Monthly Archives: March 2018

Week 3: Day 14


Today is Thursday but I was only in my school until 11:30am as Beth, Briony, Lauren and I had a meeting with our host, Nina, at 1:30pm.

First thing today I was told I would teach three lessons in the morning. Firstly in Agnés Courgeon’s class with CM1/CM2, then in Christine Aué’s class with CM2 and finally after break I would do a lesson in Laura Bellout’s class with CE2/CM1. I taught my Scottish lesson, as these classes hadn’t had this particular lesson from me yet,

My presentation was the same as last time and included; where I live in Scotland, our flag, the Loch Ness monster, castles, traditional food, animals, tartan, traditional sports and Scottish rhymes/poems. I again spoke the lesson in English, as this is how they learn a language in France. The lesson must be taught preferably only in that new language. Now and again for explanation reasons I translated part into French from the children and the teacher was also there to help translate.

I learnt from the last time I taught this lesson that I didn’t know the word for sheep and stomach in French, so this time I taught the lesson I had looked up the translation of these word prior to teaching and this helped me describe haggis to the children. They gained a much better understanding this time.

I also learnt what the national animal of France was. This helped me when explaining that the national animal of Scotland is the Unicorn.

I added into my presentation more about tartan and what it is used for. I explained that tartan could be used as a pattern in all types of clothing. I used the French words for specific items of clothing and them told them what these items of clothing were in English. This added a bit more learning into the lesson. I also said that it could be used for interior design in the home.

I got the children to stand up when I was speaking about highland dancing so that I could get the children engage and physically involved in the lesson. I showed them a couple of highland dancing positions and got them to copy them. They enjoyed this part of the lesson as it gave them a little break from sitting in their seats.

Once again, when I had finished the lesson I asked the children if they had any questions. The questions were a good way of checking my understanding of French, as the children asked me questions in French. I was able to pick out key words and understand what they were asking, but other time I would have to look to the class teacher for help with translating. Although one girl is very good at trying to speak some English and she asked a lot of questions I was able to answer with no help from the teacher for translation. This is the same girl who was able to have a conversation with me on our way to see ‘My Fair Lady’ at the theatre,

A question that came up was about our traditional Scottish music, which I had not covered in my lesson. This gave me an action plan for the next time I teach this lesson. I needed to speak about the bagpipes and include a picture of them.

After my lessons had all finished I sat in Laura’s class until lunchtime. She did an interesting exercise with the children. She got them the fold their arms flat on the table and rest their head on them. This exercise help relax the children after a busy lesson. They did this in silence and the teacher whispered instructions. I liked this idea and thought I could use it in my future practice.

Once it was lunchtime I headed back to the ESPE centre to have our meeting with Nina. The meeting was a half way catch up to see how we were getting on at our schools and if there were any problems that needed to be discussed. Beth, Briony, Lauren and I all spoke about our experiences so far and Nina looked pleased with our progress. She told us we would have a final meeting on the 18/04/18 to finish up our placement.

Week 3: Day 13


Today I was in the nursery for the morning. I stated in one classroom and I played with the puzzles with a group of children. One of the puzzles was a number puzzle. You had to fit 0-9 into their accompanying slot in the board. I played it with one of the boys and after he completed it I taught him the numbers in English. I repeated the number again and again with him until he was comfortable with them. I was proud with his progress and his pronunciation was really good. He then picked out numbers and put them in pairs and asked me what the resulting number was called. For example, the boy picked a 2 and a 9 and I told him that was ‘twenty-nine’.

I then sang rhymes with all the children in the class. We did the rhymes we sang last week to see if they could remember them. They remembered ‘head, shoulder, knee and toes’ really well. I reminded them what each body part was in English and translated it into French for them. We also sang ‘1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a fish alive’, ‘if you’re happy and you know it’ and ‘insy winsy spider’.

I did these songs in all 4 classes in the nursery until 11:30am.

One of the teachers did ‘isny winsy spider’ with me. She did it in French and did it in English and the children joined in with both of us, including the actions.

During the morning I witnessed behaviour being dealt with. I was quite shocked with how rough the teacher can be and are allowed to be with the children. One boy was being badly behaved and one of the teachers grabbed him and made him sit in a spot with quite a force. You would not see this type on physical contact in Scotland.

