Swear. One small step for children, one big step for education

Flore with her two children, Camille, 2.5 years old, and Mélie, 5, in front of the future alternative school in nature Petits pas et Pumpkins.
Flore with her two children, Camille, 2.5 years old, and Mélie, 5, in front of the future alternative school in nature Petits pas et Pumpkins. (©Cedric Perrier)

Although this type of initiative is still rare in the Jura, alternative schools are becoming increasingly popular. In Pimorin, a town in the heart of the small mountain, a private compound school will open its doors at the beginning of the school year in September. However, after final approval by the national education system, there will be no contract with the institution. Fourteen children aged 3 to 6 can be accommodated at this alternative nature school called Petits pas et Pumpkins.

Flore Lionel-Marie d’Arc, educator of young children, is at the beginning of the project: “We will be in the four-day week with normal working hours from 9:00 to 11:45 and from 13:15 to 16:30 Extracurricular reception from 8 to 6 p.m. will also be possible. It is a secular school, open to all, in which one caregiver has a maximum of seven children. Her colleague who supports her in this project is a school teacher. She is already practicing outside of school equally convinced of the educational potential that nature represents for children.

Inspired by the Scandinavian model, this school considers every child. There is no geographic area here, the children can come from all over the area. Registrations are in progress. Pedagogy is considered active and is mainly provided by nature.

“We would like to have ten children when school starts in September. »

Flora Lionel Marie d’Arc at the beginning of the project

“The child is at the heart of the process. We trust him completely, in a naturally rich environment to better develop his innate abilities. The child has a free choice so that it can explore its surroundings by itself, which does not mean that there is no framework”, the former kindergarten director wants to specify. Flore has been thinking about this alternative school project for years. While working in a nursery with 0-4 year olds, several questions came to her mind: What environment should we offer to children under 6, a place that supports, supports, respects their natural development, a place where they find resources?

To practice

Information and registration on 06 19 72 02 00
petitspasetpotirons@gmail.com / www.petitspasetpotirons.fr

“I met parents with no alternative who were looking for another possible support for their child… I trained in active pedagogy. »
In 2018, they decided to settle in Pimorin with his companion, buying an old building on the outskirts of the village. Many works later, the place is welcoming, open.
The children have almost 125 m2 to unfold between the living room, the bedroom, a kitchen, the reception, the various amenities and a building (public facility) fully renovated according to ERP standards. And the real plus is outside, where an area of ​​500 m2 awaits the children. A vegetable patch, two donkeys, pygmy goats, chickens, rabbits, ducks…

“Of course, it’s not about confining the kids to a typical day. However, there will be some rituals like greeting time. Then the days revolve around free games, independent workshops, working with natural materials, gardening, cooking and even creating art. Listening, exchanging ideas, taking emotions into account will really be a pillar of this school,” Flore says happily in advance.
The program also includes regular trips to the forest and nature, and external speakers accompany the children in their development.

“We want to get the village elders to make connections and also meet local artisans, entrepreneurs and artists to shape life in the village and the surrounding area. »

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For the mayor of the municipality, Michel Berthozat, it is of course good news that this school will open its doors in September: “We have nothing against our companions, quite the contrary. It’s a nice project. We have 49 children under the age of 12 and about 80 children under the age of 20. »
Pimorin, a city where young people are present, with a population that has even increased from 167 in 15 years to 215 today.
Cedric Perrier

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