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French Immersion Excellence




Benowa SHS has operated a French Immersion Program since 1985 and has been acclaimed throughout Australia and internationally as a most successful model in extension studies and language education.

What is the French Immersion program?


The French Immersion Program [FIP] is an academic extension program. Immersion is learning in another language, not just learning the language. The French Immersion Program is aligned with the National Curriculum so students are not disadvantaged in any way. The difference is students study Mathematics, Science, History, Geography and French via the medium of the French Language. Students receive approximately 60% of their schooling in French.  The second language is incidental however it provides a unique and stimulating learning environment where students with academic ability are provided with rigour.  Students are challenged to problem solve, use higher order thinking skills and deduce meaning. 

Students involved in this program must also complete their regular curriculum requirements, necessitating a strong work ethic from all students in the program.


The program runs from Year 7 to Year 10.

What if my child has never done French before?


The majority of students who enter the program have never done French before. The course has been designed for non-native French speakers. FIP has been designed so that even students with little or no previous background in French can succeed. It is the next best thing to spending time in France!

In the first 6 weeks of Year 7 students undertake an intensive language course in which they learn the basics of the French language that they need to cope in the classroom and to understand the teacher’s instructions.

How can my child join FIP?


Students must complete an Application Form to join an Academic Program at Benowa SHS.

The selection criteria for students is based upon their academic Performance in Year 6 and 7, NAPLAN test results and statements regarding the qualities you believe your child possesses to enable them to be successful in the French Immersion Program. They also have to complete an Entrance Test [Maths & English].


Students can also choose a music strand within French Immersion Program.




Why is the French Immersion Program beneficial?

  • Students are presented with challenging and stimulating programs in Mathematics, Science, History, Geography and French.
  • Students really learn the language well because half their classes are in French, they regularly use the language in meaningful situations.
  • Learning skills are developed as students must continually problem-solve, make deductions and draw conclusions throughout the program.
  • Listening skills, study techniques and work ethic are developed.
  • Learning another language helps students improve their understanding of the English language.
  • Students are prepared for the National Mathematics, Science and French competitions.





What other benefits are there in being in Immersion?

  • Students complete Year 11 French in Year 10 and Year 12 French in Year 11 and can choose to do French Extension [university level] in Year 12.
  • Exchange programs are offered so students can experience life in a French family and school, and use their French in every day communication.
  • Information technology is an integral part of the curriculum.
  • The standards of discipline, uniform and academic achievement are very high.
  • Immersion students also have the opportunity to be involved in the school’s Music, Dance and Drama programs.
  • Sporting participation, debating, public speaking, are highly encouraged.


 "Those who don't know a foreign language don't know their own" Goethe

Exchange program to France

Selected students can participate in a 1 month exchange program to France. Every Year a group of Benowa SHS students spend 4 weeks in the Alsace region in a homestay situation. The students attend school with their billet and participate in cultural visits. The French students visit Benowa SHS in February for 3 weeks


Mean scores NAPLAN 2015

Reading Writing Spelling ​Grammar and Punctuation ​Numeracy
Immersion ​635 ​605 ​661 ​646 ​651
​State ​563 522​ ​573 ​557 ​576
​National ​580 ​547 ​583 ​568 ​592