The Languages Department at Downsend consists of the teaching of French, Spanish and Latin. We aim to make lessons lively, interactive and enjoyable, whilst maintaining academic rigour.

Our Aims:

We aim for children to leave Downsend knowing that whatever course they follow later in their academic career, they will have the skills that language learning provides; mental dexterity, analysis, personal confidence and above all, the desire to continue language learning for life!


The foundations are laid with the teaching of French in the Pre-Preps, with a focus on the spoken language, games and song. This introduces pupils to basic topics such as colours, numbers and days of the week.

On entering the Lower School the children follow the ‘Rigolo’ French course, which is fun and interactive, taking  them from Years 2 to 5.

In Year 5 the children have a Latin/Spanish ‘Taster’ course where they study each Language for 3 half terms in order to make their choice in Year 6.


We provide a variety of languages clubs in the Lower School, in addition we have a Year 5 fashion show and regularly enter pupils into the Lancing poetry competition.

We have an Italian club and where there is demand we have provided clubs in Mandarin, German and Russian.

Head of Languages: Martin Skitt

01372 372197