Elm Class Blog, Term 1, 2023-2024


Elm class are reading the Robert Louis Stevenson classic Treasure Island, a novel full of outlandish characters, excitement and adventure. The class are becoming accustomed to the more complex language of the 19th century novel, not to mention the vocabulary and peculiarities of speech of some pretty rough pirates. Alongside this renowned example of an adventure novel, the class are studying other examples of the genre and have written their own adventure stories.

The class also tried their hand at Black Out Poetry, taking the poem ‘Sea Fever’ by John Masefield and removing all but a few carefully chosen words to create their own poems.


History this term has focused on the circumstances leading up to the Norman Conquest of England, culminating with The Battle of Hastings, the defeat of Harold II and the victory of the Duke of Normandy, otherwise known as William the Conqueror. The class first learnt about Anglo-Saxon England before the arrival of the Normans and the reign of Edward the Confessor, who died without a direct heir. Elm learnt that there were several claimants to the English throne and examined their eligibility and suitability. They assessed the tumultuous events of 1066 and, in an essay, put forward their arguments for why William was the victor at the Battle of Hastings.


Geography this term focused on floods, the causes, consequences and potential solutions. The class learnt about the geographical factors that can lead to flooding as well as the impact that human activity and developments can have on the ground’s ability to absorb water.  The class chose to focus on Bangladesh as a case study of the devastating effects of flooding; they learned that this riverine country is one of the most flood prone countries on the planet and that it faces further challenges as a result of climate change.


In Algebra: Expressions /Formulae/Algebraic Fractions/ Equations

Elm worked on simplifying algebraic expressions, used simple formulae and wrote formulae from the problem to identify how it could be applied in real life. We worked on solving problems while substituting specific values into expressions and formulae and then probed further into algebra while finding solutions for the equations. Students also investigated how to expand brackets and factorise expressions. Elm then used their newly gained knowledge and calculated area and perimeter of 2D shapes where sides and angles were expressed algebraically.

 In Number

Elm class students identified Positive and Negative numbers and then followed the BODMAS rule to find the order of operation. We worked on finding and remembering Prime and Square Numbers and then used them while solving various problems with powers and roots.


Elm investigated and described different types of forces and now understand their effects on moving objects. Elm discovered how to construct their own newton meter and how to create a correct scale. Elm solved science questions with balanced and unbalanced forces and calculated the resultant force acting on the object. 
Elms dived into 3 Laws of Motion and just like Isaac Newton asked scientific questions related to inertia, 2nd and 3rd law of motion. Elms worked on calculating the speed and acceleration of different objects and then practised converting harder formulae.

Elms stretched themselves further while studying the Hooke’s Law and didn’t waste a moment while calculating the ”moment of a force”.

Elm also solved density and pressure problems and found a practical use of a Hydraulic press in everyday life. Linked to our Design and Technology projects we worked on our own version of a Hydraulic press and improved our first version of an Eco-log press. We can now crush our cans and make our own fire logs out of recycled paper and saw dust. 

French with Marie

Durant cette période, les élèves ont étudié plusieurs notions:

en grammaire: la phrase et ses caractéristiques (formes et types), la phrase simple et complexe (1 seul ou plusieurs verbes), la phrase verbale et a-verbale, le nom et le groupe nominal, les déterminants, les pronoms, l’adjectif, les mots invariables ainsi que la nature/classe grammaticale des mots.

en conjugaison: les temps du passé, présent et futur, le verbe et son infinitif, les verbes d’action et les verbes d’état, le présent de l’indicatif de tous les verbes, l’imparfait des auxiliaires être et avoir ainsi que des verbes du 1er groupe.

en vocabulaire: utilisation du dictionnaire.

en mémorisation: apprentissage de 2 poésies “La rentrée” et “Automne”

en littérature: 1 roman a été lu et étudié:

  • Les Trois Mousquetaires d’Alexandre Dumas

French with Joanna

We have had a very busy start to the year in French class. The students are delighted to learn about the adventures of the characters Madame Bouba, Félix, Lila, Pirouette & Tilou in the third and final series of this méthode de français ‘Zig Zag+ 3’ specifically geared towards teaching French in a fun and educational way to French as a Foreign Language students. In this final series Félix (the reporter) takes the students on adventures in France and other countries. We have been working on our grammar and conjugation skills by revising verbs and learning new ones (through weekly spelling tests & worksheets) and we are developing memory & pronunciation skills by learning and reciting poetry about l’automne.

French Topic with Joanna

The first topic of this school year is ‘renewal’ therefore in our French topic we have been learning all about the incredibly interesting ‘période de la Renaissance’ in Europe through famous names such as Léonard de Vinci, Michel-Ange, Gutenberg, Christophe Colomb, Copernic, Henri IV, François 1er.

