Chestnut Class: Term 5 – 2024

We had such an amazing time during Term 5, it really was a great way to end the school year. We had lots of quality time together and we got to enjoy many activities and memorable experiences together! We participated in various eco projects, fostering a greater appreciation for the environment. Our adventures extended beyond the classroom with two class trips, one to WOW Safari and one to Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. We prepared a wonderful performance for the Summer Fête, showcasing our creativity and teamwork. Our learning journey continued in the forest, where we engaged in fun and educational activities. We were thrilled by a visit from Arthur, an alumnus now competing in the Paralympics, who shared his achievements with us. We ended the school year on a high note with Sports day and a visit from the circus.

Eco projects

Recycle and Reuse:
Our long-term project centered around the concept of using old paper to make new sheets of paper. It was a profound learning experience in which the students explored and experimented with various materials like egg cartons, newspapers, and regular paper. The children had the opportunity to get creative and they learned so much about the different properties and potential uses of these everyday items. We experimented with mixing colours and observed how some colours dyed the paper better than others. It was also a great sensory activity, as the different materials mixed with water made for very interesting texture with which the children could experiment. Each session brought a new discovery and a unique piece of art, showing just how resourceful and imaginative they could be when given the chance to repurpose what might otherwise be considered waste. We highlighted the ecological component of this project; for that reason we thoroughly discussed the importance of using creative ways to reduce our everyday waste. We talked about the fact that paper comes from trees and that we need trees in our planet so that we can have lots of oxygen to breathe. We demonstrated to the children that by recycling and reusing our paper we can help the planet and save trees.

Recycling and reusing food:
We also embraced sustainability by recycling and reusing old bread and transforming it into a delicious treat. Using simple ingredients like vanilla, cinnamon, oat milk, and eggs, we created a delightful bread pudding. To add a festive touch, we decorated the treat with food colouring to make our bread pudding look like the French flag. This activity not only allowed us to minimise food waste but also showcased our creativity and culinary skills. The result was a tasty and visually appealing dish that we got share with the Maple class, highlighting the importance of resourcefulness and sustainability in our daily lives.

Eco art project:
Our contribution to the art auction for the Summer fête this year also reflected the principles of our eco project. We used an old canvas and transformed it into a vibrant rainbow masterpiece. Earlier this year, we explored the colors of the rainbow, and the Chestnuts class demonstrated a keen interest in this fascinating topic. As we assembled our rainbow, it was truly a joy to see it come to life before our eyes. This project also provided us with an excellent opportunity to delve deeper into colour theory and understand how colours contrast and complement each other.

We planted zucchini and lettuce in our garden table as part of our educational activities. The students actively participated in planting and nurturing these vegetables, learning about the process of gardening and the needs of different plants. To complement our project, we read storybooks such as “The Gigantic Turnip” and “Oliver’s Garden,” which sparked discussions about teamwork, patience, and the joys of gardening.

Oliver's Vegetables Barefoot Books The Gigantic Turnip: 9781905236589: Tolstoy,  Aleksei, Sharkey, Niamh, Staunton, Imelda: Books

Preparing our garden bed:

Planting and caring for our zucchini and lettuce plants:

Additionally, we organised a trip to Truffaut, where each student selected flowers to decorate our classroom window. This hands-on project not only taught them about plant care and the importance of sunlight and water but also allowed them to take pride in our classroom environment by making it more beautiful with our flowers.

The students took a special interest in the cherry tomato plants while in Truffaut, so we brought a plant back to school. We got to watch the tomatoes get ripe, then we picked them, washed, and had them for snack.

Indoor plants:
We introduced three indoor plants into our classroom, which provided a valuable opportunity for the students to explore the differences and similarities between indoor and outdoor plants. We compared them to the plants found in the forests and the flowers in our garden. Observing our indoor plants closely, we noticed how they thrived in their environment compared to the natural habitats of outdoor plants. During one watering session, a large branch accidentally broke off from one of our indoor plants. Rather than discarding it, we placed it in a large water bottle. To our amazement, the branch continued to survive and even sprouted new roots over time. This experiment sparked discussions about the resilience of plants and they regenerate roots when a broken stem is placed in water.

Cultural outing

Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye:
During our class trip to Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the students demonstrated that they were captivated by the artifacts found in the castle’s museum. We were able to discuss age-appropriate topics regarding the collections and we highlighted objects such as pots, jewellery and, two beautiful busts of feminine figures.

A highlight of our visit was discovering a hidden treasure in the castle’s courtyard, which added an element to our adventure and imagination to our cultural trip.

