This time last year I was preparing for a trip to Iceland. It was a pleasure to meet the staff of the International School of Iceland (ISI) and the share my ideas with the Association of English Speakers in Iceland.
For anyone travelling to Iceland, here are a few tips:
The weather report for cloud cover can be key when trying to see lights, because the clouds can block it out. Apparently, it is still possible to see the lights through the clouds.
Due to the random and fleeting nature of the lights, online alerts only seem to be useful for a matter of hours or even minutes. People posting last night’s photos online weren’t really much use, but sometimes people post live updates online.
The lights can come and go gradually, so if you see a bit of discoloured sky, it could turn into the lights a few minutes later. The lights show up much more clearly on a DSLR camera, so if you have one it is worth bringing it with you to ‘test’ potential lights.
We frequented many an Icelandic supermarket during our stay! Hagkaup was the best by a mile. The selection of Oatly produce is next level.
I imagine the place would’ve been difficult to navigate without our own vehicle. Sixt car rental were awesome! They also gave us a device that allowed mobile 4G anywhere on the island – sooo handy (we could take it from the car and tether our phones to it when exploring).
The Embassy of India host free morning and evening yoga classes every weekday.
Parking on the residential streets near to the centre is stress-free.
Seltjarnarnes is a tiny peninsular sticking out into the sea which is a nice little walk. You can park at Grotta, Nordurstrond walking path. It’s about a 10 minute drive from the main high street, Laugavegur.
The Golden Triangle
It is well worth a drive to this area. Geysir is cool (Geysir Center, Haukadalur, 35). The traditional lamb soup was about £15 but worth every penny!
What an exciting day spent seeing the methods used to create a television show!
CBeebies is a British children's television channel owned and operated by the BBC. Moreover, it is based in my hometown of Manchester, so I was thrilled to be invited to have a look behind the scenes and take part in the show as an extra.
Upon arriving on set, I quickly realised that creating a television show requires teamwork between hundreds of people. There were catering staff in charge of food, directors to give advice for improvements to the show throughout the day, supervisors to help to check for mistakes, camera operators to move, point and zoom-in with the cameras and many more.
Below are some short clips from the day:
Here is a link to Andy's song on the CBeebies YouTube account:
This week I had the pleasure of interviewing children across the school for a film showing highlights of Aspirations Week.
Below is a link to the film on the school Facebook page. Alternatively, you can find the film on Twitter (split into two sections).
Following many international projects, I am delighted to be back in Manchester. It has been great to see the progress of my current year six students, and I'm looking forward to helping them through their upcoming SATS. I will now be able to take on ONE more home-tuition student. If you are interested in home-tuition for your child, please feel free to send an email or use the 'CONTACT' button below. Be sure to have a read the 'ABOUT ME' page, which has a link to my teaching credentials.
With Summer approaching, the fire brigade came into year 6 to discuss what it is like to be a firefighter, and the dangers of going into cold water.
A spare firefighter's outfit was brought along, and they challenged me to get dressed in 30 seconds! I don't think I was quite ready to run into a burning building by the end of the countdown.
People are often surprised to learn that when we jump into very cold water (such as lakes, reservoirs, canals and ponds), where our body goes into shock and breathing becomes difficult.
The fire brigade explained that this is one of the reasons we should not go into this type of cold water. They added that if we fall in accidentally, it is best to focus on floating for the first few seconds until the body gets used to the temperature.
For more advice from the RNLI click here.
"If you enter the water unexpectedly:
I always find it magical to see children being encouraged to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Better still, watching them tending to their garden with the expert-guidance of their grandparents. During my recent home stay, I was lucky enough to taste the home-grown produce of the family farm. I particularly savoured the delicious flavours of their ripe and juicy oranges... straight from the orange trees!
As most of my regular students know, I am enjoying learning about yoga and I'm practising as much as I can. So that I am able to practise more easily whilst on my travels, I've started taking my big yoga mat with me - on my last trip it worked a treat. The mat goes in the hold of the plane with the large suitcases, and then out onto the luggage carousel. I was happy to see it coming around the corner on the conveyor belt. 🙏
I cannot wait to show my UK-based students some of my recent wildlife encounters, which have included wild wolves, elk and an extremely friendly grey jay.
Wild wolves (whose biological name is the 'grey wolf') are social animals, meaning they live with their family members in their 'pack'. The average pack comprises a family of between five and eleven animals. Sometimes, two or three families can live together, which can create a pack of up to 40 wolves.
Coat colours range from being near completely white, through to various shades of blonde, cream and sandy colours. In addition, there are grey, brown and black colours. Interestingly, more variation in fur colours tend to occur up in the mountains.
Strasbourg a le titre de capitale européenne avec Luxembourg et Bruxelles. Cette belle ville compte de nombreuses institutions européennes, telles que le Conseil de l'Europe et le ParlemenStrasbourg a le titre de capitale européenne avec Luxembourg et Bruxelles. Cette belle ville compte de nombreuses institutions européennes, telles que le Conseil de l'Europe et le Parlement européen.
Fait intéressant, avec des villes comme Bâle, Genève, La Haye et Zuruch, Strasbourg est l'une des rares villes à abriter de grandes organisations internationales même si elles ne sont pas la capitale.
