Être et Savoir school is a not-for-profit preschool and primary school located in Paris, near Place de la Nation. 2 multi-level classes, for 3-6 year-olds and 6-11 year-olds.
Assist children in developing their autonomy
Être & Savoir is a school that gives children the time, space, and materials necessary to fulfill their needs, through the exercise of free choice. This includes moving freely between different rooms and getting involved in what’s happening there, taking initiatives, and playing, while respecting the needs and safety of others. The objective is to place children in the real-life role of making decisions about their actions, by giving the child the opportunity to do so daily. At Être & Savoir, children can make choices, make mistakes, give up, try again, and make propositions based on their ideas. Little by little, children develop the capacity to turn their ideas into reality.
Create a harmonious group environment
Interacting with others – expressing needs and limits and listening to those of others – is something that is learned through experience. At Être & Savoir, children learn to interact, to respect each other, and to cooperate every day, through free and collaborative play, formal and informal schoolwork, activities, and, for the elementary class, through group projects and class councils. The educators see to it that a content and peaceful atmosphere is established, based on example rather than on competition, so that each child finds his or her place in the group, is recognized for his or her personal qualities, and progresses with confidence.
Encourage a diversity of learning experiences
The process of learning is a learning experience within itself. The way children approach the learning process is a fundamental and decisive factor, the goal being their autonomous acquisition of values, skills, and knowledge. Therefore, we take care to be present, available, and attentive, so as to give each child just what she or he needs to continue learning on her or his own.
Create continuity between school and home
Because parents are a child’s first educators, it is important that the existing relationship between parents and children find an outlet for expression at the school. We have therefore chosen to include parents in the educational strategies developed. Parents are also involved in assisting children and participate in the successful functioning of the organization. The school’s doors remain open to parents to discuss with staff, to share a skill, or simply to come and spend time with the children.
Place listening and kindness at the center of the educational relationship
Educators at Être & Savoir adopt a non-judgmental attitude and do not use punishment, rewards, tests, or grades. Evaluations are constructive, and in the elementary class, they result from a discussion between educators and the children and their families. Every day, the educators cultivate trust and kindness in their relationships with the children. This is done by trying to understand a child’s needs and by helping the child to fulfill them.
Offer an environment that is rich, varied, and adapted to children.
The school environment provides support for curiosity and encourages exploration, hands-on experiences, play, and creation. The different educational spaces and resources are regularly re-evaluated according to their relevance, their layout, their purpose, and whether or not they are used by the children. The larger world outside of the school, including families, neighbors, and the city itself, is an immense reservoir of knowledge, skills, and energy, to which the school also remains connected.