Célestin Freinet came to Saint-Paul de Vence in 1928. From letters his wife Elise wrote to her parents, we learn that the school in Saint-Paul de Vence was an old building with a tiny playground and Virginia creeper for shade.
The teacher's accommodation was above the single classroom. Freinet's teaching methods were very unconventional for the day and set tongues wagging in the village.
Every afternoon he would take the pupils on "educational walks" through the village or forest, explaining about the flowers, trees and animals and the history of the houses and ramparts. After their walk, the children would write a newspaper that they printed at school and sent to neighbouring schools. Freinet would occasionally go down to the village fountain to hold his lessons; armed with jugs, the pupils set about solving mathematical problems. He left Saint-Paul de Vence in 1933 to open his own school in Vence.