My action plan for the next time I am in the nursery is to teach the children a song to do with the English colours.

Week 3: Day 12


Today was exciting as I got to go on a school trip to Paris. The trip was linked to their topic on kitchen objects and we went to a museum that displayed vintage and historical kitchen utensils. I went with Agnés Courgeon, Christine Aué and their classes CM1/CM2 and CM2.

We left for Paris at 10am so before we left I observed CM2’s history lesson. Agnés Courgeon took this lesson with Christine Aué’s class, as she knew more about the topic. I gathered it was about the history of kitchen objects in France, in particular a utensil for chocolate. They were studying fro a textbook and the children we asked to read and discuss passages with the class.

Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

We left for Paris on a bus and stopped for lunch when we were half way to Paris. Once we arrived in Paris I already recognised some streets and architecture for my previous visit. When we got to the centre I knew exactly where we were. The museum we went to was called, Musée des Arts Décoratifs and was within the complex where the Louvre is, I visited the Louvre on my last visit. We were welcomed into the museum and a tour guide took us to a classroom. From our classroom window you could see the Louvre and top half of the Eiffel tower. What a view for a classroom!

Our tour guide spoke to the children about what kind of things we were going to see in the museum. She asked the children to name kitchen objects that we might see. We were then taken on our tour round the museum. We first came across an old dinning room and she spoke about its features. Throughout the tour we saw a lot of vintage and antique looking objects, mostly made from china. I was fascinated to hear and see what the French used to use in their kitchens.

During the tour chocolate was mentioned and discussed a few times. I was able to gather at one point they were speaking about a special container that hot chocolate is poured from. We then came across this container, which was like a coffee pot. We would call this invention a ‘chocolate pot’.

The love affair of chocolate that us humans have with chocolate extends back thousands of years. The Spanish introduced chocolate to Western Europe in the 17th century. Hot chocolate was discovered and made in a ‘chocolatiére’, its very own pot. At this time, drinking hot chocolate was how people enjoyed the luxury of chocolate. This was before any other invention was made to prepare chocolate.

Louis XIII of France married Anne of Austria in 1615. Anne had a large enthusiasm for chocolate and this spread to the French aristocracy. During that early modern period, the French had refined the dining experience to the point of extravagance. In that outlook, they made the chocolatière, an invention for preparing chocolate.


The chocolatière sat on three feet, a tall, thin body and had a decorative handle, which was situated 90 from the spout. The lid was of most importance. It had a delicately hinged lid; this crated a small opening for the ‘moulinet’. A moulinet was made of wood and used to mix the hot chocolate to make it frothy before serving.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, chocolate pots were made form the most expensive and valuable materials at that time, sliver, gold or porcelain. In these times, chocolate was considered exotic and a luxury to have; therefore it was paired with expensive materials.

As the industrial world evolved and chocolate become more widely available, the popularity of the chocolate pot started to die down by the 1950s. It disappeared from French households after the industrial revolution. Very few, if any, are made today.

After the tour, the children had a sense of what kitchen objects looked like in history. It was now their turn to create their own unique kitchen object. The guide took us back to our classroom where she explained how to make a bowl and decorate it like the ones we had just seen. To make the bowl we would use card and fold it in such a way to make a bowl shape. She explained that when we were to decorate it we would have to take into account which part of the card would be covered when folded so we would have to think about the flow of our design so no part of our design got cut off. I was impressed with my French language knowledge at this point as I was able to follow what the guide was saying.

I got the opportunity to join in with the activity and create my own bowl too. The design we were asked to put on out bowl was one that involved bamboo plants. She showed us examples of bowl, cups and other kitchen objects that were made out of card with the bamboo pattern on them. The design would be drawn in blue watercolour pencil and then water washed over to create the vintage china look.

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip as I was able to take responsibility for the children safety whilst out of the school and I was able to see how the classes topic was taken further into a school trip so that the children could put their learning into a context and see the physical kitchen objects that used to be used.



