We have been working closely with Downsend School, in Surrey, for many years now and recently they were shortlisted as a finalist for the Independent School of the Year 2019. Downsend School has their main campus in Leatherhead along with three ‘Little Downsend’s’ located in Ashtead, Leatherhead and Epsom that operate as pre-preps for the main school.

With the new Covid-19 restrictions, catering in schools has changed dramatically to keep everyone safe, and the team at Downsend School, along with help from the school have put in place some unique ways of delivering our Thomas Franks standards in new and innovative ways. Dining is now conducted in six different bubbles. Pupils will come into the dining hall based on their year group, starting at 11:45 and running through until 13:30. Different elements from the salad bar are now served by the team to minimise interpersonal contact, but the most innovative change is the new fruit parcel system that has been implemented. The catering team delivers a parcel of fresh fruit to each classroom in the afternoon enabling teachers to hand out different pieces of fruit to the pupils as a healthy, energising afternoon snack.

Thomas Franks also cater the within the school’s Sports Pavilion, where in normal times, match teas are provided along side a daily tuck shop and special events such as, outdoor barbecues. Although it is not possible for this to be reopened just yet, we are always planning new ways to keep the Sports Pavilion up to date and interesting. We look forward to being able to serve staff and pupils in there again soon.

Downsend School are going through a new development, with the construction of a brand new, state of the art performing arts centre. When completed, this will mean that the current theatre, which is also used as the dining hall will become a dedicated dining hall. This will further enhance the offering at Downsend School, allowing the innovating and forward thinking that they are so known for.

Thomas Franks have always been proud to be part of the Downsend School legacy and look forward for what’s to come.