The French Program at KHPS
Founded in 1999, the bilingual program at Killarney Heights Public School (KHPS) provides a modern, bilingual French-English education in a progressive public Australian Primary school.
This unique bilingual program is made possible by our close partnership with the School’s Executive Team.
Objectives of the program
● Providing a modern, quality French-English bilingual education in a local Australian public school.
● Maintaining a group of French-speaking children in the same school, allowing them to assert their cultural and linguistic identities and developing their self-confidence in being bilingual while being integrated with their Australian peer.
● Giving non French-speaking children the opportunity to learn French as a new language within their public school.
● Exposing children to other languages and cultures while encouraging respect for each other’s cultures and multiculturalism—a respect which forms the basis for today’s modern Australian society.
Two teaching streams
In close partnership with Killarney Heights Public School (KHPS), we offer two distinct bilingual programs:
● French for Anglophones: for students learning French as a new language
●French for Francophones: for students who are already exposed to French at home, French as their mother tongue, or have a French-speaking parent
All classes at KHPS contain a mix of students enrolled in the Francophone stream and the Anglophone stream along with English-only students (not enrolled in the FANS bilingual program).
Whole school approach
With a whole-school approach to French learning, our students are committed to bilingualism year on year. Students benefit from a unique modern bilingual and multicultural education, and that’s exactly what drives the purpose and values of our Association.
FANS kicked off the 2023 school year at Killarney Heights Public School with a team of 14 Teachers of French and 560 students over 27 classes across the school.
There are currently 230 students in the Francophone stream and 330 students in the Anglophone stream of the bilingual program, representing 85% of the student population.
How does it work in class?
The French lessons are conducted with small groups of students, alternating between students in the Francophone stream or students in the Anglophone stream, in a special, separate learning zone located between two classrooms.
The bilingual program at Killarney Heights Public School consists of a few key elements.
Intensive French Before School
In addition to the daily lessons taught in French, FANS offers Intensive French classes in the morning before school:
Intensive French - Francophone stream:
● Students enrolled in the Francophone stream attend compulsory intensive French classes before school to study French grammar, vocabulary and spelling.
● These 45-minute classes are taught twice weekly, on Monday and Thursday mornings from 8:15-9:00am.
Intensive French - Anglophone stream:
● Students in the Anglophone stream have the option to enrol in a weekly intensive French class before school to focus on French grammar, vocabulary and spelling.
● This 45-minute class takes place every Wednesday morning from 8:10-9:00am.
In the classroom
Working closely with the Department of Education teachers, our team-teaching approach has the unique advantage of providing an average 1:15 teacher to student ratio. The teacher-student ratio is commonly known as one of the strongest indicators of student engagement and success.
We use the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) methodology, an approach where students learn a subject and a second language at the same time.
NSW Curriculum lessons are taught in French throughout the school week:
● Art, Sport, ICT (computers), News (short oral presentation)
● History, Geography or Science
School life in French
Outside of class time, students are encouraged to experience other aspects of school life in French. There are many fun, educational ways for children of all levels and ages to practice and improve their language skills:
● L’Etude after-school homework club, led by a FANS teacher of French
● DELF exams for students of both streams in
● Competitions in French open to all students, including students not enrolled in the bilingual program
● Bilingual signage throughout the school
● French section in the library: 1300 books and magazines (10% of the whole library)
● Francophonie week: flag hunt, special canteen treats, games and more
L'Etude / The French homework club
Remember "les devoirs" every day of the week when
you were in primary school?
At KHPS, we have some "devoirs" (homework), but only once a week.
FANS now offers l'Etude, an extra hour after school, supervised by a Teacher of French from the FANS team, to assist students with their homework.
L'Etude is not tutoring nor a lesson. However, the teacher will be able to explain concepts again should the need arise.
L'Etude applies only to students enrolled in the bilingual program.
Anglophone program students are encouraged to contact us to show their interest in joining L’Etude! We would love to create a group for our students in the Anglophone stream.
In 2012, the school received the Label FrancÉducation seal from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in recognition of excellence in French/English bilingual education. This recognition was renewed successfully in 2018, and again in 2021. Killarney Heights Public School was the first school in Australia to receive this accreditation.
FANS is a founding member of the AAFEBS – the Australian Association of the French English Bilingual Schools. Both FANS and KHPS are board members, and FANS is the Treasurer of the AAFEBS. The AAFEBS organises annual professional teacher training within a network of 16 bilingual schools across Australia.