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.

Happy Birthday iPhone! Celebrating The Big 10 With Some Interesting Smartphone Facts

With smartphones so embedded in our culture, it’s easy to forget that Apple’s iPhone turns 10 this week! Read on for some smartphone facts you might not already know…

Creating a game-changer

In 2007, just 10 years ago, Apple launched the iPhone and co-founder Steve Jobs (1955-2011) revolutionised the way we use mobile phones. smartphone-facts-steve-jobs

Jobs and his team came up with the idea of combining a touch-screen with a computer – essentially creating a hand-held computer without a physical keyboard or mouse.

The original iPhone was a very different model to the ones we know today; it couldn’t record videos, had no flash and lacked fully fledged apps.

It did however, change the smartphone market forever, evolving into one of the most successful product lines in the world.

We’ve pulled together a few smartphone facts to celebrate the iPhone’s birthday:

1) Everyone’s a photographer

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Thanks to the iPhone (and subsequent smartphones), we all have access to great, pocket-sized cameras.

Add this to the increasing popularity of social media and you can see that photography has become a key part of everyday life.

2) Less chewing, more texting

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According to research conducted by Euromonitor International, smartphones are responsible for declining chewing gum sales.

How, you ask?

Consumers waiting in supermarket checkout lines are surrounded by ‘impulse buys’ like chewing gum. However thanks to gadgets like the iPhone, many of us are opting to get our phones out, rather than look around at sweets and chewing gum while we’re queuing.

3) Fitting the Internet in your pocket

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This one’s pretty self-explanatory.

Thanks to smartphones, we can have access to the Internet wherever we go, without having to lug around a huge desktop computer.

The iPhone has had a massive effect on our lives when it comes to apps, videos, online shopping – you name it. Mobile Internet traffic has gone from strength to strength over a fairly short space of time.

4) In iPhone-Land, you never need to ask what time it is

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The time on iPhone ads is always 09:41. This refers to the time that Steve Jobs announced the device.

Jobs timed his initial presentation to ensure that the time on the iPhone screen matched real time on the audience’s watches.

Yep, pretty meticulous!

5) Want to know Apple’s favourite musician?

smartphone-facts-bono

Did you know that the music icon once used for iPhone products is in fact the silhouette of U2 frontman Bono?

Of course there was also that time when all iPhone users (controversially) received a U2 album automatically…

 

Do you have any more iPhone facts for us? Comment below or tweet us if you do!

The Boomerang Team

Three Peaks Challenge: Team Boomerang Reaches New Heights!

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Ben Nevis official image…

Here at Boomerang, we love a challenge.

Through our Carpe Diem initiative, we are always encouraging students to push themselves.

Earlier this year, we decided to put our money where our mouth was and sign up to the Three Peaks Challenge!

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Scafell Pike official image…

Read on to find out a bit more about what we got up to last week 🙂

What does the challenge involve?

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Snowdon official image…

The Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing (or attempting to climb) the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales:

Ben Nevis in Scotland – 1345 metres

Scafell Pike in England – 978 metres

Snowdon in Wales – 1085 metres

The Boomerang experience

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Our Ben Nevis experience…

Last week 17 brave members of the Boomerang team headed up to Scotland by coach, ready to start the Ben Nevis ascent at 5am.

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Our Scafell Pike experience…

It was cold, wet and windy but we managed it nevertheless!

Next, we got back on the coach and drove to the Lake District, trying to catch a few hours’ sleep before the Scafell Pike night-time climb…

Another successful (and incredibly tiring) climb under our belts, we embarked on the last leg to Wales, excited for the final climb – Snowdon.

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Our Snowdon experience…

As tempting as the Snowdon train was, our entire team remained determined to complete the challenge – the cafe stop at the top of Snowdon may have helped with this!

Our stats

  • Ben Nevis time: 5 hours 42 mins
  • Scafell Pike time:  4 hours 33 mins
  • Snowdon time: 5 hours 41 mins
  • Total distance covered: 27 miles (44 km)

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Rom at YOLO Fitness for keeping us motivated and leading us to victory with this incredible challenge! What shall we do next?

Tweet @BoomEdLtd with any ideas on what we could do for our next challenge!

three-peaks-challenge-ben-nevis-boomerang-team

Did You Know These Facts About The Victorians?

