Oak Class , Term 2, 2021-2022

Literacy

Oak continued reading the children’s classic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. This term they met the great and good lion Aslan and read with shock how he sacrificed his life to save Edmund (the least likeable of all the children), not resisting as the White Witch and her evil followers bound him and dragged him to his death. Aslan’s powers are greater and more mysterious than the Witch realises and Aslan returns to lead the children and all the good creatures of Narnia to triumph at the last battle. The class chose a scene or character from the book to write about; Mr. Tumnus the faun was a popular choice and some chose to imagine his meeting with Lucy from his point of view. Others favoured the battle scene and the rescuing of the creatures whom the Witch had turned to stone.

To end the term in festive form we read Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We enjoyed reading it out loud and admired the story and the imaginative use of rhyme. This inspired the class to make their own Grinch advent calendar, each day filled with a hand-drawn picture. 

History

Oak studied the Renaissance, from its beginnings in the powerful and wealthy Italian city states to its gradual spread across Western Europe, greatly assisted by the development of the printing press. They learnt of the principal differences in outlook between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance thinkers as they rediscovered classical philosophy, literature and art. 

The class chose prominent individuals from this period to research: great names such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei as well as some lesser known but remarkable people such as Marguerite de Navarre and the painter Sofonisba Anguissola.  

Geography

This term Oak followed the COP26 meeting, held this year in Glasgow, and learnt about the global climate summits that the UN has been organising for almost thirty years that are known as COP or ‘Conference of the Parties’. The class went on to learn about the Greenhouse Effect, what it is and why it is linked to climate change. They identified the main greenhouse gases and how they are produced and saw that the Industrial Revolution was a pivotal moment in mankind’s impact on the natural environment. 

Science

This term Oak Class has been learning all about the solar system. The class has looked carefully at the different planets found in our system, named them and identified their features. The class has also learnt about the different phases of the moon and pupils are now able to confidently identify the name of each phase of the cycle.

As part of our Science topic the children were set the challenge of finding out more information about an area of interest. They were asked to then create a presentation explaining what they had discovered. With no boundaries the children’s imaginations ran wild with some amazing results!

This process encouraged children to develop their public speaking skills as well as helping to build their confidence in expressing ideas, thoughts and feelings in a different academic setting.

Mathematics

In Statistics:

This term, Oak constructed and interpreted various tables, charts, and diagrams, including frequency tables, bar charts, pie charts, pictograms and line graphs. We practiced solving comparison, sum and difference problems using information presented in bar charts, pictograms, tables and line graphs. We also sorted different sets of data while using the Venn and Carroll diagrams. In addition, Oak worked on solving different statistics problems where information had to be analysed in order to calculate the required average: range, mode, mean and median.

In Shapes and Measures:

During this unit, we named and accurately measured acute, obtuse and reflex angles and then identified them in different triangles and quadrilaterals. The children learnt how to calculate the sum of the interior angles in simple 2D shapes and now know how to find the unknown angle. Using our knowledge of properties of 2D shapes we calculated the Area and Perimeter of simple 2D shapes. We also learnt how to calculate the area and perimeter of compound shapes where one side is unknown.

Linking our topics in Design &Technology and Mathematics, the children designed and constructed their own Mathematical Christmas tree. We accurately measured the angles in trapezoids and then calculated the distance between the planks of wood. The star was created as a compound shape where 5 parallelograms fitted into one shape. Oak realised the importance of measuring angles and clearly saw that measurements have to be accurate in order for them to fit together correctly. As part of our collaborative project with Elm Class, we worked on designing our ‘Book Swap Box’ that will be constructed next term.

… and then Birch and Walnuts came to help

Spanish

Students learned the Spanish version of the song “A King is Born” for the Christmas show. They played “Loteria” (similar to Bingo) to learn and practise numbers from 1 to 30. They looked at the physical characteristics of people, the months of the year and the basic vocabulary of Christmas and Christmas traditions.

ICT

Students learnt and practised how to make a poster on Google Drawings by drawing, modifying and combining objects and inserting images, text and other useful tools. They also learnt how to: copy/paste, group objects, layer and add a background.

Each student designed a poster for the Christmas show. Cecilia’s poster (Oak Class) was chosen to be displayed around the school and was featured on the invitation sent to parents.

