Staying fit and healthy in mind and body

Providing your daughter with access to health services and giving her a toolkit to find balance in her life and the self-awareness to ask for help when she needs it.

Caring for the health & wellbeing of our School community

The Palmer Centre is our on-campus Health Centre which is staffed 24 hours-a-day by a team of 9 nurses and 2 administrators. Our nurses have a combined experience of over 100 years in nursing and school nursing and all the Health Centre staff are whole-heartedly committed to the wellbeing and health of every individual member of the School Community.

The Health Centre serves both day and boarding pupils and works in partnership with Burdwood Health Centre in the nearby town of Thatcham. Doctors from the Surgery visit our Health Centre four mornings a week, providing NHS GP care to our pupils. The School Medical Officer, Dr Natalie Colborne, oversees clinical practice in the Health Centre.

Our Health Centre staff are trained to deal with both illnesses and injuries which may occur to pupils, staff, or visitors on site. Many of the nurses have specialist training which enables us to offer asthma clinics, travel and vaccination advice and administration, maintaining childhood vaccinations, diabetes monitoring, sexual health, and mental health support, as well as many other services.  They also offer information and training when appropriate to the wider staff community, including the use of epipens, and the location and use of the campus defibrillators.

The Health Centre staff work closely with the Director of Pupil Wellbeing and our School Counsellors, all of whom are experienced at working with teenage girls. Together, they ensure that we have the correct framework in place to provide the support and care the pupils need. We recognise that this support may need to come from a variety of sources and therefore we work closely with other professionals and external organisations when needed.

Downe House offers professional counselling support to our girls and our counsellors work within the School setting. Our counsellors, Mrs Madeleine Loughlin, Mrs Cassandra Eaton and Mrs Davinder Dhaliwal, work with the Health Centre and our Housestaff to ensure that care is available to girls on an individual level or in groups.

Philip Harris, a local physiotherapist with extensive expertise in Musculoskeletal and Orthopaedic conditions, attends the Health Centre every week. He works extensively with GPs in our area to provide private physiotherapy care for all. Philip has worked with Team GB at both the Commonwealth and Olympic Games providing physiotherapy and he works collaboratively our PE department staff, particularly to support our young athletes get back to optimum fitness after injury – taking into consideration all factors of school life.

Finding balance

Our holistic approach to pastoral care takes account of each girl’s wellbeing, placing emphasis on healthy, balanced minds and bodies. Our wellbeing programme gives the girls the tools for life to care for themselves as well as each other.

We’ve launched our very own Finding Balance programme which includes teaching girls a range of techniques and tips to ensure that the energy and pace of boarding life have a natural counterpart, where relaxation, fun and stillness have their place. Regular yoga sessions, mindfulness coaching and meditation are key components to Finding Balance. We also have a range of experienced staff to whom girls can turn for help with specific worries or issues, so that she can feel assured of advice and support at any stage in her School journey.

Read our full Finding Balance programme.


Tours & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House is to experience it for yourself. Book a personal tour or join us at one of our Open Mornings, available throughout the year.

A flexible and modern approach – Full Boarding | Flexi Boarding | Day Pupil – what’s your Downe House journey?
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