Headteacher’s Welcome

I warmly welcome you to our school website and I sincerely hope that you are able to find the information you need. Nevertheless, my colleagues and I are always happy to speak over the phone or in person so please do get in touch if you need to know more.

I was appointed as Headteacher of Downlands Community School in September 2019 and this is my 2nd headship. Having worked in Dorset schools for 25 years in a variety of settings, it is with some authority that I am able to tell you that this school is a unique educational setting. Being only one of two schools to be situated ‘behind the wire’ of a military base, this is perhaps an obvious statement. Indeed, the vast majority of children have parents from the armed services and our school community is very lucky to have a wealth of experience, knowledge and leadership skills from within this special community.

Downlands Community School is also proud of its national and internationally diverse school community. Visitors to the school will experience a range of regional accents from all corners of the United Kingdom. We are also lucky to serve a diverse and international armed forces community and we have particularly strong links as regards Nepalese families.

Downlands Community School is an all-through Primary, taking children from three years old as part of our Dandelions Preschool. Indeed, preschool provision is situated right next to our Reception class and together they form our EYFS unit, creating the best possible start for our children.

Allowing children to settle quickly, feel welcome and make friends is of huge importance to us. Many of our pupils have a highly mobile educational life due to the nature of their parents’ careers within the armed services. Therefore, it is fundamentally important that we quickly establish safe and trusting relationships with children and their families. I am very proud of my team here at Downlands and can confidently say that every staff member is totally committed to the cause of children attending our school. As our motto states: We Care. We Share. We Believe. We Achieve.

Mr James Rielly – Headteacher