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THIS WEEK

7-13 JULY 2012

SATURDAY

Rhyme time

London's South Bank throbbed with iambic pentameter as poets, rappers and other spoken-word artistes took part in Shake the Dust Weekend, including the final of the competition's national poetry slam.

SUNDAY

Tears on centre court

National tennis hero Andy Murray broke his emotion-drought, shedding tears after he lost to grass court android Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final. And what did children learn from the occasion? Losing's a bummer.

MONDAY

Enough to drive you banana's

Fresh controversy erupted over a proposed grammar test for 11-year-olds. Michael Gove wants to obliterate the "greengrocer's apostrophe" but unions claimed it was an attack on teachers.

TUESDAY

Catch-up classes for the poor

Children who are behind in reading and writing are to be offered catch-up lessons before they start secondary school. But only children on free school meals will qualify for the extra tuition.

WEDNESDAY

On the wing

Is that a green-veined white or a painted lady on the nasturtiums? Natural history legend Sir David Attenborough launched the Big Butterfly Count at London Zoo. But how many will you see in 15 minutes?

THURSDAY

From cover to cover

Children's laureate Julia Donaldson launched the 2012 Summer Reading Challenge - 780,000 children are aiming to read six books before the autumn term begins. Do Mr Men books count?

FRIDAY

Your unlucky number

Friday 13th, always a dodgy day for the superstitious. Stay in, take no risks, avoid walking under ladders and definitely don't go on a school trip to Alton Towers. Good luck.

NEXT WEEK

14-20 JULY 2012

SATURDAY

Toe-curling competition

Feeling alienated by the corporate Olympics hype? Fancy some proper grass-roots sport? Why not visit the World Toe Wrestling Championships at Bentley Brook Inn in Derbyshire.

SUNDAY

40 days and 40 nights

St Swithun's Day: tradition has it that whatever the weather today, it will stay the same for the next 40 days. Olympic washout or Olympic scorcher? We'll soon know.

MONDAY

Swanning about

One swan, two swans, three swans... the annual "Swan Upping" census of the birds begins in earnest today on several stretches of the Thames. Tick the maths and history boxes by looking at the origins of this ritual.

TUESDAY

So long, mr minister

Phew, no new education policies for a few weeks. The House of Commons goes into recess and Michael Gove, Nick Gibb and friends will be packing their trunks and leaving teachers to it.

WEDNESDAY

Bringing peace to all

Happy birthday Nelson Mandela, who is 94. He'll need a big cake for all those candles. It's also Nelson Mandela International Day, where everyone is encouraged to spend at least 67 minutes doing good works.

THURSDAY

All the World's a Stage

The British Museum opens a new exhibition looking at how London became a world city, through the perspective of Shakespeare's plays. Shakespeare: Staging the World is on until 25 November.

FRIDAY

Until September ...

Is that the jet stream shifting north or the sound of 500,000 teachers letting out a gigantic collective sigh? Six weeks of holiday beckon for many teachers, but quite a bit less for some.

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