Our Kindergarten “PA lei S” for children between 2 and 6 covers three locations. The main school, with 7 classes is located in the centre of the urbanized municipality of Diepenbeek. The two smaller schools each have two classes and are located about 3 kilometres from the centre of Diepenbeek. The 200 children in our school are from the local district and are mainly from middle class families. Next to our main building is the local primary school, where over 300 children aged between 6 and 12, are taught. On the same site, there is also a day care facility for infants and toddlers aged from 3 months. Before and after school there is a care service for children who attend either of these schools. Diepenbeek constists of 3 parishes which each have their own Catholic school. Apart from the Catholic school in the centre of Diepenbeek there are also a municipal school and a community school.
Diepenbeek is situated between the great cities of Limburg, Hasselt en Genk. Diepenbeek also hosts a university and two colleges all on the same campus.
Important pedagogical principles in our school are integrated education, schooling for all children and strong parental involvement.
We are a school that believes in experimental education: the intention is to make a close, moment by moment description of what it means to a young child to live and take part in the educational setting. This careful observation and ‘reconstruction’ of the child’s experiences brings to light a series of unsatisfactory conditions. Too many opportunities to sustain children’s development remain unused. During the following sessions the group discusses possible solutions for the problems they meet, work them out in practice and reflect on their experiences. A new educational model for pre-school is taking shape: Experiential Education.