Sports Directory

Sport plays a major part in life at Downe House with a huge variety of activities on offer.

FIXTURES

Team Sports

Learn more about the aims, successes and highlights of each of our team sports. We also offer an exciting range of extra sports.

Lacrosse

Downe House has an excellent reputation for lacrosse and with fourteen school teams it is certainly one of our biggest sports.

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Lacrosse

Each year Downe House achieves impressive results competing in the National Schools Tournament, which we have won five times! Girls from Downe House have a reputation for excellence in lacrosse and we have strong links to the England Lacrosse team who train on our pitches. In the 2018-19 season, our 1st XI Lacrosse won 18 out of 21 matches.

The girls achieve beyond School level. As a guide, our targets are as follows:

National – three girls in a national programme.

Regional – Twelve girls participating in Regional Talent pathways (either England or Wales)

Four girls representing U19 South West Lacrosse Team

Super Counties Competition – twenty girls representing South West U15 or U19 teams

Lacrosse is offered to all throughout the School, we expect girls to arrive as beginners and each pupil receives coaching from specialist lacrosse coaches. Lacrosse is compulsory from Remove to Upper Fourth (Year 9), this gives girls a taste of the sport and an opportunity to be part of the School’s sporting heritage.

There are 14 School Teams;
Four Senior Teams – Compete weekly and extra training is offered to the top players
Ten Junior Teams -Train weekly and compete regularly, with extra fitness sessions for Lower Fifth (Year 10)

Inter House competitions in lacrosse take place for all age groups.
Pre-season training at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term kickstarts the lacrosse training programme and trials for the Senior Teams take place.

We aim to run an International Lacrosse tour every three years and most recently travelled to the East Coast of America in Summer 2018.

Netball

You can expect lots of netball at Downe House and extremely high levels of participation, with teams from A to E in each year group.

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Netball

Netball provides the opportunity for everyone to represent the School in sport. Netball is part of the curriculum at all age groups and we aim to provide the opportunity for every girl to be part of a team. Our team of netball specialists ensure that every girl has access to high quality coaching and our most able girls are stretched by extra training sessions.

With ten Lower School teams, ten Upper School teams and five Senior/Sixth Form teams, there is a chance for everyone to become part of a team. As well as aiming to encourage a lifelong love of sport, training sessions seek to challenge each individual. The chance to take part in tournaments is undoubtedly a highlight of each term, and so we take part in a wide selection of events.

Our top players are nominated for club and county trials, where they can progress through the England Netball Performance Pathway. We are able to assist their development with one-to-one specialist support through our Scholarship programme. Strong club links point girls towards an environment that will be best suited to them and, we are proud that Downe House girls have been in the finals at Nationals for the last two years as part of their club teams.

As they progress through the School, pupils are taught basic officiating and umpiring skills, which enables them to gain nationally recognised qualifications in sport leadership.

In alternate years, we aim to go on tour and the last tour took place at Easter 2017 with the U14 and U15 teams competing in the International Netball Festival at Disneyland Paris.We are now planning to return to the same netball festival in Paris during the Easter Holidays in 2019. 

 

Swimming

Our 25m heated indoor pool brings a popular and successful swimming programme to school.

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Swimming

All pupils have access to the wonderful indoor pool and a chance to experience the excitement of competing in swimming galas. Swimming is part of Physical Education lessons from Remove (Year 7) to Upper Fifth (Year 11) and is optional in Sixth Form. 
 
Team practice is available to all girls. Team members have the opportunity to train during the normal school timetable. There is also early morning training, evening training and Junior Swim Club (Remove-Lower Fourth). High ability pupils compete regularly in galas, with the opportunity to swim at the National Schools Relays and Schools Biathlon for the most able. Outstanding swimmers are encouraged to train and compete for Newbury Swimming Club. 
 
The pool is available to all pupils for recreational swimming or training with the supervision of a qualified lifeguard at designated times. All pupils have the opportunity to gain their Royal Life Saving Society Life Support 1 Award (first aid) in the Lower Fifth. 
 
All pupils are given a taste of swimming’s various disciplines including: water polo, diving, synchronised swimming, swimming for health and fitness. 
 
For guidance, as a department we aim for:

All complete non-swimmers to be able to swim 25m on their front and back by the time they leave Downe House

Nearly all pupils to be able to demonstrate all four strokes over 100m and know the ASA rules for turns and finishes.

All pupils to be able to perform a shallow dive, with most pupils able to perform a racing dive off blocks.

All pupils to have an opportunity to represent their House in an Inter-House gala or the School in a match. 

