Bilingualism at Killarney Heights Public School

Killarney Heights Public School offers an immersion program which consists of the 3 following elements:

  • Intensive French for Francophone students.
  • Team teaching for Francophone and Anglophone students.
  • LOTE (Language Other Than English) : a program adapted for Francophone and Anglophone students.

Each of the native French speaking teachers are qualified teachers ( either in their native country or an Australian university) and are responsible for several classes (generally 2 classes per teacher, but this can vary).
Two teacher’s salaries are covered by the Australian Department of Education under “Community Languages”and the other salaries are covered by the fees paid by the parents of Francophone students (67% of the budget) and Anglophone students ( 33% of the budget).

How does the bilingual program work?

dictéeFor 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.

en-brefFor 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.

beLanguage 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.

How are the school hours allocated for Francophone and Anglophone students?

Repartition des heures - franco angloIn the course of a week a Francophone student will work for almost 50% of their time in French or French and English, and 50% of their time solely in English with an English speaking teacher. A Francophone student who has therefore just arrived in Australia and does not speak any/much English will therefore benefit from this important immersion in English whilst continuing to benefit from an education reinforced by the native French language. For further information on teaching time per subject, as per the DEC NSW Guidelines, click here.

Francophone student Per week
Hours of teaching in French or bilingual 10.75 (9am – 3pm)
Hours of teaching in French 1.5 (before 9am)
Hours of teaching in English only 13
Total Hours / Year
Anglophone student Per week
Hours of teaching in French or bilingual 7
Hours of teaching in French 0
Hours of teaching in English only 16.75
Total Hours / Year

2017: Promotion of French at the school

Outside of class time it is important to experience school life in French. Various initiatives have been put into place to promote the use of French at school.

  • Clubs: Stories, Choir, DELF, Films, Lego WeDo.
  • Student committee for the promotion of French (Stage 3): Competitions, organisation of special days.
  • Francophonie week/ Printemps des Poètes (poetry)
  • DELF exams for Anglophones and Francophones in Y6
  • Exchanges with other schools in the Label FrancÉducation network and/or with AAFEBS
  • Participation at French events