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introText | Form 7 had a great trip to Normandy. |

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leftColBody | You might have heard of a little trip year 7 did last month? The French trip to Normandie obviously!! What else could I write about when it is still so present in my lessons? The trip was a great success as much for the children as for the teachers. We stayed in a refurbished farm called La Grand’Ferme in the countryside, we visited gorgeous places such as the Mont St Michel, ate delicious foods, petted animals and... Wait...don’t think this was an excuse for a weekend escapade! Au contraire!! The main aim of this trip was not just the visits but more the immersion type of education the children were getting out of it. During the trip, the children were spoken to only in French and were encouraged to speak French in return through miming and repetitions. For instance they were told every morning in French, what food they had on their table, how to ask for more to the chef and how to clear their tables after breakfast, meaning repetition of words such as cutlery, foods etc. But the benefits were not just visible during the trip:
Motivation was a key word before, during and after the trip. I have seen pupils trying harder in class as we spent the first three weeks preparing for the trip. We revised some basics like weather, foods or how to ask for foods. They also created role plays in class to practice their speaking before arriving there (we had some very ‘interesting’ weather forecasts and shopping enquiries!). You could feel the excitation growing as the trip got nearer. |

rightColBody |
It was amazing to see the effort some pupils who are usually shy would actually put into understanding and using the language on site. As teachers we felt like meeting new pupils sometimes! Several times we, teachers, were surprised to hear children speaking French to each other just for fun during their free-time (while playing cards in the coach for instance). During a trip like this children get a chance to learn about the culture as much as the language and it gives them a chance to try new things and discover a new motivation for a subject, here French.
Since we have been back, we have been using more target language in the classroom than before. I can tell how much the trip has boosted some children. All the pupils have been writing mini-posters about the activities they have done and what they really liked or not. I was delightfully surprised to see them all trying hard. Especially, pupils who are usually reluctant in writing anything needed to be slowed down a little as they wanted to describe every single aspect of their trip (the display boards would not have been big enough). The mini-posters are now displayed around the school along with some pictures if you want to have a look for yourself. So, in brief, a trip abroad is not just about the fun and the visits but about the motivation as much as the insight into a culture and a way of life the children get out of it. It is about the will to communicate with others even if you make mistakes as long as the message gets through. It is about getting out of your comfort zone and push yourself to try harder. This trip is also about pride and ownership: it was the 2018 year 7 trip to Normandie and it belongs to them now and they can be proud of what they have gained from it. They made it a success and I am sure the year 6 have heard some of their stories and now are wondering what I am cooking up for them next year...to be continued. |

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og_title | The benefits of immersion in French |

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perch_introText | Form 7 had a great trip to Normandy. |

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perch_leftColBody | You might have heard of a little trip year 7 did last month? The French trip to Normandie obviously!! What else could I write about when it is still so present in my lessons? The trip was a great success as much for the children as for the teachers. We stayed in a refurbished farm called La Grand’Ferme in the countryside, we visited gorgeous places such as the Mont St Michel, ate delicious foods, petted animals and... Wait...don’t think this was an excuse for a weekend escapade! Au contraire!! The main aim of this trip was not just the visits but more the immersion type of education the children were getting out of it. During the trip, the children were spoken to only in French and were encouraged to speak French in return through miming and repetitions. For instance they were told every morning in French, what food they had on their table, how to ask for more to the chef and how to clear their tables after breakfast, meaning repetition of words such as cutlery, foods etc. But the benefits were not just visible during the trip:
Motivation was a key word before, during and after the trip. I have seen pupils trying harder in class as we spent the first three weeks preparing for the trip. We revised some basics like weather, foods or how to ask for foods. They also created role plays in class to practice their speaking before arriving there (we had some very ‘interesting’ weather forecasts and shopping enquiries!). You could feel the excitation growing as the trip got nearer. |

perch_rightColBody |
It was amazing to see the effort some pupils who are usually shy would actually put into understanding and using the language on site. As teachers we felt like meeting new pupils sometimes! Several times we, teachers, were surprised to hear children speaking French to each other just for fun during their free-time (while playing cards in the coach for instance). During a trip like this children get a chance to learn about the culture as much as the language and it gives them a chance to try new things and discover a new motivation for a subject, here French.
Since we have been back, we have been using more target language in the classroom than before. I can tell how much the trip has boosted some children. All the pupils have been writing mini-posters about the activities they have done and what they really liked or not. I was delightfully surprised to see them all trying hard. Especially, pupils who are usually reluctant in writing anything needed to be slowed down a little as they wanted to describe every single aspect of their trip (the display boards would not have been big enough). The mini-posters are now displayed around the school along with some pictures if you want to have a look for yourself. So, in brief, a trip abroad is not just about the fun and the visits but about the motivation as much as the insight into a culture and a way of life the children get out of it. It is about the will to communicate with others even if you make mistakes as long as the message gets through. It is about getting out of your comfort zone and push yourself to try harder. This trip is also about pride and ownership: it was the 2018 year 7 trip to Normandie and it belongs to them now and they can be proud of what they have gained from it. They made it a success and I am sure the year 6 have heard some of their stories and now are wondering what I am cooking up for them next year...to be continued. |

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08Oct

Form 7 had a great trip to Normandy.