French

Christmas Performance ”Hey Ewe”

Collaborative background posters

Designing and making our Christmas costumes...

The mighty Oaks and Ecstatic 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 Oak and Elm students for their outstanding dedication and hard work during our «Hey Ewe!» performance!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Enjoy your holiday!

 Best wishes,

Mrs. Harrington, Christine, Joanna, Cecilia, Mr. H and Mr. Kralka

Oak Class, Term 1, 2021-2022

English

Oak are reading the children’s classic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. This magical fantasy can be read at many levels but the children recognise the themes of good and evil, loyalty and betrayal. The book can also be viewed as a Christian Allegory and is an opportunity to examine references to Adam and Eve, the resurrection of Christ and other Christian allusions.

Oak studied biography writing and learned how to select key information and to present it in chronological order. They each wrote a biography of an individual they found inspiring and then produced a biography of Japanese vegetable grower Asafumi Yamashita after a visit to his farm in the village of Chapet.

We read nonsense poems, starting off with the Ning Nang Nong by Spike Milligan and the Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll.

French

French IPC

History

Oak studied the fascinating Romans, with a particular focus on the army, the largest and toughest military force in the ancient world. They learned about the hierarchy, rigorous training and tough selection process and the discipline and strategies that made this army such a formidable opponent.

The Roman era tied in nicely with our middle school trip to the Louvre. We focused on the Borghese Collection of ancient artefacts. We saw the famous Fighting Warrior, statues of various Caesars, Gods and Goddesses, ornate sarcophagi and thrones. The class learnt that in the 17th century, when ancient statues were much in demand by private collectors, it was the custom to restore them, replacing missing heads and limbs.

Linked to our learning in History, we created our own Roman helmets and shields. We then realised that the Roman sandals fit us perfectly and decided to write our Roman play and act it out in the forest.

Trip to the Louvre

Mathematics

We worked on counting, reading, writing and ordering whole numbers up to 100 000. The children ordered and compared two-digit and three-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. We also counted and converted numbers into Roman numerals and symbols that Ancient Egyptians used in their time. The children practised and refined their written methods for addition, subtraction and multiplication (HTU × U, TU × TU, and HTU x TU). We also solved one-step and two-step multiplication, addition and subtraction problems involving numbers, money and measures.

Geography

Both classes examined the theme of Sustainability in Geography this term, Elm with a particular emphasis on sustainable cities and the problems faced by densely populated and growing urban centres, and Oak on the issues relating to the depletion of natural resources as well as the need to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. In their research they came across the Wonderbag no-fuel slow cooker that has such a positive impact in the developing world. They discovered that this simple product allows families to reduce cooking fuel consumption by up to 70%, reducing carbon emissions and deforestation. Importantly, it reduces the need to cook for long periods of time over open fires, a practice that exposes populations, but mostly women and children, to harmful particles released from burning biomass such as wood and dung. It also frees the same women and girls from hours of unpaid labour.

Inspired by the simple concept, Oak and Elm decided to make their own thermal cooker using a cardboard box, polystyrene and some bubble wrap – and an old blanket to throw on top.  They were ready for the Wonder cooker challenge, the Wonderbox versus the Wonderbag (lent by a member of staff). Two pots of rice, two cookers, two excellent results.

Spanish

Oak class had “All About Me” as a theme this term or “Todo sobre mi”.  They are able to sing the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” in Spanish and they know the words for more parts of the body. Through answering questions, they practised how to present and talk about themselves. They also learned how to use the verb ‘to have’ in the positive and negative forms. We played BINGO to learn the alphabet and vowels. The children talked about the foods they like and don’t like. They applied their knowledge of the physical characteristics of people and related vocabulary. The end-of-term project was on the Day of the Dead Celebration in Latin American countries and the class made flowers and drew skulls and candles for the altar.

Science

Crazy about plants!
Oak class this term have been learning about the local environment with a special focus on plants. We have explored many different varieties of plants and have been able to classify those found in the local environment.

We learnt about the different parts of the plant and the importance of what each part plays in the development and life cycle of a plant. To demonstrate our knowledge and understanding of these features and their role we drew diagrams detailing those parts and then labelled their functions. 

