Education Today, Children are NOT Numbers

I went to Joe’s parents evening this week I didn’t really know what to think, we sat with the teacher for 5-10 minutes. She talked about Joe as a person, how he could improve his social skills. But overall she was very pleased with what a helpful, kind and hard working boy he is. Everything a Parent wants to hear about their child. I never saw a book until I asked for it, and she never quoted me one fact or figure stating where he was in the league tables. At first I felt a little aggrieved, like she had missed something, so I asked to see some of his work. As we sat at the table Joe happily talked me through some of the stories he had written, and felt totally at ease. Yet still I was a little niggled by the lack of facts and figures.

There could be a few reasons she didn’t bombard me with facts and figures; firstly she is a supply teacher. Joe’s lovely teacher retired in July. You would think that as someone who has not spent that long with the children, the easy thing to do would be hide behind the stats, its easier to quote figures isn’t it? But she didn’t, she had got to know each and every child. I watched her talking to parents, and she knew interesting little facts about them and was animated when she spoke. Joe was clearly very comfortable in her presence, she showed him respect, and he clearly respected her.

 

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I came away feeling like I have been groomed by education, groomed to believe my child is quantifiable by facts and figures. I can’t believe I was so uncomfortable at not getting fed this information. Information that ranks my little boy. The more I analyse this the madder with myself I am, he is not a number to satisfy government statistics, he is a child with feelings and spirit.

I actually cannot believe I allowed myself to be cognitively conditioned to see my child as a number in terms of education; something out current education system seems to have gotten down to a fine art. Don’t get me wrong, Joe’s school is a wonderful school that encourages a family atmosphere, support the children and help them grow into independent teenagers. The staff do care, you can see that in the whole ethos of the school, but they cant change sats and government guidelines.

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The Oast House, Spinning Fields

Last week I visited The Oast House, in Manchester’s buzzing Spinningfields. If you haven’t been to Spinningfields then you have to go. It really is the most amazing place no matter what time of year you visit.

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I visited with all the girls from work as a pre-Christmas lunch, and leaving drink for my wonderful friends Louse who I am missing so much. A few of the girls had never been to the amazing Oast House; we decided this had to be the place to start.

If you haven’t been to the Oast House before; you are missing a treat. Let me try to explain; but bear with me as the Oast House is such a quirky unique place, and very hard to describe. I never forget the first time I took my friend Cheryl; she looked at in shock and said “where are you taking me”. But as soon as she walked into the Teepee she got it. Forget Lapland, the Teepee is an adult festive wonderland.

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Party Dress Wish List

 

 

I wanted to share my favourite party dresses, I spent some time yesterday browsing for the perfect dress for the upcoming party season, the problem is I just can’t decide. I love them all, its sods law isn’t it, when you have to get a dress for an occasion you just can’t get one. Yet when you are browsing you find loads. All the below dresses are from John Lewis, and I love the fact there is a dress to suit all pockets.

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1. Damsel in a dress Itton Dress. £149.00

2. Miss Selfridge Premium Collection Katie Bodycon Dress £69.30

3.Lauren Ralph Lauren Montague Dress £210.00

4. Ted Baker Lace Top Fitted Dress £169.00

5. L.K. Bennett Cherry Sequin Bodycon Dress £350.00

6. True Decadence Baroque Sequin Bodycon Dress £42.00

Bad Dreams, Aren’t They Odd?

It’s still as clear as day, if feels almost like a memory, I was about 4, it was around 1976. I was laid in bed and two of the Apes from the seventies series planet of the Apes are stood over my bed. One of them was the doctor ape with white fur. I bet you are rolling your eyes already thinking yes, Sarah has really lost the plot.

Anyway, the Apes had a discussion about whether to take me or my bear they discussed it for a while and decided the bear was of more use to them. I mean really I can’t believe they chose the bear; I am quite offended thinking back.  But I remember laying in bed my little heart beating like mad, thinking thank goodness. I still to this day remember the fear I felt lying there watching these Apes deliberating whether to take me of Ted bear.

