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Blog and Newsletter

Blog and Newsletter Starting Sept 2017

I have decided to combine Blog and Newsletter - so if you happen to visit this section you will be informed about current writing projects and future ones.

October

Coming up!

Wind in the Willows Assembly – Spring

Production Notes

This assembly was written largely as a result of listening to a feature on Radio 4, discussing ‘missing words’ or lack of children’s knowledge of nature. The ones mentioned were weeping willows and  kingfisher among others (apparently conker and brambles have gone from children’s dictionaries which was a surprise to me). So this script is an attempt at ‘putting nature back at the forefront of children’s lives’ – a long way from mobile phones, the internet and the like. Maybe I should have called it ‘Back to Nature’!

I have written 4 scripts – one on each of the Seasons.

This is the first – as taken from the first chapter of Wind in the Willows.

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I have spent a fair amount of time today changing the categories and their order on the left hand panel of the Home Page. I am hoping this will help customers navigate a bit easier.

I have also just added a section entitled Bible Stories as I am currently working on the Parables.

September

I have just finished a 2 reader script on Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole - as requested by lady going out to Sierra Leone to train student nurses there. Wonderful work - so glad to be able to help.

I am just finishing a script on The Good Samaritan - this script prompted by some TEFL work I did over the summer, which included some reading on The Bystander Effect. Really got me thinking about how we are all guilty of this in today's world - so here's a script on it, along with discussion notes on this subject. This may well be the start of a collection on parables.

I am also thinking ahead to Christmas this year (seems to get earlier every year, but you can never start planning too early, I guess)! I have in mind a Panto for Schools i.e. one specifically for a school audience. I already have Snow White and the 22 Dwarfs which is great fun - but there's always room for another panto (oh yes there is ....)!

Sept 26 Just finished 2 scripts on The Good Samaritan. One with cast of 10 plus classroom notes/discussion ideas; and other full cast of 30. Wondering if there might be any mileage in this '2 cast size scripts' idea?

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If you need a bit of positivity to help you through the next few months (some of us find the declining light along with 'fading weather' bit of an issue) then take a look at some of the 'Positive' notes below - I wrote these as you can see earlier in the year. Thought I'd keep them in, just in case teachers and students need a little help in staying positive! So easy to theorise over, so hard to practise! If you enjoy reading this Blog please let me know!

I thought a positive thought a week might be helpful - to be developed as teacher sees fit. I originally thought about one a day and thought that was being a little over-ambitious! 

And to try to 'enforce' the actual practise of the thought during the week, I thought a joke at the end of the week - as a kind of prize - might be good.

Spring Term 2017

Week 1

I'm going to start with the last quote from 2016 ... as I like it so much!

 ‘Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier’ (Mother Theresa) Wonderful quote and definitely one to aspire to. - Taken from Character Assembly

Week 2

'Life is 10% about what happens to you and 90% how you react to it'. There's been alot about the benefits of CBT (Cognitative Behavioural Therapy) on the news recently and I'm sure this particular quote is used at a lot of CBT sessions!

Week 3

Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

Week 4

There is never a wrong time to do the right thing.

Week 5

The true measure of success is not what you have but what you can do without (very apt when you're decluttering in order to downsize house as I am currently doing!)

Week 6

We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.

Week 7

You are free the moment you do not look outside yourself for someone to solve your problems.

Week 8

Self reliance is the greatest gift a parent can give a child.

Week 9

When you have been wronged a poor memory is your best response.

Week 10

Do it! Move it! Make it happen! No one ever sat their way to success!

Keeping in 

Autumn 2016

Week 13

Last week of term?

Do I need to add any more positivity to that last comment?!

Hope everyone has a great break - whatever you are doing. 

Week 12 week begin 28.11.16

‘Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier’ (Mother Theresa) Wonderful quote and definitely one to aspire to. - Taken from Character Assembly

Week 11 week begin 21.11.16

Contentment is the philosopher's stone

which turns all it toucheth into gold;

the poor man is rich with it, the rich

man poor without it.

Sums up part of my week - the being poor bit ... when paypal helpfully changed something on my site which meant no orders came through! All working fine now - smiles all round! Not that I'm not happy being poor .....

Week 10

This 'poem' is taken from a card I bought in Westminster Cathedral a few years ago. It's called

Look to This Day

Yesterday is

Already a dream,

And tomorrow

Is only a vision,

But today well-lived

Makes every yesterday

A dream of happiness

And every tomorrow

A vision of hope.

Week 9

It's my birthday (21 again - how original!) this week so I'm going with a phrase I think is so important as you get older ... 'I'm so excited' - based on great Motown single (I'll think of artist in a minute). How great it feels to be excited - it can be over the simplest things. I got a request to write a script this morning ... and I'm so excited to get started! Hope others find nice simple things like this to put a smile on their face and feel the day has something special and different to offer.

Week Eight - week beginning Oct 31st

SMILE!

Smile Poem

Smiling is infectious

You catch it like the flu.

 

When someone smiled at me today

I started smiling too.

