Have you ever heard of the “dare school outside” scheme? A device dedicated to pupils from the small section to CM2 and which allows them to follow a morning of lessons per week outside their school, in contact with nature.
In Aignay-le-Duc, since the beginning of the school year, on Fridays, the institute ‘Émilie Gilles leads Léandre, Marcel or even Lylou -18 pupils of small and middle section of kindergarten in total- in a wood lent by a member of the municipal council at the exit of the village.
“We are not on guided activities as we can have in class, here it is the child who is at the heart of his learning, the adult is there to secure his games. From time to time we can propose an activity but with the little ones you really have to take the time and let them play freely” deciphers the mistress.
Children dressed warmly have to walk half an hour to get to the woods. On the spot they crawl, observe the insects when the season lends itself to it or play hide and seek. Almost everything is allowed! “What are we allowed to do?” asks Emilie out of the blue. “Walking in water!” the little ones answer happily. “As we are all well dressed, we have waterproof clothes and boots, we have the right to walk in puddles today. On the other hand, we are not running!” insists the teacher without raising her voice while the little feet wade through the water.
Of course there are still rules to respect and therefore prohibitions. “It is forbidden to hurt others and to throw stones” explains Emily. “Do not hit and put the sticks in the eyes” points out a little boy. Side games all already know what they are going to do. “We’re going to make huts and dig!” say two little girls outright, while Léandre, all joyful, launches “I’m going to play hide and seek with Naomie”.
Last Friday Émilie Gilles was assisted by three ATSEM, town hall officers employed in schools, and two dads for whom it was their first outing. Tanguy Malibert, 38, television director is Loeiza’s dad. This operation reminds him of his youth. “It reminds me of ‘Friends of the woods’ this book we had when we were kids, we learned to build cabins, to assemble pieces of wood. I am delighted that they are doing this, because it is contact with nature and then it makes for very beautiful memories of spending time together outdoors, it changes from the classroom”.
In total, 1,000 small ribs of oriens of 80 classes in total participate in this operation launched in 2016 in the department. And according to Catherine Pascual, one of the 13 national education inspectors of Côte-d’Or, it brings them a lot. It is she who is behind the implementation of the system in our department.
“Especially at the language level because in the end the children work on natural objects: leaves, sticks. They will talk about it again once in class. And we realized that this leads to a real development of language skills in the youngest children. This experience also helps to develop the scientific spirit which is extremely important for the future”.
After an hour spent playing in the Léandre forest, Marcel, Lylou, Naomi, Wyatt and all their friends from kindergarten in Aignay-le-Duc are invited to sit on a plastic sheet placed on the ground by their teacher. and to tell what they retain of their morning. Before going back to school, they are entitled to a little hot herbal tea.
A double ministerial visit in 2021
The first Academy to have embarked on “school outside” is the Academy of Poitiers, the project was led by Christèle Ferjou an educational adviser who made it possible to launch this great movement in France. Then the Academy of Besançon took over, the Academy of Dijon -it- joined the movement in 2016. In May 2021 Jean-Michel Blanquer Minister of National Education and Barbara Pompili Minister of Ecological Transition came to Dijon to see this device at work at the Lamartine school.
Find this report this Monday, January 24, 2022 at 6:45 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. as well as in the newspapers of your 6/9 on France Bleu Bourgogne (98.3 or 103.7)