PART OF THE MALVERN COLLEGE FAMILY OF SCHOOLS
Inspiring children to reach new heights
A very warm welcome to The Downs Malvern
The journey begins… CO-EDUCATIONAL PREP SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN AGED
STUNNING CAMPUS SET WITHIN A
CLASS SIZES REMAIN SMALL WITH
DAY AND BOARDING
SITE ON THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE MALVERN HILLS
BEING THE MAXIMUM NUMBER IN EACH CLASS
THE SCHOOL WAS FOUNDED IN
TOTAL NUMBER OF PUPILS
WORKING STEAM RAILWAY BUILT IN
2008 MERGED WITH MALVERN COLLEGE PREP
DAY, FLEXI, WEEKLY AND FULL BOARDING
IS THE WORLD’S OLDEST PRIVATE MINIATURE RAILWAY
Viewed with the benefit of hindsight, life can be seen as a succession of journeys, each of which coalesces seamlessly into one much longer one. And few of these journeys are more significant than our early education. The school we attend, the people who teach and guide us, the friends and relationships we form will all stay with us forever. So too, the values we learn and the principles we learn to live by. It is an indelible experience that will help shape and define us. It builds a firm foundation that gives us our resilience, inspires our ambitions and shows us a way ahead.
Which is why the choice of a child’s school – one of the first journeys we make outside of our family - matters so much. The benefit of a great early education is not simply to instil sufficient facts and figures to help us achieve the next stage of our academic ambitions. It is also about embedding deep within us a thirst for knowledge, a joy in learning and a confidence in our potential.
Each of us will go on to choose a very different path in life and arrive at different places. But the destination is never as important as the journey itself.
That thirst, that joy, that confidence, are what will remain with us throughout the longer journey of life, will make us who we are, and ensure that we never stop moving forwards. That we never stop striving to understand the world around us and be the best that we can be.
HEADMASTER: ALASTAIR COOK
Whenever someone asks me what’s special about The Downs Malvern, I invariably reply: “Come and see for yourself.”
“ I love the Headmaster’s dogs, Henry and Rupert. They make school feel like a home.” Year 3 Pupil
A life-long passion for learning.
Respect Courtesy Kindness
THE HEADMASTER’S JOURNEY: – originally from Zimbabwe; – taught at The Dragon School, Oxford, for 17 years; – Headmaster at Pembroke House, Kenya before returning to the UK; – 2009 became Headmaster of The Downs Malvern; – boosted pupil numbers by 100 since his arrival. PASSIONS: – Rugby and sport. – Military medals. – The Arts. – Knowing every pupil’s name and interests. – Playing host to Pre-Prep hot chocolate once a week. – His beagles, Rupert and Henry (a rescue dog).
Visit us and you’ll see exuberant, energised children happy in their work and play. Young people who are ardent, restless to learn, filled with enthusiasm for everything they do and passionate about learning. This is a passion that will fuel their future and help them to fulfil their ambitions – in whatever direction that takes them.
Our parents recognise that the very best start you can give a child is a caring, stimulating environment providing what every young person strives for: an opportunity to explore, to experience and to excel. That’s why the very best advertisements for our school are our pupils and parents themselves – whose words you’ll find on these pages.
We believe that enjoyment is at the very heart of education, and that carries through into every activity. It’s why every child who comes to us achieves their full potential, whether in academic success, sporting prowess, artistic expression – or all three.
Our philosophy is that every child is a unique individual with gifts and talents that will enrich their lives and those of others. Our role is to spot those natural abilities, encourage and celebrate them.
Meet any of our pupils and you will also find that the values we instil – respect, courtesy and kindness to others – makes them compassionate, considerate young people. These are qualities that will define their characters and relationships in the years to come.
The children we teach and care for will leave us for the next stage of their education as rounded, resilient and confident young individuals. That foundation will stay with them for life.
What are the essentials of a first-class education?