Germinator Investigators

We conducted an investigation to measure the best conditions for a seed to begin germination. As a class we discussed the different components that a plant needs to grow and survive.

Sunlight, Water and Soil.

But how are we to measure this?

We discussed what we could do to create a fair test and then as a class formed an hypothesis. Once we had this we begin testing our seeds.

ICT

Oak developed their understanding of different components working together to make a whole. They learnt that computers can be connected together to form systems and that these are built using a number of parts. They know how to explain that a computer system features inputs, processes, and outputs.

The class learned about the internet, what it actually is and how it functions. They developed awareness of IP addresses and the rules (protocols) that computers have for communicating with one another.

They discussed how people can work together when they are not in the same location and applied their knowledge to work on a collaborative online project. They made simple slides featuring text and images.

Forest Challenges and Tabata

Since the beginning of the year, Oak and Elm classes have been engaged in our weekly Forest Challenge and very intense daily 7-minute work-out ”TABATA”. The main purpose of these challenges is to practise team building skills as well as to develop resilience as it is often tough to accomplish the challenge at the first attempt. We learnt that it is important to stay focused until the last moment and clearly recognise that the last push could make a difference to the team. In our next challenges we will be concentrating on fair play and communication which will improve our personal, partner and team-working skills.

Hunting for mushrooms

OAK and ELM visit YAMASHITA’S FARM in the Yvelines.

Asafumi Yamashita – The Haute Couture Vegetable Grower.

Linked to our learning in Science based on ‘Plants and Flowers’,  we visited an inspirational gardener who shared some tricks of the trade with us. The children eagerly shared their knowledge of the subject, asked questions and attentively listened to his remarkable story. Self-taught, Asafumi Yamashita grows vegetables with a secret he calls ‘the Yamashita method’. He produces about 50 Japanese varieties a year on 3,000 square metres (a third of this surface being converted into greenhouses). The size of his vegetable garden is only modest compared to the average farm, but for Asafumi Yamashita what matters is not quantity but quality. Some say that he whispers to his vegetables and listens to the voice of his land.  The way Mr. Yamashita  puts it is that he writes a poem while growing his vegetables and top chefs in Paris write music that goes with his poem. Lucky customers who enjoy those delicious dishes sing the song that was composed for them with love. We were lucky to taste his delicious vegetables and even brought some home to share with our families.

Singing workshops with Kareen Clair

Halloween at Forest International School

Oak Class, Term 5, 2020-2021

We are now officially an Eco-Ecole. We were awarded this status in recognition of our pursuit of ecological practices and for involving our pupils in projects that promote the values of sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Our projects include the E-Baobab plastic sculpture in the playground, built to raise awareness of plastic waste. The children are conscious of the need to conserve energy and have made posters encouraging the saving of water and electricity; they recycle paper whenever possible and use old paper, plastic and other materials in Art and Design Technology projects.

Built our E-Baobab tree,

And have earned “Eco-School” label.

Will hang our flag up high,

It will fly in the wind but we will fix the pole well, will make it quite stable.

Behaved well enough,

And did not get in detention.

Visited Science Museum,

and saw many inventions.

And then went kayaking,

Did put our oars in the water,

There was no need to worry, mums,

We did not lose your daughters.

…boys came back safe as well.

Prepared for the Summer Fête,

And left important messages on the wall.

Summer is here,

Where is my good friend? I am ready to play ball.

In Literacy

This term Oak has been reading the classic novel Stig of the Dump by Clive King, about a young boy who meets a caveman when playing near a dump near the home of his grandparents. Written in 1963, the book is relevant today in its celebration of recycling, with Stig making ingenious use of the items he finds in the dump to furnish his den in the chalk pit, and inspiring Barney to do the same.

We looked at the use of dialogue, and then wrote our own, expanding on scenes in the book.

Oak also worked on general writing development, expanding vocabulary and their range of tenses, and using a wider variety of punctuation, including speech marks when writing dialogue.

In History and Geography

The theme of Young Entrepreneurs led Oak to look back at the development of trade through the ages, with a focus on the ancient Silk Road. The class looked at the great cities that lined the route and the products that were traded, from East to West (silk, tea, dyes) and from West to East (horses, glassware, the grapevine and grapes). They chose cities to research and prepared brief presentations of the key information.

