The Downs Malvern


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  • Category: Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: (Boys) (Girls)
  • Age Range: 3 - 13 years
  • Founded: 1900

General Information

The Downs is an outstanding day, weekly, flexi and full boarding school for girls and boys from 3 – 13 years. Associated with Malvern College, the school is set within its own impressive 55-acre campus on the western edge of the Malvern Hills. The school is well known for its first class education in a very secure, caring and extremely well resourced environment. All children are encouraged to do their very best academically, creatively, physically, socially and spiritually so that they may achieve beyond their greatest expectations. Our boarders receive a hugely supportive and homely boarding experience in which each develops high levels of self-confidence. The boarding provision is excellent and the pastoral care is exemplary. The independent thinking and resourcefulness of our pupils ensures that they are empowered by the confidence that their success brings.

To support the academic programme, there are a large number of extra-curricular activities from which all children find something outside the curriculum that enthuses and inspires them. The opportunity for a seamless progression and a continuation of our education programme to our associated Senior School, Malvern College, is obvious. However, children at The Downs Malvern are also prepared for a wide range of alternative Senior Schools across the country at 13+.

Pupils at The Downs have a strong sense of social awareness; they are courteous and caring and high standards of behaviour are the norm. The strong sense of community founded on outstanding relationships between pupils and between pupils and the teachers is our trademark.


Pupils benefit from superb extra-curricular, boarding (full, weekly or flexi) and sports facilities, including a multi million pound sports hall, art studio, fully equipped science laboratories, computer suite and an all- weather sports pitch. The latest inspection enthused: "The school offers an excellent educational experience. Throughout the school the pupils' achievement is excellent and they reach high standards both in their academic work and in a wide range of extra-curricular activities." (ISI, May 2012) The distinctive ethos and vision of the school is to "provide a first class education in a secure, caring and disciplined environment, where every pupil can fulfil his or her unique potential- academically,creatively, physically, socially and spiritually”.

Open Days

2018. Open Day: Bank Holiday Monday 7th May, 9.30am - 4.30pm. Open Afternoon: Fri. 12th October, 2pm - 4.30pm. Open Morning: Sat. 13th October, 9.30am - 12.30pm.


2017/2018. Day: Reception - Year 8, £2311 - £5553 per term. Weekly Boarding: Pre-Prep - Year 8, £4189 - £6468 per term. Full Boarding: Pre-Prep - Year 8, £4761 - £7350 per term.


ISI Inspection 2015

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Alastair S Cook

Contact for enquiries: Mrs Katherine Cox, Registrar

The Downs Malvern
Brockhill Road
WR13 6EY

[t]: 01684 544100 (Enquiries); 01684 544108 (Registrar)
[f]: 01684 544105

Location Description

The Downs Malvern is situated on the Western edge of the Malvern Hills and set in a beautiful 55 acre campus.

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School News

The Downs Malvern independent preparatory school Worcestershire

Before Half Term, the children in Pre-Prep spent some time looking at the Matandani School in Malawi. For several years, Pre-Prep have carried out fundraising

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events to support the development of this school. During the week, they looked at the school and learnt all about school life there.

The children wrote some wonderful letters and drew some fantastic pictures to send to their friends in Matandani. They also gathered colouring pencils, writing pencils, note pads, colouring books and stamps to send to them.

Over Half Term, Mrs Watts parcelled up all of the wonderful items that the children donated and she sent them to the school, where they will be much appreciated and enjoyed!

The Downs Malvern independent preparatory school Worcestershire

Pre-Prep had a fantastic week learning about all things ‘Africa’ last term. The week began with a talk from the Headmaster, Mr Cook, to Years

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1 and 2. Before becoming Headmaster, Mr Cook lived in both Kenya and Zimbabwe, so he had lots of interesting things to tell the children! The children were fascinated to hear all the Headmaster’s stories about what it was like to both grow up and live in these wonderful countries and he then taught the children some Swahili words!

