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School profile

The Downs School

At The Downs School, we give all our students the very best start in life, to help them develop into well-rounded young adults, able to venture into a rapidly changing world with confidence and determination.

These principles are summed up in our vision:

Educating today’s young people for the world of tomorrow

Set in the heart of the West Berkshire Downs, The Downs School is a vibrant school community with staff totally committed to excellence and achievement at all levels.

Ofsted has judged us as “outstanding” in every category, but we are not a school that wants to stand still. We know that there is always more to do to ensure that every child’s educational experience is rich, character-building and of the highest possible standard. We are striving to move “beyond outstanding” through our philosophy of “Learning together, learning for life”.

The school provides a balanced approach to the pursuit of excellence by offering an interesting, challenging and lively curriculum.

Students gain academic, creative, sporting and social skills, both in and out of the classroom, ensuring a well-rounded learning experience for all.

We maintain a strong tradition of excellence and are extremely proud of our students’ achievements. Our fantastic results at both key stages epitomise what our school stands for; strong partnerships, resilience and desire to achieve at all levels.

Our high-performing school is founded on the strength of relationships between staff, students and parents. We respect the trust placed upon us by parents who actively choose our school for their children. We work in partnership with our students who contribute to the decision-making in the school, ensuring that they feel valued and confident. Despite our size, we pride ourselves on our small school feel.

About our school experience


Our school experience days provide you with the opportunity to experience life day to day life in our busy school environment. You will experience first hand how our students learn and have the opportunity to talk to some of our trainees who have undertaken our school led route into teaching. Members of our teacher training team will also be available to provide advice on your application and answer any queries you might have.

There will be a short welcome and introduction session. We'll draw up a schedule of lessons for you to observe for your day giving you as much scope as possible to see a variety of different classes / key stages. We have 5 period day with each period being one hour. There is a break at 11.10 until 11.30am and then lunch from 1.30 - 2.10pm.

Please bring a packed lunch and photo identification.

Start and finish times
8.30am to 3.00pm - Flexible

Individual needs will be considered but details must be given in advance.

Dress code

Smart casual

Teacher training

We work with the OTT SCITT to develop and deliver our programmes from September 2024

Find out more about our teacher training

Links to more information about our school

Entry requirements

You must:

    • Must not have been accepted onto another teacher training course
    • They must live within 20 miles of the school
    • Photo identification: Passport / driving license
DBS check required

No, candidates will be accompanied at all times.

Placement dates

There are no upcoming dates


Manor Crescent, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 6AD
Map showing The Downs School

Yes - on site parking provided

There is car parking on the school site subject to availability.

Disability and access details

We offer facilities and provide an inclusive environment for students, staff and school experience candidates with disability and access needs. We're happy to discuss your disability or access needs before or as part of your school experience request.

Access needs policy

Manor Crescent, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 6AD
School phases
Secondary (11 to 16)
DBS check required

No, candidates will be accompanied at all times.

  • Art and design
  • Biology
  • Business studies
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • Dance
  • Design and technology
  • Drama
  • English
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Maths
  • Music
  • Physical education
  • Physics
  • Religious education
  • Social sciences
  • Spanish