Covid-19 Update at Forest International School Paris

Back to school after Covid-19 confinement at Forest International School Paris

Children are back to school – since May 11th, except Middle School students, who are back on track with school as usual, but from home, thanks to the excellent teachers and support staff.

On the first few days, children made the most of the beautiful weather and spent time outdoors, doing many activities outside when possible.

Teachers were not only able to continue the curriculum with students, but also bring in a fun factor to keep them engaged.

The COVID-19 pandemic allowed FISP teachers to be even more creative in many ways. Students were (still are at the time of writing) following school classes from home via an online application and classes carefully prepared and tailored by all teachers.

Here’s Vlad with one of his videos for the Elm Middle School class.

The Parent Association us still playing a pivotal role in communicating news and updates to parents and liaising with the teacher and school admin.

The Parents Association have ordered reading books for all the children, gifts in lieu of various events missed due to Covid-19, as a ‘welcome back’ gift.

First day “back to school” post Covid-19 confinement.
Second day of back to school post Covid-19 confinement.

Lunch menu for May and June: Updated

Bookmark this page to keep up-to-date with the situation.

Birch Class 2019/2020 Term 4

Dr Seuss

Birch topic for this term was: From A to B

Birch class has been very busy doing a lot of exciting activities around this theme! During this term, the children in Birch have been looking at how people, every day all over the world, make different types of journey, on land, on sea and in the air. We have been exploring all types of transport in different countries and we also looked at the different ways of transport in the past and in the present.


Speaking, Listening and Drama

Speaking, listening and drama, are skills normally taught and applied both socially and across the curriculum. During our circle time and discussion sessions, the children have been given the chance to speak and listen to each other. Book talks have been exciting opportunities for our class for exploring new language, encouraging critical thinking, predicting, retelling and creating characters and setting for new stories. Ultimately, at IFS, comprehension is developed through talks and exchanging of ideas rather than through textbook comprehension exercises.

When the fat Fairy turned up at Thomas’ house to grant him one birthday wish, he asked to be able to fly!


Without any doubts, reading for the Birch pupils, is not a chore but a true joy! The children have been enjoying many shared, guided and read- aloud sessions. We have been reading various books on types of transport, real and magic. We started with The Boy who could Fly, a fiction book with an element of fun and magic. To ensure learning was kept lively and interactive, we have been using many drama activities in the classroom. For this purpose, we usually keep a dress up box in class with fancy dresses, props and accessory that the children can use every day to get into different characters and act out their favourite scene from the book. Throughout various drama techniques such as paired improvisation, hot seating, meetings and freeze frames the children got the chance to explore issues and dilemmas, to develop vocabulary, sequencing and story language. It was a rewarding pleasure to watch the once shy and quiet children, literally running to the dress up box, eagerly dressing up and acting out one of their chosen characters from the book! They were certainly having fun!

Creative writing, phonics and spelling

We also read the 3 books about Bob (Bob the Man on the Moon; Bob and his best, ever, friend; Bob and the Moon tree Mystery) which have had a huge success!

The children have been following Bob in all his adventures on the Moon and they have had many opportunities to show and practice their writing skills especially in the Class Journal, which has been filled in with many little stories, comments and drawings! Grammar, punctuation and spelling (phase 3 and 4) have been taught and practiced through engaging activities around the main theme. All the children have been encouraged to make contributions to the journal. Following the teacher’s model, the children have been taught how to plan, edit and proofread their work. In addition, pupils, have had the opportunities to be creative writing nonsense sentences/poems, diary entries and shopping lists. Last, but not the least, handwriting has been practicing every day and children can show now their huge improvement!


During this term, the Birch students have been busy learning all about money. They have been taught how to recognise and know the value of different denominations of coins and notes (Euros), how to order the coins from the smallest to the largest and how to add euros and give change. The classroom quickly turned into a market square! We placed stalls selling food and vegetables and a bank where we could go and get some money (using our debit cards!). Everybody was busily engaged in various activities! It is always a pleasure for the teacher to watch the students getting excited and actively involved in so many activities at the same time, but still, keeping very well organised within the groups.

Withdrawing money at the bank

The children have been practicing counting the money in multiples of 2, 5 and 10 which has helped recognise number bonds and practice timetables. They also have been taught to identify and represent numbers using objects and pictorial representations including the number line and how to read, write and interpret mathematical statements involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and equal symbols (also: more than, less than, most, least and fewer).

In the last week of the term the children have been taught how to recognise and use language relating to dates, including days of the week and months of the year.


In science we have been exploring the solar system and finding out facts about our planet Earth and other planets. This topic proved to be very popular and exciting! We have been following the ISS (International Space Station) orbiting around the world, identifying the continents and countries on his pathway!

On the last day of the term we had, as our exit point for IPC, a TV show where Bob was invited! Kids came on zoom video conference dressed up as alien and asked Bob various questions. After the interview Bob dashed into his spaceship and off, he went back to the Moon!

