Downside boarding school has six boarding houses: Powell, Isabella, Caverel, Barlow, Roberts and Smythe. Boarders and day pupils are integrated together in all of the houses.
Downside Boarding School
First, Second and Third Form boys join Powell House, before moving up to one of three senior boys houses (Barlow, Roberts or Smythe) for their four senior years. Girls join Caverel House from 13 or Isabella House from 11 to 18.
Each House has its own spirit, character and traditions and pupils have friends across the houses. Everyone gets involved in competing in the ‘spirited’ Inter-House competitions ranging from music and drama to games and other activities.
Boarding House Master/Mistress
The House Master/Mistress has overall responsibility for their House, helped by an Assistant, a team of Tutors a House Mother and the Chaplaincy Team. The House Master/Mistress has a vital role to play in your child’s development, and under the Head Master, acts in loco parentis while your child is under the School’s responsibility. The House Masters/Mistresses are resident in the respective boarding house and are formally ‘on duty’ six days and five evenings a week, and every weekend. Pupils have access to a member of the House staff at all times.
In addition to the House staff, the Health Centre team are also available 24-hours a day and the Chaplaincy Team, under the co-ordinating Chaplain, assists the House Masters/Mistresses in providing for the spiritual needs of the pupils. There are also House Prefects – usually in the Upper Sixth Form – allocated to each House to offer support and guidance to younger pupils.
The pastoral leaders strive to develop a culture of warm, mutual respect within their Houses. The aim is to celebrate all cultures and diversity, ensuring that there is equality of opportunity for all pupils within a Benedictine context. The whole pastoral system is formally monitored and supervised by the Director of Pastoral Care, Mr Alastair Falzon, and the Deputy Head Master, Mr Andrew Hobbs.
Health and Wellbeing
Downside is proud to have a Health Centre based within the heart of the school, staffed by nurses 24-hours each day, 7 days a week. Click here to learn more.
Director of Pastoral Care
Mrs Claire Murphy
Telephone: +44(0)1761 235183
Acting Head Master
Mr Andrew Hobbs
Telephone: +44(0)1761 235116
Click here to contact our House Masters and House Mistresses.
“Downside has determinedly kept its ethos as a full boarding school, with 85 per cent boarders and a full weekend activity programme. Some day pupils elect to spend much of the weekend at school; when we visited, everyone was preparing for a Roman banquet on the Saturday night – no stuffed dormice, we hope.” Good Schools Guide
“The emphasis is on the community and on caring for one another in the Rule of St Benedict, which underpins all aspects of boarding life.” ISI inspection 2013
Voted as ‘Best for Well-being’ in The Week, Education Guide 2015
“I think the atmosphere is different to that of a non-Catholic school, I feel that it is in the spirit of the school to be very accepting and understanding of others” (Downside pupil)