Thursday, 29 March 2012

Secondary Business News Quiz - 29/03/2012

From a so called 'pasty tax', to cuts in child benefit, the budget this year has created a lot of media speculation. In addition the Royal Mail has started a panic buying culture of stamps!! Test your students knowledge of what is happening with this weeks quiz.

Download the Word version (with answers and weblinks) here.

  1. In the budget tobacco duty rates are to go up by 2% above inflation, what level is the current level of inflation?
    3.4% ( )
    3.6% ( )
    3.8% ( )
    4.0% ( )

  2. The personal allowance – i.e. the amount you earn before you pay tax is rising to what level in April 2012?
    £9,505 ( )
    £8,105 ( )
    £11,505 ( )
    £10,205 ( )

  3. Corporation tax – the tax paid by businesses on profit- is to be cut by how much next month?
    1% ( )  
    5% ( )
    2% ( )
    3% ( )

  4. There will be an extra how many apprenticeships for young people out of work?
    40,000 ( )
    50, 000 ( )  
    60, 000 ( )
    70,000 ( )

  5. The decision to add VAT to the price of all food sold at "above ambient temperature" i.e heated up- had been dubbed what in the media?
    'Pizza tax' ( )
    'Panini tax' ( )          
    'Take-away tax' ( )      
    'Pasty tax' ( )

  6. Forecast economic growth for 2013 is what level?
    1% ( )
    2% ( )
    3% ( )
    4% ( )

  7. The price of a pint will rise by how much in April?
    5p ( )
    10p ( )
    15p ( )
    20p ( )

  8. Child benefit is to be reduced and anyone earning more than what level will lose the benefit completely?
    £55, 000 ( )
    £40, 000 ( )
    £60,000 ( )
    £45, 000 ( )

  9. OBR forecasts unemployment to peak this year at what level this year before falling to 6.3% by 2016-17?
    9.5% ( )
    9.1% ( )  
    8.7% ( )
    10% ( )

  10. A final question not in the budget…. But very much in the media this week –
    The postal service announced that the price of a first-class stamp will rise from 46 pence to 60 pence next month. Second-class stamps will rise from 36 pence to what price?
    45p ( )
    50p ( )
    55p ( )
    40p ( ) 

Donna Jestin
Teacher of Business Studies Notre Dame College & Senior Examiner for AQA

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Secondary English - The art of navigating textual analysis

What’s your point!?

In a combined GCSE English Language and Literature package which boasts a plethora of ultra-ambitious aims and objectives devoted to the complex task of textual analysis, where do you begin when trying to plot your course? Trying to resolve that particular dilemma is not made any easier by the fact that your options are unreassuringly many and varied.

You might, for example, set sail straight into deep water with a socio-political reading of Shakespeare or Dickens, although do be wary of being left stranded in the doldrums. Or, if you prefer to tack a little more cautiously into the wind, you might embark upon your voyage with a character study based on a much more accessible piece of modern prose.

But with so many directions to choose from, how do you chart a passage that will be both meaningful and memorable for your students? Well, one approach you might consider is to circumnavigate with the assistance of those trusty guiding principles, Point, Evidence and Explanation.

When addressing objectives which require the student to demonstrate an understanding of the numerous aspects of the writer’s craft, why not approach them all under the one umbrella of  PEE? So, for example, when trying to enhance your students’ appreciation of figures of speech, why not structure the lesson by utilising PEE in the very meaningful context of a typical examination question?

Consider, for instance, a lesson intended to explore the crucial objective of how and why writers use imagery.  If exploring Ted Hughes’ poem Wind from the AQA anthology Moon on the Tides, your strategy might be as follows:

How does the writer use language to create effects?

One way in which Hughes uses language to create effects for the reader is through his use of imagery.  The opening line consists of the following metaphor:
“This house has been far out at sea all night ...”
The comparison, which implicitly compares the wind-swept house to a boat, affects the reader in a number of ways. The house has not literally been ‘out at sea’. The metaphor is a powerful expression of what the extreme weather must have felt and sounded like to Hughes from inside the building as the wind raged just beyond. The ship comparison is effective because it encourages the reader to consider the vulnerability of a boat on a rough sea and then to view the house in the same way. It certainly conveys an impression of Hughes’ concern over the ferocity of the storm. The metaphor also has the connotation that the wind has uprooted the house and actually blown it into the sea, again emphasising the strength of the storm. The phrase ‘far out’ further reinforces this idea. Perhaps Hughes has been influenced by the famous scene in the film ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in which Dorothy’s house is literally swept up by a cyclone.

The next POINT could then be introduced and left for students to develop by themselves:

A second example of the way in which Hughes uses imagery for effect occurs when ...

Admittedly, students might need a few helpful bullet points at this juncture in order to steer them safely into port.

You could then go on to repeat this rigorously systematic PEE approach when introducing the many other features of literary criticism required by the GCSE English Language / English Literature syllabuses. Of course, the above lesson outline does assume that your students already know what a metaphor is!

The value of such a uniform approach to the potentially choppy waters of textual analysis is that you are not only making difficult concepts more memorable by approaching them in the increasingly safe and familiar context of PEE, but you are also regularly reinforcing this essential grade A* - C mode of inquiry.  In addition, you are also encouraging first-rate examination technique. After all, why only teach such a valuable analytical tool a handful of times when you can actually employ it as a vehicle for conveying so many other important ideas? Furthermore, why leave examination practice to the final term when you can make it an integral part of your day to day teaching?

Of course, you might justifiably be concerned about it all becoming a little too ‘samey’. Well, don’t worry. Fortunately for you, the heavily over-loaded English Language / English Literature curriculum will provide you with plenty of other aims and objectives which require an entirely different approach - spelling, punctuation and grammar not being the least of your problems.

So the next time some disaffected kid tries to stir up a mutiny in your classroom by belligerently bellowing, ‘WHAT’S YOUR POINT!?’, calmly direct his or her gaze towards the exquisitely stream-lined plan on the white board. Teach PEE often enough, then that particular question should answer itself... and, with a bit of luck, the rest will all be plain sailing!

Peter Morrisson
English Teacher and author

Monday, 26 March 2012

Further Education and Adult Learning - Children and Young People's Workforce: Fun with puppets in the EYFS

The final report on the review of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is due to be published in April this year. One of the key proposals involves a change from the current 6 areas of learning to 7 areas, split into 2 groups: “prime” and “specific”.