Pre-Prep then had a fantastic experience with ‘Beat Feet’, spending the morning in a drum workshop, learning how to play the African drums. Jude taught the children all the different sounds you can make with your hands and they worked together to sing some well-known songs along with their drums!

The children then spent the afternoon making their very own drums, using items from home that they brought in.

The Downs Malvern independent preparatory school Worcestershire

We had a tremendous response to our Lent Term Art Competition on the theme of ‘Teamwork, Working Together, Supporting Each Other’. Mrs Pritchard, Head of

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Art at Malvern College, kindly came over to judge and she was extremely impressed with the standard of all the entries. All of the works were transferred to St Edmunds Hall at Malvern College for inclusion in their special anniversary exhibition celebrating 25 years of co-education.

‘Congratulations’ to Harry, Iona and Abigail for winning first, second and third prize respectively and to all those who achieved ‘Highly Commended’. Morgan (Year 3), was awarded the Aidan Meller Junior Art Cup for her skilfully modelled art work showing two rowers.


The Downs Malvern independent preparatory school Worcestershire

‘Congratulations’ to 15 of our Year 8 Scholarship pupils, who have achieved 21 Academic, Art, Drama, Design Technology, Music or Sports awards to 3 different

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senior schools next year.

The Downs Malvern independent preparatory school Worcestershire

We are so pleased that a brand new Eco-Schools Committee has begun at the school.

Staff are delighted with the group of volunteers and the children

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will now be working hard as a team to achieve the prestigious ‘Eco-Schools Green Flag Award’.

The new committee includes pupils from Years 1 to 8, two parent volunteers and three members of staff.

The Downs Malvern independent preparatory school Worcestershire

On Tuesday 16th January, Year One went on a super trip to The Royal Infirmary Museum in Worcester.

The children took part in a workshop all

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about measuring health. This involved, among other things, taking their own temperature and oxygen saturation levels, as well as seeing how flexible they all were! (The children were far more flexible than the adults!)

The children were incredibly well-behaved on the train and walking around Worcester – a lovely day out was had by all!

The Downs Malvern independent preparatory school Worcestershire

On Tuesday 16th January, nine girls went to Malvern College for a Netball masterclass with ex-England Captain, Pamela Cookey.

The afternoon consisted of a presentation, ‘Question

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and Answer’ session, a coaching session and, finally, a small tournament.

The girls played brilliantly in the tournament against The Elms, Moor Park, Prestfelde and Beaudesert, losing only one match out of the four.

A fantastic day – the girls came away inspired for the rest of their Netball season!

The Downs Malvern independent preparatory school Worcestershire

The Pre-Prep department recently had a ‘Storytelling’ themed week! The week involved a number of fun, and exciting, activities!

The beginning of their week began with

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a visit from the Hobgoblin Theatre Company, whospent the afternoon with the staff and pupils. They acted out ‘The Frog Prince’, which was followed by an entertaining and imaginative drama workshop that all the children enjoyed taking part in!

Year 2 then went on a trip to The Hive, in Worcester! They took the train from Colwall train station, and arrived at The Hive, wherethey were shown the different sections of the children’s library and watched how the returns machine sorted the books to ensure they were delivered back to the issuing library. They were shown how to search for titles and then enjoyed some free time reading and looking at a range of fiction and non fiction books!

Meanwhile, Year 1 went on a more local trip, down to Colwall Library!They spent some time looking through books and sharing them together before finishing with a story.

The week ended with a brilliant day in Forest School, where they were visited by a guest storyteller, Chris Holland!Chris bought a didgeridoo, a xylophone and a cajon drum, which helped bring his story telling alive. The stories he told us included ‘How the Robin got his Red Breast’ and ‘Why Frogs are Timid’. The children enjoyed making stick dogs and tying loggers hitches to them in order to take them for a walk.The children did what children should do in mud – they slipped and slid everywhere! The fire burnt all day and it was a very tired Pre- Prep that returned to school at the end of the day!

A big ‘thank you’ to the Pre-Prep staff for organising such a brilliant, and successful, week for the pupils! And to all of the guests and visitors who helped make the week so exciting.

