Teaching method

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Teaching method

The Denis Diderot School organises full-time instruction of children from the preparatory class to 12th grade. During the 2021–2022 academic year the school will be admitting students in the preparatory class (aged 5 and 6 years) and in first grade, organised in classes of 15 students.

The day starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. This covers all activities: study periods, sports and cultural activities, as well as free time for playing and for meals.

Two teachers take care of the children in the preparatory and first grade: one senior teacher and one assistant, they teach Bulgarian language, mathematics and sciences. They work as a team, dividing their attention among the children and assisting their individual learning and group work. The other subjects – foreign languages, philosophy with children, arts and sports – are assigned to teachers with specialised training in the respective domain.

The study periods are conducted in blocks: a total of four blocks per day. This system provides an opportunity for active study in a creative and relaxed atmosphere.

The children have sufficient time to research the information they need for an assignment, to be submerged in the experience with all their senses, to reach their own conclusions, improve their knowledge, and to develop an interest in subsequent work.

Teaching takes place in classrooms, laboratories and workshops that evoke the children’s curiosity and interest. The teachers make learning fun, so that the children are happy and absorbed in their work. The students take care of the places where they study, work and play. After they complete each activity, they always tidy everything up carefully and return the materials they used to the correct places.

Sports and free play are very important elements in the student’s day. In addition to the regular periods for physical education, the children participate in various sports activities every day. They study out of the classrooms as well. The teachers use all available facilities to work with the students: in the classrooms, on the playing fields and in the schoolyard. At their own initiative, they may organise out-of-school study with exciting visits to parks, art galleries, museums, farms and other places that leave the children with lasting impressions and experience.

 

How We Teach

We apply methods that provoke the curiosity of the children, encouraging them in active quests, research and analysis, critical thinking, deriving conclusions and decision-making.

We apply an inductive teaching approach whereby students are not simply given ready-made answers, they are asked to find the answers on their own, like real scholars. The teacher transforms the environment into a laboratory, evokes curiosity, extracts the knowledge that the children already possess and organises activities that invite the students to think, explore and observe, as well as to become aware of what they see, hear and experience. In the course of that exploration they make their own analyses and assumptions, coming to conclusions that are finally summarised by the teacher. Using the inductive teaching method, the children understand that the world is comprehensible and that every question has its answer. Their knowledge and skills remain long-lasting because they have discovered and tested them personally, and can apply them again and again.

We organise instruction thematically, and the children discover and explore the interplay between the different sciences. Every teacher uses individual methods to complement the knowledge and skills of the students in the respective domain with a view to examining it from all possible aspects. For example, if the topic of the week is the cosmos, it will be included in all activities: science, mathematics, Bulgarian, English, arts and physical education. In this way the children receive a comprehensive and interlinked knowledge about the world, not fragmented and unfathomable.

We use games as the most natural way for the children to learn, especially at pre-school age. Games help them get to know the world better and become more sociable. They learn how to express their emotions and to communicate among themselves and with others.