 

I walked around the corner

And someone saw me grin

 

When he smiled I realised

I had passed it on to him.

 

I thought about the smile

And then realised its worth

 

A single smile like mine

Could travel round the earth.

 

So if you feel a smile begin

Don’t leave it undetected.

 

Start an epidemic

And get the world infected.

 

Week Seven - week beginning Oct 17th

'It's OK to be sad'.

Prompted really by last week's World Mental Health Day - on Monday. I put a number of my PSHE scripts onsite, half-price - one of which, the Sadness Assembly, tackles question of 'being sad' - one of the points being, it is OK to feel this way - not something to feel ashamed of; but over a prolonged period of time, something that should be addressed. i.e. help sought - even if that's just going to talk to someone. Talking/sharing a problem always helps.

Week Six - week beginning Oct 10th

'Happiness is rarely a reward. More often a totally unexpected gift'.

I think too often we look for happiness - almost as a right. It's not a permanent state - the important thing is to appreciate it when it comes even if just fleetingly, in and out of each day.

Week Five - week beginning Oct 3rd

With Jewish and and Islamic celebrations of their New Year, seemed 'right' to go with 'New Beginnings'. 

'Today is the first day of the rest of your life'. All about looking forward and celebrating the new - new things to be experienced - you really do never know what's round the next corner.

Week Four - week beginning Sept 25th

'Keep it positive but real - with a hefty dose of humour!' - this one for teachers

Maybe taking ourselves a little less seriously in the actual 'playing out' of what we say. We'll have all sat in the staffroom and listened to 'wonderful words of advice' - and either reacted with a 'wow' moment which lasts all of 5 seconds; or, conversely, 'Yeah right. ... but back to reality'. It's about finding middle road between 'overt' optimism and 'dismal' cynicism. I think you call this having a sense of humour!

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless (Mother Theresa) - this one for students.

Speaking of humour, I was personally in dire need of some this morning - after spending two hours on the Phonetic Alphabet (currently studying on a TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language course). Thank goodness following section of module was on meaning - with examples of somewhat iffy use of English at hotels around the world - enjoy!

Greece

Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.

France

Please leave your values at the front desk.

Romania

The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

Serbia

To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.

 

The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.

Russia

If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it.

Mexico

The manager has personally passed all the water served here

WEEK THREE - week begin. Sept 19th

If you want to be happy, be.  

I will check but I think this one is Tolstoy - and is particularly pertinent to one Winnie the Pooh! It was what he was about - just being. Nice n simple. Not agonising over whether he was happy or not - just enjoying the present. Sometimes so hard to do in our busy lives which revolve around forward planning. So, reality check - we have to be organised, think ahead. But we can enjoy the present more by, for example, not agonising over the past and not worrying about the future.  

WEEK TWO - week beginning Sept 12

‘You cannot always have happiness, but you can always give happiness’.

I like this one as it takes the pressure off us 'having to be happy' ... and dare I say, positive! This can be a bit of a strain at times - I think it is important to stress that we can't be happy all the time and shouldn't expect to be. But that making other people happy - just by smiling - immediately makes you feel better - and costs nothing!

WEEK ONE

So, here's the first one: week beginning August 29th:

Some pursue happiness, others create it (source unknown)

I particularly like this one as my main source of happiness lies in creativity - writing and choreography for my zumba routines!

And the joke? What do you call a greedy vulture? Dead hungry! (This taken from a selection I've accumulated over the years from my assemblies - I'm hoping quality of plays is better than that of the jokes!)

Currently reading Michael Morpugo's Singing for Mrs Pettigrew - a story-maker's journey. Just picked it up off shelf whilst searching for copy of Aesop Fables, in library. One of his comments - that the stories write themselves - is strangely familiar to me. I generally just grab a subject and go with it. Course, for historical scripts there's the research to do first - but once the facts are there, the characters speak for themselves and the script gathers a momentum of its own.

I mention this as I've been wondering why I decided to 'have a go' at the Just So Stories. 

Starting point - I found a copy on my bookshelf! Secondly, I do love writing through animals - their characters are so whacky - generally alot more colourful, funny than 'us lot'! Or maybe its just an accessibility thing - you can leap straight in, at a pretty superficial level, but the humour carries you through. Anyway. I started reading The Just So Stories and adapting them into guided reading scripts - and on completion duly loaded them (Parts I and II - they entailed alot more work than I had envisaged) onto my website. 

I'm now pondering what I think these scripts 'offer' that isn't in the original. No point redoing someone else's work unless you can bring something new to the table. 

Well, I guess it boils down to 'characters'. Whilst some of the character is revealed through the original text, the delivery of the story through 'dialogue' exclusively brings all the characters involved 'alive' - maybe I'm thinking of some of othe more minor roles here.

My Just So Project as I'm calling it may be a complete 'dead end' - I feel it has mileage and have a summer to 'indulge myself in writing' as other work commitments are reduced - might even look into speaking to an agent/dip into the publishing world - but holding off, as I've always done, as I am wary of marketing and just throwing money into what could be an empty well. Probably why I'll remain a pauper!

 

 

 

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