Learning in nature: a school in Montluçon (Allier) practicing school abroad

Under an old oak tree, children sit in groups. After listening to their teacher’s instructions, they aim to make a character with what they picked up on a road in the bocage: pebbles for the eyes, a pine cone for the nose, straws for the mouth. … “But be careful, Master, you must not tear anything.

Reconnect with nature

For the first year, the four classes at Louise-Michel Kindergarten, in Montluçon, practice school outside at a rate of one morning per week. Born in the Nordic countries, this upbringing reconnects with a child’s basic need to spend time in nature.

Monitor at your own pace

“Some children go outside a bit, and adults discourage them, for fear of dirt or injury. They are not comfortable running, climbing and blocking. Outdoor school provides children with freedom of movement, the ability to observe at their own pace and get to know the world better,” explains school teacher Delphine Chenevat, who directs her middle and senior class every Monday. Towards the old railway line. Nice green location on the edge of town, near Marignon Street.

Better focus

Since the beginning of the school year, she has taught students how to get rid of chestnuts, insects, slugs, hawthorn and even plantain. “We are also working on more academic concepts, like opposite words – soft and hard, for example – or arranging the elements of nature from largest to smallest. When we work on concrete, it stays grounded in it.”

work in a group

Studying in a group fosters collaboration. “It forces them to work together to achieve a goal. We are not in competition, I want future compatriots to help each other,” supports the school teacher, remembering all the benefits of such walkers outings: strengthening the immune system, fighting obesity, improving well-being, self-esteem or motivation creativity.

There are also benefits for teachers. Greater freedom of action. We act on the children’s observations, rely on what they see, and leave it a little

Better integration of students with special needs

Four adults oversee the picnic, including Atsim (regional agent who specializes in nursery schools) Mary Alice. “We see that children are more sensitive to nature than they were at the beginning of the year. When they see litter, they alert us,” she notes. “For students with disabilities, it helps them develop and socialize,” adds Nathalie, AESH (Accompanying Student with Disabilities).

small forest in school

This initiative is not isolated in this Louise Michel school. On the playground there is a teaching hive, vegetable plots, an orchard, manure, vermicomposter, chickens and even a small forest, planted a few weeks ago. “We are four interconnected teachers, with the same desires and the same vision of teaching,” Delphine Chenefat explains.

excellent Small forest planted in a kindergarten in Montluçon (Allier)

While the schoolchildren finish “The Abominable or Wonderful Man of the Woods,” the teacher evaluates the first year of school abroad. This has allowed some children to approach others more easily, and to integrate faster. We also see that their vocabulary has evolved, as has their sentence construction. »

Bellavoine clouds

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