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Eastern suburbs schools to deliver the state’s first French bilingual program

20 September 2016

Highgate School and Unley High School have teamed up to deliver South Australia’s first French binational program, which will offer a bilingual education for all R-12 students by 2022.

The bilingual/binational program will flow in a stream from the primary school to the high school, beginning next year with reception students in the French stream learning 80% of their lessons in French and 20% in English.

Fluency in another language is an asset that can open doors to travel, culture and employment, as demonstrated by the very strong support for the program by the French community, including a number of French companies.

Highgate School Principal, Phil Johansen, said this is an exciting opportunity to enrich the academic, cultural and linguistic experiences of the school’s students and foster their development as global citizens.

“I am thrilled that Highgate was chosen along with Unley High School to offer this program to our students, and I look forward to seeing the French stream take shape and grow in popularity.”

The program will teach a combined French National Curriculum and Australian Curriculum, with DECD liaising with both schools to ensure a smooth transition.

Participation in the French stream is voluntary; regular teaching of the Australian Curriculum in English will continue at both schools.

In May, the State Government invited applications from R-12 schools or joint applications from primary and secondary schools interested in offering the state’s first French bilingual program.

The program will begin in 2017 with entering reception students getting the first full benefit of a bilingual education. Depending on demand from the school community, years 1 and 2 may also enter this stream.

As these youngest students progress, year 3 and onwards will be taught half in French and half in English.

Highgate School year 7 students wishing to enter the program at Unley High School in year 8 will take daily French lessons in 2017. Unley High School will offer additional French tuition for interested year 8 students so that in 2018, there will be a bilingual class in both years 8 and 9.

These schools will become part of the Australian Association of French English Bilingual Schools (AAFEBS), allowing them access to the experience and expertise of French bilingual schools and programs already operating interstate such as Telopea Park School in Canberra, which has been operating for 30 years, and Tingalpa State School in Queensland, which took up the program last year.

For more information, download the flyer for parents (PDF 867KB).