Hockey

Hockey at Downe House has grown and developed in recent years and our teams achieve excellent results.

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Hockey

Specialist hockey coaches enable girls to reach their potential. Hockey is offered to every pupil from the Lower Fourth to Sixth Form, catering for complete beginners and the more experienced players. All age groups are entered into the District and Regional Tournaments. Our aim is to win every District League and reach at least the quarter finals in the Regional Tournaments. U12, U13, U14, U15, U16, U18s have all won silverware this year (2018-19) at district and county level.
 
To extend the most able girls, nominations are sent to attend the Junior Development Academies for Berkshire; we usually send girls at U14, U15, U16 and U17. From this programme the girls have the opportunity to be selected for the County teams.  
 
There are four School teams; 
Two senior teams – train and compete weekly and train indoors once a week and compete in a regional indoor tournament.  
Two Upper School teams – train weekly and compete most weeks 
 
Inter-House competitions in Hockey take place in the Lent Term for all age groups. 
 
Pre-season training at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term kickstarts the hockey training programme and trials for the senior teams takes place. 
 
International tours: we have been fortunate enough to tour South Africa and Holland in recent years. 

Tennis

Tennis season is all year round at Downe and we are proud to offer the finest coaching programme in the country.

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Tennis

Without losing our original ethos of having the sport available for all, we have adapted to more elite, performance-based tennis. In summer, tennis is compulsory, with all girls developing the ability to play a match, and inter-house competitions. However, a further 70% opt in to extra lessons.

We currently have over 350 girls having lessons each week, with seven full-time coaches and a team of pros to cover all levels and abilities. Girls are able to have lessons throughout the day with coaching hours between 9am and 6pm on weekdays. 
 
Our aim moving forwards is to offer our students something that other schools cannot – an insight into professional tennis. 

Girls benefit from one-on-one and group lessons with coaches who have played on the professional tennis circuit. More than 300 girls take lessons each week, amounting to 200+ private lessons per week and we have a top 20 ranking nationally. Ex-Davis Cup and Wimbledon player, Josh Goodall, is our Head of Tennis. Every two years we run a Tennis Tour to the prestigious Vale Do Lobo Tennis Academy in Portugal.

You can find out about our Tennis Programme here.

Squash

Every girl in Remove to Upper Fourth (Year 9) has squash as part of their Physical Education lesson rotations and private squash lessons are incredibly popular throughout the School.

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Squash

With three courts onsite, squash is a popular sport that girls play as part of the curriculum but also in individual and group lessons with our specialist squash coaching programme.

Every girl in Remove to Upper Fourth (Year 9) has squash as part of their Physical Education lesson rotations. In the Lower Fifth to Sixth Form, the girls may select to take part in squash lessons and attend team training sessions. We also have a popular weekly squash club.
 
There are four squash teams, U13, U15, U17 and U19. These teams practice after School once a week. In addition, we take part in the National Schools Squash Competition, where we regularly place in the top four nationally. 
 
Private squash lessons are offered to all girls and are incredibly popular, with 20% of girls in the School choosing to have lessons. 
 
Inter-House squash is keenly contested, and the Remove have their own squash competition each year. 

Athletics

Athletics plays a major part in life at Downe House, particularly in the summer months. Small group sizes for every ability level are the key to achieving potential.

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Athletics

All disciplines in Athletics are taught to Remove (Year 7), Lower Fourth (Year 8), Upper Fourth (Year 9) and Lower Fifth (Year 10) as part of their PE lessons and girls begin to specialise in their events as they move up the School. 
 
Athletics Club is open to all pupils to learn and advance. Coaches who specialise in particular events provide expert guidance to all ability levels. 
 
Everyone takes part in the Annual Inter-House Sports Day and many girls have the opportunity to compete in Inter School Athletic matches. 
 
Downe House is the Newbury Schools Athletic Champions at U13, U15 and U17. Approximately 20 athletes are selected to represent Newbury in the Berkshire Schools every year. 
 
We aim to qualify for the National Finals in the Schools Cup Track and Field Championships every year and recently we were ranked 7th in the country out of approximately 1000 schools.

As well as offering athletics in our PE curriculum, our talented and able girls often train with a local club to enhance their training.

Skiing

We offer a tremendously successful skiing programme at Downe House.

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Skiing

Our ski team participates annually and with great success in the British Schoolgirls’ Races in Flaine, France. Recently we won three bronze, one silver and one gold medal. We have also entered junior teams into the Artemis Interschool Ski Challenge, winning several medals. Outside of competitive skiing and team training, we organise a ski trip for all levels and abilities, as well as offering weekly ski lessons to improve stamina, core strength and expertise.