The Downs independent day and boarding school Worcestershire

On Saturday 8th October, the u13 girls’ hockey team participated in the Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls’ tournament. It proved to be an absolutely fantastic

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day for our senior girls!

From the start of every match, they went out attacking hard and showed some outstanding teamwork on the pitch. Showing off skills and positioning that they have been working at in training, they backed each other well, and every goal scored was through beautifully worked team play and brilliant assists.

Facing HMSG B, Malvern St James, St John’s-on-the-Hill, HMSG A, and Moor Park through the day, they scored 22 goals and conceded only 1.

Heading into the final match of the day, against Moor Park, both teams were on equal points and it was a hard-fought match. The Downs Malvern were truly outstanding and it was a well-deserved 2-0 victory that sealed their lead in the tournament.

The girls loved every minute and they were able to learn from each other and from each match to ensure they kept getting stronger. Not only were they phenomenal sports women, but they were good ambassadors for the school – polite and gracious to their opposition.

Well done girls!

The Downs independent day and boarding school Worcestershire

On Wednesday 19th October, Year 4 went on a fantastic trip to Harvington Hall.

Whilst on thetrip, Year 4 learned all about the infamous Priest Hides,

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designed by Nicholas Owen. Theyhad the opportunity to squeeze in to one of the hidden hidey-holes and tryto remain as silent as possible!This proved to be quite challenging for some (!), but helped them see how difficult it would have been for the priests to stay quiet for over two days, whilst the searchers tried to find them

The childrenpretended to be rich Tudors, learning about Tudor clothing and etiquette and were taught a couple of dances, which was great fun!
Theyalso experienced what life ‘downstairs’ would have been like, becoming house servants and learning about the kitchens, food, jobs and expectations.

Some gruesome, grotty and gory pieces of information were enjoyed, including how Nicholas Owen was ‘stretched’ as part of his torture and how clothes were hung in the toilet (garderobe) because moths and fleas didn’t like the odour that expelled from that particular room!

All of Year 4 came home with happy memories of a very educational and enjoyable day.

The Downs independent day and boarding school Worcestershire

On Friday 21st October, the whole school took part in a fantastic Harvest Festival, ending the first half of the Autumn Term on a high!


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well as the School’s amazing contribution with all of the food that they brought in to donate, we were also treated to some terrific performances!

Pre-Prep Choir performed the song ‘Big Red Combine Harvester’ (Davies), followed by a beautifully sung version of ‘I am a small part of the World’ (Althowe) by the Junior Choir, and a lovely rendition of ‘As theDeer Pants for the Water’ (arr. Trambling) by the Senior Choir.

We also had a reading of Deuteronomy Chapter 6 from Charlie Canton-Smith, and a prayer read by Morgann McGee, both of whom read their respective pieces wonderfully.

Mr Cook reminded us all of the importance of teamwork, a key theme at the School this term. He told a story about a knight who was determined to use teamwork as a means to make a delicious soup!

Many thanks to Mrs Hunter, and to all of the staff who were involved in organising and preparing for another superb Harvest Festival!

Year 2 made the most of the February sunshine on their visit to The Dean Heritage Centre dressed as Victorian children.

As the school bell rang

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the boys lined up, removed their caps, walked silently into the classroom and sat at the front of the classroom. The girls then followed in and were asked to sit on the back benches. They were told to keep their hats on to stop them fiddling with their hair.

The teacher was very strict and we learnt about how Victorian children would have been punished if they were naughty. Mrs Shardlow and Mrs Sigley were the classroom monitors, handing out the slates, rags and slate pencils. We practiced writing and said our 3x table aloud. We were tested on our listening skills. We listened to The Owl and The Pussy Cat poem and then answered questions about it. The Victorian teacher showed us a back straightener which was used on children who did not sit up straight and we saw some very uncomfortable finger clamps that were used as a punishment. Thankfully Year 2 were all very well behaved and nobody got the cane!

