Saturday 10 December 2011

Composition "My favourite TV Programme" 2nd ESO

Here is a sample of your compositions about your favourite television programmes:
My Favourite Film
by Andrew  2nd ESO A

8 Mile

I think “8 Mile” is the best film in the world. It’s an American film about Eminem and his life and his dreams: he sings and wants to be a famous rapper.

I watched this film with my brother because he loves Eminem too.

The most important characters are Eminem (“Rabbit”), his mum, Lindsay, and his sister, Emily. They lose his father in a car accident.

Eminem is older than Emily and Emily is the youngest. Eminem works in a factory because he can’t pay for his studies. He hasn’t got much money but he wants to win the Rappers Rhythm in a gym. Finally he wins the 1,000 million dollars.

I like this film because it’s Eminem’s life but in a film. The actors are fantastic and there’s often good music. In the film, my favourite songs are “I’m not afraid” and “Never enough”.

This is a great film, the best I’ve ever seen.

My Favourite TV Programme
by Sara Álvarez  2nd ESO A

I think “El Barco” is the best programme on TV. It’s a Spanish soap opera about some people who live in a boat. I usually watch it with my friends because we all like it.

The most important characters are Ulises, Ainhoa, her dad the Captain and the doctor Wilson. In the series, the world is finished and the boat is safe.

I like “El Barco” because it’s very interesting. The actors are fantastic and there’s always good music in the programme too.

My Favourite TV Programme
by María Feijoo  2nd ESO B

I think “El Intermedio” is the best programme on TV. It’s a Spanish comedy programme about some humorists and reporters. They talk about the funniest news in the world. I always watch it with my family because we all like it.

The most important characters are ·”El Gran Wyoming” and his team: Beatriz, Thais, Dani, Usun and Gonzo. They are usually joking. Beatriz and Wyoming tell the news every day. Dani is a humorist. Usun, Gonzo and Thais are the reporters.

I like “El Intermedio” because it’s interesting and very funny. Wyoming and Dani are fantastic and they often tell jokes and they sometimes sing.

My Favourite TV Programme
by Alejandro Rey 2nd ESO B

I think “One Piece” is the best programme on TV. It’s a Japanese cartoon about pirates, their band and their enemies. I usually watch it with my sister because we both like it.

The most important characters are Luffy and his band, Zorro, Snaji, Chopper, Usup, Robin and Nami. Zorro is stronger than Sanji. They argue a lot. The strongest pirate is Luffy and Usup is the weakest.
The band is traveling along the Grand Line Ocen and they are fighting with strong enemies. They always win the battles.

I like “One Piece” because it’s exciting and there are entertaining moments and a lot of action. The characters are fantastic.

My town, then and now (Students essays)

Very good compositions about this topic!! Unfortunately, I have time just to choose a couple (one from each group) and show them to the world ;-)
Well done, Christian and Xiana!!
My town, then and now
by Christian Randolfe 4th ESO B

I live in a small town in the north west of Spain. Fifty years ago, the town was very different.

It was much smaller and most of the buildings were under construction. There didn’t use to be any modern buildings. Now there are some blocks of flats and buildings are very old.

Shops were small and in the centre of the town. Now people go shopping in big shopping centres.

Transport is very different too. There didn’t use to be a bus station, not many people had cars. They used to travel by bus or train. Now there are more roads, and there’s a big motorway outside the town.

My grandparents didn’t live in the town fifty years ago, so I suppose that there wasn’t much to do then. There were two or three cinemas and some cafés. The cinemas aren’t still there, now there are two clothing stores.

Fifty years ago people wore affordable, comfortable and simple clothes. Women wore tight dresses and miniskirts were the fashion. But this has changed now, fashion is becoming more expensive and changing, in general people dress as they wish.

In conclusion, life was quieter then, but in my opinion it’s better now. Ourense rules!!

My town, then and now
by Xiana 4th ESO A

I live in a beautiful town in the south of Galicia. It could be small and boring sometimes but it already has a lot of things to see and many stories to tell.
Obviously the town of Ourense was smaller fifty years ago and things were very different.

