Scroll to view the complete collection of our student blog posts. You’ll find posts on a range of topics, from school yearbook advice to the latest Carpe Diem opportunities. Enjoy! You’ll find all of our latest blog posts here.

10 Poems to Read Before You Leave School

We couldn’t let World Poetry Day pass without sharing some of our favourite poems with you. From classics to more recent additions, here are 10 poems to read before you leave school (in no particular order):

10 Poems to Read Before You Leave School – in honour of World Poetry Day:

1) Daffodils  – William Wordsworth

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“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils…” Read the full poem.

2) The Road Not Taken  – Robert Frost

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“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth…” Read the full poem.

3) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

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“The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom…” Read the full poem.

4) Sonnet 18 – William Shakespeare

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“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date…” Read the full poem.

5) Hour – Carol Ann Duffy

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“Love’s time’s beggar, but even a single hour,
bright as a dropped coin, makes love rich.
We find an hour together, spend it not on flowers
or wine, but the whole of the summer sky and a grass ditch…” Read the full poem.

6) The Waste Land – T. S. Eliot

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“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water…” Read the full poem.

7) The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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“At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God’s name…” Read the full poem.

8) Ozymandias – Percy Bysshe Shelley

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“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away…” Read the full poem.

9) The Raven – Edgar Allan Poe

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“Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
‘Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,’ I said, ‘art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!’
Quoth the Raven ‘Nevermore’….” Read the full poem.

10) The Sun Rising – John Donne

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“Busy old fool, unruly sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers’ seasons run?…” Read the full poem.
What do you think of our list? Do you have your own ’10 poems to read before you leave school’?
Let us know by tweeting @BoomEdLtd or commenting below 🙂

50 years ago: Torrey Canyon Oil Spill

Here at Boomerang HQ, we like to highlight topics of interest throughout the year, especially when it comes to historical anniversaries.

We do this mainly through dedicated sections in our school planners but you can help us spread the word online too!

Torrey Canyon Oil Spill – What Happened?

This month marks 50 years since the Torrey Canyon oil spill of 1967:

50 years ago, the oil tanker Torrey Canyon disastrously struck Pollard’s Rock on the Seven Stones reef, near Land’s End, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The oil spill fast became a national crisis, as nearly 3 million gallons of crude oil leaked into the English Channel.

The impact on the local landscape was catastrophic with an estimated 15,000 sea birds killed, alongside large numbers of other marine organisms. The government controversially authorised RAF jets to bomb the remains of the oil tanker and napalm was used to set the leaked oil alight in a futile attempt to halt the situation.

Despite these efforts, the Guernsey quarry that was later named after the Torrey Canyon was still full of oil over 40 years later, continuing to cause damage and death to local wildlife.

However the disaster did result in tighter controls on marine pollution and although there have been oil spills since, clean-up operations have taken a more considered approach.

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The Conversation

It’s all very well relating the facts of the disaster but we want to go one step further and turn an article into a conversation 😀

Some possible starting points:

  • Do you know of any more recent oil spills?
  • How were these dealt with in comparison to Torrey Canyon?
  • Is marine pollution still as much of an issue today?

Drop us a tweet using the hashtag #torreycanyon or leave a comment below – we’d love to hear from you!

 

Carpe Diem Initiative: What’s It All About?

The Carpe Diem Initiative – Our Story

We launched the Carpe Diem initiative because we saw an opportunity.

An opportunity to inspire teens across the UK with a site unlike any other.

Young minds are constantly learning, discovering and developing. Here at Boomerang Education, we understand the importance of ensuring a student’s time at school is as fulfilling as possible. This means encouraging teens to make the most of their time both in and out of the classroom.

Our Carpe Diem initiative focuses on helping pupils to develop truly beneficial skills for use in school and in later life.

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What is Carpe Diem?

Think of Carpe Diem as the friendly, super-talented child of Boomerang Ed.

