Part of castle school education trust

"Castle School Education Trust is committed to high quality education across the primary, secondary and sixth form key stages. Our schools cover the South Gloucestershire area. We encourage independence within each school within a strong framework of values."

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Useful Links

Downend

  • Sixth Form Open Evening Thursday 21 November 6 - 8pm. Talk at 6pm followed by the opportunity to meet subject teachers and current students.

Welcome to Downend School

At Downend School we provide a safe, supportive and challenging learning environment that aims to inspire and empower young people to grasp opportunity; to reach their potential and excel; to develop responsibility and integrity and to respect themselves and others.

We have a strong ethos based on our core PRIDE values of participation, respect, identity, determination and excellence.  We set standards high and aim to nurture young people who are well equipped to become active and positive members of the school community and to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a time of rapid change.

Our teaching teams are strong and constantly re-visit ways of bringing the curriculum to life.  Our classrooms are orderly and disciplined but also vibrant and exciting learning spaces where an intellectual curiosity and a life-long love of learning can be fostered.

We are also proud of the care and support we offer our students.  We strongly believe in the value of creating a friendly and caring school community where youngsters feel a sense of belonging and feel valued and respected.  Happy and motivated students will flourish and become successful young people.  Above all, Downend is a happy school.

We believe in the importance of a tailored, all-round education for each child that is delivered through:

  • A rigorous and stimulating curriculum;
  • Exceptional pastoral care;
  • Inspirational teaching;
  • Diverse and targeted co-curricular activities;

A rigorous and stimulating curriculum

At Downend School we will offer a curriculum that provides all our students with the opportunities, knowledge and skills to nurture intellectual, emotional, social, creative and physical development.  We believe our young people have a right to learn about a broad range of cultures, both past and present; to understand the world around them; to express themselves through performance and creation and to develop healthy lifestyle habits.  In order to do this, our curriculum will ensure all our students have access to powerful knowledge and skills so that they can both interpret and improve their world.  A common approach to the key building blocks of learning, such as reading and speaking will be developed across all subjects, allowing our students to thrive in any environment.

Exceptional pastoral care

From Year 7 to year 11, pastoral care for students is provided through a House based system, lead by four Heads of House, supported by the Student Support Centre.  The team leads on all aspects of student care and guidance, behaviour, attendance, safeguarding and student well being.  Tutors build strong relationships with their students and parents/carers, and act as the first point of contact.  Heads of House work with the Student Centre to support students experiencing any difficulties that affect their learning and progress and are highly skilled in overcoming barriers and finding solutions.  We have a culture that encourages participation and tolerance and students are helped to make sensible choices regarding their conduct and reflect on their behaviours. 

Inspirational Teaching

Our vision is that teaching at Downend School is transformational; it inspires curiosity and challenges students to think, reflect and to work hard.  Students enjoy their learning and are enquiring and resilient in their pursuit of knowledge and development of skills. We want to develop a community where everyone has a passion for learning.

Our principles of Inspiring Teaching represent the very best practice and are informed by evidence from educational research so that our teaching has the greatest impact possible on student progress.  We use Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction, which summarises at least 40 years of research on effective teaching.  Teachers across our school will effectively:

  • Plan
  • Review
  • Explain
  • Assess
  • Model
  • Practise
  • Scaffold
  • Establish routines and behaviours

Diverse and targeted co-curricular activities

Our ethos encourages participation and there are opportunities for all of our students to engage with a diverse range of co-curricular activities and experiences, including music, sports, performing arts, clubs and societies.  Through these activities we provide opportunities and challenges for students to find new strengths and talents and to form relationships with students and adults from across Downend School.

We also seek to enhance employability skills; make links to high quality providers of apprenticeships, Higher Education and Further Education as well as mentors from the business world.  High quality careers information, advice and guidance has been built into the curriculum.