Sod it normally I say well away from anything that may cause offence, such as politics but this time I thought what the heck let’s see where this leads.
Today Michael Gove the Education Secretary has said he wants shorter school holidays and longer school days.
Currently most state schools start at 9 and finish somewhere around 3 or 3.30 and currently have 2 weeks off at Christmas, 2 off for Easter and 6 weeks for summer meaning that they are at school for 195 days a year out of 365.
Under these reforms schools could chose to stay open until 4.30 and have a shorter 4 week holiday for the summer.
On the first part I think a shorter summer holiday would be a good idea. I personally think that it is too long but to have a shorter holiday AND make them work longer is taking it too far. I wonder how he’d feel about working longer hours but getting less holiday as well?
He needs to remember that children need their after school time, that relaxation period between school finishing and dinner. What if they do any after school activity?
I am mistaking in thinking this is the same Mr Gove that wanted to scrap GCSEs only to make an embarrassing u-turn shortly afterwards.
He seems determined to change state schools for better or worse the issue is he has never experienced state schools and was privately educated.
My children’s educational future is in this man’s hands and that’s scary
On Thursday evening it was time for Aly’s parents evening giving us the chance to find out exactly what she is like at school.
It’s always a bit of a worry as to what the teachers are going to say about her, is she good, is she bad? Gulp!
Without sounding too big headed Aly has always come across as a smart girl, from a very early age she’s always had an interest in books, whether that’s reading them or just looking at the pictures and since she started school in September she’s pretty much read a new book every night. And when I say read I meant read on her own. Granted they may only have 50-60 words in them but remember she is only 5.
Another thing that Aly is doing well in is writing and her spelling is really coming along well and at the weekend she tried on her own to spell all the days of the week and 90% of it was right.
So what did her teacher say? She said Aly was brilliant and she has no worries with regards to her development. The only thing she needs to work on is her finger spacing when she writes.
We really couldn’t be more proud of Aly. Her teacher has said she’s very confident and is such a happy child and makes good choices.
Until Aly is a mummy she’ll never understand just how proud we are of her.
What better way to celebrate National Science and Engineering Week than with Great Gizmos’ 4M science kits that promote by green energy and recycling!
The latest collection from Great Gizmos allows scientific experiments to be conducted right at home enabling young boffins the opportunity to carry out tests and trials using everyday materials.
Environmental issues are tackled head on with Great Gizmos’ range of recycling projects such as Trash Robot; this simple but fun kit contains cool stickers and wobbly eyes to be added to recycled bottles right from your home. Why not add some bendy arms with concertinaed newspaper or magazines to complete the look?
Other great eco-friendly kits include the Grow-A-Maze kit and the ultra-cool Salt Water Power Robot which lets kids create their own miniature robot that will whizz around with the simple aid of salt water. Whilst the Weather Station will let kids keep track of weather changes, learn facts about the weather and once they have finished exploring the bottle can be recycled into their very own green house.
For other mechanical fun teens can really lift off with the Electric Plane Launcher by discovering how spinning motors and plastic disks are perfect tools to launch a paper plane up to 50 km/h – this exciting speed machine will be hard to catch!
With so much more to offer from the Great Gizmos Science Museum range, children will be spoilt for choice when choosing their next science project.
National Science and Engineering Week, is a ten day celebration of science, engineering and technology which runs from the 15th – 24th March 2013 across the UK and is coordinated by the British Science Association.
Whilst researching Christmas presents for teachers online, I came to realise that what teachers prefer is something handmade from the children instead of a box of chocolates that they would most probably have to give away due to having so many. So I found this idea for handmade Christmas tealight holders on netmums.co.uk and gave it a go with Aly.
Here is how we made them:
You will need:
Things to decorate your tealight holder such as confetti, glitter or Christmas pictures cut
out from old cards, wrap or tags
Take your jam jar and cover completely with PVA glue. Wrap tissue paper around the side and leave to dry for 24 hours. This can be a single layer of tissue or a couple.
NOTE: I found this easy to do on my own without Aly’s help as she was a little to young to be able to do this neatly and without ripping the tissue.
Once dry trim any excess tissue from the top of the jar to neaten. Now Aly was free to decorate it any way she wanted. Simply stick your chosen decorations around the jar with the glue and tie some ribbon around the rim. Pop a tea light inside and add a little gift tag with some more ribbon.
If you want you can wrap some wire around the rim to make a handle and turn it into a lantern but we didn’t have any suitable wire.
In the end we made 8 and plan to give some to family as well. Aly really enjoyed making these gifts and i’m sure her teachers will appreciate the personal touch of a handmade present.
As most parents will know the past week has been half term which has signalled Aly’s first half term at Primary school.
What have we learnt from the first part of her school life? Well as we thought she was more than ready for the challenged and according to her teacher she’s a joy to teach. Now I know they probably say that to every parent but I actually believe them.
Aly was already a brilliant girl and every day makes me smile but she’s developed even more and has become more confident and her reading has improved so much.
Her writing is coming along and she’s learning to use spacing and trying to keep the writing in a straight line.
At home we’ve always made the point of reading to both the girls before bed from the age of about 1 so hopefully this has helped and we are trying to teach her maths.
I’m sure all parents say the same but she’s got more brains up there than me. I’m not one to boast about my children and I’m sure some parents do it to stoke their own egos but I wouldn’t change my Aly for anything in the World.