Fifty years ago there used to be a lot of historic and beautiful buildings that are very old now. However they are in a good state of preservation taking for example the Main Square.
The old town has been restored in recent years making it a nice place to visit. San Lázaro Park, for example, didn’t use to have the amount of trees that it has nowadays.

People didn’t use to go by public transport although they used them a few times. They used to go by their own cars or just walking or simply by bike. Talking about this, another important change was the recently created bike lines.
In that time there used to be two train stations with a dynamic activity, the same that are here now. The bus station is quite new as it only is 20 years old.

With respect to communication, Internet wasn’t in operation yet so people looked at encyclopedias for things they wanted to know. Telephone was invented in 1876 so it was several years old at that time.

Women used to do all the housework 50 years ago because men worked outside home so they had to look for the children, etc.

People used to wear different clothes, women wore long skirts, hats with flowers and smart clothes; and men wore ancient costumes.

In conclusion, life fifty years ago was quieter and more peaceful but from my point of view it’s better now.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

TV series

Step 1: Open the word cloud and guess what famous TV series is hidden under it.

Wordle: Lost

Step 2: Click on the link to see the opening scene of this TV series:

Step 3: How observant are you? Say if these statements are true or false:

1. The first image we see is Jack's right eye.
2. The dog came from Jack's left.
3. Jack took a bottle out of his left pocket.
4. The man with the trapped leg was wearing a grey shirt.
5. Jack tied his tie round the injured man's right leg.
6. The pregnant woman was not wearing a necklace.

(Material provided by Steve Muir from "Tried and Tested: Clips that work")

Sunday 20 November 2011

My town, then and now

Pontes de Ourense
Avda. Pontevedra
Cardenal Quiroga
Praza Maior
Curros Enríquez (Gob. Civil)
Xardíns Padre Feijoo/Paseo
Avda. Juan XXIII
Parque de San Lázaro
Ponte Nova
Rúa do Paseo
Praza Maior

Use these photos to compare your town in the past and nowadays. If it is possible, ask your parents or grandparents about their life in the past. Talk about buildings, transport, streets, social life and fashion. For this essay, you may find useful the connectors to express contrast we have seen. 

Tips to write an essay:
  • brainstorming:  it involves noting down the ideas that pop into your mind about the topic you're going to write about. 
  • organising: looking at your brainstorm, select the ideas you want to include and delete the information you think unnecessary. 
  • write a draft: how is your essay going to be organized and complete it with more information about the topic. 
  • correct you text (grammar and spelling mistakes)
  • start your essay with and introduction and finish it with a short conclusion giving your opinion.
  • divide your essay into paragraphs, each with its own topic. 
  • make notes for each topic.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Composition "My Best Friend" 2nd ESO

 Compositions from 2nd ESO students

My Best Friend
by Marco Casanova 2nd ESO A

I have a lot of friends but I am going to speak about Yago.
Yago is eleven. He goes to Salesianos school. I meet him in my village. He likes videogames, playing football and riding a bike. He doesn’t like exams, playing basketball and pets.

His favourite subjects in the school are maths and music. We sometimes play ping-pong at the weekend but we usually play badminton. He likes music and films and we often go to the cinema.

His birthday is on 6th March. He’s got a little brother. His name is Miguel.
Yago is tall and thin. He’s got long and brown hair and brown eyes too.

My Best Friend
by Aroa Rodríguez 2nd ESO B

My best friend’s name is María. She’s thirteen and her birthday is on 23rd March.
She’s got one brother. His name’s Diego. She’s got two pets: one dog and a cat too.

She’s tall and thin. She’s got dark hair and brown eyes.

María and I go to the same school. It’s called Santo Ángel. We’re in the same class. Her favourite subject is maths but she also likes music.

She loves reading and listening to music. When we meet in town, we often go to the park or to the shopping center.

She doesn’t play any sport, but she likes playing basketball.

Composition "This is...." 4th ESO

A sample of compositions from 4th ESO

This is Rachel
By Antía Feijoo 4th ESO A

Rachel is very trendy and she looks quite cool. She always buys new clothes despite their high price.
She doesn’t like smart clothes so much; she prefers wearing sport clothes, although she usually wears make-up and some jewellery like earrings and bracelets.

