Our vision for children at the Deutsche Schule Melbourne is to live and learn two cultures, preparing students at the school to become involved citizens of an increasingly global world.
Deutsche Schule Melbourne caters for families with German language connections, as well as those who are interested in providing their children with the opportunity to learn an additional language to a high proficiency level.
Through its bilingual and bicultural educational model, the DSM provides a framework for academic success, while allowing children to experience a sense of identity and belonging.
The school’s holistic approach nurtures and celebrates each child’s individuality, embraces different backgrounds and builds intercultural awareness and respect for others.
A vibrant, encouraging and caring environment provides a foundation for the children to develop confident personalities that allow them to become responsible members of local and global communities.
Our school environment assists children to grow into balanced and confident individuals who are able to take responsibility for themselves and others. Being able to communicate in two mother-tongues enables them to perceive the world from a range of cultural perspectives. It assists them in developing a global view on life and appreciating cultural diversity.
This is fostered by the school being an integral part of both local and German-speaking communities. With its strong sense of community among the students’ families and its cultural activities inviting the wider community to take part in the school’s life the DSM is more than an educational institution. Ultimately, the school provides students with the environment to live and learn two cultures.
The bilingual and bicultural education of children at DSM is delivered through the school's immersion program and reflects the philosophy of the school.
Students at Deutsche Schule Melbourne grow up bilingually and biculturally, with German and English as the languages of instruction. Teaching is based on a one teacher-one language approach, in which teachers only conduct classes in their native-language, be it German or English. All teachers at DSM are bilingual in English and German and speak both languages fluently.
The curriculum of Deutsche Schule Melbourne fulfills the requirements of both the Australian and German curricula, ensuring an easy transition for those students who move to another Australian or German school.
In line with current research on children from both bilingual and monolingual backgrounds, students learn to read and write in German and English concurrently. In Year 1 and 2, 80% of classes are taught in German. The proportion of classes taught in English gradually increases so that by Year 6 it will amount to approximately 50% of teaching time. This is based on the highly successful Canadian “Early Immersion Program” for bilingual schools.
Students starting in the Foundation Year at DSM do not need to have any prior German language skills, as Deutsche Schule Melbourne structures classroom activities to assist students who do not have German as one of their main languages.
Choosing a bilingual school for your child’s education is the first step on a very rewarding journey. Giving your child the opportunity to grow up in a bilingual and multicultural environment prepares them to become a confident global citizen, to appreciate people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and is one of the most precious gifts you can give your child.
Deutsche Schule Melbourne welcomes applications for enrolment from students with a background in English, German, or any other language. Students without a background in German are eligible to apply for enrolment in the Preparatory Year. Language testing may be required for students entering the school at later year levels to ensure that they are fully able to participate in the school's programs.
The background of our students is as colourful as the city of Melbourne. Our school community consists of families with one German-speaking and one English-speaking parent, local Australian families who wish to give their children a bilingual education and German-speaking families who are residing in Australia.
When they start school some students are already fluent German speakers, others know little German or begin to learn German when they begin. With a lot of enthusiasm and support from teachers and peers alike, students immerse themselves in the German language and advance quickly in their language development.
DSM also has students who speak fluent German but have limited abilities in English when they begin school. They learn English as an additional mother tongue and, similar to those students acquiring German from the Preparatory Year onwards, tend to make fast progress in acquiring English. The students at DSM develop a fine sense of the language abilities of their peers and support each other in the acquisition of the new language. They are able to switch to German or English whenever appropriate and develop a keen ability to assist other students who may require help in understanding English or German.
Living with two languages enriches the lives of our children. Their early success in acquiring an additional language strengthens their self-confidence and they are able to rise to new challenges, from which they learn and grow. It is a privilege for us to accompany and assist the students on this journey.