A word from the experts

Rethinking school spaces: the example of Van Gogh college in Blénod les Pont-à-Mousson

May 2021


Claude Schmitt

Claude Schmitt

Principal of Vincent Van Gogh College in Blénod-les-Pont-à-Mousson

The experience of Vincent Van Gogh College in Blénod les Pont-à-Mousson is particularly interesting to share because it reflects the dynamism that can be developed in a college and makes it possible to measure the first effects on the establishment and its actors.

This college of 700 students, completely rebuilt in 2006, is characterized by large internal spaces that were relatively unoccupied until 2016 despite a dynamic of projects on educational, school and digital themes. In February 2017, the opportunity of the Future Investment Project Program (PIA) then allows the school head to take up the question of the school form on the development of two classrooms through the call for projects from digital labs colleges (in partnership with the DANE of the Academy of Nancy-Metz and the Departmental Council of Meurthe et Moselle). By mobilizing the educational council on this project, it turns out that very quickly, it then takes on a whole new dimension by questioning all the school spaces and more particularly the circulation areas, the two halls and the outdoor spaces. strength of this project is based on co-construction with partners (DANE, CD54) but above all with all users (Staff, students, parents) through two collaborative work phases: a hackathon at the start of the project based on volunteering then a second day when all users were invited. Regular feedback received from staff and users, group feedback from the management team has ensured effective co-construction to achieve a shared vision.

Questioning all the school spaces in an establishment is an ambitious challenge and this theme immediately leads us into the category of innovative projects. The first post-hackathon analyzes made it possible to bring out a first essential need, namely the consideration of each space in all its dimensions, be they acoustic, decorative and centered on the postures of the student. We then approached Kardham and Copilot Partners, which enabled us to support us in the development of common areas and in our final choice of equipment.

At this point in the project, we lacked a resource to give it all the dimension hoped for. The provision of Archiclasse (a methodological tool for rethinking school spaces in the digital age), between the two moments of co-construction provided the missing key: entry through pedagogy. I want to be able to make my workspace more modular, more flexible: What are the pedagogical sequences that I want to implement there? and once I have precisely defined my educational objectives, what materials do I need? The entire Archiclasse methodology, carried by Christophe Caron, allows this reflection and has greatly contributed to the development of a common culture within the establishment.

At the end of this project, we were able to develop three types of spaces within the establishment:

  • The classroom: the rooms are already all equipped with a video projector or a IWB (Interactive Whiteboard), it was decided to reuse the existing furniture as much as possible, to make it mobile and to mobilize the know-how of our 3 ° and 4 ° SEGPA students to make adjustments.
  • Common areas: this name concerns the two living halls, the two duty rooms and the CDI. The layouts of these spaces have respected the different Archiclasse typologies and the purchase of equipment made accordingly.
  • The Universalle room: formerly a multimedia room equipped with 25 PCs, the general idea was to make it a space different from the other two, where the teacher could experimentally experiment with what he wanted if he wanted to. The student is allowed to choose his posture (sitting, floor, standing) and collaborative work must be present there.

To find out more about the Vincent Van Gogh College project, go here.

Release date : Mardi 4 Mai 2021

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