The Admissions Process
Downside’s admissions procedure aims to ensure that boys and girls who join Downside School are able to be happy, successful and secure within its academic, cultural, pastoral and spiritual environment, whether they are boarders or day pupils. Click here to download our Admissions Policy.
Admission for boys and girls to Downside is normally at 11+ into the First Form (Year 7), at 13+ into the Third Form (Year 9), or at 16+ into the Lower Sixth Form (Year 12). Places occasionally become available for boys and girls for admission at 12+ into the Second Form (Year 8) or at 14+ into the Fourth Form (Year 10).
The first step is to visit the School for either an Open Day or a private visit when the Head Master would be pleased to meet you and for us to take you on a tour of our wonderful campus. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, this may need to be via a private online tour.
Following your visit, if you wish to apply for a place at the School we would ask that you register your child for entry by completing our registration form. Following registration, we invite all candidates to complete entrance assessments and attend an interview.
Please see below the timeline for applications and entry requirements:
Year 7 (First Form) – Registration is required for entry at least one year ahead of the start date. All pupils will be invited to an assessment day in January and will be required to complete online CAT assessments along and an interview.
Year 8 (Second Form) – Registration is required for entry at least one year ahead of the start date. All pupils will be invited to an assessment day in January and will be required to complete online CAT assessments along and an interview.
Year 9 (Third Form) – Registration is required at least two years ahead of the start date. Pupils will be invited to an assessment day in February when they are in Year 6 or Year 7. Pupils will be asked to complete either the ISEB Common Pre-Test or an online CAT assessment. Both of these can be completed at a pupil’s current school.
Year 10 (Fourth Form) – Pupils are required to register for entry as soon as possible for places. Pupils will be required to complete an online CAT assessment and to attend an interview.
Year 11 (Fifth Form) – Pupils are required to register for entry as soon as possible for places. Pupils will be required to complete an online CAT assessment and to attend an interview.
Year 12 (Lower Sixth) – Pupils are required to register at least one year ahead of the start date. Pupils will be required to complete entrance papers in the subjects they wish to study at A level if they wish to receive an unconditional offer. Alternatively, conditional offers will be made through a satisfactory school reference and predicted A level grades.
For all pupils, a reference will be sought from the candidate’s current school. For those pupils who do not have English as their first language, there is an additional EAL test.
Successful completion of the entry tests will be followed by an offer of a guaranteed (unconditional), or conditional, place at Downside. In order to accept our offer and secure a place at the School, we require parents to sign a parental contract and to make a deposit payment. The deposit is then held by the School until the payment of the final bill on leaving Downside School.