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A Word From the French Director at the French-Australian School of Melbourne

Welcome to the French-Australian School of Melbourne. 

The French Binational Program at Caulfield Junior College is unique to the city of Melbourne. It offers a bilingual, bicultural program that features the best elements of the two curricula, developed with the support and expertise of our French-Australian team. 


Within the program, each class is assigned two teachers, French and Australian, who graduated in their respective countries. The teachers alternate between their two classrooms every day. At the conclusion of their primary education journey, our bilingual students can either enter a French or Australian secondary education facility, depending on their orientation.  I am convinced that our holistic approach to education allows the students to thrive in this unique bilingual model.

As international opportunities become available to the new generation of leaders, our mission is to provide our students with the tools that will allow them to adapt to our ever-changing world, whilst safeguarding their cultural diversity.


Caroline Pommier

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More than learning another language, CJC allows the children to understand other cultures (they learn that other cultures are “different” rather than “strange”...), which encourages tolerance and a broader opening towards our world.

When they experience “difference” every day, it helps them to not fear the unknown and encourages them to take risks. In turn, it unlocks new thinking pathways.

CJC encourages children to be comfortable when speaking in front of an audience, which is an important skill to set them up as confident future adults. We develop their skills as citizens of the world, not only as students.

It allows to reflect on their first language based on what they learn in their second language, and vice-versa. Their thinking process becomes more flexible and is stimulated by comparing differences and similarities between languages, particularly in grammar.

Students develop their cognitive functions by being exposed to a dual thinking system. They can refer to their knowledge in one language to build their knowledge in the second language.

CJC promotes the development of general cultural knowledge to help them connect and understand the world we live in.  For example: There are many French words in the English language. (The relationship between France and England in history)

Neurologists all agree on the benefits of bilingualism in the long-term development of children’s brains. A team from the Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology in Cambridge has brought forward the enhanced capabilities of bilingual students and their ability to quickly adapt to changes in the rules of a game for example, a skill that draws particularly from the most important areas of the brain and accelerate its development.

To date, the assessments that were performed in the bilingual classes have shown that naturally practising two different phonetic systems enhanced the development of the children's intellectual faculties (capacity to compare and differentiate), which explains why they perform at a level above average, not only in both languages, but in mathematics particularly.

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Curriculum Français: Les objectifs de la formation à l'école élémentaire

La formation dispensée dans les écoles élémentaires assure l'acquisition des fondamentaux : lire, écrire, compter, respecter autrui.

De plus,

  • elle suscite le développement de l'intelligence, de la sensibilité artistique, des aptitudes manuelles, physiques et sportives, histoire, géographie, sciences et technique, arts visuels et arts de la scène, diversité linguistique.

  • elle contribue également à la compréhension et à un usage autonome et responsable des médias, notamment numériques ;

  • elle assure l'acquisition et la compréhension de l'exigence du respect de la personne, de ses origines et de ses différences ; les droits de l'enfant et l'égalité entre les femmes et les hommes.

Elle assure conjointement avec la famille l'enseignement moral et civique qui comprend, pour permettre l'exercice de la citoyenneté, l'acquisitions, le partage des valeurs et symboles de la République et de l'Union européenne, notamment de l'hymne national et de son histoire.

Pour en savoir plus, veuillez visiter le site d'Eduscol

Victorian Curriculum: Learning areas and Capabilities.  

The Victorian Curriculum F–10 includes both knowledge and skills. These are defined by learning areas and capabilities. This curriculum design assumes that knowledge and skills are transferrable across the curriculum and therefore are not duplicated. For example, where skills and knowledge such as asking questions, evaluating evidence and drawing conclusions are defined in Critical and Creative Thinking, these are not duplicated in other learning areas such as History or Health and Physical Education. It is expected that the skills and knowledge defined in the capabilities will be developed, practised, deployed and demonstrated by students in and through their learning across the curriculum.

In addition to literacy, numeracy, humanities, sciences, sport, visual and performing arts, language and digital technologies, the curriculum is enriched with concepts such as critical and creative thinking, ethical, intercultural, personal and social capabilities.