In Geography, Oak researched the extreme landscape of the route. They used atlases to locate the great mountain ranges and deserts that traders had to cross and plotted them onto maps.  

“Young entrepreneurs”

We have learnt:

  • how to create a product or service which serves people’s needs and wants
  • how to persuade investors to finance calculated start-up costs
  • how to cooperate as a team in planning, production and sales
  • how to create advertisements
  • how to sell our products

The Business Process:

  • We got our idea
  • We turned it into a plan
  • We finalised our details and got a plan ready for the bank
  • We showed the plan to the bank hoping that they would like it and invest in our business
  • We made our products using the loan money the bank gave us

Calculated my expenses,

and then my profit.

Did a lot of work to sell my product,

Now I am a young entrepreneur, young businessman boffin.

What are my expenses?

And what is my interest rate?

Worked closely with my friend,

He is my business mate.

Polaroid pictures and hand-made flowers,

Mint tea and beautiful jewellery,

And waterless carwash,

Oh yes, we have the business superpower.

Sock puppets entertaining games,

And school logo caps,

Those tunes played on the piano,

I am ready to run laps.

Business card and beautifully made leaflet,

And then Excel spreadsheet.

I am proud of my business,

It is not a secret.

I‘ve learnt new things,

Know what worked well,

And what I would do differently,

Next time I will open my business, I will do it skilfully.

ICT

This term we focused on the different software and programmes that can be used to run our own businesses, in other words, on being authentic entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately, we are living through difficult times caused by a virus, in which people who are running enterprises have had to come up with new ideas and strategies to avoid BANKRUPTCY.

At FISP we want to provide real learning experiences that can be applied and used in the real world. For this reason, our pupils gained experience in what it is to be an entrepreneur in this complex context.

First, they familiarised themselves with Excel by making arrays, tables, charts, lists and graphs. Then they applied their knowledge of Excel software to solve some daily business problems (income, expenses, profits).

Finally, Oak class undertook a creative project called “My trip to the Olympics”, which involved selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, analysing data and presenting their findings.

After thinking about the business that they wanted to run, they designed a logo using their computer skills. Below are some examples: 

Furthermore, they designed a business card, where they added their name, title, email, website, address and phone number.

Oak class took care of every single detail of their business card, because this is the first exposure and overall image given of their business!

Finally, they used their understanding of Excel to identify, gather, input and edit data into a spreadsheet.

Spanish

Oak class has been building on their language skills by doing presentations, playing games, listening and writing, including exercises to improve their Spanish grammar.

We introduced a new section to our learning called Spanish survival, where students had to deal with daily situations in Spanish: for example, going to a restaurant, asking the price of items and ordering food in a restaurant.

Furthermore, we used a range of different teaching approaches. As seen below,

Oaks , are doing a short Spanish lesson focused on the verb To be (Verbo Ser o Estar).

Our pupils loved playing, as well as using new technologies; for this reason Kahoot is the perfect tool for learning by playing with computers.

We used kahoot to assess students’ vocabulary in Spanish, such as food, sports, parts of the house, classroom objects, family members, and so on.

Promenade in Vétheuil

Went kayaking in Vétheuil,

And it was all quite pretty,

We were so happy to escape,

from the noise of the big city.

We saw waterlilies,

And free flying birds.

if only you were there to hear that music,

And nature’s beautiful words.

Claude Monet was here once,

And painted 200 paintings.

It is rather beautiful here,

And Oaks and Elms do concur , it is quite amazing(s).

Sports Day

… summer

I then received my certificate,

Because I’ve achieved so much this year.

I have definitely matured,

I have learnt from my mistakes, it is quite clear.

I am ready for summer,

See you soon friends.

We’ll enjoy our holiday,

And will meet again in September, just as our summer ends.

To those of you now leaving us,

It’s sad for me to say goodbye.

For those who’ll jump from Oak to Elm,

I’m sure you’ll all climb very high.

So thanks Roger and Veronika,

Thanks Lois, Storm and Josefine.

Thank you for a lovely year,

And, oh my, what a year it’s been.

Oak Class, Term 3, 2020-2021

Literacy

Oak studied Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this term.

