Little Downsend Leatherhead
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information


13 Epsom Road
KT22 8ST
01372 385437
2 - 6
Other independent school
Full Report
Independent Inspection Report

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

Leaver Destinations


School Description

Downsend School Pre- Prep Leatherhead is one of three co-educational pre-preparatory schools for children aged two to six years attached to Downsend Preparatory School. The school is open from 8.30am to 3.30pm and has before school provision from 7.30am and after school provision up to 6pm. It also has on site holiday provision through its Downsend+ activity programme. Housed in an imposing victorian property with extensive outside areas, Leatherhead Pre- Prep is the largest of the three Pre-Prep schools and consists of First Steps, Rising Reception , Reception and Year 1 classes. It aims to create a rich, colourful and stimulation environment where a child can experience success and develop a love of learning.
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Our prospectus

School Noticeboard

News & events from Little Downsend Leatherhead

Last update: 13 October 2021

We like nothing more than welcoming families to Downsend.


Contact our Admissions Team




Here are some of the reasons why parents choose Downsend:

• Over 90% of our children are working above National Average by the end of Year One;

• All Year 3 pupils receive specialist tuition in the flute, trumpet and violin, as part of the Downsend Music Programme;

• All pupils, including our Pre-Prep children, have access to expert coaching in a wide range of sports through the Downsend Academies;

• 68% of our pupils exceed their expected progress by the end of Year 6;

• On average, over 95% of our pupils pass the entrance test to their first choice senior school;

• 45% of our Year 8 pupils gained a scholarship to their senior school last year. 40% of these were academic.

Typically over 40 academic, sporting or creative scholarships are awarded each year to some of the top senior schools, including City of London Freemen's, Epsom College, Reigate Grammar and St John's. Some pupils achieve scholarships to schools further away, such as Tonbridge, Winchester College and Westminster.

Teaching and Learning at Little Downsend





We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new Senior School which will educate girls and boys up to Year 11 from September 2020, seeing them through the completion of a new 3 year GCSE Programme. The development builds on Downsend’s track record as an established preparatory school with strong academics alongside character development and wellbeing, particularly in the areas of sport and the performing arts. 

Ian Thorpe, Headmaster, says: “We already have fantastic sports, science, DT and ICT facilities that would be the envy of many senior schools. Our reputation for preparing children for their senior school education is already established. The difference is our ability to better balance the pastoral and academic needs of pupils so that they enjoy their schooling with us whilst achieving their academic and personal successes.” 

“Over recent years, so many of our parents have expressed genuine sadness that their children could not continue at Downsend beyond Year 8. We are delighted to remedy this, and immensely proud to be bringing about this next phase of Downsend School’s history.”

Our new Senior School

Little Downsend Leatherhead Reviews

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Meet the Head: Gill Brooks

Gill has been a teacher for more than 30 years and began working in state primary schools around Surrey. She has been Head at Downsend Pre-Prep Leatherhead since 1997

Who/what inspired you to become a teacher?

I had some great teachers who inspired me. My love of History was because of a certain teacher and I thought how good it would be if I could inspire a child or two to love learning. Watching great teachers, as a young teacher, made me realise how much impact on young lives you have; a great responsibility and challenge. I have always strived to be the very best teacher I could be, never resting, and always finding ways to improve my delivery of lessons.

What achievement are you most proud of as Head?

I think of all the families I have met over the years and how I have seen their children grow from toddlers into fine young adults. Families return to see us with very fond memories of attending our school. Gaining outstanding in our Early Years inspection was an achievement I was very proud of. I have a great staff who certainly work as a team to deliver outstanding teaching. Through excellent teaching our children are working well above the National Average. 

What does a successful school look like to you?

A successful school should have a buzz about it, and be a happy place for children, staff and parents to come to each day. It should be a place where children are excited about learning and discovery; a place where children’s successes are shared; a place where children feel confident to try new ideas and develop a love of learning. A successful school is where children are “stretched”, taken out of their comfort zone and challenged. Once the children realise just what they have achieved, their confidence soars.

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

I want children to feel confident in their ability, to have a real understanding and empathy for the world around them. It is important as they grow older to become confident but caring, ambitious but not big headed or arrogant about their success. The children must have the confidence to strive to fulfill their own potential, yet remain humble. 

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

Caring, high expectations, diverse, individual support, happiness.

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.

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