Category Archives: edushare

Week 6: Thursday

On Thursday morning two boys from the college came in to talk to the CM2 class about the transition from primary school to college. This was very interesting as in Scotland, children move from primary school to high school. We don’t have middle school in between. This was also a great chance for me to assess my level of French listening. They children were obviously talking in French; however, I was able to understand a lot of what was being said. That just shows how being submerged in the French culture and language helps develop language skills. I have found during my six weeks of placement that I have definitely improved my French speaking and listening as these were the two areas I was not confident in before coming to France. I still don’t think I could have a conversation with a French person, however, I believe I have a greater understanding of the language and could form sentences more easily and understand when others speak.

The children in CM2 were very excited to be having a talk about the college as it is only a few short months until they will be leaving primary school. This is a big change in their lives and CM2 has been preparing them from the transition. When children are in CM2 they begin going to different teachers for a couple of lessons a week. This is to ensure when they go to college they have had experiences of moving classes and teachers. This is something I believe if very beneficial. I believe this is something that would be good to do in Scotland. Children in primary seven should be given the opportunity to experience what high school is going to be like so the move isn’t such a shock to the system.

I was very excited to have the opportunity to talk about Scotland once again. After break the CM1 class swapped with CM2 for an English lesson. The teacher thought this was the perfect chance to do my Scotland presentation once again as it had been such a success with the CM2 classes. I really enjoyed talking about Scotland again and the CM1 class were just as enthusiastic as the CM2 classes. I have found that each time I have done this lesson they are most interested about school uniform as this is something they do not have in France. Showing the children pictures of me in my school uniform was very interesting for them. One child asked me during the lesson if haggis was halal. I was very conscious that nothing relating to religion should be spoken about within French classrooms, therefore the teacher told the child that he could not ask that question. I am glad the teacher was there to step in as I wouldn’t have known whether it was ok to answer that question or not.

In the afternoon, I went through to the other CM2 class to do lesson two of going shopping. I did this lesson on Tuesday with my CM2 class, therefore, I was confident going into this lesson. The children in the other CM2 class are always a lot more restless and find it difficult to sit and listen. Therefore, during this lesson I had to stop and start whilst constantly asking the children to look and listen when they were getting restless. Despite this the lesson was still a success as the children were able to recall all of the vocabulary learned in the previous lesson. I was very impressed that they were so enthusiastic about containing with this topic. I played more games with the flashcards as a warm up for the lesson before giving them pictures of shops to cut and stick in their English jotters.

This was one of the hottest days since coming to France, therefore, the heat caused a bit of an issue for both staff and pupils. There is no air conditioning in the school and the classroom faces the sun meaning that the heat was penetrating through the windows. It was twenty-six degrees, this is hotter than any day I have had in Scotland. I found it difficult teaching my afternoon lesson as the classroom was so hot. This is not something I am used to living in Scotland. It made me wonder how the teachers and students cope in this weather. I found it very tiring and had to seek shade when possible.

Week 6: Tuesday

I always enjoy Tuesdays because it is a da that I do a lot of teaching. I have my three CP classes as well as my CM2 class. I was looking forward to this day as it I was teaching the follow up lesson of the going shopping topic. My lesson last week went very well, therefore, I had high hopes for this lesson.

When the children found out that I was going to be teaching the next going shopping lesson today they were very excited. Having only had the chance to teach them once before, I didn’t know how enthusiastic they were going be. It was very rewarding knowing that the obviously enjoyed my lesson and were keen to involve themselves in this lesson. I began the lesson by going over the vocabulary that they had learned last week. I used the flashcards to remind them of the various shop types before moving on to playing games. I split the class into two teams and play a game where the aim was to see who could recognise the shop first. They had to hit the flashcard with a fly swatter. The children were very keen to involve themselves in this aspect of the lesson as they were competing against their fellow classmates. This also proved a successful way of revising the vocabulary form the previous week. I was very impressed that most of the class were able to recall the various shop types with ease meaning that we could move on to the next stage of the lesson.

