Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Unfair Summer Homework....

I have held off writing this post as I was so livid and emotional.....I didn't want it to be a huge rant.....

Last Thursday I got a text message from the school saying to check their website as they have added the list of the homework that needs doing by Becky over the summer holidays.....

I had a look and I was quite shocked at the amount of work there is to do!!.....Then on Friday they added more.....Becky finished Primary school on Friday afternoon!!.....

I have picked out the main things that Becky has to do.....


 English
Year 7 will be studying the novel Treasure Island when they start in September. They will be reading the novel and working on the key assessment for reading You can help your child to prepare for English by reading about and researching Robert Louis Stevenson and the history of pirates. Students should bring into school evidence of this research in any form they choose ... a mood board; a pen portrait; a google presentation; etc


PLUS English tests on the website!!

Maths 
Tests on the website.

Science
Year 7 will be looking at crime scene investigations and working as detectives to discover who committed the crime using Scientific skills along the way. You could support this by doing some research into what things are acidic and alkaline in the home and kitchen.


 PLUS a test on the website!!
 
Design 
This summer we’re challenging our Students to recreate their favourite paintings, prints and portraits in ‘selfie’ form... Can you raid the fancy dress box and become Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa ' or master face paint to personify a Roy Lichtenstein weeping woman? Go for detail and reproduce the exact composition and colours or think outside the box and put your own creative twist on a classic artwork...Now’s your chance to showcase your set design dexterity, exhibit your model looks or flex your Photoshop prowess. You should bring your finished work in with you in  September in whatever form you decide to use.

Geography
Year 7 will be working on map skills.
When they come to school in September students should bring with them evidence of researching map symbols. This can take any form for example a hand drawn symbol with an explanation; an electronic presentation with an image included or any other method that shows evidence of research.
 

PLUS a test on the website!!
 
History
Year 7 will be working on a topic about the Romans.
Students should research one of the questions below and bring in evidence of that research.
How did the Roman Empire begin?
Why were Roman army tactics so successful?
How did the Romans expand their Empire?


PLUS  a test on the website!!

Languages
Tests on the website.

ICT
Students should also think about how to keep themselves safe when using ICT and online tools. When they start in September they should be prepared to share their ideas with the rest of their class. 


PLUS a test on the website!!
 
PE
In September the boys will be playing Football and Rugby and the girls Hockey and Netball. Students should spend some time researching the rules of these sports and be prepared to share their findings with the class in September

RE
Students should research one of the Saints (Aidan, Cuthbert, Hild or Oswald) and bring with them in September a thumbnail / pen portrait / powerpoint / google doc presentation of the Saint of their choice.


For the tests on the website they have to get over 75%.....They are not easy....We have been Googling a lot! There is French words that Becky has never heard & science terms I didn't have a clue about never mind Becky.....The Geography one for example is all about maps. The most she could get is 50% ...I could only get 65%......What hope does she have....

Most of the homework is about things she will be learning in September not things she has previously learned.....I think it's so unfair!! 

Is this normal because I just can't understand it?......There is enough pressure on them starting a new school without adding a mountain of homework.....

Becky is a worrier and before she had even finished Primary school she was already stressing about starting secondary school.....She's got it into her head that she will have this much homework all the time.....So we're going to spend the next 6 weeks with it hanging over us.....I have told her that it won't be like this all the time....My friends daughter said she had a lot to start with and now she hasn't had any since February.....

I think homework should be for term time only.....What would happen if we were going away for the whole of the holidays would she still be expected to do it? How many adults would agree to be given work from their employers whilst they were on their annual holidays?

What was an exciting time in Becky's life has turned into a very stressful and upsetting time....A great start to her Secondary education!!

So now I'm off to learn what mood boards / pen portraits / powerpoint / google doc presentations are because Becky needs to use them.....I'm guessing something to do on computers? Whatever happened to using a pen and paper!!



Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Burger Ka-Pow - Review!!

A couple of weeks ago I was the lucky winner of the My Family Club #ThriftyThursday giveaway.....