The 3 PRIME areas of learning would be:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
Communication and Language (CL)
Physical Development (PD)

The 4 SPECIFIC areas of learning would be:
Literacy (L)
Mathematics (M)
Understanding of the World (UW)
Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)

Highlighting Communication and Language as a prime area, distinct and separate from Literacy, represents a significant change and emphasises the importance of effective communication with children. This is a very important component of both the Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce.

Level 2
Unit TDA 2.7 Maintain and Support Relationships with Children and Young People
Unit SHC 21 Introduction to Communication in Health, Social Care or Children’s and Young People’s Settings

Level 3
Unit CYP 3.5 Develop Positive Relationships with Children, Young People and Others Involved in their Care
Unit SHC 31 Promote Communication in Health, Social Care or Children’s and Young People’s Settings

Young students can often struggle with the concept of appropriate communication with children, for a variety of reasons, including:

  • they often feel self-conscious or silly when communicating with young children, particularly babies
  • they may have different experiences of communication with significant adults in their own lives 
  • their lives can be dominated by electronic communication and social networking, often to the detriment of real, face-to-face communication

The attached sheet (Communicating with Children - download this here) can be a useful starting point for your students to reflect on their practice in placement and share examples with each other. Communication techniques can be further explored by using practical diversions like puppets.

I have recently been involved in teaching a group of single, teenage mums with their babies. We have been focusing on developing strong attachment relationships, the importance of playful communication and parent/child interaction, (giggling, tickling games, blowing ‘raspberries’ etc.). The young mums were all extremely self-conscious and very resistant and the session seemed doomed to failure. As a last resort, I decided to help them make simple puppets, which they could then use to communicate and interact with their babies. This made a world of difference and by the end of the session, the young mums were playing and laughing with themselves as well as with their babies.

Your students can easily make simple puppets in the classroom, using socks, gloves/mittens, cardboard or paper plates and craft sticks. Some examples can be found at:

Your students could then use their puppets to communicate playfully with each other and think about how they might use puppets to communicate with children in their placement or work setting, for example:

  • to communicate with a baby
  • to encourage a shy child
  • to comfort a child who is upset
  • to use at story time with a group of children

Students could use this experience both to help them generate evidence and prepare for practical assessment in the real work environment at different levels, for example:
L2: Unit SCH 21 (AC 2.2 and 3.2); Unit TDA 2.7 (AC 1.1 and 1.2)
L3: Unit SHC 31 (AC 2.3 and 3.3); Unit CYP 3.5 (AC 1.2 and 1.3)

Janet Stearns
Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies, former Lead Examiner for CACHE

Friday, 23 March 2012

Secondary History - The Richard Holmes Memorial Prizes

In 2015, Britain and Europe will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the end of the Napoleonic Wars  (1792-1815). The war more or less ended with a clash of giants - on one side the Allied armies, led by the First Duke of Wellington, the Prince of Orange and Prince Marshal Bl├╝cher and on the other the army of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte - on the fields of what was to become Belgium, south of a little village called Waterloo.

The Waterloo Association supports study of the Battle of Waterloo and a myriad of allied issues. It was founded by the 8th Duke of Wellington and others, in 1973. Waterloo200, an offshoot of the Waterloo Association is the official body, set up to support, network and advise on the bicentennial commemorations.

The Waterloo Association is to award prizes for two submissions by school students:

Firstly, a project design competition for 11-14 year-olds (KS3), which should consist of an article of around 2,500 words suggesting ideas/proposals for the use of a reconstructed derelict chateau (Hougoumont), as a memorial to the British Army, also a visitor and education centre. This farm was a key defence area for the Duke during the Battle of Waterloo.

Secondly, an article/essay written by a student of 16-19 years (KS5) of around 5,000 words, on an unusual, controversial or novel aspect of the Battle of Waterloo.

The prizes, which are to be awarded annually, from at least 2013 to 2016 (so covering the years 2012/13/14/15), are each entitled the ‘Richard Holmes Memorial Prize’, in memory of Professor Richard Holmes OBE, TD, who was an iconic figure in military history. He sadly died in 2010.

Prizes of £150 (for 2012/13/14) and £200 in 2015 for the KS3 project and £200 for the KS5 essay (for 2012/13/14) and £300 in 2015, will be awarded for the best submissions by the two groups.

The judges for both submissions have been selected from historians and teachers. The winners of the first prizes will probably be announced in the 2013 Summer Journal of the Waterloo Association and the winning submissions published therein.

Both entries should be original in research and ideas. They will be judged by people who know these subjects well.

The submissions should be sent in electronic form to MKH Crumplin, Education Lead for Waterloo 200  by Christmas Day, 2012.

Application forms can be obtained from the above person by e-mail. Please note - a disclaimer will be required be signed.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Secondary Business - News Quiz 22/03/12

Here is this week's Business News Quiz! You can print off a Word version (with answers and weblinks) and use it with your classes.

You can download the Word document here.

  1. UK retail sales volumes fell by how much in February compared with the previous month, figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown?
    0.8% ( )
    0.9% ( )
    1.0% ( )
    1.1% ( )

  2. The tax-free chunk of income, known as the personal allowance, is rising for the under-65s to what level in April 2013?
    £8,505 ( )
    £8,205 ( )
    £9,505 ( )
    £9,205 ( )

  3. Which company has said it will invest £500m in manufacturing in the UK and create up to 1,000 jobs?
    ASDA ( )  
    GlaxoSmithKline ( )
    Amazon ( )
    Ikea ( )

  4. Which car manufacturer agrees joint venture with Chery in China?
    Jaguar Land Rover ( )
    Ford ( )
    BMW ( )
    Citroen ( )

  5. At the end of last year, Apple revealed it had how much in cash?
    $98.6bn ( )
    $95.6bn ( )
    $97.6bn ( )
    $99.6bn ( )

  6. Who has revealed more details of its new internet TV service, which is to be called NowTV? NowTV will face competition from the US-based firm Netflix and Amazon-owned Lovefilm.
    Sky ( )
    BT ( )
    Virgin Media ( )
    Talk Talk ( )

  7. Which country fell back into recession in the last three months of 2011, official figures have shown?
    France ( )
    UK ( )
    Republic of Ireland ( )
    Germany ( )

  8. A legal bid by which company to stop Asda building a large store close to one of its supermarkets has been dismissed by the UK Supreme Court in London?
    Tesco( )
    Morrison’s ( )  
    Lidl ( )
    Sainsbury’s ( )

  9. Which struggling games retailer has said it intends to file for administration? ( )
    Game ( )
    CEX ( )
    HMV ( )

  10. The 2012 budget took place on Wednesday March 21st, who is the Chancellor of the Exchequer?
    Ed Balls ( )
    George Osborne ( )
    David Cameron ( )
    Nick Clegg ( ) 

Donna Jestin
Teacher of Business Studies Notre Dame College & Senior Examiner for AQA

Secondary English - Non-fiction Exam Preparation

Acronyms seem to have become a vital part of preparing students for GCSE exams. There are loads of them: PALSS (Purpose, Audience, Language, Style, Structure) is a popular one, but fill in the gaps yourselves, I’m sure you know them all.

