A year to remember in the Oasis Schools

Débat
Débat ©CAUE Paris
This school year was very special for the ten Oasis schools of the UIA project. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the schools in France was totally new, difficult and stressful for all. It also delayed the workshops and activities planned in the schools in March and the following months. However, a lot of productive and interesting work was done before this interruption and should be remembered by children and the communities around them.

Co-designing phase in schools

During 6 weeks, starting early September 2019, one class group on each school was involved in a very intense and enthusiastic process: co-designing the new schoolyards. Led by the Council of Architecture, Urbanism and Environment of Paris, these workshops help raise the awareness of students about climate change, to analyze the existing schoolyard (its strengths and weaknesses) and to suggest new ideas to implement a real Oasis space instead.

atelier

©CAUE Paris

They also organized surveys among the other class groups, the adults of the schools and they realized models and maps to make the whole community understand what their new Oasis schoolyards should look like.  Learn more about these workshops with this video.

The educational professionals of each school were gathered after these workshops with the children in order to decide what kind of project, according to the ideas revealed by the students, should be designed.  Several meetings and discussions later, it led to 10 specific and ambitious projects that you can discover here.

Awareness, artistic and “soft skills” workshops

Meanwhile, the League of education and Meteo-France were also conducting workshops at the school. The first one was proposing “soft skills” workshops in order to raise the awareness of children and adults about the fact that the schoolyard is also a social place, a laboratory for social dynamics, and that is important to learn social skills to live and grow in this specific environment. That’s why the workshops focus on teaching participants how to deal with emotions, conflicts resolution, cooperation, equality.

Ligue de l'enseignement

©Ligue de l'enseignement

The idea is to build together a peaceful environment. In addition to those workshops, artistic courses led by different artists using specific media took place to make the students aware of climate change. A short show was presented to make the whole community think about this specific subject as well.

 

To complete the scholar workshops, Meteo-France was in charge of managing interventions and activities about the weather and temperatures, with the help of teachers or extra-curriculum activities animators.

At the end, at least 40 groups of students were involved in several activities, focused on the multiple objectives of the project and contributed to change the way of imagining a schoolyard, both in terms of climate change adaptation as well as social cohesion.

This work, mostly done before the COVID 19 pandemic, was very helpful to allow for the project to continue during lockdown (technical preparation of schoolyards transformation, web presentations of the achievement of the project so far…). The workshops that had to be cancelled because of the sanitary situation should take place during the fall 2020.

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