Rachel loves sports; she does athletics two times a week during two hours. On the one hand, she thinks that it’s very hard; on the other hand, she wants to do it, because she believes that it’s good for her health.
She also likes going out with her friends and going to the cinema with them. However, she doesn’t go to the cinema very often.
The third thing that she loves is her blackberry. She always chats to her friends with it when I’m with her. In contrast, I’ve never done it. I think it is very annoying!

She doesn’t like people who speak very much, although she speaks a lot, but I don’t mind.
Another thing that she hates is to get up early to go to school, but she likes staying there; and the last thing that she hates is to do long trips by car, although she goes to Bilbao with her family very often.

My sister
by Fátima Villarino 4th ESO B

I’ll talk about my sister Rosa because she’s the most important person to me. She lives in Santander since 1999.

My sister is thirty-four years old and she is very intelligent, respectful, with sense of humour, kind and a good person and sister.

People say she looks like our mother because she has brown hair and straight, green eyes, light skin with some freckles. She hasn’t got tattoos or piercings.
Her style is very natural, she wears modern and smart clothes yet with a bracelet, a necklace, earrings and some make-up.
She loves to come here because she misses us; she likes to go to our village and above all, to meet friends. Because of her work, she can’t do many things but she would like to do sports. In summer, when the weather is nice, she goes to the beach to sunbathe.

The obvious difference between us is the age but it doesn’t prevent us from getting along. I seem more serious and with a lot of character. However, she has more character. I’m more determined and stronger than she is.
We don’t look alike physically. She is smaller and has fewer freckles than me. On the other hand, I am red head and have got blue eyes.

Although I like Ourense, I prefer to travel. I don’t like to go to my village but I like to practice sport and go to the beach.

This is my sister, a person different from me.

Sunday 6 November 2011

Composition "My Best Friend" 3rd ESO

Here I'm posting just a small sample of your wonderful compositions about your best friends. 

My Best Friend
by Alba Álvarez  3rd ESO A

Marta Vázquez and I are almost best friends and we’re neighbours too. We live in Ourense, in the same building. We go to the same school and in the same grade, but I’m in class 3A and she’s in 3B. I often go to her place to sleep and other times she comes to my place.
Marta is fourteen years old. She’s tall and thin, she’s got short, dark curly hair and blue eyes. The good thing about her is that she’s very funny, honest and warm-hearted, although she can also be very stubborn and a bit curious, but she’s too innocent.
She’s happiest when she’s chatting and joking with our friends. She likes reading, going out and surfing the Internet. We always go out together on Saturdays and we sometimes go to San Lázaro Park.

My Best Friend
by Sira Prieto 3rd ESO B

Marta Taín and I are friends. She lives near the “Parque Barbaña” and I live near the other park, but we live in Ourense and we go to the same school, “Santo Ángel”.
She is fourteen and I am thirteen because her birthday is before my birthday.
She is a bit big but she isn’t tall. She has got long, dark and wavy hair. She is brown-eyed and she has got moles in her chubby cheeks.
The good thing about her is that she is like me, because she understands me. She is also happy, friendly, a bit sensitive, very curious and she sometimes boasts, but she doesn’t do it on purpose.
She likes to go to the cinema with our friends or to go to other places. She doesn’t like chocolate, fruit or fish.
She has got one brother as I have got one too. We play with them because we always enjoy very much.
She plays tennis and she goes to a dance academy, but she goes to other academies to study other subjects too.

Monday 24 October 2011


ESO Students

1. Click on the link below to get started. You will be redirected to the LearnEnglish page from the British Council.
2. Read and do the preparation task to start delving into the topic.
3. Play the recording about Halloween but do not read the text yet.
4. Play the recording one more time (or the number of times you think necessary) this time with the text in front of you. Remember to check confusing or new words in the dictionary. You can visit or
5. Do the task.


Monday 10 October 2011

Look what I've found searching the internet.

I find it really funny and it tells us a lot about the author's point of view of the "discovery" of America. What do you think his opinion is? What's yours?