The children also had science sessions about action and reaction, how objects move from A to B. They have been taught about mass and gravity and they enjoyed making their own mode of transport, in class and at home.

Our Let’s get cooking club has never been busier! We decided to move the coking station into the classroom as it was easier and smoother to move from one working station to another one during our carousel morning activities. We made lentil soup, red kidney beans soup, chicken and vegetable stew, apple cakes, chocolate cakes, courgette roll and pasta with tomato sauce. It was all so yummy and healthy, and the children took great proud of their meals!

For our PE lesson, in addition to our warm up/obstacle course sessions and football on a Wednesday, we also played volleyball in school. We completed a couple of basic lessons on how to serve (throw) and how to hit (respond) the ball.

The children in Birch also enjoyed cycling in the forest! All wearing their helmets and following the health and safety rules, they took turn in small groups going on a cycling adventure in the forest! That was fabulastic!

Although a couple of art sessions had to be cancelled, the children in Birch still managed to learn how to make a decoupage piece of work.

They also learned how to make a picture of a Greek vase using wax crayons.

And they learned how to make a silhouette landscape using cards.

Over all a huge well done to all the students in Birch! I am ever so proud of the achievements you all came so far! See you after Easter!

2019/20 Oak Class Term 4

In school – whether at school or at home!

Main Term Theme: Robots

Sub Term Theme: Cosmetics

Bonus Term Theme Thrust Upon Us: COVID-19

Literacy – Robots in Literature

Term Book: The Iron Man – By Ted Hughes (1968)

Learning Outcomes for Oaks in Literacy:

  • Read articles, watched videos, and learned about different types of robots currently in existence.
  • Presented in front of the class about a robot they had independently researched.
  • Were introduced to classical science fiction literature in the form of The Iron Man by Ted Hughes (1968).
  • Wrote a story about a picnic using literary techniques such as imagery or similes.
  • Wrote a news article written in a factual style.
  • Wrote a book review highlighting major themes of the book without revealing pertinent information.
  • Created a song related to their book.
  • Practised identifying and properly conjugating the three different conditional tenses.
  • Practised direct speech and reported speech.
Pupil reading The Iron Man.

The conclusion of a book review:

The enormous space dragon as big as the Earth laughed because he was sure to be superior to the Iron Man, so he accepted the challenge against the Iron Man. In the end, the dragon lost the bet.

The book leaves us with a little moral: Winning is not about size!

Breaking news story:

Is the Iron Man the answer to destroying the dragon?

A week ago a giant dragon landed on Australia, threatening to destroy the Earth unless it’s demands are filled, and as human weapons are useless against the dragon, our last hope is the iron-eating Iron Man.

An Oak singing about The Iron Man at home.

ICT – Computer Programming and Robots

In ICT, pupils built programmable robots and learned basic programming (movement, speech) through the program Scratch.

History (in English and French)

Robotics – Communication Technology – Cosmetics – COVID-19

Pupils learned about the following topics in history class in either French or English:

  • Different methods of communication (technological development and body language interpretation).
  • Advances in artificial intelligence as seen in the triumph of an IBM computer Deep Blue against the Chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997.
  • The Coronavirus, how it works, its place in history and its vast impact on human society.
  • The history of cosmetics and its meaning in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and today.

Why did ancient peoples wear makeup?

Pupil response: To look beautiful, show off their wealth, and to protect their skin from the sun, insects and infections.

Pour découvrir les activités en français, téléchargez le PDF ici !

FISP – Committed to education, no matter the place!

Oak class, Term4, 2019/20

Started in our classroom in the Forest and then jumped on the “Seesaw,”- virtual learning platform. An experience that made us more independent and mature. We all feel stronger and most importantly more loving and caring.





It will make us stronger…

We started this term at school,

And then were asked to go home.

But we were with our friends and teachers,

On the Seesaw and zoom calls, nobody left us alone.

We were keen to come out to see our friends,

Buy they said, “Stay home a bit longer”.

“No problem”, Oaks and Elms replied,

This experience will make us stronger.

Teachers made some videos,

They also made some raps.

And from time to time we gave them,

Those well deserved small claps.

They sent us some work,

and they said, “Do your best”.

“We are here if you need us,

We will worry about the rest.”

They tried to keep us together,

They tried to entertain us so much.

And we know that our education and friends are important,

that’s why we will stay in touch.

So stay safe, Oaks and Elms, help your parents,

Enjoy your holiday.

Read a book, wash your hands,

and most importantly, be good and obey!!

I missed my Oaks and Elms

I beg your pardon, Mr President?!!!

Did you say that we cannot come to school???

But I’ve missed my Oaks and Elms,

They are really, really cool.

Let’s take Oaks…

Victor is a natural polyglot,

Quite fluent in Mandarin, English and French.

He is always playing football,

He is never on the bench.

Lois is very calm,

But she is very smart,

Enjoyed our broccoli linguine,

And she very good at art.

Wadeema loves recycling,

And doodling in her book.

You never know, she might be,

That outstanding cook.