They have a chat every Thursday at 1pm where you answer their 10 questions using the hashtag #ThriftyThursday...It's such fun....

Anyway I was lucky enough to win some cookbooks....The one I was excited about was The burger one!! 

Master the art of preparing, cooking and building unbeatable burgers with this awesome collection of recipes from across the globe. Featuring a collection of timeless favourites certain to please the most discerning burger-lover, plus some show-stopping new ideas to introduce to friends and family. The Burger contains 100 juicy recipes, with fun comic-book style editorial, step-by-step photos and easy-to-follow recipes - get ready for an action-packed and tasty adventure - ka-pow! 

Even Stu was excited by this....He isn't much of a cook and never follows recipes but this is one cool book!!!


This book is so eye catching and lots of fun....It reminds me so much of a comic book! 

I didn't realise there were so many ways to cook burgers.....Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish, veggie, and tofu burgers and all the toppings have me drooling.....

As well as every type of burger you could think of there are recipes for side dishes too and drinks....The kids have already said they want to make their own lemonade and we're planning to do it over the next few weeks sometime....  

 This is such a great book....We have grown a bit bored of 'normal' burgers.....This has given me so many ideas.... 

Stu is taking over the kitchen tomorrow and is making Hawaiian burgers with chargrilled pineapple....They sound and look absolutely delicious!! So simple to make too....That is another thing I have noticed....I'd say most of the recipes are very easy to make....Perfect for Stu & I.....

This book is available from the usual places you will find books but I have seen it at The Works for £5.99....A bargain price!!

http://myfamilyfever.co.uk/tried-tested/

Monday, 21 July 2014

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Yay! It's the summer holidays....We haven't got much planned for this week apart from doing Becky's homework....That may take us all week!....We're going to relax and just take things easy.....

On Friday the girls are going on a sleepover to Stu's nieces....We are going out for a meal with friends and a few drinks afterwards....Freedom!! Stu and I don't get out together often so we're going to make the most of it....I think the last time we were out together without the kids was a couple of Christmases ago and even then we had to come home early to let the babysitter go home.....

This week on the menu we have....

Monday - Chicken curry....
Tuesday - Lasagne and garlic bread....
Wednesday - Stu is making burgers....
Thursday - Corned beef pie, chips and beans
Friday - A meal out with friends....
Saturday - Pizza....
Sunday - Cottage Pie...

 As always I've joined in with the wonderful Mrs M's #mealplanningmonday linky...

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Primary School - Done!

Yesterday Becky finished Primary school......How is that even possible!! At her levers assembly we saw photos of all the kids through the years....As well as getting me all emotional it made me realise how much Becky has grown up over the years at school....

I remember leaving her at nursery school and she used to spend at least an hour or so crying and following the teacher around asking when I would be back.....It broke my heart but I knew it was for the best to leave her....By the end of nursery she loved it.....


In reception class she loved it.....She really took to life at school and seemed to do much better when there was structured activities and learning to do....She had her first class assembly and first school trips...

In year one she spent the first half of the year hating her teacher....It was the first male teacher she had and Becky took a dislike to him and went through a phase of being very naughty.....She soon got over it though....By the end of the school year she loved him and actually cried when it was the last day......

Year two flew over....


By year three she had really knuckled down at school and was learning so much even though I hated her teachers.... They had a job share and neither kept in touch with the other.....

Year 4 happened in a flash.....Another male teacher which she really loved.....Becky had been so shy until this year.....In year four she came our of her shell and started putting her hand up in class and being a bit louder....This was the year she went from hating PE to actually enjoying it....She came out of school one day all excited about playing rugby....lol
  
By year 5 Becky was being told off for shouting out in class.....lol She had gained so much confidence! Becky learned how to swim with the school after having a shaky start to the lessons.....Her and her teacher ended up in the pool helping each other.....


Year six....What a journey! She was the house captain and did so very well at her SAT exams....Becky has grown up so much.....

She has changed so much from that little girl who was scared to say anything to anyone.....Now she's confident & so clever....I'm so very proud of my girl....


Secondary school.....Here she comes!!

http://theoliversmadhouse.co.uk/magic-moments/thumbnailsize

How to keep your family safe when rebuilding your property....

