Oak Class, Blog 3, 2022-2023


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

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

Mount Merapi, Indonesia


Beginners group with Joanna

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

Intermediate group with Christine

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

Advanced group with Marie

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

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

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

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

en mémorisation: 2 poésies ont été apprises et récitées

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

2 évaluations ont eu lieu pendant cette 3ème période.

French IMYC with Marie

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

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

– le groupe des caravelles

– le groupe des globes

– le groupe des boussoles

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


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

Pacific Ring of Fire


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


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


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


Calculating, measuring and understanding shapes:

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

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

Design and Technology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Drama Workshops

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

Creative Writing Workshops

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

Global perspectives

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

Oak Class, Blog 2, Term 2 2022/2023


Oak focused on the presentation of information. The class looked at various non-fiction texts, observing how they are structured, from contents pages through to the index, with information ordered logically and by topic.

Each member of the class then chose an animal to research, separating information under subheadings such as diet, habitat and behaviour.

Each then made an oral presentation to the class. 


Beginners Group with Joanna

The theme for this term linked to our daily workbook (Zig Zag 2) is La Maison (the house). We have studied new vocabulary linked to objects (lampe/lit/bibliothèque/armoire/bureau) that are found in the house as well as the different rooms in a house (grenier/cave/salon/salle à manger etc.). The students all individually presented a drawing of their own bedrooms and the objects/furniture they have, they all did a really good job. We also continue to work on our French verbs (this term spelling tests on les verbes en ER au présent). Throughout the term we learned songs in French for the Christmas show and the students sang them all beautifully on the 10th of December at the Théâtre de Bailly.

Intermediate Group with Christine

During this period from November to December, Vega and Sophie continued to take part in the calendar activity with the rest of the group, by asking and answering questions linked to it, and getting to learn how to tell the time.

After that they went on working on their own program. For one of the girls, this included mastering the basics of reading and writing in French, and for the other, the program was about improving her knowledge in writing, vocabulary and French grammar through exercises but also written materials (books, articles, recipes, letters…). Both girls also get to sometimes leave their work aside to listen the older children doing a presentation on a specific topic or simply hear them talk about his/her weekend which is one of our Mondays’ routines. They actively took part in these oral activities by asking questions or speaking about their own weekend.

Advanced Group with Marie

Pendant cette deuxième période, les élèves ont continué à approfondir les notions de français:

en grammaire: les différentes fonctions de l’adjectif qualificatif (épithète/attribut du sujet), le complément du nom, phrases simples/complexes.

en conjugaison: l’imparfait, accord sujet/verbe

en orthographe: le féminin des noms, utilisation du dictionnaire, accord sujet/verbe, les synonymes/antonymes.

en mémorisation: 1 poésie a été apprise et récitée.

en littérature: choix d’un livre de lecture puis rendu de la fiche en lien avec le livre, 3 lectures silencieuses

2 évaluations ont eu lieu durant le 2ème terme.

French IMYC with Marie

Cette période a été consacrée aux grands explorateurs ainsi qu’aux répétitions pour le spectacle de Noël.

“Douce nuit”


During this term the children discovered the vocabulary of the family by playing the ”Memo” as well as a little discovery of Hispanic Christmas.


We learnt about different triangles, their names and main properties. We also identified acute, obtuse, reflex and right angles and then tried to measure them with the protractor. We then worked on finding the perimeter and area of simple 2D and compound shapes.  We practiced measuring in centimeters and meters and then used our findings to calculate the area and perimeter. We now know that in order to find the perimeter of the shape, we need to walk around the shape or add all the sides. So if you need a new fence in your garden, you know whom to ask! And for the area we need to multiply the measurements of two sides or count how many CM2 or M2 are there altogether.


Oak class went through an amazing exploring journey this term, they could explore how solids can be mixed and how it is often possible to then separate them again. Students learned when solids do not dissolve or react with the water they can be separated by filtering, which is similar to sieving. 

Oak students could make a successful investigation and decide ways to classify reversible/irreversible changes and discuss everyday instances of dissolving e.g. sugar in drinks, washing powder in the washing machine etc.

They compared and grouped materials together according to whether they are solid, liquid or gases. And observed some changes when affected by temperature. Oak class were introduced to evaporation and condensation changes in the water cycle associated to the rate of evaporation with temperature.


Over the course of this term the Oak class built a miniature Iron Age hunters’ house, using clay and natural materials collected from the forest. The class also started to look at the Ancient Egyptian Civilisation, focusing on the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt and building a timeline of the most relevant events of Ancient Egyptian history. 


This term Oak learned about the different biomes around the world – ecosystems characterised by the plants and animals that live there as well as the climate, vegetation and rainfall. They discovered how animals and plants in these diverse regions have adapted to the climactic conditions in which they live in order to survive.

