Give your child a head start with a French-English bilingual education at Birkdale North School!

At this primary school unit in Auckland, your child stands to reap the greatest benefits – academically and through life.

Enrol now

The French unit advantage

At Birkdale North School we recognise that bilingual learning calls for a tailored teaching approach. We provide a safe and unique learning environment within a publicly funded primary school:

Smaller classes

Less children per class, allowing more one-on-one time with their teacher.

3 days in French, 2 in English

Children are taught the NZ school curriculum, in English on Mondays and Tuesdays and in French immersion from Wednesday to Friday.

A sense of community

Enriched by many different cultures and great parent support. We refer to the French unit as l’Étoile du Nord (Star of the North), bringing together the diversity of all our cultures that share the French language.

Extra support

We host several stagiaires (volunteer teacher assistants) from French-speaking countries every year to provide additional classroom support.

Kids
Three multiyear classes


Our children, Years 0 to 6, are divided into three classrooms, allowing them to progress at their own pace.

Top-Quality French Instruction

1 of only 91 schools accredited with LabelFrancÉducation. A seal of quality, awarded by the French government for international schools, teaching in French.

Our key partner

Our partner, FRENZ School Inc., a nonprofit organization mandated to develop French bilingual education in NZ, sources French-language learning resources for our students and helps us find qualified teachers.

Take a tour to see French bilingual education in action!

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5 key benefits of a French-English education

Is French one of the languages in your home? Did your child learn French overseas? Here in NZ, sustaining a language other than English is a real challenge. A bilingual education can make all the difference with so many  benefits…

Stronger family bonds

Children able to communicate with each parent in their preferred language may feel closer to them. They also build stronger relationships with extended family and are more likely to engage with cultural traditions and identity.

Lifelong language skills

The dominance of English in NZ society usually leads to serious deficiencies in the minority language, or total loss. For French to really take root, it needs to be a language of instruction at school – speaking, reading and writing. The result? A firm grounding that will stand the test of time.

Academic advantage

Studies in language development show that children, who can speak, read and write in more than one language, are at a distinct academic advantage throughout life.

children drawing
Better school engagement

Studies have found that, compared with students in English-only classrooms, dual-language students seem to be happier in school. Attendance is better, behavioural problems fewer, parent involvement higher.

Empathy

The experts agree: reading social cues, focusing on what’s important, empathy, cognitive flexibility… all are markedly stronger in bilingual children. And as adults, their worldview is rich, their employment rate is higher and their brain ages more slowly.

What families say

"We have been pleased with the education our children have received at Étoile du Nord. We feel the level of French education they have been provided with is more advanced than what we have experienced to date in our community school in Canada. Thank you!"

Erin Woods, Takapuna

"What a blessing that my son can be educated in French, my mother tongue. And what a great environment - huge school yard, superb teachers, a caring principal, and great classroom and all-school activities. We are grateful every day. Merci Birkdale North School!"

Mona-Lynn Courteau, Beach Haven

"I’m so glad I chose to come to Birkdale North School. Having schooling in French has given my daughter so much more than anything I could have ever taught her at home. I wish I had done it with my first two."

Debbie Valette, Torbay

About the school

Our French bilingual unit, l’Étoile du Nord, is fully integrated within Birkdale North School, a small, vibrant, diverse public primary school in the suburb of Birkdale on the North Shore of Auckland, New Zealand. It is located just a few minutes from the Harbour Bridge and attracts children from all over the region.
As well as several mainstream classrooms and our bilingual French and English unit, the school also hosts a bilingual Te Reo Māori and English unit, Ngā Muka, enhancing your children’s experience by exposing them to Māori culture.
We have large playing fields to run around, a hall for school and community gatherings and a swimming pool. Feel free to come for a walk around anytime.

Book a visit

Meet our lovely teachers

Maîtresse Chris

Junior class - year 0 to 2

"I am from Belgium and have lived in Aotearoa for eight years with my husband and my three children...

Maîtresse Caroline

Middle class - year 3 and 4

"Hi! My name is Caroline Sailhan. I come from a little village close to Lyon (France). In 2012, I finished my studies to become a primary school teacher...

Maîtresse Ania

Senior class - year 5 and 6

"Bonjour! My name is Ania Sbai. I am bilingual French-Polish. I grew up in Poland, and did my master's degree in France...

Who can attend?

No zoning – anyone across Auckland can enrol

Children aged 5 years and over

Children that have at least a minimum understanding of French

Limited spaces available!

It is essential you enrol your child as early as possible to secure a place, even if they are still a little way from starting school. Getting started at Birkdale North School is easy!