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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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The ParaNorman Local Legends Schools and Libraries Initiative

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 22-01-2013

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January 28th sees the much anticipated release of “ParaNorman” on DVD. “ParaNorman tells the tale of Norman, a seemingly ordinary boy with the extraordinary ability to talk to dead people. Norman ends up taking on ghosts, zombies and all kinds of paranormal activity to save his town from a legendary curse.

The team at Universal have set up a very special website to help children in schools and libraries up and down the country to learn more about their own local legends and community history. Together groups and classes can explore creative writing, history, research and community thanks to lesson plans, event ideas and resources for Year 5 and 6 teachers and library staff. As well as having great fun and learning more about their local area, children will be learning and putting into practice skills that will last them a lifetime, without even knowing it!

The lesson plans cover History, Geography, English, PSHE, Drama, Art and ICT, and as well as being lots of fun and very creative, they also fit in with the National Curriculum.  Local libraries can host a range of events and activities too so the whole community can get involved.

Information for Teachers and Libraries goes live on the ParaNorman Local Legends website on Monday 28th January where all the lesson plans and downloadable details can be found. If your local school or library takes part they can win an amazing spook-tacular prize, so pass on the details on to them today and make sure they sign up this week.

Next Week: Read MY review of the “ParaNorman” movie and win your own copy of the DVD PLUS a special ParaNorman Pack.

Mummy Worries: Asbestos In Schools

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information | Posted on 16-01-2013

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In recent years, the dangers of asbestos exposure have come to the attention of the public. In particular, the presence of asbestos in UK public schools may leave you feeling worried about your children and the serious conditions they may be exposed to everyday in their classrooms. Read this article to learn more about asbestos in schools—and whether or not your child is at risk.

Asbestos: What It Is and Where It’s Found

The reason why asbestos exposure is such a major concern in the UK is that it was heavily used as a building material in UK properties from the 1950s through the 1990s. Asbestos was highly favoured in construction projects because it is a good insulator and not easily flammable. The material can be found in many forms in buildings constructed prior to the year 2000—loose asbestos is present in wall and floor cavities, asbestos reinforced composite materials can be found in toilet cisterns, and asbestos coatings may be found in roofing, shingles, siding, ceilings, and door gaskets.

Presence in Public Schools

The Department of Education (DfE) estimates that asbestos-related materials may be present in up to 75 per cent of UK schools. This issue has been highlighted by various news stories in recent years, in which students and faculty have been evacuated from UK public schools as the result of potentially dangerous asbestos exposure levels. Last year alone, evacuations at Cwmcarn High School in South East Wales and Catherine Junior School in Leicester made headlines in the media, causing many to wonder just what the government is doing to help protect the nation’s children from this serious health threat.

Should You Be Worried?

The asbestos epidemic has caused a great deal of alarm to the public over the past few years. The potentially fatal consequences of being exposed to asbestos materials over a long period of time include diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. There has consequently been a rise in people looking to make a mesothelioma claim, especially amongst construction workers who spent their lifetimes working with the material, as well as those who have been exposed to its deadly fibres. It has also been discovered that children are particularly vulnerable to asbestos exposure, as symptoms can take decades to develop and manifest themselves in the human body.

The good news is that as long as asbestos remains undisturbed, it is generally considered safe to leave it in its current place. Circumstances that may disturb asbestos materials include construction work and fires, so if you have concerns about asbestos in your child’s public school, ask to see a report on what measures the local school district is taking to monitor it. As long as the asbestos is being monitored closely, you can sleep soundly knowing that your little one is not at risk.