Sunnydown School

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Sunnydown School
Whyteleafe Road

, ,

Coordinates51°17′41″N 0°05′06″W / 51.294698°N 0.084941°W / 51.294698; -0.084941Coordinates: 51°17′41″N 0°05′06″W / 51.294698°N 0.084941°W / 51.294698; -0.084941
TypeCommunity school
MottoWe Came To Conquer
Local authoritySurrey County Council
Department for Education URN125458 Tables
HeadteacherMr Paul Jensen
Age11 to 16

Sunnydown School is a special boarding secondary school situated in the town of Caterham in Surrey, England. The school educates students aged 11 to 16.


The school is classed as a community special school[1] and has an average intake of 20 students annually. It is located in the civil parish of Caterham on the Hill and right next to de Stafford School. It also touches the southwestern part of the London Borough of Croydon.

The school acts as a stepping stone from primary education onto further education colleges. Students at Sunnydown take 8 GCSE exams along with the ASDAN bronze award in Year 10 onwards and The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Pupils at the school follow a set of guidelines set by the staff in order to develop their independence and also prepare them for higher education and potential employment.[2] The school teaches pupils about 'British Values' and link this into the curriculum.[3] Around half of the students at the school attend the boarding side of the school. Students are encouraged to try what there is on offer and also maintain punctuality.

Name and establishment[edit]

The school itself was originally based in Hog's Back, Guildford.[4] The original building was called Portley House and was built in 1856 for a wine merchant, Charles Dingwall.[5] Ever since then, the building has had various extensions during its lifetime and became a school for the deaf a while later.[6] In 1983, Sunnydown School moved from Guildford to Caterham and has remained at Portley House ever since.[7] A gym, practical cooking room and more recently, a two-storey classroom block have been built to replace two prefabricated classroom blocks.[8]


A significant majority of students at the school are diagnosed with a form of autism spectrum disorder. The school deals with those who have speech and language disorders as well. The school deals with those with varying levels of disability and suits the learning environment to those. The catchment area of Sunnydown is very wide, taking people from Tandridge and as far as Woking and Surrey Heath whilst in the borders of Surrey.


Headteacher Years in office
Moore Armstrong 1989 – July 2014
Paul Jensen September 2014 - onwards


OFSTED periodic inspection grade (1 = excellent 4 = inadequate)[9]
Year Rating
2016 2
2012 1
2009 1
2005 2


  1. ^ Sunnydown School Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Vision,Mission,Values". Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  3. ^ "SMSC". Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  4. ^ Ltd, Councils & Education Press (1 January 1973). Education Committees Year Book. Councils & Education Press Limited. ISBN 9780900313479.
  5. ^ "The history of Portley in Caterham - OpenBibArt". Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Caterham, Portley House Boarding Special School (Deaf)".
  7. ^ "The School Building". Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  8. ^ "£3m boost for a Caterham school". Surrey Mirror. Retrieved 1 November 2017.[dead link]
  9. ^, Ofsted Communications Team. (5 November 2010). "Find an inspection report". Retrieved 12 January 2017.

External links[edit]