There is a place for acronyms, of course. In particular if students are not very confident, having a quick reminder of what they need to look for can help to calm them and give them a sense of purpose when they are on their own with the exam paper. The problem with this approach, however, is two-fold: it can be quite limiting for the students, and, perhaps more significantly, it can actually impede them from answering the question in front of them.

Teaching a holistic approach to texts, especially non-fiction, is really important but also incredibly hard because in an exam, students don’t have a lot of time to access previously-unseen material. However, they are being assessed on their ability to link what the writer is doing to why they are doing it: to comment on how the language, or the structure, or the presentation, links to meaning. And if they don’t have a grasp of overall meaning, this is where they are going to fall down, and this takes us back to the ‘limiting’ nature of some student responses.

One of the best ways of preparing students to tackle non-fiction is not, however odd it may seem, to present them with a series of past papers. Of course they need to see a paper, of course they do – it would be ludicrous to suggest they don’t – but using the deliberately uncontentious material that has to be set as unseen material as preparation does not lend itself well to students grasping ideas and engaging with them.

Perhaps a more productive way is to regularly have interesting texts on display – perhaps as starter activities – allowing students a short time to skim and scan and then for them to notice what features are being used to good effect in that text. In this way, they take more ownership of the process rather than sticking to looking for the techniques they think they ought to be looking for. Because what happens if that technique isn’t being used in the exam text? Well, the answer, unfortunately, is that some students will still try to comment on it… leading to those very limiting statements referred to above, such as ‘the writer hasn’t really used any imagery in this passage’ or ‘there aren’t any rhetorical questions’.

Sarah DarraghEnglish Teacher and author of A Bridge to GCSE English 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Primary - Literacy Activities for the Titanic

Activity One – Come Sail With Us!
Year 2 to Year 6

The Titanic was the most opulent, largest and most incredible ship ever built at the time of its maiden voyage. Hundreds of important people were on board, desperate to be there when history was made but not expecting the history that was to replace it. The ship’s owners’ Cunard, wanted as many people to enjoy the trip of a lifetime so set about promoting the ship.

In this activity, the children should be the ‘advertising executives’ charged with ‘selling’ the trip of a lifetime. They need to pick out all the information that would make people wish to sail on her and decide how they could promote it.

They could choose to do a poster, a radio advert, for radio was becoming popular at the time, a newspaper advertisement or a feature for the news detailing the luxury and innovation on board. The children may find that they’ll need to focus on just some of the good things about the ship so it’s also a good activity for work on grouping and prioritising. In carrying out the activity, remind the children, through examples, of the style used in posters of the day – several are available on Google Images, and look at the fonts that were used. If they are going to include pictures of people in their work, they’ll need to consider the way they were dressed and they’ll need to think about the language that was used in that era.

Activity Two – Ship’s Log
Year 2 to Year 6

Online there are examples of ship’s logs and a good American website that shows children how to fill out a log for a ship’s voyage. Both can be useful to help you with this activity.


Many websites and books tell you of the events leading up to the sinking, giving times when the events happened.  Explain to the children what a ship’s log is and what it’s used for – it’s really a diary of what happens on board a ship.

Use the template provided here to fill in the information you find – if you can’t find some of it, don’t worry, because a bit of thought will help you fill in the blanks.

Activity Three – The News Report
Year 2 to Year 6

The world was horrified when it heard of the sinking of the Titanic and the world’s newspapers responded likewise. In this activity the children will compose a newspaper report in an appropriate tone reporting on the disaster. It’s nice if you can make their final copy look old so if you get the chance, soak pieces of paper in cold tea before drying flat. If you’ve done it properly you’ll still be able to pass them through a printer to add a newspaper template. You can singe the edges or ask the children to tear small pieces out of the edges to add extra ‘age’.

Ask the children to make notes of the key facts about the ship to open the piece, then make notes on the events that led up to the sinking. Finally, ask them to research some of the people, rich or poor that perished and add that as a ‘personal’ touch to the report. Finally, finish by adding a drawing of the Titanic’s final moments or of some of those that died.

Dave Lewis
Primary Teacher

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Thoughts on GCSE Science Module Results

For students on the new GCSE science courses this may be the time at which they get some fairly pointed feedback about the progress they’re making. Yes – the release of the first set of module test scores. There’s usually a bit of bumpiness when a new course comes out – teachers need to find their way around it and the marks sometimes take a bit of a hit until things settle down. It’s a time for steady nerves and taking a longer view. In any case, surely, if the raw scores drop nationally the norm referencing kicks in and the grade boundaries drop. Most people will get what they deserve.

Well, we’re certainly getting the wobbliness. One awarding organisation’s science subject advisor indicated on their website “we understand your concerns and anxieties about these results” – as a general comment that can only suggest that some of the results are not that great. For some candidates this might not be a bad thing – they may need to realise that good results won’t fall into their laps like ripe apples. For others it won’t have helped – what they most needed at this stage was a bit of a boost.

However, there’s another possibility – it won’t all fall into place at the end. Unlike the ‘romcom’ movie in which we know that the star crossed lovers, despite fallings out and misunderstandings along the way, will end up with satisfied smiles as the credits roll, there might be a different plot device working here. ‘The Independent’ reported on February 22nd that Michael Gove had declared that “more teenagers would fail their GCSE and A levels after a radical toughening of the examinations system.” The article went on to say that exam questions would be made harder “in a drive to restore confidence in the system and improve standards”. The paper’s prediction that it would take three or four years to have an impact may be woefully inaccurate if this is what’s happening with this year’s ‘core’ science GCSEs.

Now this raises some interesting questions. Of course standards should be improved. Is anyone arguing for them to be lowered? But does a system inspire more confidence if fewer people pass the exams? This depends upon what one sees the purpose of the exams as being. If it’s to recognise success and more students pass them shouldn’t we be pleased – after all, wouldn’t this mean that the education system is improving? If more children pass their Grade 5 Clarinet exams we would probably assume that standards of music tuition are improving and should celebrate. If, however, it’s to identify relative performance and to see who’s best then we should expect a significant number of failures. The F.A. cup is worth winning because most teams don’t win it.

