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Ecole Pleine Nature is a democratic school that promotes values of caring, respect for oneself, others and the environment, to help build a better world together.


Intentions

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The basic assumptions of the school are simple:
  • the most effective, lasting and profound learning takes place when they are initiated and pursued by the learner, with desire and passion;
  • Feeling secure in interpersonal relationships is a vital need;
  • Getting to know each other is a major goal during time at school;
  • Age mixing among learners promotes growth among all group members;
  • Freedom is essential to the development of personal responsibility;
  • Each person is naturally curious;
  • Each person is creative if they are allowed to develop their own unique talents.

The purpose of our school is:
to provide a framework within a School that allows children to make their own choices regarding their learning and all other areas of life, in an environment that is appropriate and conducive to learning. Respectful to each other and nature.

Ecole Pleine Nature is a place free of all religious, spiritual, philosophical and political attachments. It does not confuse free learning, and anarchy (lthe notions of freedom and responsibility are echoed).

The knowledge of oneself, others and the environment is favoured.

 
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Embody democracy

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Ecole Pleine Nature is part of EUDEC France (French branch of the European Community for Democratic Education, of which Petits Pas is a member since 2016): "Promote an approach allowing children to make their own choices about their learning and all other areas of life".
Children are not "students" within the school, but members, with the same freedoms and rights as adult members (at different levels of responsibility).

Each member has the complete freedom to occupy his / her time, with no obligation to take a course or learning activity, except for the following responsibilities: housework, attending announcements at the beginning of the Weekly School Meeting, participation in the Circle of Justice as a facilitator, chair or appointee, as appropriate.

All decisions are made at Ecole Plein Nature in a democratic way among all members, regardless of their age, both in terms of the management of the school and the proposed activities.

Each member acquires the common culture of the school:

  • knowledge of social regulatory bodies (médiation, Circle of Justice) and governance (School Council);
  • school rules (and their modality of evolution, each member having power of proposal and objection to the school council);
  • a culture of caring and the use of "giraffe" language (None violent Communication).
 
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Caring for others and Nonviolent Communication

Affective neuroscience and social interactions fully confirm our choices: Caring for others must be at the heart of a relationship to enable everyone to grow and develop in confidence and awareness. The empathy received develops the empathic system, compassion, altruism, confidence in ones self and with others. Nourishing food allows affective production of oxytocin, in connection with serotonin, dopamine, endorphins allow cognitive learning to take place. At École Pleine Nature, members learn to communicate using NVC , to listen and to question themselves. Citizens are neither judged nor evaluated. This positive relationship both opens the individual up to his / her full potential by providing inner security that he can rely on to grow in all dimensions.

 
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Permaculture

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At the heart of permaculture, there are three basic principles: taking care of the earth, caring for human beings, and sharing equally and fairly.

The ethical principles of permaculture have been inspired by research within communities. We are retaining the lessons learnt by these peoples who have managed to live in harmony with their environment much longer than recent civilisations. This does not mean that we should forget the teachings of the modern era, but that in order to succeed in transitioning to a sustainable future, we must take into account the values and concepts that are outside the current cultural norms.

Ecole Pleine Nature aims to respond to current environmental issues and its permaculture-based ethics by:

  • Reducing its carbon footprint and potentially that of neighbouring schools and associations with which partnerships would be established. Training will be needed to work towards the eco-school label;
  • Protecting environments and species by taking into account issues related to human activities;
  • Enrich knowledge in the field of natural sciences;
  • Transmitting this knowledge to the wider public in respect of moral and scientific ethics and democratic teaching.
 
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Opening up to the world

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École Pleine Nature contributes to the global project of the association Petits Pas and its three activity areas, with La Fabrique and the Events.

It is located in an eco building of over 180m2, with a workshop area of more than 200m2 which hosts La Fabrique (including La Micherie bakery) and the Events.

Children will be able to build relationships with artisans at work, resident associations and members of Petits Pas during dedicated times.

One of the current projects is to add an associative café, a grocery store, to enlarge the garden...

We also receive people for work experience as part of the persons educational training, external stakeholders, civic services are subject to the approval of the School Council meeting.

The school proposes diverse practices, these are expressed through workshops, clubs, events, outings, passions...

The school is organised in distinct areas, each of which offers specific possibilities open to all ages: the office, the library, the projection room, the music room, the arts corner, the kitchen, the workshop, the sewing room, the greenhouse, the garden, the administration...

Every week is rich in proposals and events. The timetable of clubs and the week's schedule inform members of what's going on and allows them to sign up. The mixture of ages contributes to this abundant biodiversity, necessary for the development of the individual.

 
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