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Last day of Spring!

30 November 2015

Enjoy our last day of Spring everyone. Summer tomorrow. Yes!

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What you book with us - so interesting!

20 November 2015

It's so interesting to learn what's happening in schools around Australia by looking at the shows you book. And the range is so diverse.

To give you an idea, yesterday, some of the shows booked were -  HIPPO!HIPPO! - The Musical, Bellydance for Positive Self Image, the  Aussie Christmas Show, Chinese Lion Dance and The Freedom Ride. Wow. What a spectrum both of arts events and events you choose to enhance your curricula. Lucky kids.

Image: Bellydance for Positive Self Image

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You're Right - Our Internet is Slow

18 November 2015

Think our internet speed here is slow? You're right. We currently rank 44th in the world - a drop of 3 places since the last report in mid 2014 by US cloud service provider Akamai Technologies on the State of the Internet . Even New Zealand is now ahead of us. 

With the slow roll out of the NBN, less than 500,000 households are connected, we needn't hold our breath waiting for an increase. Netflix is due to officially launch soon in Australia, but will our internet service be up to it?? Want to know where you should go to watch a decently streamed movie? Check out table below

Top ten average global connection speeds
Rank Country Speed (Mbps)
1 South Korea 25.3
2 Hong Kong 16.3
3 Japan 15.0
4 Switzerland 14.5
5 Sweden 14.1
6 Netherlands 14.0
7 Ireland 13.9
8 Latvia 13.4
9 Czech Republic 12.3
10 Singapore 12.2

Read the whole article in Choice

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Myanmar Moving to Democracy

11 November 2015

The results won't be known for a few days yet, but it looks like Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) might have garnered up to 70% of the vote.

This is a major step toward democracy, the next will be in March 16 with voting for a President.

The world has to admire the strength of Aung San who was under house arrest for 15 years and applaud that her efforts have been instrumental in bringing about this move to democracy in a country that has been ruled by military dictatorship for so many years.

I remember visiting Burma in the late 1970's. Once the rice bowl of Asia, even then, the daily living conditions of people were severely straightened. Many people I spoke to survived on one meal a day. The (illegal) night market openly set up in the main streets of Rangoon, was the only place you could buy any products from other countries - if you had American dollars.

That was over 30 years ago. The fortitude of a people to survive and fight is so impressive and so removed from our comfortable existence in Australia.

Read more about the ramifications of this election in Myanmar here

Image: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun in The Convesation

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How the favourite book works linguistic wonders

3 November 2015

When my daughter was aged between 8 months and two years, she would want to "read" Harry, the dirty dog by Gene Zion nearly every night for her bed time story. That's alot of readings of a book of about 10 pages. Sometimes we'd hide Harry dog, and suggest all manner of fascinating alternatives, but then have to miraculously find it when the tears would start to flow.

It turns out she knew what she was doing in terms of her language development, even if it was at the expense of parental sanity. Repeated reading out loud of a story book can boost vocabulary by 40%. The child doesn't have to worry about understanding as they learn from the pattern of the predictable text. They learn that the words on the page have a meaning, a boost when they begin to read themselves. 

Researchers have identified 5 ways this repetitive reading of a favourite book to a pre school child helps, it:

  • Improves fluency
  • Expands vocabulary knowledge
  • Helps comprehension
  • Involves family members
  • Makes reading fun

Well, despite the fact that 20 years later, even mentioning the title makes me groan, that particular child is very adept at English, perhaps her facility is due to good old Harry dog.


Image: Editor's daughter at kinder having advanced further in reading

Read more on this in anarticle in The Conversation 

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November already!

1 November 2015

Happy November everyone. The end of the school year is in sight... 

Good luck to all those doing exams

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SFS October E News out now

24 October 2015

Our SFS subscribers are entitled to amazing giveaways. We appreciate you.

Go here to have a chance to win a free show for your students or tickets to the best events in Australia for yourself.

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Victorian Incursion Giveaway Winner - Another Impressive Arts Teacher

23 October 2015

Our Victorian teacher subscriber winner this year was Rosalie Birney, music teacher, at Gladstone Park Primary.

With a tempting array of productions from Regional Arts Victoria, she chose the Fairytale Cookbook to perform to here Y1 and Yr 2's for free last week.

Read more

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Circus Oz's Curiosity on this week in Melbourne

20 October 2015

Lucky kids whose teachers are taking them to see the show and maybe do the workshops for CURIOSITY from today to Friday. The show is open to the general public on Saturday,  if you'd like to take your kids along. Go here to book for Saturday.

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Sustainable Future Time for Australian Politicians to think ahead.

16 October 2015

This year's meeting of Climate Action and the UN Environment Programme is happening in Paris in early December.

French Minister, Segolene Royale has said "We've won the battle of ideas, we now must win the battle for action"

Let's hope the Australian government might be shamed into creating more sustainable policies. Australia currently ranks 52 of all OECD countries, below Turkey and Greece, when we live in a country with so many possibilities for green energy.

Read about the COP21 conference here.

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Another Awesome Nearly Done

15 October 2015

Perth's wonderful Awesome Festival is almost finished, but you can still catch CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS, by Circa and QPAC's Out Of The Box Festival. It's a great show. Hurry! Finishes Friday October 16. Book here

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Free Incursion to Vic Subscriber

14 October 2015

This year, Rosalie Birney from Gladstone Park Primary, was the lucky Victorian Teacher Subscriber to win our free incursion giveaway from Regional Arts Victoria. Their 2016 available now. Check it out.

The show Rosalie chose is the fantastic Fairytale Cookbook. Lucky kids. (Image above of Fairytale Cookbook)

The show is on Friday, so we'll go along and report back to you.

All you have to do is subscribe to be in the running for next year's giveaways, happening in most states!

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