If this year does turn out to be the year in which the slight year on year increase in A*-C grades stumbles it will be a bitter pill. Many schools have, very reasonably, come to see GCSEs as a near-universal offer for students. Over three quarters of students leave with at least five GCSEs (or equivalent) to Grade C and over half overall have both English and Maths in that combination. This means that for lots of students it’s a realistic aspiration and an indication of academic success.

Maybe this is unduly alarmist and, come the summer, the normal grade distribution will apply and show little overall variation (though the fortunes of individual schools may rise and fall behind the headline figure). However, if there is a fault line opening, maybe we’ve had the first tremors.

Ed Walsh
Advisor, Cornwall Learning

Secondary Sociology - Independent Learning: Student Choices

On the occasion when time from getting through the exam specifications allows, I like to give the students a lesson where they can do what they want. Well, not quite what they want, but instead a list of options to choose from. The students respond well from having choices even when their first choice (watch a video and leave early) are not on the list. A couple of years ago, I was concerned that in an attempt to meet assessment targets and with time constraints, my lessons were becoming too teacher led. I tried the lesson below and found that my students manage quite well without me!

This type of lesson works best when you have finished teaching a topic to review the content before moving on to something new. Students can work either independently or in small groups, they just have to show some evidence at the end of the lesson of their work. While I do not have computers in my classroom, I do have the benefit of teaching sixth formers who, at least legally, are old enough to leave the classroom and work unsupervised, but you could adapt the lesson for younger students. As students who are not working hard enough are restricted to the first three tasks on the list, it should motivate them in the future to get work completed to a good standard when they see others presented with more appealing options.

I give the students a handout with a list of activities as follows:
  1. Complete any outstanding homework.

  2. Catch up on any missed class work due to absence.

  3. Redo an unsatisfactory essay.

    (The above three tasks are compulsory, if none of them apply to you, or when you have finished them, choose one or two activities from the following. You will be required to show evidence of your work.)

  4.  Go to the library, take out any book related to the topic which captures your interest, have a good read and be prepared to give a review of the book to the class in a future lesson.

  5. Create a revision PowerPoint or web page for the topic. (E-mail me the work by the end of the lesson.)

  6. Create a revision quiz using Zondle to test the class with next lesson.

  7. Create some Wordles about the topic and stick them up on the wall. Wordle - Create

  8. Make a mind map about the topic.

  9. Write an essay plan from a list of exam questions relating to the topic.

  10. Working in pairs, write a test for your partner about the topic then mark each other's work.

Emily Painter
Sociology Teacher, Cadbury Sixth Form College

Monday, 19 March 2012

Secondary English - Wish you were... analysing language!

Being able to comment on the effects of language choices is essential to achieving grade C and above in GCSE English. Nonetheless students often struggle with this, getting tangled up in knots listing any literary terms they can remember and forgetting that the foundation of all language is words.

A recent way that I have tried to re-focus students on the importance of word choices was by using postcards. A colleague recommended cutting up a text and sticking a small section of it onto blank postcards so that a larger extract could be unpacked by students in more detail.

I tried this out with a year 10 class last week, in a lesson on ‘Of Mice and Men.’ I had never taught this class before and found out moments before beginning the lesson that they had never read the book. Trying to get the students to answer the question ‘How does the language in the extract influence your view of Crooks?’ suddenly seemed not only foolish but impossible.

However, the postcard method really worked!  I provided students with three different colours of pen to help them annotate the extract, by focussing on three different types of description. Breaking up the text on the postcards, forced the students to really examine the words used by Steinbeck. The different coloured pens allowed them to quickly visualise how Steinbeck’s word choices worked together (or apart). The feedback session was really fruitful as we were able to explore how Steinbeck’s use of words varied and developed across the text and how this related to the historical context.

The best ideas are often the simplest and this is a really simple one. Breaking up a text into smaller chunks is certainly not a new suggestion and using coloured pens to annotate is something I am sure we have all done before. Putting these two together, however, allowed these students to untangle language choices rather than getting tied up in knots with literary terms.

Try it for yourself! Download the resources below:

Naomi Hursthouse
Advance Skills Teacher, Steyning Grammar School

Secondary Business - News Quiz 19/03/12

Here is this week's Business News Quiz! You can print off a Word version (with answers and weblinks) and use it with your classes.

You can download the Word file here.

  1. The UK's largest chain of bakeries, Greggs, said profits and sales rose in 2011 as it opened 84 new stores, where are they now planning to open stores?
    In school & colleges ( )
    At motorway service stations ( )
    In Europe ( )
    In the USA ( )

  2. Profits at which airline have plunged 61% from a year earlier, as global economic uncertainty hit demand for passenger travel and cargo shipments?
    Cathay Pacific ( )
    British Airways ( )
    Iberia ( )
    Air New Zealand ( )

  3. A computer glitch saw the new Apple iPad go up for sale for £49.99 on which company’s website?
    ASDA( )  
    Argos( )
    Amazon( )
    Tesco( )

  4. After 244 years reference book firm Encyclopaedia Britannica has decided to stop publishing its famous and weighty 32-volume print edition.It will now focus on digital expansion, who is the main online competition for this company?
    Yahoo ( )
    Ask Jeeves ( )
    Wikipedia ( )
    Google ( )

  5. Fashion retailer has said it is reviewing its UK store operations after reporting a sharp fall in profits.Pre-tax profits fell to £5m for the year to 31 January from £8.9m the previous year, as losses widened at its flagship UK stores?
    Topshop ( )
    French Connection ( )
    Primark ( )
    Zara ( )

  6. Samsung has started the process of updating its Galaxy S2 smartphones with the latest version of Android, what is this called?
    BLT ( )
    Strawberry cheesecake ( )
    Raspberry ripple ( )
    Ice Cream Sandwich ( )

  7. UK unemployment rose by how much to 2.67 million during the three months to January, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)?
    28 000 ( )
    30 000 ( )
    35 000 ( )
    38 000 ( )

  8. Which catalogue company says sales fell 7.7% in its latest trading update?
    Argos ( )
    Tesco direct ( )
    Littlewoods ( )
    Simply be ( )

  9. The boss of Tesco's UK operation, is stepping down.His departure, after only a year in the job, follows a disappointing Christmas sales period, a fall in market share and a profit warning in January. Who is he?
    Phillip Green ( )
    Richard Brasher ( )
    Terry Leahy ( )
    Phillip Clarke ( )

  10. Who has won the contract to provide Wi-Fi to the London Underground?
    Virgin Media ( )
    02 ( )
    BT ( )
    Sky ( ) 

Donna Jestin
Teacher of Business Studies Notre Dame College & Senior Examiner for AQA

Primary - History Activities Based on the Titanic Disaster

Activity One – Famous People
Year 3 to Year 6

The Titanic was THE ship of the day to be seen on. Because of that, many famous people were on board, many of whom drowned. Those that were on board came from important areas of life and it was thought that there might be a recession because of the loss of people who were important to the economy of Britain and the United States, but how important were the people?

