The Gennevilliers children

The Gennevilliers class contained an average of 25 children of mixed ages and encompassed three levels (first, second and third years). At the start of each year, the youngest began their second year, the middle children began their third year, and the oldest began the preparatory class (aged 6 or 7). At the start of every year, we therefore welcomed new first-year children into the group, who like the other children would spend their next three years of nursery education in this class.

Year 1 • 2011-12

24 children: 10 first years, 14 second years

The experiment began at the nursery school of Jean Lurçat de Gennevilliers in August 2011, the teaching staff having already allocated the children to their classes in June 2011. This meant that the children were not specially selected or streamed. We began with a class which had already been constituted.

Year 2 • 2012-13

25 children: 5 first years, 8 second years and 12 third years

At the beginning of the following school year, the children of that first year moved up to either the second or third year, and we welcomed 5 new first years.

Year 3 • 2013-14

25 children: 10 first years, 7 second years and 8 third years

For the third year of the experiment, the third years moved up to the preparatory class, the second years up to the third year and the first years up to the second year. We welcomed 12 new children: 2 second years and 10 first years. Two children changed address and unfortunately left the class for their last year of nursery education. During this third year, a quarter of the children in the class were not native French speakers: their mother tongues were, respectively, Kabyle, Turkish, Mandarin and various Chinese dialects.