28 September 2022 – Berkshire – Local independent boarding school for girls, Downe House, has celebrated one hundred years at its woodland campus in Cold Ash with a special Founder’s Weekend Festival where pupils, staff, alumnae and 100 members of the local community came together to enjoy exquisite theatrical and musical performances, sporting events, beautiful art displays and a special centenary exhibition. Adorned with colourful festival flags, the school campus welcomed its largest ever community gathering for a spectacular weekend of talent.

100 years at Cold Ash Camp

The weekend was designed to celebrate and champion the extraordinary accomplishments of the school’s talented young women as well as to bring neighbours from the local community together for the first time, many of whom were able to enjoy a Moving Memories performance where pupils brought to life key moments from the school’s rich history through a stunning dance showcase. Visitors also enjoyed a stunning display of artwork along with a history tour of the campus and the Centenary Exhibition – finished off with a sumptuous afternoon tea, taken in the historic Cloisters area of the campus.

Downe House ‘Moving Memories’ Dance Showcase

Other theatrical highlights across the weekend included a special pupil performance of The Lion King complete with a full parade of elephants, giraffes and zebra’s during a stunning opening sequence. Pupils also performed a lively and gritty adaptation of Lord of the Flies, along with a host of musical performances, the Founder’s Concert, Prima Voce choral concert, ‘Busker’s Corner’, live jazz ensembles and much more.

Downe House pupils performance of The Lion King

Headmistress at Downe House, Emma McKendrick, commented, “These have certainly been challenging times in our world and remain so, but the way in which our extraordinary young women worked together throughout our Founder’s Weekend reflected the quality of what they produce, and gives us tremendous confidence about the future of our school, its next one hundred years, and the world beyond.”

Downe House Founder’s Festival

The school, which was attended by the likes of interior designer Sophie Conran, broadcaster and writer Clare Balding, and actress Miranda Hart, moved to its current location in April 1922 when its Founder, Olive Willis, realised that it had outgrown Darwin’s House in the village of Down (without the ‘e’) in Kent, its original home.

The school is also marking its milestone centenary by looking towards the future and supporting young generations to come. In line with this, the school has committed to offering a number of up to 100% bursaries for day pupils from the local community wishing to enter in 2023 and 2024.

Interested parties can find out more about Centenary Day Bursaries on 11 October at a special open evening event about day places at the school’s site from 4pm – 6.30pm (book to attend via the school’s website www.downehouse.net)

See Downe House School’s online listing here.