This activity allows children to find out more about the famous people who were on board and gives them the story behind the names.

Find out who these passengers were and why they were important:

John Jacob Astor
Benjamin Guggenheim
Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff Gordon
Molly Brown
Isador and Ida Strauss

Several other passengers have interesting stories despite not being rich. Find out what you can about their last moments on the Titanic.

Activity Two – Could the Disaster Have Been Prevented?
Year 3 to Year 6

Many children as ‘what if’ questions about aspects of our teaching and it’s something I try to encourage as it helps them to think around an issue and get a deeper understanding of their learning. There are many ‘What if’ questions that can be asked about the Titanic as well as some ‘Why’ questions. Use some of the following to spark off a debate as to whether the outcome might have been different.

What would have happened if people hadn’t followed the ‘women and children first’ rule?
Why was the ship travelling at nearly full speed through an area it was told was full of icebergs?
The Titanic sank in April, would the story have been any different if the ship had sailed a month later or two months later?
Why did the captain not ask people to abandon ship earlier?
Would more people have survived if he had?

Any one of these can spark a lot of interesting debate based on the facts.

Activity Three - What Else Happened in 1912?
Year 2 to Year 6

I like to put events in the context of history and in 1912 we were already beginning to see the tensions that would lead to the Great War whilst in Britain, certainly, heads were buried in sand in terms of political reform and the world stage.

The key events we used was the change in the actions of the suffragettes to violent protest in an effort to secure the vote and the news that had just filtered through of Amundsen’s successful attempt to reach the South Pole and the news of the deaths of Captain Scott’s team.

Use the information on events in the months of 1912 to produce a newspaper, not just of the Titanic but also of the events around the time. The Wikipedia page has many events listed from the serious to the interesting. In this way children can see that a newspaper doesn’t just deal with one story but a series that take place synchronously. An alternative is to produce a series of newspaper reports on the story of the Titanic from the days of its launch to the day the survivors landed in New York. In this way the children get to see how the story builds from pride and hope to disaster.

Dave Lewis
Primary Teacher

Friday, 16 March 2012

Primary - The Science of the Titanic

Activity One – Floating and Sinking
Year 1 to Year 6

Each year I’ve taught this aspect of science, the children have loved it. I think it’s the chance to muck about in water and also to make something that actually performs whilst testing it to destruction.

All those elements combine in our first activity which involves investigating why objects float or sink.
Collect a variety of materials together. We suggest plasticine, silver foil, wood of different types, pine, balsa and if possible a hardwood such as mahogany or ebony, paper and cling film.

With these the children are going to construct ‘boats’ and investigating their performance.
One of the most interesting concepts in science is tested in the first part of our experiment when you ask the question ‘Which of these materials will float and which will sink?’

Giving the children a lump of plasticine and a screwed up ball of foil they will use preconceived ideas and suggest that both will sink because metal sinks and the plasticine feels heavy. Equally they will say that wood floats, coming to the conclusion that if something is heavy it sinks, if it’s light, it floats. They can test their hypotheses in a sink, bowl or fish tank.  Most will feel satisfied that they are right until you challenge them to make the plasticine and foil float. The trick is by displacing water with air and by moulding the foil and the plasticine into hull shapes they’ll find that they can make the materials float. Equally, in the absence of actually having a piece, you can tell them that ironwood sinks. An interesting extension to this activity is to cut a margarine tub so that it looks like the ribs of a boat and place it in the bowl. It will sink. Now ask the children to cover the ‘boat’ with clingfilm and try again. Going back to their original hypothesis you can ask the children which was heavier, the floating tub or the sinking one. Naturally because you’ve added a material to make the sinking one float, you’ve made it heavier.

Activity Two – How Long Did The Titanic Stay Afloat For?
Year 2 to Year 6

Using the information from the plans of the Titanic, construct a model using sixteen plastic boxes of equal size stuck together but with a small gap at the top of each box and show the children how the structure floats. Explain to them that this was the number of watertight compartments the Titanic had and that it was said that as long as no more than a quarter of them were damaged, the ship would stay afloat. You may need to add a little ballast to each container.

Now is the time to test the hypothesis. Cut a hole in the side of the first box and retest. Do this until the ‘boat’ begins to tip. As with the Titanic, the gap at the top allows water to flow into the ‘sealed’ compartments. Likewise you’ll find that the compartments of your model will fill eventually. This happened because six compartments were damaged causing the tilt that allowed further compartments to fill.  It’s interesting to see whether the geometry of the sinking of your model follows that shown in the film.

Activity Three – Investigating Icebergs
Year 3 to Year 6

Fill small plastic bags with a litre of water and freeze them. Try to do it so the bag freezes with a corner completely filled with water.

Use the same containers of water as you used for testing for floating but add salt to them at the rate of 32 grams per litre. Check the temperature of the water, mark the water level on the side of the bowl and tip the ‘icebergs’ from their bags into the water. Remember to check the temperature every ten minutes and record it. Now mark the new level of water on the side of the bowl and using a jug extract and measure by what volume the water level rose. Divide this amount by the 1000ml you froze and compare the results between the groups. You should find the answers are roughly similar. This measurement tells you how much of an iceberg is underwater and can be compared to the 87% accepted by scientists.

Looking at the temperature of the water you should find that the ‘iceberg’ has cooled the temperature to below what we accept as being freezing point. The temperature of the sea where the Titanic sank was also below freezing but still liquid. If you set up a comparative experiment but using unsalted water you’ll find that the water temperature stays above freezing. You can tell children that is why local authorities use salt on roads in winter to lower the freezing point of any surface water.

