Learning among the trees, at the future Forest School in Roussillon-en-Morvan (Saône-et-Loire)

Another school. Where the same fundamentals will be assimilated, where we will learn to read, write and count, but where the classroom will be the cleanup. The heart of the forest. The trees, the meadow. In Roussillon-en-Morvan (Saône-et-Loire), which is also no longer there, as the municipal school has closed its doors due to lack of children to register there. Inspired by his daughter’s hunger for nature and her need to be always outdoors, Moïse Courilleau, actor and receptive to educational initiatives born elsewhere, takes a great interest in the extraordinary environment in which he finds himself.

A different relationship with nature for children

“The Morvan is a favorable place, with a forest area well suited to a forest school,” he explains, associating this taste for outside teaching with a climatic emergency that makes more sense than never. “It is necessary for children to find a different relationship with nature and the forest,” justifies Moïse Courilleau, who made a call on social networks, which probably brings together people interested in establishing a forest school. †

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If there is an extracurricular school in Lucenay-l’Évêque (Saône-et-Loire), which encourages public school teachers to prioritize extracurricular classes, the École de la Forêt goes much further. “Teaching really takes place in the forest in all seasons, even if it is cold,” laughs Moïse Courilleau. You can learn by walking, running or around a good fire, which will warm your hands. But if necessary, there will also be a classroom. Meals are taken in the room of the association La Peurtantaine, which organizes discovery classes.

Hired a director, an essential element to open

Be that as it may, pedagogy by nature cannot be improvised. The principal recruited, a condition for the School of the Forest to have permission to open, will take a specific course in a school. “She comes from a private school and has worked with kindergartens. The teacher is in charge of ten children, accompanied by an assistant,” explains the initiator of the school.

He will submit the application file for the opening of the school in the coming days. ” It is going well. We meet the requirements of the National Education, which has no right to see the educational project as such, but studies the organization of a day, checks the skills of the director and the standards of the building. five years we can apply to be integrated into National Education,” he notes, not exactly thrilled to split with National Education. This defender of the Republican school, free and open to all, wishes in his heart that we, like Freinet or Montessori, “will have a choice in twenty or thirty years.” At the start of the school year, the rectorate moves to Roussillon-en-Morvan.

A registration fee that can be an obstacle

For the time being, contacts are being exchanged with parents with a view to possible registrations, “for children, some of whom are home-schooled. I am also in contact with three families who are planning to settle in the area, precisely because there is this school,” emphasizes Moïse Courilleau.

This cannot be negligible for the local demographic and will not compete with the school that no longer exists, “on the contrary, it is a matter of complementarity”. The only problem is school fees, which cost more than €3,000 annually. Moïse Courilleau knows very well that few families can offer this to their children and understands that “it ticks”.

Contact. Moses Courilleau: During the Fête de la Nature, which will take place on May 21, in the buildings of the Peurtantaine association, in the castle, in Roussillon-en-Morvan, the École de la Forêt will explain its action and show its plots.

Christine Ball

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