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introText | A mathematical challenge! |

image | /cms/resources/unknown-1.jpeg |

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leftColBody | It is in the Autumn Term of Form 7 that the children first encounter Pi (π) in their Maths lessons. 3.1415926… Many have already heard of Pi, some even have an idea of how this remarkable irrational value might be used. Some already know that it is irrational and cannot be exactly represented as a simple fraction. No sequence is recurring and it is therefore assumed that any series of numbers could be found within it. As computing power grows, so does our ability to extend the known digits of Pi – the current record is over 22 trillion digits. They may also know that an approximation of Pi was used by many ancient civilisations, including the Egyptians, Babylonians and Greeks. Their knowledge may even extend to mathematical calculations relating to features in nature. Form 7 use is limited to two circle applications: calculating circumference and area, where Circumference = 2πr and Area = πr^2. The children use these formulas to calculate the perimeter and area of a variety of circle-related shapes, including semi-circles, quarter circles and annuli. Many children, however, have a curiosity about Pi which extends beyond its limited use in class and sooner or later they will ask, “”How did they (all those historical mathematicians) work out Pi?” So, for all of those minds curious about Pi, and knowing that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, here are some methods which may be used to find an approximation of Pi. One method is to measure the circumference (perimeter) of a circle and then divide that by the diameter (the straight line passing from one side of a circle to the other through the centre). Cylinders are quite a good starting place, as they allow for easy measuring of the circumference. |

rightColBody | For more accuracy, mathematical methods will be required, such as the method employed by Indian mathematician, Nilakantha Somayaji (1444-1544) The further this calculation is extended, the more accurate the approximation of Pi will be. And perhaps the most fascinating way is based on Buffon’s needle; a probability approximation which combines the random tossing of toothpicks with a formula. First divide up a sheet of paper into parallel lines which are the same distance apart as each toothpick is long, i.e. If the toothpicks are 8 cm long, make sure the parallel lines are 8 cm apart. Then randomly throw toothpicks onto the paper: more toothpicks = better results. After tossing, discard any toothpicks which are not completely on the paper then count up all of the remaining toothpicks, and also count up how many sticks are crossing one of the parallel lines. Finally use this formula to approximate Pi: Ultimately, the children will use the π button on their calculators, which stores an approximation to about 10 digits and provides more than ample accuracy for their maths problems. Learning multiple digits of Pi is not essential although if anyone is particularly keen, the current recital record stands at 70 030 digits. If that’s a bit much then count up the letters in each word that makes up the title of this post. RL |

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og_title | How I wish I could calculate Pi! |

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perch_introText | A mathematical challenge! |

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perch_imageAlt | |

perch_leftColBody | It is in the Autumn Term of Form 7 that the children first encounter Pi (π) in their Maths lessons. 3.1415926… Many have already heard of Pi, some even have an idea of how this remarkable irrational value might be used. Some already know that it is irrational and cannot be exactly represented as a simple fraction. No sequence is recurring and it is therefore assumed that any series of numbers could be found within it. As computing power grows, so does our ability to extend the known digits of Pi – the current record is over 22 trillion digits. They may also know that an approximation of Pi was used by many ancient civilisations, including the Egyptians, Babylonians and Greeks. Their knowledge may even extend to mathematical calculations relating to features in nature. Form 7 use is limited to two circle applications: calculating circumference and area, where Circumference = 2πr and Area = πr^2. The children use these formulas to calculate the perimeter and area of a variety of circle-related shapes, including semi-circles, quarter circles and annuli. Many children, however, have a curiosity about Pi which extends beyond its limited use in class and sooner or later they will ask, “”How did they (all those historical mathematicians) work out Pi?” So, for all of those minds curious about Pi, and knowing that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, here are some methods which may be used to find an approximation of Pi. One method is to measure the circumference (perimeter) of a circle and then divide that by the diameter (the straight line passing from one side of a circle to the other through the centre). Cylinders are quite a good starting place, as they allow for easy measuring of the circumference. |

perch_rightColBody | For more accuracy, mathematical methods will be required, such as the method employed by Indian mathematician, Nilakantha Somayaji (1444-1544) The further this calculation is extended, the more accurate the approximation of Pi will be. And perhaps the most fascinating way is based on Buffon’s needle; a probability approximation which combines the random tossing of toothpicks with a formula. First divide up a sheet of paper into parallel lines which are the same distance apart as each toothpick is long, i.e. If the toothpicks are 8 cm long, make sure the parallel lines are 8 cm apart. Then randomly throw toothpicks onto the paper: more toothpicks = better results. After tossing, discard any toothpicks which are not completely on the paper then count up all of the remaining toothpicks, and also count up how many sticks are crossing one of the parallel lines. Finally use this formula to approximate Pi: Ultimately, the children will use the π button on their calculators, which stores an approximation to about 10 digits and provides more than ample accuracy for their maths problems. Learning multiple digits of Pi is not essential although if anyone is particularly keen, the current recital record stands at 70 030 digits. If that’s a bit much then count up the letters in each word that makes up the title of this post. RL |

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02Oct

A mathematical challenge!

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