At the Bon Pasteur school in Lisieux, we ensure that each child receives special support.

Amaury De Bannes has been running the Bon Pasteur school in Lisieux for three years now. ©The Pays d’Auge

You will complete your third year with the board of the Bon Pasteur. What do you remember?

The first thing I remember is the quality of the education project and a competent education team. We have really well trained teachers with a good spirit who give time for the children. Of course we think it is important to respect fundamental learning: reading, writing, counting and respect for others. Foundations that we hope will enable students to advance in their skills and pursue good studies. It is this high quality of education that a certain number of parents are looking for. So there is the very important intellectual education, but also the human education, that is, when the child enters into a relationship with his comrades, what is the attitude of benevolence and respect for the other students? That is very special in this job, it is mainly the relationship.

What are the strengths of the Good Shepherd School?

At their request, kindergarten teachers received Montessori training. Officially, the Bon Pasteur kindergarten is now Montessori oriented. Also for kindergartens, a real play structure has been placed in the courtyard for children to promote their motor skills.

In the field of mathematics, we wanted to continue with the teaching team. So we chose the Singapore method. Teachers have been trained and all materials have been purchased. We encourage the learning of mathematics in our students.

And in a slightly more annexed way, but which is also ultimately a good learning process, I think, we offer chess lessons to CP and CE1 students, always in this spirit of learning to think.

Added to this are the various sports activities on offer: swimming, table tennis, handball, etc., to which basketball will be added from the start of the next school year. For the little ones, the Ecole du Bon Pasteur also has its own motor skills room.

And finally: the canteen is on the school grounds. This is important for the safety of children. It has been fitted with a floor that absorbs sound for 2 years. A survey of students had revealed the excessive noise. So we made a commitment to do whatever it took to reduce it. The menus are drawn up by a catering committee in which 3 parents of students sit in collaboration with the teachers, a childminder and of course the catering service, ie the chef.

You also offer English lessons.

Yes, learning English is taught to children from the small section of kindergarten by a teacher of British nationality. It is unique to Lisieux. Each child gets at least 1h30 of English per week.

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How is your workforce changing?

Unfortunately, we are affected by the demographic decline of the Lisieux Basin. It’s a reality. On the other hand, the good news is that despite this demographic contraction, we will have more students in the small section next year. And for 2 years, and this is still true at the start of the next school year, the classes consist of 23 students on average. It’s very good. It is also a strong point of the school.

Do you have a specific program for students in difficulty?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this interview, at the Good Shepherd we make sure that every child receives special support. Our educational project gives us a certain latitude to support them in the implementation of personalized support plans. Our goal is to distract each child as far as possible from their talents, as far as possible from these abilities, as far as possible from what they can give in skills. In fact, we want every child’s success and then, more generally, we want every student to be happy.

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