« Back to Schools

Downe House

Downe House is a traditional girls boarding school set on a stunning 110-acre estate in the village of Cold Ash in West Berkshire.


Downe House strongly encourages prospective students and their parents to visit the school before applying. You can do this by attending one of their open mornings or by arranging a private virtual tour. You can book a place at an open morning here: https://www.downehouse.net/admissions/visits-and-open-mornings/

To arrange a virtual tour you can contact the school registrar, Angela Nutt, using [email protected]

The registration form for Downe House is available online and should be completed at least one year prior to entry ie. the summer of Year 5: Online Registration

Assessment Day

All girls registered for entry will be invited to an assessment day. This will take place in the Michaelmas (Autumn) term the year before entry - ie. the first term of Year 6. Before attending the assessment day, Downe House will also request a report from the Headteacher of your daughters current school.

On the assessment day, your daughter will take part in a variety of activities – from drama and design technology to team building workshops. Every girl who is invited to the assessment day will have a short interview with the Headmistress. There will also be a CEM-based academic test. Girls will take part in a tour of the school, and attend lunch with current students so that they can get a feel for the school.

The Test

The academic test which takes place on the assessment day will consist of the online CEM Select pretest, which assesses Verbal (including short passages of comprehension), Non-Verbal and Numerical Ability in short, timed sections.

The best way to prepare for the test is to firstly ensure that you have a firm grasp of the KS2 curriculum in Maths and English. The campaign area of Atom Nucleus will help to ensure you have spent the optimal amount of time in each subject and close any gaps in knowledge. For the Verbal and Non Verbal reasoning component, it is crucial to become familiar with the styles of reasoning that these questions require. Atom Nucleus allows you to do unlimited practice questions, and is packed with high quality videos and helpsheets to help develop your understanding. This is a powerful tool, proven to significantly improve performance in VR and NVR. Atom Nucleus also allows you to take unlimited practice tests - these will help you to identify your daughter’s strengths and weaknesses so she can use her time as effectively as possible in revision.

To learn how to get the most from Atom Nucleus, you can book a free place on a Nucleus Webinar here:


Shortly after the assessment day, offers will be made conditional on a satisfactory result in the Common Entrance or Scholarship test in January.


Potential Scholars are identified on the Assessment Day. Following a successful Assessment Day in September, girls are invited to sit for either an Academic Scholarship or Common Entrance. You can find full details of the available scholarships here: Scholarships


Downe House offers a variety of bursaries and support options. You can find details here: Bursaries Information

Start your 5-day Free Trial of Atom Learning.

Get Now