Righthand, J. (2015). A Brief History of the Chocolate Pot. [Website]. . Available at: [Accessed 28/03/18].

n.b. (2016). The Evolution of the Chocolatière: From French Innovation to Retirement in Museums. [Website]. Chocolate Class. Available at: [Accessed 28/03/18].


Week 2: Day 10


Today’s school day was slightly different, in that Lauren and I went to a secondary school to help an English class. The school was north of the city and called Collége Condorcet. We met Sophie, who was the English teacher, at the school and she explained to us we would help her in two English classes. The age of the children in the first class were 12-13 years old and the age of the children in the second class were 11-12 years old.

Collége Condorcet.

In the classes we introduced ourselves to the class and got the pupils to ask us questions in English so that they could find out more about Lauren and I. It was made clear to us before the classes started that in English class they are only allowed to speak in English when speaking to the class, speaking French is frowned upon. Also we were told to make sure we speak slowly to help the pupils understand what we were saying.

We then helped them with a Shakespeare worksheet. They had to create a dialogue between Shakespeare and an interviewer in English. I went round their tables helping them on how to form a question sentence in English. I told them you must start with a question word and that there are five main question words; what, where, why, when and how. This made sense to them and they were able to form the sentences.

After they had created a small dialogue, Lauren and I were the interviewers and the pupils were Shakespeare. We stood at the front of the class with one pupil and we asked the pupils questions in English and they had to respond in English as Shakespeare. I noticed that used the correct words when speaking in the past, present and future was something the pupils had to watch as a lot of them got confused with this rule.

I found this experience interesting to see how they teach an English lesson in France. Unlike in Scotland they teach and communicate within the lesson only in the language being taught. I think this is beneficial as the children are forced and will get more used to using the speaking the language, this means improvement is more likely.

Week 2: Day 9


Today I did a couple of lessons, in the morning, on the topic of Scotland. I first taught in CP with Françoise Monclere, and then with Benjamine Duplouy and her CP/CE1 class.

My presentation included; where I live in Scotland, our flag, the Loch Ness monster, castles, traditional food, animals, tartan, traditional sports and Scottish rhymes/poems. I started by introducing how to say “Scotland” and its translation in French. I then showed them our flag and explained that we also have a flag for the whole of the United Kingdom. I spoke about the Loch Ness monster and explained that its existence is a matter of own opinion. Nobody knows if it really exists or not. This got the children thinking what their opinion was on the mystery. I told them that castles are found all over the country and that I even live right beside one. This amazed them. I moved on to speak about the traditional food in Scotland. I taught the children how to say, “I like”, “I do not like” and “I love” in English. After this I had traditional pictures of foods on the board and I got the children to listen and repeat the food names. In particular, Haggis was an interest. They asked what it was so I had to explain that it was sheep stomach. Their reactions to this weren’t appetising. But the teachers explained to the children that this was similar to the fact that they eat snails and frogs. If you were not French you probably would turn your nose up at them. We put together sentences about which foods we do and don’t like. We then moved onto animals and I did the same, asked the children to listen and repeat the names of the animals. Unicorn was one of the animals I had on the board and I explained that this was our national animal. From this discussion I found out that their national animal is a roaster. I next showed them tartan. I explained that tartan is a pattern that can be used in anything, from all types of clothing to decorating furniture/interiors of houses. I then spoke about traditional Scottish sports, these included; highland dancing and the sports involved in the highland games. I got the classes physically involved and demonstrated, and got them to copy, highland dancing moves. They enjoyed being up out their seats and physically active for a couple of minutes. I finally read the classes a Scottish rhyme and poem. I tried to get the classes to say the rhyme with me but they found this quite advanced.

The children were fascinated and asked loads of questions at the end, as they wanted to find out more. I got asked questions to do with; school uniform, if the Loch Ness monster is real, if our homes are the same, if I’ve seen the queen, if the castles are occupied, our traditional breakfasts, if I do any traditional Scottish sports and what the weather is like in Scotland all year round.

This was a great experience as I got to teach about my home country, which I am proud of. I learnt that I had to speak slowly so that I was understood and the children could accurately repeat back what was being said. It was good how interested and engaged the children were. I think having them physically involved helped keep them interested.

When I do this lesson to the other class I think I will consider the rhyme section at the end as the children today found that bit quite challenging.