Valuing children as individuals. INSPIRED PUPIL: CELLIST MATHEMATICIAN CRICKETER
INSPIRED PUPIL: GEOLOGIST ACTRESS NETBALL PLAYER
To us, it is knowing and understanding every child in our care, recognising their strengths and weaknesses, celebrating their achievements and providing them with the resources to reach their full potential - at whatever stage they start here. The stunning setting for our school is 55 acres of the glorious Malvern Hills: a safe, secure and unspoilt environment where children can learn, play, develop and grow.
“ Pupils’ high levels of motivation and engagement in lessons result in exemplary attitudes towards learning throughout the school.” ISI Inspection Report, November 2018
Our strong academic programme, achieved with small classes and exceptional teachers, delivers results that stand alongside the best in the
prep school world. Each year our pupils go on to excel at top schools all around the country – many with scholarships. Some have gone on to distinguish themselves in a host of different fields: world-renowned writers such as CS Lewis and WH Auden have taught at The Downs, and Nobel Laureates have studied here. To provide a rounded, enriching education, we also nurture those whose talents lie in other directions, including music, drama, art and sport. Our arts and sporting facilities are exceptional and offer every child the chance to express themselves and to shine.
THE EARLY YEARS
The early years: we make learning fun.
“ The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent.” ISI Inspection Report, November 2018.
THE EARLY YEARS
“ I love drinking hot chocolate in the “The Downs Malvern has taught my Headmaster’s Office.” children to be both good learners Pre-Prep Pupil and good people with a focus on effort alongside resilience, respect and kindness.” Parent of Pre-Prep Pupil
“ Caring, freeing and adventure giving.” Alumnus
During the first few years of a child’s life, their minds are at their most receptive. It’s a critical time to develop social skills, learning, self-assurance and resilience. Our Early Years Foundation Stage is the perfect start for a young child to begin their education. They will see it as a place where they have fun with their friends in a safe and caring environment.
PARENT PARTNERSHIPS: – CURRICULUM EVENINGS – WORKSHOPS – SHARING SKILLS, CULTURES AND INTERESTS AIDS UNDERSTANDING AND DEVELOPMENT
Feeling happy and secure encourages children to express themselves, develop relationships and build on their individual strengths. There is plenty of creative play to stimulate them and spark their imaginations, but they also have the opportunity to start on the road to learning - in music, numeracy and languages. Our idyllic countryside setting, where they can run and play in a healthy, stimulating environment, means their bodies as well as their minds are exercised. They learn to appreciate nature in our beautiful Outdoor Adventures site.
EACH CLASS HAS A TOPICBASED TRIP ONCE A TERM, WITH EACH TRIP FOUNDED ON ONE OF
7 AREAS OF THE CURRICULUM
We can be very flexible with the times and days that children come to us, accommodating the needs of busy family lives with care available at short notice.
FRENCH IS TAUGHT FROM THE EARLY YEARS...
All of our Early Years children move on to Pre-Prep happy and confident, knowing their own strengths and talents and ready for further inspiration.
WITH A SECOND CHOICE OF GERMAN OR SPANISH FROM YEAR 7, WHEN LATIN IS ALSO INTRODUCED
WRAP AROUND CARE*:
VALUE AND CELEBRATION ASSEMBLIES FOR CHILDREN, PARENTS AND STAFF:
– BREAKFAST CLUB – AFTER SCHOOL CARE – AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS – SUPPER
* Children can attend breakfast club and stay for supper at any time as arranged or if required. – No need to pre-book for afternoon care, this can be done same day on morning arrival or later by email, text or a simple old fashioned phone call.
PER WEEK. EVERY MONTH WE FOCUS ON A DIFFERENT, POSITIVE SCHOOL VALUE
Pre-Prep: encouraging exploration, building self-esteem.
“ Whether they are climbing trees, performing on our state-of-the- art stage, being creative in our inspiring art studio, running around our fully-equipped sports hall, learning to swim at Malvern College indoor pool or simply sitting on Brock Meadow looking up at the hills, we cater for all of our children’s social, emotional, moral and spiritual well-being, through a stimulating and challenging environment.” Mrs Sigley, Head of Pre-Prep
“ I like the fact that I can flexi board and spend time with my friends in the boarding house.” Year 3 Pupil
“ I love the way that the children are prepared for the bigger world. It is wonderful to watch them flourish in such a beautiful environment with such supportive staff.” Parent of Pre-Prep Pupil
“ The most supportive and loving community that helped develop my confidence and shape me as a person.” Alumna
The years from the age of three up to seven should provide the building blocks of a child’s formal education, and our Pre-Prep provides a broad and balanced combination of learning and play in a supportive, structured, friendly setting. It’s the starting point for each child to reach their full and unique potential.
