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FRENCH BINATIONAL PROGRAM
2025 FBP prep enrolments application forms are to be modified.
The 2025 FBP application forms will be available to parents on the 15th of April 2024.
In the meantime, please refer to the 2024 application form as a guide only.
Please complete the Pre school visit form prior to booking your school tour
We are working with the Department of Education (DE) to ensure the continuity of equitable chances for families to enrol in the FBP.
The Department of Education (DE) has released the timeline for 2025 Prep/Foundation enrolments for all Victorian government primary schools.
Consequently, we are currently working with the DE to review our French Binational Program policy and timeline.
This means we will align the FBP Prep applications with the Victorian Curriculum Prep applications with key dates as follows:
Monday 15th April (1st day of Term 2): Enrolment Applications open for Prep 2025.
Friday 26th July: Enrolment Applications due
Friday 9th August: Primary schools provide parents and carers with written notification of prep enrolment outcomes.
It is recommended that parents and carers applying for the FBP also contact their local school about enrolment if CJC is not your zoned school as per https://www.findmyschool.vic.gov.au
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.
LEARNING IN THE FRENCH BINATIONAL PROGRAM
The students enrolled in the French Binational Program receive a binational education based on both French and Victorian curricula from Prep to Grade 6. A team of experts from both educational systems, which includes our school Principal, our French Director, learning specialists and an appointed French Pedagogical Inspector, work together in developing a strong curriculum that meets with the demands, curricula and teaching objectives of both French and Victorian governments’ education guidelines. Students in the FBP are assessed according to both French Ministry of National Education criteria and Victorian standards. Students also participate in the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN).
At the completion of their primary school education, the students will have developed all the skills required to enrol in either a French or an Australian secondary school.
In conjunction with the curriculum certification from the Department of Education and Training Victoria, Caulfield Junior College is accredited from the AEFE (Agency for French Education Abroad), a network of more than 500 schools around the world. We are also a member AAFEBS (Australian Association of French Bilingual Schools) with Madame Caroline Pommier, our French Director, chairing as Vice-President.
The program is consistently growing in popularity since its beginning, with over 330 students enrolled in 2023.
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 50 places, made up of 2 classes of 25 students each.
However, most of our classes reach the maximum of student places.
For more information about enrolment, please contact the school office.
HISTORY OF THE FRENCH BINATIONAL PROGRAM
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 350 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.
THE FRENCH-AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL OF MELBOURNE
SOME STATISTICS IN 2023
There are more than 350 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.
In 2024, 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.
Our specialist teachers in performing arts is bilingual, visual arts, and physical education are English-speaking.
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