Lalor North Primary School was established in 1971 and for the past 45 years it operates as a bilingual program teaching the full school curriculum in both English and Greek, founded by Dimitris Politis.
Situated in the North Western Victoria Region Lalor Primary is a member of the Whittlesea network of schools with a population of 300 students.
For the past decade, Greek language teacher Koni Diakodimitriou is managing the program and says that “The fact that it has so successfully been operating for the 45 years is proof of its success”.
“Approximately 70 per of our students have a language background other than English. We are proud of the linguistic, cultural and social diversity of our community and our learning programs build on this rich heritage.”
The school’s philosophy is based on teaching students a second language efficiently and in depth, be it Greek or English. The second language is taught and understood better when there is a solid base for the students’ first language to develop and expand. Simultaneously learning a second language can help the students’ cognitive abilities, emotional intelligence and help them form a healthier, more positive personality.
Lalor North Primary considers both languages equally important and ensures all subjects are taught in Greek and English using modern educational methods and curriculum structure.Based on scientific research data the school has selected teaching math in Greek until the second grade and then transitioning to English in the later years, a model proven successful.
Lalor North Primary students also have access to a variety of cultural and artistic activities, athletic competitions, school camp, swimming lessons, music, and gymnastics to name a few. Students are encouraged to participate in national celebration events, Greek traditional dance teaching, technology workshops, Greek Storytime at the Lalor Library, the Book Character Parade, annual festivities, student storytelling and drawing competitions supported by the Australian Hellenic Memorial Foundation.
“I am proud to be teaching Greek at Lalor North Primary School’s bilingual program, to be positively impacting the lives of the children I teach, inspiring them and teaching them a second language,” says Ms Diakodimitriou. “I am proud to be able to guide and support them when they need me. I am even more proud when the parents come and thank me for what I do for their children.”