Science, Nature and Tech

Facebook For Kids – Good or Bad?

Do you use Facebook? While it is officially banned for under 13 years, a survey last year showed that almost half of Britain’s pre-teens have a Facebook account. Joanna Bradey tells us what she likes about Facebook.


Facebook: What’s it all about?


Facebook is a website created in 2004 by a US college student Mark Zuckerberg. It started off as a way of college students to network with each other, which quickly spread throughout the world, and now has millions of members. Facebook works by people registering and creating a profile for themselves, and then becoming ‘friends’ with other people. A user can update their status to let their friends know what they’re up to, upload photos to share, send private messages to each other, and play games.  You need to be at least 13 years old to be a member, and Facebook is banned in some countries altogether, like Syria and Iran.

The thing that I like about Facebook is that it is a quick and easy way to keep in touch with all those people I have met in real-life but don’t have time to write to or call them, like old workmates or family that have moved away. I can upload a photo and anyone I am friends with can see it, and comment on it. In the days before Facebook, if I wanted to share a photo with everyone, I would have to print out lots of copies and send them in the post, which is very expensive and time-consuming. Since I joined Facebook, I am better at communicating with people and I enjoy seeing what all my friends and family are doing. I think that I know them better and it’s easy to keep-in-touch.


School & Career

Tips For Exam Success

How to tackle exam stress and emerge still smiling…

Whether it’s SATs, school entrance exams or simply a test of your knowledge at the end of a topic – exams can be scary. They don’t have to be. English teacher and tutor Allana has witnessed firsthand the effects of exam stress on very capable students – even those who KNOW the answers can get rattled on the big day. 



It is natural to be a little bit nervous when you have an exam. Being nervous is a sign that you care and want to do well. That’s no bad thing! The trick is, keeping those nerves in check so that they spur you on, rather than leaving you so anxious that you can’t perform at your best. Here are some tips that might help you in the run up to an exam.



Prepare, Prepare, Prepare




If you know that you have gone through all your revision notes and learned them thoroughly, you’ll feel a lot better about doing the exam. Sounds obvious doesn’t it! What if you’re not sure how to revise? Well that takes us nicely on to tip number two…



Be Creative In Revision




Staring blankly at your notes in the home that they’ll somehow transport themselves into your brain is no good for anyone. Try writing bullet points of the key ideas on to revision cards. Use different coloured highlighters to pick out different themes or ideas. Get a friend to test you (but don’t be tempted to just chat instead!). Some people find that drawing pictures or creating flow charts of information can be helpful.

Think of clever ways of learning spellings you know that you struggle with. I will never forget how to spell necessary again since I was taught that it spells out ‘Never Eat Cake Eat Salad Sandwiches And Remain Young.’ You’ll never forget it again now either! If you are learning for a spelling test – use fridge magnets to practice.



Take Regular Breaks



It’s not all work, work, work you know. You won’t take anything in if you’re tired, so every hour or so – take a five to ten minute break from revision. Go climb a tree in the garden, or run up and down the stairs. Eat something energy giving and nutritious, like a banana. Then get straight back to work…my orders.



Eat a Filling Breakfast



You need plenty of energy to sustain you. You don’t want to be distracted by those tummy rumbles. Take some fruit or light snacks for after the exam – if you are too nervous to eat much beforehand, you will be ravenous when you finish. 



Read the question carefully




Read the instructions on the front of the paper and listen to any instructions your teacher gives you. It’s not rocket science, but people often forget the simplest things when they’re nervous. That’s when you can make mistakes.You’d be surprised how many people don’t and then get half way through and realise that they’ve answered it incorrectly. Make sure you highlight or underline the key words.



Keep an Eye on Your Timing



You don’t want to spend too long on one question and find out you haven’t got enough time to finish the paper. Check out how many marks each question is worth and make sure you spend the most times on those questions which are worth the most marks.



Finally – Stay Calm and Good Luck! 



You can do it. As long as you prepare well, you have nothing to fear. The fact that you’re nervous will motivate you to revise thoroughly and try your hardest in the exam. If you’re finding it all a bit much – take a few big deep breaths and think happy thoughts. Don’t be afraid to chat to your parents, teachers and friends in the run up to the exam about how you’re feeling.



I studied English Literature and Language at Oxford University and I have been an English teacher and tutor for ten years. I have worked with many students facing exam pressures, both confident and nervous. I also work as a GCSE Examiner for the OCR Examination board. Currently, I’m in the process of setting up a tutoring centre for students in the North Manchester area.

Allana Davenport (Facebook Page


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