Sunday 9 October 2011

Columbus Day

On the second Monday of October, Americans celebrate Columbus Day; they remember Christopher Columbus's voyage to America in 1492.

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, a city on the north-west coast of Italy. At this time Genoa was a very important commercial port. The young Christopher often went to the port and watched the ships leave: they seem to go under the horizon. May people at this time thought the world was flat, but others - Columbus included- believed that the world was round. Columbus wanted to test this idea. 

He went to live to Portugal. When he was only twenty-three he had the idea of going to India, China and Japan by sailing west. If the world was round, this was possible, he thought. But he needed money, ships and men. He asked a lot of people for help, including the kings of Portugal, England and France but he got no support. Then he explained his idea to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. They were interested and, after some years, decided to help him. 

They gave him three ships: the Santa María, the Niña and the Pinta. It was difficult to find sailors for the voyage because it was long and dangerous. Finally, Columbus found about ninety men. He was ready to test his theory. 

On 3rd August 1492, Columbus and the sailors left Palos, on the coast of Spain. Queen Isabella and other important people went to see him leave. 

Columbus navigated with a magnetic compass. His ships travelled about 150 miles a day. The voyage was long and difficult, but the three ships arrived at the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas on 12th October 1492. Columbus claimed these new lands for Spain. 

His voyage changed the future of navigation and the world. People in Europe called the new lands the “New World”. When Columbus returned to Spain he told the King and Queen about the new lands and showed them gold, valuable objects and even some natives. They were very happy with Columbus’s discovery. 

Columbus’s Day is still celebrated all over the world. In the USA this day is celebrated with long and colourful parades, marching bands and big floats dedicated to Columbus. However, there are also protests by groups of native Americans on this day, because they remember that the arrival of Columbus meant the beginning of the domination of their people. 

D.B.CLEMEN, Gina. "British and American Festivities", Black Cat Publishing 2004

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Welcome back!!

Back to work after two long and exciting months.
Now it's time to get up early, meet classmates we haven't seen for a long time and start working on the new academic year. It can be hard at the beginning but it's also nice to be back at school. 
I'd like to welcome all the new students; we'll do everything in our hands to make you feel comfortable and at home and I hope you will eventually feel part of this big family which is Santo Ángel School. 
Some of you are later than others when it comes to start working but I tell you one thing: the sooner you start, the better! 

We'll have time to study, learn and enjoy a lot but only one thing is true, we must try to do your best this year.
Are you ready?

Thursday 24 March 2011

The danger of a single story (speech by Chimamanda Adichie)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer whose first two novels won literary awards.
In this moving and enlightening speech she talks about her own experiences and how dangerous to have just a single point of view about important matters can be. 

Close your eyes, listen and learn...

Thursday 17 March 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Today, 17th March, the most important Irish festival takes place. It's widely celebrated, not only in Ireland but also in the USA, the UK or Australia. In Ireland, this day is an important religious holiday. Businesses are closed and people go to church. Besides there is a four-day festival in the capital city, Dublin. In the USA, the New York parade is very famous because it's the largest in the world: more than 150,000 people take part in the marching. And in the city of Chicago, The Chicago River is coloured green on St. Patrick's Day!!

But let's start from the beginning. Who was St. Patrick?

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was born in Wales but when he was a teenager we was taken to Ireland by some pirates and there, he became a slave. After some time, he could escape to France where he became a priest. Later on, he returned to Ireland and he converted a lot of Irish people to Christianity.

There are many legends about St. Patrick. One of them says that he took all the snakes in Ireland to the top of a mountain and pushed them into the sea. Another legend says he used the shamrock to teach the Irish about Christianity: he used the three leaves of this plant to explain that, for Christians, God is three beings at the same time. 

On St. Patrick's Day there are a lot of tricolour flags in the streets. Irish created this flag in 1848 with a special meaning. The green represents Irish Catholics and the orange represents Irish Protestants. The white rectangle in the middle stands for the hope for peace between Catholics and Protestants.

CLEMEN, Gina D.B., "British and American Festivities", Black Cat Publishing, 2004.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Terror Stories (2nd ESO Group B)

Good evening!!

