He is a teenager like so many others, who masks his shyness by looking at the ground, his hands buried in his pockets. That day, however, Thierno, 14, has a new insurance. A film crew questions him about the program “A great school, why not me”, in which he has participated since the beginning of his third year.
The young Guinean, who did not speak French a few years ago, explains how this mentorship, provided by students from the Higher School of Economic and Commercial Sciences (Essec), enabled him “To gain confidence and make great progress in French and in general culture”. Already a good student, he saw his grades climb and discovered the work of forensic science. A professional path that he is now considering.
Like Thierno, eight other students from René Cassin secondary school participate in this so-called “PQPM” (“why not me”) program, which is one of the many gems deployed in the educational city of Chanteloup-les-Vignes (Yvelines). Here, the adventure began in 2016. The town was then one of the pioneers of this system that the State now intends to develop. (read below).
“Building on the strengths of our region”
In this small town of 10,500 inhabitants, in the almost bucolic downtown, 60% of the population lives in the city of Noah, which has a poverty rate of 37%, two and a half times higher than the national average. A district completely renovated from 2003 to 2016 but which does not always make people speak well.
Above all, in this district, 28% of the pupils present an academic delay when entering third. So, for the second phase of urban renewal, Catherine Arenou, mayor LR, wanted “To put the package on education, with the ambition to bet on the assets of our territory, namely multilingualism, culture and digital”. Within the school city itself, which will bring together the college as well as the reconstructed Dorgelès nursery and elementary schools, it has been decided that the future Cité Simone Weil, which is due to open in 2024, will include new equipment (language lab, media library, toy library , family center, health prevention center, catering, etc.), widely open to the public, including evenings and weekends.
Surround the child, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
But above all, the mayor wants to build a brand new educational project around this building. “The idea of the educational city, resumes Catherine Arenou, it is to better surround the child, from 3 to 16 years, from 7 am to 7 pm, from January to December, to help him succeed. And, for this, we must rely on all those who are able to identify his skills, the teacher and parents of course but also the extracurricular leader, the sports trainer, or the association that helps with homework … ” The town hall therefore mandated an agency to make all these little people work together for a year.
From this collaborative work, a multitude of ideas emerged. On spatial planning, “on has relied a lot on the contributions of neurosciences which have, for example, shown that many children need to move in order to learn ”, explains Cathy Lamouille, project manager “educational cities” at the town hall. The future “multi-educational” rooms of the new school, with movable partitions to adapt to extracurricular time, will be equipped with pedals at the back of the class for hyperactive children but also “capsules” for children who, on the contrary, feel the need for quiet isolation.
To reinforce learning, many devices have been created. For example, the town hall has joined Profs Express, which allows each student, from CP to 12, to obtain free online help every evening from 5 to 8 p.m. She also mandated the Apprentis d’Auteuil Foundation to take care of children who have behavioral problems. Finally, so that the Chanteloup teenagers do not drop out once in high school in another city, a referent contacts them all and follows all those who feel in difficulty. A painstaking job that has already borne fruit. “During the first confinement, specifies Cathy Lamouille, no child was lost to follow-up. “
200 educational estates in 2022
In 2016 and 2017, some municipalities, such as Grigny, and Chanteloup-les-Vignes are experimenting with new reinforced education projects.
In April 2018, the Borloo report proposes to create educational cities.
In May 2019, the government announces that 80 territories are labeled educational cities.
In January 2021, Jean Castex confirms that 46 additional educational estates will be financed in 2021 (i.e. 6 more than planned), and that he wants 200 by the end of the mandate.