La Découverte

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La Découverte French-English Bilingual Education

Burnside Primary School runs La Découverte, a bilingual French-English programme for francophone Year 1 to Year 6 students. It is the first and only French-English bilingual school programme in the South Island.

Children generally learn fully in French in the morning, and in English for the afternoon. Classes follow the New Zealand primary school curriculum. The class is split into mixed age groups and follows a specific programme and uses resources that are specifically adapted. The goal is that at the end of Year 6 the students can fluently speak, write and read in both French and English.

Enrolment applications close on the 1st of August for children wishing to attend in the following academic year. This enables us to confirm class numbers which are capped at 50 for La Decouverte.

Bilingual Education Benefits:

provides a wide range of advantages including social, cultural, employment and economic.

developing a lasting bond with the language, the culture and other bilingual children.



This focused programme provides:

  • Fluent French speaking teachers with an excellent teacher/pupil ratio
  • Other activities in French such as an after school programme and network of francophone friends
  • French teaching resources and library books
  • An easy transition to the French educational system for those that require it in the future

Entrance requirements:

Children need to be able to understand French (no English is spoken during the French immersion times), and/or there is a French speaking parent or caregiver available to support the child at home.

About FRENZ:

FRENZ School Inc. is a charitable society whose goal is to promote and support bilingual French-English education in New Zealand. FRENZ operates nationally and is led regionally by a group of parents who provide support to the school and the children in the bilingual programmes. Students in the programme are part of a NZ school and they learn the NZ curriculum in both French and English.

Background information:

La Découverte was set up in 2016 as a partnership between Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery and FRENZ School Inc. and a committee of local parents. The French class operated from the Halswell Discovery campus in 2017 and 2018.

In 2019 the class moved to Burnside Primary School and currently (October, 2020) has around 26 students.

Please read the brochure and contact us using the email below if you are interested.