During lunchtime Laura Bellout found four leaf clovers in the playground and she gave some of the other teachers and I one. I explained to them that they are lucky in Scotland and especially Ireland.

After lunch I was with Sylvie Lambert in CE2. I took a small group of four pupils to do time in mathematics. We played a game of bingo, in which they had a card containing six clock faces. I had a deck of cards which said different times in 24 hour time. I said the times on my cards in French and they had to see if any of their clocks faces corresponded. After I said the time I went round in a circle asking a pupil to show to that time on a interactive clock face. Once they got that correct I told them that time in English and asked all four pupils to repeat it. After that then the pupils could check if they had the matching clock face on their cards.

This activity helped the children learn clock times in English whilst improving their French time knowledge.

Zénith d’Orléans

After school I went to see the ‘My Fair Lady’ musical with Agnés Courgeon, Christine Aué and Laura Bellout, with their classes CE2/CM1, CM1/CM2 and CM2. We left the school at 5:15pm and got the tram to the theatre. The theatre was called ‘Zenith d’Orléans’ and was located across to water in the region called Olivet. The journey there was really enjoyable as I was with one particular girl from CE2 who is very good at speaking English. I was able to understand her French and English and have a conversation in both languages. She was willing and really wanted to help explain what she was saying when I didn’t understand what she was saying in French. I was impressed with how willing she was to communicate with me.

Once we got there we had a packet dinner and then took our seats for the show. The show was half in French and half in English. The song were in English as the play was originally English, so every time a song came on the girl, who had sat beside me, would look at me and ask if I understood, as she found it exciting that I understood what was being said.


The experience was good as I got to see how the teachers connected to the children learning to an experience. In Scotland we would call this ‘experiential learning’.

Week 2: Day 8


Today I was assisting in the nursery. There are four classrooms in the nursery and contains children from age 3 to 5. In France their nursery is called the “maternelle”. I the nursery I was asked to teach Scottish/English nursery rhymes and songs. In each classroom I taught the children four nursery rhymes use all the actions to involve the children even if they could grasp the English vocabulary. The first song I did was “If you’re happy and you know it”. This song is repetitive, which would help the children learn it and it also involves actions to encourage the children to sing along. The next song was “12345 once I caught a fish alive”. I thought this was a good song as it got the children to practice their English numbers. The next was “head, shoulder, knees and toes”. This song was physically active and it taught the children body parts in English. The last song was “incy wincy spider”. I did this song with one class in particular as they sang the song first in French so I knew they knew it in French so I thought it would be easier for them to understand when doing it in English.

If You’re Happy And You Know It:


Incy Wincy Spider:


Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes:


1,2,3,4,5 Once I Caught A Fish Alive:


This was a good experience as I could see the children trying hard to pronounce the words and join in with the actions. It also made me realise that we speak too fast for someone who is French to learn what we are saying so therefore I sad to speak a lot slower.

The children impressed me as at the age of 3-5 they knew the “happy birthday” song in English and some of the 5 year old could say all the colours in English too. Since they could sing happy birthday I asked the children when their birthday were and taught them the months in English.

At break time I taught the children a few English vocabulary to do with movements. I held hands with a few children in a circle and we did actions to correspond to “up, down, in, out”. They caught on pretty quickly and were saying the words with me while doing the actions.

At the end of the day (11:30am) on of the children who was age 4 asked me questions to do with animals in English. At one point I translated butterfly for her and then she showed me that the class look after and observe stick insects, which were in the box in the classroom.

Week 2: Day 7


This morning I was with CE2 with Sylvie Lambert. I did a lesson on the topic of money. Mrs Lambert explained in French what we were doing and then we both collaborated to do a lesson in French and English. We did examples onthe blackboard to do with buying something from a shop and handing over a note (billet) and figuring out how much change you would get. I would pick the price of the item and write it on the board in Euros and cents, then Mrs Lambert would say the price of the item in French and I would translate in English. Next I would pick what note was used to pay for the item, this was translated in French and English and finally I would ask the class how much change they would get.