PUPILS HAVE A
Weekly SWIMMING LESSON AT MALVERN COLLEGE
Children can join Pre-Prep at any time in any year, and they will be warmly welcomed into the fold and supported as they find their feet.
Regular off-site visits bring art, drama, science and history to life as well as spark the imagination of enquiring minds.
Class lessons in the morning are followed by a range of stimulating afternoon activities – including spending time in our Outdoors Adventure site, where children are encouraged to learn resilience and to develop an appreciation of the natural world.
Our children move on to Year 3 in our Prep School enjoying every day, ready for the next stage of their journey in their quest for knowledge and understanding.
2 DAY TRIP TO A LOCAL OUTDOOR PURSUIT CENTRE, IS OFTEN A CHILD’S FIRST OVERNIGHT STAY AWAY FROM THEIR PARENTS
Extracurricular activities such as art, music, drama and design technology play an equally important part in developing skills and promoting selfexpression, balanced by a wide range of sports and physical activities to foster confidence and build healthy young bodies.
Yrs 3-4 THERE IS NO FORMAL PREP
Prep School: achieving excellence, instilling independence.
â€œ Pupils are very well prepared for the next phase of their education, with a considerable number gaining scholarships to their destination schools each year.â€? ISI Inspection Report, November 2018
“ I have loved every second.” Year 8 Pupil
“ When my daughter first joined the school in the middle of a term in Year 3, we were amazed at how quickly everyone welcomed her and she was made to feel at home immediately.” Parent of Year 6 and Year 8 Pupils
“ Somewhere that builds your character and shapes you.” Alumnus
The school week is a busy one for our Prep School children. It flies by in a whirl of enjoyment, excitement, laughter and (of course) hard work.
Yrs 6-8 (7-9) 30-MINUTE SUPERVISED PREPS PER WEEK
The children receive outstanding teaching in purpose-built and wellresourced classrooms and facilities. These include a multi-million-pound sports hall, junior and senior science laboratories, a design technology suite, art studio, music school and an all-weather sports pitch. Saturday mornings are when our Hobbies programme gets into full swing and, in the afternoon, there are frequent school sports fixtures. As the children move through the school, the balance of activities shifts. Year 3 and Year 4 children are gently encouraged to become more independent in their thinking, learning and personal organisation. They spend around 60% of their time working on core subjects with their class teacher, and the remaining time moving around the school for lessons in arts and sciences.
From Year 5 upwards, lessons are taught by specialist teachers who ensure that children are supported or stretched as appropriate. In Year 7, the curriculum focuses increasingly on Common Entrance and Scholarships, while Latin and a second modern language are also added. All children joining The Downs Malvern at any time throughout the academic year receive a very warm welcome and quickly feel at home in our close and nurturing school community.
IN 2020, 22 LEAVERS ACHIEVED
30 ACADEMIC, ART, DRAMA, DT, MUSIC, SPORT SCHOLARSHIPS
PUPILS SPEND AROUND
60% OF THEIR TIME WORKING ON CORE SUBJECTS WITH THEIR CLASS TEACHER
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Beyond the classroom: developing breadth, diversity and selfexpression.
â€œ Pupils make progress beyond age-related expectations as a result of the school providing specialist programmes and enrichment activities.â€? ISI Inspection Report, November 2018
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
“ I like all the different teachers and variety in my day.” Year 3 Pupil
“ We have been so thrilled with the brilliant support... from academics and learning support, to a huge offering in sports and extracurricular activities.” Parent of Year 6 and Year 8 Pupils
“ Motivating.” Alumnus
Arts and extracurricular activities are crucial to the philosophy of The Downs Malvern, and every child is afforded the opportunity to develop beyond their academic achievements into well-rounded individuals and express their natural talents.
