Killarney Heights Public School (enrolment 705 students in 2017) is a strong professional learning community with committed staff and supportive parents dedicated to achieving high educational outcomes for all students. The school has excellent traditions in band, choir, dance, public speaking and debating.
A unique French/English bilingual program operates since 1999 through the school’s partnership with FANS (French speaking Association of the North Shore), which has been awarded the LabelFrancEducation by the French government. The bilingual program is a major focus with enthusiastic teachers committed to team teaching and collaborative planning.
The aim of the program is two-fold. For children of French speaking parents (38% of students), it is to reinforce their native tongue as a living language in an Australian school environment with an Australian curriculum. For non-French speaking background children (62%), it is to give them the experience of another language and culture in a natural way. For both groups of children, the program taps into their natural ability to acquire a language.
From Kindergarten to Year 6, students from the bilingual classes (92% of the whole school) have two teachers in the classroom: one DoE teacher who teaches in English and one French speaking teacher, recruited by FANS, who teaches in French. Every French teacher works across two classes. In the course of the week, a francophone student will have almost 50% of the time in French or bilingually and 50% of the time solely in English with the DoE teacher while the anglophone student will have 30% of the time taught in French or bilingually and 70% solely in English. Between 9am and 3pm, the Australian curriculum is taught, in both English and French. Rather than separating out the French activities, topics in all Key Learning Areas are taught in both languages.
The immersion program consists of 3 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.
The whole school community is committed to promoting French at school! Outside of class time, various activities have been put in place to promote the use of French (clubs, exchanges with other school, special celebrations, bilingual school song and signage at school, bilingual library, etc.). The parents’ community also organises a yearly French market on school grounds. Several French businesses and cafés are located within walking distance from the school too!
For further information:
Ms Christine Gandon, FANS Executive officer: firstname.lastname@example.org