Welcoming our new Lower School pupils

Our new joiners in Remove (Year 7) and Lower Fourth (Year 8) settled in with a fun weekend of team-building activities.

15 September 2023

Joining school at age 11 or 12 is always an exciting time for our pupils but it can be daunting too. There’s a new campus to navigate around, new subjects to learn and lots of new friends to make. At Downe House, we make sure that our new pupils have plenty of opportunities to bond when they first join us to ensure they feel as settled in as possible.

My top tip for settling into life in the Lower School is to give everything a go, even if you are unsure! You are likely to surprise yourself and meet new acquaintances during the process, so be brave and try to step outside your comfort zone!
Mrs Sophie Hughes, Housemistress of Darwin

The Remove (Year 7) and Lower Fourth (Year 8) pupils share residence in the Lower School houses – Darwin, Hermitage and Hill. Having the chance to socialise together as a house through movie nights and craft activities is important in developing friendships. Equally, the opportunity for girls to mix across houses builds a strong sense of community for the Lower School. The girls enjoyed a game of netball together and also took part in a scavenger hunt to explore their new surroundings.

We have been delighted by their enthusiasm and support of one another and it has been wonderful to see them bonding across the three houses.
Mrs Kim Collingwood, Housemistress of Hermitage

On Sunday, it was time for team-building activities in the beautiful woodlands which the School sits within. The girls were incredibly enthusiastic and demonstrated excellent team work and communication skills while they played laser tag and learnt how to start campfires with a flint and steel.

Ms Kate Eaves, Assistant Head (Lower School) had this welcome message to share with our new Lower School joiners:

“To all our wonderful new members of Lower School,

A huge welcome to each one of you as you embark on this exciting chapter of your educational journey here at Downe House. We are thrilled to have you join our warm, vibrant community, and we can’t wait to share all the amazing experiences and opportunities that lie ahead for you.

We know that starting a new school can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, but don’t forget what I told you in Chapel on your first full day here – you are not alone. Our Downe House family is here to support you every step of the way. As you continue to settle in over the next few weeks, remember that making new friends is a wonderful part of the journey. Reach out, be open, and embrace the chance to build those friendships that will last a lifetime – little seeds grow into big trees with strong roots!

We also talked about opportunities! Downe House is full of them, and you will have the chance to explore lots of different and exciting things – from academic pursuits to extra-curricular activities. Embrace these opportunities with enthusiasm and curiosity, as they will help you discover your own unique passions and talents.

And finally, remember, every challenge you encounter is an opportunity for growth, and every day is a chance to learn something new. So, as you continue to step into this new school year, embrace it with confidence and enthusiasm. Your adventure at Downe House is just beginning, and we can’t wait to see all the amazing things you will achieve.”

Learn more about Lower School life or discover Downe House for yourself at one of our Open Mornings.

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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.

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Now accepting more Day Pupils for September 2025! Learn more at our Open Event on Thursday 9 May.
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