Exciting changes to Downe House in France

Our term in France will be moving to the stunning Château de Sauveterre from September 2020.

13 March 2020

We are delighted to announce that our Term in France will be moving to the stunning Château de Sauveterre from September 2020, enhancing and extending the wonderfully immersive cultural and linguistic French experience for girls across the School, beyond that already enjoyed by girls in the Lower School.

For many years at Downe House we have 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 LIV 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.

Veyrines has provided a wonderful opportunity for generations of Downe House girls in the Lower School (Year 8) to spend a term experiencing French culture first-hand as well as giving them a rare opportunity to develop their French language skills, and so much more. Girls grow in confidence and stature as they realise that they can communicate effectively in another language and manage a more independent lifestyle. The significant educational value of this experience therefore remains undiminished and many girls attribute their love of language learning to the term spent at Veyrines and frequently reminisce fondly about their experiences even years after leaving Downe!

We remain firmly committed to continuing to give girls the opportunity to go to France for a term, and to extending this experience to other girls in the School, particularly those studying French for GCSE and A level for shorter periods to cement and develop their language skills, or perhaps also to undertake other cultural activities.

Announcing this exciting development and the opportunities that it creates for the School, Headmistress, Mrs Emma McKendrick commented “Château de 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 would be able to build on all that we currently do at Veyrines and develop it further from September 2020.”


For more information please contact:

Mrs Michelle Scott
Assistant Headmistress (Foundation)
Email: scottm@downehouse.net


Mrs Judith Gilpin Jones
Head of Lower School
Email: gilpinjonesj@downehouse.net

Telephone: +44(0)1635 200286

Downe House in France

A wonderful and rare opportunity for girls across the School to have a culturally and linguistically immersive experience in France.