All posts filed under: News

The Great Wall of Stillness!

The Reception Team at Stillness Infants School in Brockley had been researching ideas for the outside space and wanted to make something bright and colourful for the children. The area is an extension of the classroom and as such any images needed to complement the curriculum clearly defining each learning space. We decided to create individual panels that would provide backdrops for the topics covered throughout the year. A rainbow scene for ‘Once upon a Tale’ a unit that covers traditional fairy tales, a map of the World for our unit on travel ‘On the Move’ treasure maps and landscapes of London for role play etc, which was 48 meres in length. We had a limited budget to work with so wanted to be able to spend as much of the money we had on equipment, costumes and learning resources for the children.  Brock, father of Olive in Red class offered to help and organised with two other Dads, Neil and Lawrence to paint the scenes on the wall for us. Before the walls could …

Pets Corner: Working your dog’s nose

Last month we looked at the importance of play for pets. This time I want to focus on the dog and in particular his amazing sense of smell. It might be said that a dog ‘sees’ through its nose. Humans are primarily a sound and vision species, we rationalise our environment using eyes and ears. For instance, we recognise people by how they look and sound. Not so dogs, they recognise each other primarily via a signature scent and use smell to make sense of the world around them. Dogs have 300 million olfactory receptors to our 6 million. They have a specialist smell analysis organ in the roof of the mouth and use tail wags to broadcast personal scent information from their anal glands. This is why dogs that go blind or deaf can actually adjust quite well, because their premier sense is still intact. Our forefathers used dogs to hunt, track and forage – anything from truffles to an escaped convict was located in this way. Today we still employ the dog’s powerful …

Eight ways to go organic in the garden

It’s easy to panic and reach for a chemical spray at the first sight of greenfly or diseased plants. But there’s a more natural way. Here’s how: Encourage wildlife. Instead of using pesticides that will harm all insects good and bad – lure in the beneficial ones. Ladybirds and hoverfly larvae will eat aphids – they like chives, fennel and cosmos, or invest in a bug hotel. Ground beetles eat slugs. Birds will help keep down snails as will frogs. Try a birdbath, feeder or berries for birds and a little pond for frogs. Keep weeds down naturally. Weeds carry disease, and steal light, water and nutrients from your plants. A thick mulch of bark or well rotten manure will keep them at bay, as will pulling them out as young seedlings. Patrol to keep control. Aphids like the new tender growth of plants like clematis and rose buds, so keep an eye out for them – they can make leaves curl up. Squish them off by hand, or use a strong spritz of water. …

Crab & Lemon Linguine Recipe

Crab is absolutely at its best from May until November so now is the time to try this wonderful recipe. If you don’t have linguini it also works well with spaghetti or fettuccine. Instead of crab meat you can use peeled, cooked prawns. Crab & Lemon Linguine Serves 4 Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 10 minutes Ingredients ·       400g (13oz) linguini ·       400g (13oz) dressed white crab meat ·       1 long red chilli, finely sliced ·       1 clove garlic, crushed ·       Grated zest of 1 lemon ·       2 tbsp Filippo Berio Extra Virgin olive oil ·       2 tbsp torn chervil leaves ·       Juice of half a lemon   Instructions 1.     Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.  Add the pasta to the pan, stir well and boil rapidly for around 8-10 minutes, or until al dente. 2.     Meanwhile, combine the dressed crabmeat, chilli, crushed garlic and lemon zest in a bowl.  Stir the extra virgin olive oil into the mixture, and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Mix …

Why recovery is as important as training and how to balance the two

I recently ran the London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research. I’ve trained several clients for a marathon, and the same thing happens every time; panic sets in a few weeks before and I refocus them on the importance of prioritising recovery and rest. The importance of recovery Understanding the fine line between a healthy training volume and over-training is vital. Generally, we put too much emphasis on training, instead of balancing our efforts with rest and recovery. What are the signs of poor recovery? Tuning into your body is a powerful way of reconnecting with yourself. The human body is extremely adept at sending us signals, but we’ve become good at ignoring them. There are typically six areas where you might have issues: Sleep Mental health Body composition Energy Digestion Fitness Sympathetic versus parasympathetic dominance The body is a complex system of nerves and impulses. The autonomic nervous system is comprised of the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous systems. Sympathetic relates to the fight / flight reactions. When the sympathetic nervous system is dominant, …