This week, next week

26 April - 2 May 2014


Tied in knots

In the UK, one of the world's oldest snacks was honoured with National Pretzel Day. Legend has it that an Italian monk used leftover dough to make the twisty treats that represent children's arms folded in prayer.


Free radical

The English government's free schools policy lacks "joined-up" thinking, claimed Ronda Fogel, executive director of Constable Educational Trust, which set up two primary academies criticised by Ofsted.


Release the mockingbird

Harper Lee, author of English GCSE favourite To Kill a Mockingbird, turned 88. The day coincided with the announcement that the reclusive author would allow her classic to be published as an e-book.


World at their feet

It may go against most schools' health and safety directives, but footwear brand Toms urged people to go One Day Without Shoes to raise awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child's life.


Take five to celebrate

The coolest musical types enjoyed International Jazz Day, which took place worldwide. As Lisa Simpson once put it, to truly appreciate jazz "you have to listen to the notes [they're] not playing".


Best in the business

US president Barack Obama welcomed the 2014 national teacher of the year to the White House. The winner will spend 12 months representing educators in the US, as well as advocating for the profession.


Chapter and verse

On this day in 1611, the first ever King James Bible was printed. Four hundred years later, England's education secretary Michael Gove hit the headlines for sending a copy to every single school in the country.

3-9 May 2014


Going au naturel

The Body Freedom Collaborative is urging people to tend their gardens today "as nature intended" - completely starkers. The prospect of photos ending up on the internet will put most teachers off the idea.


May the fourth be with you

Don your Jedi robes, prepare your Wookie impression and arrange your hair into two Danish pastry-like buns for Star Wars Day. No light sabres in the classroom please, the inspectors are in today.


To brie or not to brie

Exuberant turophiles will descend on the Cambridgeshire town of Stilton to participate in the annual cheese-rolling competition. Challengers will fight for victory, as well as beer and cheese.


Global gratitude

It's Teachers' Day in the US, part of Teacher Appreciation Week, which was started by former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1953. Educators in Jamaica will also be honoured for their hard work.


Ride on time

Put pedal to the metal on Bike to School Day, an annual event encouraging young people to take up cycling - and perhaps spare their parents the school run. No, Johnny, you can't take your dad's penny-farthing.


Peace at last

Victory in Europe Day commemorates the unconditional surrender of German forces on 7 May 1945, which came into effect the next day. The capitulation was the beginning of the end of the Second World War.


Forever young

JM Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, was born on this day in 1860. Although his tales are flights of fancy, the idea of a land where children never grow up is presumably the stuff of teachers' nightmares.

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