They did they working out on little whiteboards and I went around the class checking them all to assess if they were on the right track. I then asked one pupil to tell me what coins/notes they would get back in change, I placed magnetic coins/notes on the board at the same time as the pupil told me their answer. To complete the pupils understanding, Mrs Lambert and I, would then in French and English add up the initial item price with the change and show that this creates the note you handed over to pay.

This was a good experience as got to use my French and English language knowledge to translate numbers to the children. I got to teach the English words for the number, the mathematical signs and teach them questions. For example, “how much is it?” or “how much change do I get?”.

I was able to analyse which English words they found easy and difficult to pronounce. They found pronouncing the ‘th’ in thirty difficult but other numbers, such as ‘6’ easy.

After the main lesson I took a small group of 5 to do a worksheet on what we had just taught and used fake money to help the children work out the calculations. This meant I got more one on one interaction with the children, which meant I could try be more understanding to them in terms of my English and French.

Next time I do a lesson like this I would suggest that instead of my placing the fake money on the board that the children come up to the board and do it themselves. This would boost a child’s self-esteem if they get it right as they physically did it themselves.

Halle des Sports, Lycée Jacques Monod.

After lunch I went with Françoise Monclere’s class CP to the gym, which is connected to the local high school near the primary school. We walked to the gym and I was responsible for the back of the line, making sure all the children could be seen in front of me. Once we got to the gym the children took their shoes and socks off as we were going to do Judo. In France, Judo is an important sport to them. It builds up self-defence. I got to join in too so I took my shoes and socks off too. They had a proper judo room where the entire floor was made up of special mats. They had an instructor who did the lesson with them. I got to help the children making sure they were doing the moves safely and correctly after I’d seen the demonstrations. I really enjoyed myself, as this was a sport I hadn’t had to opportunity to teach in Scotland. I also had one on one time with a girl to help her do a forward roll. During the lesson the instructor let me shout out actions for the children to do in French, this made me feel involved with the children learning. I also got to shout out the colours and months in French and English to organise lines, etc. After this class I stayed and did the same lesson again but with Benjamine Duplouy and her CP/CE1 class.

The good thing about the experience is that it was different from sports I had taught in Scotland and also it got me physically involved with the children. I got to count down from three to initiate the start of a move, shout out actions and organise the children. It also gave me insight into what sports are important, to the French, to make sure children know.

Week 2: Day 6


In the morning I with Laura Bellout in CE2/CM1. As you’ve read in my day 5 blog one of the classes were learning about the film “Katia et le Crocodile”, so today we went to the local cinema to watch the whole film with 3 other classes. This was an exciting experience as I was getting the opportunity to go to a real original French cinema. We walked to the tram and took the tram to the centre of Orléans where the cinema was.

Cinéma Les Carmes, Orléans.

During the journey I was responsible for the children in making sure everyone was accounted for, especially when getting on and off the tram. The film felt very ‘French’, it was in black and white and had classic film music along with it. The film was about animals including a crocodile being set loose in a town and there’s a big upheaval about the situation. I really enjoyed the experience as it showed how they were linking their learning with an engaging experience with deepened the children’s knowledge. This helped me develop my goal in improving my responsibility. I used my knowledge on the French language to figure out what was going on in the film


After lunch I was in CM2 with Christine Aué. They were learning about ‘My Fair Lady’. The teacher explained to the class what happens in the musical. I was able to understand what she was saying in French and help her translate words into English. For example, the ‘cockney’ accent. We listened to some songs off of the English soundtrack and I was able to translate to the class what was being said. This was a good experience as they were learning about an English musical and I was able to help them understand and translate what is going on in the songs, which the children enjoyed hearing. The helped me develop the children’s English whilst learning about the musical.

We then looked at the setting of where ‘My Fair Lady’ was set. It was set in London, England so I know all the places where it was set. I was able to explain what the different buildings/setting were like. I was then invited to come see the show on the following Thursday night, which made me feel a sense of accomplishment, as I was able to finish of my work with the lesson by getting to see the real show in Orléans.

Week 1: Day 5


Today I was with Axelle Holef with CE1, ages 7-8. The teacher started the day with French. She did a dictation lesson, which I thought was very advanced of them since they were only age 7/8. This lead onto a lesson based on the sound “ouill”. The class had to come up with words that had “ouill” in them. Forexample, the word “ratatouille”.

