Downe House Sauveterre

The home of Downe House in France.

A unique and memorable educational and cultural full-boarding experience, where children can develop academically, linguistically and personally, beyond their own expectations.

Downe House Sauveterre

Downe House Sauveterre opened in 2020 and is the School’s second property in France. Prior to this the school successfully owned and operated a site, for over 20 years in Veyrines, before expanding operations to our current Sauveterre site close to Toulouse. The Sauveterre site is 12 acres and is managed and run by staff directly hired by Downe House, UK. The school site can board 60 students.

Pupils in the Lower Fourth (Year 8) at Downe House all spend up to a term at the School’s property in France. Most girls will spend the whole of the Michaelmas (September – December) in Sauveterre, while others will spend two field trips in France over the same term, complying with UK student visa requirements. Pupils will extend their knowledge of the culture, language and traditions of the region and the country through a tailored curriculum which includes trips and activities in the region and participating in partnership projects with local schools.

The beautiful facilities and grounds of the Château de Sauveterre will be the catalyst for a new and exciting chapter in the history of Downe House; building on over 20 years’ experience of successfully operating a satellite school in France. The move to the Château, in its stunning location and with its impressive facilities, is an opportunity to build on that experience and we have exciting plans for the development of Downe House Sauveterre. The environment for learning is exceptional in nature and creates a truly unique experience that the children who visit will treasure for the rest of their lives.

The school is set in beautiful forested grounds, from where you can see the snow-peaked mountains of the Pyrenees. The buildings themselves retain their original charm from their time as a noble private home, and the classrooms will be sympathetically transformed to offer a curriculum that harnesses all the technological advantages of a modern education. Our exciting and diverse educational and cultural enrichment programme, including regular visits and excursions to nearby villages, markets, and many, many other places of interest, will allow for authentic interactions with the local population, as well as a genuine opportunity for the children to immerse themselves in French culture.

The School will offer the highest possible standards of pastoral care and support services, in keeping with the long-established traditions of Downe House which is one of the leading boarding schools in the UK.

Downe House Sauveterre has a magic of its own that I believe will make it difficult for any visitor to resist falling in love with it! It is not only a beautiful building on an extensive site, with its own outdoor sports facilities, but it also has the benefit of being within forty-five minutes of Toulouse airport and the city itself, and one and a half hours from the Pyrenees. In short, it means that we will be able to build on all that we have previously offered for our French experience and develop it further for future generations of children to experience and enjoy.

Emma McKendrick, Headmistress of Downe House

Our global outlook

For many years Downe House has been committed to preparing our pupils to play a positive part in their global world. It is nearly twenty-five years ago since Downe House first began to explore ways in which it could give its pupils a genuine experience of another culture as well as an opportunity to extend their linguistic skills by sending some Lower Fourth (Year 8) pupils to Sauveterre, a Château owned by the Cothill Trust. Downe House then moved to its own property in Veyrines in 1996. More recently, we have developed an extensive and unique Global Schools’ Exchange Programme and are building on this further with the recent launch to the Sixth Form of a Global Internship Programme.

The school year

It is intended that all Lower Fourth Downe House pupils will spend time in Sauveterre during the Michaelmas Term. Downe House Sauveterre will also welcome Year 7 pupils from a number of Prep Schools, including those in the Cothill Trust (Cothill, Mowden Hall and Kitebrook) during the Summer and Lent terms each year. Please click here for more information on the Downe House Sauveterre Experience.

The Downe House Sauveterre Experience

Find out more about our commitment for every girl in the Lower Fourth (Year 8) to spend time in France at Downe House Sauveterre.


Tours & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House is to experience it for yourself. Book a personal tour or join us at one of our Open Mornings, available throughout the year.

A flexible and modern approach – Full Boarding | Flexi Boarding | Day Pupil – what’s your Downe House journey?
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