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Then I woke up crying, my Mum coming to my rescue. I know it was a dream yet it still it feels like a memory. This story often comes out at dinner parties, and has my friends in hysterics. They can’t believe I still maintain it felt real, although clearly it wasn’t. It was clearly a result of watching a drama about apes taking over the world. Until that point I loved the planet of the apes, but never watched it from that day.

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Q Hotel Ambassador

I would like to share some mega mega exciting news. If you follow me on twitter and Facebook you will already know that we have been chosen as the Q Hotels Family Ambassadors. I entered over a month ago with some trepidation, the competition was hot and some of my favourite bloggers had entered. The brief was to redesign the Quackers pack. So I got my thinking cap on, tried to look at it through the boys eyes and create something kids would love, want to collect.

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I was so shocked when I got the email to tell us the great news, we had won, how amazing.  We get to visit and review all 21 of the Q Hotels.  I feel so honoured too have been chosen for this fantastic role, by such an amazing brand.

Our next step is to sit down and plan our visits; I have so many great ideas for Q posts. The variety of locations is fantastic. I plan to write about city breaks, country walks, historical visits, trip to the races, great food and much more.

What a great way to travel the country, take in culture, experience adventure, and everything that is great about Britain. I can’t wait to take my family on this wonderful journey. Watch this space and come along with us for our amazing magical Q adventure.

 

What Not to do When Going Self Hosted

Hoorah finally I am self hosted, but typical, it came with its own set of drama’s. It has taken me a month to go self hosted, why? Because I have made every mistake going, I have frozen my blog 3 times, It has been reset twice and date restored once. So I thought I would share where I went wrong. Hopefully stop others making the same mistakes I made.

 

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1. Read reviews before choosing your host, I did not do this and had to change my host due to poor service. If I had read the reviews I would have known host no one did not always offer great service. They had no patience at all, I could feel their frustration down the technical hotline phone. However I changed to TSO host who were wonderful. And very, very patient, I bet they are more relieved that my blog is working than me.

2. Read step by steps, watch how to videos, get all the advice you can before starting. I jumped in feet first, my usual tactic in life being a kinesthetic person; big mistake. I should have read all I could before starting.

3. Don’t mess and change addresses without getting advice first. I froze my blog and had to get it restored, thus loosing lots of info. Thankfully I had backed it up so in the end only lost 2 posts and a few widgets.

4. Dont change your theme 50 times in an hour, I did this and totally broke my blog. I had to completely delete WordPress and start from scratch.

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The Botanist Manchester

The Botanist in Manchester is part of the New World Trading Company and I must say who ever masterminds the designs for them is just a pure genius. 


Saturday was my first visit to the botanist and it will not be my last. From the outside it is appealing in an odd sort of Green house way, but as you go through the door you enter into a retro garden wonderland. It is quite odd, yet quirky and inspiring.

I was on a girl’s day out and as we all sat sipping, (well maybe not quite sipping it had been a hard week) our wine, we could not stop staring at the decor. It’s just so unique, like sitting in an upmarket potting shed, there was so much to look at.

The light were different in every room, my particular favourites were the ones made from a mini greenhouse and the spectacular chandeliers that were made out of a mixture of glasses and decanters, yet looked stunning.

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My Year Of Blogucation

So it’s 19.48 Saturday night and I am sat on a train pulling out of Euston station having just been to Blogfest. It was a truly wonderful day, the highlight being meeting my amazing blogging friends who I chat on line to daily yet have never met. They are all a lovely as I hoped they would be, so kind, caring and supportive. Yet I come away feeling slightly overwhelmed. 
I take you back to June 2014 when I attended my first ever conference Brit Mums Live. Wow I was totally courted and wooed by the blogging world such a glitzy affair.  I learnt so much and met so many wonderful people. I came away buzzing high from the blog bubble, but looking back totally naive. 
I had no idea about stats; no follow links, publishing laws. It was all like a lovely wonderful fairytale. Don’t get me wrong blogging is still my fairytale every time I press publish I get that excited shiver down my spine, I look upon my blog like another child that needs nurturing and attention, have grown to love it, but it has been a learning curve.
 

 

My next event was Tots100 Blog Camp. So totally different to my Brit Mums experience but again I met so many generous, caring people and learnt loads. But, and its is a biggish but; I was overwhelmed at the concept of pitching to editors, advertising and working with brands.