You may see some variance in your iceberg measurements because of the way water expands as it freezes. You can test this by freezing a small plastic bottle of water and the children will find that it bulges. To find out by how much it’s expanded you can use displacement.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Primary - Numeracy Activities for the Titanic

Activity One – Comparing Numbers
Year 4 to Year 6

When you look at the story of the Titanic, much of it is about numbers, there’s the number on board, the number who died, proportions of men to women who died and so on. You can use a lot of the information in comparisons and investigations.

The early 20th century was the time of opulence and with ships it meant bigger, faster, more elegant and more expensive. There were several big ships notable at the time; the Titanic, the Mauretania, the Olympic, the Britannic, the Campania and the Lusitania. In recent times we have also seen the building of large cruise ships such as the Queen Victoria, The Allure of the Seas, The Oceana, The Liberty of the Seas and the Fantasia.
Interpreting data in maths often means looking at abstract data from maths books, no matter how closely the authors try to relate it to children’s lives. In this activity the information is related to the task and the interpretative questions have relevance too. Ask the children to research and compare numerical information on these and other ships making the comparison between ships of today and those of a hundred years ago. Use the chart provided here or make up one of your own for different data. Once the information has been collected ask questions such as:

How have the passenger numbers changed over the century? Why do you think this has happened?
How have the sizes of the ships changed over the century? Does this make them more or less environmentally friendly?

The ships’ power affects its speed but what else affects how fast the ship can travel.
Use proportion to compare the number of spaces on a lifeboat to the number of passengers. Why do you think the capacity isn’t exactly the same as the passenger numbers?
You can choose more questions of your own that test relationships between the pieces of information they have collected.

Activity Two – Time Distance and Speed
Year 4 to Year 6

In the early days of cruising, the idea was to win the Blue Riband for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic but the focus on cruising has changed today. Using the speeds of the various ships you have investigated in Activity One, find out the distance between New York and Southampton and work out which one would have arrived first. Try to calculate to the nearest hour or minute, the times they would have taken to do the crossing.
Now ask the children to investigate and answer this question:

What is the focus of cruise travel today and how does the speed of a cruise liner help it to perform its job well.

Extension activities may well come from the children. Doing a similar task with my class I was asked, “How long would it have taken the Titanic to have reached Australia?” That’s another maths question and you can set it as an extension, adding other destinations such as ‘How long to travel around the world?’

Activity Three – Problem Solving
Year 4 to Year 6

A lot of the questions asked about the sinking of the Titanic involved maths and even today they make for interesting problem solving.
These examples show what you can do with the information and turn an answer to a mathematical problem into a discussion on the data.

The Titanic had 1,517 passengers on board yet only room for 1,178 passengers in its lifeboats. How many people would have had no spaces on the lifeboat? You can extend this into a debate by asking what did the ship builders expect them to do?

Only 20% of the men on board survived whilst 75% of the women did. There were 424 women and 1690 men on board. How many of each survived? A good point to discuss on this is why was the percentage so different and yet the numbers similar?

The Titanic had pumps that could clear water from inside the ship at 1700 tons an hour. The pumps worked for only ten minutes before being overcome with water. How much had they pumped out? Ask the children where they think the pumps were placed and how could they have been positioned differently to have worked longer?

Dave Lewis
Primary teacher

Primary - The Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic

At the risk of throwing the whole curriculum into disarray I’m a firm believer in being aware of anniversaries of the people and events that have shaped the nation or the world. Not for me the rigid sticking to textbooks and schemes of work and thankfully my head teacher agrees. The change of government and the declaration that the National Curriculum was once again king rather than the QCA Schemes of Work, threw some members of the teaching profession into a tailspin. Thankfully the instruction wasn’t to consign QCA to the dustbin of history but to rely on it less heavily in favour of covering the required attainment targets by whatever creative means the teacher chose to employ. This year we have several opportunities to use national events to supplement and indeed enhance the curriculum whilst making children aware of how the world today was shaped. We have the Queen’s diamond jubilee, the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens, the Olympics and the 100th anniversary of the Titanic.

The 15th of April this year sees the centenary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, probably the world’s most famous ship and immortalised in James Cameron’s film Titanic, one of the top grossing films of all time. Whilst a tragic event that will never be forgotten, the story makes an interesting topic to cover in schools, mostly because many children are familiar with it. I can remember working with a Year 2 class on the topic and they were amazed when listening to the story and the work they produced was some of the best they’d carried out that year.

As the anniversary approaches, events will be held around the country, at the dockyard in Belfast where the ship was constructed, at the port it first sailed from, Southampton, which already has several artefacts and memorials to the tragic event, and in its home city of Liverpool.

Most schools that use the story in the curriculum focus on the literacy that can be gained from it; writing letters to loved ones in the hope they’ll be found after the ship sinks or telling friends about the enormity and the facilities of the ship prior to its sailing.

You can expand the topic substantially without stretching credulity and in the accompanying activities we’ve tried to show you how you can spend up to a week of the curriculum around the time of the anniversary using the Titanic in different ways. You just know that with the national interest in the topic, the kids in your class are going to be asking questions and with our help, you’ll enable them to find out many of the answers.

Dave Lewis
Primary teacher

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

X raying Crystals

In 1912, Max von Laue had an idea for an experiment that would answer a question in physics. The results inspired scientists to make discoveries that have influenced chemistry and biology and provide evidence for many of the principles taught at GCSE and A level.
X rays were discovered by Wilhelm Rontgen in 1895 but physicists could not agree on whether they were particles (like alpha and beta rays) or waves (like light). If they were a form of light they must have wavelengths less than a nanometre. Max von Laue was teaching at the University of Munich in 1912 when he had his big idea.

Von Laue knew that the distance between atoms in a crystal was less than a nanometre. Diffraction happens when waves pass through narrow gaps and form a distinctive pattern. Von Laue predicted that the gaps between the rows of atoms in a crystal should produce a diffraction pattern with X rays. Two of his students, Friedrich and Kipping, tried out the experiment. They put a copper sulfate crystal surrounded by a sheet of photographic paper in a lead box and shone a narrow beam of X rays at it. A very complicated pattern was formed so they tried zinc sulfide instead. This gave a simple, regular pattern of spots. Von Laue’s method worked and proved that X rays were waves. Von Laue won the Nobel Prize in 1914 but that was just the start of the story of X ray crystallography.

As soon as von Laue published the results of his idea in 1912, the father and son team of W.H. Bragg and W.L.Bragg realised that not only was it a means of investigating X rays it was a method for exploring crystals. The Braggs worked out the mathematical formula for analysing the diffraction patterns and set to work. The method was very difficult because the crystals had to be quite large and perfectly formed but soon they had discovered the pattern of carbon atoms in diamond and the structure of sodium chloride.

