Our Educational project

Recognising a child’s fundamental needs

During the first few years of their life and drawing on the educational environment that they have (family, school, society), children will find the keys to build the foundations of their personality and develop their potential.

In line with this, we believe that it is crucial to give children an environment which may reveal and develop their intelligence and creativity and where they can go at their own pace and according to their own individual profile, whilst progressively introducing them to social norms and being part of society.

This is type of environment that the Gerbert d’Aurillac School provides, based upon learning and taking into account a child’s fundamental needs.

ronde d'enfant dans un square

A personalised approach

méthode Montessori calcul

Each child is unique with their own personality, their own pace of development, their own potential and their own possible difficulties.

Our educational approach works on essentially respecting this individuality, in all its forms, so each child can find their place and achieve their full potential within the group.

It does not enforce any standard time restrictions, for example, learning to read at a given age, which would be the same for everyone. The only accepted stimulation is the one which aims for each child to achieve their full potential.

Sensitive periods

According to the work done by Maria Montessori, children go through « sensitive periods » during the course of their development, meaning moments where they feel sensitive about something particular around them. This sensitivity means that they become hugely receptive to things linked to this element: the written word for example.

These sensitive periods can be combined together and come together in specific way which is always unique to each child.

The educational environment must be able to give each child the means of exploring and honing these different sensibilities at the right time. This means when the child feels the need to and is ready.

enfant apprenant à écrire avec des lettres rugueuses

To support our way of working

adulte aidant un enfant à regarder avec des jumelles
étagères avec matériel bien rangé
étagères matériel de géographie

The teachers' attitude

A structured environment

The teaching material

The teacher, in the Montessorian sense of the word, is a guide and mediator who by giving personalised support, is a part of what a child will become. They do not consider themselves as fountains of knowledge whose role it is to pass the learning on and they are not the focal point of the classroom – their presence is discreet and attentive. Their role is above all to observe each child so as to help them gradually become part of the world around them and be independent.

The environment is an important factor in the development and well-being of children. We strive to give them a pleasant and joyful setting which is adapted to their needs, as well as a calm and peaceful atmosphere which is also lively and fun. The environment has been carefully prepared to “feed” the children’s intelligence by giving them everything they need to assuage their strong need of discovering the world around them. All the materials are arranged in an organised and logical way so children can find their way around largely on their own in organising their work. This independence aims to develop a child’s capacity for self-discipline and concentration but also their willingness and perseverance.

The Montessori material is quite particular in that it has sensory-motor qualities that supports children during their thought processes. By touching the materials, children will gradually become to distinguish, clarify, generalise and move from understanding the world around them mainly from a sensorial and concrete way to understanding it in a more abstract fashion. This material is organised in a very structured fashion, in a logical way that goes from the concrete to the abstract. The concrete materials help children improve their natural learning skills, and they will be best equipped to understand when in future learning situations.

  • The teachers' attitude
  • A structured environment
  • The teaching material

The school activities

The school activities

Music

The children have fun working with sound recognition, singing together regularly, doing listening exercises and recognising families of instruments, reproducing rhythms, discovering the main musical styles and creating musical instruments.

xylophone de l'école

Art

The art sessions will help children understand very different art forms: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, exploring a range of techniques and different ways of expressing their sensibilities, developing their perspective and experimenting with the pleasure of creating something. In the elementary classes, this work will be done as much as possible in tandem with guided visits of permanent and temporary museum exhibitions.

activité dessin au Louvre
Enfants avec escargot et plantes dans les mains

Nature

Children will have varied experiences to do with nature from a young age. Discovering, experimenting, learning to be patient and observing, understanding by being in contact with the causes and effects of managing our living space : our vegetable garden.

Sport

The psychomotor and sports sessions allow children to develop their motor skills with the right materials and activities which are adapted to them: hoops, balls, parachutes, collaborative games, courses that encourage coordination, balance, lateralisation, shaping of their bodies.

activités sportives kinball

Classes

  • 3-6 years
  • elementary

The 3-6 age group

This is one class made up of children whose ages correspond to the “petite”, “moyenne” and “grande” sections of pre-school in the French school system.

The 3-6 age group is an area that has been specifically designed and laid out for young children of this age.

The teaching materials are put out on low shelves and it is permanently within reach of a child who wants to explore it and at their own pace, choose to take it, handle it according to their tastes and personal interests.

At first, children are accompanied by the teacher who will encourage them to discover things for themselves, then bit by bit express their choices. They can move around the class freely, settle down on a rug with an activity that interests them or sit around a table but also watch other children doing things or just even sit and daydream…

Typical day in the 3-6 age group

The elementary classes

The elementary classes are combined in one mixed-age class which corresponds to the classes of « CP/CE1/CE2 » and classes “CE2/CM1/CM2” in the French school system.

These draw on the Montessori philosophy for mixed-age groups which encourages children to work independently and allows children to progress at their own pace and learn through experimenting but the Montessori teaching materials are not the only ones used.

So as to help children with the transition to a “traditional” school system, other teaching materials are gradually introduced to the children: worksheets, written exercises in notebooks, classes in small groups and regularly checking the skills and knowledge acquired in the main subjects.
The class is always prepared to encourage independent work that respects the pace of each child.

A typical day in the Elementary class