After lunch we visited a Foresters cottage. A family of ten lived in the two bedroom cottage and the children all agreed it would have been a squeeze. Despite the range being lit the house was cold.

The children identified many differences between a Victorian cottage and houses today. Year 2 did some laundry using a wash board and dolly but all agreed a washing machine was a much better way of washing clothes!

This year, we welcomed Dr Bradley Wells, the new Head of English at Malvern College, to The Downs Malvern, as our adjudicator for the competition.

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He was enthusiastic in his praise for all of the performers, while also giving some good advice and guidance.

The competition started, as always, with the juniors, Rusheel Joshi (Y4 Cadbury) giving a confident presentation of ‘The Greedy Dog’ by James Hurley. He was followed by Beth Needham (Y4 Morgan) with W.H.Davies’ ‘Leisure’, then came Lochie Reid (Y4 Lewis) with ‘Homework, Oh Homework!’ by Jack Prelutsky and finally, a double helping of Y3 twins from Sanger – Samuel Perry and Sebastian Wilson reciting ‘Surrounded by Noise’ by Ian Souter, ably supported by George Perry and Maximus Wilson.

The Intermediate section performers were: Harriet and Madison Francis (Lewis) with ‘Friends’ by Elizabeth Jennings,; Sam Ingram (Morgan) reciting ‘The Word Party’ by Richard Edwards; Emily Eaton (Cadbury) with ‘Snail of the Moon’ by Ted Hughes and finally Matthew Vickers (Sanger) with ‘An Autumn Greeting’ by George Cooper.

The seniors completed the individual performances with first Morgan’s Antoine Sclater (Y8 ) reciting ‘Jabberwocky’ by Lewis Carroll. Then came Finn Watkins (Y7Cadbury) with ‘Forgiven’ by A.A. Milne. Finn shared first place with Sanger’s duo Rory Upton and Leo Wallace who performed James Reeves’ ‘The Sea’, and, finally Georgina Wood (Y8 Lewis) with Percy Shelley’s sonnet ‘Ozymandias’.

The House poem section produced some breath-taking performances, Lewis House opening dramatically with Tennyson’s ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’, followed by Morgan’s outstanding performance of ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes. Cadbury came next with ‘The Snowy Owl’ by Ted Hughes and Sanger brought the choral presentations to a close with ‘A Smuggler’s Song’ by Rudyard Kipling.

The section winners were:
Junior, Beth Needham;
Intermediate, Madison and Harriet Francis;
Senior, Finn Watkins;
House, Lewis.
The final overall result was:
1st Lewis, 2nd Morgan, 3rd Cadbury and 4th Sanger.

As always, the pupils gave us a marvellous hour of poetic entertainment – a wonderful start to the half term holiday.

A wonderful day of fun, sport and activities celebrating Downian Day and the 90th Anniversary of the Downs Light Railway, the oldest privately owned miniature

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steam railway in the world!

Many thanks to all those who took part in the “fun and games” but a tremendous amount of gratitude to all those who made the day possible; Mrs Houghton and the Friends of The Downs, the DLR, the parents’ “Railway Action Group”, Malcolm Robinson from the Downian Society and all those others who did so much. Congratulations to Sophia R, Sam, S and Alex I who have all been allowed to wear the “red necker” now that they are qualified to drive the engines. (Not bad for 10 year olds!)

Year 8 “Ask not what the School can do for you but what can I do for the School” Day !!

All of Year 8 recently

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spent the morning with the Headmaster looking to see what they might be able to do to enhance the school and the appearance of the school. On the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta they first discussed the Magna Carta and then considered JFK’s Inaugural Speech. They chose to make hanging baskets, paint the parking bollards and fences, sweep the Pre-prep Playground and the phone box, tidy the pond area and walk up the Brockhill Road on a good old fashioned litter “Womble”. They also chose the 44 stones that will be used for the WW1 10th anniversary cairn.Many thanks to our Year 8s, who leave in 10 days time, for a great year and for all that you have done, not just yesterday but over the past years you have been here.

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