Monday, June 7, 2010

Did I ever tell you I work at a chateau?

No? Well, that's because I don't, quite... This chateau is at the centre of the school where I teach English, and classes were once held in it, I suppose, but now it's just the fine centrepiece for more modern school buildings.
As I mentioned, it was our school fĂȘte on Friday, and my pupils (the English-speaking children who take extra lessons to keep up their English) and I prepared a rather good stand:
But shall we have a tour around the stalls before I show you what we did?
'Tir aux profs' means 'throw at the teachers! The caricatures of the teachers are really good - I wonder who did them?
Hook-a-duck is staggeringly popular in any language...
These adorable hamsters were running around their maze
and being very well-cared for, I was pleased to see. An ex-pupil told me all about them. Too cute!
The children in the primary school have a gardening club, and I bought some basil that they'd grown. I hope it survives longer than most of my basil plants - Raja ate one, the first year, and this year the plants in pots died on a sunny day when I was away.
Now, would you like a look at our very red, white and blue stand?
6° to 3° means aged 11 to 14, by the way. We were advertising for more pupils - they all enjoy the classes and want the children from the primary school (and new starters aged 11) to join them - there are quite a lot of options and I've lost Anglophone pupils to some of the newer choices - we wanted to show off just how good we are!The 11 and 12 year olds have been having a great time sharing books they've enjoyed, with comprehension questions set by me. This swapping of book packs (read a chapter then answer the questions) is inspiring a lot more reading, which really pleases me.
Of course they all speak English, but if you've only been to French school, writing in English is really hard. We do a lot of writing, and I try to make it varied and fun, as well as matching the English National Curriculum.
Advertising is entertaining, and quite educational too, as they can learn just how powerful and manipulative it can be.
Help! For the first time we are aiming towards the International GCSE in English as a First Language. This is really hard for me as well as for them...
They can all do descriptive writing, thank goodness.
Back to basics - I'm a trained dyslexia teacher, and a lot of the ideas I have for differentiating work come from that background. This is a really super example of a spelling book - I'm so glad this pupil was prepared to share it.
We decided to share some traditional British Jelly Babies too. Thew went down EXTREMELY well with the French students! Did you spot a hint of CK and EB on the stand? Well, why not?
Back out of doors, the primary school pupils were lining up for their performances.
The audience was in the shade, and had access to a very pleasant bar and snacks, with a BBQ for later.
The primary school's theme this year was 'Around the World'. I enjoyed the Spanish costumes (flamenco dancing is quite popular down here, close as we are to the border).And I loved these boys in their African shirts.It was as hot as it looks! About 29°C at 5pm. Indoors with the displays, I found a cool breeze and checked out the other stands. There were plenty of photos of school trips to England,
and an exchange vist to a British school.I thought the Italian stand looked great. I told one of my pupils, as we began to set up, 'The Italian display is the only one that could beat us', and she innocently replied, 'Oh, is it a competition?'. It's always a competition between teachers, my dear...There was a whole room given over to art displays, including these floor-to-ceiling banners.They looked great.
These science displays were made by groups of children, and assessed. Very impressive work.
So, I'll leave you with one of my more inspirational weekly views...And a healthy dose of Americana and 'Big-up-Blighty', as Happy would put it!

Have a lovely week. I'll be back on Wednesday, with a rather interesting connection...


Elizabethd said...

Goodness me! Our school has nothing like that. We just have a very small fete on the playing field, no exhibitions.

Autumn Mist said...

Excellent - I see the exchange was with a school in Netherthorpe, I take it that would be quite near me in Derbyshire, then? I love your stand. The union jack balloons are excellent. I have used dyslexia books (Alpha to Omega) to teach english as a foreign language and find they work really well.

TheMadHouse said...

Wow what a stunning place to work (near)!! Looks as though everyone as been really busy.

VintageVicki said...

Your stall looks great - good to introduce CK & EB to our French neighbours.

Excellent choice of books for the youngsters too - think my 2 have read all of those books & others in the series.

Little sons school fete is soon - I expect it won't be quite as colourful as that one though.

maryannlucy said...

What a fabulous school, the exhibits are all very impressive, but I feel the red, white and blue one was the winner - no competition indeed! ;-)

Purrfect Haven said...

can I join your class, please? I know I speak and write English, BUT I am much in need of some wonderful learning experiences and your post shows me YOU are clearly the place in which to be seen... count me in! Love Helen, Darcy and Bingley xx

Joy said...

Wow there was a lot of fun stuff going on there. Your booth looked great. I know you make learning fun. Thanks for the tour. I enjoyed it.
♥ Joy

silverpebble said...

WHAT could be better than hamsters in a maze? Perhaps guinea pigs in a maze but it would be a close call.

Floss you have put me to shame. I have no clue what nominative determinism is.

A massive hurray for the hoopoes.

mise said...

What a fine stall, like Cath Kidston and the BBC World Service rolled into one.

lou said...

What a fab stall...if only you could help me with my English! :-)

I’m coming over too France in September, I can’t wait.

Love Lou xxx

Mami said...

How fun!! Thank you for sharing. It reminds me our school festival or school activities too..

To my surprised,'Tir aux profs' haha :D
I wish our teacher had more humour sense though..

The chateau is in your school? Great!!

Josie-Mary said...

Your stall looks lovely...can't beat a bit of red, white & blue :)
How beautiful it all looks & so warm & sunny :) It rained all day yesterday & it was my day off :( x

Lululiz said...

Wow, now thats what I call a school fete! Your stand looks fabulous, surely it won the (unofficial ) competition between teachers??? Its great to see that the kids got so involved in everything.

Angela said...

What a fabulous stall, and a brilliant fete. So glad the weather was good for you

beck said...

What an amazing day! I loved all the colour and the amazing amount of hard work the children put in is very imppressive. It must be an inspiring workplace! Your stall looked very snazzy, love the red, white & blue. Great photo's Floss xo

Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

That looks like a fabulous time was had by everyone! As a mother of young children, I always love seeing what their peers are doing at school in other countries. ;) said...

This has been fascinating Floss, it is so interesting to see what you are all getting up to over there. I loved your stand, really great indeed. And all in such a beautiful setting too! Suzie xxxx

andrea v said...

Sigh, beautiful chateau . The french chateaus are amongst some of my favorites in historical architecture from around the world. What a lovely setting and a lovely day by the looks of it.
(i've left a reply to your comment at my blog)
Best wishes

Isabelle - Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Hi Floss

It looks as if it was a big and successful event! I like the detail that went in to it all. I loved the blue, white and red stall!

I smiled when I read about the jelly babies being extreeemely popular. One of my Belgian cousins (in his 50's) loves them so every time we visit we bring a supply over to him.

The chateau is beautiful, how lovely to have have it on the school grounds. A very nice setting to work in no doubt.

Take care
Isabelle x

The Curious Cat said...

Not what I expected but looks wicked! And I spot Skullduggery Pleasant there! A book I know quite well from my old days at HarperCollins! How cool! xxx

The Curious Cat said...

PS I'm such an idiot - you're about me section explains it all!!!