Creative Arts occupy a central place in the school calendar, with art, music and activities such as concerts, plays and exhibitions supplementing formal teaching. Pupils are encouraged to learn to play instruments, and speech and drama lessons are offered – including teaching towards LAMDA examinations. Trips to museums, art galleries and theatres and visits by professional musicians provide further stimulus and inspiration.
The school’s Hobbies programme on Saturday mornings provides the opportunity to enjoy cookery, drama, music, pottery, art, hockey, photography, film making, gardening, outdoor adventure, fitness training, fencing, computer club, jazz band, badminton, chess and even railway engineering on our miniature steam railway. The Downs Light Railway is the world’s oldest privately owned miniature railway.
VISITS TO: • TATE, ST IVES GALLERY • BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM & ART GALLERY • WORCESTER ART GALLERY • COMPTON VERNEY • ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY, STRATFORD • MALVERN THEATRES • THE ROSES THEATRE, TEWKESBURY
LAMDA WITH THE CLOSE ASSOCIATION WITH MALVERN COLLEGE, CHILDREN REGULARLY TAKE PART IN EVENTS HOSTED THERE - INCLUDING, PUBLIC SPEAKING COMPETITIONS AND MUSICAL SHOWS
EXAMS: RECOGNISING AND REWARDING THE ENDEAVOURS OF EACH INDIVIDUAL, BUT ALSO ENCOURAGING THEIR EMPOWERMENT
SPORTS AND TEAM GAMES
Sports and team games: realising each child’s potential.
“ Pupils benefit significantly from opportunities to develop resilience and self-reliance, finding new levels of determination and motivation.” ISI Inspection Report, November 2018
SPORTS AND TEAM GAMES
“ I like competing against other schools in sport. The sports teachers are brilliant and always encourage me.” Year 3 Pupil
“ The school has a wonderful family feel. Small class sizes, whilst being big enough to play sports at a high level.” Parent of Year 8 Pupil
“ It makes you feel like you are part of something very wonderful, a very special family.” Alumna
Participation is at the root of all our physical activities, alongside encouraging children to find games and sports that they enjoy and which complement their natural abilities. PE is taught as part of the curriculum from Nursery onwards to ensure the healthy physical development of each child.
SPLIT INTO SMALLER GROUPS
SPORTS TOURS FOR YRS 7-8, EVERY 2 YRS
PREVIOUS SCHOOL TOURS
TOURS IN ENGLAND IN INTERVENING YEARS, WHILE SPORTING
MINUTE PHYSICAL EDUCATION (PE) LESSONS EACH WEEK IN YEAR GROUPS
ALREADY IN THE PLANNING PHASE FOR OUR NEXT TOUR IN OCTOBER 2021
– MADRID & BARCELONA – ROTTERDAM – EINDHOVEN
ARE SEEN AS A VITAL PART OF A CHILD’S SPORTING DEVELOPMENT, BUILDING FRIENDSHIPS AND TEAM SPIRIT
Our impressive facilities include a huge and well-equipped sports hall, extensive games fields, an astroturf pitch, and netball and tennis courts. Swimming takes place at our associated senior school, Malvern College. Core sports include rugby, hockey, football, netball and cross country in the winter months, while cricket, rounders, tennis and athletics take over in the summer. Gymnastics, basketball and badminton are also included in our PE and Games curriculum.
There are regular team fixtures against other schools, and many of our children, given such an excellent start, go on to win sports scholarships at their next school.
WE HAVE A STRONG SKIING GROUP WITH
3 PUPILS CURRENTLY IN THE BRITISH SKIING SCHOOL, WITH SKI TRAINING IN AUSTRIA AND THE ALPS
SPORTS ACTIVITIES: ABSEILING ATHLETICS BADMINTON BASKETBALL CRICKET CROSS COUNTRY FOOTBALL GYMNASTICS HANDBALL HOCKEY NETBALL PE ROUNDERS RUGBY TENNIS SKIING SWIMMING CANOEING YOGA
Boarding at The Downs Malvern: A caring, safe and happy “home-fromhome”.
