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Proposed French Bilingual Unit at Ridgway School

What is it

Ridgway School has been approached by a French-speaking community group to establish a French-English bilingual unit.

There is demand from the local French speaking community for a bilingual unit in Wellington. Auckland already has two schools who are running very successful French bilingual units and Christchurch has one. Anyone can attend the unit not just children from French speaking families (subject to some criteria).

Benefits to our school

Ridgway would have a more stable roll which benefits the school (to maintain management units and for funding of our upcoming renovation projects). The other benefit would be the introduction of French language and culture to our students with the potential for French lessons for all students.

We would aim to set up the unit by the start of the 2019 school year at the latest.

How would it run

The school would employ a New Zealand registered teacher who is bilingual in French and English. Those students who are part of the bilingual unit would learn the New Zealand Curriculum in French (60%) and join the rest of the school for classes in English (40%). The unit would be a composite class (like the other classes at Ridgway) made up of students of various year groups.

Te Reo and learning about other languages and cultures would not be side-lined. Ridgway will continue to promote Te Reo and Māori culture as part of the curriculum for all students in their daily learning.

The bilingual unit would not take away resources from Ridgway school - any funding for resources and for the bilingual teacher which is not covered by MoE funds is provided by FRENZ (a charity which promotes bilingual French education).

Consultation with Ridgway community

There will be detailed consultation with the school community early in Term 2. After this the school will be weighing up the pros and cons before making a decision in July.

In the meantime, please chat to the Board, Kathryn Smith or Julie Hanify if you have any questions.

Find out more about Unité Bilingue

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