Friday, 26 December 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sorry about the lack of posts - i scheduled a lot of posts to pop up automatically as i knew how busy December was and none of them have worked! 

I managed to retrieve 2 out of 17 - gah! 

Need to decide what direction to take my blog in 2015 too.... ignore me - just talking to myself and trying to sort some lists of things to do! 

See you soon and Have a fab new year - see you on the other side! 




Tuesday, 16 December 2014

School Swimming

       Parents concern over the quality of school swimming

·    Despite an increase in the number of pupils leaving primary school able to swim the minimum 25 metres unaided (as recommended in the national curriculum) parents are unaware of the required standard and in many cases their own child’s ability, due to a lack of assessment information
·    A new report from the ASA shows that 40% of parents are not being informed of their child’s swimming ability, with the amount of time dedicated to school swimming neither known nor measured by school inspection and accountability body Ofsted
·    With 45% of children aged 7-11 years old (primary school aged) unable to swim a length unaided, and with one in 14 schools (over 1,300) offering no swimming provision at Key Stage 2, the ASA is calling for a continued spotlight on swimming in the curriculum in tandem with a far greater level of assessment
·    The ASA recommends that schools allocate at least 25 hours of study time a year per child to swimming, however the report shows that 55% of schools are not meeting these guidelines
·         Report has recently been presented to politicians and government officials at an All Party Reception in Whitehall; the national governing body for swimming in England awaits a response
·         Calls for every primary school in England to sign up to the ASA School Swimming Charter to pledge to prioritise the only sport that saves lives

As the new curriculum beds in to primary schools across England, questions are being asked of school inspection body Ofsted as it is revealed that the standard and regularity of swimming is overlooked in school assessments.

This lack of accountability is worrying for two fifths of parents who have not been informed of their child’s swimming ability, and is particularly concerning with 45% of 7-11 year olds (primary school aged) unable to swim 25 metres unaided.

That’s according to a new report released today by the ASA, which recommends that schools should be allocating at least 25 hours of study time a year per child for curriculum swimming.  
However, the report, which surveyed primary schools across England, shows that less than half of all schools offer that level of swimming instruction, while one in 14 schools (over 1,300) offer no swimming provision at Key Stage 2. This is despite a 40% increase in fatalities amongst all young people in the water in the last year.

If primary schools can commit to adopting the recommended approach, the ASA estimate that approximately 200,000 additional children would leave primary school being able to swim.
Which is why they have today launched the School Swimming Charter, offering primary schools support, training and guidance on swimming to further increase the impact of school swimming provision in England.

While much work still needs to be done, the ASA’s continuing push for more resources and focus on school swimming has led to positive progress in the last 12 months in the number of children now leaving school able to swim 25 metres unaided.

Whilst across the country, 2013 saw 51% of children aged 7-11 year olds being unable to swim 25 metres, this year that figure has fallen to 45%.

Additionally, the average number of lessons made available in a school year has increased from 16 last year to   18 this year.  The amount of time spent in the water is also on the increase.

ASA is keen for momentum to continue and is pushing for the issue to become part of political parties’ education agendas ahead of next year’s general election.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Have yourself a Poundland Christmas!

Have you put up your decorations yet?

Are you buying new this year?

We have no space for our large tree this year due to shifting round the sofas etc so we have opted for a smaller real tree for a change.  This meant that although the tree wasnt taking up as much space, we had more space for other decorations to brighten up the place.

I popped in to town and was amazed at the huge Poundland Christmas range  available in store!  Everything from decorations to presents, wreaths to wrapping paper and everything in between!

There are some fabulous tutorials over on the Poundland Youtube Channel if you fancy handmaking some of your decorations etc this year! 

When the boys were little we would always make them a special calender where they get to unwrap 24 little presents in the run up to Christmas.  This year was Evies turn now that shes a little older and can appreicate things a little more.  Like every other little girl out there she is Frozen obsessed too, Poundland have a fabulous range of Frozen goodies in store (you probably saw the news footage of hoards of shoppers fighting for stock! - thankfully ours was well stocked and still is!)

We also boughts some make your own decorations which involve putting together little boxes to create a little present bunting set - however these would be great if you are handmaking sweets or chocolates - you could present them to the recipient with their initials already glittlered onto the front of the box.....well, you could if their name starts with one of the letters in Merry Christmas! ;)  

Have you picked up any bargains this Christmas?