Having a family is a wonderful experience, but it doesn’t come without its stresses.

As a parent, you’re always worrying about your children’s safety. Whether they’re off on a school trip or just playing in the front room; you never fully stop worrying about them.

Keeping the home safe is a top priority and often a full time job. This is especially true when it comes to renovations. So, if you’re planning on renovating the home, there are numerous safety tips you need to follow.

To make sure your little ones don’t get in harm’s way, here are some of the best renovation safety advice and tips from the experts.

Assessing the risks

Before you start your renovation project, write a list of all the potential risks to you and your family. Have you had a safety inspection? It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but getting a professional assessment can help you to detect potential problems you might not have thought of. For example, if you’re tearing down walls, lead and asbestos may be a potential problem. Asbestos exposure can have serious consequences so you need to ensure your property is safe.

Entertain the kids

Some renovation jobs produce more of a risk than others. For example, if you plan on installing a balcony, it’s a good idea to make sure your children can’t venture outside until the work has been done. To prevent them from waiting to go out and play in the garden, entertain them by taking trips to the park and coming up with creative indoor family games.

Install safety gates

If the renovations are taking place inside the home, installing safety gates for young children is a good idea. That way they will be confined to one room and there’s no chance they’ll stumble into the temporary building site.

Tidy up!

It’s also a good idea to make sure you don’t leave any equipment lying around. When you’re caught up in the renovation it’s easy to forget to pick up the drill or nails that you’ve on the floor. In the wrong hands these could be extremely dangerous.

Overall, planning a home renovation project takes a lot of hard work when you have a family to think about. Follow the advice and tips above to ensure you keep your kids safe while work is being carried out. 


Guest Post

Friday, 18 July 2014

A Mixed Week....

This week it has been so hard to pick just one word to describe our week....Scary, stressed, laughing, emotional, happy, dread, proud, ending, crying, concerts....It could of been any of them....I have given up trying to pick just one and went for the easy option.....A bit of a cheat but I've gone with......


 We've had two concerts this week.....The first one was Ellie's....All the year twos from the schools in the area all met at the secondary school to put on a concert....Each school sung a song and then they all sung a few songs together....It was very strange to think that in a few years Ellie and the kids there will all be at the Secondary school together....Scary!!

For the last month or so Becky's class had been rehearsing their leavers assembly/concert....She brought home the script on Monday and I was nearly crying....On Wednesday they had done a full rehearsal and were shown the video messages from their old teachers and half the class was crying.....By Thursday came I was an emotional wreck....I had been dreading it for weeks.....I actually felt sick! 


They were awesome.....I wish I could of videoed it! It was based around Big Brother and they all had were trying to win a place at secondary school....Sounds crazy but it worked and yes it was emotional.....I laughed and cried....

We have had the girl's school reports.....Becky's was amazing! She has done so well this year and her teacher has said she will do brilliantly in her new school.....The head teacher said she has been a delight to have in the school and will be sad to see her leave.....She wants more pupils like Becky....I couldn't be more prouder of her....

Ellie's was better then I expected....She is at all the levels she should be apart from reading where she is at a higher level than expected!!! She is a lovely class member but has to remember how to behave around school when not in the classroom....The headteacher said if she applied herself more she has so much potential.....After the trouble she's been in at school the last couple of months I expected much worse to be said....

Becky came home from school on Thursday with her shirt signed by her friends and teachers and a pile of photos from nursery.....Off I was crying again!!

We also got a message from the school about the homework being on the school website for Becky's year....That's a whole different blog post....lol It had me crying and so stressed.....As it stands now she hasn't finished Primary school and already Becky is stressed about Secondary school....She is not looking forward to the holidays and doing the homework!! I will blog about it when I calm down a little....

And there we have it....The last day of the school year....Well half day! They finish at 1pm!! My little girl finishes her Primary school education....Please don't let me cry in the school yard....lol

Sorry this post is a little long....It's been a strange week with a lot happening!!

http://www.thereadingresidence.com/word-of-the-week/