Elm Class, Term 2, 2020-2021

IMYC: Discovery, Curiosity, Development and Competition’

This half term, the Elm class children went sailing around the world while following the Vendee Globe race. We learnt many interesting facts about 33 solo skippers, campaign they support, missions they carry out and challenges that they are facing.

It was an inspiring event that taught us a lot about courage, physical and emotional strength, team-working, exploration and adventure-seeking. The children followed the position of the boats on a daily basis, analysed their speed, weather conditions, built graphs for clear understanding and made their own conclusions. We also learnt interesting facts many sailors that were very happy to share their own experiences via daily podcasts.


This term Elms let their imaginations run free and wrote creepy Halloween-themed stories and Christmas stories. We looked together in class at famous story openings and the art of capturing the reader’s attention at the outset. We looked at the importance of building up atmosphere and describing setting and character.

We finished the novel There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar. We were all happy to see Bradley find his feet and leave behind his self-destructive behaviour, thanks to the subtle guidance of school counsellor Carla. This book was really appreciated by the whole class, even the less keen readers were eager for the next instalment of Bradley’s troubled school days. As you know, we are enthusiastic followers of the Vendée Globe round-the-world yacht race, which has captured all our imaginations.  In November we were lucky to have zoom interviews with two experienced sailors, Joshua Bradfield and meteorologist Jean-Baptiste Chauvet who are only too aware of the dangers and difficulties facing the Vendée Globe skippers.  They shared with us some of their own sailing adventures as well as the practicalities of preparing for a voyage and the eventualities to be ready for. They also answered our questions, including what to do in a storm, their scariest and best moments at sea, and the marine life they have encountered. Joshua Bradfield’s account of being rescued by the French Navy and having to sink his damaged yacht left a lasting impression on us all! All good material for our upcoming Vendée Globe newsletter.

Vendée Globe

Zoom Call with Joshua Bradfield/Sailor

Zoom call with the Meteorologist

In keeping with the theme of circumnavigation,  we have been following another trip around the globe, Jules Verne’s classic Around the World in 80 Days. We are enjoying the adventures of the mysterious Phileas Fogg and his long-suffering butler Passepartout, pursued by the determined Detective Fix who is convinced that Fogg is a master criminal.


Area of Trapezoid, Rhombus, Kite, Circle and Compound shapes

The children learnt how to calculate the sum of the interior angles by using a formula or by drawing lines from the same vertex in order to create a number of triangles. We solved some simple and complex algebraic equations in order to find the missing angle in various 2D shapes. Using our knowledge of calculating the Area and Perimeter of simple 2D shapes, we learnt how to calculate the area, perimeter and circumference of more complex compound.

Angles in Parallel Lines and Polygons

We worked on constructing triangles using SSS-(side-side-side), SAS –(side-angle-side) and ASA-(angle-side-angle). We know how to use the compass, ruler and protractor to indicate provided angles and sketching lines and know how to use this information in order to construct the desirable triangle.

Science /Design and Technology

(Float/Sink/Buoyancy force/ Vendée Globe)

Students learnt about Archimedes’ Principal through the story of the “Archimedes and the golden crown”. They discovered about the density and displacement to the king. Elm students learnt about forces that act upon an object lowered in the liquid via experimenting with the different objects of different density. They also experimented with the objects of the same density lowered into the liquids of different density and how it affects where the objects will float in the liquid. We also experimented with the objects of different shapes and observed how it affects how they float or sink in the liquid. Based on this knowledge we created our own boats made out of the recycled materials and we will let them sail in our own “DEEP BLUE” of the swimming pool.

ART with Mariana Gonzalez

“This term we worked from the theme of the Vendée Globe. The maritime context in which this regatta takes place, proposed us to work with watercolour. The relationship with water, colour and imagination were an important part for the children in this workshop. The artist seen this time was the great British watercolourist: William Turner.”

