Independence Day

This weekend on the 4th of July the USA will be celebrating Independence Day. This is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Although Independence Day is celebrated on the 4th it was very close to being a few days before as on July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, but it took two days for everyone involved to adopt the Declaration of Independence which was a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th

Independence Day celebrations are commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, picnics, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies. However, just because Independence Day is an American celebration it doesn’t mean that you and your family can’t celebrate. It is a very prominent historic event and a great one to teach your children about so try to combine learning with some fun 4th of July related activities.

The below website has some brilliant ways to embrace the 4th of July like creating explosions of colors with firework paintings. Give your children a fun alternative to finger painting—toothbrush painting. The bristles create wispy strokes that resemble fireworks. Set out some red, white, and blue paint and have your kids brush several strokes away from a central point with an old toothbrush.

http://www.parents.com/partners/content/2/?AquafreshJuly4th&sm_t=fRhdSmW

This website provides fun activities for your children to do including wordsearches and crosswords. This weeks wordsearch is all about Independence Day and will ask your child to find words like liberty, stripes, red, white and blue. If you sit with your child whilst they do this you can talk them through the relevance of each word.

http://printables.familyeducation.com/tv/printables/fe/pc/0,,16097-1332,00.pdf

There are so many other 4th of July craft related activities you can try with your children, have a look at thsee websites for some inspiration. http://anightowlblog.com/2014/06/patriotic-kids-crafts.html/

http://www.thecraftycrow.net/fourth_of_july/

1930s Musical Theatre – Glorious Escapism

ginger-fred-dancingFor many people, the 1930s world was one of economic depression, hardship and uncertainty. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 sent lasting shock waves throughout America, Britain and Europe. In Britain, closing factories meant widescale unemployment and poverty, particularly in the heavy industry areas. In 1936, 200 men marched for 26 days from Jarrow to London to protest and bring their plight to the attention of Parliament. There was a cold response and the issue was not even debated. Hitler ranted and raved in Germany. In 1936, a three-year Civil War began in Spain. The fascist-supported party won.

Our royal family hit an all-time low with the abdication and political scandal of King Edward V111. Continue reading

Summer Holidays

It is that time of year again, summer is in full swing and the summer holidays are fast approaching. If you’re thinking about going away this year and you haven’t already booked your summer holiday this blog will give you some fantastic ideas about where you can take your children for an unforgettable family holiday.

UK – Cornwall

Cornwall is in the top 10 for UK holiday destinations. It is situated in the South West of England and has a stunning coastline that stretches for 300 miles. There are many reasons that people like to holiday in Cornwall and here are just a few: beautiful beaches and breathtaking cliffs, amazing waves to surf on, fishing harbours and not to mention the scrumptious pasties and cream teas. Cornwall is very family friendly and the perfect place to take children. Continue reading

The Value Of Work Experience

Around this time of year, students who are mid A Level courses are likely to be offered a chance to get some work experience. This is usually a week’s placement with a company or organisation who may well have an established relationship of this kind with the school.

The question might be whether this going to be beneficial or a waste of time for your child? In answering that it might be best to consider what ‘work experience’ actually means in this context. What it is unlikely to be is a weeklong ‘job’ since one week is hardly enough time to learn any job let alone carry it out. So it’s more likely to be a week in a working environment but spending time with a number of different people in various departments. There is not likely to be much job content in terms of ‘doing work’ but there is a lot of opportunity to observe and understand what people do and how an organisation works. Continue reading

Flowers

Since the beginning of time flowers have amazed us with their natural beauty and their enticing scents. Flowers are usually given as a gift for an occasion, however, they have so many more uses. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing but some flowers have historical and religious significance, they can can also be used for medicinal purposes and some flowers are even edible and served with food. Below are a few interesting facts about flowers.

A rose is probably one of the most well know types of flower, there are over 100 species of rose and it is often a symbol of love. What you probably didn’t know though is that roses are related to apples, raspberries, cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, pears and almonds.

The lotus flower is commonly associated with purity and beauty in Buddhism and Hinduism, this because the beautiful lotus flower always looks pure and clean in comparison to it’s surroundings which is often a murky body of water. Ancient Egyptian scholars studied the lotus flower and noticed that at night time the flower closed and sank and when the sun rose the flower would float and begin to bloom again. As a result of this they associate the lotus with the Sun and rebirth. Continue reading

Father’s Day

Traditionally, Father’s Day falls every third Sunday of June in the UK. Father’s Day this year is on Sunday 21st. It is a day where people can honour their fathers and/or father figures such as Grandfathers or Step-fathers.

Father’s Day was first introduced in the USA in 1910 when a woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by Mother’s Day to plan a day dedicated to fathers. She was very close with her father who was a Civil War veteran and had raised six children as a single parent following the death of Sonora’s mother. Therefore, she wanted a day where she could show her gratitude to her father, so she embarked on a rigorous campaign to make Father’s day a nationwide celebration. Although it took some time, the day soon became popular and is now celebrated in many different countries. Continue reading

Final Lines

Last time we talked about where to end the story in terms of plot. Let’s look now at the very last words your reader sees. This makes the difference between a satisfied reader and one who’s going “what the hell?”

Unless you’re deliberately trying to confuse the reader, you don’t want leave them thinking there’s a couple of pages missing. Readers identify with the main character, live their journey with them. At the end, you need to give the reader the feeling they’ve lived that life and they can now leave it, just as the character is ready to leave the story. Continue reading

Half Term Fun

If there is something we can all agree on it is this: a half term spent in front of the television whilst the sun is shining is a half term wasted. So if you’re stuck for ideas about what to do in the West Sussex area this half term then here are a few ideas that may help.

Tulley’s Farm provides unique entertainment experiences for families all year round. There is no entry fee to the farm and this half term your children can enjoy a giant slide, mini tractors and trampolines for as little as £2. For a more chilled out afternoon you can also enjoy the tea room and the animal patch http://www.tulleysfarm.com/events/detail/half-term-fun Continue reading

Small Steps – Giant Leaps

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”
I’d like to offer another take on Neil Armstrong’s epic statement as he made the first moon landing. Small steps taken by your child, day by day, can result in giant leaps in ability and understanding.

There is absolutely no doubt that, in almost every case a gentle, certain movement forward, regularly achieved, always produces results. You have a child reading a little very day, with encouragement and at the right level, and – one evening – he or she will suddenly be rocketing through page after page. I have been working with a young boy for a year on Verbal Reasoning: starting well below his age on a book for 7 – 8 years old and progressing gently upwards. I noticed two things: as we got higher up the level, he did not need to do every exercise in the book and, once we started the actual 11+ paper, there was nothing he could not tackle with confidence. Continue reading

Performing Arts Schools

Performing is a dream for many. It may be a dream from a very young age or it may be something you develop a passion for later in life. Whenever it takes your interest there are always opportunities for you to pursue your dream. Below is a summary of three well-known performance schools which all specialise in their own field of performance.

Dance – The Royal Ballet School is one of the greatest schools in the world for classical ballet training. It is often assumed that one has to be wealthy to attend The Royal Ballet School, this is a myth! They accept applicants on talent alone and do not take any other factors into consideration. Many of their students rely on financial support to attend the school. They take students from the age of 11-19 and their dance studios are spread across two campuses based in London. Over the years, this school has produced some spectacular talent including Darcy Bussell, Jennifer Elision and perhaps more surprisingly Debbie McGee. http://www.royalballetschool.org.uk/ Continue reading