What better way to understand this fascinating period than to prepare a ‘frise chronologique’ (historical timeline) of the important dates of this period. The students learnt about the important link between Leonardo da Vinci and France (where he was invited to work by the King François 1er & where he lived and died in the Château du Clos Lucé, Amboise). They listened to the beginning of a gripping podcast series on the famous art heist of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting ‘The Madonna of the Yarnwinder’ in 2003 , stolen from Drumlanrig Castle in Scotland.

We ended the term learning all about the incredible région du Val de Loire and its world famous Renaissance Châteaux (Chenonceau, Chambord, Amboise, Villandry, Blois and Fontainebleau).

ART and D&T Project- Felting

The process of felting is very hands-on! The children had to tease the merino wool, layer it, apply hot water and soap and manipulate it together with their hands and feet as well as rolling pins.

Inspired by the Impressionist painter Claude Monet, Maple, Birch, Walnut, Oak and Elm classes collaborated as one to recreate the Japanese bridge in Monet’s garden in Giverny. The techniques of felting mastered, we dived into the artistic world of Vincent van Gogh and Picasso and recreated their famous masterpieces.

Art and Artists

Elm researched the lives of Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso and observed how their paintings changed as they developed their own individual styles.

Topic – ”Water”

Studying the history of sanitation systems in London and Paris, the class learnt that there were regular outbreaks of cholera in both cities in the 19th century, as a result of squalid living conditions. The class learnt about Dr John Snow, who pioneered the theory that the disease was carried by contaminated water rather than vapours in the air. Dr Snow plotted the addresses of victims on a map and it became clear that they were concentrated around a particular water pump. The class replicated his simple but effective research on a grid map.

Machine de Marly

Students learnt how King Louis XIV needed a large water supply for his fountains at Versailles and how he solved this problem.

Machine of Marly,  a large hydraulic system in Yvelines , built in 1684 to pump water from the river Seine and deliver it to the Palace of Versailles.

Hydraulic press

Linked to our science topic on forces, we discovered how forces are multiplied in the hydraulic press. (Hydraulic press, rebuilt by Elm Class.)

Learning about water pumps and hydraulic press. On our Eco quest, now ready to crush empty Coca-Cola cans. Would you like to borrow it?

Trip to the Musée de la Grenouillère

FISP classes Maple, Birch, Walnut, Oak and Elm visited the Musée de la Grenouillère in Croissy. The museum is the site of a popular ‘guinguette’ or open-air café where Monet and Renoir painted five impressionist masterpieces. These cafés were fashionable in the 19th century and are described in the writing of literary greats Maupassant, Zola and Simenon. The trip tied in with our recent study of painters, in particular Claude Monet.

Coding and Programming Workshop

The Elm class polished their creative and artistic skills through Microsoft Design. They edited a Monet image and created their own versions of Kandinsky’s art, inspired by Monet. This artistic task allowed them to showcase their imaginative talents and express themselves through digital art.

Next, the class dug into the world of robotics. They followed meticulous building instructions to construct a simple project with the Lego EV3 robot. Attention to detail, teamwork, communication and collaboration were essential elements for their success. The students demonstrated great dedication and completed the task with flying colors, creating robots that moved effortlessly.

In the subsequent phase, the learners started to write programs to control their robots. While encountering some obstacles along the way, they approached these challenges with a growth mindset, understanding that such hurdles are a normal part of working with technology.


This term, Elm class embarked on an interesting journey to understand the evolution of networks and their profound impact on society. The students realised that we have grown increasingly reliant on the services networks provide, transforming the way we learn, work, play, and communicate.

They began by defining what a network is and explored the numerous benefits of networking. They also explored the world of data transmission across networks using various protocols. Additionally, they revisited the types of hardware required for network communication.

Students reflected on their learning when they used the Canva app to create a mind map. These visual aids helped them to organize information, define key concepts and make important connections. These themes allowed them to gain a deeper understanding of the everyday tool we all use—the Internet—and how it continues to shape our lives. 


This term, our Elm class continued their exciting journey of learning Spanish. 

They have dug into questions, both aurally and in written form, regarding their personal information, such as their age, name and last name, among others. They have mastered the recognition and writing of number words from 1 to 31, and they can now create phrases using the verb “llamar” while sharing their personal preferences. Additionally, they have explored the months and seasons of the year, broadening their language skills.

An engaging project saw our students creating posters that showcase their personal information. This activity not only allowed them to express themselves but also helped in the development of their language skills, including reading, writing and listening to their classmates’ stories. 

3D Design and Technology

Students began with a starter project that allowed them to showcase their capabilities and interests. They then embarked on the exciting task of designing a hydraulic press. From sketching the concept to creating a working model, they demonstrated their developing skills. To enrich their understanding, they researched historical examples and thoughtfully considered materials and potential applications for their machines.

As the term drew to a close, the students initiated an exciting project centered around a greenhouse design. This venture required them to make decisions regarding material selection, structural design, ventilation, heating, cooling, shading, layout, plant arrangement, automation, environmental impact, safety, research, and documentation. In the upcoming term, our learners will continue their greenhouse project and explore ways to elevate their designs even further.