Telopea Park School, Lycée Franco Australien, is a unique school. It has a long proud history, having taken its first students in 1923. Since 1983 is has been a binational French-Australian school, established as the result of an agreement between the Governments of France and Australia. The agreement sets the parameters within which the school operates.
Since its establishment as a binational school Telopea Park School has grown steadily. All of the primary and approximately quarter of the secondary students follow the English-French bilingual program. The rest of the secondary students follow a comprehensive secondary program.
The school is administered as part of the Australian Capital Territory Government school system. It is accountable to the French and Australian authorities as well as to the ACT Education Directorate.
In the primary section, the school provides a bilingual education in the English and French languages from Kindergarten to Year 6. All students learn to speak, read and write in French and English. The bilingual program continues in the Secondary part of the school to Year 10 and to Years 11 and 12 at nearby Narrabundah College.
In the secondary section, there are two streams - English/French stream and an English stream (forming a normal ACT high school) The English French Stream provides instruction for the Brevet examinations in year 9. The Australian stream provides an educational program meeting the requirements of the ACT. A wide range of electives is offered. Students are also expected to study at least one other language other than English. French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese and Spanish are offered. All students in the secondary school study the Middle Years Programme (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate.
In the Primary the curriculum is a harmonised French-Australian curriculum. The French curriculum has been adapted to take into account local requirements but still conforms with the programs and official instructions of the French Ministry of Education. In the same way the Australian curriculum has been modified to take into account French requirements but also satisfies the requirements of the ACT Education Directorate
The French teachers are trained in French curriculum and pedagogy, and have qualifications acceptable to the French National Ministry for Education and to the ACT Education Directorate. The Australian teachers have Australian teaching qualifications acceptable to the ACT Education Directorate .
The school is located in central Canberra and is easily accessible by public transport. Students come from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds. They range in age from five to sixteen. The school has a truly international character. Well over a third of the students were born outside Australia. While most of these are permanent residents, many are temporary residents whose parents have been posted to Canberra. There are some International Private Students. A fifth of the students speak a language other English at home. About 12 % of the students come from France or French speaking countries.
Students are required to wear dress code in the secondary and in the primary. There is a school uniform shop on campus.