Lower School

Giving your daughter an inspiring and nurturing environment in which to learn and grow.

The transition to a new community

For many girls the Lower School is their first experience of living away from home. Our aim is to help your daughter make the transition to boarding school life seamlessly, to discover her own routine and to begin a new curriculum. As well as supporting her emotionally, we help each girl build resilience and encourage her to seize new opportunities in a safe, nurturing and inspiring environment. The outstanding specialist pastoral care provided in each of our Lower School Houses is a vital part of each girl’s successful start in School, giving her the support and confidence to learn, grow and flourish.

Our Lower School Houses

Our Lower School Houses are purpose-built, bright and cosy. Homely touches vary from House to House as the girls themselves make the space their own. Girls sleep in dorms (usually of four) and each House provides its own learning spaces, music practice rooms, kitchen and common room. Our dedicated Lower School Housestaff, their families and pets live on site, and their homes are attached to the boarding house so girls know that the team are present day or night, should they need anything.

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Preparing girls for the next stage

As they join the Lower School, each girl becomes a member of her future Upper School House and is given an Academic Tutor who she will meet weekly to discuss her learning. The girls remain attached to these anchor Houses throughout their time at Downe House, participating in House Competitions and socials from the very beginning of their School journey, which sets up a smooth transition to Upper School life.

Progressing into the Upper School at 13+, girls move into their Upper School House, living there until they have completed their GCSEs.

For a closer look at Lower School boarding, you can read our guide to starting life at Downe House.

A highlight of Lower School is Veyrines

At 12+, all girls will spend a full term at our smaller ‘farmhouse’ school in the rural community of Veyrines-de-Dommes in France. Girls develop independence whilst remaining part of a community, as well as improving spoken French in an idyllic setting. Our philosophy is to immerse the girls totally in a new culture and encourage them to be outward-looking.

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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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