Grace is very determined,

And can make models in no time.

She does not live far away,

And often comes to school on time.

Georgina is caring and very polite,

She loves to read books and we know she is right.

Great effort in volleyball,

And when she serves it, she serves it nicely up right.

Kiana is very determined,

And very organised.

Forget about coronavirus,

Kiana’s education can not be compromised.

Jean lives just next door,

But even he can not come to school.

He will do his homework,

He will do it on seesaw.

Joaquina is very helpful,

And she often greets you with a smile,

But because of coronavirus,

She has to stay at home… just for a little while.

Roger speaks English and French,

But his favourite language is Maths,

Those numbers simply talk to him,

And he can deal with them very fast. 



Chocolate bar,
Or cut that apple in half.
You need to know fractions,
To share your love.

Equivalent fractions,
Just means that they are the same.
They look a bit different,
But there is no one to blame.

Mixed number has,
 a whole number and fraction in it.
Add them together,
And you will have it.

One over two,
Just divide it in half.
You are superstars indeed,
Could I have your autograph??

One over four,
And that’s your quarter,
Great work on fractions, Oaks,
I am your biggest supporter.


This term we dived into the world of fractions, spotted them around us and tried to bake, make and share fraction and our love. We recognised and wrote decimal equivalents to ¼, ½, ¾ fractions and then compared some fractions of numbers by sketching simple shapes and numbers to help us. We solved simple measure and money problems involving fractions and decimals. The children practiced converting different improper fractions into the mixed numbers and vise versa.

Mixed number and improper fraction,

Are two best mates.

You can switch them around,

1: 1 rate(s).

Banana bread,

and Pavlova cake.

You need to know fractions,

If you are ready to make.

Adding and subtracting fractions,

With the same denominator.

Surely it is not difficult,

So don’t use (your) calculator.

When adding fractions,

With those denominators that aren’t the same.

Find your lowest common denominator,

Divide, multiply then add and you are on the fraction Wall of Fame.


The children worked on using all four operations while solving problems involving measures(time, length, weight and money). We practiced calculating the perimeter and area of simple 2D and compound shapes. We remember that in order to find the perimeter of any given 2D /compound shape we need to add all provided sides. In order to find the area of a compound shape, we remember that we have to split our compound shape into simple 2D shapes and calculate individual areas before finding the total.

Reading, sketching, understanding,

That’s how you solve that word problem.

Deciding on and doing those operations,

Gets you to the point “I solved them”.

Fraction here,

 and fraction there.

I guess you have noticed,

 they are everywhere.

Fractions of numbers,

And fractions of shapes.

Solving word problems,

While cutting those cutting those cakes.

Percentage of shapes,

 and percentage of number.

Remember about your denominator,

That number that’s under.

Sketch that box,

Sketch that cake.

Solve it well,

 then have a break.


Young Oak perfumers went back in time to discover and identify the important mileposts in history and evolution of perfume . We tried to use and apply terminology and methods used to extract natural raw materials. As we were already engaged in our perfumery projects whilst still in class, “covid-19” confinement wasn’t going to prevent us from achieving our goal. In our “virtual classroom” we managed to extract avocado oil, aloe vera gel, lemon essential oil and made two different soap projects.

We experimented and we tested. We tried and tried again. We stayed safe, stayed positive and washed our hands with soap and with our own hydro-alcoholic gel.

We tried to test our olfactive receptors and guessed some common odours while playing with “le loto des odeurs”.

“You should really wash your hands” experiment. (ongoing experiment)

State of matter

Heat that water,

Change it to gas.

“Evaporation” we call it,

It’s as easy as that.

Cool that gas down,

And water is back.

“Condensation” we call it.

It’s as easy as that.

Freeze that water,

And you will have ice.

“Freezing ” we call it.

It’s as easy as that.

But did you know,

That you can?

Evaporate ice to gas,

“Sublimation” we call it, it’s as easy as that.

Three states of matter,

And that’s what they are.

Not always you can reverse it,

And there you are.

Experimenting in class(state of matter /separating /filtering/mixtures/solutions)

Spanish/Art Workshop with Mariana

Sports: Table tennis, volleyball and badminton

Enjoy your holiday!!!

Best wishes,

Oaks and Vlad

Walnut Class Term 4 2019/20

This term we have continued our learning journey through the virtual platform ‘Seesaw’. This has provided us with some amazing and very out of the box learning experiences which are providing us with opportunities to become more independent thinkers and learners.

Let’s look back on the fantastic learning that has taken place!

Our topic this term was ‘Children of the Second World War’. We looked closely at the evacuation of children from the big cities to the countryside.


First, we identified the features of a narrative.

Identifying 3 of the features of a narrative in the model text.
After identifying the features of the model text the challenge was then set to edit and re-write sections using the skills we had learnt in class.
Before we started to write we generated different descriptive words to support us with our writing. We created word banks and examples that we could later use.


In Literacy, we wrote Narratives that had told the story of evacuated children. We explored the Narrative and broke it down into sections this helped us have a clear idea of what would happen to the characters and where they would go.