“ The pupils demonstrate a high level of maturity and a strong sense of pride in both the school and boarding communities.” ISI Inspection Report, November 2018
“ I love boarding at The Downs because it is fun and living with my friends is awesome! We get to play lots of games and hang out with great people.” Year 7 Pupil
“ The extensive range of extra ‘activities’ and ‘hobbies’ is phenomonal.” Parent of Year 8 Pupil
“ It’s just a big happy family.” Alumna
Our boarding house is home to over 50 children from Year 3 upwards: many have parents living or working overseas; others simply value the fun and camaraderie of boarding at a well-equipped, caring prep school.
There’s a lot of flexibility available, which our families appreciate, and so the numbers boarding each night can vary from 35 upwards. There are options to board weekly, flexi or full-time during term times and huge thought and dedication goes into ensuring that our boarders feel happy, safe and cared for. Each child shares a dormitory with children of their own age, and boarders really do make it their “home from home”. There is an organised routine, with time set aside for study as well as extracurricular activities – and plenty of opportunities to relax in comfortable surroundings.
TYPICALLY WE HAVE BETWEEN
HOUSE PARENTS ARE ASSISTED BY
FLEXI BOARDERS CAN STAY
BOARDERS EACH NIGHT, 7 DAYS PER WEEK
RESIDENT TEACHING STAFF AND 2 GAP STUDENTS
NIGHTS, OR ON AN AD HOC BASIS
2 RESIDENT MATRONS PLUS
NEW BOARDERS RECEIVE BUDDY SUPPORT:
ON-SITE MEDICAL CARE
2 – DAY SCHOOL BUDDIES 2 – BOARDING HOUSE BUDDIES
Each day begins with a nutritious, home-cooked breakfast before lessons begin. The Common Room is equipped with computers so that boarders can keep in touch with their families, as well as using them for school work and recreation. No two nights are the same for the children: during the evenings and at weekends, they can use the Games Room where there are table tennis and pool tables, table football, and a relaxing quiet area. Regular trips are arranged and the children also have access to our extensive grounds and sports facilities.
There is also a kitchen for making evening drinks and snacks, and each evening concludes with restful light reading. Boarders are personally cared for by an experienced resident team of teaching and non-teaching staff – led by house parents specifically appointed to the role and backed by two full-time resident Matrons.
“ School is amazing, I am sad if I can’t go.” Pre-Prep Pupil
“ As parents, we could not be more delighted with The Downs Malvern. Our son has thrived both in and out of the classroom.” Parent of Year 8 Pupil
“ The Downs Malvern gave me an amazing foundation from which to move on to senior school. I was encouraged to explore all areas of school life and to flourish outside of my comfort zone. I left with a well-rounded education, lifelong friends and such happy memories.” Alumna
Everybody listens to me.
Throughout these pages we have included quotes from a survey we ran with our pupils – asking them for their feedback on their experiences at The Downs Malvern.
Perhaps most importantly, one child responded: “Everybody listens to me.” “Being listened to” means that every one of our pupils can have the fullest and richest possible experience during their time with us.
