Upper School Houses

Our Upper School houses represent one of the most rewarding phases of boarding school life. Girls joining us at 13+ will move into one of the five Upper School houses alongside the current pupils who have progressed through the Lower School.

Aisholt

Aisholt is at the heart of the main School building, with views to the rear over the Greek Steps and the Cloisters.

 

Aisholt is at the heart of the main School building, with views to the rear over the Greek Steps and the Cloisters. It is a warm, positive and happy House always filled with laughter, and presided over by Mrs Masters and Miss Tinman. The Aisholt House staff are friendly and caring and the girls feel supported and cherished during their time in the House.

Aisholt’s Drawing Room, previously the Headmistress’s study, is a calm space for working or socialising over a cup of tea. The House also benefits from a second large Common Room upstairs where the girls can watch TV, play board games or enjoy karaoke on the X Box. There is always something going on in Aisholt. A huge range of evening activities include baking, book club, colouring, diversity club, current affairs club, pizza making or sewing doorstops) or a treat night with Miss Tinman (favourites include smoors and Eton mess). The girls are always busy and enjoying spending time together and with the House staff.

It is very much a family-oriented House; Aisholt girls interact well across the age groups and there is a real sense of community loyalty as the girls support each other in everything they do. Aisholt girls are proud to support their overseas charity, Reality Gives, in Mumbai and their fundraising efforts have made a real difference to the lives of underprivileged young people in India. Aisholt girls can often be spotted around the school in their bright red jumpers and lots of Aisholt girls are proud to own whole outfits in ‘Aisholt Red’ to show their support at key House events.

AGN (Ancren Gate North)

AGN lies down a wooded path surrounded by trees and overlooking the rolling Berkshire Downs.

 

AGN lies down a wooded path surrounded by trees and overlooking the rolling Berkshire Downs. AGN’s Housemistress is Miss Cartmell who leads the House with Assistant Housemistress Miss Bennett.  It has a large lawn, a pet shed, deck area and wildflower meadow.

AGN girls are known for their House spirit. They enjoy all competitions and are always keen to win, bedecked in purple and cheering each other on. AGN is a place where every girl feels welcome, supported and cared for and, being separate from the main School, it engenders a feeling of community with its own special ethos.

There is an active House Committee which meets weekly to keep House life running smoothly. The House charities, Sparkes Home Sri Lanka, an all-girls orphanage, and Swings and Smiles in Newbury for young people with disabilities, are generously supported by the AGN girls who undertake charity fundraising with energy or volunteer their time with hands-on help.

AGS (Ancren Gate South)

The ethos of AGS is very much that of a family. Housemistress Mrs McClymont lives with her family so it feels very much like a home from home.

 

The ethos of AGS is very much that of a family.Housemistress Mrs Sofie McClymont lives with her husband David (Downe House Director of Information Systems) and their two young daughters, plus their much-loved cat and dog, so it feels very much like a home from home, with family suppers, baking and various clubs to ensure that the girls have a positive and holistic approach to boarding. Mrs McClymont leads AGS with Assistant Housemistress Miss Donaldson.

Situated near the tennis courts, AGS is seconds away from the main building. The girls have raised significant sums for their international link charity, Hosanna Children’s Home in Myanmar, and generously volunteer their help or raise funds for their local charity, Riding for the Disabled, near Newbury.

AGS girls have a healthy dose of competitive spirit when it comes to House competitions and bags of enthusiasm. The House colour is green.

Holcombe

Holcombe hovers over the rest of the School, occupying the two floors above the Main Dining Room and it is a warm, calm and happy House.

 

Holcombe hovers over the rest of the School, occupying the two floors above the Main Dining Room and it is a warm, calm and happy House. Housemistress Mrs Brader alongside Assistant Housemistress Miss McCann ensure that a positive outlook permeates all that the girls do at School and Housemistress.

The Housestaff focus on building open, trusting relationships with the girls and the themed House suppers between all year groups support this interest. The enrichment opportunities in House also encourage inter-year bonding.

There are girls from many different backgrounds so diversity is celebrated, promoting a global outlook to mirror the outside world. The Housestaff maintain high expectations of the girls in terms of politeness, co-operation, honesty, kindness and punctuality. Holcombe, whose House colour is yellow, cannot be branded musical or sporty but aims to recognise, encourage and celebrate the interests and talents of every individual. Its international link charity is Open Arms Orphanage, Malawi.

Tedworth

Tedworth is in the main School Building at the heart of the School and has a warm family atmosphere.

 

Tedworth is in the main School Building at the heart of the School and has a warm family atmosphere under the care of Housemistress Mrs Sarah Barnard. Tedworth girls like living life to the full and are renowned for a strong House spirit. House competitions are well supported with huge enthusiasm and talent, as they cheer on their Housemates in blue.

The House boasts two kitchens and two Common Rooms, plus a central open courtyard where girls can study in the fresh air in summer or enjoy a barbecue at weekends when the weather allows. The House Committee ensures that everyone’s views are heard and that new ideas can be discussed.

The girls have the opportunity to foster links with our international charity, Tiger Kloof School, in South Africa. We visited them in October 2016 and in October 2019. This sees the girls immersing themselves in another culture, fundraising and taking part in service projects. At home, we also support Jo’s Trust, a cervical cancer charity, and have raised over £5000 in support of them.

Inside Downe

Who better to describe life at Downe House than the girls themselves? See the School from a different angle.

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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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