School outside in all weathers

Doing class in the middle of nature, in November, when it rains, it’s possible! Illustration last Wednesday with the CP, CE1 and CE2 of the René-Cassin school, in Jaunay-Marigny, who met in a small wood near the establishment.

Romain Mudrak

Wednesday November 9, 9:30 a.m., in Jaunay-Marigny. In the middle of a discreet little wood, around forty pupils from the neighboring René-Cassin school are seated in a circle on old banners offered by the communication department of the town hall. Silently, they listen to the story of Raccoon, the most maniacal raccoon in the entire forest. The one who ” sorts sheets by size and color ” and ” put away the brown bugs » is the hero of the album C’est du propre illustrated by Clothilde Goubely. A rather appropriate story, given the context, that teacher Alexandra Breuil did not choose at random: “ Students quickly understand that their actions have consequences and that they should not leave their waste lying around ! »

Even in the rain

Since the start of the school year in September, CPs, CE1s and CE2s go to school outside every fortnight, on Wednesday mornings. The concept born in Scandinavian countries is gradually developing in France. Especially since the Covid-19 crisis, during which it was considered an easy solution to apply physical distancing obligations. Classes are maintained “whatever the cost”, even in November in the rain. ” Children are dressed according to the weather, parents do not mind. Moreover, the drops that begin to fall that morning do not in the least prevent the smooth running of the scheduled treasure hunt. Rules of the Game ? Find in the environment the seven objects from the list drawn up by the teachers. Example: moss, something red, an oak leaf, a walnut shell… A little man has just pricked himself with nettles. Reassured by an adult, he leaves with a smile. “ They experiment a lot and are faced with small challenges, it’s good for self-confidence, continues Alexandra Breuil. And in addition, they cooperate with each other when we mix the classes. »

Poitiers, capital of the class outside

During the previous lesson, the pupils carried out multiplications using flowers. The next one will be dedicated to the construction of a shelter for schoolbags. ” You have to imagine the plans, list the equipment, find it, measure it, handle tools, follow safety instructions… It’s very rich in terms of learning. » The Jaunay-Marigny green spaces department provides the missing materials. ” All subjects can be tackled outside, enthuses the teacher. I schedule the session but I leave room for student observation. When they come across a dragonfly or mushrooms, we discuss it. “Only downside, the training. The teachers of the academy only benefit from an hour and a half of educational animation on the “school outside”, however encouraged by the rectorate and while one of the national referents in the field, Crystèle Ferjou, teaches in the Deux-Sèvres. The most motivated teachers must manage to find resources. For these and others, the first International Meetings of the Outside Class will take place from May 31 to June 4, in Poitiers.

School outside in all weathers