The Downs School (Berkshire)
|Motto||'Learning Together, Learning For Life'|
|Type||Comprehensive foundation school|
|Headteacher||Chris Robert Prosser|
|Local authority||West Berkshire|
|DfE URN||110102 Tables|
|Houses||Aldworth, Beechwood, Chiltern, Lowbury, Perborough, Ridgeway.|
|Colours||Yellow, Purple, Sky Blue, Red, Green, Blue.|
The Downs has approximately 1150 pupils, including 260 in the sixth form. It starts for students in year 7, who are aged 11. For the past 2 years it has been the highest attaining school in West Berkshire using the measure of 5A*-C GCSEs including higher passes in English and mathematics. The school is located on Manor Crescent. The nearest major town is Newbury which is 8 miles away. Other neighbouring towns include Wantage, Didcot, Thatcham and Reading. Within a short walk of the school is the Compton village shop and the large Compton recreation ground. It is just over 2 miles from the East Ilsley junction of the A34.
The head-teacher is Chris Robert Prosser, Previously Deputy Head-teacher before Valerie Holdey's retirement in December 2013.
It is also the last remaining West Berkshire Authority secondary school to retain its own swimming pool after St Bartholomew's School removed its pool in Summer 2009.
The school specialises in languages. This means that pupils are required to study at least one foreign language until they finish GCSEs, with the opportunity of learning others. The school has exchange visits to France, Germany and Spain. Sports tours are also annually organised. Teams have been to Spain, the Netherlands and in 2007 went to Cyprus.
The Downs also has specialisms in science and maths.
The school has a sixth form centre of about 260 students. Previously located on the bottom floor of the Graham Taylor building (GT), It is located in the newly renovated old science block, after moving there when the new Science building (Hubble) was built. Subjects range from all the sciences to politics, economics, law and media studies. The current head of sixth form is Andrew Hartley. Its results at A-Level are exceptional for a non-selective state school.