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
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Differences and similarities

Developing intercultural understanding is the theme of the school project in lower school. Many actions are carried out in the classroom and a week was dedicated to fighting racism and discrimination.  Below is a video of a project that was carried out in the Immersion class on differences and similarities.



Posted by Ms. Valerie Meriot-Burn in Academic on Friday June 15, 2018
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The National Gallery comes to Rochambeau….in miniature.

Using art as a means of expression is part of the French primary school* curriculum. It is also a fun medium to acquire and develop language, particularly for our immersion students.

After a visit to the east wing of the National Gallery of Art, students from the maternelle and immersion classes worked to create a model museum with paintings, sculptures, mobiles. Together they then assembled them to bring the East wing to Rochambeau. While improving their oral skills, the immersion class created a “Kahoot”, an interactive game for the maternelle students depicting the different works of art.

“We had a great time, and what is extraordinary is that the students are now unbeatable on some of the artists,” says Hélène, one of the immersion teachers.

*primary school is comprised of the maternelle and elementary schools (nursery-5th grade)

Lexique: glossary

Une sculpture | a sculpture

Une peinture | a painting

Une photographie: a photograph

Un cadre | a frame

Un chavalet | easil

Observer : to observe

Une palette : artist palette

Un portrait «  a portrait

Un paysage | a landscape

Un musée a museum

Une galerie | an art gallery



Posted by Admissions Parents in Academic on Wednesday May 2, 2018 at 02:12PM
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Choose groups to clone to:

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