Oak Class Blog , Term 1, 2023-2024


This term Oak class have read The Last Viking by Terry Deary, the story of a Viking raid on an English village and monastery. The story complements our History topic of the Viking era in European History. The class learned about the genre of Historical Fiction and besides enjoying the story,  focused on figurative language in the book as well as characterisation. They discussed the events in the story, reflecting on the feelings and motivation of the main characters.

Never lost for words. Oak learn how to use a thesaurus.

To celebrate the beautiful season of Autumn, Oak class learnt the poem ‘Autumn Fires’ by Robert Louis Stevenson.


This term’s focus was on the Vikings. The class learnt about their skills as sailors and the distinguishing features of the longships that made them so effective when raiding neighbouring countries. The class learnt what motivated Vikings to leave their homelands, their reputation as fearless warriors as well as the Viking way of life, customs, food and culture.


In Geography, Oak class learnt about the Continent of Europe and its 50 countries from East to West. The class also learnt how to read grid references on a map and how to find individual countries in an atlas, using the index. They learnt about the concepts of latitude and longitude, locating places using these coordinates, and discovered some of the important lines that delineate specific areas of the Earth – the Equator, the Hemispheres, the Poles and the Tropics. Looking at the lines of longitude, the class learnt about time zones.

Testing their knowledge of Europe by filling in a blank map. Identifying countries using coordinates of latitude and longitude.

Mathematics – Number and Measures

Oaks worked on counting, reading, writing and ordering four- and five-digit numbers. The children ordered, rounded and compared three-digit and four-digit numbers and positioned them on the number line. ‘Crocodile Charlie’, who is really greedy, always eats the largest numbers. He showed the children where to use greater than > and less than < signs. The children practised and refined their written methods for addition and subtraction and then solved one-step and two-step addition and subtraction problems involving numbers, money and measures.
Oaks also investigated the different shapes and calculated their perimeter and area. We probed further into this topic while calculating the area and perimeter of the compound shapes.

Science – Forces around us

Oaks investigated and described different types of forces and now understand their effects on moving objects. Oaks discovered that we cannot see the forces that act on objects but that we can measure them with the newton meter. Oaks carried out various friction, air- resistance and water-resistance experiments and practised asking scientific questions. During these experiments, Oaks put forward their hypotheses, tested them, recorded their findings and then made conclusions.


This term, our students in the Oak class explored the world of networks and the importance of internet security. They developed a deeper understanding of the internet as a vast network of networks, emphasizing the need for its security.

During their exploration, the students came to realize that the World Wide Web is just one part of this interconnected internet. They were provided with valuable opportunities to navigate the online world independently, allowing them to identify content owners and understand what they can access, add, and create on the web.

To organize and internalize this newfound knowledge, they created mind maps on paper. These visual representations helped them grasp and define each concept while making meaningful connections. Well done, Oaks! 

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: le champ lexical du mythe et du conte autour du monstre, utilisation du dictionnaire.

en orthographe: 3 dictées ont été effectuées.

en mémorisation: apprentissage de 2 poésies “Ponctuation” et “mois d’Automne”

en littérature: 2 livres ont été lus et étudiés:

  • Gare à la maîtresse de Blandine Aubin
  • Cromignon de Michel Gay

French with Joanna

French with Joanna

We have had a very busy start to the year in French class. The students are delighted to continue learning about the adventures of their favourite French characters Madame Bouba, Félix, Lila, Pirouette & Tilou in the third and final series of this méthode de français 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 knew ones (through weekly spelling tests & worksheets) and we are developing memory & pronunciation skills by learning and reciting poetry about l’automne (see videos hereunder).

French Topic

The theme of this period was “renewal.” Through the Renaissance period, the children discovered and learned about the lifestyle of people as well as the major revolutions through numerous discoveries. We covered several points:

  • The origin and birth of the Renaissance movement
  • The difference between a medieval castle and one from the Renaissance.
  • Significant advancements in various fields like art, sculpture, literature, engineering…

The students played a board game named the “Goose chase” on the Renaissance.

Then, the children constructed a part of the façade of Chambord Castle with its famous “double helix” staircase. (l’escalier “à double révolution”)

The objectives of these themes were:

  • To understand the characteristics of specific time periods and societies.
  • To recognize that the study of history relates to both the past and the present.
  • To have knowledge of the history of the studied periods.
  • To understand the ideas, beliefs, attitudes, and experiences of people from the past.
  • To comprehend the social, cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity of the studied periods.
  • To be able to use historical terms associated with the studied periods.
  • To be capable of investigating historical questions and their impact on people’s lives.
  • To be able to select and record information related to a historical topic.
  • To be able to place events, individuals, and changes in the studied periods within a chronological framework.


This first term, the Oak class embarked on an exciting journey of learning Spanish. The students made significant progress in mastering the basics of this language.

They began by learning how to greet one another and engage in conversations about their names, well-being and age. They also tackled the numbers from 1 to 20 and had fun practising addition with these numbers. The classroom came alive with the joy of memorising and singing various songs and simple rhymes in Spanish.

We are incredibly proud of the progress the Oak class has made so far. Good job, Oak!

D&T Felting Project

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 worlds of Vincent van Gogh and Picasso and recreated their famous masterpieces.

Art and Artists

Oak wrote stories inspired by figures in Picasso’s paintings.

Design and Technology – Topic Water

Students learnt about different liquids, their density and how some liquids do not mix. We then constructed a Water-Oil Timer and discovered that it takes 52 minutes for water and oil to ‘switch places’. Come and see for yourself if you have 52 minutes to spare.

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?

As part of the Water theme, the class studied the Water Cycle and learnt a short poem, ‘A Sunstroke’ by John B. Tabb, which sums up this crucial process in just six lines.

Oak class replicated the Water Cycle process using a plastic bag, water, food colouring and a marker pen.

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

This term Oak class was introduced to Scratch. Students worked on two projects: 

  1. Animate a name – learners inserted a code to animate the letters of their name. They practised the following features: colour clicker, spin, play a sound, dancing letter, change size, press a key and glide around. 
  2. Pong game – Made a bouncing ball game. They learned how to bounce around and move the paddle.