"Playdagogy" to promote more equal opportunities, beginning in primary education

Since 2012, Sport Sans Frontières, now known as PL4Y International, has been successfully trialling educational play kits with teachers in several primary schools in Educational Priority Areas in the Paris Region. The kit was widely distributed before being further developed so that it incorporates learning about environmentally-responsible and friendly behaviour.

Social and Employment

Ile-de-France, France

Claire Billon-Galland

€20,000 granted by the 9/10/12 Selection Committee.
€10,000 granted by the 10/12/13 Selection Committee.
€20,000 granted by the 16/9/15 Selection Committee.

Project leader

PL4Y International

“Sport and games are great ways of learning and integrating people. They are an effective means of conveying key concepts to children right from primary school age. Based on this observation, PL4Y International (formerly Sport Sans Frontières) has very successfully developed over the course of several years a special teaching method which more effectively conveys educational messages.

Following the creation of a Living Together themed teaching kit (supported by the Veolia Foundation in 2012), the association wants to produce an environment themed kit to foster the development of green behaviour in children aged six to 11. The kit will be aimed at schools in the Paris Region and Northern France and will be developed with the help of the French state education system, relevant practitioners and Veolia. Raising young people’s awareness about environmental issues is even more crucial in this critical year for the world’s climate.”
Claire Billon-Galland

Since the early 2000s, Sport Sans Frontières has been utilizing the educational and therapeutic benefits of sport to help and support vulnerable people, in particular children. The non-profit believes that sport and games are effective educational and support tools. Sport can help people to overcome trauma (conflict, natural disasters and abuse), feel better and regain their confidence. As well as offering an outlet, games teach people to follow rules, respect their opponents and teammates, and listen to the referee and captain: these are all pointers showing us how to live in society.
Sport Sans Frontières runs fun sports sessions with an educational aim. The sessions focus on health education (teenage pregnancy, nutrition and hygiene) and citizenship (preventing violence, team-working, decision-making, combating discrimination). The non-profit supports local organisations and structures in order to address issues encountered by local communities. It develops programmes that seek to offer children worldwide the opportunity to do a physical activity which has educational, learning and therapeutic facets.

Educational play kits…

Given that 25% of pupils have a poor level of attainment at the end of their primary school careers in France, one in five children has to repeat at least one year before starting secondary school, and over 100,000 children are excluded each year starting in primary school, Sport Sans Frontières wanted to widely disseminate its fun educational approach in the country’s primary schools. The non-profit’s method is called Playdagogy and utilizes sport and games to more effectively convey educational messages and foster positive behavioural change in children.
The non-profit has distributed an educational play kit to teachers to help them to easily organize sport and play sessions which include some awareness-raising. The kit contains sports equipment and handbooks for running turnkey sessions on nutrition and obesity, violence, male/female relationships, cooperation and caring for the environment. The kit was firstly trialled by teachers at several primary schools in Educational Priority Areas in the Paris Region and was then improved and adapted to each age group. The Veolia Foundation firstly became involved in helping to design the kits for the trial phase.

…rolled out nationwide…

Production of the kits really hit its full stride the following year with many schools expressing an interest in using the kits. The French Sports Foundation has endorsed the initiative, the French Ministry of Education has provided support for national rollout, and the French Ministry of Sport has expressed a keen interest in the scheme. The Veolia Foundation provided further support for the organisation when the kits were produced and deployed.

…including learning about how to be green…

By 2015, the organisation had been renamed PL4Y International and become part of the SOS Group. It sought to build on the Playdagogy programme launched in 2012 to foster green behaviour in six to 11 year olds. The project involved developing an Environmental Playdagogy kit and supplying it to 100 schools and out-of-school care centres in the Paris Region and Northern France.
The creation of a first module on water, produced with the Veolia Foundation in 2013-2014, enabled the benefits of developing a kit to be confirmed. The kit will comprise 10 – 15 factsheet-sessions each focusing on a specific sub-topic (waste, resource depletion, recycling etc), a teaching handbook for teachers, a video tutorial and the sports equipment needed to run the activities.
Trainers will be on hand, either remotely or actually attending the sessions, and will help facilitate this ecosystem which already contains 1,500 teachers and out-of-school care workers. PL4Y International is offering innovative teaching aids on the topic of the environment and in this way is seeking to increase the impact of COP21 and continue citizen involvement in this topic. The Veolia Foundation is supporting this new initiative.

France and abroad

Sport Sans Frontières focuses its work on the challenges of education, individual physical and psychological rehabilitation, prevention of risky behaviour and learning how to live in society, in five countries - Haiti, Burundi, Kosovo, Afghanistan and France.

According to an impact study conducted by Save the Children on the Sport Sans Frontières programme in Bolivia, the information retention rate in children is ten times greater in the case of education through sports than in the case of a "conventional" education.

The French Sports Foundation has endorsed the initiative. The French Ministry of National Education will be providing its support for nationwide deployment, and the Sports Ministry has expressed a strong interest in the approach.

Already a partner of the project in the test phase, the Foundation is supporting the production and the distribution of the kits.

PL4Y International, supported by the Veolia Foundation since 2012, has just had its work endorsed by the French Ministry of Education. Its Playdagogy method, which uses sport to involve schoolchildren, is going to be rolled out in the REP and REP+ Priority Education Networks. The method is an effective way of fostering green behaviour in children from a very young age.

More information here.