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Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

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Overview Belgium (French Community)

Contents

Belgium-French-Community:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Belgium-French-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-French-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Belgium-French-Community:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Belgium-French-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-French-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Qualifications Framework

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Funding in Education

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-French-Community:First Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Bachelor

Belgium-French-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-French-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-French-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-French-Community:Main Types of Provision

Belgium-French-Community:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Belgium-French-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

Belgium-French-Community:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Belgium-French-Community:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-French-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in School Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Belgium-French-Community:European Perspective

Belgium-French-Community:Legislation

Belgium-French-Community:Glossary

Introduction

Core Skills set out in a logical structure the basic skills to be practised up to the end of the first eight years of compulsory education and those which must be mastered by the end of each of its phases, and in particular at the end of the first phase of pre-secondary education (from arrival at nursery school to the end of the second primary year). This set of guidelines has been defined by inspectors and teachers from all the networks and approved by the government. It relates to all schools organised or grant-aided by the French Community.

The Core Skills relate to the different subjects (French, mathematics, introduction to science, physical education, etc.). For each skill and at each of the phases, an achievement level is indicated, involving raising awareness through practising the skill, certifying it, or maintaining it.

Steering Documents and Types of Activities

According to the Decree on the Missions of Schools (24 July 1997), the curriculum is the "reference as regards compulsory and optional learning situations, course contents, and methodological orientations, which a controlling authority defines in order to attain the competencies laid down by the Government for a particular year, period or cycle".

In accordance with the principle of freedom regarding educational methods, curricula are the responsibility of the controlling authorities, which may delegate this responsibility to a body that represents and coordinates them. A Curriculum Committee ascertains whether the curricula enable children to attain the Core Skills: it gives an opinion on curricula that are submitted for government approval, as well as on the curricula established by the government for education administered by the French Community.

As regards pre-primary education, the Government of the French Community, the General Secretariat of Catholic Education (for grant-aided Catholic pre-primary and primary education) and some municipalities (e.g. Brussels) have established curricula that conform to the Core Skills and are approved by the Government.

The curriculum does not suggest a rigid allocation of time, and the number of hours to be spent on the different activities is not defined. Considerable variation may be observed in the organisation of time in nursery classes. Many teachers attach great importance to alternating static exercises with more active ones.

Subjects

Curricula for nursery education and those published in 2001 for the education organised by the French Community and independent Catholic grant-aided education lay stress on continuity of learning, and organise the presentation of structuring activities in relation to the Core Skills. Thus, in the two networks for which a curriculum for the pre-primary level is available, the activities to be carried out at this level are in relation to the subjects. For example, as regards communication situations, the suggested activities from the first cycle onwards related to the skill "orienting one’s reading based on the communication situation" include using a reading corner, using the library, and finding a book in the classroom’s library corner (schools administered by the French Community). At this cycle it is rather a matter of initiation, as the skills only need to be mastered at the end of the 2nd cycle (8 years).

Some schools practise early learning of a foreign language starting in the 3rd year of nursery school, in particular through linguistic immersion. There is no obligation with regard to organising philosophical courses (religion, ethics, etc.) in nursery school. Since 2007, there has been a requirement for interdisciplinary activities relating to responsible and active citizenship to be organised at least once per cycle.
Every school providing nursery education must organise at least two weekly 50-minute periods of psychomotor education.

Psychomotor activities aim to integrate the different focuses of psychomotility:
● psychomotility via action-awareness, i.e. psychomotor dynamics integrating the three dimensions of a human being – bodily, affective, and cognitive – starting out from awareness of the action carried out;
● psychomotility of the global relation, i.e. psychomotor dynamics confronting the child with space-time, with him/herself, with others, and with objects, in a global movement and via action-awareness;
● perceptive-motor psychomotility, i.e. psychomotor dynamics enabling the child to discover an increasingly differentiated space and act in an increasingly complex space-time.

Each controlling authority is free as regards teaching methods, provided it remains within the framework defined by the Decree on the Missions of Schools (24 July 1997) and the Core Skills.

Teaching Methods and Materials

Each school must allow every pupil the opportunity to progress at his or her own pace, by practising differentiated pedagogy. Thus, every child can, at his or her own pace, fully live out the successive stages of maturity, and gradually acquire and reinforce the attitudes and knowledge required for harmonious development.

The methods employed focus on the development of ideas rather than the transmission of knowledge. Play is the prime agent in pedagogical work. Official legislation emphasises welcoming, closely observing and listening to the child, in order to provide pedagogical support in his or her development. It refers to the need to respect the child's individual learning pace and to centre activities within a functional context.

It is recommended to carry out projects that are suited to children’s interests. The project provides an opportunity for action, mutual acceptance, and voluntary participation with a view to attaining the set objectives. Pupils are divided into groups. These groups take part in various workshops organised by the teacher, who mainly takes care of one group, (e.g. painting, building game, library, maths, discovery, make-believe games: dolls, shops, etc.).
Training in self-evaluation must be present from the earliest age. Homework is forbidden in pre-primary education.

The Environment

Children are accommodated in specially equipped premises. The most common teaching aids are tabletop games, toys, books, and painting and psychomotility equipment. An outdoor play area is also provided. Most schools also have video equipment and recorders.

Specific areas for particular activities are often defined:

  • an ’affective’ area: reassurance, elaboration of ideas, roster of chores distributed amongst the group, etc.;
  • an area for play, graphic expression, physical expression, etc.;
  • a ’cognitive area’: opportunities to experiment (presence of plants, animals), library, television, etc.;
  • a ’psychomotility area’: opportunities to let go of inhibitions, to develop rational thought, comfort elements (cuddly toys, cushions etc).

Educational tools

The educational departments of the French Community and those of the different controlling authorities for grant-aided education produce teaching aids designed to attain the Core Skills. Every school administered or grant-aided by the French Community is entitled to use such teaching aids (read the section on educational tools (‘outils pédagogiques’).