Saskatoon French School offers a Type A French Immersion Program
Type A Immersion is an approach to second language learning where 80% of classroom instruction is in the second language and excellence in English becomes a set priority which is monitored. It is based on the principle that children learn a second language most effectively when using it in meaningful interaction in and out of the classroom. There are many benefits to learning a second language, including:
- Provides students with a competitive advantage in our global environment community.
- Provides a positive effect on linguistic and intellectual development.
- Enhances and intensifies first language learning (increasing vocabulary and creativity).
- Allows experience of literature, music, art and film in original form.
To provide the best possible education that allows children to grow with diversity and challenge, SFS offers the following:
Strong Academic Programming - SFS offers an accelerated and challenging academic program.
High Quality French & English Instruction - All French is instructed with a high degree of fluency by all staff and is communicated in and outside of the classroom. English is taught one hour a day from Grades 3 to 8 by exemplary English language staff with emphasis on vocabulary, grammar, composition and study.
Small Class Sizes - Class size in the lower grades is 15-20 students. The school believes that a quality education is best delivered to smaller groups of students allowing staff to focus on individual differences, potential and need.
The Saskatoon French School (SFS) was founded as a private school in 1966 and became a non-denominational associate school of the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Board in 1982 as a Type A French Immersion school in Saskatoon open to families of all linguistic backgrounds.
When Saskatoon French School opened its doors in September of 1966, its first location was in the basement of what is now the Yamaha Piano Centre on Broadway Avenue. It was the second French immersion school in Canada and was established to provide students with the opportunity to learn in Canada's two official languages in an atmosphere of academic excellence. As French language education was considered an "experiment", the parent board of the time recruited teachers in France to ensure current methodologies and an exemplary French language model within the classroom.
With this foundation, Saskatoon French School has always had a community that is very committed to the education of their children but as more French immersion programs came into existence in the 1970's it became clear that maintaining a private school was going to be more and more difficult. It would be difficult to maintain a student base that needed to pay tuition fees when publicly funded French immersion programs were available in both the public and Catholic divisions across the city. The French School Society then approached the Ministry of Education about ensuring continued access to public funding to ensure the viability of their school. The Ministry suggested that a formal association with an existing school division would meet their requirements. When negotiations with Saskatoon Public Schools dissolved over the issue of guaranteeing smaller class sizes, the parent board then approached Saskatoon Catholic Schools to explore a formal association whereby the parent society could retain control over budget, transportation, admissions, and facilities. This would give them the responsibility for the budget implications of the school's priorities including smaller class sizes.
The French School Society and Saskatoon Catholic Schools entered into a formal association which took effect in September, 1982. The school would maintain its non-denominational status with an amendment to programming. Now, students would have the opportunity to access a religious studies course or a moral ethics program. Prior to the association, the school was located in the current Bishop Murray location and had been in a partnership with Saskatoon Catholic Schools over facilities and the administration of the school. With the association in place, it became apparent now that there was a need to find a permanent location for the school rather than sharing premises and administrations with other programs. In 1986, after looking at several potential locations, the Saskatoon French School moved into the former Boughton School in Holiday Park where they are today.
Today, Saskatoon French School has grown to an approximate student population of 310 students. Smaller class sizes at the primary level, as well as academic excellence have continued to be a priority of the French School Society. Transportation is offered across the city of Saskatoon with recent updates to the facilities, including and the addition of a modular classroom. Future plans continue around the expansion of the school to meet the growing demand for French immersion programming in Saskatoon.
The association between the French School Society and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools continues to be a positive, productive relationship that has facilitated an opportunity for unique parent involvement to meet the needs of our children.