The Languages Department at Downsend consists of the teaching of French, Spanish and Latin. We are all specialist teachers and 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!


French is taught from Years 6 to 8, based on the ‘Tricolore’ text book, using our large variety of resources, including many interactive packages, iPads and our Languages VLE.

Spanish is taught from Years 6 to 8 based on the ‘Listos’ text book, using many different resources to enliven lessons.

Year 6 Latin is based on the ‘Cambridge Latin Course’, continuing with other suitable Latin texts towards Common Entrance or Scholarship.


We provide a variety of clubs and offer targeted clinics towards exam time in Year 8 to assist the smooth passage through Common Entrance. Staff in the Languages Department and a native French Speaker, ex- parent, provide weekly practice at lunch time for Year 8.

We have a regular trip to France for all of Year 7 to a château in Normandy where a cross- curricular link is forged with the History department through our trips to the Bayeux Tapestry and the Normandy landing beaches. We 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: Sarah Gregory

01372 372197