  • We like to highlight important historical dates in Boomerang school planners and this week, we’re focusing on the Victorians.
  • Queen Victoria was born almost 200 years ago today, back in 1819.
  • As Queen of England for over 60 years, we thought we’d commemorate Victoria’s reign by bringing together a few facts about the Victorians that you may not know.

So here goes…

1) Queen Victoria gave us the white wedding dress

Queen Victoria

Although not the first to wear white on her wedding day, Queen Victoria was certainly the most influential.

With such a widely publicised wedding, her white lace dress was copied by brides across the country and thus she is often accredited with popularising this style.

2) Victorians wore black because of pollution

Image result for victorians wore black

Victorian fashion had many influences but one contributing factor to the wearing of black clothing was the heavy pollution.

Ever-present smog would often stain clothes and wearing black became an effective way of masking the discolouring.

3) They gave us creepy literature

victorian-fiction

From The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, to Dracula, the Victorian era produced beautifully chilling tales, often with a Gothic influence, that still impact the horror genre to this day:

The Raven – Edgar Allan Poe

Dracula – Bram Stoker

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

4) Freak shows were common

victorian-freak-show

A highly controversial but popular aspect of Victorian society, ‘freak shows’ featured ‘attractions’ such as deformed people and animals, uncommonly large or small performers and anything else deemed a ‘freak of nature’.

 

5) Female hysteria was an actual medical diagnosis

female-hysteria

Once a common medical diagnosis reserved solely for women, ‘hysteria’ was seen as a ‘disease of the womb’. Woman considered to have it, displayed symptoms such as insomnia, loss of appetite and even a ‘tendency to cause trouble’.

So what do you think of our facts? Do you have any others to add to our list?

Tweet us @BoomEdLtd to let us know! 🙂

The Boomerang Team.

GCSE Revision Tips: Beating the Exam Stress

Whether you’re already in the midst of the GCSE exam frenzy, or you’re worrying about exams coming up over the next few weeks, we’ve got loads of GCSE revision tips to get you through a potentially stressful period.

For more tips, take a look at at the Revision & Exam pages of our school planners.

Put down the coffee cup

  • One of the most important GCSE revision tips we can give you, is to keep hydrated. Your brain needs plenty of water and during revision, this will help with memory and concentration.
  • Did you know that on average, a fully grown man needs as much as 2 litres of water a day and a woman, 1.6 litres?
  • Avoid too much caffeine, as this will actually dehydrate you. Remember, this includes, coffee, coke and energy drinks to name a few.

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Get some sleep

  • Okay, this is easier said than done, especially when you probably have all sorts of exam-related worries going through your head.
  • If it helps, just think that sleep is when the brain turns what you’ve learnt into long-term memories – so a good night’s sleep is vital.
  • Even an extra hour in bed can make all the difference. You should be aiming for roughly 8 hour’s sleep every night, so try going to bed an hour or two earlier than usual.

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You’re still allowed to have fun

  • Another important GCSE revision tip to remember is that you don’t have to lock yourself away for 12 hours, staring at your revision notes.
  • Instead, try making a revision timetable and allowing time for things like exercise, seeing friends, watching tv etc.
  • Planning ahead will help you avoid last minute cramming and you’ll still be able to do the things you enjoy.

GCSE-revision-tips-fun

Keep things in perspective

  • Try to remember that exams aren’t the be-all and end-all so don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
  • Think about how far you’ve already come and once you’ve done an exam, put it out of your head and focus on the next one.

If you’d like more advice, drop us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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We have faith in you!

The Boomerang Team x

How to Pick a Bank Account for University: All You Need to Know

Here at Boomerang Ed, we’re making it our mission to help students with all things finance.

Banks can be tricky because, despite stating the facts, consultants are effectively salespeople and will often use gimmicks to try and tempt you to accounts that might not actually be the best for you.