We will hear them when they have doubts and concerns, celebrate their successes with them, and help them develop inner confidence and quiet courage to face the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
“ Lucky are children who attend such a happy school, surrounded by nature and under the wing of Headmaster Alastair Cook.” Quote from Muddy Stilettos
“ The thing I enjoy the most about this school is the warmth and kindness of all of the teachers.” Year 4 Pupil
“ I love that everyday the children sit with a mix of year groups, and teachers to eat lunch. Teaching manners and understanding across all ages.” Parent of Year 8 Pupil
“ For my part the overriding memory of the school is a child who came home happy and bursting with things to tell about her day. That was not always the case with our other children at other schools.” Governor
“ There is always someone you can talk to. It is a really friendly place.” Year 7 Pupil
“ When I asked my child what the favourite thing about their school was, they said ‘it’s cool to be kind’.” Parent of Year 6 and Year 8 Pupils
“ Where else can you drive a steam train every Saturday morning before filming for The Downs TV?” Parent of Year 8 Pupil
“ I love The Downs Malvern railway because I get to look after, fix and drive the trains. It’s the best thing I have ever done!” Year 3 Pupil
“We have two children currently at The Downs Malvern in Year 6 & 7 and one who left last year, who has moved onto Malvern College. We have been very impressed with how the school has dealt with them as individuals, catering for their different needs and encouraging them to pursue their individual interests and maximise the opportunities the school has to offer.” Parent of Year 6 and Year 7 Pupils
“Our three children are loving their time at The Downs Malvern. The school offers a caring and encouraging environment, enabling a supportive and fulfilling learning journey. Pupils are well mannered, kind and really do look after each other!” Parent of Pre-Prep Pupils
“ I really love coming to school on Saturday and doing all of the many different hobbies.” Year 5 Pupil
HOW TO FIND US: THE DOWNS MALVERN, BROCKHILL ROAD, MALVERN, WORCESTERSHIRE UNITED KINGDOM WR13 6EY 52˚05’10.3”N 2˚21’16.0”W
What happens next...
Dark Green: C:90 M:0 Y:75 B:83
THE DOWNS MALVERN IS NESTLED WITHIN A 55 ACRE CAMPUS ON THE EDGE OF THE MALVERN HILLS, AN AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY.
SUCCESS RATE OF CHILDREN ATTAINING COMMON ENTRANCE TO THEIR DESIRED SCHOOLS
PRE-PREP YEAR 1 & 2 PRE-PREP YEAR 1 & 2
MAIN HOUSE MAIN HOUSE RECEPTION RECEPTION
To Colwall Pre-Prep Playground Pre-Prep Playground
Each year, many of our Year 8s achieve a variety of Academic, Art, Drama, DT, Music and Sports scholarships, and all of our pupils are well equipped to carry on their education at a range of leading senior schools. Many go on to our associated school, Malvern College. But that’s the end point of this particular part of their journey. The starting point is usually a visit by the family to meet our staff and pupils, who will show them the quality of the education and pastoral care they will receive. It is possible for children to join at any time during the academic year: we do not have formal entrance tests but we do ask to see their latest school report.
To arrange a visit at a time to suit you, simply get in touch with our Registrar. You’ll find everything we’ve promised on these pages – and much more. After that, a few “taster” days spent at The Downs Malvern will make your child feel entirely confident about joining us.
CONTACT US NOW: T: +44 (0)1684 544100 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www thedownsmalvern.org.uk
29 SCHOLARSHIPS WERE AWARDED TO YEAR 8 PUPILS APPROXIMATELY 70% OF OUR PUPILS GO ON TO OUR ASSOCIATED SENIOR SCHOOL, MALVERN COLLEGE OVER THESE LAST 12 YEARS, PUPILS HAVE GONE ON TO 29 DIFFERENT INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT THE UK PLUS TO SCHOOLS OVERSEAS
MEMO HALL MEMO HALL
DOWNS LIGHT DOWNS RAILWAY LIGHT RAILWAY
SPORTS HALL SPORTS HALL
Boarders’ Lawn EYFS Play Area Boarders’ Lawn EYFS Play Area
BOARDING HOUSE & MEDICAL CENTRE BOARDING HOUSE & MEDICAL CENTRE
WHITE HOUSE WHITE HOUSE
P P PREP SCHOOL PREP SCHOOL SCIENCE & DT
SCIENCE & DT
MUSIC SCHOOL MUSIC SCHOOL
Forest School Forest School
Main Games Pavilion Main Games Pavilion
ART STUDIO ART STUDIO
Brock Meadow Brock Meadow
ESTATE MAP FOREST SCHOOL
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES DOWNS LIGHT RAILWAY DOWNS LIGHT RAILWAY
MAIN GAMES MAIN GAMES Pavilion Pavilion
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Brock Meadow Brock Meadow
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PART OF THE MALVERN COLLEGE FAMILY OF SCHOOLS
T: +44 (0)1684 544100 E: email@example.com www thedownsmalvern.org.uk
The Downs Malvern, Brockhill Road, Malvern, Worcestershire WR13 6EY
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