Tuesday, 16 December 2014

School Swimming

       Parents concern over the quality of school swimming

·    Despite an increase in the number of pupils leaving primary school able to swim the minimum 25 metres unaided (as recommended in the national curriculum) parents are unaware of the required standard and in many cases their own child’s ability, due to a lack of assessment information
·    A new report from the ASA shows that 40% of parents are not being informed of their child’s swimming ability, with the amount of time dedicated to school swimming neither known nor measured by school inspection and accountability body Ofsted
·    With 45% of children aged 7-11 years old (primary school aged) unable to swim a length unaided, and with one in 14 schools (over 1,300) offering no swimming provision at Key Stage 2, the ASA is calling for a continued spotlight on swimming in the curriculum in tandem with a far greater level of assessment
·    The ASA recommends that schools allocate at least 25 hours of study time a year per child to swimming, however the report shows that 55% of schools are not meeting these guidelines
·         Report has recently been presented to politicians and government officials at an All Party Reception in Whitehall; the national governing body for swimming in England awaits a response
·         Calls for every primary school in England to sign up to the ASA School Swimming Charter to pledge to prioritise the only sport that saves lives

As the new curriculum beds in to primary schools across England, questions are being asked of school inspection body Ofsted as it is revealed that the standard and regularity of swimming is overlooked in school assessments.

This lack of accountability is worrying for two fifths of parents who have not been informed of their child’s swimming ability, and is particularly concerning with 45% of 7-11 year olds (primary school aged) unable to swim 25 metres unaided.

That’s according to a new report released today by the ASA, which recommends that schools should be allocating at least 25 hours of study time a year per child for curriculum swimming.  
However, the report, which surveyed primary schools across England, shows that less than half of all schools offer that level of swimming instruction, while one in 14 schools (over 1,300) offer no swimming provision at Key Stage 2. This is despite a 40% increase in fatalities amongst all young people in the water in the last year.

If primary schools can commit to adopting the recommended approach, the ASA estimate that approximately 200,000 additional children would leave primary school being able to swim.
Which is why they have today launched the School Swimming Charter, offering primary schools support, training and guidance on swimming to further increase the impact of school swimming provision in England.

While much work still needs to be done, the ASA’s continuing push for more resources and focus on school swimming has led to positive progress in the last 12 months in the number of children now leaving school able to swim 25 metres unaided.

Whilst across the country, 2013 saw 51% of children aged 7-11 year olds being unable to swim 25 metres, this year that figure has fallen to 45%.

Additionally, the average number of lessons made available in a school year has increased from 16 last year to   18 this year.  The amount of time spent in the water is also on the increase.

ASA is keen for momentum to continue and is pushing for the issue to become part of political parties’ education agendas ahead of next year’s general election.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Have yourself a Poundland Christmas!

Have you put up your decorations yet?

Are you buying new this year?

We have no space for our large tree this year due to shifting round the sofas etc so we have opted for a smaller real tree for a change.  This meant that although the tree wasnt taking up as much space, we had more space for other decorations to brighten up the place.

I popped in to town and was amazed at the huge Poundland Christmas range  available in store!  Everything from decorations to presents, wreaths to wrapping paper and everything in between!

There are some fabulous tutorials over on the Poundland Youtube Channel if you fancy handmaking some of your decorations etc this year! 

When the boys were little we would always make them a special calender where they get to unwrap 24 little presents in the run up to Christmas.  This year was Evies turn now that shes a little older and can appreicate things a little more.  Like every other little girl out there she is Frozen obsessed too, Poundland have a fabulous range of Frozen goodies in store (you probably saw the news footage of hoards of shoppers fighting for stock! - thankfully ours was well stocked and still is!)

We also boughts some make your own decorations which involve putting together little boxes to create a little present bunting set - however these would be great if you are handmaking sweets or chocolates - you could present them to the recipient with their initials already glittlered onto the front of the box.....well, you could if their name starts with one of the letters in Merry Christmas! ;)  

Have you picked up any bargains this Christmas?



Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Oxo Herbs and More - Roast Garlic & Rosemary Flavour Pot! #oxoherbsandmore

 Everyone knows we love to cook, so when we were offered the chance to work with Oxo Herbs & More we jumped at it!  I have seen these in the supermarket but not purchased any yet so this would be our ideal chance to give them a go! 

We received our pack and love our Kitchen Magician and Kitchen Magicians Assistant Aprons! There was also a Kitchen Magicians Wand, instruction cards and packs of the different flavour Herbs & More pots!

 We decided to Conjure up a Carbonara!  Evie didnt want to help as she had been off school poorly so Scott to the rescue!  He put the apron on and away we went....

Since there are 8 of us we doubled the recipe and substituted the parmasan for cheddar.

