Showing posts from March, 2010

Good news for schoolchildren

Lie-in for teenagers has positive results

A school that has allowed its pupils to start the day an hour later says it has seen absenteeism decline.

At Monkseaton High School, in North Tyneside, 800 pupils aged 13-19 have started lessons at 10am since October.

Early results indicates that general absence has dropped by 8% and persistent absenteeism by 27%.

Head teacher Paul Kelley said that changing the school day could help towards creating "happier, better educated teenagers".

Mr Kelley said it was now medically established that it was better for teenagers to start their school day later in terms of their mental and physical health and how they learn better in the afternoon.
"It is a question of do schools fit the medical reality of teenagers?" he said.

The experiment of starting the school an hour later is being overseen by scientists, including an Oxford neuroscience professor Russell Foster.

He performed memory tests on pupils at the school which suggested…

Punished for not recycling correctly


HOUSEHOLDERS face being hit with a fine of up to £1,000 if they do not follow new rules on ­rubbish bin collection.

Throwing refuse into the wrong bin could result in a heavy fine under strict new recycling rules to be unveiled today.

Families could end up with* five different bins as they are forced to put food scraps into slop buckets to be collected for compost.

People will be made to sift throughwaste to ensure any metal or plastic is not mixed in with tea bags, vegetable peelings or food.

The Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn, has come up with* the plans as he wants to banish all food, cans, paper and glass from landfill sites.

People who persistently refuse to sort their rubbish to government-set standards or recycle properly will face the hefty fines.

The initiative comes as people across the country struggle with a series of increasingly complex rules governing rubbish collection.

If the plan is fully executed every house in the UK will be forc…

Calculating prices

Inflation basket: Lip gloss added to 'typical shop' 
Lip gloss and electrical hair straighteners have replacedlipstick and hair dryers in the typical basket of goods used to calculate inflation.

Blu-ray disc players as well as* computer games and accessories have made their way into the basket, the Office for National Statistics said.

Disposable cameras and squash court hire have made way.

The ONS updates its 650-strong basket of goods and services annually, to better reflect public spending habits.

It collects about 180,000 separate price quotations of these items in 150 areas of the UK.

These are then used to calculate the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Retail Price Index (RPI) measures of inflation.

Changing tastes

The shifting of goods and services in and out of the basket give an insight into the changing nature of shopping habits and new technology in the UK.

For example, the 2010 basket sees the entrance of small bottles of mineral water that reflect the "on the…

Int - essay errors

Here is a list of some of the mistakes I found in the essays about advice for foreign visitors to Spain. There might be more than one correction to make in each sentence. Many of them are minor mistakes but which you make all the time.
When you meet somebody at first time, it is usual to kiss both cheeks.If someone invite you to his home, it is important to carry something like a bottle of wine as well as it is not acceptable to take your shoes offI think the social customs in Spain are very similar from Western countries,If you are going to visit Spain, you couldn't forget this rules: When you first meet a person, it's common for men shake hands.In the first time, it's polite to use the more formal "usted" but today it isn't usual for young people.In a party or a social reunion, it's not acceptable to speak about religion or politicians. These are annoying topics and the people can be a bit upset.It's very rude to eat at differents hours because the w…

Int - module 6 Vocab

Complete the following with a word in the correct form.
I used to watch Dynasty but my favourite s___ o____ was Dallas.She cried when she was told the u________ news.He was f____ for driving at 80kph in a 30kphzone.I only leave a t__ if I am happy with the service.I love the song but I don't understand all the l_____.Cruz will s___ in the latest Woody Allen film.What were the h________ in the news this morning?Millions of dollars were r_____ to help the country after the earthquake.She t________ to tell everyone his secret if he didn't give her the money.I was absolutely d________ when she told me the good news.They h_______ the plane and made the pilot fly to a different airport.The p___ was a bit too complicated and I didn't really understand the ending.We've been having really d_______ weather recently - cold, rain, snow... I need some sunshine.The film is s__ in 18th century Paris.She has a really a_______ voice. I change channels whenever she comes on TV.

