La Découverte: bilingual school programme in Christchurch [fr]
From 2017, Canterbury’s french-speaking families will be able to provide their children bilingual education with three days a week taught in French.
Called ’La Découverte’, it will be the first French-English bilingual educational programme in New Zealand’s South Island. The programme will be offered in a public school and will follow the Frenz model which has been in place in Auckland for 20 years.
This project is possible through the support of a Christchurch parents’ committee, the financial assistance of members of the French Government and the partnership with the Frenz School Inc association and the Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery school.
The programme’s objective is to support the children in their bilingual learning so they can read, write and speak fluently in both languages, particularly in French. It’s also an opportunity for the children to develop their cultural knowledge.
Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery is a non-zoned special character public school, which runs from years 1-13. It is divided in two: ‘Discovery’ is the primary section (years 1-6) and ‘Unlimited’ is the secondary section (years 7-13). The programme will begin at primary level in 2017 and is intended to begin at secondary level as soon as possible.
Like any other Ao Tawhiti pupils, the pupils in the bilingual programme will be grouped in a multi-level class. The New Zealand prgramme will be taught in French 60 per cent of the time (three days a week) and in English the rest of the time. The lessons taught in French will be given by a teacher who speaks French fluently and the pupils will rejoin their English-speaking classmates for lessons in English.
The programme will start in 2017 with a dozen pupils and the organisers estimate that number will grow to 40 in coming years.
Established in 2016, the Christchurch parents’ committee has seven members, including three teachers. The team is a sub-committee of Frenz and aims to support the school and the pupils who join the bilingual programme.
For more information on the project you can contact the committee by email :
La Découverte committee president
Ph. +6421 048 5098
La Découverte committee secretary
Ph. +6421 082 88487