Making sure that we included exciting and descriptive language. To do this we read through our work and edited.

We looked at sentence structures and the development of the language that we use when we write a descriptive piece.
We used sections of the model text and adapted it. Doing this we work on our editing and drafting.
Cartoon strip Narrative
We drew out the story this helped us to think about what we wanted to write.

Virtual learning has helped us to present work in different ways. We have been able to present work using pictures, videos and voice notes.

Diary entries

Diary entries. We looked at planning and writing recounts in the role children that had been evacuated.

Before writing our diary entries we planned using the features of a recount and made sure that all our ideas are clear and easy to follow when writing.
Using a planning template can help to keep our writing on track.
Recount -Diary entry
We discussed the different features of a diary entry and looked at what we needed to include. We were also given the choice of writing a diary entry as ourself or as a child in the Second World War.

Support for Spelling

To support our writing we worked on the basic writing skills. For example tenses and what type of sentence is the correct one to use.
Using columns we were able to identify what type of sentence we were looking at.
Then we were set the challenge of converting the tense of words taken from a sentence.


In Mathematics, we explored many topics, the virtual learning experience has helped us to become more creative with our maths work. This term we covered statistics and Geometry -properties of shape.

Activities completed using Seesaw.
Exploring collecting information and presenting data collected in Statistics
Using different mediums to complete the work set.
Painting and constructing their own 3D shapes.
Completed tasks set through Seesaw.


Throughout this term, we have looked at events of the Second World War. Using Seesaw and other media sources to conduct our own research about the events. We looked at the ‘Blitz’, ‘Evacuation’, ‘D-day Landings’ and ‘VE-day’.

D-day landings
D-day landing poster
Evacuation Poster
Note-taking – information collected about the children of the Second World War.


In science, we have looked at actions and reactions. Then we conducted our own investigations. Next, we designed and built our own modes of transport.

Mode pf transport designed to carry an egg safely from A to B.
Labelled design of a parachute that will safely carry an egg from A to B

After exploring different structures of bridges we designed and built our own.

We then put our investigative skills to the test by designing and constructing bridges. We formed our own hypothesis and then tested them.

Design Technology

Design and make an air-raid shelter.

The children were asked to show the inside and outside of their air-raid shelter.
The finished project!

What a fantastic learning experience this has been for all of us. Using the virtual platform has helped us to carry on and grow as learners.

Thank you to the parents for their continuous support.

Mr H

2019/20 Oak Class Term 3

Term Theme: Superhumans – They Made A Difference

Term 3 Literacy

Biography: Research -> Summary-> Presentation

In Literacy class, Oaks were busy learning about all kinds of famous historical figures throughout the ages.

First they were exposed to a great number of different biographies.

Then they were challenged to write their own summaries on these biographical figures.

Finally they needed to make a poster on the computer to present their biographical figures.

In the meantime, COMMA, there was a large focus on the grammar of cohesion. Rather than listing out facts, pupils were learning about fronted adverbials and connecting words to better connect a story and create a narrative about somebody’s life.

Consequently, not every sentence started with ‘he’ or ‘she’, and the writing flowed better.

The template with which every student worked with.

There was a definitive structure which was followed when analysing biographies. Whether it be Martin Luther King Jr. or Leonardo da Vinci, they all had an origin story (early life), a job of some sort (career), something great that they achieved (accomplishments) and a reason they’re remembered still today (legacy).

Big thanks to for providing most of the biographies. Here is a list of people we analysed thanks to them.

Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Alexander the Great, Archimedes, Aristotle, Charlie Chaplain, Cleopatra, Frères Lumière, Galileo, Gandhi, Isaac Newton, Karl Marx, Leonardo da Vinci, Louis Pasteur, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Napoleon, Orville/Wilbur Wright, Pierre/Marie Curry, Plato, Socrates, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney

Literacy Objectives Covered:

  • To learn time connectives in order to better order a biography in chronological order.
  • To understand that biographies give an account of a person’s life and achievements.
  • To structure biographies so as to include early life, career, achievements, legacy.
  • To comprehend and organise the facts from research to create a larger narrative about the person.
  • To learn about cohesion and how paragraphs connect to construct a narrative.
  • To present one’s work in a way that is easily comprehensible and interactive with the audience.

Guided Reading

Pupils practised reading books which challenged their level with an adult monitoring their reading and comprehension questions or activities to follow.

The books are the following:

  • A Lion in the Bedroom by
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


In both history and the French bilingual section, much of the term was spent on the following topics:

  • Scientists and Inventors
  • Democracy vs. Dictatorship
  • Civil Rights
  • Famous Monuments

History Objectives Covered:

  • To speak of history in both English and French.
  • To see how ancient people solved big questions such as figuring out the circumference of the Earth or the categorisation of animals.
  • To recreate science experiments and practise the scientific method.
  • To learn about the importance of humanity and what can happen when humanity is not properly valued.
  • To see that dictatorship can come from within a democracy and that one must recognize the signs of dictatorship in order to avoid it.
  • To learn about democracy and its different forms and origins.
  • To learn about dictatorship and its focus on unity and creating differences with ‘others’.
  • To appreciate the gravity and negative significance of segregation.