I had sheets with pictures of the different types of shop, they had to cut out each individual shop to play games with before sticking them in their English jotters. After they had completed this I said the name of a particular type of shop and they had to hold up the corresponding picture. They were very good at this and were able to recognise from the pictures the different shops. Since the children showed a sound understanding I was able to move on from this vocabulary and ask them what may be found in the different shops. I had flashcards of food, toys, clothes etc. and they had to stick them on the board under the correct shop that you would buy them in. This went very well and has allowed me to have a good idea of the next steps to take. In the next lesson I plan to introduce writing, the children will have to be able to write and spell the shop names they have learned thus far.

I also taught my CP classes the topic of fruit, this lesson was a continuation from last Friday. Last week I realised that this was a topic that the children found difficult and therefore were only able to recall five different fruits. This week my aim was to teach five more fruits so that the children were able to recall ten. The first CP class really impressed me this week as they had struggled a lot on Friday. To my surprise they were able to recall a lot more than last week meaning that we were able to move on to the game aspect of the lesson. I did the same game that I did with my CM2’s. They children used the fly swatters, competing against each other to hit the correct photo. The children really enjoyed this, and it was a successful way of introducing new vocabulary.

The second CP class were able to recall of the fruits they had learned in the previous lesson on Friday. They really had a good grasp on the concept of fruits therefore I thought it would be easy introducing five more fruits. However, I found that teaching the next five was more difficult as there were more difficult words to pronounce. Things like apple and orange were simple for the children, however, raspberries and watermelon were not so simple. I had to spend more time going over the vocabulary with this class so that they understood how to pronounce each word. By the end of the lesson they had a better understanding of the words and were able to play the flashcard games with the new fruits learned. They were all very enthusiastic throughout the lesson and involved themselves at every opportunity.

My final CP class of the day usually find English very easy and they pick up new vocabulary with ease. Going into this class I was hopeful that they would find this lesson as simple as they have found every other lesson. However, I found that they found it a bit more difficult than normal. Introducing five new fruits was complicated as they had to learn the new vocabulary whilst also remembering the five fruits they had learned the week before. They were able to recall all ten by the end of the lesson however, it took longer than usual to learn. Playing the games with the flashcards really helped the children remember the new vocab. Moving forward I believe in my final lesson I will just revise the ten fruits with all CP classes so that they are confident on ten rather than unsure of fifteen.


Learning from life has been a truly incredible experience. I have literally learned from life during my time in France. I was aware of the separation of religion and state before coming to the country. However, my eyes were opened after being submerged in the culture of my school. The French Education system is considered to be ‘Laique’ which translates to Secularism. Children are not allowed to wear religious dress or symbols, and neither are the teachers (Le Pen, 2015). This is a big difference between France and Scotland, as Religious and Moral Education is a subject that is compulsory in Primary school, up until fourth year of high school.

By definition a secular state is neutral, supporting neither religion or irreligion. However, over the past decade we have seen in certain countries that claim to support secularism extreme measures have been taken in order to minimize their association with specific religions.

France a so called ‘secular’ state, has over recent years, introduced many laws and bans concerning faith with particular emphasis on the outlawing or restriction of religious clothing and symbols. On the one hand this shows that France is not actually Secular through the actions taken. However, they deem this acceptable as they want to hold on to tradition. In this day and age, we are teaching people the importance of living in a multi-cultural society and creating a kind equality within the subject of religion. How open are we to the idea of religion and the beliefs people entail? Many religions are targeted in France regarding the way in which they promote their beliefs through dress however it is the Muslim community that most greatly affected. This is an important issue as this kind of discrimination could be the answer as to why over recent years there have been so many problems in the world over the debate of religion.

France has one of the biggest Muslim communities in Europe. Due to their beliefs many Islamic women chose to wear their traditional headdress most commonly known as the Burqa. However, in 2010 a law was passed in France claiming that women were prohibited from wearing these headscarves in public places as they covered their face to almost its entirety. This motion was known at the time as ‘Ban the Burqa’ (Willsher, 2014). This in effect was a way of taking away a woman’s identity. We can see that through this non-secular act that the relationship between themselves and their religion was compromised due to the ban. This caused outcry amongst the Muslim community as the country many Muslims knew as their home was questioning the ethics of their belief system. This was an extremely controversial law to pass however the French merely said that the ban was put in place to maintain the tradition of the country in strictly separating state and religion. This evidence shows that this so called secular state were imposing such a law that could in theory cause the Muslim community to turn against their country causing disruption, something in which France was seemingly trying to avoid.

