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.

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

10-disney-films-pirates

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

10-disney-films-enchanted

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

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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

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 🙂

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.

torrey-canyon-conversation

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.

carpe-diem-initiative-sport

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 🙂

carpe-diem-initiative-friends

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
new-periodic-table-elements-rsc

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

competition-of-the-month-biology-challenge-logo

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 🙂

 

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

school-planner-carpe-diem

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!