Pour découvrir les activités en français, téléchargez le PDF ici !

ICT / Robotics Workshop

We made biographies, presentation slides, museum tickets, and played with robots.

Oaks receiving instructions on how to guide and lead robots which sense colour.
A robot which follows and changes into the colour it senses.
Pupils also programmed their robot to go where they directed it.

ICT Objectives Covered:

  • To research and find information on a historical figure.
  • To create presentation slides which are aesthetic, purposeful and in order.
  • To find, copy, paste and resize images to make an aesthetic presentation.
  • To successfully navigate and find information you are looking for.
  • To practise synthesizing and typing skills.
  • To make aesthetically pleasing museum tickets which teach symmetry and computer design skills.

End of Term Museum

Oaks ended the term by showing younger pupils and parents their work from the term.

Oak Class Term 3, 2019/20


During this unit, we solved one-step and two-step problems involving numbers, money or measures where we had to choose and use appropriate calculations. The children practiced using written methods for multiplication and division HTU × U, TU × TU, TU × U and HTU ÷ U, HTU÷TU.

Directions and co-ordinates. Rotation and Translation. The children practiced plotting the co-ordinates of different 2D shapes and then located their corresponding co-ordinates after rotation/translation. We know that 2D shapes stay the same after the rotation/translation and found out that using the tracing paper evidently help us to pinpoint our new location. Rotation around the origin and around specific co-ordinates, A, B, C.


This term Oak Class children became robotic scientists and engineers as they got engaged in creating electric circuits and designing their own toys. We investigated with various materials to find out which ones are conductors and insulators. We learnt about different electrical components (e.g. bulb, motor, buzzer, switch, battery etc…) their role and how they need to be connected to make an electrical circuit. We used imagination and gained knowledge to create our very own light house, cars, times table practice board , scientific quiz and 4 keys vs 4 locks game.

Mona Lisa smile,

And tic-tock clock.

Hydraulic hand,

And pop-pop boat.

Freestanding lighthouse,

And key-padlock game,

Times table challenge,

And scientific board of fame.

Digestive system,

and my heart rate.

Have been so busy,

And I did it all with my best mate.

Pythagorean tree,

And gigantic vertical game.

I’ve learnt so much this term,

I am not the same.

Did draw in perspective,

And vanishing point.

If you see any mistakes,

Please don’t be shy, just simply pinpoint.

Made my own soup,

Will make my own bar of soap.

I will make you proud,

There is always hope.


The main purpose of this « FOOD REVOLUTION » (We can cook our own lunch for the whole week) was to practice team building skills, plan and prepare a healthy meal and most importantly gain or practice basic culinary skills. During this project, the children also worked on demonstrating and improving their table manners. It was pleasing to observe the young chefs, waiters and guests participating and communicating extremely well with each other. Master chefs stayed determined while preparing their three course meals even though it was tough to accomplish the challenge in a short period of time.   We learnt that it was important to stay focused and organised  until the last moment and realised that last push could make the difference for the team. Thank you and well done to all Oak and Elm class students for  their dedication, determination and hard work during our «Food revolution» project linked to IPC topic « It made a difference. They made a difference »


We’ve peeled some veg,

Then cooked our lunch.

Then baked a cake,

What a charming bunch.

We’ve tried something new,

And it was quite delicious.

It was all organic,

So don’t be suspicious.

We’ve learnt a new skill,

And now can cook for our parents.

We will do it with love,

No need to buy presents.

Not scared of broccoli, parsnips

Or carrots,

Will eat them with pleasure,

And not for the merits.

Did stuff some tomatoes,

And made some pancakes.

Now feeling quite strong,

And can fly over great lakes.

We’ve made some delicious soup,

And spicy fajitas.

I am ready to run,

Where are my Adidas?

Broccoli linguine

and banana bread,

I am so full,

And not ready for bed.

Was happy to give up my break,

And tidy the kitchen.

It is good to eat healthy,

And what’s your position?

Art/ Design and Technology

Linked to our learning in IPC, we measured, estimated and solved real life problems, where we worked out different materials that we could use for our own Vertical pulley-ball game. By using gained knowledge of the 2D and 3D shapes, the children experimented, designed and built their very own fully functional game. It was evident for the children to spot their mistakes and realise where they went wrong. The children planned and designed their own lay out of the game, then brainstormed and shared their ideas and only then picked the best ones to create an exciting object for others to play and enjoy. This game was built out of recycled materials and some that we could find around the school. The main learning point of this project was not just to build the ‘Vertical pulley-ball game’ but also to put our planning and mathematical skills in practice.  We persevered when something did not work out straight away and we were determined to do it again. The children also learnt how to use different carpentry tools and gained knowledge and skills will be appreciated when you will embark on a DIY project in your house.

