Scroll to view the complete collection of our teacher blog posts. You’ll find posts on a range of topics, from updates on the latest Boomerang products to Growth Mindset tips. Enjoy! Take a look at all of our blog posts here.

10 Ways You Know You’re a Teacher on Summer Holidays

Most UK teachers will have broken up from school by the end of the week – woohoo! In celebration of your well-earned time off, we’ve put together a list of 10 different ways that you know you’re a teacher on summer holidays.

Will you agree with our list? Read on to find out…

You know you’re a teacher on summer holidays when:

1) You have to dress incognito, Clark Kent-style just in case you’re spotted by pupils.

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2) The urge to tuck in chairs when at restaurants and cafes is strong.

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3) You no longer care what day of the week it is!

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4) Switching off isn’t easy. You can hardly sleep at night because you find yourself thinking about classes, lessons, school corridors – you name it.

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5) Yet despite the lack of sleep, it still takes a good couple of weeks for you to convince your body clock not to wake you up at 6am…

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6) You’re reminded by anyone and everyone just how lucky you are to have such long holidays. Have they tried being a teacher?!

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7) You secretly enjoy making your non-teacher friends jealous with your weekday holiday pictures.

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8) Your teacher friends understand that in between the summer photos, you’re actually preparing and planning for the new school year.

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9) Summer sales are hard to resist. So. Much. Stationery.

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10) Aww we know you miss teaching really :p

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So did we miss anything? Let us know via Twitter!

The Boomerang Team.

 

Boomerang Digital Homework Planner: New Features for 2017!

So what’s new for the Boomerang Digital Homework Planner?

Our Boomerang Digital team have been working extremely hard this past year to make the Boomerang Digital Planner better than ever.

So it’s time to give you an update!

Boomerang Digital Homework Planner infographicBringing schools closer together

Our connectivity is better than ever with the Digital Planner System bringing teachers, students and parents closer together.

Teachers can send assignments to students, which will show up on their planner.

Parents can see all assignments set for the student.

School admin can share school events with everyone.

Better for everyone!

 

boomerang-digital-homework-planner-appMobile app

Yep that’s right, we’ve got an app for mobile and tablet, making it super easy for students to upload homework tasks and manage their to-do lists.

We’ve listened to your feedback and recently updated our app so that it now enables students to attach images to personal tasks from the device image library or camera.

Pupils can also now easily download files from teachers, as well as view their grades and any feedback on completed assignments.

 

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Mobile app – introducing push notifications!

Coming very very soon…push notifications for our Digital Homework Planner!

We’re excited about this one because we want the homework process to be as smooth and seamless as possible.

Push notifications will ensure that students are immediately notified once new tasks or events are created.

They will also be able to receive important messages from teachers.

 

 

boomerang-digital-homework-planner-quiz-centreQuiz centre – watch this space…

We’re working on a bespoke Boomerang Quiz Centre, launching soon for 2017.

Teachers will be able to create custom multiple choice quizzes, complete with images and videos.

A great way to encourage interactive learning 🙂

 

 

We’ll keep you posted on more updates to the Boomerang Digital Homework Planner as they come!

The Boomerang Team.

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

smartphone-facts-camera

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

smartphone-facts-chewing-gum

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

smartphone-facts-internet

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

smartphone-facts-time

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.

three-peaks-challenge-snowdon-boomerang

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

School Planner 2017-18 Update

School Planner 2017-18 Update: What’s new?

Here at Boomerang Education, we consistently strive to bring pupils diary content that informs, excites and inspires.

This year has been no different.

In fact, we’re proud to say we’ve outdone ourselves!

The Boomerang School Planner 2017-18 will see the introduction of:

What’s Next Section

school-planner-2017-18-whats-next

This section of our new school planners is super useful for students of all ages. We want to give pupils all the necessary tools to making informed decisions about study, work and beyond.

That’s why this year, we are including a dedicated ‘what’s next’ school planner section. This has all sorts of tips and guidance to help students when it comes to making those potentially life-changing decisions.

Finance Info

school-planner-2017-18-finance

After visiting schools earlier in the year, we found that many pupils felt that they didn’t know enough about ‘student finance’.

By ‘student finance’ we mean all things money-related for students in secondary schools and sixth form colleges.

From money-saving tips, to information on the cost of further education, our finance snippets provide pupils with the information they asked us for.

Brand New Artwork

school-planner-2017-18-art

Last year our school planners featured ancient and traditional artwork, with the bold colours proving popular with pupils.

This year we are continuing to use bright, bold designs and have taken inspiration from patterns and art techniques from around the world.

From polka-dots to tartan, the six eye-catching designs vary week-to-week, ensuring that students always enjoy opening their planners.

Historical Anniversaries

school-planner-2017-18-history

Primary, secondary and sixth form students alike showed an interest in our 2016-17 historical anniversaries, so we’ve made sure to include a double page spread for 2017-18.

Pupils will be able to read about key historical events such as the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 and the publication of Frankenstein back in 1818.

Presented in the style of short newspaper articles, these pages give pupils bite-sized information on historical anniversaries which they are then more than welcome to research further in their own time.

 

This list is by no means exhaustive but we wanted to highlight a few of our favourites.

What do you think of our updates? Let us know! 

The 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.

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

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2) “Set my teeth on edge” – Henry IV

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3) “Fair play” – The Tempest

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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

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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

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!

World Health Day: Mental Health Awareness in School

What is World Health Day?

World Health Day is a global awareness day, organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), that we celebrate each year on 7th April. It marks the founding of WHO and is a fantastic opportunity to draw worldwide attention to a specific subject, chosen each year.

The theme of this year’s World Health Day campaign is “depression – let’s talk”. The aim is to mobilise action on something that affects people of all ages, all over the world.

As well as highlighting World Health Day in our school planners, we are dedicating this week’s blog post to mental health awareness in the school environment.

Early recognition

Recognition of mental illness and subsequent early diagnosis can greatly improve the lives of children and teens in school.

Research suggests that teens with mental health problems who do get appropriate treatment have increased scholastic test scores.

Effective mental health interventions and a positive school climate can contribute to improved student achievement.

world-health-day-good

Spotting the warning signs

Recognising the warning signs in students means that we are better equipped to provide appropriate help within school or outside of school if necessary.

As a teacher, you see your students every day and may be among the first to notice symptoms. Things to look out for include:

  • Increased lateness or absence
  • Angry or aggressive behaviour
  • Poor concentration
  • Student seems withdrawn, silent, lacks friends — especially if this is a change in behavior
  • Student appears overly anxious or worried, even fearful

What happens next

If you do spot one or more of the above signs in a particular student, ask yourself:

1) How frequently is this happening?

Warning signs will usually persist over a couple of weeks, and will not go away.

2) How extreme is the change in behaviour?

If a warning sign does show up, even if infrequent, it’s important to determine whether there is a significant change in behavioural pattern.

If you feel that there is an issue, reach out to the student in question and connect them to the school mental health staff.

For more advice on recognising mental health issues, the NHS website is a good starting point.

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

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

“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

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

“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 🙂