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 Dr Kirsty Mason. 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 (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 lies down a wooded path surrounded by trees and overlooking the rolling Berkshire Downs. AGN’s Housemistress is Mrs Beth Mears-Smith 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.
The ethos of AGS is very much that of a family. Housemistress Miss Jade Vidler and it feels very much like a home from home.
The ethos of AGS is very much that of a family. Acting Housemistress Miss Jade Vidler makes 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. Miss Vidler leads AGS with Assistant Housemistress Miss Stonebridge.
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 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 Miss McCann, alongside Assistant Housemistress Miss Pickford, 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 is in the main School Building at the heart of the School and has a warm family atmosphere under the care of Housemistress Miss Annabel Brown. Tedworth girls like living life to the full and are renowned for a strong House spirit. House competitions are well supported with tremendous 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.
Who better to describe life at Downe House than the girls themselves? See the School from a different angle.Discover
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