Up Int - module 7 Vocab

Complete the following sentences with a word in the correct form. All are taken from module 7.
I didn't take my umbrella and I g__ s_____.The audience started c_______ when the conductor walked onto the stage.I c______ so much during the match that I could hardly speak the next day.I was feeling a bit sad so I t______ myself to a new pair of shoes.Blue cheese has such a p______ smell that I can't eat it.He got a fine for driving too slow in the fast l___.I can't be b_______ cooking tonight. I'll just put something in the microwave.I am so c_____ - I'm always dropping, spilling or breaking things.I t___ a____ my father in terms of his temper.We are absolutely s_______. What is there to eat?What an u______ ridiculous thing to say. He should apologise.The neighbours hung b______ out of their window which read "No to noisy streets!"He never forgot his h_____ beginnings even afterhe achieved wealth and fame.I can't eat brussel sprouts. They don't a____

Cheese-rolling cancelled

Do you remember the unusual food festivals that we read about in class? Well, here is an article about another cheese rolling one from England...

Gloucestershire cheese-rolling offdue to safety fears

This year's cheese-rolling event in Gloucestershire has been cancelled after concerns about safety because of the number of spectators it attracts.

Organisers of the event at Cooper's Hill near Brockworth said 15,000 people attended last year's event - more than three times the site's capacity.

Police and the local authority are working with the cheese rolling committee to improve safety and access.

It is hoped the event will go ahead on the late May Bank Holiday in 2011.

One of the organisers Richard Jefferies said: "A few years ago we were only having several hundred people.

"Last year, the police estimate was 15,000 and they reckon it will be even more this year because it has got so internationally well-known.

"It's a matter of trying to find som…

School trip cancelled

This is an article about the case I mentioned in class today.

I don't know whether the school was taken to court or the trips went ahead in the end.

Mother defends school trip legal action threat

THE mother of a terminally ill Inverness schoolgirl has defended her decision to threaten legal action over a school trip.

Donna Williamson, of Aultnaskiach Avenue, spoke out yesterday after news of the cancellation of the annual trip sparkedanger among a small group of parents.

The parents wrote to local councillors, Inverness MP Danny Alexander and Highland Council education officials about concerns that their children would be missing out.

The council said it had "no option" but to call off two excursions - one to an outdoor centre and the other to Glasgow, visiting museums and art galleries - due to the complexities of legislation governing disability discrimination.

But Mrs Williamson explained her 11-year-old daughter, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, is "ser…

Should he sue McDonald's?

Teen, 17, suffers horrific burns when McDonald's tea spills on his leg

A teenager is considering sueing McDonald's after being left with horrific burns from a cup of tea when it spilled over his right leg.

Ben Lewis, 17, cannot work, drive, or shower easily due to the burns - which he is worried may scar him for life.
His family is now thinking of taking legal action against the fast food giant.

Ben needed urgent hospital treatment after the lid came off the cup when the car he was in went over a 5mph speed bump as he and his girlfriend left a McDonald's drive-thru in Newtown, Powys, on Friday.

The car was being driven by his girlfriend, Victoria Bennett, who then drove him straight to her house for a cold shower to calm the wound.

However Ben started screaming in pain so she then took him to Welshpool Hospital where he received treatment for his burns.

His leg is now covered in blisters.

The teenager, who works in his mother's nightclub, is now unable to drive and can…

Time to go or time you went?

Imagine a child normally goes to bed at 10 o'clock. He is playing his favourite video game when his mother interrupts him and says:

Come on, Pablito. It's time to go to bed.   (it's the right time)

Half an hour later and Pablito is still playing his video game. His mother says:

Pablito, it's time you went to bed. / it's time you were going to bed. ( it's late and he should have gone to bed by now)

Imagine you car is quite dirty.

It's time you cleaned your car.

But you are busy and it is even dirtier.

Isn't it about time you cleaned your car?

But still you leave it. Now it's filthy.

It's high time you cleaned your car. (I should have cleaned it ages ago)

It's (about/high) time + person + past.

What is it time you or others did? What should you have done long ago?

Wish you were here

At the end of a postcard, it is quite common to read:

Having a lovely time. Wish you were here.

What is the reality of the above situation?

Answer: You aren't here. (present)

Now imagine you went to a party but your friend didn't come along with you. You could say:

I wish (that) youhad been there. It was great fun.

What is the reality of this situation?

Answer: Your friend wasn't at the party. (past)

So when the reality is present: wish + past
and when the reality is past: wish + past perfect

Consider the following:

He can't drive. He wishes (that) he could drive.

He won't change his mind. I wish that he would change his mind.

So when the reality is can: wish + could
and when the reality is will: wish + would.

We also use wish + would, when we want to talk about situations we are not happy about and where we want someone else to change them.

He has a bad habit of biting his nails. I wish he would stop biting his nails.
I hate it when companies phone me to sell thing…