So we’ve put together a few factors that should help you figure out how to pick a bank account for university 🙂

how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-pound

How to pick a bank account for university:

First things first, student accounts work just like normal bank accounts but you can only open them if you are in or about to start higher education. They come with extra features so here’s what you should be looking out for:

1) Look out for hidden fees

Bank accounts can come with all sorts of fees that you might not realise at first, such as:

  • Fees for failed standing orders or direct debits
  • Monthly or annual fees for holding the account

Most accounts will also charge you for:

  • Sending money to another country
  • Withdrawing cash abroad
  • Requesting copies of old statements

If you think you’ll be making use of these services frequently, make sure you choose an account with low fees.

how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-credit

2) Find out how you can use the account

Most student bank accounts should be offering you:

  • A debit card
  • ATM withdrawals
  • Telephone banking
  • Online banking
  • A mobile phone app
  • Contactless payments or a service like Apple Pay

how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-app

3) Research the best overdraft

  • Overdrafts allow you to keep spending money, even after the balance in your account reaches zero.
  • If this happens, then your account will show a negative balance. For example, if you withdrew £20 with just £5 left in your account, your new balance would read -£15
  • Look out! Overdrafts tend to charge interest on the money you borrow. However, many student accounts offer interest-free overdrafts of up to £3,000, so make sure you look at all the options.
  • Be careful not to spend beyond the overdraft limit (you can find this out from your bank) because you will be charged fees, which could damage your credit record.

how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-overdraft

4) Is there a branch nearby?

Having a branch that is local will be useful if you need to:

  • Take out cash if you lose your card
  • Pay in cash
  • Pay in a cheque

 how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-cash

5) Freebies

Student bank accounts will often offer you free stuff which can include:

how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-nus

These freebies can be great – just make sure you’ve looked at all the other factors we’ve mentioned first. Finding an account that offers everything you need is more important than the perks!

Take a look at this handy comparison of all student current accounts to find one suitable for your needs.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with the Boomerang Team! 🙂

Everyday Shakespeare: 20 Phrases We Still Use Today

We’re celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday with a list of 20 phrases invented by The Bard himself. He may have been born 453 years ago but his words still heavily influence our language today.

So without further ado, here are 20 Shakespearean phrases that you might not have known go all the way back to the 1500s:

Everyday Shakespeare phrases

1) “Knock knock! Who’s there?” – Macbeth

everyday-shakespeare-macbeth

2) “Set my teeth on edge” – Henry IV

everyday-shakespeare-henry-iv

3) “Fair play” – The Tempest

everyday-shakespeare-tempest

4) “For goodness’ sake” – Henry VIII

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5) “Break the ice” – The Taming of the Shrew

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6) “Dead as a doornail” – Henry VI

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7) “Good riddance” – Troilus and Cressida

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8) “Love is blind” – The Merchant of Venice

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9) “Wild-goose chase” – Romeo and Juliet

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10) “Jealousy is the green-eyed monster” – Othello

everyday-shakespeare-othello

11) “In a pickle” – The Tempest

12) “Laughing stock” – The Merry Wives of Windsor 

13) “Wear my heart upon my sleeve” – Othello

14) “The world’s my oyster” – Merry Wives of Windsor

15) “All that glitters (glisters) is not gold” – The Merchant of Venice

16) “All’s well that ends well” – All’s Well that Ends Well

17) “Be-all and end-all” – Macbeth

18) “A sorry sight” – Macbeth

19) “All of a sudden” – The Taming of the Shrew

20) “Heart of gold” – Henry V

 

Do you know any other everyday Shakespeare words or phrases? Tweet us @BoomEdLtd and let us know!

The Boomerang Team

National Open Art Competition 2017: Competition of the Month!

What is the National Open Art Competition?

  • National Open Art Competition 2017.
  • Ever produced a piece of art that you’re really proud of? You might want to develop your artistic style further by entering the National Open Art Competition.
  • Great prizes up for grabs.
  • The following mediums will be accepted: paintings, drawings, miniature drawings/paintings/wall hung installations, original prints, photography, wall hung installations, digital art, moving image.
  • Competition closes 9th July 2017.

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Who can enter?

  • You must live or be professionally based in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland to be eligible for entry.
  • For the main art competition, you must be 15 years of age by 1 September 2017.
  • To enter the Children’s Competition, you must be 14 years of age or younger on 1 September 2017.

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What are the size limitations?