Design and Technology

Birch, Walnut , Oak , Elm and Cedar collaborative Christmas decorations and costume design project.


Our Oak worked on the designing, drawing, and painting of the backdrops for the Christmas show. They let themselves being inspired by the stories brought on stage and they designed big and colorful backdrops texturising paint in different ways.

Global Perspectives

During this term, our Oaks looked at national and global perspectives, exploring what is means to live in other countries. Students picked a country of their choice and carried out independent research on that the subject, looking at important monuments, traditions, and typical food. Students worked on a poster, showing the findings of their research. 

Drama Workshops

Over the course of term, our Oaks worked on drama techniques like freeze frames and miming. They practiced these techniques, working on the role that body language and face expressions have in both scenarios.  Students worked also on the use of the voice, learning how to project it when talking to an audience. Oak students used freeze frames and mimes to bring on stage two stories for the schools’ Christmas show: “The Tomten” and “Babushka”.

Creative Writing Workshops

During this term our Oaks worked on fairy tales. Students explored the features of the genre, looking at different mentor texts, like Cinderella, The Beauty and the Beast and The Three Billy-Goat Gruff. After having gotten inspired by mentor texts, students worked on the structure of their fairy tale’s plot, creating a story board that included the opening, the build-up, the problem, the resolution, and the ending. 

Christmas Celebration

Oak Class BLOG 1 Term 1 2022/2023


This term Oak learnt about genre, identifying a wide selection of books into the different categories. They focused on adventure and fantasy and noted how many features are shared but how there are distinct differences. They looked at the different stages of a fantasy story, from the introduction or exposition to the incident that sets off the action through to the story’s resolution. The class then wrote their own opening to an adventure or fantasy story.

We used the model texts to examine the use of adjectives and adverbs, noting how they bring colour and life to the story and help the reader to visualise a scene.

We also focused on pronouns, when and how to use them. The class are also learning to conjugate the many irregular English verbs and are practising using them in the present, past and future tenses.


Beginners Group with Joanna

The students have had a busy first term revising (for those who began learning French last year) & learning new vocabulary. We are beginning to grasp the basics of what may seem the rather daunting French grammar/conjugation rules in a fun, yet educational way with lots of visual prompts, class conversations as well as with the ‘Zig Zag+2 Méthode de Français’ workbooks/audio guide and through learning poems/songs with our classmates.

Intermediate Group with Christine

As soon as Sophie and Vega joined the Elm and Cedar intermediate level in October, they took part in the presentation of the daily calendar which helps them to learn and ask each questions about the days of the week, the date, the weather, the season, some activities, their mood… Everyone really appreciates this interactive activity which takes place at the beginning of each lesson. They also learned how to tell the time.

Sophie and Vega have their own reading and exercises adapted to their level. Meanwhile they also share some activities with the rest of the class on some specific topics for instance the presentation of class rules. Having both good French oral skills, they were part of the ‘girls team’ in one game where the older ones had to ‘build’ questions on the basis of the different themes seen in their first module of their learning book (the general topic was about school in France).

After the holidays, we will go back to learning, reading and writing with Ratus and other reading material. We will focus on the topic of ‘The Home’ together with Cedar and Elm classes and we will conclude this period with a Christmas song. 

Advanced Group 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 “Automne”

en littérature: 2 romans ont été lus et étudiés (selon le niveau de difficultés):

  • Emilie et le crayon magique d’Henriette Bichonnier
  • Histoire à la courte paille de Gianni Rodari

5 évaluations ont eu lieu depuis le début de la rentrée:

  • 1 évaluation diagnostique qui permet d’établir le niveau de l’élève et de voir ainsi quelles compétences il a acquises, et celles qui sont à consolider.
  • 4 évaluations portant sur la phrase, le présent de tous les verbes, la nature/classe grammaticale des mots, l’adjectif épithète ou attribut et l’imparfait.

French IMYC with Marie

Cette première période avait pour thème “Identité et Communauté”.

Dans un premier temps, les élèves devaient dessiner un de leur camarade (tiré au sort) et les autres devaient deviner qui c’était. Puis, nous avons étudié le monde pour ensuite converger vers l’analyse de l’Europe (d’un point de vue géographique mais aussi politique).

Au travers de leurs recherches, les enfants ont découvert et ont appris pourquoi et comment s’était formée l’Union Européenne.

Nous avons abordé plusieurs points :

– les différents continents et pays du monde et la recherche des caractéristiques de plusieurs pays (capitale, monnaie, langue parlée…)

– la formation de l’Europe (son histoire)

– les 27 pays qui la constituent

– les symboles de l’Europe

– les traités qui l’ont fait évoluer

– la politique de l’Europe

Par groupe de 3, ils ont travaillé sur un aspect de l’Europe. Ils ont élaboré des “posters” qui ont été assemblés à la fin. Puis ils ont répondu à un quizz “Jouons avec l’Europe”.