One of our students was told this first story by her grandmother and it goes as follows:

Years ago, in a town called Zarracos it was said that every night some lights were seen. It was said that they were the souls of the dead people who weren't free from sin yet and came here to let it know to the living.
(Marta Taín, 2nd ESO Group B)

This other story is about the well-known "Santa Compaña":

It's said that the Holy Company appears in the crossroads to call the soul of those who will soon leave the world of the living. Dogs start howling, announcing its visit, cats flee in terror and its step stops the noise of animals in the forest. A silence is interrupted by the ringing of a bell and funeral prayer beads. It's said that the person who is visited by the Holy Company will die within a year.
(Andrea Goyanes, 2nd ESO Group B)

Sunday 6 March 2011

Carnival time at our school

Dear students!!
I am uploading some of the pictures taken last Friday 4th March during three of my lessons. They are from groups A and B 2nd ESO and from group A 4th ESO.
I would have liked to upload some of our teachers but unfortunately I didn't take any. However, you have plenty of them in the Gallery of the school's website. Have a look and enjoy them!

2nd ESO Group B

2nd ESO Group A

4th ESO Group A

Thursday 3 March 2011

Such is life, the real story of Ned Kelly

Great talk last Tuesday!!
I’d like to thank Sonia Blanco (from Oxford University Press) and Robin Walker because this activity has been a success among our students.
After speaking with the four groups that attended the talk, I am glad to say that every opinion has been positive. Therefore, I can only wish that we have the opportunity to repeat it some time in the near future. Cross your fingers!!
Well, some of you discovered the lie Robin had told you (thank you Alba and Belén for your interest) and reported it to me the day after the talk. The lie was that Ned Kelly wasn’t a murderer at all.  
Here is Ned Kelly’s real story:

Edward 'Ned' Kelly was born at Beveridge in 1855, the first-born son of an Irish Catholic couple. His father, John 'Red' Kelly was an ex-convict (transported from Ireland for the theft of two pigs), who ran away with Ellen Quinn, an Irish 'bounty migrant'. They settled in the north of Melbourne. Red Kelly supplemented his income by horse stealing. After his arrest and gaoling for horse-stealing, Red Kelly died before finishing his sentence.

Ned Kelly grew up with the tales of bushrangers and when he was 14 he was arrested for stealing 10 shillings. Some time later, Kelly was charged with robbery under arms then freed for lack of evidence, although a few months later has was back in the lockup for assault.

Ned's real troubles with the police began when his mother was arrested for the shooting of Constable Fitzpatrick, who was later dismissed from the police force as “a liar”. Fitzpatrick was in charge of the Greta Police Station for a few days and had been warned to stay away from the Kellys - a warning he ignored. He went to arrest Dan Kelly for horse stealing; Dan had just returned home from gaol[1]. At the hut, Fitzpatrick assaulted Kate, Ned's older sister. During this affray, Ellen Kelly shot Fitzpatrick in the wrist but because she wanted to avoid any repercussions, tended Fitzpatrick's wounds, fed him, gave him something to drink and sent him on his way, with an understanding that no more would be said. 

Fitzpatrick returned to the police station with a different story which involved being hit on the head, an ambush by Kelly sympathisers and being shot at three times by Ned Kelly. Ned Kelly was 400 miles away at the time. Ellen Kelly was sentenced to three years in gaol, with a breastfeeding infant, for attempted murder of Constable Fitzpatrick.

While Ned Kelly did not try to break into gaol to rescue his mother he offered an ultimatum to the government:

" give those people who are suffering innocence, justice and liberty, if not I will be compelled to show some colonial stratagems which will open the eyes of not only the Victoria Police and inhabitants but also the whole British Army..."
(Jerilderie Letter, p. 19)

Ned was so enraged that he made a hide-out, with his brother Dan and their mates[2] Joe Byrne and Steve Hart, at the head of the King River, a virtually impenetrable place. Ned was furious about the use of the Felons Apprehension Act and the use of black trackers brought in from Queensland. The Gang relied upon their network of friends. 

