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This week, next week

18-24 July 2015


Trail blazers

Now the summer term is over, the pace has slowed - and nowhere was that more evident than in Norfolk, which played host to the World Snail Racing Championships, won this year by a gastropod called George.


Raking over the Ashes

Inspectors would surely judge the England cricket team to require improvement after its dismal defeat in the second Ashes Test against Australia. The series is now level at 1-1. Read about cricket in schools on page 11


It's the thought that counts

Teachers prefer a handwritten note to expensive gifts or cash, a TESS survey found. Staff also recalled some interesting presents, from a pound;3,000 bottle of vintage whisky to a single Fruit Polo (bit.lyEduGifts).


One small step for a man.

.and one giant leap for quotable phrases. Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. He was followed by Buzz Aldrin, while Michael Collins remained aboard the command module.


Smelling a rat

Teachers are used to children leading them a merry dance, so turn the tables and mark Ratcatcher's Day. The event commemorates the legend of the Pied Piper, who led all the children out of the German town of Hamelin.


Driven round the bend?

If you're stuck in traffic this summer, thank the Ford Motor Company, which sold its first car on this day in 1903 and later fed the automobile boom by popularising the assembly-line method of production.


Freedom fighter

South Americans will celebrate the birth of Simn Bolvar (left), a political leader who helped many countries - including his place of birth, Venezuela - to establish themselves as independent states.

25-31 July 2015


The royal treatment

As schools close, Buckingham Palace opens. For teachers who fancy visiting a historic venue without marshalling a crowd of overexcited children, the Queen's State Rooms are now accessible to the public.


Go figure in Brazil

Maths teachers missing their classes, take note: it's estimated that 87 per cent of delegates will enjoy the World Statistics Congress in Brazil. But, then again, 76 per cent of statistics are completely made up.


Rude awakening

A lie-in may seem tempting, but Finnish educators will make sure they're up early for National Sleepyhead Day. Traditionally, the last person to wake up in each house is soaked with water - or thrown into a lake.


Doubting Thomas

After organising Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon, masterminding the execution of Anne Boleyn and arranging the monarch's marriage to Anne of Cleves, Thomas Cromwell was executed in 1540.


Earn your stripes

Seeking a grrrrrreat global observance? Look no further than International Tiger Day, first held in 2010 to raise awareness of the animal's plight and encourage protection of its natural habitat.


The best of friends

Take a break from planning next year's lessons to observe the International Day of Friendship. The UN event urges people to organise and participate in community activities to promote civil understanding.


Law and order

If you've already run out of legal dramas to binge-watch, head down to the Palace of Westminster, where a mock trial of barons and bishops will be held to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

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