As well as teaching in Strasbourg, I had the opportunity to also be a student, and practise my yoga at the yoga studios. I had to concentrate carefully on the instructions as they were, of course, all in French.
Along with the fabulous private tuition sessions and exciting trips to the bakery, another highlight of my visit to Strasbourg was watching Soraya sing in the opening of her opera. The show was at L'Opéra de Strasbourg (an opera house located in the historic centre of Strasbourg), which is home to the Opéra National du Rhin. It was great to see weeks and weeks of hard work and practise from the team pay off, and the show was amazing. Afterwards, Beate Langenbruch took the words right out of my mouth when he described Soraya's singing as 'd’une pureté et précision remarquables'😊.
It has been wonderful to spend some time in a consistent classroom in the UK surrounded by a great teaching team. Whilst I am really sad to be leaving, I knew my flight to Switzerland was just the round the corner and that I'd have to say goodbye.
I have two spaces available for one-off private tuition in Basel. If you are interested, please email for details.
It has been great to spend several weeks in the UK, where I have been lucky enough to spend the run up to Christmas in a lovely school in Greater Manchester.
Recently, I have been learning more about the Year 6 curriculum (in England), and how children of 10 and 11 years of age study for their end-of-school SATS exams.
What a magical trip!
It was a pleasure to be invited into the fantastic International School of Iceland (a private, non-profit school in Garðabær on the outskirts of Reykjavík). It is actually the only international school in the Reykjavík area of Iceland, first established in 1960 as the American Embassy School.
From the moment I arrived, it was clear to see that the school encourages independence among the students, who are trusted to move around their school with such confidence and maturity. The interdisciplinary 'STEAM' curriculum at ISI is evident in the project work on display, which incorporates all kinds of skills that result in a highly engaging learning experience.
Did you know?
There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland, and they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Iceland's climate and location is well-suited to waterfalls due to the frequent rain and snow, combined with the array of glaciers that melt in summer.
It was lovely to meet so many students, families and teachers during my visit to Norway, and explore the splendid forest paths and trails in Asker and Bærum. In between meeting families, I was lucky enough to see:
I couldn't have asked for a warmer welcome, and being invited into local Bærum schools was a wonderful bonus and an unexpected experience. It was particularly interesting to take part in a Geography lesson about 'England' :-) and to help out in class with my 'specialist' knowledge of my home country.
A few photographs of beautiful Bærum red squirrels!
Click the thumbnail to see the full size photos.
Five things I learned about Bekkestua, Bærum
1. The organic Peruvian coffee in Godt Brød is very tasty, and the staff are really friendly.
2. The little sparrows that scavenge for crumbs around the town centre are extremely cheeky.
3. Stabæk IF play their home matches just five minutes outside of the centre (at the Nadderud stadion) and Henning Berg is the current manager!
4. With a nice view of the town centre, the cosy little seating area upstairs in WB Samson is the perfect spot for studying or lesson planning :-)
5. There is a lovely Saturday market with a variety of food vendors and a fun wheel-of-fortune prize draw for children. Perfect for families!
Welcome to my website, where you can find information about my products and availability. Feel free to email me with any question or enquiry about tuition. I am based just outside of Manchester, so if you are based in Cheshire, Manchester or surrounding areas, the first assessment session is always free.
Constructing our stick towers outdoors allowed our year 3 design technology lesson to be more purposeful and memorable. Our towering nests were designed to protect the egg from predators. To satisfy the design brief, the egg had to be 30cm high and remain in place for thirty seconds without rolling off.
This week in year 3 we made full use of our lovely school grounds and took our literacy lesson outdoors. The class split into groups to investigate and report on some rather strange incidents. On Tuesday, during registration, Mr Johnson informed us of some burnt sticks and slime near the school car park. Later that morning, we had found large footprints and a huge, mysterious egg!
Over the weekend, mobile phone footage captured a large creature flying above the row of shops next to the school. Year 3 have been extremely creative in their predictions of what it could be, and have written detailed character descriptions that include how the creature might be feeling.
This term in year 3 we are studying volcanoes. Using a 'KWL grid', we began to explore the new topic by identifying our prior knowledge and writing questions about the things we would like to know. Volcano expert, Professor Anderson, has been responding to our questions with video messages to guide our quest for answers! In groups, we devised performances of each part of the volcano and acted out an eruption in sequence.
This week there were four different options for homework that all related to our topic, volcanoes. We could write a volcano story, a poem, design a fantasy volcano or make a small volcano. There were some lovely volcano stories, poems and designs. Here are some of the wonderful volcano creations:
It was a privilege to assist with outdoor year 3 lessons in Terra Nova's Forest School! The children had been studying pyramids in History, and had a go of building some structures of their own out in the woodland.
Today we had a closer look at the materials and properties of car parts as part of our transport topic.
We imagined how useful each car part would be if it was made from wood and discussed our ideas in groups. The mirror was one of the items that we all agreed could not be made out of wood because it needs to be reflective. We recorded the material, properties and purpose of each item in a table.
From our class discussions, we became interested in the steering wheel, and the gap where the air bag goes. In the plenary we watched slow motion videos of air bags being deployed.