France’s renowned École Maternelle has been imitated in many countries. Maternelle (Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten) is an integrated and essential first phase of the educational system. Maternelle teachers, who have the same advanced degree as other Elementary School teachers, are trained in child psychology and physical development, as well as early childhood education. They begin preparing our youngest children for the work they will be asked to do later in elementary school. The Pre-School (PS), the Pre-Kindergarten (MS) years and the Kindergarten (GS) years constitute Cycle 1: Initial Learnings.
We work in Maternelle on six areas of learning :
- languages in all its dimensions,
- act, express and understand with body,
- act express and understand with art,
- First tools to structure the mind
- Exploring the world
Another essential aspect of Cousteau Maternelle program is socialization. The school day is highly structured, incorporating specific periods for free, self-directed play. Children learn to express themselves in a manner appropriate to the time and place, and to distinguish the differences in circumstances. They are taught to respect others, and to understand the consequences of their behaviors.
Cousteau Maternelle program is characterized by a high esteem for the intelligence and abilities of the pre-school-age child. In a warm, supportive environment adapted to their age, children are challenged and encouraged to think independently and act responsibly, thus fully realizing their potential at each developmental level.