For Francophone students only: 5 hours per week of an intensive French program in their native language.
For students from Year 1 to Year 6 there are also two 45 minute sessions before school starts. These take place on Mondays and Thursdays at 8.15am.
To summarise, an hour and a half of intensive French takes place before school and three and a half hours during the school day from 9am – 3pm.
> The program
During school hours the intensive French program covers Literacy as per the Australian Curriculum. The children therefore work on the same skills as their Australian friends but in French. For example, if Year 3 students in term one work on an argumentative text, the Francophone students will also work on this skill during the intensive French classes. There are many other periods throughout the school week which cover Literacy, meaning that Francophone students will work on all the skills in English as well as French.
The 2 sessions which take place before school allow the teachers to cover elements that are not part of the Australian Curriculum, but are however necessary for learning to read and write in French (typically grammar).
Sessions are differentiated as needed to account for any difference in the level of French between Francophone students.
In 2018, over 250 Francophone students taking part in the intensive French program. Children who start in Kindy must at least have a good understanding of French in order to join the program. Any students arriving later on in the primary school years must be able to demonstrate an equivalent knowledge in reading and writing to be able to join the intensive French program.
For Francophone and Anglophone students in the same class.
All Francophone and Anglophone students benefit from this part of the program, with one native French teacher and one English speaking teacher teaching each bilingual class at the same time. During this time it is largely subjects other than Literacy that are taught, with one teacher communicating in French and the other in English.
The timetable is created and developed with Anglophone colleagues across the two classes. The teachers plan the lessons together based on the Australian Curriculum, covering subjects such as Maths, Science, Art and Physical Education. In practice, lessons can either be fully bilingual or divided into smaller working groups in French or English, according to the teacher and on a rotating basis.
Language Other Than English: 45 minutes per week
These lessons take place during the RFF time . The Australian LOTE program is followed by all students however the objectives are different for Francophone and Anglophone students.
> For Anglophones
It is an FLE lesson (French as a foreign language). The school uses the AIM method (Accelerative Integrated Methodology), which is a methodology for foreign language teaching using gestures, music, dance and theatre to help students learn vocabulary and structures to be able to communicate earlier on. One specialist teacher looks after the Anglophone students.
> For Francophones
It is essentially a lesson based on learning about culture, which Francophone students often miss out on when being separated from their native Francophone country. Francophone students are therefore in this class with their native French teacher.