The Boarding School of Hope

Montpellier’s Boarding School of Excellence has been mobilising since 2010 to find remedies for academic failure. Its board has hired volunteer teachers to reinvent teaching methods. From primary to high school it has reducrd the number of children per class. Besides classes, each pupil receives 3 hours of tutoring per day. These teacher-led workshops foster the retention of knowledge. To extend this individualised teaching, each teacher also acts as tutor to 7 or 8 pupils. They meet once a week to do assess their work and behaviour. Each pupil also sets targets for the coming week. Students’ progress relies on making each of them responsible for their work and not on punishment. Marks are reduced to the bare legal minimum, i.e. once a month per subject. The marks are replaced by assessment exercises carried out by each pupil when they feel ready. If knowledge is acquired and retained in a subject, they earn a green point. If a red point is the best they can do, they are sent to an atelier to raise their level. This public school’s teaching philosophy goes outside the conventional educational box. It covers the entire educational field. Boarders discover cultural activities such as singing and music lessons, theatre plays, films and opera, musical comedies, trips to the United States or skiing holidays, to name a few. Students learn in an atmosphere that fosters cultural awakening. And sporting activities like go-karting, kite-surfing and hang-gliding enhance their self-confidence.







France 3


Cyril Denvers