Oak Class, Blog 3, 2022-2023


This term’s lessons were built around the book The Firework Maker’s Daughter, which we will continue to read next term. The class have enjoyed meeting the characters in the book and discussing their personalities. The story led us to learn about fireworks, their history and the ingredients used to make modern day firework displays, not so different from when they were invented in China many centuries ago. The class learnt how different chemicals are used to give colour – copper, barium , strontium and sodium – and created their own firework recipes, giving step by step instructions, using the imperative form of verbs and relevant time conjunctions.

The class also learnt poetry this term, two poems by Christina Rossetti, ‘Who has Seen the Wind’ and ‘Hurt No Living Thing’ as well as ‘February’ by E N Bodecker. The class were able to recite these beautiful poems by heart and write them out, too.

Mount Merapi, Indonesia


Beginners group with Joanna

We have been very busy this term in French class. The students have been learning new verbs such as avoir (to have) et étre (to be) au présent as well as learning about ‘les déterminants’ (determiners), those little words that are placed in front of the noun and that determine whether or not the noun is masculin/féminin ou pluriel (ex: le, la, les, un, une, des, mon, ma, mes, ce, cet, cette, ces). They have also learned a poem and presented it very successfully (videos hereunder). Since we are living in France, ‘pays de la gastronomie’, we have also had the opportunity to celebrate La Galette des Rois & La Chandeleur by baking galettes and making crêpes with the two other French classes.

Intermediate group with Christine

These first two months of the year were much the same as the two previous ones in the organisation of lessons. Vega and Sophie take part in the calendar activity, the oral presentations of the older ones, and in the debrief of the weekend each Monday morning. After that, Vega and Sophie each have specific work according to their level. Each of them is developing their French reading and writing skills at their own pace. Two special events took place this term; in January, we prepared the traditional « galette des rois » for the feast of Epiphany, and in February we prepared « crêpes » for Pancake Day. The class really enjoyed this baking time, as well as spending time with the other students from all classes.

Advanced group with Marie

Cette troisième période a été bien chargée au niveau des apprentissages. Les élèves ont continué d’intégrer les notions de français:

en grammaire: phrase simple/phrase complexe, voix active/voix passive, les compléments de verbes (cod, coi)

en conjugaison: le passé simple, le passé composé, le participe passé/l’infinitif

en orthographe: les sons g/j, s/ss/c, k/q/c, le pluriel des noms et des adjectifs

en mémorisation: 2 poésies ont été apprises et récitées

en littérature: choix d’un livre de lecture puis étude de différents passages du livre, le genre poétique et versification, lectures silencieuses

2 évaluations ont eu lieu pendant cette 3ème période.

French IMYC with Marie

Durant ce terme, les élèves ont continué à étudier les explorateurs. Ils ont d’abord fait des recherches sur un des célèbres personnages (Zheng Hu, Christophe Colomb, Magellan, Bartoleme Diaz, Jacques Cartier, Marco Polo, Vasco de Gama ) et puis ils ont élaboré des affiches par groupe de 2 ou 3 enfants.

Ensuite, ils ont construit un des 3 objets utilisés par ces grands explorateurs

– le groupe des caravelles

– le groupe des globes

– le groupe des boussoles

Ils ont appris et chanté 2 chansons: Les petits souliers de Guy Béart et Aux Champs Elysées de Joe Dassin


This term Oak learnt about the structure of the Earth and about volcanoes and earthquakes. The class learnt that the Earth has four main components:  the crust, the mantle, the outer core and the inner core  and that each layer has a unique chemical composition and physical state and can have a dramatic effect on life on Earth’s surface. The class learnt about the theories of Continental Drift and plate tectonics as well as the Ring of Fire, a path along the Pacific Ocean characterised by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.

Pacific Ring of Fire


During this term, our Oaks looked at life in ancient Egypt, exploring many different topics. They looked at the way in which ancient Egyptians settled around the Nile and built temples and pyramids. They also looked at the Egyptian religion, exploring the different gods and goddesses that were worshipped. They also worked on the Egyptian alphabet, learning how to write their own names with hieroglyphs.


