German connection

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How can BSPS help you maintain your family’s Germanic heritage?

 

Many families, who have recently immigrated to Australia, have a strong desire to raise their children bilingually in order to support their children to feel they belong both in the home culture and in the Australian culture. They want their children to be able to move between cultures and languages successfully. Other families, who may have immigrated some time ago, have a desire to stay connected to the language, culture and heritage of their land of origin.

 

Bayswater South Primary School has been providing a quality German-English bilingual education for over 34 years, in a modern and contemporary Australian primary school setting. Our students achieve a high standard in their German language skills. Our younger students quickly become comfortable learning with German as the medium of instruction and over time develop a rich and varied vocabulary that allows them to explore deeper and more complex topics as they progress through the primary years. Children who are native German speakers with little or no English are able to feel a strong connection to the school and their peers, that might otherwise take some time. They feel valued for their input in German classes and feel well supported by the large number of German-speaking staff members as they adjust to schooling in Australia. Students with a non-English speaking background acquire English primarily through immersion as well as through focused learning in class and individualized support.

 

A natural part of the German curriculum involves learning about important cultural features, such as aspects of the geography and history of Germany and the German speaking countries. Students also learn about important festivals and celebrations, such as Fasching, Nikolaustag and Weihnachten or the importance of a student’s first day at school.

Foundation students receive a specially made Schultüte on their first day lovingly made by their Year 5 buddy. Other elements of German culture such as picture story books, traditional songs and pop songs, football, Eurovision, food and cooking, and current events such as elections in Germany are covered to provide a rich context for understanding the language and the lives of people who speak German.

 

Over the years, our students have demonstrated their proficiency in German through a number of school based and wider community activities. Our students have been state finalists in the Victorian German Poetry Competition organised by the Association of German Teachers of Victoria (AGTV) every year since the competition’s inception in 1993. On many occasions our students were declared state champion.

Year 5 and 6 students regularly visit a local German aged-care facility and are able to converse naturally and enthusiastically in German with the residents.

A few years ago a small group of our students was invited to travel to Germany to compete in the children’s quiz show "1, 2, oder 3". These children were required to answer quiz-type questions on a range of topics and were successful in winning the competition against native German speaking children from Germany and Austria!

On a number of occasions our students have been invited to participate in the German-speaking programs on SBS Radio, which again demonstrates the high level of confidence our students display in communicating in the German language.

The Bayswater South Primary School community is proud of the school’s history of more than 34 years of English and German bilingual education, within our modern and contemporary Australian primary school setting.