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The teachings given at L'Autre École follow the fundamental basis of National Education. In all these subjects (French, Mathematics, History and Geography) our commitment is that the level of the children will be at a minimum for each class, that of a child in a traditional school.
Our desire is to go even further by transmitting other skills in a climate that will be beneficial to all learning. We believe that the development of certain qualities/competences, such as self-confidence, adaptability, meta-cognition, and the development of socio-emotional skills will be assets throughout life, and therefore when the child joins a more traditional curriculum.
In this way, we want to enable children who graduate from L'Autre École to succeed in whatever field they choose! In fact, the "accomplished" children who leave this type of school are generally children who do better in school afterwards and develop their leadership skills in the schools they will join.
Of course a period of adaptation will be necessary, but children will be accompanied in this transition by preparation from CM2 onwards for the different requirements of the traditional system, in particular by taking exams or gradually integrating a grading system. A tutoring mechanism will also allow our 6 th brand new alumni to help their former classmates.
We have been very sensitive to your numerous requests to continue the pedagogical development through the opening of a middle school and a high school. The ambition of L'Autre École is to contribute to a transformation of the education system as a whole and to provide for the education of your children for as long as possible.
Nevertheless, in the short term, it seems preferable to us to strengthen our expertise on primary education. We are therefore in the process of setting up partnerships with existing colleges and, above all, we support and accompany the emergence of colleges with the same convictions as us (notably Harmony Schools).
Firstly, as anxious as it may be, we do not know the world of tomorrow! At the end of the 20' Maria Montessori recalled
''Let's not raise our children for today's world. "This world will be gone when they grow up. And we have no way of knowing what kind of world they'll have. So let's teach them to adapt.
Today, the pace of change has further accelerated and we are experiencing transformations that are transforming our economic, political and social model ... our way of doing business. For Sir Ken Robinson, "it is education that is supposed to lead us to this elusive future", a future where 85% of jobs in 2030 do not yet exist.
After having "dialogued with and accepted this uncertainty" (Edgar Morin), we can nevertheless anticipate certain essential skills in the face of the major trends that are emerging to prepare children as well as possible.
These include complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence, the ability to live together and understand others, and cognitive flexibility. These are all skills that we wish to transmit in our teaching.
Many education experts, intellectuals and political leaders share our observation. Simply, school reforms are penalized by the time elapsed between awareness of the problems, decision, implementation and impact. The time lag between the intention behind the curriculum and educational outcomes is generally too long.
By our size, our independence, our capacity to innovate, our agility we L'Autre École can reduce this delay so that our collective awareness can find echo in our teachings. We thus have a competitive advantage in adapting to the world of tomorrow.
Finally, we believe that education in the 21st century must not only prepare people to join the workforce, it must also and above all prepare them for life. In particular, it must enable everyone to emancipate themselves from their environment, and give them the keys to freeing themselves and deconditioning themselves from the narratives that surround us.
L'Autre École is based on recent research by pedagogues, neuroscientists and chrono-biologists who indicate that homework should take a maximum of 15 min / day in cycle 2 and 20 min in cycle 3, should take place around 4:30 pm (time when intellectual performance is at its best) and only involve reinvestment and training.
Homework is also a means of concretizing parents' commitment to their children's schooling.
Following the example of the National Education system, which tends to do away with the grading system, L'Autre École teaches students to situate themselves, to identify their levels in the acquisition of skills. Grades do not accurately measure students' skills because various factors enter into the grading (order of correction, fatigue of the evaluated, evaluator, social bias.).
L'Autre École favours formative assessment (during learning with a system of indicators of where the student is and what he or she should be aiming for) rather than summative assessment (at the end of learning). The teacher's advice leads the student to think in terms of skills, strengths and weaknesses, and the progress to be made.
Finally, all too often the rating system, through the ratings, has been diverted from its initial use. Too often it is used to sort, compare, devalue ... which undermines confidence, which is essential for learning.
As you know, L'Autre École is a non-contractual private school, which benefits from National Education accreditation but receives no funding from the State or local authorities. Today the average expenditure for a pupil in the public system is around 8690 € /year, with a pupil/teacher ratio of 1 teacher for 26 pupils.
L'Autre École's funding is entirely supported by the families. Tuition fees must cover all of our operating costs (salaries, rent, teaching materials).
In order to be a school accessible to all, we have set up a self-financed solidarity financing system, involving a fee structure that varies according to family income. This system must allow each family to make the same financial effort, commensurate with its means. In the future, we also plan to have part of this equalization supported by patronage, in order to reduce the burden borne by families.
Finally, we take this opportunity to remind you that L'Autre École is a social enterprise. It seeks to reconcile its social purpose with economic efficiency. In particular, L'Autre École is not intended to generate profits other than those necessary for its development.
Its operation thus follows the main principles of the social and solidarity economy (limited profit-making, wage scale control, democratic management that encourages the participation of members and users, etc.).
