Founder’s Weekend 2023

Everything you need to know…

Welcome to Founder’s Weekend (Saturday 1 July and Sunday 2 July 2023) a weekend of outstanding sports, performances, productions and exhibitions, interspersed with opportunities to relax and enjoy time with family and friends in the beautiful School grounds.


There are guides for Parents,  Alumnae & Former Staff,  DH Staff and members of our Local Community.

Or, continue scrolling down to read more about this wonderful celebratory weekend…

What is Founder’s Weekend all about?

Alice (Lower Fifth)

This annual event brings the Downe House community together and provides a wonderful opportunity for the girls to showcase their many talents, and to compete for their House at Sports Day.

A highlight of the school calendar, this special event will take place on Saturday 1st July and Sunday 2nd July.

What is the best thing about Founder’s Weekend?

Rose (Lower Fifth)

The whole weekend starts with Sports Day when all the pupils have a chance to compete for and cheer on their House in the spirit of friendly competition!  Parents are invited to come along and cheer on their daughter’s houses, as well as browse the House charity stalls in the Founder’s Fair, all located over on the Sports Field.

What then follows on the main School campus is a wonderful array of music and drama performances, sports matches, as well as a creative arts exhibition.

The Horsebox Coffee Company and The Ice Queens of Hove (ice creams) will be with us across the weekend at Sports Day on Saturday morning, and on the main campus  from Saturday afternoon, and our Catering team will be providing delicious afternoon teas.

Once again, the large outdoor Founder’s Festival Screen will be located in the Cloisters area with plenty of outdoor seating for members of the school community.

Booking is essential for some events – find out more in your Founder’s Weekend Guide here…

Frequently Asked Questions…

You will need to book tickets for some of the events and these are available through Eventbrite. We will be operating an early priority booking period for those families who have daughter(s) in the ticketed performances. Tickets will be sent electronically through Eventbrite, and you will be required to show these on arrival at each performance you have booked a seat for. Each person attending a ticket performance will need to have their own ticket, including any younger children.
The cast lists for the Drama and Music events can be found on the parent hub – they are live lists and therefore may be subject to change.
The Founder’s Welcome and Information Desk will be located inside the Founder’s Festival Tent at the front of the Murray Centre. If you are an alumna or member of our local community, we ask that you check in at the Founder’s Welcome and Information desk on arrival. There is no need for parents to sign in when you arrive. If you have any questions during the weekend, please do visit the Foundation Office team who will be based at the Founder’s Welcome and Information desk throughout the weekend.
Yes, please do bring food and drinks for your family picnic on Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes as well as rugs and chairs for yourselves and your daughter(s). It is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the beautiful School grounds and to spend family time with your daughter(s). You are also invited to join us for Founder’s Afternoon Tea, which will be available on Saturday & Sunday afternoon from 3pm – 4.30pm. Ice creams and hot drinks will be available for all to enjoy during the weekend.
Outside games and activities will be available in The Cloisters throughout the weekend for children to enjoy. Children are very welcome to join in the activities taking place in the Founder’s Festival Tent and on Sunday there will be crazy golf and tennis taking place on the tennis courts from 1pm - 3pm. No pre-booking required, just enjoy on the day.
There will be stalls at the Founder’s Fair on Saturday morning raising funds for the House charities.
You are welcome to bring your dog(s) but these must remain on a lead and be kept under control at all times. Dogs are not permitted inside any School buildings, including the Murray Centre and the venues for the indoors performances. There are dog waste bins and water stations located around the School site. As the weather will potentially be warm, we would respectfully ask that you do not leave your dog(s) unattended in your vehicle.
The main School car park will be reserved for parent parking, and there will be other parking available around the School. Please note that there will be a one-way system in operation so please use the main entrance to enter the School and either the north or south exits to leave. Our Estates team will be here to assist you.
The dress code will be smart casual and the girls will be in uniform.
We have a wet-weather plan, which will swing into action in the event of inclement weather. There will be seating provided indoors at lunchtime and all events will be relocated on the day.


This year, we’re trying to be more sustainable in our communication choices. Every performance will have a QR code which you can scan on your phone to read a full programme.

If you unable to attend Founder’s Weekend this year, we will be sharing a selection of photographs and recordings following the event, which we hope can be enjoyed by many, wherever you are around the world.  

Thank you for your support and we hope you have a fabulous Founder’s Weekend. If you have any questions on the day, please do visit the Foundation Office Team at the Welcome and Information Desk in the Founder’s Festival Tent, outside the Murray Centre, who will be happy to help!  

If you have any questions about your visit to Founder’s Weekend, please contact the Foundation Office by email: or telephone +44(0)1635 204740. 

Maximising Pupil Progress – find out more about our exciting Academic Conference HERE

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