For the original recipe you will need:

500g linguine
2tsp olive oil
4 egg yolks
1 Roast Garlic & Parsley Herbs & More
50g grated Parmasan
(little extra to sprinkle on top)

The cards are set out so that you 'Kitchen Magicians Assistant' can help the child 'Kitchen Magician' with the baking so that they are getting use to being in the kitchen.  These recipes are perfect to get children involved and the flavour pots mean that there is no dicing or grinding of herbs etc - bonus! 

The little pots certainly pack a punch - i seriously wish there was smelly vision as the aroma from these flavour pots was amazing!

Having got the pasta on to boil Scott set to work frying the bacon.....

....once cooked through we got to add the flavour pots...listen to that sizzle!! 

 After everything was combined we couldnt wait to dive in!  I can safely say this will be a regular to our menu as it was SO easy to do and would work out MUCH cheaper than buying jar sauces!  

There was so much flavour and the fact that the children can help out in the kitchen is simply genius! 

Children see it as helping and theyre learning life skills too -  we are all looking forward to trying everything from Cottage Pie with Rosemary & Thyme to Glazed Cod with Tarragon and Chive! 

Tomorrow however it is Cottage Pie with Rosemary & Thyme! 


 I'm working with BritMums and OXO on this project and have been compensated. All opinions and editorial oars my own.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara - review!

I was asked by a lovely friend (Lindsay Davis) to try the new Younique Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara and WOW am I impressed! 

Supplied, in what looks like an expensive black embossed glasses case, you receive 2 tubes which look like mascara - one is Transplaning Gel and the other Natural Fibers.  There is also a step by step instruction leaflet

First you coat your lashes with mascara like you normally would.  Allow them to dry and then apply the Transplanting Gel, followed by the Natural Fibers and finish with the Transplanting Gel again.  

(Please excuse the tiredness in the first photograph - can you tell how much i was smiling in the second one! lol  Long lashes make such a difference!)

One lot was all i applied so i can only imagine how much difference it would make if you went for a second round! 

I am a serious make up addict and can honestly say that out of all the lengthening mascaras out there that i have tried nothing comes close to the difference this makes! 

If you would like to purchase please follow this link -  https://www.youniqueproducts.com/LinzDavis/products/view/US-1017-00#.VGE6X_msU7r  (i dont get commission or fees etc im just passing on a way of buying these)  


(I was supplied with the Younique mascara to make this blog post - all views and opinions are my own) 

Friday, 7 November 2014

My girls!

I thought it was time to do a little update on how Amelia is doing!

Shes such a doll and at almost 6 months shes on solids with her milk and certainly has her own thoughts! She is such an independent little soul and is always smiling!

She loves to be cuddled and is starting to grab at my face to give me kisses! 

She is completely doted on by her big sister and brothers!  Talking of big sister - look how grown up Evie is getting!  I cant believe shes 4 (going on 14) and completely Frozen obsessed right now.  Shes still a real girly girl and has a huge hair bow obsession!  The bigger the better! lol

I am so looking forward to watching them both grow :)


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Thank you Thank you Thank you

*personal post alert*

I have started to re-read The Secret.  

Yes, that book that everyone went gaga over a few years back.  Well, i read it a couple of times then it was put away, out of sight out of mind blah blah......

 In the back of my mind ive always thanked the universe and ALWAYS been greatful for what i receive....but i havent had the right frame of mind for the past couple of years.  

Yes ive been lucky with some competition which makes me think things are good.  

False sense of security n all that...

Think again lady, just because youre winning stuff doesnt make you good with the Universe.  I need to get my mind back into the game and know that things will be ok, that things will work out alright and that things all happen for a reason.

This past year has been so much better than the last one and i can only hope of going into 2015 with a positive view and greatful heart!  

Ive made mistakes and Ive faced up to that, problems are being dealt with and overcome and I hope that next year can be a fresh start.

That I can look forward to building myself up and working towards what we need as a family instead of being stuck in the past.  

Heres to moving forward...

Heres to a positive attitude...

Heres to making things work for me!


Thank you Thank you Thank you 

Green Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri - review!

We were lucky enough to be chosen to do a review for another pan in the Green Earth range.  We were sent the 20cm frying pan which is a little godsend! 

This pan is the ideal size for single servings of omlette or if you just wish to fry a coupke of eggs.  No need for any oil and completely non stick! No catching, no mess - no problems at all.

Easily wipe clean and bright colour makes this an ideal must have for every kitchen!

  • Utilizes GREBLON ceramic - an ultra-safe ceramic coating from Germany which is 100% PTFE and PFOA free (no heavy metals or chemicals).
  • Innovative textured pan surface delivers unprecedented non-stick performance without releasing harmful fumes or toxins at high temperatures.
  • Features a scratch-resistant 100 percent ceramic coating that is super easy to clean.
  • Made out of durable heavy-gauge pure aluminum with no heavy metals or harmful chemicals.
  • Boasts a comfortable heat resistant silicon coated handle, and a magnetized induction stove safe base for rapid heat transfer.

Currently £19.99 instead of £39.99 on Amazon

We were sent a pan free to review. All opinions are my own.