Art Workshop (The discovery of perspective) with Mariana Gonzalez (Local artist, Saint-Germain-en-Laye)

The children learnt :

  • how to observe and spot small mistakes
  • how to use one point perspective and vanishing point
  • how to draw different lines
  • about the mentality and art evolution from the Middle ages to the Renaissance


Birch, Maple and Chestnuts classes visiting our museum

Enjoy your holiday!!!

Best wishes,

Oak and Vlad

Birch Class 2019/2020 Term 3

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

Albert Einstein

Once upon a time there was a school in a forest…

Term 3 was the fairy tales term that has seen kids and teachers busily engaged in exciting activities and adventures!

On the very first day back to school, after the Christmas holiday, we had an unexpected visit from far, far away: the Old Befana from Italy! The good witch flying on her broom stick who, all of a sudden, knocked at our door. She had decided to stop at our school to deliver sweets and presents to the kids in Birch class. What a big surprise! The kids were overwhelmed with excitment. We received 2 footballs, a basketball, 2 dodgeballs, books and sweets! Most of all we learnt about the legend connected to the 6th January (the Epiphany day) in Italy.


Speaking, Listening and drama

The IPC theme for this term was: Stories people tell. Children have been learning about fairy tales, myths, legends and fables from different countries and cultures around the world. They have also been learning about the lessons and the morals behind the stories. Through discussions and little debates, pupils have been practising making inferences, and describing the characters of the story (using interesting adjectives). We read the Greek myth ‘Theseus and the Minotaur’ and had a little debate on Theseus’ dilemma: “How fair was it for Theseus to leave Ariadne on Naxos island instead of taking her with him to Athens?”. We had interesting answers and all the children were eager to take part in the discussion.

We had many read-aloud sessions which the pupils loved! We read The Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Gruffalo Child, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and we acted out some of the stories in the forest! It was interesting to see how the children got engaged in speaking independently, listening and responding to various settings, and developing their creativity. Through drama, children have the chance to explore characters, situations, issues and dilemmas and develop interpretation, sequencing/ structure, vocabulary and story language. It’s so rewarding and amazing to see children who speak English as a second language, make such a huge improvement in listening and responding!


In addition to the read-aloud sessions, in class and in the library, the children have been doing independent silent reading every morning, shared reading and guided reading at least once a week. This is also an opportunity for the teacher to check the progress of the pupils. The beginner readers are taught to use their phonics knowledge to recognise phonemes and blend them together to read words. As this process becomes automatic, children are then able to focus on comprehension. During guided reading, Birch class is splits in groups of 2 maximum 3 pupils and the reading is followed by a comprehension activity (in writing for some groups) which is also developed through lots of talks and the exchange of ideas.

All the children in Birch seem to make very good progress in reading, they are enthusiastic about any book and they also love reading the homework book (from the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme) that is sent home one a week (on a Friday).

Creative writing, phonics and spelling

This term we had many guided writing sessions, where children had the opportunity to develop their independent writing skills. Specifically, the children have been taught how to apply grammar, punctuation and spelling skills in ways which are interesting. Grammar points taught are verbs, nouns and adjectives.

For creative writing the children have been encouraged to change the end of some fairy tales, making up their own happy ending. They came up with a new Gingerbread Man story with a twist at the very end: the lucky escape of the main character who got grabbed by an eagle (a bald one!) and then dropped sound and safe on the other side of the river!

Last but not the least, presentation and handwriting have been important, for this reason children have been practising hand writing at least twice a week.

Spelling practice has been one of the main focus in literacy. The children are working at their own pace, as a consequence we have different spelling level in the class, although most of the children are working on the next 200 first sight words (read and write).

Most of the phonemes (ie: -igh, -ea, -ee, a-e) and digraph in phonics part 3, have been taught, included short and long vowels.

Who is up for a spelling competition?!


In this term the big focus for numeracy was mental maths, the ability to work out calculations quickly in you head. The children have been taught strategies to add, subtract and multiply small and bigger number without using the number line. Breaking numbers in chunks, grouping by 5 and 10 and practising timetables, has been a daily activity for all the class. This allows the children to answer mathematical facts faster which is useful in school and in everyday life.

Working out mental maths requires strong memory skills. Maths facts and other number concepts have to be retrieved from long-term memory. For this purpose, we also practised number bonds and the 2/5/10 timetables.

Children develop mental maths at their own pace. When they struggle with mental maths it could be that they need more time to practice every day.

More complex number patterns and sequences have been practised, in addition to words problems involving addition, subtraction and multiplication (also division for some lower KS2 pupils.)

Another important numeracy topic for this term has been measuring height, length and weight (mass). The children enjoyed measuring each other using the measuring tape, and making estimate (guessing) about teachers’ height and trees in the forest! They also learned how to compare eights and record the findings in their books.

Measuring weight has been a lot of fun! Starting with making a balance scales to compare the weight of different objects in the classroom…

…to using scale to measure the ingredients for the recipes at the Let’s get cooking club!

