About us

Our extremely high aspirations for all students at Dowdales ensure that every young person makes excellent progress and performs to the best of their ability. Every child enters our school with the potential to succeed and it is our job to make it happen.

The ingrained idea of excellence in school life allows students to reach the highest academic, cultural, aesthetic and sporting standards. This, coupled with quality relationships across the school, results in a dynamic, supportive learning community.

Teaching and Learning is at the heart of all that we do. Through high quality, inspirational teaching across a modern curriculum we aim to inspire students to outstanding outcomes.

Students have achieved a very good set of GCSE results this year, 65% of our 209 cohort achieving the standard pass of grade 4 and above in English and Maths.  English, Maths and Science were all above 70% at the standard pass.   43% of students achieved a strong pass in English and Maths at grade 5 and above (C+/B).  22% of all grades were achieved by students at the highest 9 or A*/A grades which is expected to be higher than the national average.

These excellent results by students are well deserved.  They responded brilliantly to all the changes to GCSE examinations and have been rewarded by their individual and collective successes as a year group.

Knowing each child as an individual ensures their future success and all round development. Our modern curriculum offers excellent opportunities for future success. Within a broad and balanced programme students focus on the core skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT.  Our E Bac programme allows students to choose from French, Spanish and German for their language studies. There is outstanding guidance for all, including students with educational needs and those who are able and talented. All are valued, challenged and supported. 

As a learner, Dowdales is an exciting place to be. Every child is given a 'Headstart' and our students’ 95% plus attendance, one of the highest in Cumbria, tells us that they enjoy and feel safe being at school. Their outstanding behaviour reflects their respect for the traditions of the school: smart uniform and personal appearance. Our students thrive on the leadership opportunities they are given to work with others, both contributing to the life of the school and to their community. Supportive relationships underpin all our work and are a cornerstone of our school’s ethos.

Our students are exceptional.  They are active and creative.  As an Arts Mark Gold School, students work with professionals from International Arts organisations such as EMI Music Foundation, Rambert and the Royal Shakespeare Company but equally with professionals from STEM companies such as BAE, Glaxo SmithKline, Rolls Royce and Bentley. Our students’ sports performance is outstanding – across a range of sports led by those students who play for their country, region and county.

The in excess of seventy extra-curricular clubs and activities that ran last year ensure that students develop lifelong interests and match everyone’s personal interests.  Students travel extensively through our British Council International School’s programme. We are proud to be a British Council International School and to have been awarded the Eco School’s Green Flag. Our Active Living programme encourages a responsible attitude towards personal health, fitness and well-being, together with a love of the great outdoors.

Our students and staff are proud to call themselves Dowdalians. We look forward to meeting you when you visit and see the school in action and invite you to be part of our ongoing success.