Gillespie Primary School
Gillespie Road, Highbury, London, N5 1LH
T: 020 7226 6840 F: 020 7354 8537
Gillespie Primary School | Bastille Day
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17 Jul Bastille Day

The 14th July is an important day in the French calendar, which marks the start of the French Revolution. The day is known as Bastille Day around the world or, in France, as La Fête Nationale. In the weeks running up to Bastille day the children of Gillespie learnt a lot about this period in history including the causes of the revolution and about Marie-Antoinette and King Louis XVI.

On Bastille Day we finished this year’s language learning with a French themed day celebrating French culture and history. Throughout the day, different year groups took part in different activities with either a historical or cultural focus.

In Years 1 and 2, we learnt two playground games that children in France play. They were called La Marelle, which is a bit like hopscotch, and Les Pêcheurs et Les Poissons (Fishermen and Fish). We also learnt about a French artist called Henri Matisse and we made our own version of his artwork ‘The Snail’. To do these activities we used our excellent knowledge of numbers and colours in French!

Years 3 and 4, learnt how to play Boules! We had to get une boule as close as we could to le cochonnet. Our other activity was something we had been working on for several weeks… we made the heads of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI out of papier-mâché!

Years 5 and 6 were getting creative in different ways. Leading up to Bastille Day, we learnt Do You Hear the People Sing?, a song from the musical Les Misérables, to learn about the atmosphere of revolution in 18th Century France. On Bastille Day we put actions and drums to this song and then performed it at the end of the day! We also learnt about an important French Cinema movement called La Nouvelle Vague and we practised filming our own tracking and jump shots, which were very popular at the time.