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Downside School
Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Radstock , BA3 4RJ, UK Bath
+44 (0)1761 235100
Welcome to Downside School!!!

Downside is an independent Catholic co-educational boarding school for pupils aged 9 to 18. This section of our website gives you information on Downside Senior School, which is for pupils aged 13 to 18. We also have a thriving junior house for pupils aged 9 to 13, St Oliver’s, details about which you may find by clicking here.

Founded in 1606 in Douai, Downside today is a school of about four hundred pupils, housed in magnificent buildings at the foot of the Mendip Hills, twelve miles south of the historic City of Bath.

Downside is a Catholic school

Through the sacraments, prayer, catechesis and example, in the classroom and out of it, we seek to inspire pupils to love God and to serve others. While Downside welcomes families and children from other Christian denominations, we ask them always to remember our distinctively Catholic nature.

Downside is an academic school
We work with families to ensure that pupils have high academic expectations, are successful in public examinations, and discover intellectual interests that will stay with them for life. Pupils must obtain at least 50% as an average across all subjects at Common Entrance before they can join Downside at 13+.

Downside is a boarding school
85% of pupils at Downside are seven-day-a-week boarders and we are committed to remaining a traditional boarding school, not a flexi-boarding school or a day school with some boarders. The opportunities open to boarders at Downside - academic, sporting, in music, drama and extra-curricular activities - are immeasurable. Weekends for boarders are full, busy and purposeful.

This internet site can only give you an impression of our life and work; there can be no substitute for coming to visit us in person. You may like to register for one of our Open Days by clicking here. Or you may prefer a separate, private visit, which our Registrar, Mrs Terri O’Shea, will be pleased to arrange for you.

Tel 01761 235103

Each pupil at Downside has a Tutor to supervise and guide his or her academic progress. Tutors are attached to particular houses where they work in conjunction with House Masters and Mistresses.

Pupils see their Tutors at least twice a week, once during lesson time for Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), and once during Preparation (homework) time. As well as making sure that his or her tutees are not falling behind or producing unsatisfactory work, a Tutor may give advice on how to work, how to organise time or how to choose GCSEs or A Levels. He or she will also encourage and support those who are struggling.

The Curriculum in the Third Form (Year 9)

The Third Form (Year 9) is a year of foundation building. Taught by subject-specialist teachers, pupils follow a broad, traditional curriculum including:


Personal Social and
Health Education (PSHE)
Religious Studies

For the very able, there is Classical Greek; others may choose German or Spanish. Pupils requiring learning support may substitute additional English lessons for Latin, if this is deemed necessary by the English Department.

Preparation (Homework)
Pupils are set half an hour’s Preparation (homework) in three subjects every weekday evening. Preparation is done in classrooms between 7.15 p.m. and 8.45 p.m. Monday to Friday, and is supervised by staff. An hour’s Preparation must be completed over the weekend.

Parents receive full reports at the end of every term, and half-termly reports containing effort and achievement grades in each subject. Staff also complete internal reports on each pupil half way through each half-term, to ensure that pupils consistently achieve their best.

Pupils in the Third Form sit examinations in every subject at the end of the Michaelmas Term and at the end of the Summer Term.


  • Third Form Year 9 (Age 13-14)
  • Fourth Form Year 10 (Age 14-15)
  • Fifth Form Year 11 (Age 15-16)
  • Lower Sixth Form Year 12 (Age 16-17)
  • Upper Sixth Form Year 13 (Age 17-18)


  • Art Club
  • Badminton
  • Ballet
  • Bee Keeping
  • Bridge Club
  • Chess
  • Classical Greek Club
  • Classical Hebrew
  • Combined Cadet Force (CCF)
  • Cookery on a Student Grant
  • Croquet Club
  • Dining Society
  • Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
  • Fencing
  • First Aid Club
  • Fly Fishing
  • French Club
  • Gardening
  • Golf
  • Hebrew
  • Indoor Football
  • Kayaking
  • LAMDA Speech & Drama
  • Life Drawing
  • Local History Club
  • Mandarin
  • Martial Arts
  • Maths Clinic
  • Model United Nations
  • Music
  • Orchestra
  • Philosophy Reading Group
  • Photography
  • Pipe Band
  • Plunketeer Magazine
  • Polo
  • Rugby Development Club
  • Shotgun Club
  • Song Writing
  • Spanish Cooking
  • Sports Leadership Awards
  • Squash
  • Tarantula Club
  • Tennis
  • Theatre Lighting
  • Ulysses Club
  • Weight Training
  • Video Club
  • Vintners Society

There are five Year Groups in Downside’s Senior School:

  • Third Form Year 9 (Age 13-14)
  • Fourth Form Year 10 (Age 14-15)
  • Fifth Form Year 11 (Age 15-16)
  • Lower Sixth Form Year 12 (Age 16-17)
  • Upper Sixth Form Year 13 (Age 17-18)


  • regular internal monitoring (computer-based reporting every two to three weeks)
  • half-termly academic summary reports to parents (effort and achievement grades plus a tutor comment)
  • detailed end-of-term reports to parents (including full subject reports)
  • regular academic staff meetings to discuss pupils’ progress
  • a system of merit and distinction awards for high quality work
  • academic competition between Houses an academic society in each year group from the
  • Third to the Fifth Form to develop interests beyond the curriculum
  • a range of academic societies in the Sixth Form to develop
  • particular subject interest

primary schools in Bath, secondary schools in Bath, schools in Bath

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