Even though it was a very busy day at the castle, we were fortunate to have the courtyard and chapel all to ourselves. While in the chapel, we experimented with echoes and the students seemed to be very amused by the sound of their voices reverberated against ancient stone walls. We also observed how sunlight filtered through stained glass windows, casting beautiful hues onto the floor below.

This immersive experience not only allowed the students to peek into the world of history and architecture but also fostered a deeper appreciation for the beauty our local community.

Having lunch in style:
During our trip, we visited Felicity’s cafe for lunch, where we had a nutritious meal with fresh fruits, granola and, greek yogurt. We also had a treat of chocolate pancakes, which added a sweet touch to our dining experience.

To complete our meal in true style, we even enjoyed cute babyccino.

The restaurant staff offered the leftover fruit pulp so that we could feed the animals we would visit later on in our class trip.

Visiting the animals at Maison forestière de la grille Dauphine:
During our visit, we got to feed the animals with the pulp we were given at the restaurant. We saw pigs, goats, and sheep, and we especially loved seeing the lambs and kids. We discussed how sheep and goats often give birth in the springtime and that is why there were many babies in the little farm. We were captivated by how cute the babies were and amazed at how gently they took the food from our fingers. This hands-on interaction with the animals was a highlight of our trip.

Visit the Zoo

Last school year, the Chestnut and Maple classes visited the zoo, and it was such a highlight that we decided to do it again this year. We learned about different animals, enjoyed a healthy picnic lunch—accompanied by a playful gibbon nearby—and had fun in the jungle gym.

We saw a wide variety of animals, but the most memorable part was visiting a pregnant donkey. We had the chance to pet and feed her, and we could even see her baby moving in her belly! The zookeeper mentioned that she would likely give birth that same day.

During the safari, we were thrilled to see our favourite animals: elephants, hippos, ostriches (and lots of their eggs), rhinos, bears, wolves, and many different bovines. Overall, the trip was an unforgettable experience filled with learning, adventure, and close encounters with wildlife, leaving everyone eager for next year’s visit.

Math and Literacy

This term, we focused on enhancing our writing skills, particularly on reading and writing our names. We also dedicated time to improving our math abilities, practicing counting, adding, number recognition, and writing numbers. Additionally, we engaged with Jolly Phonics, which helped us with letter sounds and word formation. Through these activities, we developed a solid foundation in both literacy and numeracy.

Fine motor skills

This term, we practiced our fine motor skills through a variety of engaging activities. We carefully hung little wooden eggs onto our 3D trees, enhancing our dexterity and coordination. Making bracelets was another fun activity, which not only improved our fine motor skills but also helped us practice reading our names and sounding out different letters. Additionally, we ventured into a bit of sewing, which further honed our precision and control. These hands-on activities were both enjoyable and beneficial for our development.

Forest learning

In the forest, we carried out many fun activities that filled our days with excitement and learning. We rode our bikes along winding paths, splashed and played in the mud, and built and played in little houses made with gathered branches. We learned about different flowers and outdoor plants, expanding our knowledge of the natural world. Engaging in dramatic play, we used forest materials to pretend we were having a campfire and roasting marshmallows or embarking on a ship to discover treasure on a deserted island. It was an incredibly fun experience, and we learned so much while letting our imaginations run wild in our forest.

Swimming class

At the start of the school year, the students in the swimming class were noticeably shy and fearful of the water, hesitant to fully immerse themselves in the activities. However, by term 5, their transformation was remarkable. They demonstrated immense improvement, not only in their swimming skills but also in their confidence. Under the guidance of their teacher, they followed instructions and gradually overcame their initial fears. The students began to challenge themselves, eagerly jumping into the water and participating in various activities with newfound enthusiasm. Their courage and determination were evident as they embraced each lesson, making significant strides and showcasing their growth both in and out of the pool.

Special Events

We got a visit from Arthur, an alumnus who is now competing in the Paralympics. He showed us his medals and played games with us in the forest.

For the Summer Fête, we prepared an enchanting show about the Olympics in Paris. Our performance included music and movement, highlighting the spirit of the games. We incorporated beautiful ribbon routines and we sang a song about the Olympics as well as a medley of Queen songs. After the performance, we enjoyed a lovely BBQ, savouring delicious food in the warm summer air. Additionally, we contributed our recycled art piece for the art auction, showcasing our creativity and promoting sustainability.

We got to be in the circus during the last two days of school! We got to show off our balancing and coordination skills!

Thank you!

This year has been truly wonderful, filled with memorable moments and significant growth. I have loved seeing each student develop their skills and confidence, and I am incredibly proud of all their hard work and accomplishments. Watching them grow and learn has been a joy and an inspiration. Thank you for a fantastic year!

I’m so proud of you, Chestnuts!
Ms. Manu