DENIS DIDEROT SCHOOL: QUALITY EDUCATION AND TRAINING WITH AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH


The modern educational approach, the idea of learning as an experience, and the focus on overall personal development are a dream to any parent, who wants to provide the best to their child

denis diderot school bulgaria

Created with the support of ProCredit Bank, Denis Diderot School, offers children the opportunity to study surrounded by nature, to grow their talents, and easily achieve success. Reni Peycheva, Executive Director and Member of the Management Board of ProCredit Bank, tells the story of bringing to life an innovative idea, so much needed in the Bulgarian education system.

Mrs. Peycheva, with its opening Denis Diderot School declared a new education model. How did the concept for the school appear?

All of us, the initiators of the idea of the Denis Diderot School, believe that in order to have a harmonious and sustainable world tomorrow, we must lay its foundations today. In this regard, the concept for the school was born as a response to the traditional model of education, which we find strongly focused on encyclopedic knowledge, and not on children’s individuality and the development of complex practical skills.

denis diderot school bulgaria reni peycheva

Reni Peycheva

Our desire is that Denis Diderot School creates a positive model for a change in the Bulgarian education system, aiming at getting to know children and providing them with the freedom to express themselves and develop their talents.

What are the particular basic differences with the traditional Bulgarian school and what changes do they lead to during the process of education?

One of the first and most visible differences is the location of Denis Diderot School. It is situated in the town of Bankya on an area of 6,000 sq m amidst the clean aired nature of Lyulin mountain. The place was specially selected to provide space to the students and to let them learn, create and play, away from the overbuilt urban areas and traffic in Sofia.

denis diderot school bulgaria

The school campus includes three buildings, housing bright and cosy classrooms, themed natural sciences and art rooms, two libraries, a large and a small gym, dance hall, a large (25 m) and small swimming pools, active play areas, dining space, outdoor sports playgrounds, and a running track.

In terms of shape and location, the campus avoids the stern look of a traditional school. The buildings form a courtyard, towards which all classrooms and the dining room are oriented. The wide green areas and the trees and plants, preserved in the process of construction, create a sense of closeness and unity with nature.

denis diderot school bulgaria

All indoor and outdoor spaces are designed with the potential to be included in the teaching process. This provides the opportunity for the use of diverse educational methods, creates a friendly atmosphere, which encourages play and the pleasure of learning, whether in or out of the classroom.

In regard to the training process, one of the most significant differences is our belief that every child has his or her own individuality, which we want to support, giving it the chance to grow.

denis diderot school bulgaria

This idea defines our overall approach in education. To develop natural curiosity, exploration spirit and love of learning, we have implemented an inductive approach in education at Denis Diderot School. With it, students explore, analyse and find on their own the knowledge and answers they have been searching for. The teacher is a mentor who stimulates the learning environment to provoke creative and critical thinking and asking questions. Knowledge, acquired through this approach, has been experienced, thought-over; it remains permanently remembered and can be reapplied by the students.

denis diderot school bulgaria

The training is held in 15-students’ classes with two qualified teachers at the same time. The point is to provide the constant presence of a teacher, who can pay attention to the individual needs of every child, giving additional support in learning or stimulating progress with additional tasks on the specific subject.

Does this mean that you are avoiding the education programme set up by the Ministry of Education and Science?

No. It doesn’t mean that. The knowledge and competencies which we want our students to obtain by the end of the school year are integrated within monthly topics and subtopics. They include the compulsory curriculum content but the difference is that they are not limited to it. Working on topics lets students go into the details of knowledge, find and explore the interconnections between the different sciences.

denis diderot school bulgaria

What are your conclusions on the established new model after more than half a school year?

Above all, we are happy that children come willingly to school. This has demonstrated that we created a welcoming and peaceful environment for them, which was the first part of our task. From now on, it is important to keep the desire for learning in the educational process and to build a successful combination of knowledge and skills which will prepare students for the future challenges of life.

denis diderot school bulgaria

In this sense, we see more and more clearly the prominent role of the teacher. The teacher is the one who provokes children’s curiosity, stimulates the learning environment through various means and methods, and actually creates the training process, making it richer. In addition to this, it is important that teachers share the same ideas of education so that they can participate thoroughly in the whole process.

What do you consider indicative for the quality of training – is it the quantity measurement through grades or do you have other criteria?

At Denis Diderot School we don’t give grades. For us, they create a sense of pursuit of specific quantity result, oriented to the accumulation of encyclopedic knowledge.

denis diderot school bulgaria

We pay attention to the process of learning through which the accumulated knowledge and skills become competencies, which can be applied in practice. For us, quality education means providing an adequate study environment, which stimulates curiousity and helps children remain open to life-time learning. We realise that in an increasingly developing and changing world of globalisation, technologies, and science, the information learned at school can quickly become unusable. That’s why it is crucial that children grow flexible and adaptive to change, think globally and strategically, accumulate skills in proper time management, teamwork, and solid thesis argumentation. With the training at Denis Diderot School, we strive to achieve all of the above.

Bankya, 2 Tenev Bair St

phone: +359 2 813 5808

contact@denisdiderot.bg

www.denisdiderot.bg

denis diderot school bulgaria

denis diderot school bulgaria

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