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Understanding French pathway options

Your first step to understanding our French pathways is to explore the offerings. Based on research, consultation, and several years of experience, we are confident in our approach to French education. The results speak for themselves as every year we see highly proficient students graduate from our schools with their French Immersion certificate, continuing their studies in French at the post-secondary level, and able to gain valuable work in a competitive job market. 

Kindergarten - 50% French for all students in all schools

The French pathway from Kindergarten to Grade 3 is the same for all students, in all of our schools. Our early French immersion program offers play-based learning to kindergarten students in equal amounts of French and English (50%). Our schools may offer half of each day in French language instruction, or half of the week. Learning French in Kindergarten can benefit a child's ability to excel in other subject areas, such as reading comprehension and math. 


Grades 1 to 3 - 25% French for all students in all schools

We purposely provide all of our students, including French Immersion students, with a quarter day (25% or 75 minutes) of French language instruction from Grades 1-3 to ensure they develop a strong foundation in the English language. This means your child is not only learning French in their Language Arts class, but they are also receiving French instruction in other subjects as well. This has proven to be very successful. It allows your child to be exposed to French at an early age, while also ensuring they are developing and progressing in English, as well as other important areas of learning, such as numeracy.

Grades 4 to 12 - Choosing the French Immersion pathway

Although all of our French pathways encourage students to become proficient in the French language, our French Immersion pathway allows your child the most flexibility as they can change to the Extended/Core French pathway easily. If the goal is to pursue the French Immersion pathway in high school, then parents must choose this pathway for their child just before Grade 4 begins. This will ensure they meet the Ministry of Education’s required number of French instruction hours. Students fullfilling the requirement of this pathway will receive a French Immersion Certificate at graduation. This requires that students take:
  • 50% French instruction during Grades 4 to 6
  • 5 of 8 subjects in French during Grades 7 & 8
  • 10 courses in French during Grades 9 to 12
French subjects taught in Grades 4 to 6: French Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education/Health, Arts (Visual Arts, Music, Drama, Dance)
French subjects taught in Grades 7 & 8: French Language Arts, History/Geography, Science, Physical Education/Health, Religion (Math is taught in English in all Grades)
Grades 4 to 12 - Choosing the Extended / Core French pathway

Our Extended French pathway provides 25% French language instruction in Grades 4 to 6. Students typically enter the Core French program for Grade 7 to 12 if they were following thi Extended French pathway, or if they no longer choose to continue on the French Immersion pathway. The Core French pathway allows students to further develop their proficiency in the French language by giving them practical experiences and opportunities to build their confidence, improve comprehension and increase their oral proficiency in French. This pathway will lead to graduates receiving a Core French Certificate. This requires that students take: 
  • 25% French instruction during Grades 4 to 6 
  • 1 of 8 subjects in French during Grades 7 & 8
  • 4 courses in French during Grades 9 to 12 
French subjects taught in Grades 4 to 6: French Language Arts, and Social Studies
French subjects taught in Grades 7 to 12: French Language Arts
The Ontario Ministry of Education stipulates that only one French course is required after Grade 8 in order to earn a high school diploma. Students may end their French pathway journey after taking their last French Language Arts course in Grade 9. 

Before entering Grade 4 - Decision point for parents

This is when parents must choose the French pathway that their child will take until graduation.

Talking often with your child about their experience and confidence in French can help you make you make an informed decision about their French pathway after Grade 3. Take some time to examine your child's strengths, while balancing your aspirations for their future. Choosing an Extended/Core French or French Immersion pathway for your child can open so many doors for today's graduates.

If bilingualism is a high priority, you can have confidence in the OCSB's focus to equip students with the ability to use French effectively in their daily lives. 

ocsb french pathways infographict