The Carpe Diem web page highlights a broad range of nation-wide opportunities, challenges and competitions. We encourage students of all ages to set new goals, stretch themselves and begin to shape their own futures.  We’ve brought together all of these opportunities on our website, which is regularly updated, making it as comprehensive a directory as possible.

We want to get as many young people involved as possible. There’s something for everyone, whatever their passion or interest!

Not only can young people make a start on the building blocks of an impressive CV with skills that will stay with them for life, but they might even discover a new talent.

Want to find out more about Carpe Diem? Just get in touch with a member of the Boomerang team 🙂

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New Periodic Table Elements – School Planner Update

Four new Periodic Table elements to be included: 

Content research for the Boomerang 2017-18 school planners is now well underway! This will result in the inclusion of 4 new Periodic Table elements.

IUPAC (International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry) has announced the names of the new periodic table elements 113, 115, 117 and 118. These elements do feature in our 2016-17 school planners, however we were only able to list them under their temporary names (Ununtrium, Ununpentium, Ununseptium and Ununoctium) last year.

The new names:

  • Nihonium – Element 113 – Nh
  • Moscovium – Element 115 – Mc
  • Tennessine – Element 117 – Ts
  • Oganesson – Element 118 – Og
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Royal Society of Chemistry’s Periodic Table – www.rsc.org/periodic-table

Why have these names been chosen?

The names for the new Periodic Table elements have been chosen in keeping with the tradition of naming newly-discovered elements after a place, geographical region or scientist.

Three of the elements have been named after the locations of scientists’ institutions: Tennessine (Tennessee), Nihonium (deriving from the Japanese word ‘Nihon’ meaning ‘Japan’) and Moscovium (Moscow).

The fourth element, Oganesson, has been named after Yuri Oganessian, a nuclear physics professor at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. The four new elements, synthetically created in labs, complete the seventh row of the Periodic Table.

What next?

We will update the Periodic Table that currently features in the Back Pages section of Boomerang School Planners, to include the new names. This ensures that students (and teachers) can refer to our Periodic Table as a useful and accurate learning support tool, both in class and for help with homework.

We’re always striving to include the most up-to-date, relevant information in our homework diaries – if you want to inform us of any educational updates, please get in touch!

Biology Challenge: Carpe Diem Competition of the Month!

What is Biology Challenge?

  • Our competition of the month is Biology Challenge, which is a competition open to 13-15 year olds. It is the junior version of the British Biology Olympiad.
  • The Challenge aims to encourage student interest in biology before the time comes to make post-GCSE subject choices.
  • It is an online competition, taking place in schools.
  • Students will need to complete at least one of two 25 minute papers, which will be set on topics covered in most general biology courses.
  • As well as knowing your course material, you will also be rewarded for demonstrating an increased knowledge of the subject through:
    • Wider reading
    • Watching natural history programmes
    • Taking notice of news media for items of biological interest
    • General awareness of our natural animal and plant life

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Prizes!

  • Pupils gaining a winning score in this competition of the month will be awarded with a Bronze, Silver or Gold certificate from the Royal Society of Biology.
  • Schools can conduct the Challenge in whichever way best suits their students. As well as being able to submit their pupils’ scores to the national competition, schools will be encouraged to award their own prizes as well as making use of the certificates provided for them.

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How to Enter:

  • Registration is now open (teachers only) and the final deadline is 27th February 2017 .
  • The challenge itself will take place online in schools between 6th and 24th March 2017.
  • Ask your biology teacher to register your school via the Royal Society of Biology website.
  • Registration costs £30 per school, which includes competition entry for all eligible students.
  • Contact us if you have any questions 🙂

 

Coming Up With The Perfect Yearbook Quote

Coming up with the perfect yearbook quote was never going to be easy, which is why we’ve decided to give you a few tips!

