Why choose a bilingual school?

When many of our Grade 6 students leave Caulfield Primary School, their level of Japanese proficiency is equivalent to Year 8 standard or higher, giving them a solid base from which to continue with language studies through to VCE.

Our students gain invaluable insights into the cultures of our region, becoming more divergent in their thinking and sophisticated in their outlook.

Research demonstrates that the bilingual child:

  • benefits from a richer learning and language experience
  • is exposed to more complex environments and social interactions, developing verbal and non verbal reasoning skills
  • has an advanced ability to reflect upon and think about language
  • has deeper insight into the nature of language and enhanced literacy skills
  • feels a greater sense of personal achievement and experiences positive social development
  • is more flexible, creative and divergent in his or her thinking.

CPS approach to Bilingual Education:

One of only 12 bilingual schools in Victoria, our children learn to become global citizens by doing 12 hours of their learning per week in Japanese.

Research clearly demonstrates that children who learn in two languages develop better cognitive skills which provide lasting lifetime benefits.

With the current, broader focus on the teaching of Asian languages, we are leading the way as the wider community seeks to learn more about the benefits of bilingualism.


Why learn a language?                     

Most people in the world speak more than one language. Speaking another person’s language shows goodwill and flexibility, and will be more important in the future.

The importance of learning other languages is sometimes underestimated, especially for speakers of English.

Learning a second language has wide-ranging benefits, not just as a skill for future careers.  It creates flexible thinkers, opens parts of the brain to language in general and provides opportunities to understand another culture in depth.

Like many things, language learning is best started young, while children have the ability to learn a language completely and easily.

Our Japanese Bilingual Education has been highly successful since it was established in 1997. Rather than just learning about the language in a passive way, children are actively encouraged to speak Japanese within their core subjects.

As a regular component of your child’s school day, learning Japanese by immersion is a natural and cumulative process.

Integrating Language into other Key Learning Areas

As part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to increase the number of government schools in which teaching is conducted in a second language, funding was provided for the implementation of an immersion program.  The program was introduced to Caulfield Primary School in 1997 and has grown to be an integral part of our school’s future.

In many schools, Languages are taught for one lesson per week.  Most students are only able to achieve a basic knowledge of the language and culture by Year 6.

The program at CPS provides content-based teaching in both English and Japanese.  Some subjects are taught in English and others in Japanese.  The idea is to teach through language rather than teach about the language.  In this way students learn in a supportive content-based environment.

This bilingual program is delivered by Japanese teachers and enables the students to learn in Japanese for 12 hours per week. The Department of Education and Training (DET) has implemented strict guidelines for reporting, independent external evaluation and testing procedures of bilingual education.


Teachers, Assistants, and Parent Support

Dedicated and creative teams of teachers, who are fluent in the language and have strong educational backgrounds, deliver the Japanese program.  Native speaking language assistants, volunteers and Japanese parents also provide valuable support in the classroom.  For parents wishing to learn alongside their children, a Japanese class for adults is also offered.

DET Standards

This program operates under the guidelines set by the Department of Education and Training (DET). We’re encouraged by DET feedback confirming that our program is an outstanding one with an excellent reputation.

At CPS, core subjects are taught in Japanese for at least 12 hours per week.

The 4 Core Subjects taught in Japanese are:

  • Japanese Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Performing Arts
  • Visual Arts

To promote Japanese language and culture, extra activities are also integrated into the program throughout the year.

Extra Activities throughout the year include…

Japanese student visits from:

  • Japanese School of Melbourne
  • Monash College

Japanese Cultural Events:

  • Japanese Fun Day
  • Whole School Japanese Performance
  • Trip to Japan for Grades 5 and 6
  • Sushi Program
learning Japanese

Japan has an impressive cultural heritage from samurai and sakura (blossoming cherry trees) to sumo.  It is also famous for high-tech innovation and its cultural exports in the form of games, anime, manga and karaoke. Your child will enjoy learning about a culture that may be different from his or her own.

Japanese is one of four Asian languages prioritised by the Federal Government for teaching in schools.  The language is not as hard as it first looks.  In many ways the grammar of the language is simpler than English.  Spelling and pronunciation are also easier for children.

As well as the many school-based cultural activites, students in Years 5 and 6 have the opportunity to join the biennial trip to Japan. Students stay with host families and attend Nakagawa Primary School, Ogaki, Gifu.

The visit provides additional opportunities for students to immerse themselves in Japanese language and culture, taking part in Japanese school life and socialising with Japanese boys and girls of their age.

Students also become confident in integrating with international visitors through their understanding of appropriate behaviours and customs, as well as their ability to communicate in more than one language.

girls lined up along tree branch
kids performing in the doraemon play

School Play

Every two years, every child participates in the whole school production. The entire production is performed in Japanese and in past years, the Caulfield Primary community has been entertained by classic stories such as Monkey, The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan in word and song. The plays are performed to a packed audience at a local theatre. Parents are amazed to hear their young children expertly performing their lines in Japanese.


We regularly host visits from students of Nakagawa Primary School and the Japanese School of Melbourne, providing additional opportunities for students to immerse themselves in Japanese language and culture. On Thursdays, students can order sushi for lunch and they can take part in activities such as drumming workshops, film festivals, Japanese poetry competitions, videoconferencing with Japan and other events throughout the year.

Japan Trip

Year 5 and 6 students are provided with the opportunity to join the biennial trip to Japan. During the trip, students visit many beautiful temples and castles and might meet a Ninja at Toei Film Studio. They stay with Japanese families while attending our sister school in Ogaki, experiencing the real life of a Japanese student. Students always comment on the incredible generosity of their hosts and what an amazing experience they had immersing themselves in daily life alongside their Ogaki friends.