We explored the characters and themes in the book and noted the contrast between poor Charlie Bucket who has so little and the other children who are spoiled and over-indulged. Roald Dahl’s messages about the evils of too much television, sweet eating and gum chewing couldn’t be clearer.

We discussed the views expressed in the Oompa-Loompas’ songs and decided that they were rather extreme; we had all watched television, eaten chocolate and chewed gum. We decided that Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt and Violet Beauregarde just went too far.

The book can be viewed as a comment on excessive behaviour, and as in all good allegories the characters learn hard lessons.

We also read a selection of Aesop’s fables, in particular the Ant and the Grasshopper and the price paid by the happy-go-lucky grasshopper when winter arrived.

History

In History this term Elm looked at the role of competition in business and the economy. They observed global giant Apple and noted that its products are not made in the US but in China. Why? To benefit from cheaper labour and to keep profits high and costs low. They learned about the working conditions of the people in the Apple factories, their low pay and long hours. All this to set the scene for the Industrial Revolution in 18th century England.

Elm learned that prior to the mid-1700s England was a rural society with most people living in small villages and towns. They learned about the innovations in the weaving industry that ended the skilled handcraft industries of agricultural England and led to migration out of the countryside into rapidly growing cities. They then studied the terrible living and working conditions of the poor and the exploitation that led Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to write the Communist Manifesto.

Geography

 In Geography we looked at why certain regions developed rather than others, looking at natural resources such as coal and iron ore. We looked at the rivers and the network of canals built to transport materials to the burgeoning industrial cities.

Mathematics

We worked on finding percentages of amounts and fractions of numbers. The children practiced finding the equivalent fractions by multiplying/dividing the numerator and denominator by the same number and then converted mixed numbers and improper fractions. The children can confidently carry out four basic operations with fractions and know how to find the LCD or when they need to simplify their fraction. We solved one-step and two-step problems involving numbers, money and measures including fractions and percentages. The children worked on choosing and using appropriate calculation strategies while solving word problems.

Equivalent fractions,

Just means that they are the same.

They look a bit different,

But there is no one to blame.

Mixed number,

And improper fractions.

Are two best mates,

You can switch them around at 1:1 rates.

Adding and subtracting fractions,

With the same denominator.

Surely it is not difficult,

So don’t use calculator.

When adding fractions,

With the denominators that are not the same.

Find your Lowest Common Denominator,

Divide, multiply then add,

And you are on the fraction wall of fame.

Chocolate bar,

Or cut that apple in half.

You need to know fractions,

To share your love.

Percentages of the number,

And fractions of the shape.

They are very useful,

 when you are cutting that cake.

Science

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

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 and forces) and were encouraged to apply it while experimenting with different forces.  We then created a Newton meter to measure the force exerted on an object.

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

How far will it go? Good question!!! Depends, so 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

6. Measure the time, distance and calculate the speed

The children formulated 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.

Friction, gravity

And air resistance

My car is travelling,

With accelerated persistence.

My final velocity,

And velocity that is “0”

That car is going quite fast,

Like that superhero.

Speed in time,

Your distance is covered.

There are many places,

That should be discovered.

How many Newtons were required,

How far did it go?

100g will be attached,

1 Newton is marked, 1 Newton will show.

To measure the Force,

The Newton meter was designed.

Just attach any object,

And required force you will find.

Free falling object,

That fall to the ground.

Just look up the experiments,

That Galileo has found.

ART/Design and Technology

“Oaks and their Mathematical Clock”

Different parts of the clock were carefully planned and built out of the recycled materials. The most important learning point of this project wasn’t just to build the clock but also to put our planning and mathematical skills in practice. We persevered and did not give up when something was hard, tried and tried again and worked as a TEAM. Oaks also learnt how to use different carpentry tools.

ICT

In ICT lessons we have been learning about hardware and software components that make up computer systems. We learnt how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system and discovered a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including how to protect our online identity and privacy.

Goals that have been achieved during this term:

– Understanding the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems.

– Knowing how to use technology safely, which includes gaining knowledge about viruses and how to avoid them.

In order to have an overview of all this information, we created mind maps about viruses, by using an online software called Canva.

– Being able to recognise inappropriate content and knowing how to report it.

– Understanding how to protect your online identity and privacy by role playing, placing them in real context and situations.

