17 January 2024
Having spent a French lesson before Christmas learning about Montmartre and its long association with famous artists, on Tuesday 8 January, Year 8 students consolidated their learning with a virtual visit to this well-known district of Paris, with the help of technology and expert French guide, Flo, live from Paris.
After introducing himself to the class on screen, Flo turned the camera to the streets of Montmartre, and the first ‘stop’ on the tour – the house where Vincent van Gogh lived and worked for three years in the latter part of the nineteenth century. From where it was only a short walk for Flo to show the students where Pablo Picasso lived for a few years from the age of 19.
As students joined Flo on the climb to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, he showed them many other highlights the district has to offer, including the site of one of Renoir’s most celebrated paintings, Bal du moulin de la Galette, which he brought up on screen to show Year 8; the statue of St Denis, the patron saint of France; and Place du Terte, the square where dozens of artists still gather to paint visitors’ portraits (though on a cold January afternoon, just four artists had set up their easels).
During the tour, students wrote questions on their individual white boards and held them up for the teacher to share them with Flo online. They also passed on their comments, with “c’est jolie” a recurring phrase. It certainly summed up the conclusion of the tour - a wonderful view of Paris from the top of the hill, that included a distant Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame.
Students Zarina and Bebe shared their enjoyment of the session: The virtual tour was very interactive and thrilling. It was nice to be able to see Montmartre live and ask questions about it. We learned lots of useful information about places like the French equivalent of Downing Street and Le Passe-Muraille and the interesting story behind it, about a man who could walk through walls! The experience was very enjoyable and exciting.
Following the tour, students created posters about Montmartre, some of which you can see in the gallery below.