Schedule in a ‘Worry Time’

‘This is an interesting little animation clip which gives you tips on how to cope with too many worries. Perhaps some of the Year 11 students who are starting to realise the importance of the next month and a half, might need these handy tips on how to cope with overwhelming worries.

And from Monty Python’s Life of Brian – Always look on the bright side of life!



Sport Relief 2016

It’s not a religious charity so isn’t very useful for us in our GCSE answers about charities which help community cohesion. Neither is it useful for Year 8 students who’ve learnt the Unit on Wealth and Poverty. However, it’s always interesting from a Humanities perspective when you learn about what a charity does and why. Our school will be raising money for Sport Relief a bit after the main event takes place so it coincides with the last day of term before the Easter holidays: Thursday 24th March.

sports relief

This year I first heard about Sport Relief when listening to Radio 1 on the way home and the DJ Greg James’ attempt at doing five triathlons over five days. His radio show for the whole week travelled around Britain following his sporting endeavours and played some interesting clips about where the money from Sports Relief goes.

You can read and watch clips of Gregathlon on the BBC pages, or watch a special iPlayer documentary about his Sport Relief efforts.

On TV there is also the Great Sport Relief Bake Off which you can watch that not only shows the comedy efforts of celebrities trying to cook but also has a clip part way through about parts of the world where poverty and war leave people needing the help of the more fortunate. On the Sport Relief website there is an interesting page which explains where your money goes and has real stories of individuals who Sport Relief has helped in the past.

So when it comes to the 24th March make sure you’ve got lots of sponsors for our mile run around the school field and get ready to bust some moves in the aerobics dance-off!



More Banksy

If you want some Banksy without much explanation this website offers photographs of hundreds of his work.

Dismaland was an incredible theme park that left people scrambling for entry; all managed by Banksy. Watch the video on this Guardian news article.

Even the Americans love him! Banksy was here! is an article in the New Yorker.

Banksy is interesting to Religious Education students as he comments on social, political and religious issues which we study in class. Here he is doing murals in Palestine to show his dismay at the huge concrete wall the Israelis built to keep Palestinians out. With Channel 4 news reporting on his work.

An excellent film for aspiring graffiti artists is Exit Through the Gift Shop; a humorous portrayal of how street artists make their living, by Banksy.

Is your room so messy it’ll affect your GCSE grades?

Research by Oxford University has shown that teenagers with dirty messy rooms, who never open the window to ventilate it and so live and sleep in smelly rooms, can suffer from insomnia thereby affecting their achievement in GCSE exams.

messy room

The Daily Mail reports how Oxford professors say:

‘The smelly teenager’s bedroom is a byproduct of the fact that the room is full of rebreathed air, which is low in oxygen and high in nitrogen. If you keep on rebreathing the same air in a small bedroom that is hot and not ventilated you will wake up with a headache after a poor night’s sleep.”

Other research is putting pressure on schools to start educating teenagers of the importance of a tidy room which gets well ventilated and isn’t too hot, as well as the need to turn off computers, tablets and phones a decent time before bed to stop the artificial light suppressing their natural need to sleep.


Good news story – Former Man Utd stars let homeless stay in their hotel

Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs bought the old Manchester stock exchange building to renovate and do up as a boutique hotel. On Sunday when homeless people started squatting in the building, rather than going straight to the courts to chuck them out, the former Manchester United players said the homeless group can stay there for the whole of winter.

Thank you so much, you don’t understand what you have done for us,” Hall a housing and human rights activist said repeatedly to Neville.

If you’ve never heard of Ryan Giggs then watch Football Focus discussing how he ranks among Premiership greats:

Quentin Blake Exhibition in Woking


Only a half hour drive from the Ashford area, Woking has a fabulous art gallery called the Lightbox which currently has an exhibition of Quentin Blake’s superb illustrations. These illustrations are on tour from the House of Illustration based in London. Their director Colin McKenzie, said: “Quentin Blake is an illustrator of world renown whose work is instantly recognisable to millions. This exhibition will offer audiences of all ages a unique insight into both his work and working method.”


Most people have seen Quentin Blake’s illustrations in Roald Dahl’s books but he has also written and illustrated his own books, as well as books by famous authors like David Walliams and John Yeoman.

We hugely enjoyed the exhibition. It gave you lots of information about the process Quentin Blake goes through when doing his illustrations and the material he uses. It also made you want to read Roald Dahl’s books again just so you could look at the amazing pictures again. A few books we’d never heard of, The Clown being one, have been ordered so we can read them for the first time.

the clown

Get out there this Christmas!

There is so much fun to be had around London this Christmas so make the most of your holidays and get out there!

Always useful to check before catching the train or tube into central London is Time Out’s website which often has specific information about special events taking place each day.

Visiting all of London’s free museums and art galleries can be a clever way of learning about Humanities topics, and you can check out the Christmas lights and markets whilst strolling around our capital city.

Another good reason to get outside is Vitamin D deficiency. People should go outside and soak up some sunshine to help increase their vitamin D levels, a charity urged in 2012. Arthritis Research UK says vitamin D deficiency can cause bone loss, muscle function problems and, in some cases, rickets in children.

The government recommends vitamin D supplements for pregnant women and children aged under five. But, on sunny days, a few minutes outdoors should achieve the same results, the charity says.

In January the chief medical officer for England said she was concerned that young children and some adults were not getting enough vitamin D. Figures show that up to a quarter of the population has low levels of vitamin D in their blood. He said: “In less sunny months, we recommend that people top up the vitamin D in their diet by eating more oily fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, pilchards and sardines, and foods ‘fortified’ with vitamin D, such as breakfast cereals and some margarines.”