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7 years to make change happen

The students in 1e8 recently spent an afternoon with medical practitioner and environmental campaigner, Dr Pinto, who joined us via video link from the United Kingdom. She highlighted the critical situation that the planet is in but she also addressed the way this can make us feel. She left the class richer in facts about the climate crisis. Dr Pinto also suggested many actions that we can do to help.

Climate change is very important – we need to act as quickly as possible to save the world and hope for a better future. We can help in many ways: stop over-consuming, stop wasting food and clothes will help a lot. Going vegan or vegetarian or simply reducing the amount of meat products can help reduce pollution. Recycling is the way to go! – Surya


The interesting facts I discovered highlighted the link between health and ecology: pollution from the pharmaceutical industry as well as how it impacts mental health. We have 7 years to change the way we live – 2030 is the deadline. After that we won’t be able to turn back. The industrial production process for ONE pair of jeans and ONE t-shirt uses the same amount of water as ONE person uses over THRITEEN years. – Salomé

Flash Collection


“Flash Collection”, a travelling exhibition came to Lucie Aubrac, to inspire the international class. On the morning of Tuesday the 14th of March 2023, the students of 2nd8 were joined by a lovely frac employee who introduced six works of art in an unexpected fashion. We discussed still art, performing art, and what art means to us. We also learned about the frac organization. So what is the frac? It is the acronym for Fonds Régionaux d’Art Contemporain, a public collection created in 1982 by Jack Lang. There are twenty-three Frac in France, one per region. Since 2013, the Frac collection holds 26 000 works of art made by 4 200 artists that come from all over the world. But what are the real missions of a Frac? The collections aim to build a heritage of contemporary art, support the creation of emerging artists, give visibility, and raise awareness of the public, especially the younger generations. They have numerous partners to realize and finance this wonderful project.

« Flash collection » is a project specially designed in 2016 for high school students in Ile-de-France. Indeed, the designer Olivier Vadrot has created a flight case that contains multiple works of contemporary art from the collection of the Frac which stands for Regional Fund for Contemporary Art.

The aim of this project is to teach and introduce the world of contemporary art to high school students in the Ile-de-France region in a fun way. Not all Ile-de-France residents have equal access to artistic knowledge. The Flash Collection flight case contains a small selection of contemporary works, and allows for a different approach to art, one that is much more interactive. Students have direct access to the different works of art, introduced by a person specialized in them. This allows the students to have a guide who is present to answer all our questions, to expose students to artistic works and talk to us about the works that have been pre-selected.

Mallette Flash Collection

The works in the « flash collection » were transported in a flight case, usually associated with the world of entertainment. The design of the flight, used to safely transport the various works, has a meaning: the red and yellow flight case is reminiscent of the film « Flash », following the adventures of a fast car. The whole notion of speed is thus taken up by the design of the box. In addition, the name « flash collection » suggests something temporary and provisional. When the lady presented the different works of art, they were in boxes that are typically associated with magic. All these colours and this process of discovering a work is used to make the collection accessible to as many people as possible and is a fun and interactive experience.

The 2e8 students were introduced to various art works by Magalie, a FRAC employee. Firstly, they discovered John Stezaker’s collage made in 2007. In this piece of art, the artist used a picture from a scene of a black and white film in which a dying man lies on a bed surrounded by other people. On top of the picture, Stezaker layered the picture of the landscape of a lake that seems to be the continuity of the lying man. Another art work that was presented to the Seconde was “Dinner in the pool”, a photograph by Bill Owens taken in 1980. Initially a photographer for a Californian magazine, Owens enjoyed taking pictures of typically American everyday of the working classes in the late 60s. Lastly the students spent the most time discussing Veronique Jourmard’s sculpture entitled “Horloge” made in 2001. It is a ready-made, which in art is the process of by which an artist appropriates a manufactured object and deprives it of its basic function to turn it into a piece of art. The original clock came from Japan and was transformed by the artist herself. She removed the hour hand and the minute hand to only keep the second hand and painted it in red. This sculpture represents vanity as it emphasizes the seconds going so fast and time flying by. Some students felt anxious looking at the clock. It created a lot of discussion about how time is limited and how we spend our lives. Even though it is common knowledge this helped the students realize that they needed to enjoy every second of their lives because they are not eternal.

The Urinal is a ready-made sculptor by Marcel Duchamp, presented for the first time in 1917. The piece of art is a public urinal upside down and signed “R. Mutt”. It was the most controversial work of art of the 20th century as it had an impact on an entire era of art. This simple piece of art hides a whole story. Marcel Duchamp was a member of the Society of Independent Artists (SIA) when he decided to present The Urinal anonymously to the jury with a fake name for it to be exhibited. However, his public urinal was refused because “its place is not in an art exhibition and it is not a work of art, according to any definition”. When Duchamp learned this, he left the SIA without revealing his link to the yet unknown artist, “Richard Mutt”. Obviously, this story stirred up heated debates about what should and could be considered art. His friend Alfred Stieglitz took a photo of it and published it for the journal The Blind Men. A little after this, he put The Fountain in his New York gallery. It was stolen, broken, lost, destroyed but despite all, this work of art has really overturned the codes and is a perfect example of contemporary art.

The next day the class met and discussed what we appreciated and how some of our opinions differed. Everyone shared their views about the works they had seen. We then asked ourselves about the presence of art in our society (whether it is useful or not) and questions that we thought were useful to ask when we observe a work of art.

In the end, the whole class agreed that the « flash collection » was a good idea to bring art into the daily lives of high school students.

Article written by a group of students in 2e8 Section Internationale anglais britannique

Printemps des Poètes en version anglaise

This is the photo-poem created by students in the British English International Section on the theme of Borders as their contribution to the Printemps des Poètes. The International Section also participated this spring in the ASIBA poetry competion on the theme of Home. The overlapping themes generated some interesting ideas that appear in the collage and some beautiful imagery in the poems.


Clydeview Academy Meets Lycée Lucie Aubrac

A group of students from Première and Terminale in the British International Section were delighted to spend time with pupils from Clydeview Academy, Greenock (Scotland) during the February holidays. The Clydeview pupils visited Paris in preparation for their French oral exams this Spring.

After a morning spent getting to know one another, playing games and discussing research topics chosen by the S6 pupils preparing the Scottish Baccalaureat, the students enjoyed a meal together in the centre of Paris.

All the best of luck to the Scottish students for their up-coming exams!



Visiting the Houses of Parliament

The students in the British Internationale Section (1e) took the opportunity to follow a virtual visit of the Houses of Parliament in London. Our guide helped us to explore the building: we went into the Robing Room, the Lords Chamber, the Commons Chamber and through the Central Lobby. She explained the colour symbolism used, the history of the building and how the decor reflects the different monarchs, heads of government and political movements. She also explained the different rituals and the roles of each part of the Parliament.

National Poetry Day 2022

The theme of this year’s National Poetry Day is the environment. The class of 2e in the International British Section enjoyed creating kennings to describe natural features like rain, trees, birds, soil and rivers.

We enjoyed listening to the opening lines of Beowulf read in Old English by an expert from the Medieval Manuscripts team in the British Library. The extract included the kenning ‘whale road’ used to describe the sea.

We then took inspiration from the poem ‘Sun Kennings’ by James Carter to create the structure of our poems celebrating nature. You can listen to the poets performing their work here:

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