Equestrian

Horse Riding and Polo

We are proud to offer one of the best school Equestrian programmes in the country with a specialist Head of Equestrian and access to Oxford Polo Club.

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Equestrian

Horse Riding and Polo

Our Head of Equestrian is an international events rider who has competed at the highest professional level herself, and she attends NSEA events with our Equestrian team to help coach and guide. We have numerous competitions throughout the year in eventing, show jumping and dressage and we also offer weekly external lessons at Oxford Polo Club and Wellington Riding School for riders of all abilities.

Badminton

As well as being part of Physical Education lessons, we have fixtures during the year and arrange for girls to go offsite to a local badminton club for extra training. We recently won gold medals at the Newbury Schools’ Badminton Tournament.

Basketball

Basketball is offered as part of Physical Education lessons and girls have the opportunity to play in basketball fixtures against other schools.

Volleyball

As well as offering volleyball in PE lessons, we also have strong links to a local volleyball club which caters to girls who want to play for fun or compete at a high standard. We have a number of volleyball fixtures during the school year.

Cricket

Cricket is offered as part of Physical Education lessons and is enjoyed the summer months.

Gymnastics

Gymnastics at Downe has a varied and interesting programme. As well as a competitive gymnastics team, we have a club that is open to all and girls take gymnastics as part of their Physical Education lessons rotation.

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Gymnastics

Gymnastics is part of Physical Education lessons from Remove to Upper Fourth, where they experience a variety of floor and apparatus work. Girls can enjoy gymnastics in lessons and by competing at an inter-House and inter-school level.
 
A highlight of the academic year is the House Gymnastics competition where it is often the Lower School girls who have a chance to shine and win trophies for their House. 
 
There is a Gymnastics club open to all ability levels as well as extra training sessions for the Gymnastics Team. On top of this, some of our gymnasts choose to extend their training by joining local or regional club; we have a strong link with KD Gymnastics club in Newbury.

Cross Country

At Downe House we are proud to offer numerous cross country routes throughout our very own 110 acre site. We have cross-country teams for each age group who have had major competition success.

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Cross Country

In the winter the woods come alive with girls training on the School cross country course.
 
The School teams compete in National, Regional and District Events and have been winners of the U13 Berkshire Schools Cross Country Championships for the past ten years, as well as never falling below 3rd place at U15, U17 and U19.
 
Inter school competitions take place throughout the year but the key meets fall in the Lent Term. Inter-house Cross Country involves the whole School, a great chance to compete for your House.

In addition, girls make the most of our beautiful site by running in their own time.

Dance

Dance plays a huge part in life at Downe House throughout the year and at all ages and abilities with thirty-two onsite dance classes taking place weekly. We currently offer classes in ballet, contemporary, hip hop, modern theatre and tap.

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Extra Sports

As well as team sports covered in Physical Education lessons, we are proud to giver girls the opportunity to pursue a huge variety of sports. Some girls will discover a passion for a new sport whilst we support others to compete at the highest level.

Fitness

Our onsite facilities for fitness include a cardio room containing a wide variety of machines as well as a strength and conditioning suite.

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Fitness

Our coaches are fully qualified Strength and Conditioned trainers and work with girls, from beginners to elite athletes to ensure they understand the importance of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. Girls have constant access to these facilities and are encouraged to use them in their own time.

Spin / Cycling

We have thirteen spin bikes onsite with which we offer high intensity fitness sessions for smaller groups.

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Spin / Cycling

As well as our onsite spin facilities, at weekends through the Co-Curricular Activities department, we organise cycle rides with our high-spec mountain bikes on stunning routes in Berkshire and the surrounding area.

Wellbeing

Yoga and Pilates

The Sports department and Co-Curricular Activities work together to offer a range of wellbeing physical activities.

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Wellbeing

Yoga and Pilates

We currently offer ad hoc free classes in House to encourage girls with their own mindfulness practices outside of the school day. These are run by external professional instructors. We also offer very popular weekly pilates and yoga classes onsite which are run based on age groups and abilities.

Sailing

This summer we are offering sailing as a weekly offsite club, which girls can sign up to, on a termly basis and is open to all ages and abilities.

Wall climbing

We currently offer wall climbing as a weekly club, which girls can sign up to on a termly basis and is open to all ages and abilities.

Ice-skating

We currently offer ice-skating as a weekly offsite club in Basingstoke, which girls can sign up to on a termly basis and is open to all ages and abilities.

Rounders

Rounders is offered as part of Physical Education lessons and is enjoyed the summer months.

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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