Success! £0.5m for sports pitch

February 27 2019

DOWNEND School - no stranger to sporting triumph - has seen one of its biggest wins to date.

The secondary school has been successful in its bid for a £500,000 grant from the Premier League & the FA Facilities Fund for a new 3G all-weather pitch to replace the ageing astro-turf.
Work to install the upgraded specialist sports playing surface is set to begin next month and should be completed by September.
Headteacher Lisa Howell said: "We are thrilled that this application has been successful. This will be a fantastic facility development for both the school and the local community.
"I would like to thank Ann Duff, from Castle School Education Trust, and our business manager Kim Humphris for their hard work and commitment to this project along with our community partners, Downend Saints, Downend Flyers and Bromley Heath Football Club for working with us and supporting our bid application."
Football is particularly popular at Downend School, with about 80 pupils from all year groups attending training every week. The school is seeking kit sponsors for a tour to Barcelona. If you can help, please email

Downend School remains Good - Ofsted

DOWNEND School is celebrating after again being judged Good by Ofsted.
A team from the inspection watchdog visited the secondary school in January and said standards remained high in all areas.Headteacher Lisa Howell said it was gratifying to retain the Good rating gained in 2014, especially under the new tougher Ofsted framework introduced in 2017 was significantly tougher than before.
“That,  along with the challenges of the new exam specifications and grading systems, and reduced funding, means that the ‘bar’ has risen, making the achievement of a Good judgement an excellent outcome for the school, staff, students, governors, the community and Castle School Education Trust.”
Mrs Howell thanked the very high number of parents and staff who gave positive comments and also said she was proud of the way students spoke to the Ofsted team.
The Ofsted letter in full can be found at

Can you help with Community DIY Day?

IT'S great to be getting a new 3G pitch - but Downend School fears that its bright new artifical turf will make its sports hall look even more "tired".
Given that money is tight, the school has decided to appeal to local people to help spruce the place up by donating time, skills and materials.
Headteacher Lisa Howell said: "I know there is a very real appetite from the community to help us so we hope they will support our DIY Day on Saturday March 23."
If you can offer carpentry, tiling, flooring or deep cleaning equipment, the school would love to hear from you. Equally, people willing to give their time to paint, clean and move stuff, and those who can make tea or offer cake will also be most welcome.
To get involved, congtact Sarah Ware on