At the time, most chemists thought that sodium chloride was made up of molecules of a sodium atom joined to a chlorine atom. The Braggs showed that in fact it consisted of sodium ions surrounded by six chloride ions, and vice versa, arranged in a cube. There were no molecules with the formula NaCl. Their discoveries transformed chemists’ ideas about the importance of the structure of substances and the bonds between atoms. The Braggs were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1915. In the 1920s Linus Pauling used results from X ray crystallography to develop the ideas about ionic and covalent bonding taught in GCSE and A level chemistry today.

In 1924, while at the Royal Institution in London with W H Bragg, a young scientist, John Bernal worked out the arrangement of carbon atoms in graphite. He also realised that X ray crystallography would be useful to find the structure of organic compounds. In 1929, Bernal’s student, Kathleen Lonsdale, proved that benzene was a flat hexagonal molecule. Lonsdale was a Quaker who went to prison in 1943 for refusing to do war work but in 1945 she became the first woman to be made a Fellow of the Royal Society.

X ray crystallography attracted a number of female scientists. Bernal built up a team at the University of Cambridge. They studied the patterns produced by crystals of vitamins and viruses. Dorothy Hodgkin studied with Bernal in 1934 before setting up her own X ray unit at the University of Oxford. She worked with large biological molecules. In 1949 she worked out the structure of penicillin, just as it was becoming famous as an antibiotic. In 1956 she found the structure of vitamin B12 for which she won the Nobel Prize in 1964, and in 1969, after thirty years’ work, she completed the structure of insulin. It had taken so long because thousands and thousands of calculations were needed for each structure. Computers can now do in minutes what used to take years and many thousands of complex molecules have had their structure worked out using X ray crystallography.

Back in 1953 however, Rosalind Franklin did not have the use of a computer. Kings College, London had given her the task of collecting X ray pictures of DNA. DNA was very difficult to crystallise but Franklin succeeded and produced patterns that convinced Crick and Watson that DNA has a double helix shape. They leapt to the structure with model building while Franklin worked towards the same answer by doing the long-winded calculations. It was her work that confirmed Crick’s and Watson’s insight.


1 Explore the lives of the scientists mentioned in the articles – Max von Laue, W.H and W.L Bragg, J.D. Bernal, Kathleen Lonsdale, Dorothy Hodgkin, Rosalind Franklin.

2 Find out the arrangement of the atoms or ions in diamond, graphite, sodium chloride, benzene and zinc sulfide.

3 Why do you think the X ray diffraction pattern of copper sulfate crystals (CuSO4.5H2O) proved to be more complicated than that of zinc sulfide (ZnS)?

4 Why is it important to know the structure of biological molecules such as insulin?
5 Why do you think that many of the early X ray crystallographers were women?
6 Discuss whether biology, chemistry and physics should be treated as separate subjects or as one subject – science.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Secondary History - Reinforcing chronological understanding

Students often find it difficult to sequence events or people, yet it is crucial to understanding cause and effect, continuity and change, and most other things in history. Here are a couple of well-tried and tested ways to reinforce chronology.

Let’s start with a pillar box:

Why is it green? When was it made? Who installed it? Where was it made? 

Nearly all of these questions can be answered from a close examination of the pillar box. It is green because it is in the Republic of Ireland, and was originally red, installed in the reign of Edward VII. 

Now, how about these pillar boxes?

Can you put these pillar boxes in chronological order?






Each pillar box has the cipher of the monarch on it, so VR dates from Queen Victoria’s reign, and so on. Which monarch is missing from the above collection? In ‘Powerpoint’ in ‘outline’ mode it is easy to manipulate images around a page. Of course it is even easier with an Interactive White Board if you have one. This activity can be endlessly recycled using houses, modes of transport, inventions, battles, political leaders, whatever is appropriate. Used regularly as a starter activity it helps build up a sense of chronology and of linking events together.

Of course you can do this activity on paper too, as a card sort or, if you want to involve the whole class, using the Washing Line Game. Write 20 or so names, events, etc, on to individual sheets of paper, and hand them out to your class, one to each student. One at a time get them to come out to the front of the class and put their event in the right place standing along a timeline, or peg it onto a string stretched across the classroom. Get the rest of the class to ascertain whether or not the event is in the correct place. It gets very noisy, but it is very effective at reinforcing chronological understanding!

Alf Wilkinson
CPD Manager for the Historical Association and previously National Strategist for Key Stage 3 History. Alf has over 30 years history teaching experience and was lead author for Collins Key Stage 3 History resources.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Secondary Business - News Quiz 08/03/12

Here is this week's Business News Quiz! You can print off a Word version (with answers and weblinks) and use it with your classes.

You can download the Word file here.

  1. Which sportswear firm has unveiled its best-ever annual profits with a rise of 18% in net profit, as hopes rise that this year's Olympics will help it break more records?
    Reebok ( )
    Sweaty Betty ( )
    Nike ( )
    Adidas ( )

  2. The average price of unleaded petrol has hit a record high, according to government figures, how much is the average for  a litre of petrol?
    147.3 pence ( )
    137.3 pence ( )
    127.3 pence ( )
    117.3 pence ( )

  3. Sony says a number of which artist's tracks have been stolen after its website was hacked?
    Amy Winehouse ( )  
    Michael Jackson ( )
    Rihanna ( )
    Madonna ( )

  4. Tokyo prosecutors have charged which camera-maker and three of its former executives in connection with a $1.7bn (£1bn) accounting cover-up?
    Nikon ( )
    Cannon ( )
    Olympus ( )
    Kodak ( )

  5. Which US investment bank that collapsed in 2008, has exited from bankruptcy protection?
    Fannie Mae ( )
    Lehman Brothers ( )
    Bear Sterns ( )
    Merrill Lynch ( )

  6. Which supermarket says the emergence of what it calls "professional shoppers" has helped it to lift full year profits?
    Waitrose ( )
    Morrisons ( )
    ASDA ( )
    Sainsburys ( )

  7. Which car firm has recalled 681,500 vehicles in the US dealing a blow to its efforts to rebuild its image after a number of safety issues in recent years?
    Vauxhall ( )
    Toyota ( )
    Ford ( )
    BMW ( )

  8. Which department store has reported a fall in annual profits and cut its staff bonus for the first time in three years?
    Debenhams ( )
    House of Fraser ( )
    John Lewis ( )
    Selfridges ( )

  9. An Aberdeenshire student has said she was shocked to find her image on children's clothing being sold by who, after she hadn’t given permission?
    Topshop ( )
    Primark ( )
    Tesco ( )
    H&M ( )

  10. A Mexican tycoon has once again come top of Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's richest billionaires, who is he?
    Bernard Arnault ( )
    Li Ka-Shing ( )
    Larry Ellison ( )
    Carlos Slim ( ) 

Donna Jestin
Teacher of Business Studies Notre Dame College & Senior Examiner for AQA

Monday, 5 March 2012

Secondary English - Building Learning Power

Sometimes you need to make sure your class knows a deluge of information; this might be before an exam, before you start a topic or midway through to check understanding. As we are told again and again, simply ‘telling’ your pupils means they retain very little of the information, ‘doing’ increases their ‘Learning Power’ and allows them to remember the information due to the way it was taught.

