31
Jan

Dragons, Pandas And Fourteen Neighbours – A Few Facts About China

China has been in the news more than usual over the last couple of weeks for various reasons. Now that we’re at the start of the Chinese Year of the Rat, we thought it might be interesting to have a look at a few facts and figures about the People’s Republic of China.

China’s history stretches back into the millennia. Based on the evidence, archaeologists think that hominids were alive in China at least 250,000 years ago. It may even be that they could be found as long ago as 2.24 million years in the past.

China is the most populous country in the world, with a population of slightly less than 1.5 billion. (The Earth has an estimated 7.63 billion people alive at present.)
Read More
31
Jan

Bugs and butterflies, seaweed and stars – nature surveys for citizen scientists

Trusty bird guide in hand (or at least downloaded to the tablet), we donned our waterproofs and wellies, made a flask of coffee, braved the weather, and settled down under the overhang of the garden shed. From there we could watch what brave birds ventured onto our domain.

Not many, it turned out. There was one very, very brave (and soggy) woodpigeon and one (equally soggy) cheeky magpie. (Since he was on his own, we made sure we gave the traditional country greeting of "Good morning, Mr Magpie, how are Mrs Magpie and all the other little magpies?"

Read More
24
Jan

Out Of This World: Bedtime Stories From The International Space Station?

You probably already know we're fascinated by the variety of this amazing little world where we live. Actually, our curiosity isn't limited only to the Earth. We've also always had a fascination with space and what space exploration means in the long term.

Once upon a time it might have meant trying to find a new home amongst the stars. These days, however, it's often about trying to understand our environment and the challenges facing the Earth.

Read More
15
Jan

Not Everyone Celebrates New Year on 1 January....

The streamers have long since been cleared away, the party food eaten, and we're already halfway through the first month of the year (eeek!). And while 1 January is the accepted start of the New Year in many parts of the world, it's not the only one....so we thought we'd have a quick peek at some other New Year dates we have marked on the calendar for 2020.

The next celebration we have marked is the Chinese New Year, which, in 2020, falls on Saturday 25 January. The festival lasts until the 8th of February, or about 2 weeks, and this year is the Year of the Rat, acording to the Chinese zodiac.

Read More
15
Jan

Bird Brains And Other Wildlife - The Next RSPB Birdwatch Is Heading Our Way...

Read More
13
Dec

December - a time for endings, and thinking of new beginnings

When you think about it, life for all of us is a series of new beginnings and first days. Sometimes they’re disguised as endings, but you’ve probably heard that saying about one door closes and another one opens. And while we often think of December as heralding the end of a calendar year, it also means January is just around the corner, with a chance for a new start.

For many of us in the northern hemisphere, September is the start of the new school year, but that isn’t always the case. Many teachers and other professionals start new jobs in January, and many children also change schools.

Read More
13
Dec

How does Christmas sound to you? The noises, tastes and textures of the festive season

Ah, Christmas-time. Twinkling lights, the red and white of candy canes, the green of pine trees – and then there are the smells and sounds and textures and tastes of this time of year too, all adding to the experience. So we thought we’d take a quick look at some non-visual ways of experiencing this time of year.

Scents and Tastes of Christmas

We don’t know about you, but we know Christmas is on the way when the gorgeous scents of cinnamon, allspice, cloves and oranges, gingerbread, and marzipan start wafting out of bakeries. And it’s even better when those lovely scents accompany the gorgeous tastes of seasonal treats like stollen or mince pies, with or without clotted cream.

Read More
06
Dec

Translating or translanguaging? Helping multilingual pre-schoolers communicate - research from the Victoria University of Wellington

You all know we love to share stories. You all know we adore soundscapes, and making the world come alive with noise, in the nicest possible way. And you know we’re just brimming with enthusiasm for our multilingual resources and our multilingual books.

We love them partly because they help children and caregivers bond over a bedtime story (or two!). We love our multilingual stories partly because they help keep tale alive in their original language and make them accessible in English. And we love our stories partly because, well, our multilingual books are just so much fun. (We know. We might be very slightly biased on that last one.)

Read More
28
Nov

Talking To The Wall? Interactive Synchronised Calendars And Diaries, New For 2020

Hands up who likes to be reminded, gently, in a firm but friendly tone, when there’s an important appointment coming up, or when you need to complete your weekly shop, or when it’s time to take the recycling out? Hands up also anyone (ahem!) who sometimes remembers to update their wall calendar but forgets to add the same information to their diary? And hands up anyone (ahem again!) who regularly misplaces their telephone and thinks how nice it would be to have a paper-based reminder of upcoming events. We’re all so busy these days that it can be tricky to keep track of what everyone’s up to and what needs to be done.

Read More
27
Nov

Personal in the nicest possible way – Check Out the great new 2019 SEN Resources Catalogue from Mantra Lingua - Bilingual books and more

We know you love communication, education, and teaching. And we know you’re just brimming with ideas. Even if you're the most dedicated educationalist in the world, however, you'll have times when coming up with new ways to keep not only your students but the teaching staff interested and on task in the classroom is an uphill struggle. This can be especially true in SEN and EAL classrooms, including those with a bilingual aspect. And then there are the whole “use appropriate tech” in lessons requirements, which aren't always easy to achieve.

Read More

Pages