In Foundation and Key Stage 1 (P1-4) we use 'Learning through Play' as our approach which provides a happy, stimulating and encouraging environment. Literacy and Numeracy development is encouraged in a way that the children find enjoyable and practical but that enables them to create solid foundations as they move through the school.
Pupils in Key Stage 2 have their learning deepened and enhanced to solidify their education before transferring to secondary education. Our academic standards are exceptional and in 2019/2020 100% of pupils moved to their grammar school of choice with majority transferring to Methody.
Small class sizes (maximum 24 pupils) ensure that each pupil has more interaction with their teacher, ensuring learning is more individual and tailored to each child’s needs. Our children are articulate and confident, they have the opportunity to participate and are encouraged to become more involved in their learning.
By having smaller pupil numbers, a real friendly and welcoming community exists within the school.
At Downey House children are taught by specialist teachers who help them to flourish, develop life experiences and provide opportunities to succeed in whatever they do. Children have access to specialist teachers in the following subjects; Drama, French, Music, PE & Games and Swimming.
In Downey House, we recognise that every child is an individual. This means that from time to time they may require and benefit from additional curriculum support to help them overcome specific learning difficulties.
The Learning Support teacher assists individual children and small groups to overcome the difficulties they are experiencing with their learning, whether short term or for extended periods. Using a range of strategies and resources we encourage the children to develop self-confidence and independence in their work, and to reach their full potential.
Tuition in string, piano, brass and other wind instruments is available by private arrangement. The school has its own choir (P5-7), recorder group (P6-7) and orchestra (P4-7).
Our PE and games programme is extensive and an integral part of school life. Our specialist staff deliver the four aspects of the curriculum of games, swimming, gymnastics and dance throughout the school. We encourage and support all pupils to achieve excellence, with almost all senior pupils having the opportunity to represent their school in one field or another.
In weekly outdoor sessions, younger children are encouraged to play with an extensive range of outdoor equipment. Pupils from P3 – P7 attend weekly swimming lessons at the Methody campus, with an inter-schools gala held in spring being an annual highlight.
High quality coaching is provided in a range of sports including; athletics, cricket, cross-country, football, hockey, netball and rugby.
The children have access to excellent facilities at Downey with 2 hockey pitches, 1 football pitch, 2 cricket pitches, 11 tennis courts, 6 netball courts, 1 basketball court and 6 rugby pitches whilst a large gym, sports hall and swimming pool are provided at the Methody campus.
Downey House really is what people think of as the best of a traditional preparatory school - a small friendly school, with excellent facilities and extenstive grounds. The children are happy and engaged, getting a truly well rounded education with French, art, music, performing arts, sports including swimming, all an integral part of the weekly routine. We have been very happy with the education, care and opportunities that our children have and couldn't recommend Downey House highly enough.
Caroline Gilbert Downey House parent.