You see kids cooking. I see…reading, measuring, estimating, maths, following directions, collaborating, listening, problem solving and tasting food! Someone has been caught on camera trying out the macaroni cheese! 🙂 The last but not the least, even the fussier eater ate all the soups which we cooked together and said they were yummy! Healthy eating at the Forest International School!

We also made a giant gingerbread man biscuit for our play, it was so yummy!

PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)

PSHE is an important part of your child’s national curriculum learning. It is a school subject to help pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, in order to be prepared for life and work.

The programme of study aims to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk management, critical thinking and teamwork.

During Term 3, we have been learning about resilience, how important is to be flexible and adaptable when going through challenges and changes in life. Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” from difficult experiences, it helps overcome anxiety and build self-esteem. We listened to the story of the Swallow bird, Savannah, who faces so many challenges during her very long and difficult flight from Africa back to Scotland for the nesting season. 

Savannah, the Swallow works hard and never gives up!

During the follow up discussion, children could relate to Savannah, when they’ve experienced difficult times in their lives. It was interesting to listen to the children talking about their first day at their new schools, how nervous and anxious they were. We shared our own worries and explored many ways to deal with anxiety and feeling alone. It was good to listen to the song Sky Fall by Adele, children could pick out the lyrics: “Let the sky fall , when it crumbles, we will stand tall, face it all together !” It is important that children feel they can ask for help when going through difficult times in life, it makes them feel safer.

Children enjoyed watching Savannah have a drink whilst flying!

We all came to the conclusion that resilience is about trying hard and not giving up at the first hurdle. We agreed that we all learn by making mistakes, and made an acrostic poem (linked to literacy): Fail = First Attempt In Learning.

Practising the French song


Float or sink?

In science this term we have been learning about investigations. The children had many practical science sessions, in class and in the forest. Throughout experiments, we learned the steps for investigations: questions (does the pencil float?), hypothesis (I think the pencil will sink/float) and findings (the pencil actually floats because it is made of wood). The children also learned which objects sink and which float and why. We had to use the previous knowledge learned in the last term, the proprieties of materials. ( Revise and retrieve previous knowledge to master new skills).

How to separate pepper powder from salt?

Watching the particles of pepper “flying” from the plate to the surface of the balloon, was just amazing! We are planning to do many more experiments next term!


During this term we have been studying the ancient Greeks and their culture. We explored the atlas to see where ancient Greece was compared to modern Greece (geography, climate, etc). We learned who the ancient Greeks were and how they changed the world (mathematics, science, medicine, pottery, the Olympics, philosophy and politics). We also compared the life of women in ancient Greece to modern society.

In art, the children have been learning how to make a pot with clay. They have been inspired by the ancient Greeks, and they practised painting Greek patterns on their clay pots! They had to plan their design first on paper, colour in pencils, then discuss how they were going to use the clay (mix with water, flat it down with a rolling pin, then mould the final shape with wet hands). The children have been actively involved in each part of the pot making process, using their skills, intelligence and creativity! Indeed, they had fun, I believe as Albert Einstein said: “Creativity is intelligence having fun!”


The children in Birch had an assembly with the Maples about body percussion. It was interesting and the children had a lot of fun experimenting with body sounds and noises. We made the sound of rainstorms, wind and thunderstorms using only our bodies.

We also learned about musical instruments, their names and their sounds. The children have been listening to the music from Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the wolf’. They enjoyed to listen to the story, make inferences, identify the different animals’ instruments and act out the different characters in the story. Finally, with the melodica we practised the basic notes and beats.

Have a great holidays!

Cristina and the Birch class

2019/20 Oak Class Term 2

Creativity and Renewal

Oaks were busy both preparing a Christmas show…

and learning about the renewal of ideas in the Renaissance!

What did we do in Literacy?

  • We learned about science and the scientific revolution in history, so working with that theme, we read through multiple scientific texts and answered comprehension questions related to each theme. The scientific method changed the way people viewed the world, and has led to much information and discovery in the form of science. Scientific articles included topics such as the possible origin of allergies, the ecosystem of ants and the classification of Pluto as a dwarf planet.
  • Wrote summaries about the books they were reading and about Pluto the dwarf planet.
  • Practised songs for the school play, including learning how to sing a song in Dutch.
  • Practised lines for the school play, with a focus on tone, fluency and articulation.
  • Read the class book Boy in the Back of the Classroom.
  • Researched different characteristics of animals, categorised information in their research notes, and wrote a report based off of their researched animal.
  • Practised identifying parts of speech, especially nouns and verbs.

What did we do in ICT?

Oaks were busy making brochures for the show!

Pupils made brochures and posters to inform and advertise parents about the Christmas show. Brochures included practising adding and adjusting photos, changing fonts, adding sections into a word program, changing the orientation of the paper on the computer, and most of all, engaging with the show in a more detailed manner.