Humour

Funny yearbook quotes are always a great finishing touch to a yearbook page. You could draw on a funny story from your time at school or try to come up with a witty one-liner (don’t worry we have some examples at the end of this post).

Confidence

Your school yearbook will be something that you look back on in years to come, so you’ll want to make sure that it does actually reflect who you were at the time. Having the confidence to be yourself is key, so try making your yearbook quote memorable and reflective of you. Remember, your yearbook page is really for you, so you can be as ambitious, confident and original as you like – you are your harshest critic after all.

When all else fails

The perfect yearbook quote doesn’t necessarily need to be your own quote. There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from a favourite film character, musician or author that captures the feelings you want to convey.

Some of our favourites…

Here are some of our favourite yearbook quotes from over the years. Whether funny, witty, confident or downright strange, it’s your quote so you can be as creative as you like!

For more tips on yearbooks, drop us a message via our online chat 🙂

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Boomerang School Planner

There are all sorts of ways teachers and pupils can use the Boomerang school planner. Here are our top 5 planner features that  you might not have known about:

Growth Mindset

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At the core of your school planner this year is the concept of ‘growth mindset’, designed to help students thrive both in and out of school.

In a nutshell, adopting a growth mindset means having a more positive and proactive approach to learning. In a school setting, this is the belief that all pupils are capable of growth and that learning is less about knowing all the right answers and more about a steady, well-rounded progression.

We highlight several inspirational growth-mindset figures from all walks of life, who tell their stories to help students embrace the growth mindset.

Learning how to gradually adopt this mindset is wonderful preparation for social development, future employment and getting the most out of life.

Carpe Diem

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Young minds are constantly learning, discovering and developing. We understand the importance of ensuring that a student’s time at school is as fulfilling as possible, which is why we launched our Carpe Diem initiative.

What is Carpe Diem?

Throughout the Boomerang school planner, a broad range of nation-wide opportunities, challenges and competitions is highlighted, spurring students to set new goals, stretch themselves and shape their own futures.  These opportunities have all been brought together on our website, which is regularly updated, making it as comprehensive a directory as possible.

Beyond the Classroom

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For older students, our 16 + school planner includes an up-to-date UCAS guide, pointing students to useful information on making university and college applications. Laid out in a stress-free, easy to follow format, pupils can follow a step-by-step process and need never miss important deadlines or key dates.

The academic support in a Boomerang school planner does not stop once pupils leave the classroom; students will find revision tips and exam techniques to encourage independent study, whilst also providing guidance when needed.

Artistic Banner Designs

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Unique in their bold and colourful page designs, the Boomerang Secondary Design school planners take inspiration from a different artistic theme each year. For 2016/17 we bring you a combination of ancient, traditional and tribal art styles from all over the world, culminating in vibrant explosions of colour for each month of the academic year.

Students keen to learn more about the culture behind each of our featured art designs can take a look at our ‘Diary Design Inspiration’ pages. We’ve included a brief overview of the origins and key features of each art style, from Aboriginal and Maya, to Inuit and Norse.

History

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We know that a well-rounded student is engaged in all aspects of the world around them and that a fulfilling learning environment is about more than passing exams. This is why, in addition to curriculum-based information, we also draw attention to content that is not directly on the syllabus.

This year our Secondary Design school planner honours 2016/17 by transporting students back to important historical events by exploring key anniversary dates. From iconic British figures to life-changing technological advances, the creative layout of this double page history spread certainly sparks student interest.

Do you have a favourite school planner feature? Tweet us and let us know!

10 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness: Ideas for the Classroom

With Christmas just around the corner, have a go at ticking off our top ten Random Acts of Christmas Kindness ideas with your class. It’s a great way to add some festive fun to the classroom at the end of term and of course, the underlying message is incredibly positive.

Random Act of Kindness: A selfless act performed by a person to either help or cheer up a stranger, for no reason other than to make people happier.

Ask students to write down these 10 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness in their school planners and encourage them to try to tick as many off as they can by Christmas Day!