I was placed in a school that happens to be situated beside a mosque. This meant that most of the children in my school were in fact Muslim. This is information I was told by the teacher as the children are obviously unable to express their religion in the classroom. I was very interested to find out more about the French Education system and the concept of ‘Laique’. Having studied higher Religious, Moral and Philosophical Education at secondary school I have a lot of prior knowledge regarding the separation of religion and state, however, I had never studied this in relation to the education system. It was very interesting for me to be submerged in such an ethnic school, where I was able to witness the concept of Laique.

I was very surprised at the way I felt when walking through the school neighbourhood in the morning and after school. I felt people in the street looking at me in wonderment. Each day I would think to myself, what are other people thinking, am I dressed appropriately, why are they looking at me? This was the first time I had ever been seen as a minority. I was aware that I looked different from everyone else around me and I had never experienced that before coming to France. Scotland is a Christian country, therefore, growing up in a society that is predominately white, and Christian meant that I was never exposed to many other ethnicities throughout my time at school. I had never walked down the street and stood out in the crowd.

This experience has allowed me to consider the way in which various ethnicities face discrimination on a daily basis, in particular, the Muslim community. Over recent years, the religion of Islam has been heavily targeted. They are branded terrorists, unhuman. This issue is something I have always been passionate about and furthermore after my experience in a French primary school. The other students in France were not in the same school setting as myself and I am so grateful that my French school experience was so different from that in Scotland.  Discrimination against ethnicities can be seen every day. I have heard people speak of the families in my school’s neighbourhood in a derogatory manor and it makes me so angry. What gives anyone the right to judge another person based on their religion? People who associate terrorist atrocities with a particular religion are ignorant and uneducated. It is evil people who do these terrible things and try to use religion as an excuse.

Because of the stereotype that has developed over recent years, the Muslim community have been targeted more than any religion and face constant discrimination for their beliefs. Over the past six weeks I have had the opportunity to get to know my CM2 and CP classes, whom all belong to the Muslim community. And it’s true, a child is a child, no matter their religion, race, upbringing. They enjoy the same things as the children anywhere. It makes me sick to think that these children and their families have to deal with any kind of discrimination. I have met some of the kindest, most genuine children during my time at the school.

France, as a republican country is seen to welcome ‘immigrants’ equals, only if they become like the French natives. They must adopt the French language, culture and values. Religions is seen as a private matter and is something that should be practiced in your own time, not expressed publically. Over recent years, there have been protests from women belonging to the Muslim community. Many girls have faced expulsion in schools due to them insisting on wearing their religious headdress in school (King, 2004). This shows that to concept of Laicité has caused many problems within the Education system. Although a lot of people accept the laws, there are still people that believe it is their right to express their beliefs, just as we do in Britain.

This experience has allowed to see first-hand the importance of living in an accepting and multi-cultural society.  I am now more educated about the way in which the French education system incorporates the concept of Laique in school of such concentrated ethnicity. Being placed in such an ethnic area has allowed me to see that the republican laws do not seem to have a negative impact on my school personally. The children, although all belonging to the same religious group do not voice this whilst in school. They accept that school is not the place where religions is discussed.

Week 6: Monday

I can’t believe that that this was my final Monday of placement. Going into my last week I was overcome by different emotions. I was sad to be leaving the school, however, I was also very happy about completing my learning from life placement having had such an amazing experience. I truly believe that this experience has made me grow as a person and look at the world in a different way. I have had to overcome various challenges along the way. Despite this, I have taken advantage of every opportunity afforded to me and involved myself in every aspect of the placement.

