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31st January 2014 at 00:00


25-31 JANUARY 2014


Oh, l'amour

After more twists, turns and rumour-mongering than an angst-fuelled teenage romance, French president Francois Hollande revealed he was to split from his partner of eight years, Valerie Trierweiler.


Tentacular, oracular

The short life of Paul the psychic octopus began on this day in 2008. He had a brilliant career as an oracle, correctly predicting the outcomes of all seven of Germany's football matches at the 2010 World Cup.


Brownie points

Keen bakers in staffrooms all over the US had the chance to gain favour among colleagues during the annual Chocolate Cake Day. It's not an official public holiday, but who cares? It's yummy!


Read all about it

Insisting that all children be taught to read using synthetic phonics was "almost a form of abuse", an academic claimed. Andrew Davis of Durham University also likened his detractors to "religious fundamentalists".


Universal aim

Unesco launched its annual Education for All Global Monitoring Report. Teaching and Learning: achieving quality for all examines how human rights abuses are keeping children around the world out of school.


At peace

Indian nationalist and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on this day in 1948. His death is commemorated yearly with the international School Day of Non-Violence and Peace.


Win the sweepstake

In need of some good fortune? According to Chinese New Year traditions, a deep clean of your home by today will sweep away bad vibes that have gathered over the past year - if you can fit it in around the marking.


1-7 FEBRUARY 2014


Best birthday ever

One Direction's Harry Styles (he of the excessively voluminous hair) will turn 20 today. His band has been making tweens hysterical for four years now - it probably feels a lot longer to teachers.


OK, Campers, rise and shine

Punxsutawney Phil, the world's most famous groundhog, will be prophesying from his den in Gobbler's Knob, Pennsylvania. If he sees his shadow, the legend goes, there will be six more weeks of winter.


Reach for the stars

If you're seeking a great female role model to inspire students, look no further. On this day in 1995, Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle. She later became the first female shuttle commander.


Status update

Ubiquitous social media network Facebook will celebrate its 10th anniversary today. It's probably best not to mention that in front of the colleague whose friend request you still haven't accepted.


Towering achievement

The annual Empire State Building Run-Up will take place in New York City. Held annually since 1978, the race challenges runners from around the world to climb the 1,576 stairs of the skyscraper.


I'll be banker

Board game Monopoly first went on sale on this day in 1935. Since then, it has spawned many novelty versions, although we're yet to hear of a school-themed board. Surely it would make millions.


Frosty reception

The first competitors will hit the slopes as the 2014 Winter Olympics get under way in Russia. Controversy has surrounded the event because of the host nation's questionable attitude to gay rights.

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