This week, next week

13-19 December 2014


All things considered

Ofqual revealed that almost 500,000 teenagers who suffered illness, bereavement or other unfortunate events during their GCSE and A-levels this summer requested extra marks, a rise of 20 per cent from 2013.


Holiday job

A revision textbook? You shouldn't have...Children hoping to get into the country's top private schools were missing out on Christmas fun because of cramming for January entrance exams, tutors claimed.


Clerical error

The Catholic Education Service expressed concern that one of its schools had been accused of failing to deal with extremism. St Benedict's school in Bury St Edmunds blamed mistakes in an Ofsted report.


When East met West

It was 30 years ago today that the cold war thawed and Mikhail Gorbachev - then the Soviet Union's second in command - held talks with British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. He later became president.


Anglo-German friendly

The British Army football team took to the pitch against German Bundeswehr forces in Aldershot, to stage a rematch of the famous Christmas truce between the two countries' troops in the First World War.


Speaking freely

As-salamu alaykum! With the ability to speak Arabic fast becoming an essential skill in business, the United Nations' annual celebration of the language is a date for everyone's diary.


One day I'll fly away

It's the last day of term and the beginning of the great Christmas getaway. British Airways is expecting 129,000 passengers on its busiest day of the year. Probably best to stay at home by the fire.

20-26 December 2014


Talk of the town

The annual Halifax Quality of Life survey is due to be published today. The results will send house prices soaring in some parts of the UK and plummeting in others, as the best places to live are named.


Night shift

Some love the short days and others hate them - either way, the winter solstice is upon us. Get out of the house for a couple of hours of vitamin D before darkness falls at around 4pm. If you're lucky.


Strength in numbers

Today in India it's National Mathematics Day, held on the birthday of the self-taught Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan, born in 1887. Join in yourself for a spot of seasonal subtraction fun.


Vegging out

Bored of peeling Brussels sprouts? Why not branch out with your Brassicaceae and mark the Mexican Night of the Radishes? Sculptors at the festival carve the root vegetables into a variety of forms.


What's in your stocking?

At last, the loveliest evening of the year. You sit down to wrap up a hastily bought men's grooming gift set and tie a bit of fancy ribbon around some socks. But what will Santa bring teachers this year?


So this is Christmas...

Ding dong merrily on high - Christmas Day, otherwise known as Official No Marking Day for teachers, is likely to start with cava and chocolate money for breakfast, followed by a row with the in-laws.


Thrill of the chase

Tally ho! Bloodthirsty traditionalists will gather for the annual Boxing Day hunt. It's not what it used to be as hunting foxes with dogs is now illegal, but loopholes allow a jolly dash across the countryside.

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