Little Downsend Leatherhead
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

2 - 6
Other independent school

How Does The School Perform?

Independent Inspection
Full Report - All Reports

Independent preparatory schools do not have to follow the National Curriculum or submit test results to the Department for Education so there is no individual school performance data or star rating.

Visit the school's website to learn more about their unique curriculum, policies on testing and common leaver destinations (a good indicator of pupil progress). See our About page for information on Choosing A Prep School.

Boarding Type
Day Fees Per Term
Pupils with SEN support

Leaver Destinations


School Prospectus

13 Epsom Road
KT22 8ST
01372 372311

See News and Open Days from Little Downsend Leatherhead

School Description

Little Downsend Leatherhead is the perfect place for little people with very big ideas. Located just a 5 minute walk from the Junior and Senior Schools, in large Victorian townhouse, it has a family feel that belies its innovative outlook. Behind the doors you will find children using cutting edge educational technology to progress their learning, nursery age children learning French, Music, Dance, Forest School and Sport from Specialist Teachers and engaging in creative projects with the Lego Foundation; a project for which Little Downsend became a Finalist in the ISA Awards 2021 for Innovation and Excellence in Early Years. Children’s achievement in the EYFS Early Learning Goals is outstanding, exceeding National and Surrey averages significantly. Little Downsend Leatherhead benefits from a vast outdoor area including large playgrounds, a pet enclosure, a vegetable garden, a stage and spacious fields. Wrap around care is offered from 7:45am until 6pm along with an array of extra-curricular clubs.

News, Photos and Open Days from Little Downsend Leatherhead
Last update: 20 March 2024


Our personal tours give you a perfect opportunity to see our schools in action. Lisa Burns, the Head of Little Downsend Schools and Nursery, will show you our fantastic indoor and outdoor facilities, introduce you to staff and children, and give you a sense of what a Downsend education has to offer. We will be delighted to talk about your child, how they learn, and any questions you may have. 

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Our results are outstanding. In a truly remarkable year, we are delighted that our children achieved such remarkable results. In 2022, Reception children met or exceeded their Early Learning Goals at rates significantly higher than the National or Surrey averages.

We are proud that  25% of children in Reception at Little Downsend exceeded the Early Learning Goal for writing, against a national average of 11%.


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From the age of two, all Little Downsend children benefit from our dedicated, expert specialist teaching. Every week, our children welcome professionals in French, Dance, Forest School, Music, and Sports, immersing themselves in the passion and enthusiasm of the teacher. All Reception and Year One children have swimming lessons in our 25m pool at the main school.

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We have three Little Downsend schools, located in Ashtead, Epsom, and Leatherhead.

Based in beautiful Victorian buildings with exceptional landscaped play areas, our children benefit from large, airy rooms with high ceilings, equipped with the latest technology. Each school has a unique outdoor space, with covered play areas, sandpits, mud kitchens, race tracks, climbing equipment, vegetable patches, and large open fields for simply running about!



Little Downsend Leatherhead Parent Reviews

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Meet the Head: Vanessa Conlan

An experienced teacher of 25 years, the last 10 in headship, Vanessa is a graduate of the University of Southampton where she obtained a BEd (Hons) in Primary Education with Music.

Vanessa has taught in a range of schools throughout her career, including Lonesome Primary, Ashford Park Primary, Epsom Primary, Beecholme Primary and Liberty Middle School. Vanessa’s strengths lie in teaching, learning and assessment and she is passionate about the Early Years in particular. Vanessa is a mother of 2 energetic young boys, both at Downsend, and is a Harlequins Rugby club season ticket holder who loves to travel, camp and listen to live music.

Who/what inspired you to become a teacher?

The inspiration came from somewhere within! There isn't anything tangible I can put my finger on, from a young age it was always something I wanted to do. I have 2 younger siblings and my mum tells many stories of me making them play schools.

What achievement are you most proud of as Head?

Our recent achievement at Little Downsend for our innovative approach to the use of technology, even for our littlest people.

Achievements for me are never about awards and recognition, they are always about the impact on the children but being nominated for 2 innovation awards and being accepted into the Microsoft Showcase School Incubator Pathway really celebrates the amazing work of the Little Downsend team in delivering a truly excellent curriculum for our incredible little people.

What does a successful school look like to you?

A successful school is a school where everyone is thriving and growing, both children and staff. It is a happy school where everyone is working together and aiming high for a common purpose.

What is the most important quality you want every child to have when they leave your school? And why?

I want every child to have a true love and passion for reading - to take both joy and comfort from it and to use it as a tool to continue to nurture their curiosity, understanding that books are the key to unlock the world around them.

Please give 5 words to describe the ethos of your school.

Go getting

Little Downsend Leatherhead Catchment Area Map

This school is independently managed and its admission criteria may be selective. There is no set catchment area as pupils are admitted from a wide variety of postcodes and, in the case of boarding schools, from outside the UK. Contact the school directly or visit their website for more information on Admissions Policy and Procedures.