Knowing that on Mondays I don’t have any classes to teach I like to make sure that I take full advantage of the time I have to observe French lessons. I also thought it would be a good idea to reflect upon the cultures and values of the school. Over the past six weeks I have gotten to grips with the way in which the French Education system is implemented as how this specifically works in Romain Rolland. Having time on the Monday to read and research was very helpful in gaining a greater insight into the values of the school. Having spent a lot of time observing as well as teaching I have been able to see how the school days run as well as the various subjects that are taught each day. I have had the chance to see how the children work as well as see how the teachers tackle things such as classroom management and behaviours.

The children had an English lesson on Monday with Asif the English assistant. It is always very interesting watching how someone else teaches English as a foreign language. The children were revising the concept of time, they had been working on this last Monday. Each week it is clear to see progression. The teacher used interactive clocks, allowing the children to see the physical time and change it. This reinforces the importance of making lessons as interactive as possible. This is something I have tried to do in each lesson that I teach. I make sure that there is an aspect of the lesson where the children are very involved, most of the time I use games. It has also proven to be a successful way of getting the children to repeat the vocabulary, allowing them to remember it.

This was my last day with Madame Pasquer. Over the weeks i had hoped that the language barrier would lessen and I would be able to converse with this teacher. However, this didn’t really happen. I just went into Monday’s knowing that I would not have any involvement in the school day. As much as I tried to speak French, it was too difficult when someone cannot speak any English.

Week 5: Friday

I can’t believe that I have reached the end of my penultimate week in the French primary school. Time has gone so quickly, and it is surreal that I only have one week left with my classes. I was looking forward to this day as I knew I would be kept very busy teaching various classes. I usually only have my three CP classes on a Friday, however, due to the disruptions yesterday, I had two extra lessons to teach today.

First thing this morning I went into the other CM2 class to teach them the topic of going shopping. I was very happy to see how enthusiastic they were about learning English. This was the first time I had ever taught this class, so I wasn’t sure how the lesson was going to go. There were a few members of the class that were not as engaged, however, on the whole the class listen and participated a lot within the lesson. I kept the lesson very much the same as I had done it before with my CM2 class because it seemed to work very well. I added one game in that I had tried before and I’m glad that I did because it was a success.

I started the lesson by going over the vocabulary using my flashcards. As I have mentioned in previous reflections, I have realised that using flashcards is very useful when teaching a foreign language. It is an aid that is easy to find and use in any level of the primary school. I would say that it took a little bit longer for the children in the second CM2 class to grasp the vocab, however, I ensured that I did not move on to the next part of the lesson until they were completely accurate with their vocab and pronunciation. After this I played various game using the flashcards, two of which I had already played with my CM2 class. They seemed to really enjoy the games and were very competitive which resulted in further development of vocabulary. They were very focused on learning the various types of shop in order to win against myself and their peers.

Before morning break I had the chance to talk about Scotland and share my PowerPoint presentation with my CM2 class. I was very excited about this lesson as it was a chance for me to share with the children where I come from and talk to them about what school is like in Scotland compared to France. There were very interested and asked lots of questions throughout. One thing that they were very surprised at was that in Scotland we only go to two schools as we do not have middle school. The way in which the Scottish education system works is very different from France. There were also very excited to find out where about in Scotland I come from, they asked many questions about the capital city Edinburgh and about various Scottish traditions. I discussed topics such as clothes, food and drink and school. I presented this lesson in French with a little help from the teacher. This was a great opportunity to show what I have learned over the past few weeks whilst being in the school. It was great to see that the children had so many questions to ask me and were genuinely interested in finding out about Scotland.

After break I was teaching my first CP class of the day. The class that I teach in the morning is always a lot more difficult than the other two classes. This is something I had previously mentioned to my class teacher. I found out after entering the CP class that my teacher had discussed this with the class teacher. The CP teacher spoke to the boys and girls and told them that the other classes listen and work very hard. I have noticed that a few of the children in that class misbehave and often have to be disciplined by standing outside of the classroom. I have no seen this type of discipline in the other CP classes are the children are always very well behaved when I am in the classroom.