  • Adult Competition:
    • Max size of Artwork: Width : 153cm x Height : 153cm x Depth : 30cm including the frame.
  • Miniatures, please click here for details.
  • Children’s Competition:
    • Max size of Artwork: Width : 50cm x Height : 50cm x Depth : 30cm including the frame.
  • Max duration of Moving Image: 3 minutes (180 seconds) including any credits.

national-open-art-competition-installation

How to enter:

  • Head to the website to register.
  • Registration for the adult competition (15 and above) costs £12, which includes your first submission. You may enter up to three more submissions at a cost of £12 each.
  • Registration for the Children’s Competition (under 15s) costs £5, which entitles you to enter one submission. Children may enter up to two more submissions at a cost of £5 each.
  • NB: There is a special offer for bulk school entries: £10 for 10 children. Please email Anne for a code and instructions.
national-open-art-competition-previous-winner

“The Day That Bowie Died”, Philippa Paterson, Best Portrait Award 2016

We promote exciting opportunities for young people as part of our Carpe Diem youth initiative. Head to the Carpe Diem section of our website for our full catalogue of upcoming student opportunities 🙂

For more information on this particular competition, head to www.nationalopenart.org.

Until next week!

The Boomerang Team

 

10 Disney Films to Watch Over the Easter Break

This week our highlighted school planner spot date is Disney-themed. It’s the 25th anniversary of the opening of Euro Disney, Disneyland Paris, so we’ve taken it as an excuse to put a Disney-style spin on this week’s blog post. So when you’ve got a spare couple of hours over the holidays, take your pick from our list of 10 Disney films to watch over Easter (there’s something for everyone):

Our 10 Disney films to watch over Easter with the family:

Starting at number 10, we’re counting down to our favourite. Which will it be?

Disclaimer: We like all the Disney films really – this list reflects some of our favourites, as well as catering to all the family 🙂

10) High School Musical, 2006

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Watch the trailer here.

9) The Aristocats, 1970

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Take a look at the trailer.

8) Holes, 2003

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View the trailer here.

7) Lady and the Tramp, 1955

10-disney-films-lady-and-tramp

Watch the trailer here.

6) Toy Story, 1995

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You can watch the Toy Story trailer here.

…You’re halfway through our list. How are we doing so far?

5) Hercules, 1997

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View the trailer here.

4) Pirates of the Caribbean, 2003

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Watch the trailer here.

3) The Little Mermaid, 1989

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Take a look at the trailer.

2) The Incredibles, 2004

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You can watch the trailer here.

1) Enchanted, 2007

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View the trailer for Enchanted here.

If you’ve made it this far then you should definitely have found at least one or two films to watch with friends/family over the Easter holidays! What do you think of our choices? Have we missed any off our list that we shouldn’t have? Tweet @BoomEdLtd or comment below to let us know.

Happy Easter!

Carpe Diem Poster: Unleash Your Awesome!

Sooo… can we tell you about our brand new Carpe Diem poster? (Yes, we are very excited).

By this point, you should definitely have heard about our brilliant Carpe Diem youth initiative.

No?

Here’s a quick re-cap:

The Carpe Diem initiative aims to inspire young people (from as young as 4 all the way up to 18yrs) to get out there and grab life’s opportunities. You’ll learn something new, gain some useful skills and most importantly, have some great experiences!

carpe-diem-poster-fullCarpe Diem Poster

With hundreds of fantastic opportunities out there, we wanted to get the message out to as many young people as possible.

So we’ve designed our very own Carpe Diem poster which captures the essence of what this initiative is all about.

We printed 1000 posters and delivered them to hundreds of schools up and down the country. What better way to reach our target audience (you) than to go straight to the environment you spend so much of your time in?

Unleash Your Awesome

The Carpe Diem team wanted the poster tag-line to more or less sum up what we want you to get out of visiting Carpe Diem.

After brainstorms, mind maps, market research and everything in between, we came up with “Unleash Your Awesome”.

Now all we need is a little bit of help to get the word out even more – so if you see an opportunity you think a friend would like, let them know! For example any budding artists might be interested in the National Open Art Competition. It’s now open for entries 🙂

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

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

10-poems-read-before-you-leave-school-daffodils

“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

10-poems-read-before-you-leave-school-road

“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

10-poems-read-before-you-leave-school-bird

“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

10-poems-read-before-you-leave-school-summer

“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

10-poems-read-before-you-leave-school-watch

“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

10-poems-read-before-you-leave-school-wasteland

“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

10-poems-read-before-you-leave-school-albatross

“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

10-poems-read-before-you-leave-school-raven

“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 🙂