The Abbotsford Bilingual Model

The Abbotsford Bilingual Model has two particular features that distinguish us from other bilingual programs:

  • Each session of the school day is designated as a Chinese or English session, according to the subject and teacher. (Where the timetable allows, students have Chinese and English sessions every day of the week.)
  • Mathematics and Integrated Studies are taught in one language in Semester 1 and the other language in Semester 2. This is to ensure that all students experience and develop skills to operate in the world of numeracy and social sciences in both languages.


How does it work in practice?


A standard week at Abbotsford Primary School comprises 30x 50-minute sessions a week. The 30 sessions are divided into 5 domain areas - Chinese, English, Mathematics, Integrated Studies and Specialist Subjects.


  Core Subjects  Specialist Subjects
1 Chinese English Mathematics Integrated Studies Science
2 Physical Education
3 Visual Arts
4 Performing Arts
5 Extended Literacy Learning (ExLL)
6 Assembly / Wellbeing


Each domain / subject area is assigned a language in which the curriculum is delivered:


Chinese (50% = 12.5 hours) English (50% = 12.5 hours)


Integrated Studies (Semester 1)

Mathematics (Semester 2)

Physical Education

Visual Arts

ExLL (Digital Technologies)



Mathematics (Semester 1)

Integrated Studies (Semester 2)


Performing Arts

ExLL (Vietnamese)



For the model to work effectively, we place a special emphasis on:

  • developing a collaborative culture where the Chinese and English teaching partners work closely together to ensure smooth transition between the languages for Mathematics and Integrated Studies;
  • timetabling, where particular attention has been placed on the spread of Chinese, English and Mathematics sessions across the week, and,
  • setting expectations around the use of language in each classroom, i.e. when should each language be used, with whom, and for what purposes.


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