The police were determined to hunt down the Kelly Gang, and in October 1878 a party of four police with heavy arsenal were sent out. Their camp at Stringybark Creek received a surprise visit from the Kellys with Ned commanding 'Bail up! Throw up your arms'. Constable McIntyre surrendered but Constable Lonigan went for his revolver, before being shot dead by Ned Kelly. When the other two police appeared and, Sergeant Kennedy reached for his revolver, he was mortally wounded. Constable Scanlon was then killed trying to drag his rifle from its holster.
The Kelly Gang were declared outlaws[3] after raids on the National Bank at Euroa and Faithful Creek station in December 1878. The sum of £8000 was put on their collective heads for robbery and murder. A further £4000 was added by the Government of Victoria. In February 1879, Ned and his Gang bailed up the Bank of New South Wales at Jerilderie.
In June 1880, Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly visited Aaron Sherritt, a close friend of Joe Byrne and whom Joe and Ned Kelly had helped fence his property. This, however, had only marked him as a Kelly accomplice and Sherritt had ended up colluding with police. Four policemen were hiding in Sherritt's hut and, after Sherritt was shot by Byrne for betraying Kelly, the police remained hiding, using the women in the hut as hostages. The Kelly's shooting of Sherritt made it look as if the Gang could move about the district as they wished, and the police redoubled their efforts to capture the Gang.

After more bank robberies, the Kelly Gang had their 'last stand' in the small town of Glenrowan, Victoria in 1880, where they took 60 hostages in a hotel. The Gang established a base at the Glenrowan Hotel, determined to fight iwith police when they came. Kelly planned to derail the expected train carrying the police, but this was prevented by a school teacher, let out of the hotel, who flagged the train to a halt. The troopers attacked the Gang in the hotel. Some police officers were wounded when the Gang shot at them. The townsfolk were allowed to leave the hotel when there was a lull in the fighting.

Ned Kelly was shot in the arm and thumb, and retreated to the bush, from where he hoped to attack police from behind. Knowing that the Felons Apprehension Act meant they could be shot, the Kelly Gang all wore suits of steel armour, made during the previous year. Despite this, Joe Byrne was shot and died. Dan Kelly and Steve Hart were shot dead, and the hotel was burned to the ground by the police. 

As dawn broke, Ned Kelly, in his armour, approached the police from the rear and began shooting at them with his revolver, despite his wounds. After half an hour, he was shot in both unprotected legs. A wounded Ned was arrested and charged with the murder of a policeman. Ned Kelly was tried and convicted of the murder of Constable Lonigan at Stringybark Creek.

In gaol, Kelly wrote a long letter to the authorities demonstrating the discrimination against poor Irish settlers. Despite public protests, the judgement of Redmond Barry prevailed. Kelly spoke the immortal last words 'Such is life' and was hanged on 11th November 1880 at Melbourne Gaol. 

Ned Kelly's final defiant stand against the Felons Apprehension Act and his pleas for justice to end discrimination against poor Irish settlers did end up opening the eyes of people. Ned Kelly in his armour came to symbolise a fight by a flawed hero, a convicted criminal, for 'justice and liberty' and 'innocent people'. This captured the imagination of writers, authors and the general public alike.

Full article in: 

[1] Jail, prison
[2] friends
[3] bandits

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Terror stories (2nd ESO Group A)

Here are a couple of terror stories written by some of our students:

The Black Cat 
by Sandra Ferreiro 2nd ESO Group A

Once upon a time, there was a family living with a cat. The cat always went around town. 
One day, the cat was out but didn't return. It was hit by a car and it was badly wounded on the road. Neighbours saw it lying there and they went to grab it to take it to its owners. The cat died and since then, every night , the cat appears at the same time at the same place where it was killed.

The Mill
by Eduardo García 2nd ESO Group A

Two years ago I went to a friend's housing area. There were many urban legends but I will limit myself to tell you one story:

Next to a picnic area located next to the shore of a little river, there is a wood. Through dense bush and fallen trunks there is a mill. Many rumours say that at night "the woodcutter" went with his old ax. When a child came, he could hear sounds of an ax cutting some kind of meat. 
"The woodcutter" was a humble man who lived in that village and he worked much in his harvest. The men who decided to build the housing area took everything and they fought the man. When they destroyed his house, his daughter was in there. He was full of anger and revenge and now he wanders at night in the housing area. 
He's now a ghost. If you go to the mill or the wood, the woodcutter is a tall man. Poor those who go to that area.