I was moving onto a different topic in CP today as the children were now very confident with colours. Some of the CP teacher had expressed that fruits and vegetables would be a good topic to teach. I decided to focus purely on fruit today as I believe that add vegetables into the mix would be confusing for the children. I am glad that I did this as the children in the first CP class found it difficult remembering a few basic fruits. I started off the lesson optimistic that the children would be able to recall ten different fruits by the end of the lesson, however, I realised early on that this would not be the case. I decided to cut it down to five fruits to make it easier for the children to remember. I picked five of the most common fruits so that they were able to recognise the pictures on the flashcards. I am very glad that I had flashcard to do the lesson as I don’t believe that the children would have been able to learn this topic without using flashcards. The entire lesson consisted of the children repeating after me and then trying it on their own. I was not able to move on to the flashcard games that I had planned due to how difficult they were finding the vocabulary. As that class is usually the most difficult class of the day I was hopeful that the other CP classes would find the lesson less difficult.

I found out after lunch that the other CM2 teacher wanted me to go back into her class in the afternoon to do my Scotland presentation for her class. I was informed that the children had been so enthusiastic about my going shopping lesson that they wanted me to go back into their class to teach. This made my day as it is so rewarding finding out that the children enjoy your lessons. Having had the chance to practice my Scotland presentation in the morning I felt prepared going into the second CM2 class. However, the teacher does not speak English and therefore I was unsure if she would be able to translate my English into French for the children as I was unable to say absolutely everything in French. Despite the language barrier the lesson went very well and myself and the teacher were able to translate small amount of the lesson from English to French and vice versa. Again, it was great to see how interested the children were in learning about Scotland.

My last two CP classes of the day went a lot better than the class I had taught in the morning. They grasped the vocabulary very quickly which allowed me to move onto the flashcard games. I wish I had had the opportunity to do this with the first class, however, it wouldn’t have worked if the children weren’t able to recall the vocab. I played a memory game as well as a team game that involved the children going against each other in pairs to see who could point to the various fruits first. The children had a great time and were engaged throughout. They were clapping and cheering for each other whilst playing as well as learning new words. Overall, it was a very successful day of teaching and it felt very good to have accomplished so much in just one day.

Week 5: Thursday

I went into school today prepared to teach a lesson on Scotland as well as the going shopping topic with the other CM2 class. I was very excited to have the opportunity to have the chance to tell the children all about Scotland and Scottish culture. Having been in France for nearly five weeks now I am starting to miss home a bit. This is the longest I have ever been away from home for. This is another reason I was really looking forward to talking about Scotland. Having the opportunity to tell the children about my hometown and various Scottish traditions was very exciting.

The teacher had expressed to me that she wanted me to teach the lesson in French meaning that I required an English and French translation. I spent the morning adding the finishing touches to my PowerPoint presentation in preparation for the afternoons lesson. I didn’t realise how long it would take me to translate everything I wanted to say into French. For most of the presentation I was able to translate without having to search for the translation. However, when explaining very aspects of Scottish culture I had to use my iTranslate app to ensure I had the correct translation. I then showed the teacher to make sure I had used the correct French. I was very happy to find out that there was only a couple of minor mistakes. However, in the morning there was a power cut which meant that the school would be without electricity for the remainder of the day. As I had prepared a PowerPoint presentation I would be unable to project it onto the board for the children to see. I was very disappointed as I was looking forward to talking about Scotland. I am hoping that the electricity will be up and running by tomorrow, so I will be able to present.

I was looking forward to teaching the going shopping lesson to the second CM2 class. Since my lesson went well the other day and received a good response from the children, I was interested to see how the other class would engage. I really enjoy repeating lessons for other classes because it allows me to improve each time, taking the positives and negatives from the lesson and further developing my teaching strategies. Luckily the power cut did not affect my plan for this lesson as all I required was flashcards.

I was interested to see how the children in the other CM2 class would behave. Having observed their class teacher teaching geography to my CM2 class I have noticed that she is very strict She doesn’t stand for any misbehaviour and is also very hands on with the children. I don’t know if this is because her class is challenging or that is just her preferred teaching style. Unfortunately, when it came to the time that I was supposed to be teaching the CM2 class I was informed that because of the construction noise no teaching would be taking place. I was disappointed as that was the second lesson of the day that I was unable to teach. This meant that I didn’t have the chance to teach at all throughout the course of the day. I understand that sometimes things cannot be helped but it was a bit annoying having spent so much time planning each lesson.

