Admissions Blog

Playing: an absolute necessity for the child and the student

From the very first months of life, play is an essential source and vehicle for a child's learning, joy and development.

The importance of play for children and its role in learning has long been known and well documented. It is therefore natural that play has been an important element in the classroom since the creation of the Maternelle in France.

 

The current trend of replacing play time with structured activities during family time and the reduction of recess hours during school has been criticized in recent studies and articles that have focused on the role and benefits of play in learning. 

After a period of time where the nursery program was significantly influenced by the elementary school structure, the new official 2015 program of the French Ministry of National Education (the one we follow at the Rochambeau pre-school campus) very explicitly emphasizes the importance of play in school and its role in learning.

The game, in all its forms (free, guided, structured, exploratory, symbolic, rules-based, collective, construction, etc.) is a natural part of spontaneous, autonomous or specific learning. There is, therefore, no contradiction between play and work at school.

In addition, the game offers a space of autonomy and safety necessary for the well-being of the young child and allows a necessary break time in cognitive activities to maintain attention, concentration and avoid overload.

As for recreation, beyond its benefits on health, brain oxygenation, concentration, social, motor and emotional development, it is a source of joy and development for students. 

Guided tour in our playground. Start by closing your eyes (long before you see the children in the yard... you hear them!); the unique sound of the playground... The intensity, power of laughter, pleasure and joy are incomparable and unforgettable. Open your eyes, cut the sound: joy on your faces, the crazy energy spent, friendship, exploration, total, absolute commitment: pure enjoyment.

Frédéric Tavernier
Director of the Rochambeau nursery school

Posted by in Bilingulism, Academic, Parenting on Monday October 1, 2018
get link

Bilingualism: Interview with Dr. Fred Genesee, Professor Emeritus & Author

Rochambeau welcomed bilingual specialist, Dr Fred Genesee, McGill Professor Emeritus & Author for a conference on the benefits of bilingualism on April 7.

Q: How quickly will my child acquire a second language?

FG: Languages are complicated! Don’t make too many judgements too soon, because it doesn’t happen overnight.  Acquiring advanced levels of proficiency in a second language is a long term commitment. In one sense, second language learners never stop learning their new language because, as they get older and have increasingly more complex uses for their second language, they need to learn more. 

In the case of students in dual language programs in schools, to achieve the maximum benefit of the program, parents should be prepared to keep their child in the program throughout the elementary grades and, preferable, in secondary school.

For parents who want their children to acquire highly advanced levels of proficiency, it is a good idea to consider ways in which to expand their children's opportunities to use the language outside school by visits to countries and areas where the language is spoken or by finding opportunities to use the language with native speakers in their own community. 

In the case of students in dual language programs in schools, to achieve the maximum benefit of the program, parents should be prepared to keep their child in the program throughout the elementary grades and, preferable, in secondary school.

For parents who want their children to acquire highly advanced levels of proficiency, it is a good idea to consider ways in which to expand their children's opportunities to use the language outside school by visits to countries and areas where the language is spoken or by finding opportunities to use the language with native speakers in their own community. 

Q: Can learning a second or third language be detrimental to my child’s native language?

FG: If children speak a native language that is used at home and especially if it is used outside school on a regular basis, then research indicates that their competence in that language will not suffer, and they are not at a disadvantage. To the contrary, research has found that such situations can enhance students' native language skills, especially in the domains related to literacy and schooling 

Q: f you were to give advice to a family at Rochambeau, or considering bilingualism for their child, what would you recommend?

FG: I would recommend that they make a long term commitment to this endeavor; this means keeping their child in the program as long as possible and creating opportunities to use the non-English outside school as much as possible. Cognitive and other benefits of bilingualism result from full bilingualism.  Since the students live in a community which is dominated by English, there needs to be much less concern for reinforcing that language. Reinforcing the value of multilingualism is an asset for future job and life-style choices.


The myths of bilingualism



 

Posted by Ms. Valerie Meriot-Burn in Bilingulism on Wednesday May 2, 2018 at 02:12PM
get link

Choose groups to clone to:

Forest Rd Campus
Elementary • Secondary • Administrative Offices
9600 Forest Rd Bethesda, MD 20814
301.530.8260
3200 Woodbine St Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.907.3265
Bradley Campus
Maternelle • Preschool
7108 Bradley Blvd Bethesda, MD 20817
301.767.1683
powered by finalsite