At Downside, we are committed to working in partnership with families and to providing an environment which nurtures young people of integrity who can think for themselves, stand up for their beliefs, and act to make a positive difference in the world.
Founded in c.1614 and based just 25 minutes from the famous World Heritage City of Bath, we are one of England's oldest and most distinguished Catholic schools. We are a forward-thinking school, home to 365 pupils where boarders and day pupils share six Houses, four for boys and two for girls. We welcome pupils from overseas and currently have 27 different nationalities represented.
Our School is set in 500 acres of beautiful English countryside with extensive facilities including an indoor swimming pool, a Mac Suite dedicated to music, a 24/7 Health Centre, and a Performing Arts Centre housing a 400-seat Theatre and a Recording Studio.
All pupils benefit from our boarding ethos whether they are boarders, as 76% are, or day pupils, with all that means in terms of friendships, independence and life skills. Whilst Catholic, we welcome pupils and parents of all faiths who set store by emphasising the importance of moral courage, integrity and service to others.
We are uncompromising in the pursuit of academic excellence. We aim for the highest standards in our extensive and exciting co-curricular programme with over 100 activities, and we provide plentiful and varied opportunities for service and leadership. We celebrate the achievements and successes of our pupils, but do not allow these to define them.
Pupils achieve impressively in the Sciences, Maths and the Arts, and the vast majority of our pupils gain entry to their first choice of university, and a gratifying number of them achieve First Class Honours at their chosen place of study. Typical destinations include Oxford, Cambridge, Exeter, Durham, Warwick and Edinburgh.
Weekends are busy and purposeful, where pupils are engaged in a wide variety of activity options: clubs, games, sporting fixtures, socials, trips out and Sunday Mass. With all this on offer, there is never ‘nothing to do’! Quite the opposite.
The School endeavours, in addition, to provide your child with what may be referred to as a sense of 'the poetry of life': a sense of its beauty, form, mystery and joy. Everyone who comes here remarks on the happy atmosphere and we sincerely hope that you will come and see it for yourself. It is truly a remarkable, inspiring place.
- Senior School, Sixth Form
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