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Penpal Project

Building Bridges


We are thrilled to share some exciting news about an initiative taking place in Gold Class. Recently, I reached out to a school in France hoping to start a correspondence between Gold Class and a class in France.


To start this exciting project, each child in Gold Class has filled out a "Tout sur moi" form (All about me), talking about their interests and hobbies. The students in France have done the same. Maîtresse Anna, the teacher in France, and myself will soon be meeting to carefully pair up students based on their shared interests.


After half term, both classes will start a literary project together. We've selected a captivating book that will be studied simultaneously on both sides. This shared reading experience will not only enhance language skills but also create an opportunity for both classes to exchange questions and thoughts about the story.


In addition to our shared reading adventure, we plan to connect regularly (hopefully weekly) via Zoom. Whether it's saying a cheerful "hello," sharing a favourite song, reciting a poem, or collaborating on other exciting projects, these virtual meetings will allow our students to build friendships, despite the distance.


We are so excited about this cross-cultural collaboration and can't wait for our pupils to embark on this journey.


Scroll down for the next part of our adventure.

mardi 23 janvier 2024


This Tuesday, Gold Class met Anna's class in France. One by one, the children came to the laptop to meet their penpal. They all made me so proud by saying 'Bonjour, enchanté(e)' to their penpal, even the children who tend to be shy. After the Zoom call, a child said 'It was magical' and another one said 'At first, I was scared but then I was happy'. They all said they'd like to meet their penpal in real life. This was such a positive and enriching experience. We can't wait to see where this project is going to take us! Next time, we will write a letter to our penpal. We will meet up on Zoom every week to talk about what we've been up to and what we've learnt. We'll keep you updated! wink


La pie - Claude Monet

mardi 30 janvier 2024


Today, we met our penpals on Zoom again. Some of the French pupils came to the camera and said in perfect English:

"Close your eyes. Imagine a winter scene. The snow and a magpie on a fence. Now open your eyes. Today, we want to teach you a French word: La pie. It means magpie."

When we opened our eyes, we could see this beautiful painting by the renowned French artist Monet. This was a beautiful moment. The children truly appreciated this painting and learning a little bit about Monet. 


We then discussed our week sharing what we learned, liked and would like to improve (J'ai appris... J'ai aimé... Je veux améliorer...). It's a weekly ritual in Anna's class. Funnily, both classes chose 'listening to each other' as an area for development. We seem to have a lot in common with our French friends smiley

We cannot wait for our next meeting. Stay tuned!

Le livre des erreurs de Corinna Luyken

mardi 6 février 2024


This week, we were lucky to listen to Maîtresse Anna and her class read a book to us, "The Book of Mistakes" by Corinne Luyken. This book demystifies mistakes and reaffirms the right to make them. It explains how to turn mistakes into opportunities—a valuable lesson for both adults and children who often forget that learning comes from making mistakes. Many wonderful things, such as the famous dessert tarte tatin, the accidental discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming, or the invention of the post-it due to an error in adhesive development at 3M, wouldn't exist without mistakes! smiley


After that, Gold Class had a message for the Anna's CE2 Class. It was their turn to come up to the laptop and speak French. "Fermez les yeux. Vous allez voyager dans le temps. Imaginez un cercle de pierres. Ouvrez les yeux."

'Close your eyes. You are going to travel in time. Imagine a circle of stones. Open your eyes.'

When the class opened their eyes, Samuel was holding a picture of Stonehenge. We explained that we were going tomorrow. Then, both classes debated on how the stones could have been moved there and why. We had a lovely time. We're looking forward to our next Zoom meeting! 




The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

mardi 13 février 2024


We are on holiday this week but I just wanted to say 'Hello' to our penpals who are not yet on holiday (they will be for two weeks from February 19th). I met them online and read to them Gold Class' favourite book... The Book With No Pictures by B.J.Novak. They loved it because it's a book that makes grown-ups say silly things and it made them laugh a lot. 

It is great to be able to share our favourite books across borders. We can't wait for our next meeting which should be on March 5th because of the holiday. We'll have so much to catch up on! 

Our story made the news!

mardi 20 février 2024


Today, the children and I were very excited to read some articles about our project in a few local newspapers! 


This week, we should get our first letters from our correspondents.


Half term has now started in France but we are lucky because Maîtresse Anna will meet with us tomorrow afternoon to read us a story.


Last Tuesday, the French pupils interviewed me for an episode of their podcast. You can listen to it by clicking this link:


À bientôt ! laugh



First Letters


jeudi 22 février 2024


We lived a very special moment in Gold Class this week. We got our first letters from our French friends! 

It felt a little bit like Christmas morning. The atmosphere was filled with excitement and heart-warming reactions. 


I captured this on camera and put together a video to share the joy with all the families. 

Please click this link:


After this beautiful, magical moment, the children wanted to start writing their next letter to their pen pals! What amazed me the most was witnessing the enthusiasm as they put their thoughts onto paper.


Some children, who might be a bit reserved in English lessons, surprised me by independently writing full pages. This project has given our children a tangible purpose for their writing. It wasn't about writing a piece to be marked by the teacher. It was about writing to someone special - their pen pals. 


Thank you parents for your ongoing support. We are really excited to continue fostering these meaningful connections.



A day in the life of Gold Class

Still image for this video

vendredi 23 février 2024


Gold Class have had fun working on this video project to show our new friends what a day in Gold Class looks like. In this video, you can see our daily routine and hear us speak "Frenglish" throughout the day. Every day, we do the register in French, followed by lunch where the children say either 'pique-nique' or 'repas chaud  s'il vous plaît' (packed lunch or hot dinner). Then we like to wish each other a 'Bon appétit' at lunchtime! smiley When we mark our work, we proudly put our 'stylo vert in the air like we just don't care!' because we like it when a lesson goes 'Juste comme il faut!'. 

We hope you enjoy watching our video.


À bientôt ! 


Miss Hanby


PS: I apologise if some of the faces have been cropped. I haven't mastered the art of video editing yet but I'm working on it!