Sunday 27 February 2011

English in the antipodes

Next Tuesday 1st March, students from 3rd and 4th of ESO will be attending a Cultural Talk whose topic will be Australia and New Zealand. It will take place in the Red Conference Room from 10:00 to 11:00 and the speaker will be Robin Walker, teacher and collaborator in Oxford University Press. 

Remember last week I asked you to look for some information that is going to be relevant so as not to get lost during the talk. For those of you who are forgetful and lazy, here are the questions I told you to answer for Monday:

Why was Cook annoyed when he discovered New Zealand? By the way, who was this Cook? Why were the Maoris browned off when they say him arrive? Why were Cook’s sailors pissed off when he discovered Australia? Who plays the didgeridoo and who speaks strine?

Sunday 13 February 2011

14th February: Valentine's Day

Tomorrow is Saint Valentine's Day, a special date celebrated all over the world. As usual, here I let you the origins of such a celebration that I hope you find interesting. I've also uploaded a song called "Valentine's Day" by one of your favourite bands, Linkin Park. The song is a little bit sad but quite suitable for a day like tomorrow. Enjoy it!!

Valentine's Day started over two thousand years ago, as a winter festival, on 15th February. On that day, pagans asked their gods to give them good fruit and vegetables, and strong animals.

When the Christians came to Britain, they came with a story about a man called Saint Valentine. The story is that Valentine was a Christian who lived in the third century. The Roman Emperor at the time, Claudius II, was not a Christian. Claudius decided that his soldieres must not marry, because married soldiers do not make good soldiers. Valentine worked for the church, and one day he helped a soldier to get married. The Emperor said that Valentine had to die because he did wrong. In prison Valentine started to love the daughter of a man who worked in the prison. The day he died, he sent a note to this woman, and at the end of the note, he said: "Your Valentine". He died on 14th February, so the date of the festival changed from 15th to 14th February, and the name changed to Saint Valentine's Day. 

In the early 19th century, when the post office started in Britain, people started to send Valentine's cards to the person they loved on 14th February. 
The cards had pictures of flowers and birds on, and words inside like: 

Roses are red, my love, 
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet, my love, 
But not as sweet as you. 

People still send each other Valentine's cards, but often they do not write their names inside: they just write "Be my Valentine" or "From your Valentine". It is a kind of game. 
Some children give their friends or teachers cards or chocolates. A man will perhaps give his girlfriend or wife red roses. A lot of people go out to restaurants for the evening and have dinner for two, with candles and soft music. 

MAGUIRE, Jackie. "Seasons and Celebrations" Oxford Bookworms Factfiles. Oxford University Press 1997

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Talk about our food system

Dear students,

I've just bumped into this interesting talk about the problems of our current food system. I'm still amazed, not only for the contents of the speech but for the fact that the speaker is an 11 year-old boy! Birke Baehr has the clearest ideas about life and he wants to become an organic farmer. If you want to know why you'll have to see this video.

Sunday 30 January 2011

School Day of Non-Violence and Peace

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind
                                                                   Mahatma Gandhi

On 30th January every year, in schools of many countries is observed the School Day of Non-violence and Peace (DENIP), founded in Spain in 1964, on the anniversary of the death of Mahatma Gandhi. Its basic and permanent message is: "Universal love, non-violence and peace. Universal love is better than egoism, non-violence is better than violence, and peace is better than war".

Mahatma Gandhi had a philosophy founded upon the total nonviolence. He led nationwide campaigns to ease poverty, expand women's rights, build religious and ethnic amity and employed non-cooperation, non-violence and peaceful resistance as his only weapons. His principle was that all violence was evil and could not be justified.

Gandhi summarised his beliefs first when he said "God is Truth. The way to truth lies through ahimsa (non violence)”.

I would like to use a song to illustrate this message. I’ve chosen a very famous song which I’m sure you all know very well: “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon. It became the anthem of American anti-war movement during the 70’s and its message is very much alive today.