What is French Immersion?

French Immersion is an inclusive program designed for students wishing to acquire French as an additional language. Learners are immersed in the French language in a diverse and engaging school environment.

French is acquired as a means of communication. At both École Cedardale and École Pauline Johnson French is the primary language of instruction. The French language is developed over time as learners move through their elementary and secondary school experience.

French Immersion learners share a sense of joy and connection, locally and globally, through unique cultural experiences.  As French speakers, learners develop a deeper understanding of and pride in our Canadian identity.

Why French Immersion?

Research shows that learning additional languages improves students’ cognitive abilities. Through the French Immersion experience, learners will:

  • develop French language skills;
  • work with staff from diverse backgrounds;
  • gain insight and understanding into French culture;
  • acquire skills that could lead to increased opportunities using French (one of Canada’s two official languages) in the workplace;
  • develop international mindedness;
  • develop a strong sense of identity and connection to a tightly knit community.

What is Early French Immersion?

West Vancouver Schools offers both Early (entry in Kindergarten) and Late French Immersion (entry in Grade 6) programs.  Early French Immersion (EFI) programs are available at both École Cedardale and École Pauline Johnson. Enrolment in Early French Immersion generally occurs at the Kindergarten level, although students may enter the program at the Grade 1 level until the end of Term One, space permitting.

École Cedardale is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, offering the French Immersion Primary Years Programme (PYP). There is an associated fee with the IB PYP programme. Learn more about the IB PYP Programme at École Cedardale.

Applicants who wish to enroll in French Immersion are free to choose either one or both of the French Immersion schools. However, it is important to understand that if only one of the French Immersion schools is selected, the application will be considered for spaces at that school only. If you wish to be considered for placement at BOTH French Immersion schools, you must select both schools as two of your three prioritized school choices.

Due to the popularity of these programs of choice, applications for admission to EFI and EFI IB PYP are subject to a lottery process. Two separate lotteries will be held in early December each calendar year to determine placement offers.

A student may be included in both lotteries, provided both schools are selected as choices on the online application and provided that all required documentation is submitted to the first-choice school before the close of the lottery period.

Late French Immersion begins at Grade 6 and is offered at École Pauline Johnson Elementary. Students are eligible to enter LFI until the end of Term One, space permitting. There is no Late French Immersion at Ecole Cedardale.

How to Apply for Early French Immersion 2025 – 2026

Kindergarten Admissions

Children enter Kindergarten in September of the calendar year in which they turn five years of age. Children born in 2020 will be in Kindergarten during the 2025-2026 school year.

Due to the strong demand for these programs of choice, West Vancouver Schools will conduct two separate lotteries to identify those children who will be registered for French Immersion Kindergarten for the 2025 – 2026 school year at either École Cedardale or École Pauline Johnson. Students will be included in both lotteries, provided that both schools are listed as prioritized choices on the online application.

Applications and supporting documentation for the lotteries will be accepted between 8:00 am on October 15 and 3:00 pm on December 2, 2024.

The registration will follow Ministry guidelines and Board policy.

IMPORTANT: Only those applications that have submitted  all required documentation as of 3:00 pm on December 2, 2024 will be included in the lottery.

The 2024 – 2025 EFI and EFI PYP Lotteries will be held in early December 2024 and results will be communicated by email, with all participants notified before the Winter Break.

Applicants will be notified of the results via email, beginning with in-district applicants, in the order in which they were drawn, as soon as possible after the conclusion of the lotteries. As outlined in Board Administrative Procedure 300 4.1, parents will be given 24 hours to make the decision to accept a position offered.

To have your child included in one or both EFI Kindergarten lotteries, please CLICK HERE  and complete a 2024-2025 online application form. Once you have submitted the application, you must submit PDF copies of all required documentation to your first choice school only. Please click here for a list of required documents.

Please note that EFI and IB schools require a minimum of two residential support documents in addition to a proof of residence. The school will provide you with more details.

Only those online applications where all supporting documentation has been received by the lottery deadline will be included in the lottery. No exceptions will be made.


Grade 1 – 7 Early French Immersion Admission / Registration:

Applications to register for grades 1 – 7 Early French Immersion are handled on a first-come, first-served basis according to the timelines listed under the Student Registration Guidelines

PLEASE NOTE: Students applying for grades 2 – 7 must be currently attending an Early French Immersion (EFI) program in order to be eligible for Early French Immersion in West Vancouver.

Grade 1 students not currently in EFI may apply, but due to the nature of the EFI environment and the cognitive academic language demands of the programs, students are only eligible to be placed before the end of Term One of their grade 1 year.

Late French Immersion

We also offer a Late French Immersion (LFI) program at École Pauline Johnson that is designed for students wishing to have an immersion experience who have not attended the Early Immersion program. The entry for this program is Term One of Grade 6 and continues at the secondary school level. For information about LFI, please contact the principal of École Pauline Johnson at (604) 981-1225 or paulinejohnson@wvschools.ca

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