The Downs Preparatory School Logo
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Their growing maturity is apparent in Year 8 and strong bonds are formed as an entire year group - which makes leaving an emotional farewell!

Mrs Collins

Senior success

We are completely independent. This means we will always focus on finding a senior school which is just the right fit for your child. We have great links with all the senior schools in this area as well as many prestigious schools further afield.


Years 7 & 8

Their bright futures

The Downs’ children are high-flyers when it comes to academic achievements. At the same time we nurture social skills, confidence and a positive attitude. This is what makes them really stand out from the crowd when applying for senior school.

head boys handover celebration day

Senior school

Preparing for the next step

Getting into their first-choice senior school matters. That’s why from Year 4 onwards we dedicate lesson time to supporting this process. When our children know the exact school they’re aiming for, we help guide them with specific preparation.

Senior school bluebells

Latest stats For 2022 leavers...

2022 school leavers 12 different schools

...a range of 12 different senior schools were selected.

1st choice senior school

…95% were given their first choice senior school

scholarships senior year 8 leavers

…66% were awarded scholarships.

Year 8 leavers 2022

…32 Year 8 leavers, stepped confidently into their next adventure.

Destination schools

Children from The Downs have gone on to achieve great things, in great schools. The list of destination school places past students have secured demonstrates our focus on supporting our children with whichever senior school they set their sights on - from local to prestigious, world-renowned we help every child find the right school for them.

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List of destination schools:

Bristol Grammar School
Cheltenham College
Clifton College
Clifton High
Eton College
Marlborough College
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Redmaids' High School
Sherborne Boys
Winchester College
Wycliffe College

Year 7 & 8

The gift of time

Navigating senior school is particularly difficult today with additional stresses like social media and technology. We believe continuity and familiar, warm surroundings have a huge impact on children’s confidence and long-term wellbeing. These two years extend their childhood and give our children the physical and emotional space to build the best foundation on which to build their senior school careers.

Explore Years 7 & 8
Twiglet Excel

A recipe for senior success

Embedding confidence

Year 7 and 8 is a shifting time for children. Responsibilities and expectations increase, but so do freedoms. We address the complexity of this shift head on, both challenging and supporting our Seniors so they leave us with the foundations needed to navigate whatever comes next.

Public speaking year 8 celebration day
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Upping the ante

We ask Seniors to take on leadership responsibilities, this includes mentoring younger year groups. A balance is struck between engaging students in more real-world issues while continuing to ensure we offer a safe, supportive learning environment.

Handing over the reins

There’s a common room for children to socialise and develop their independence as well as the option to be more involved in decision making. It’s a great chance to test their negotiation skills and have a real-life chance to make an impact to the future of our school.

Senior Year 8 Celebration Day
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Aiming high

Preparation for senior school entry intensifies with a keen focus on aiming for the schools at the top of their list. We’ll introduce interview practice as well as revision guidance and familiarity with the exam process.

For the love of learning

We know how important it is to stay engaged and enthused by learning. Lessons in Year 7 and 8 are pitched to challenge our students, getting them thinking outside of the box. We bring in visiting speakers and introduce formal projects to solidify individual and collaborative presenting skills.

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