The following was in pupil-made brochures:

  • A title page using a picture of the child-made poster
  • A list of characters with actors’ names
  • A list of songs with credit to the dancers
  • A summary of the plot
  • Images of the production of the show
  • Logistical details of when and where it is

History of the Renaissance – Renewed thinking

The main purpose and takeaway from our Renaissance unit was how a few people thought differently than before and created something much bigger than themselves. We learned the following about science in the Renaissance:

  • The scientific revolution and the scientific method. People, instead of relying solely on religious or mythical explanations to explain the world around them, distilled causes and effects through one change (one dependent variable) at a time.
  • How scientists and other thinkers challenged the old order, especially the Catholic Church. Pupils learned that it was not easy at all to challenge authority.
  • Geocentrism vs heliocentrism. We learned that Nicholas Copernicus was the first to successfully publish the theory of heliocentrism without being totally discredited (he was not the first to create the theory, just the most well-known one). Copernicus’ ideas were later reinforced by Galileo Galilei.
  • That Galileo recorded precise exact coordinates and trajectories of stars/planets though daily observation and invented a telescope to do so, proving the Earth revolved around the sun, not the other way around.
  • That the sun is the centre of our solar system. Furthermore, the Earth is not the centre of the universe.
  • That Leonardo da Vinci made some very interesting machine designs far before they were invented, such as the helicopter, tank and machine gun.

Oaks learned that ideas spread faster than ever due to the printing press invented by Johannes Gutenberg.

We spent time learning and appreciating the invention of the printing press, which made the spread of ideas exponentially faster and the creation of books exponentially easier. To demonstrate this point, pupils learned that there were an estimated 30,000 books around the invention of the printing press. 50 years after the invention of the printing press, there were between 8 to 20 million books, a couple orders of magnitude greater than before. Scientific ideas spread like wildfire, the Catholic church lost influence, and people started to read. Children appreciated their books a little bit more.

The arts, developments, and daily life in the Renaissance.

There was a lot of development during the Renaissance in art, architecture, military and science, but pupils learned that much stayed the same. They compared life for peasants and nobles between the Medieval era and Renaissance era and came to the conclusion that life was mostly the same for peasants and somewhat different for nobles. They did learn some major differences, which follows as such:

  • Art developed, with greater focus on human anatomical accuracy and perspective.
  • Architecture developed, such as castles becoming more decorative and less protective.
  • New weapons came into existence, making armour more and more obsolete as time passed and muskets developed.
  • Science began making advances in our understanding of the world, paving the way for change.

Renaissance History en Français

In the French part of history classes, pupils learned about French architecture and art, such as about the Château de Chambord. They compared Medieval and Renaissance times in French, consolidating what they had learned in the English section of history. One activity, as pictured below, was to categorise images which were either Medieval or Renaissance.

As part of the printing press unit, Oaks and Elms made their own paper from scratch.

They then created feather pens…

to write a message on their paper.

For more information about what Oaks did in French and the French section of history, download the link below.

Pour découvrir les activités en français, téléchargez le PDF ici !

Happy holidays, see you all in 2020! – Mr. Tucker

Oak Class -Term 2, 2019/20


Calculating, measuring and understanding shapes:

We worked on measuring and drawing simple 2D shapes and then converting them into compound shapes. We also practiced identifying the main properties of 3D shapes and looked for various 2D shapes present in them. Gained knowledge of measuring was later put into practice while we created our props and costumes for “Lights, Camel, Action 2!”.

Securing number facts, understanding shapes

During this unit, we solved one-step and two-step problems involving numbers, money or measures where we had to choose and use appropriate calculations.The children practiced using written methods for multiplication and division HTU × U, TU × TU, TU × U and HTU ÷ U. Gained knowledge was later used while working out fractions of numbers (e.g. 1¤10 of 50kg).

During this unit, we worked on finding fractions of shapes/numbers and identifying various equivalent fractions.

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


« May the FORCE be with you = May the FOREST be with you »

Effects of forces on motions and Newton’s laws of motion

The Oak Class children were not FORCED but rather gently guided into the world of forces around them. The children were introduced to the scientific vocabulary (e.g. mass, weight, speed, gravity, acceleration and forces) and were encouraged to apply it while experimenting with different forces. 

Experimenting with Friction (SCIENTIFIC PROCESS-remember to have one variable and retest it three times).

How far will it go? Good question!!! Depends! Let’s find out!!!

1. Make your own ramp

2. Use a toy car

3. Change the height of your ramp

4. Change the weight of your car

5. Change the surface of your ramp

The children formulated various hypotheses, practiced planning their investigations and made predictions. After carrying out their investigations they made accurate measurements to gather data to test their hypotheses. They identified patterns in the results and drew conclusions based on the findings.


Clay project – Capturing the beauty of Nature

Nespresso Tree‘-recycling project

Forest Exploration – mushroom hunting

The children had the 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 Oak class students for their outstanding dedication and hard work during our « Lights, Camel, Action 2 ! The Sequin !» performance.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Enjoy your holiday !!!

Best wishes,