Boomerang Top 10 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness:

  1. Give three people a genuine compliment either in person or via social media.
  2. Help someone with a chore or other job.
  3. Give up your place in a queue to somebody.
  4. Write someone a real letter and send it.
  5. Pick up litter.
  6. When you hear people around you gossiping about someone, be the person to say something nice.
  7. Give someone a hug.
  8. Try to include everyone in a group conversation.
  9. Offer someone your your seat on a bus or train.
  10. If you hear that negative voice in your head, remember that you deserve kindness too!

We want to hear from you!

Do you have any other classroom-inspired Random Acts of Kindness to add to our list? Drop us a tweet and let us know 🙂

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2017 Wicked Young Writer Awards Now Open: Competition of the Month!

What are the Wicked Young Writer Awards?

  • The Wicked Young Writer Awards are sponsored by the award-winning musical Wicked in association with the National Literacy Trust.
  • Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron of the Awards, set up to recognise excellence in writing & creativity and to help develop literacy in young people.
  • Acclaimed author & illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon books, Cressida Cowell, will return as Head Judge for the awards. Michael Morpurgo is also honorary judge of the awards.
  • Watch this video on the 2016 Awards to see how the Awards can benefit pupils.
  • NB: The For Good Award for Non-Fiction, is also open for 15-25 year olds to write essays/articles that recognise the positive impact that people can have on each other, their communities & the world we live in.
  • To find out more about the competition, check out our Carpe Diem entry, which contains all the details.

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Prizes!

  • All winners will receive 4 tickets to see the London production of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and the opportunity to meet cast members after the show along with an exclusive backstage tour.
  • Younger categories (5-7, 8-11 and 11-14) also win £50 worth of books/eBooks tokens to spend, as well as £100 worth of books for the winners’ school library donated by Hachette Children’s Books and a bespoke Wicked workshop for their school!
  • Older categories (15-17, 18-25 and For Good Award for Non-Fiction) also win £50 worth of books/eBooks tokens to spend and an exclusive writing experience with one of the Awards’ literacy partners.

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How to Enter:

School Yearbooks Update – We’ve Had a Makeover!

Here at Boomerang Education, we’re constantly striving to improve our products and services – that includes our website too. So we’ve recently updated our yearbooks page to make it bolder, simpler and easier on the eye.

New features include:


1.Clear Pricing

We don’t hide our prices – you can order a school yearbook for as little as £10.65 per book.

For more information on pricing options, just contact a member of the yearbook team and we’ll be happy to chat through your yearbook options with you.


2. Social Media

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Our brand new Instagram and Twitter accounts target predominantly students but also teachers.

Do make sure you check our social media accounts as this is where we’ll be sharing competition info and approaching Carpe Diem opportunities, as well as behind the scenes photos.

Our Twitter account in particular is a great way to get in touch with a member of the yearbook team, just drop us a Tweet or send us a direct message 🙂

(Teachers: we do also have a separate, teacher-focused Twitter account).


3. Online Chat

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On each page on our website you’ll be able to click a small ‘chat with us’ box in the bottom right hand corner. If it’s outside of working hours, you can still send a message and we’ll get back to you at the start of the next day.

So if you don’t feel like picking up the phone and email seems too long-winded, just open up a chat with us.


4. Simple Process Boxes

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A simple process needs a simple layout, which is why you’ll now be greeted by 6 pop-art-inspired boxes when you visit our school yearbooks page.

Click on each box to expand and you’ll find a wealth of information, from recruiting a yearbook team, to yearbook cover options.


5. Sample & Inspiration Pack 

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Once you’re on our yearbooks page, simply click on the rectangular Sample & Inspiration Pack image.

From here, you can flick through useful information on Boomerang yearbooks and hopefully get some inspiration too.

So, now that you know all about our new yearbook page, why not open up a chat window with a member of the team?

Boomerang Team.