Students at Deutsche Schule Melbourne grow up bilingually and biculturally, with German and English as the languages of instruction. Teaching is based on a one teacher-one language approach, in which teachers only conduct classes in their native-language, be it German or English. All teachers at DSM are bilingual in English and German and speak both languages fluently.
The curriculum of Deutsche Schule Melbourne fulfils the requirements of both the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) and Thüringen curricula, ensuring an easy transition for those students who move to another Australian or German school.
In line with current research on children from both bilingual and monolingual backgrounds, students learn to read and write in German and English concurrently. In Year 1 and 2, 80% of classes are taught in German. The proportion of classes taught in English gradually increases so that by Year 6 it will amount to approximately 50% of teaching time. This is based on the highly successful Canadian “Early Immersion Program” for bilingual schools.
Students starting in the Preparatory Year at DSM do not need to have German language skills. Deutsche Schule Melbourne structures classroom activities to assist students who do not have German as one of their main languages.
Deutsche Schule Melbourne strengthens students’ understanding of their responsibilities within the global community. Numerous activities also cement the school’s position in its multicultural Australian setting. Participation in sports and other recreational activities are part of the school life.
The following people have been involved in design of the school model:
Stefanie Everke Buchanan
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