The Prep School at The Downs is traditional but progressive, it is challenging but nurturing and it establishes a firm foundation for years.

We aim to develop, promote and protect the different talents and personalities of our pupils. We admire confidence without arrogance, enthusiasm without disparagement and perseverance without distraction. It is expected that our pupils will value the difference of others, that they will embrace a sensitive and supportive approach towards each other.

The pupils enjoy a broad, diverse curriculum that prepares them well for senior school entry be it Scholarship, Common Entrance or Bristol Independent School Exam.  Pupils do not leave in Year 6, indeed Year 7 and 8 are the essence of an education at The Downs. It is at this point that the pupils start to reach the ‘top of a small pile’. This experience helps to develop the self confidence that ultimately enables each pupil to realise their talents and ambitions. It is often remarked that our Year 8 pupils are suitably self-assured, articulate and polite.

At The Downs the children enter the Prep School in Year 4. The transition from Pre-Prep to Prep is not a difficult one as the teaching is largely class based in the style of the Pre-Prep. The children note two major changes:

  • an increase in independence – something they respond to well
  • the opportunity to visit the salad bar at lunchtime – the queue is enormous for the first few weeks!
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