Opening Doors to Opportunities

As a Board, we value the learning of French and recognize the many benefits that French language-skills provide students.  Our French language programs open doors to opportunities! Watch the video below to learn more about what our elementary and secondary students have to share about learning French.

Studying French

The study of French is an important part of the secondary school curriculum. French is one of Canada's two official languages, but also widely used around the world.

As one of Canada's two official languages, the study of French is an important part of the secondary school curriculum. Widely used around the world, the ability to read, write, listen and speak in French is valuable for a number of reasons. Learning French allows students to:

  • strengthen their first-language skills;
  • enhance their critical and creative thinking abilities;
  • increase their understanding of other cultures; and
  • gain career advantages.

Goals of French as a Second Language programs

The primary goal of French as a Second Language (FSL) programs in Ontario is to increase students' confidence and proficiency to use French effectively in their daily lives. All FSL programs emphasize the development of:

  • listening;
  • speaking;
  • reading; and
  • writing skills.

French programs offered

Core French

Secondary students have the option of studying French at an academic, applied and open level. All students must complete a minimum of one French credit for graduation.

French Immersion program

Students who have completed the French Immersion program in elementary school can continue their French language studies at the secondary level. Students who have completed a minimum of 3800 hours of French in elementary school continue into the French Immersion stream at St. Mary.

The secondary French Immersion program offers a minimum of seven courses in French which include four French language courses (one per grade) and at least three other subjects taught in French (see table below).

Secondary students are required to complete 30 credits to receive their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The French Immersion program requires students to complete 10 of the 30 credits in French. Upon completion, our students receive an French Immersion certificate at graduation. The chart below outlines the courses students are required to take in French.

Grade 9Grade 10Grade 11Grade 12







World Religions

Religion (optional)




Health and Physical Education

Careers and Civics (optional)


We will offer the French Immersion program at the following secondary schools in the following grades as of September 2017.

SchoolAddressExtended French program

Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School

1020 Dryden Blvd., Whitby

Grade 9 -12

Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School

1375 Harwood Avenue North, Ajax

Grade 9-12

St. Mary Catholic Secondary School

1918 Whites Road, Pickering

Grade 9 -12