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Our Vision

Downside’s vision, as a Catholic and Benedictine school with Christ at its centre, is to be a bright light in education and to inspire service in our world.

Our Aims

  • To guide pupils and staff to encounter Christ through experience of a Benedictine community of faith
  • To be uncompromising in the pursuit of academic excellence
  • To foster a culture of unselfish love, integrity, humility and leadership through service
  • To develop the character and confidence of young people through sport and co-curricular opportunities
  • To develop the school’s community facilities and resources through strategic stewardship.

Our Values

Downside, as a leading Catholic school, maintains an ethos that is just as strong today as it was when the School was founded in 1606. Today, we focus on eight core aspects of a Benedictine school education.

Benedictine Values

Welcome and hospitality are key elements in a school where pupils and staff work together to form a kind, mutually supportive community, based on the core principle of Christian love.

Careful, active listening is an essential part of positive human relationships, and this is emphasised at Downside, as young people are guided in how to live together within their houses and within the school community as a whole.

Reverence, as an intrinsic part of regular school worship, and as part of respect for each person’s individual human dignity, is a hallmark of life at Downside as a Benedictine school; it is part of the worship and love of God in Christ. This divine and human love draws the School into a communion whose members grow together in the love of truth and of one another.

Humility enables people to live truly, communicating honestly with each other and God, enabling this love to develop.

Teaching and learning are central because of the need for our pupils to be skilled and educated people in a competitive world but also because our higher purpose is to grow in the knowledge of truth, which leads to God.

Personal discipline is something essential for the well-being of the individual and the community. It means that we are not enslaved to the world’s distractions but free to pursue higher ambitions, such as service and the pursuit of knowledge.

Downside emphasises the importance of living within a nurturing spiritual community; concern for the individual enables groups of individuals to live and grow together in a manner that fosters human flourishing.

Harmonious community life is the consequence of building communion; while there will always be some difficulties within communities, a spiritual purpose means that communion between people and with God is made possible.

There are many gifts in human life, if people are prepared to receive them. Through the Holy Spirit, the world is made full of beauty and wisdom; the stewardship of gifts, from the natural environment to human abilities, means that the whole world can benefit.

Pupils speak of the Benedictine values which lie at the heart of the School’s ethos openly and proudly.
ISI report

a group of sixth form pupils were asked to choose three words to describe downside:

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