French School of Cape Town inaugurates its new campus [fr]
On October 14 2014 the French School of Cape Town inaugurated its new campus, located in Sea Point. Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and French Ambassador Elisabeth Barbier attended the opening.
The French School of Cape Town is an establishment combining a spirit of excellence with an open-minded and modern approach to teaching. The Sea Point campus, located in King’s Road, will host the pre-primary and primary school students of the French School. The facilities have been entirely refurbished and modernized with an overall investment of R19 million.
The opening of the new Sea Point campus marks a milestone for the French School. It will foster its diversification strategy and enable more South African and international families to offer their children a bilingual curriculum in English and French, which remains the most spoken language throughout Africa.
The curriculum of the French School is internationally recognized by the largest network of international schools in the world, the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE, comprising 485 schools in 130 countries) and the Cambridge examination programme. Since its inception in 2007, the bilingual curriculum has attracted a number of South African and international non-French families supplementing the growing pool of French families settled in Cape Town.
The French School is now host to over 400 students from twenty-eight different nationalities, 41% of the students being non-French among which 25% are South African. Students follow a curriculum based on the very high standards of the French education system, implemented by highly qualified teachers, both French and South African.
The King’s Road facilities, previously occupied by the Tafelberg Junior School, had been vacant since 2010. In 2012, the Western Cape Government issued a competitive public tender for the occupation of the location. In 2013, the French school was awarded the tender among the seven competing projects, for a market-related lease of thirty years (with an additional possible 10 year extension). The renovations started in January 2014 and were completed in August 2014. The French School invested R13.5 million in the renovation of the building and over R2 million in technological and pedagogical materials. The Western Cape government contributed a financial input of R3.6 million for new roof finishes, storm water goods, insulation and ceilings. The upgrade of the building included a general refurbishment of the infrastructure, the equipment of the building with energy-efficient electric and water systems complying with the highest standards, as well as a newly designed garden.
In order to acknowledge its commitment to sustainable development in education, the French School was awarded the WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) Eco-School label.
The campus opened in early September 2014 for the school’s new academic year. The children from grade 1 to 6 will now be taught in a spacious and modern environment dedicated to a top-class education. The building has a new library and a refurbished multi-functional sports hall. In addition, each class room will be equipped with five computers, a projector and iPads, in order to supplement traditional teaching with innovative pedagogical content such as e-learning.