I did not have the day I had expected; however, I am hoping that tomorrow will be better as the power should be back on and I will get to teach the lessons I missed today, over and above my usual Friday routine.

Week 5: Wednesday

I didn’t have any teaching planned for this day as it was the half day. I don’t usually do much on this day because school finishes so early. Most of my teaching takes place in the afternoon, therefore I don’t have the opportunity to do much. However, when I went into school I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the teacher wanted me to help out with a maths lesson. This lesson was in French; however, numbers are the same in every country, therefore, I had a good understanding of the topic. The children were working on decimals and the teacher had set up a task in the corridor that she wanted completed. I was in charge of this station and had to ensure that the children were successful. My purpose was not to tell them the answer but guide them in the right direction. I always find maths lessons so interesting to watch as it is one of the lessons that I can really follow and understand.

During this lesson one thing I noticed that differs to the way in which we teach maths in Scotland is their use of the decimal place. They use a comma instead of a point which I found strange. At the beginning of the lesson I had to ask the teacher if it was decimals they were learning because of the point being expressed as a comma. She confirmed that this was the way in which decimals are written in France. I found this very interesting as over the past five weeks I have noticed small but significant differences between the two curriculums. During the lesson I tried my best to pick up and understand the French terminology in relation to this topic, however, it was very hard to follow. I just had to use my knowledge in English to help the children complete their task.

The task involved a number line that the teacher had created in the corridor outside the classroom. It went from zero to five. The children were given cards with various decimal numbers on them and their goal was to stick them on the correct place in the number line. Most of the children found this very simple, however, the numbers that seemed to catch everyone out was numbers such as 2.06 and 4.05. The children weren’t registering that zero has to come before one, therefore, were placing the cards at 2.6 and 4.5. I tried my best to explain to the children why this was incorrect, so they could change their answers.

I also used my time today to record myself reading two books. Both of these books were on the topic of colours and I had used them to teach this area of English to the CP classes. My teacher suggested that it would be a nice idea for me to record myself reading the books so that they would be able to use this in the school in the future. She also suggested that it would be a good idea for her to record herself reading the books in French, so I can take the recording back to Scotland with me and use it when I am teaching French as a qualified teacher. I had the best time doing this as it is something special that I will be able to keep forever. It is things like this that are allowing me to make the most of my learning from life experience. Making resources for my future teaching whilst in France is something that not many people will be able to say they have done.

Having this experience and understanding the difficulty of teaching a foreign language to children is equipping me with skills that will be essential in the future. It has allowed me to become more passionate about learning languages and I would love to have the opportunity to improve my French and return one day. This experience has showed me the importance of language and how learning language from a young age benefits each child.

Week 5: Tuesday

I was nervous going into this day as it was my first day teaching the CM2 class. This was daunting as CM2 is the oldest class in the school and I have never done a lesson with them before. I have gotten very used to teaching the CP children who are the youngest. Having observed the CM2 class many times of the past four weeks I have gotten to know the children and gain an understanding of how they learn. There are some very big characters within the class, therefore, I was anxious to see how they react to the way in which I teach English.

In the morning I had a chance to get my resources together and make sure that everything was in place for the lesson. The children had maths in the morning before I taught my going shopping lesson. I had to ensure that I was able to recall both the English and French words for the various types of shop as this was a topic they have never done before. I was worried going into the lesson about how easy/ difficult they would find the topic. However, knowing that my teacher would be there to help if I needed it made me feel more at ease.

The lesson was a success and I was so relieved that all went well. As the children in CM2 are the oldest in the school they have a good level of English. This meant that learning new vocabulary was simple for most of them. Vocabulary was the main focus and the children picked this up very quickly. I used flashcards with pictures of various types of shop to teach the vocab before moving on to different games. One of the games involved the children closing their eyes while I removed a flashcard from the board, they then had to look and tell me which shop was missing. This proved to work very well as it required the children to think about the words they had just learned. Being able to recall the vocabulary was the main aim of the lesson and I am very happy that I managed to achieve this. I believe that repetition is the key when introducing new vocabulary. I was also able to test the children’s understanding of the items you would find in various shops. I was surprised that they were able to tell me so many different items that could be found. This allowed me to see that this class are very competent in English, meaning that I can give them more challenging task in the future.