With this in mind, ‘Building Learning Power’ lessons work really well and create a lively learning atmosphere in your room. These lessons also engage all learners, use group work and work especially well with classes where pupils have issues sitting still!

How it works
Before the pupils enter the room, set up a couple of tables in an area that has a lot of room. Station yourself at these tables with a timer or have the timer running on your interactive white board. On the tables place your ‘fact sheets’ face down, make sure you have enough for one between two for each group. (See my example for the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’)

Put pupils into groups of 4, 2 ‘runners’ and 2 ‘writers’. Each table should have one blank grid sheet. (Download an example grid here)

Your ‘runners’ have one minute to get to the table and memorise as much as they can from their fact sheet. After the minute they put the fact sheet back face down and return to their ‘writers’ who need to record the right information into the right box. This is repeated around 10 times, depending on how your group is progressing. What I love about this activity is that most of the groups will come up with a strategy, some memorise different areas of the sheet and others make up rhymes for key events or mouth the words over and over.

After the activity is over you can give groups a mark out of 5 (1 for each box) for the information they retained. It is also worth doing a plenary that involves the groups having to put their sheets under their chairs and asking them questions from the fact sheets to test how much they can remember. I always back this up with a similar style starter for next lesson to ensure the information is really wedged in there! The resources can be tailor made for any event, I’ve used them for Media lessons when pupils need to learn a lot of terminology as well as A Level lessons where pupils need to memorise poems.

Joanna Fliski
Teacher of English, Media and Drama, Lliswerry High School

Friday, 2 March 2012

Secondary Citizenship - Whose human rights?

The release of Abu Qatada has led to headlines designed to convince newspaper readers that human rights should not be promoted or defended. This raises plenty of issues for Citizenship lessons. They range from the need for world agreements on human rights to actions of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the way the British legal system operates.

Any of the articles in the popular press provide opportunities for students to distinguish between fact and opinion. An easy example, if students need to be introduced to the idea, would be ‘Best friend claimed Qatada came to London to enjoy free speech - and NOT because he was fleeing torture’

The following link takes you such an article:

The lessons that you might teach about this issue will vary from year group to year group. It’s very emotive so it would be wise to stick to simpler issues with younger students so using it as a starter for human rights would be interesting. The European Court refused permission to deport him to Jordan because if he was put on trial, the evidence used might have resulted from torture. Students readily follow the basic human rights of housing, food and education but it is useful to have examples of ones which, thankfully, are less familiar.

Older students might be asked to explore the issue to find out what lies behind the headlines. Abu Qatada had been imprisoned for seven years without trial. Is this right? Why was he held for so long without being brought to court?

Liberty, the pressure group which aims to protect civil liberties and promote human rights, has a website which explains its campaigns and views on current issues. It believes that Abu Qatada should be tried in Britain and questions why this hasn’t happened.

Liberty has a great website to use when exploring human rights. The organisation ran a competition for schools last year. Students were asked to write a short piece of poetry or prose inspired by any or all of the Articles within the Human Rights Act and the winners came from schools across the country. Keep an eye open for future competitions.

If you want to keep up with ongoing human rights issues, Liberty’s blog is a useful tool and they have plenty of resources for schools.

Jenny Wales is author of Citizenship Today for GCSE, published by Collins.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Secondary Business - News Quiz 01/03/12

Here is this week's Business News Quiz! You can print off a Word version (with answers and weblinks) and use it with your classes.

You can download the Word file here.

  1. Which banks annual profits rose 15% to £13.8bn ($21.9bn) in what it called a year of "major progress"?
    Santander ( )
    HSBC ( )
    HBOS ( )
    Lloyds TSB ( )

  2. Which business' profits have been boosted 14% due to Downtown Abby and The X factor?
    Sky ( )
    Pizza Hut ( )
    Domino’s ( )
    ITV ( )

  3. ECB has provided further 530bn euros ($713bn; £448bn) of low-interest loans to 800 banks, who is the ECB?
    Eastern Committee Bank ( )  
    European Central Bank ( )
    European Committee of Businesses ( )
    European Central Business ( )

  4. Northern Rock is expected to return a profit of up to £11bn to the taxpayer over the next 10 to 15 years, the body which manages the government's bank investments has said. What is Northern Rock soon to be known as?
    Virgin Bank ( )
    The Governments Bank ( )
    Virgin Money ( )
    The new Northern Rock ( )

  5. The Raspberry Pi went on general sale on February 29th 2012, what is it?
    A bare-bones computer ( )
    A new exotic raspberry mouse ( )
    Raspberry coloured mobile phone ( )
    The largest raspberry ever found and sold by Tesco in the UK ( )

  6. Apple has announced an event on 7 March at which the company is expected to launch its latest what?
    iPhone 5 ( )
    new iPod nano ( )
    iPad 3 ( )
    new iPod touch ( )

  7. Who has stepped down as executive chairman of News International, the UK newspaper business that owns The Sun and The Times titles?
    James Murdoch ( )
    Rupert Murdoch ( )
    Simon Cowell ( )
    Rebekah Brooks ( )

  8. Whose stock market value closed above $500bn (£314bn) this week, cementing its position as the world's most valuable company?
    Exxon ( )
    Microsoft ( )
    Blackberry ( )
    Apple ( )

  9. Shares dip for which airline as the carrier says it is in a "crisis" after reporting a loss for the last financial year?
    British Airways ( )
    Malaysia Airlines ( )
    Singapore Airlines ( )
    Virgin America ( )

  10. Microsoft has launched the preview edition of what new product/service?
    Windows Phone ( )
    Tablet computer ( )
    Windows 8 ( )
    Windows Store ( )
Donna Jestin
Teacher of Business Studies Notre Dame College & Senior Examiner for AQA