Downsend School

Leatherhead, UK
01372 372 311

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Downsend School is an innovative independent school based in four locations around Ashtead, Epsom and Leatherhead, currently educating children from the age of 2 to 16. In September 2023, we will welcome even younger children to the Downsend family with Little Downsend Ashtead offering places for children as young as 6 months. 

At its core, Downsend delivers brilliant basics, with a solid foundation from the Little Downsends, into the Junior School. As pupils enter the Senior School in Year 7, they solidify their learning, studying a 3 year GCSE. Our academic outcomes are excellent; children in Reception exceed national averages by over 16%. In English and Maths, 44% of Junior School pupils achieve in the ‘above average and very high’ category. Our first cohort of pupils taking GCSE Statistics one year early all recorded grades from 9-6 (A*-B).

Alongside the brilliant basics, the Downsend vision is to inspire a generation to embrace the future, to shape incredible people who will make change in our world. By inspiring a global perspective, we encourage pupils to have an awareness of the world around them. We shape incredible people with the emotional intelligence to build relationships, lead teams and adapt to a changing world. We build on pupils’ innate creativity, developing the curious, the critical-thinkers, the artists and the innovators. Finally, we aspire to digital mastery, by equipping ourselves with the ability and the mindset to tackle the technology of the future.

Little People. Big Ideas.

At Little Downsend, you will find schools that create the very best environment for our youngest learners to flourish.

By creating a warm and welcoming environment, children are supported to grow and to achieve amazing things, academically and socially, meeting milestones through playful learning.

Little Downsend Ashtead Nursery and Pre-School welcomes our youngest children, from the age of 6 months up until Rising Reception (age 4). 

Little Downsends Epsom and Leatherhead educate children from the age of 2 to 7 (First Steps to Year 2).

Behind the doors of these beautiful buildings, you will find children using cutting-edge technology to progress their learning, nursery age children learning French, Music, Dance, Forest School and Sport from Specialist Teachers and engaging with creative projects with the Lego Foundation; a project for which Downsend became a Finalist in the ISA Awards 2021 for Innovation and Excellence in Early Years.

Each Little Downsend has their own unique character, benefitting from vast outdoor spaces, pet enclosures, vegetable gardens and spacious fields. 

Inspiring Young Minds. Creating Incredible Futures.

At Downsend Junior and Senior Schools, the framework of brilliant basics continues, providing children with exciting, engaging opportunities to learn through challenge and opportunity. Our teaching is interactive, lively and forward-thinking, using educational technology to bring learning to life. The Good Schools Guide says,

“This school is genuinely fresh with innovation and is responding to the outside world, including globally. If a class doesn’t have interaction, collaboration and originality, the teacher is encouraged to rip up their lesson plan and start afresh. Pupils learn about fractions with Dairy Milk, they get outside in the woods to learn about trigonometry, they tune into live debates on American politics and they re-enact major historical battles. ‘If a child’s not being creative, we’re not doing our job,’ says head.” 

Our Future Skills vision guides our thinking, making sure we provide every day opportunities that are aligned with the skills universities and employers seek. Downsend embraces a STEAM approach and was awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark. All pupils benefit from a 1:1 device using best in class educational technology to enhance their learning experience.

Downsend is renowned locally and nationally for exceptional performance in Sport. Frequently at the top of the league tables, our approach to teamwork, practice, finesse and a never-fear failure attitude means we have been very successful in many sports.

In 2022, Downsend holds a number of titles including: USFA U11 Boys National Football Champions, IAPS U13 Boys National Football Title Plate Winners, IAPS U11 Girls Hockey Silver Medal Winners.

In the last 5 years, Downsend has invested over £10m in redeveloping its estate to be future focused and to ensure pupils have access to cutting edge facilities. The £5m Creative Arts Centre, featuring 200 seat auditorium, black box theatre, state of the art music rooms, recording studio and sound booth, launched in April 2022. STAR labs, Design Technology, Art and Textiles Studios and new Science labs followed in October 2022. Further GCSE teaching space is to be created in 2023, and investment in each Little Downsend will be in place during the Summer of 2023.

“A school that marries traditional and progressive, attracting parents from both camps. Its lens is future focused, global and creative and as such is a breath of fresh air for youngsters especially those with a bit of spark about them.” The Good Schools Guide.


  • ISA Awards 2022 for Innovation in Independent Education: Finalist
  • Independent School of the Year Awards 2022 for Independent Pre-Prep of the Year: Shortlisted
  • Independent School of the Year Award 2022 for Sporting Achievement: Shortlisted
  • Microsoft Showcase Schools Incubator Pathway
  • Muddy Stilettos Best Schools Awards 2022 for Most Creative Learning Through Play: Highly Commended
  • Common Sense Media School: 2021-2023
  • Eco-Schools Green Flag Award: July 2022
  • ISA Awards 2021 for Innovation and Excellence in Early Years: Finalist
  • RHS 5* Gardening Award: August 2022
  • Independent School of the Year Award 2022 for Sporting Excellence: Shortlisted
  • Primary Science Quality Mark by the University of Hertfordshire: 2021

Visit us

We like nothing more than welcoming families to Downsend. We run a talk and tour slot every week, and personal tours throughout the year. Our Open Days at the Junior and Senior School are planned for:

  • Friday 10 March at 9:30am
  • Saturday 10 June at 9:30am

Book your place:

Leatherhead, Ashtead and Epsom, Surrey, UK

01372 372 311

[email protected]

Instagram: @downsendschoolsurrey

Facebook: @downsendschool

Twitter: @downsendschool

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