A has now been at Primary School for almost a month now and what have we learnt? Erm well nothing really.
A is one of those children that doesn’t really say a lot about what she’s been up to. All we normally get was ‘it was fun’, ‘we had lunch’ and we seemed to get more out of her friends than her.
In the last week she’s actually told us her teachers name (even though we knew this it was the first time she said it).
While we was out walking the other day she let slip a little secret that her teacher used a whiteboard and bingo the cogs started turning. I knew her chalkboard had a whiteboard on the other side so when we got home I got it out.
The plan was that A would be the teacher and we gathered up her soft toys to be the children and so the role play began. A described exactly what the teacher done each morning from taking the register and each day two children have to take it to the office. Then each child had to take it in turns to pick which room they wanted to go into from the ‘Red Room’, ‘Green Room’, ‘Blue Room’ and outside and she told us what happens in each room.
From playing this game for the morning it was a brilliant way for A to open up to us about her days at school.
This past week was your first week at Primary School and I thought I’d write this for you.
You have made me so very proud this past week, you’ve adapted to your school as if it was nothing. There has been no issues at all.
Every morning you’ve woken up and have been so excited that it was another school day. And every evening you’ve eaten all your dinners every single day which is a massive thing. Each night you haven’t put up a fight when it comes to bedtime and have been asleep by 7.30.
I’m so proud of you and it shows what a brilliant girl you are.
I hope you love your school life and are as good at school as your Mummy and not like me.
Even at the age of 4 I know you’re going to be smart, you can already spell various words and can do addition and subtraction.
I hope if you ever have problems at school you feel you can come to either me or Mummy.
The first day of school is one of the most monumental days of the year. There are so many things that need to be done, and the entire process can be overwhelming. The first thing that every parent should do is make certain that they know exactly what their children are going to need for school supplies. Try to figure all of this information out as soon as possible so you can buy things early. Parents should also contact the school to see what the requirements are with the dress code. It would be terrible if a parent went school shopping only to find out that the clothes are unacceptable at the particular school. In most cases, kid’s shoes are always going to be acceptable no matter what type they are. The only possible problem with kid’s shoes is that the kind with wheels will not be tolerated in most schools.
It is important to purchase clothes that match the dress code. Certain schools have designated colours that must be worn, and some schools have colours that are forbidden. Other popular items like hoodie sweatshirts and short skirts are not always acceptable in school. When purchasing school clothes, make sure that you buy the types of clothes that will be functional and comfortable.
The age of the child must also be considered when getting ready for your child’s first day of school. Younger children will likely need to take a backpack to school and some other supplies. Be sure that your child has everything that is required on the first day to avoid any problems at the beginning of the year.
When getting ready for the first day of school it is important to make sure that your child knows his or her phone number, address, and other pertinent information. If there is ever an emergency, the child must be able to give out this information. Parents are also advised to educate their children about how they are going to get home from school. Children that ride the bus home from school need to make sure that they know exactly which bus to ride. Teach your children the proper bus etiquette to avoid any chance of injury.
The older students may have homework on the first night of school. It is imperative that parents have a designated homework spot. This should be a well-lighted area that is quiet and conducive to doing work. This is an important part of getting ready for the first day of school.
Getting ready for the first day of school is a long process. Prepare your child for everything that you can, and make sure that they are able to follow the necessary procedures. Teach them all of their pertinent information, and prepare a spot for homework or study time to be done. Getting ready for the first day of school can be a wonderful process, and it is a necessary stepping stone to the future.
Kieron is a fashion writer and parent, who is currently looking for school shoes for his daughter in advance of her first day at school.
This weekend the F1 funfair heads to Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix.
And no one will be hoping for a decent weekend more than McLaren. After a poor couple of races and a pretty poor season for Jenson Button these next two races will shape their season. Two bad weekends and they could find themselves facing the possibility for being the fourth best team behind Ferrari, RedBull and Lotus.
This weekend will also see Lewis Hamilton clocking up 100 race starts in F1 and he will be hoping for back to back German GP victories however there are a handful of guys who believe they too can win this race.
Sebastian Vettel has never actual won his home race and he will be hoping to grab that this weekend, or how about his team-mate and the person sitting in second in the Championship Mark Webber adding to his wins at Silverstone and Monaco or the man leading the Championship Fernando Alonso.
A certain German by the name of Michael Schumacher might fancy adding to his four wins in front of his home crowd or another German Nico Rosberg, its certainly not going to be easy for the McLaren’s to pick up a podium position this weekend.
This is one of the hardest races to predict and I can see it being a close run thing and the slight possibilityof rain Friday and Saturday it could be interesting.
With Aly starting Primary school in September I have just one concern, and that is lunchtime.
To put it mildly she’s a slow eater and at home can take 50mins just eating a basic lunch of sandwiches and crisps. Her main problem is talking to much or watching TV and I know at school they are limited to 30mins for lunch and 30mins ‘playing’.
At pre-school the other day she said she didn’t eat her crisps or banana as she ran out of time but if she does this at school by mid afternoon she’ll be so hungry.
My question is should we now start to set the time and say if she hasn’t eaten her lunch within this time then we will be taking it away?Its not like she’s a big eater at the best of time but I worry she’ll just get so hungry or do you think she’ll soon learn when she’s at school?