Telopea Park School

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Telopea Park School
Telopea Park School in Barton (1).jpg
Barton, ACT
Type (Years K–10)
Motto Latin: Spectans orientia solis lumina
(Looking towards the rising sun)
Established 1923
Principal Kerrie Blain
Enrolment ~1127 (2010)
Campus Urban
Colour(s) Red, white and blue
Telopea Park School circa 1923.

Telopea Park School (French: ''Lycée Franco-Australien de Canberra'') is a public school in Canberra, Australia. It is named after the adjacent Telopea Park. It was founded in 1923, making it the oldest school in Canberra. Telopea Park School is one of the few public schools in the ACT to teach students from kindergarten to 10th grade and is the only bi-national school in Canberra. It is fully accredited by the French Ministry of Education and offers a bilingual program from Kindergarten to year 12. It is also the only high school in the ACT to be part of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme , having gained IB membership in 2006. It has been listed by the ACT Heritage Council.[1]

Primary school[edit]

One half of the school's buildings has been allocated to the primary section of Telopea Park School. All of the students in primary at Telopea Park School follow a bilingual education, with 80% of the lessons from Kindergarten to Year 2 given in French by teachers recognised by both the French Education department and the ACT Department of Education. In Years 3 to 6, French and English is taught as a 50/50 ratio. French staff are generally contracted for 2 to 3 years. They arrive and depart mid-year in accordance with Northern Hemisphere schooling. Students also have classes given in English by Australian staff to complement their French language education.

Secondary school[edit]

The secondary school is not exclusively English speaking. The English/French Stream (EFS) allows students to continue their education in French. It follows the French education system while incorporating three compulsory ACT courses. The other students, who form about two thirds of the student body, follow the ACT secondary school system and can then complete the International Baccalaureate Organisation Middle Years Program. Most students from Telopea Park School go on to Narrabundah College, the EFS in particular as Narrabundah College is the only college in Canberra (and one of only two schools in Australia) to allow students to sit the Baccalauréat français.


During Years 7 to 10, learning a language other than English is compulsory at Telopea park school, unlike most other ACT secondary schools. Students usually study a single language for all four years. However, sometimes beginner classes are started for new students to the school in years 9 and 10. Students choose between Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, Indonesian, and French. As of 2017 Mandarin was introduced to the school, making a total of 7 languages.

The English/French Stream[edit]

The English/French Stream (EFS) is essentially a portion of students at Telopea High School who follow a different system and curriculum to those of the English Stream (who follow the standard ACT system and curriculum). These students are usually those who follow on from Telopea Park Primary School. The way the EFS students learn is very different from that of the students of the English Stream: EFS students have fewer elective classes, as they have compulsory History and Geography every term, and they learn three languages instead of two (English, French, and a third language). In July 2015, an alumni association (alfac) was created by Isabelle Mellor and Emilie Texier for the former students of the English/French stream. The association was officially launched in August 2015 at the French Embassy in Canberra and since then the community has been expanding quickly. They have a website:

As the EFS follows a different system to the English Stream, it has a different timetable. The French stream classes have always been contact groups _.1 and _.2 (like 9.1 and 9.2) until 2008, when the new year 7s were mixed in with the English Stream. The Bilingual Stream has its own principal (le proviseur). French Stream students are often affectionately referred to by their English Stream counterparts (and themselves) as "Frenchies".

To underline the equal importance of the French and Australian streams, both national anthems are played at the beginning of the school assembly which is on every other Friday.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Telopea Park School at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ "Heritage (Decision about Registration for Telopea Park School, Barton) Notice 2011" (PDF). ACT Heritage Council. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Burgess, Verona (9 February 2000). "Scientist a Courageous and Brilliant Leader". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. p. 11. 
  3. ^ Edward Gough Whitlam, archived from the original on 22 June 2013 

Coordinates: 35°18′50″S 149°8′3″E / 35.31389°S 149.13417°E / -35.31389; 149.13417