Oak class enjoyed learning about metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks and their properties.  They had the opportunity to make an experiment about rocks’ permeability and test their hardness. They examined a set of rocks and named the most common, based on traits and criteria. They identified and displayed the rock cycle and classified rocks as natural and human made.


Oak students explored the concept of variables in programming through games in Scratch. They have to find out what variables are and relate them to real-world examples of values that can be set and changed. Then they use variables to create a simulation of a scoreboard. They created games and storyboards and applied their knowledge of variables and design to improve their games in Scratch.


Calculating, measuring and understanding shapes:

Oak students worked on measuring and drawing simple 2D shapes and then converting them into compound shapes. Students practised identifying the main properties of 3D shapes and looked for various 2D shapes present in them. Young Oaks then drew polygons and classified them by identifying their properties, including their line of symmetry. Students worked on visualising 3-D objects from 2-D drawings, made nets of common solids and measured their volume. To deepen our knowledge of 3D shapes, we experimented with cubes/pyramids and cones/cylinders and solved practical volume problems. We filled them with water and found out that the volume of a cone is 1/3 of the volume of a cylinder where the base and height is the same in both shapes.

In Statistics we solved comparison, sum and difference problems using information presented in bar charts, pictograms, tables and line graphs.

Design and Technology

As part of our collaborative project with Birch and Walnut Classes (and some Cedars came to help), we worked on designing our very own Compost Bin that we will be using next term. Linking our topics in Design & Technology and Mathematics, the children accurately measured the angles, calculated the distance between the planks of wood and used properties of 2D and 3D shapes on their designing journey. Oaks realised the importance of measuring angles and clearly saw that measurements have to be accurate in order for the different parts to fit together correctly.

So there we were,
Cutting and drilling.
Measuring, thinking
Worked well as a team and were quite willing.

We will grow our own veg,
That are very organic.
Will get our hands dirty,
But will wash them, don’t panic.

Compost bin creation,
We have conjured together.
Nothing could stop us,
Even cold weather.

Greenhouse effect
we have discussed in science.
Picked up quite a lot of new things
And self reliance.

Wormery we built,
For our best friends worms.
Amazing things they do,
We hope everyone knows.

Raised beds, greenhouse
And wormery construction.
Enthusiasm was pumping,
Like a volcanic eruption.

Still a long way to go
But we will manage.
Automated watering system, birdfeeders and scarecrow creature.
Hey mum, do you know how to use a drill?
Just look at this, I will teach ya.

Green Garden Project just started,
But we are already delighted.
If you would like to come and help,
Don’t hesitate to come forward, you are invited.


Over the course of this term, the Oak class looked at the Pointillist movement, exploring the work of painters like Georges Seurat and Georges Lemmen. Each Oak student focused on a different type of landscape – real or imaginary – and represented it through the use of Pointillism. Our Oaks mainly used paint and learnt how to create different gradients of colours, focusing on the way light may impact the choice of the colouring effects that they want to create.

Drama Workshops

During this term, our Oaks worked enthusiastically on improvisation, learning how to create short scenes based on different given scenarios. The Oak class learnt how to make use of different elements – voice, face expressions and body language – when improvising a short performance. Oak students continued to work in small groups, learning how to work with everyone in the class and creating a supportive and positive environment for performances. 

Creative Writing Workshops

Over the course of this term, the Oak class looked at the editing process, learning how to modify the drafts of their stories and to develop the final version of their texts. The Oak students learnt how to modify their own texts, adding details or changing the way they have expressed a certain idea. The students enjoyed the writing and editing process and understood the importance of going back to their drafts before finalising them. By the end of the term, our Oaks had created their own book of fairy tales!

Global perspectives

Our Oaks researched about the prevention of food waste. The students have been very engaged, using personal and local perspectives when exploring the cause and consequences of food waste. While researching, the students made meaningful reflections, looking at the way food waste may happen and drawing interesting conclusions. The result of their research – that grouped very practical ways to prevent food waste at personal and local level – has been creatively presented in a very colourful poster.