Based on our cross-curricular approach, which develops our skills and knowledge through interconnected topics, we created a Kahoot for reading comprehension about the book that we have been reading in our literacy class, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. In addition, we made a comic book about one of the goals of the subject: “Understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting our online identity and privacy”.

Spanish

During this term, Elm students have been introduced to the following contents:

Vocabular:

-classroom objects: identify and name them (lápiz, pizarra, profesora, bolígrafo, libreta, libro, pegamento,…).

– the weather (¿ Qué tiempo hace hoy?, including the season of the year).

– the days of the week (¿Qué día de la semana es hoy?, ¿ Qué día de la semana fue ayer/será mañana?).

-family (madre/padre, tío/tía, primo/prima, sobrino/sobrina, hermano/hermana) and farm animals.

Grammar:

-singular and plural (ad -es or -s, depending on the ending of the word).

-male and female (including articles: el/la/los/las).

– how to make short sentences (subject, predicate, verb and verb complements).

-to translate into Spanish, English sentences (and the other way round, including vocabulary seen).

-adjectives, which we have applied to the vocabulary already seen (el perro grande, el conejo saltarín, el caballo marron).

Speaking:

-answering and asking questions related to objects (¿Cómo es esta mesa?, ¿Cómo es esta casa?).

-to introduce themselves (Hola me llamo…. Tengo …. Años y estoy…).

-to introduce someone.

Writing:

-Descriptions

-Dictation to review vocabulary and grammar

French

Oak Class, Term 2, 2020-2021

Curiosity, Discovery, Development and Competition

Literacy

We have finished reading the novel Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. We were all saddened by the ending but inspired by the courage and friendship demonstrated by the quiet and unassuming spider Charlotte. Perhaps it has made us reflect upon our attitudes to spiders.

The class is very interested in the Vendée Globe round-the-world yacht race and is always ready to give updates on the progress of the individual skippers and their yachts. The Vendée Globe skippers have recorded sightings of Albatross, extraordinary birds associated with the Southern Ocean. This has brought us to Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the tale of the sailor who was cursed for killing an Albatross.


“God save thee, Ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus! –
Why look’st thou so?”– With my cross-bow,
I shot the Albatross.

This term we have focussed on homophones, those confusing words that sound the same but have completely different spelling and meaning.

There have been weekly spelling tests and dictation, as well as reading comprehension to work on the skills and disciplines of carefully reading and selecting information from texts. We use the Cambridge English grammar book for work on verb tenses, parts of speech and reading comprehension.

This term Oak have written creepy Halloween themed stories as well as biographies of individuals whose innate curiosity and determination led them to achieve remarkable things – Neil Armstrong, Thomas Edison and Sir Robert Knox-Johnston (the first person to sail single handed around the world).

Vendée Globe

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!

In this the 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the globe, we are reading about the expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan. We are learning about Magellan’s life, how he struggled to achieve his dream of sailing around the world, about the hardships he faced and the courage he showed in adversity. We are also making comparisons between sailing in the 1500s and in the modern era; the life of a seaman in the age of sail was hard and dangerous. We have enjoyed learning about seafaring superstitions, some of which remain today.

Zoom Call with Joshua Bradfield/Sailor

Mathematics

Geometry: Properties of shapes

Comparing, ordering and measuring angles.The children consolidated their knowledge of the acute, obtuse and reflex angles and then identified them in different triangles and 2D shapes. We practiced using a protractor to measure different angles to the nearest degree. We also worked on drawing simple 2D shapes and then visualised how to convert them into compound shapes.

We worked on solving various problems and calculated angles on a straight line and around a point. We also worked on calculating missing angles in triangles, trapezoids and parallelograms. We used simple formulae for calculating the Area and Perimeter of a triangle, square, rectangle and then moved onto the compound shapes.

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. We clearly understand that when we rotate the same shape around the origin and around the specific co-ordinate B, our new shapes will appear in two different locations.

Science/DT (Float/Sink/Buoyancy force)

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. Oak 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.”

“E-Baobab” project

“Your rubbish – our treasure”-“E-Baobab” project

Involving our local community

Armistice Day , November 11

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.

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.

Oaks 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

ICT

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

The mighty Oaks 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