Fantastic Plastic

Joshua Fisher (Middle School student) created an animation to teach his younger peers why plastic bad

We don’t want this plastic to float in the Ocean that is why we have made our Plastic Fantastic sculptures

History and Geography

Pupils learned about oceans through the Vendée Globe competition in History and Geography class this term. The Vendée Globe is a non-stop sailing competition for solo sailors which takes place once every four years. The Vendée Globe event was our entry point into learning more about the mysteries of the ocean.

Elms learned to identify the different oceans and continents, about the various characteristics of the ocean which affected the Vendée Globe sailors such as the doldrums, gyres and fast winds of the Southern Ocean, and learned to present a specific characteristic or phenomenon of the world’s oceans. We learned about the machinations of ocean currents, the direction of ocean currents and winds around the globe, how oceans affect weather and climate patterns across the world, and how wildlife in the ocean is affected by pollution and global climate change.

We created a podcast to educate people on all the different aspects of the ocean, from pressure to the Coriolis Effect to the acidification of the ocean. Pupils researched their topic in further depth via and recorded their voices on a computer to later publish as a podcast with various episodes. Please listen to your heart’s content and enjoy!

Learning objectives achieved this term: We learned to…

– understand the characteristics which separate an ocean from other bodies of water such as lakes or seas

– identify and locate the different continents and oceans of the world

– understand how heat allows ocean currents to rise, salt allows ocean currents to fall and how the two can interact together

– show on a blank world map the direction of wind and ocean currents through an understanding of the Coriolis Effect, the interaction between high and low pressure, and differences in density due to the fact that heat rises and cold sinks

– predict how climate change may negatively impact oceans through acidification from higher temperatures among other effects

– appreciate the dangers of our use of plastic and its negative impact on ocean habitats

– learn about the extremes of the oceans in terms of changing climate patterns, hurricanes and other forms of extreme weather

– identify and observe different marine wildlife and understand how these animals interact with / compete against one another for food and living space

– organise a presentation on a topic about the ocean into something simple, structured and informative


This term we tied our ICT in with our history and geography. We played some games from NASA to better learn ocean currents and the complex relationship that can be created from currents, heat and salinity. We also used the Internet to do further research on an assigned ocean topic. Using this research, pupils presented their topic by researching an ocean topic in great detail, writing out what to say, and finally recording their voice to create a podcast episode. Check out the podcasts in the history and geography section.

Learning objectives achieved this term: We learned to…

– create a podcast in which a specific ocean topic was described by individual pupils so as to describe the oceans more holistically

– research material using a variety of reputable websites and sources

– organise online research and classroom input into notes and later structure them into a presentation

– learn the basics of Audacity as a means for recording voices

“E-Baobab” project

Linked to our Eco project we used our maths skill and tried to estimate and calculate how many bottles we will need. (It all depends how high we want to go… but it looks like 600 bottles if we want to go high enough) Calculated the circumference of the tree and then the heights.

“Your rubbish – our treasure”

Involving our local community

For Armistice Day on November 11, we looked at how the day is commemorated around the world, in particular Europe and Britain.  We discussed the importance of remembrance and recognition of those who lost their lives in the two world wars, so many of them very young. We learned about the origins of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance in the UK and US and the beautiful poem that inspired it, In Flanders Fields.

Trip to the Château de Monte-Cristo

To support our French Curriculum and our study of the “Les Trois Mousquetaires” novels by Alexandre Dumas, Oak/Elm Classes visited the Château de Monte-Cristo located on the hill of Port-Marly. Dumas lived in the castle for a short period of time to escape the turmoil of the city when he was at the height of his fame. The children enjoyed his marvelous gardens and had a quick peek into château d’If where he wrote his masterpieces.

The magical Christmas Jigsaw

Elms had a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate their creative side while making costumes, dancing, singing, creating props and performing on the stage during our Christmas Show.

Thank you and well done to all the Elm class students for their outstanding dedication and hard work during our « The magical Christmas jigsaw!» performance

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Enjoy your holiday!

 Best wishes,

Mrs. Harrington and Mr. Kralka