During the lesson I noticed a traffic light behaviour chart being used. This is similar to the ones they use in schools in Scotland. A boy moved his name from green to amber as a warning for inappropriate behaviour.

After break they had singing practice with CP and the other CE1’s. The practice was structured as the teacher would sing and the children would listen and then repeat. They use actions to help tell the story of the song too. In Scotland when we have assemblies they children are normally put in rows in order of their class. But in my French school they did it in a way so that everyone could be seen when standing. The tallest went at the back and smallest were at the front. They had been given a number at the start of the years according to their height and this was the row they would be in. I thought this was a great way of organising assembly rows as each child can be seen for behaviour situations. During the practice there were a few behaviour disruptions which otherwise would not have been seen if they were not organised in height order.

They then had physical education where they ran circuits of their playground. Right now the school are practicing for a big race, which is taking part in the area. I was explained by one of the teachers that the CP’s have to run 1000m and the CE1 have to run 1250m, and the upper years would run longer distances than them.

During lunch we organised my schedule for teaching next week and what I would be doing. We discussed speaking in English to the classes about Scotland. This would involve all traditional practices, food, sports etc. Also ideas of a topic of sport and a topic on a day at the beach were considered. They explained I would speak the whole lesson in English and they would be there if translation was needed or if there was some confusion.

After lunch they did work on a film project. The ways they watch films are very different to how we would in Scotland. In Scotland we would put a video on our interactive boards, but in my French school they only have black boards. So a big white piece of card was placed over the blackboard and a projector was used to project the film. The film was about a crocodile called “Katia et le Crocodile”. The film was in black and white and the children had to describe to me the colours in French and English. This was a good opportunity for the English to be part of the film lesson.


Week 1: Day 4


Today I was with Benjamine Duplouy in a mixed class of CP and CE1, ages 6-8. I introduced myself and talked about the Loch Ness monster of which the children knew of.

The teacher started with aFrench lesson with the CP’s. They were connecting little groups of letters to create words in French. This was interesting as I was able to observe the sounds these groups of letters make.

They read a passage from their comprehension books and a boy stood at the front of the class the read it to the whole class. At age 6 they are already pushed to be confident in speaking in front of their classmates.
They then moved onto sounds of letters/groups of letters, focusing on œu, eu and e in words. The children had to come up with words that contained these letters.

After break the class moved onto some maths. The CE1’s were studying right angles. They each got given two pieces of paper, secured with a paper clip, which created a right angle. With these tools they went around the classroom find right angles in a real life context. This was engaging for the children as it was hands on and got the children to experience their knowledge in a real life context. They then did a worksheet where the children had to identify the shapes that had right angles in them. The teacher then moved onto teaching the CP’s. They were doing counting to 20 and connecting this to money.
I helped the teacher cut out maths worksheets for later on.

In the mixed classes the teacher has try and spend an equal amount of time with each stage. This means a lot of differentiation is involved. The teacher needs to keep on stage busy whilst she works with the other stage. For example whilst she worked with the CP’s the CE1’s were given a worksheet to compete and the teacher briefly told them what to do with it at the start.

After lunch I was with the first class I’d been out with this week, which was the CP’s with Françoise Monclere. We were doing art on the topic of kitchen objects. I helped groups paint backgrounds for the kitchen.

Using the French vocabulary for the colours of paint we were using I was able to communicate to the children what they were painting with which colours. This was a good experience as I got to use some French vocabulary.

After their third break of the day I went with Mrs Lambert’s class, CE2, and we played maths games. I was given a group of children to myself to teach about time. We played bingo where they had to match the written time with a picture of a clock face on their card. After we played one round of this we then played it again but I would say the time in French and then tell them the time in English too and get them to listen and repeat what I was saying so they could practice saying the time in English. We then got out a big clock face that was interactive and I asked the children in English to show me a time on the clock, taking turns, and see with they understood what they were being asked.

This was a good experience as I got to work with a small group, which meant more one on one interaction. This helped the children to understand the English translation of the numbers and connecting words, e.g. part and to. I also gave me the opportunity to practice my French numbers.