Ensuit, nous avons analysé certains monuments européens les plus connus avec un petit film projeté en cours:

Enfin, nous avons aussi appris 3 chansons: Dire bonjour c’est joli, L’oiseau et l’enfant, We can make a difference.



In Number/Place Value:

Oaks worked on counting, reading, writing and ordering four- and five-digit numbers. The children ordered 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 discovered or perfected grid multiplication and chunking division methods. Oaks then solved one-step and two-step multiplication, addition and subtraction problems involving numbers, money and measures.

In Number/Fractions:

During this unit, Oaks practised finding the equivalent fractions while analyzing different bar and pizza diagrams and then moved onto multiplying/dividing the numerator and denominator by the same number. The children can confidently add and subtract fractions with the same denominator and know how to simplify fractions or write the improper fraction as a mixed number.


First Term was a great pride to Oak class, who enjoyed many scientific concepts in biology. All students made minuses observations to identify the different parts of plants and their functions. Students were introduced to photosynthesis and highlighted the importance of Light, water, and Carbone dioxide in plant growth and food making process.

We had the opportunity to learn about Greenhouse effects and to grow some seeds inside a beautiful Greenhouse that they have the chance to make at school with Mr Kralka.

At the end of the term Oak discovered more about leaving things classification and Human body systems like the circulatory system and respiratory system.


During the term, the Oak class looked at the idea of chronology, making sense of how historians talk about time. They also looked at Stone, Bronze, and Iron Age, investigating how people lived and which materials they used to make objects for their everyday life. They learnt how stone, bronze and iron were used to make not only hunting weapons but also house and decoration objects.


Oak learnt about the Solar System this term and made a poster featuring some key information about each of the eight planets that revolve around the sun. They know the order of proximity to the sun of each planet, about the ‘Gas Giants’ and the time it takes the different planets to orbit the sun. They also learnt about earth, in the so-called ‘Goldilocks Zone’, with conditions just right to support life. They learnt that Earth spins on its axis and takes 24 hours to orbit the sun, which led to us looking at time zones and the International dateline. The class then moved on to Weather and Climate, learning the differences between these two terms and looking at the different climate zones around the world and their distinguishing features.

Design and Technology

Linked to our learning in Science, based on plants, we measured, estimated and solved real-life problems. We worked with different materials and carpentry tools to create our own greenhouses.  The children were asked to think about the different materials that they needed to use for their specific designs. They all came up with very different ideas and were encouraged to share and discuss with each other before agreeing on the final version of their product. 

The children continued to develop their carpentry skills by applying them to creating and building ‘Eco Logs Press’ while helping out Elm Class. 

Woodworking projects are extremely important for developing children’s creative and critical thinking skills. Through these projects, not only do children get to handle and smell the wood but also learn how to use the different carpentry tools. They develop their mathematical thinking, broaden their scientific knowledge and, most importantly, acquire a ‘can do’ mindset. 


The Oak class worked on their self-portrait, looking at the work of the Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo. As Arcimboldo, the students moved from a naturalistic portrait to a collage portrait inspired by the autumn nature. The students went to the forest, collecting the materials they liked the most for their collages.


Oak students were introduced to a programming application called Scratch. By the end of this term they are able to create animations incorporating movement and images, use x y coordinates to move sprites on the stage, alternate between different sprite costumes, incorporating time and motion and import sounds to use in their Scratch projects. We should be proud of their fast learning and hard-work.  

Global Perspectives

 Oak students looked at how towns could be environmentally friendly. They considered the towns in which they lived and put together some ideas to lead their local communities supporting more actively the environment. They have created a poster displaying all their ideas and recommendation in a very creative way!

Drama Workshops

The Oak class started to get familiar with the use of the body, focusing on gestures and facial expressions as ways to express emotions and to represent actions. They have practised abstract and naturalistic freeze frames, working in groups, and collaborating with each other.

Creative Writing Workshops

Oak students started the term by creating their own personalised writer’s notebooks. They also worked on a writing stimulus based on real experience – the school’s canoeing trip – in the form of a fictional story or a journal. They used their memories – and their imagination – to create very funny and interesting pieces of writing drawn on their canoeing experience. The Oak class ended the term by looking at the role that writers have in inspiring other writers.

Forest Exploration and Mushroom hunting

Canoeing Trip

Oak, Elm and Cedar classes canoeing on the tranquil waters of “the little arm of the Seine”.

Located between Vétheuil and Haute-Isle in the Vexin Regional Nature Park, this spectacular and secluded section of the Seine was a source of inspiration for many impressionist painters.

Trip to France Miniature

Halloween Celebration

Oak, Elm and Cedar students creatively collaborated together while designing their exciting Halloween activities for the rest of the school.