I believe that moving forward with the topic of going shopping, I must begin to introduce more challenging vocabulary. I think I should also begin to ask them questions regarding the topic in English. This way they will be able to further develop their language skills. I will continue to play games with the vocab as I believe this is a good way to make a lesson interactive and keep the children engaged throughout. I already have ideas regarding what I could do for my next lesson on the topic of going shopping.

I continued the topic of colours with the CP classes. I have really enjoyed teaching this topic because the children have been very enthusiastic, and it has been rewarding watching them develop their language skills. As they are becoming more confident with the colours I am able to do more complex activities and games with them. I am really enjoying having the opportunity to work with the younger members of the school and using different teaching strategies.

Since I have now done a few lessons on the topic of colours I thought it would be a fun idea to teach them the song ‘I can sing a rainbow’. This song lists all of the colours in the rainbow. I found that my first CP class of the day found this very difficult. As I have mentioned in previous reflections, this is the case for most lessons I have taught. I have yet to learn why this is however, it meant that I just had to take the lesson slower and use more repetition. By the end of the lesson the children were becoming more confident with the song, however, still needed my input.

I was very excited when I went into my second CP class as they seem to soak up information and are very confident in their English. They picked up the lyrics very quickly and were able to remember them without me singing along every time. This was very rewarding to see as it meant that my teaching style was working for this class. I was so impressed with their singing that I managed to record the class singing and play it back to them. The enthusiasm in the younger classes makes every lesson so much fun and I always look forward to teaching in the CP classes. Because the children are so confident with their colours now, I think it might be a good idea to introduce some new vocabulary and a new topic.

Overall, I had a very successful day of teaching. This was the most I have taught in one day and it was great. I now have a good understanding of how all of he calls learn best. I look forward to further developing my teaching skills over the final two weeks of placement.

Week 4: Friday

Friday is one of my main teaching days of the week, therefore, I always look forward to this day. I love having lots to do and getting to spend time with different classes within the school. I begin each day in my CM2 class then throughout the day go to various areas of the school to teach. I really enjoy being in the CP classes as this has been my first experience of teaching children in the early years. I was anxious going into these classes in the beginning due to my lack of experience. However, I have found that that my confidence has grown each day and I now feel comfortable teaching this age group. I enjoy coming up with new lesson ideas. With the CP classes I have found that interactive lessons work best and allow the children to really engage. I have been teaching the topic of colours now for two weeks and I was looking forward to continuing this with the classes. They are all very enthusiastic about the topic and therefore work very hard when I am teaching.

In my fist CP class of the day I introduced my lesson idea of the colour wheel. The children were each given a circular piece of paper that had the colour names written on in segments. The idea of the lesson was that I put up the various coloured flashcards on the board along with the spelling and they had to colour in the corresponding word. Once this was completed they would get a second piece of paper with one segment cut up, after pinning this to their coloured in sheet they were able to spin the top piece of paper to reveal a colour. Creating the wheel took up most of the lesson, however, with the time we had at the end everyone used their colour wheel as a learning tool. I asked the children to show me various colours and they had to find it on their wheel and hold it up. This was very successful and allowed me to gage their level of understanding of this topic. Having taught all three classes for a few weeks now I have a good idea of the class level. I found that my first class of the day were very confident and did not struggle with the colour wheel. They proved that they were very competent in relation to the topic of colour. All of the children in the class were able to answer my questions and did not struggle to recite the colours.

I found that the other CP classes that I went to see after lunch struggled more than the first class. I don’t know the reason for this, however, this has been a trend over the previous weeks. When colouring in the wheel a lot of the children were getting mixed up with the colours, colouring words the wrong colour. I was very confused as to how this was a challenging task as I provided them with the colour and the name. I am curious as to whether these classes are younger that my first class and are therefore working at a lower level. Reflection on this, I believe that in future lessons I could simplify the lesson for those unable to recall information from previous weeks.

