I started boarding at Downside in the Second Form (Year 8) and my younger brother, Joseph (now aged 15), started three years later after a posting in Brunei. I originally chose Downside School, along with my parents because of the family and inclusive environment we sensed when we visited the School. We loved the nurturing atmosphere within the boarding houses and the spectacular grounds! It was important for me that Downside was predominantly a boarding school, not just a day school that offered boarding. Downside definitely is! With a wide array of activities and challenges during the week as well as on the weekends for the boarders to keep busy. Downside provides the physical room, headspace, support and encouragement to help each individual to grow and discover who they can be.
Downside also has many ties with the Armed Forces and the Downside Combined Cadet Force (CCF) helps enable the development of personal responsibility, resilience, leadership and self- discipline and gives pupils within the School the skills and self-confidence to take charge of their life. This opportunity gives me a strong sense of home which is particularly important for pupils coming from forces families.
Being the eldest child in a forces family has left me with a strong sense of self and my happy and developmental formative experiences at Downside has left me with high moral standards which I try to live by. Downside has a strong Catholic Benedictine Ethos that is developed within both staff and pupils throughout the academic years I am grateful for having the opportunity to attend such a nurturing and encouraging school.
Sophia Burton (Lower Sixth Sports Scholar)
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