For more information, please visit The Victorian curriculum

How to Enrol into the French Binational Program

The enrolment process into the French-Australian School of Melbourne is governed by the policy regarding Australian public schools from the Department of Education and Training Victoria. The number of places is limited.


To date, each year level (from prep to grade 6) has 48 places, made up of 2 classes of 24 students each.


However, most of our classes reach the maximum of student places.


To enrol your child, please follow these steps:

  1. Book a school tour here

  2. Complete your pre-enrolment form and provide all the requested documentation. Please follow the link below to find the French Binational Enrolment Policy form

For more information about enrolment, please contact the school office.


French Binational Enrolment Policy

French Binational Enrolment Policy Form

Caulfield Junior College Education Contribution Payments - 2023

FBP Enrolments

A Brief History of Our French-Australian School in Melbourne - 50 Years Since it all began!

Corentin Trétout founded la Petite École de Melbourne in 1968.  As a French native father of a school-age girl, and working in Melbourne, he initiated the project along with other French parents.  Jacqueline Weiss was appointed as the first French teacher, she initially taught from a room in her own home. The primary school French program counted eight or nine children in its first year. Shortly after, the Petite École de Melbourne moved into two rooms at Lauriston in Malvern, but was operating independently.


After a series of relocations between 1972 and 1974, the school found a new home at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in East Prahran.  In 1973, 20 students were enrolled in the program.  Mr Trétout eventually moved back to France and was replaced by Alain Roger as President of the Parent Association.


A bad turn of events lead to the immediate eviction of the school in 1975.  It then relocated to Richmond Primary School, where it remained until 1985, to subsequently move to Auburn South Primary School.  Guided with various degrees of success by a series of Parent Association Presidents, the school had to eventually reach out to the French Ministry of National Education for assistance.


In 1987, La Petite École was taken on by AEFE (Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à l’Étranger).  Between 1988 and 1992, Michel Trinson, then Director, attempted to gain accreditation as a French-Australian school, but the negotiations were inconclusive.  With 30 primary school students in 1989-90, the school moved to Camberwell Primary.


The lack of numbers forced AEFE to close the school at the end of 1997.


L’École Française de Melbourne opened its doors the following year, in 1998 using rooms within Caulfield Junior College under the initiative of Catherine Lahaye, and a comity of parents and teachers. Originally established and driven by a passionate group of parents seeking to provide their children with an education that was both Australian and French, The first French Elective class consisted of a mere 15 students.  It proved to be an immense success, and ongoing demand for the program along with a desire to consolidate its future at the school led to the full integration of the FE into CJC in 2016. Never had such a large privately run bilingual program been integrated into a government school setting - a true testimony to the work, innovation and dedication of the many people who contributed to the success of a program that now boasts over 330 students.


Since January 2017, the French Binational Program has been governed by the leadership team at CJC on behalf of the Department of Education of Victoria.


Student Profile

There are more than 330 enrolments in the French-Australian School of Melbourne.

Most of our students enrolled in the program are Australian–born to French-Australian parents. At least 75% of

our students have a French-speaking parent at home. Approximately 10% come expatriated families.

Teacher Profile

In 2020, the French Binational Program represents 14 bilingual classes: 8 French teachers who graduated in their country of birth and hold a valid French teaching license, and 7 Australian teachers who graduated in an English-speaking country. The teachers work in binome (pairs) from Prep to Grade 6.  They plan and teach a program that meets the expectations of both education systems. There is also a class assistant in Prep and two additional teachers working with the French Binational Program that support the students in their French education journey.

The specialist teachers in performing arts, visual arts, and physical education are English-speaking.

The Assessments

The students are assessed using the French National Education assessments from Grade 1 to 6, as well as the assessments from the zone (AEFE Asia-Pacific) from grade 3. They also perform the Australian NAPLAN (National Assessment Program, Literacy And Numeracy), in Grade 3 and 5.


For details on how to join our team, please consult out page Working at CJC

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