Differentiation is something that is not practiced in France. All children in all classes work on the same textbooks and complete the same tasks. This is something I have found very interesting as in Scotland, differentiation is a major aspect of teaching. We are taught about the importance of ensuring children are working at the level that is right for them. However, if children are forced to complete the same work from primary one level and are given the time and attention from the teacher, who is to say that not having differentiation doesn’t work? I have found that being in a French school for four weeks now has allowed me to see that all children seem to be coping with their work. They are all very capable at the level they are working at. This shows that the sue of differentiation is not essential. If children work at the same level from a young age, they can all work at the same level at the same time.

Overall, I had a successful day and week teaching. I challenged myself and thought of new and creative ideas for lessons. I am looking forward to going into next week as I am teaching even more lessons. I am excited to finally be teaching my CM2 class the topic of going shopping and I hope that I am successful with CM2 as I have been with CP.

Week 4: Thursday

I was happy to find out that my teacher was back from her course and would be teaching the class today. I didn’t have any plans on my timetable to go into any other classes today, therefore I stayed with CM2 all day. I enjoy being with the CM2 class as they are the oldest in the school. It is very interesting watching and observing how they work and the lessons they participate in. As it was Thursday the French student teacher was also in to carry on her lesson that she taught two weeks previous. They children really engaged with her lesson the last time she taught, so I was looking forward to watching the follow up lesson in the afternoon.

I was happy to have the opportunity to speak to Amélie about my experience from teaching the CP classes. It was the first time I had had the chance to discuss what I thought went well as well as asking for advice regarding future lessons. I told her that I was anxious about going into the classes on Friday as I believed that the children had a good understanding of the topic of colour and didn’t want them to get bored of the same thing. She gave me some great advice and suggested that I do a song with them relating to the topic of colour. Throughout my time at Romain Rolland my class teacher has gone above and beyond to make my experience memorable. She has given me some great advice and ideas as well as providing me with various resources to aid my lessons. I know that my experience would not have been the same without her. It has been very helpful having someone who is fluent in English to converse with as there is such a big language barrier between myself and the children.

I used some of the spare time I had today to plan lesson with the teacher. We thought of various lesson plans for both the CP classes and CM2. I was informed that I would begin teaching the topic of ‘going shopping’ on Friday with CM2. I have never taught this stage before even though I am in the class most of the day. I have observed how they work and the level they are working at. However, I have only ever played sound games with them. I am very anxious about standing up in front of the class tomorrow and teaching them. I believe my nerves could be due to their age. CM2 consists of children aged 10 and 11. Being a very young student I am aware that I am only a mere 10 years older than them. I have gotten to know the children in the CM2 class over the weeks, so I am hopeful that I will be able to produce a successful lesson that they engage with.

I have realised over the past couple of weeks that I have been teaching, how important it is to use resources such as flashcards with children. Teaching a foreign language is very difficult, however, children learn best from speaking and repetition. Each lesson that I have taught so far has included the use of flashcards. Children respond very well to this and are able to recall the information when it is presented to them in this form. I plan to continue using flashcards in my lessons as I believe that it is best resource for teaching a foreign language. There are many games that can be played with flashcards, this allows the children to be involved in their learning. Ensuring that lessons are interactive is essential in keeping the children engaged throughout. I hope that in the coming weeks, I further develop my teaching skills, improving lesson by lesson.

The French student teacher was also in today as it was Thursday. She was teaching a science lesson. The children were very enthusiastic and keen to get stuck into the practical activities that accompanied the lesson. The children had to take an artificial product for example a can or mobile phone and turn it into something natural. A lot of the children thought of various ways to grow things in their objects. It was very interesting to see how the children thrived throughout this lesson. Over the weeks I have noticed that practical lessons get the best response from the children. It is clear to see that they love being involved in their own learning. This shows the importance of including interactive lessons in the curriculum. Because of this I feel like I must make sure to make lessons as interactive as possible. I plan to use games and resources to do this successfully.