Bilingualism is a central dimension of L'Autre École's pedagogy. Both because it is a necessary tool for free evolution, an indispensable opening to the world, but also for the lifelong neuro-cognitive effects it provides. It is also a richness that allows us to welcome children from all over the world. English is taught, in small groups, by native teachers who teach their languages while also transmitting through their culture a different view of the world.
This year's kindergarten children have two teachers, one Francophone and one Anglophone. Immersion is total and throughout the day. In the elementary classes, beginner children are immersed in a language bath with, at certain times, work in common with the whole class on a specific subject, and at other times, more specific work on learning vocabulary, grammar and reading/writing according to their level.
Children who have an intermediate level and/or mother tongue are taken in small groups to progress according to their needs.
If the language level permits, classes in science, mathematics, handicrafts, sports, choir, are taught in English to achieve more than 50% exposure to English.
Offering multi-level classes is a strong pedagogical choice on our part. On this point, we are directly inspired by the work of Maria Montessori, certain alternative schools (the Hummingbird School, Living School, certain classes in the countryside) or other innovative schools abroad, as well as on the state of current research.
Concretely, multi-level is a "Win-Win". It allows older people to regularly attend learning sessions, to reinvest in them, to formulate them, to put words on them, which allows a perennial and quality automation and quite simply the best way to retain. It offers the possibility for younger people to learn from their peers, to activate their mirror neurons, to observe a learner with whom they can identify, while arousing their curiosity and willingness to invest in fields to which they would not have had natural access.
The diversity of profiles encourages the child to question himself, to adapt, which allows for mutual enrichment, open-mindedness, mental flexibility, and the development of empathy as well.
Finally, even if there are unassailable constants in the cognitive and emotional development of children, multi-level education makes it possible to be less compartmentalized in terms of age distribution, which is necessarily somewhat arbitrary, and guarantees greater flexibility to meet the needs of each individual.
The pedagogy of L'Autre École is active and differentiated. It is therefore the teacher, through a fine knowledge of the needs of his students, who will nourish each learner. For this, our small staff is a major asset.
In addition, our teachers are trained to deal with the heterogeneity of the classes that occur at various levels (ages, grade levels, learning profiles).
Concretely, once the profiles and forms of intelligence have been identified, the teachers build their courses, adapt the working methods and the proposed materials to meet the educational needs of each child. Group work with confrontation of strategies alternates with work in homogeneous groups (depending on the profile of understanding, the form of intelligence, etc.).
Finally, to ensure progress, a weekly formative evaluation system is set up. A written assessment is drawn up every half-semester, and a half-yearly skills booklet is given to the families.
L'Autre École accompanies the child in a complete and personalized way. The pedagogy of L'Autre École is unique and tries to find a middle way between different requirements. Notably:
1/ The development of the child's autonomy and his integration into a community
2/ Benevolence and respect for the rules
3/ The recognition and enhancement of the uniqueness of each child
4/ The search for excellence for all
To paraphrase Maria Montessori, it is a matter of "filling the vase" AND "letting the spring spring flow". We have thus done a lot of work towards this goal. The number of skills we want to transmit is important and the brain plasticity of children between 3 and 5 years old is extremely strong.
Céline Alvarez, in support of the work on brain imaging carried out by Stanislas Deheane, writes: "During the first six years of life, human beings possess a brain mechanism that could be said to be absorbing, endowing them with the power to embody the environment effortlessly, making an impressive number of neuronal connections for each experience. And, of the hundreds of connections it creates per second, the brain retains only the most frequently used connections. This is what is called synaptic pruning, this is how human beings learn and specialize. "This is why it seems preferable to us that children be exposed to our pedagogy as early and as long as possible, so that they can be followed over a long period of time that is conducive to the co-construction of the teachings specific to their needs throughout their schooling.
If these disciplines are fashionable, it is above all for us to allow a harmonious development of the child, to allow him by breathing to improve his concentration and to manage his stress.
We refer you to the many articles and studies that are flourishing.
The opening of the school was subject to prior authorisation from the town planning departments of the town hall and the prefecture. The work was carried out in accordance with the provisions in force concerning fire safety in particular.
In order to ensure the safety of children as much as possible, we follow precisely the provisions of the National Education system with the implementation of the Vigipirate plan, and even more so concerning the safety and movement of children inside and outside the establishment.
Security is provided at the entrance to the premises by an intercom and an external surveillance camera.
A sufficient number of adults accompany the children on outings, which are mostly on foot, by bus or coach.
Finally, we conducted evacuation drills. The safety instructions in case of exposure to toxic gas are posted as well as the safety instructions in case of intrusion.
We conceive L'Autre École as a project in co-construction with all the parents who choose to join us. It is a question for us of giving back their full place to the primary custodians of education. This nevertheless imposes clear limits in the respect of the roles of each one.
In order to strengthen this link, we wanted the school to be an open and welcoming space, a place of exchange and sharing in which everyone can offer to contribute, to participate in different projects by bringing their own assets. We also wanted to put in place reinforced communication tools to maintain a close link.
Finally, we will continue to organize meetings of this type to further strengthen this learning collective in creation.