Category Archives: Middle School

French American School of Princeton Recognizes Student for Figure Skating Win in Egypt

A student ice skating in a rink

The French American School of Princeton (FASP) recognizes eighth grade student Sophia Farajallah for winning a figure skating award in Egypt during a competition held over the summer.

Farajallah, 13, received the award during the Egyptian National Figure Skating Championship. The event, sponsored and organized by Ice Skate Egypt, embraces and raises awareness of winter sports throughout the country. Her mother, Heba Guirgis who also works within the organization, had the distinct honor of awarding Farajallah the first-place medal for girls competing in the 13-15 age group.

“It was quite the experience,” said Farajallah. “It was really special for my mom to present me the award.”

At the age of three, Farajallah started figure skating after she told her mother she wanted to begin the sport. As both an athlete and a scholar, she prepares herself for figure skating through on-ice and off-ice training including ballet, pilates, meditation and even watching competitions on television.

A headshot of a student.

“I like to see what trends are popular among professional ice skaters,” said Farajallah.

Outside of figure skating and school, the 13-year-old student-athlete enjoys painting and spending time with her dog, Joy. At the conclusion of each academic school year at FASP, she also visits family in Egypt yearly and proudly embraces her heritage of the country. “I’m very proud to be Egyption,” said Farajallah. “It’s a big part of history, and I enjoy going to see my cousins and grandparents each year.”

Middle School Students Discuss IB Program

Students sit in a classroom and learn about a program

Students in middle school met with Head of School Corinne Güngör, their teachers and fellow classmates for an open discussion about the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program. Students watched a short video and then spoke about academic honesty and essential documents for the program.

Grade 5 & 8 Graduation 2019

Every year, it’s hard to say goodbye to our Grade 8 students as they head on to high school, and hard to believe our Grade 5 students will be Middle Schoolers in a few months! But the graduation ceremony is a special time to celebrate what they have accomplished and what good things they will do on their next adventures. Congratulations to all our graduating students, and best wishes for a bright future!

IB Approaches to Learning: Communication

One of the approaches to learning of the IB-MYP (International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program) is to ‘use a variety of speaking techniques to communicate with a variety of audiences.” At FASP, our students practice this in many ways in class, during their forums, in the afterschool program, and more. During their debate sessions, our Grade 5 & 6 students have been working in groups to consider all sides of important topics. Then they present their opinions in a debate format in front of their peers and teachers. Learning to express themselves in two languages and to many types of people will help our students to become effective communicators.

High School Information Session 2019

Transitioning to high school after FASP can seem like a big step, with many options and steps to think about. Admissions officers from local private high schools visited FASP recently to tell us about their admissions process and answer our students’ and parents’ questions. A current Grade 8 family also came to share about their recent experience and offer helpful advice. If you have questions about high school options, please feel free to reach out to us!

Grade 8 trip to Bermuda

This month, our Grade 8 students took a trip to Bermuda after months of preparation. Their goal was to study the effects of plastic pollution, in addition to discovering a beautiful island.

There, they joined a local school in a round-table discussion about environmental issues and did a beach cleanup with the organization Keep Bermuda Beautiful. They visited the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute to learn about the human impact on marine environments. They also got hands-on learning opportunities at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences with a coral reef visit.

Our students came back more informed and motivated to help against plastic pollution!

End of the Year Theatrical Show

Our Middle School students put together a wonderful variety of skits and poetry presentations for their end-of-the-year show. Their parents and siblings came to enjoy a night of laughs through students’ skits in French about life as a teenager and social media culture. Students also recited their original poems in English. Bravo!

Debates in Grade 5 & 6

For the last two months, our Grade 5 and 6 students have been working together to consider different sides of current issues. They develop a position concerning topics like family dynamics, the effects of technology on society, our environmental impact, and how to create change. Students then take turns debating an issue and deciding whether they have changed their mind or remain firm in their stance. Thinking critically from different viewpoints and expressing oneself in front of others are important parts of students’ development into global citizens.

Escape Room at the Franklin Institute

Our Middle School students recently put their teamwork and thinking skills to the test at the Franklin Institute’s Escape Room exhibit. They worked together to solve clues and complete their mission. They also took a tour of the Rodin Museum while in the Philadelphia area.

Grade 8 Class Trip to study and reduce plastic pollution in Bermuda

In mid-May, our Grade 8 students will be traveling to the island of Bermuda for their class trip. The island will be beautiful and the weather will surely be pleasant, but our students are going with another focus: to study plastic pollution in our oceans. They will visit local organizations to learn what work is being done, how to help, and they’ll see firsthand the impact that human activity has on marine life.

In preparation for their trip, our students have been studying the problem of plastic pollution in Bermuda and around the world. Their winter forum showcased some of their research, and they recently visited the Grade 5 class to lead a workshop in reusing recycled plastic materials.

This trip is linked to the students’ community project as a component of their education in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. This community project is an integral part of an IB education, in which students raise awareness of an issue. Our students will return from their trip to share with the FASP community what they’ve learned and to raise awareness of the plastic pollution problem.

Stay tuned for an update after their trip!

Learn more about the IB MYP community project learning goals here:

Firmenich leads Fragrance Workshops at FASP

FASP become a perfumery recently with a visit from Firmenich! Workshops included Fragrance Bingo for Grades 1 & 2 and Mix-you-own-fragrance for Grades 3-8. Students learned about the fragrance industry, how fragrances are used and made, and enjoyed the activities as well. Thank you to Céline and her team for this educational fun!

Cooking Day in Grade 5 and Middle School

Cooking and baking together is a great team- and skill-building activity. Our Grade 5-8 students enjoyed making paninis, fruit salad, soup, chocolate mousse, and lemon pastries in teams. The weather was perfect for an outdoor lunch the next day!

Springtime stories in Maternelle

Every month, a few of our middle school students visit the Maternelle for story time. This time they chose spring-themed stories and enjoyed the young students’ reactions and questions to the stories.

Visit by local artist Carole Jury

Local artist and FASP parent Carole Jury visited FASP recently to talk with our Grade 8 students about her work and career. She shared how her business started, what her art techniques are, and together they learned a bit about working with oil paints. Thank you, Carole, for a fun and informative lesson!