics and Science.

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12+ Entry

Conditional offers are made following a successful Assessment Day in October and girls are invited to sit for either an Academic Scholarship or Downe House Entrance papers. These examinations are taken at your daughter’s current school. Academic Scholarships are sat in the January and Downe House Entrance papers in the February of the year of entry. The subjects included in the 12+ entry examinations are English, Mathematics, Science and French.

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13+ Entry

13+ Entry means girls join Downe House in the Upper School. Unconditional offers are made following a successful Assessment Day in October and girls are then invited either to sit for an Academic Scholarship or to take the ISEB Common Entrance papers to aid with setting when girls join us. These examinations are taken at your daughter’s current school. Academic Scholarships are sat in January; the successful girls are then invited for an interview in February and awards subsequently made. The common entrance papers are sat in June (January for overseas girls). 35 girls enter Downe House aged 13+ each year.

The examination subjects taken at Common Entrance for 13+ entry are English, Mathematics and Science (Chemistry, Biology and Physics) and a Modern Foreign Language should they study one. If girls are preparing for other papers we would welcome these in addition to the core set.

Candidates preparing for the Prep School Baccalaureate (PSB) are also welcomed.

Please do get in touch with any enquiries about possible examination exemptions.

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13+ Early Assessment

Girls may apply up to three years in advance for entry to Downe House at 13+. Our standard assessment point is Year 8 (age 12–13), but we do offer early assessment for girls in Year 7 as well as an extra-early option open to girls in Year 6.

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16+ Sixth Form Entry

For 16+ entry into our Sixth Form, your daughter will be required to sit three examination papers which are available from 1 November in the year prior to entry. Two of these papers are in subjects which your daughter is currently studying, or which she wishes to study in the Sixth Form at Downe House, as well as a General paper. These examinations are usually taken at your daughter’s current school and practice papers are available on request. Candidates are required to achieve a minimum of seven I/GCSE examinations at Grade 6 (B) or above, preferably with Grade 9/8 (A*) or 7 (A) in those subjects she wishes to study in the Sixth Form.

On successful completion of examination papers, the candidate will be invited for an interview by the Head of Sixth Form and the Headmistress. There are also a number of scholarships available for pupils joining the Sixth Form. We strongly recommend early registration for your daughter. All offers and places are completed by April of the year prior to entry and availability of places in our Sixth Form is very limited.

Visits & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House, is to come and experience it for yourself – arrange a visit or join us for one of our Open Mornings?

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