School & Career

A World at School – Education for Everyone

We are lucky in the western world. We are entitled to a free education until the age of 18. You might not always feel like going to school, but you are able to learn about loads of different topics, which will help you find a job when you are older. Not only that, but school can be great fun too – we bet you have a favourite subject, that you love to learn about.

A lot of children across the world don’t have this opportunity. Sometimes it is because the children are too poor to be able to afford to go to school, and there is no way they can pay for uniform, travel and schoolbooks. Sometimes it is because the government doesn’t provide free education where they live. Sometimes it is simply because they are girls. You might have seen the story of the girls in Nigeria who have been kidnapped, because they wanted to go to school – we are all hoping very much that they are soon home with their families. Now more than ever, it is vital to ensure children can go to school safely.


Home, Health & Style, Sports

Move Over Girls, and Make Space for Ballet for Boys


When did people begin to dance?  No one knows for sure, but dancing has been around for as long as there have been people!

Dancing provides people with a wonderful tool to express their emotions and thoughts.  They can communicate to others what they are feeling and their state of mind.  Dancing connect people.  All around the world, there is dance.  Over many centuries, every country and culture has developed typical dances of its own.  They are part of peoples’ traditions.

Aside from these cultural dances, dance developed for performance.

People have always passed on their old dances from generation to generation and always enjoyed dancing them.  In addition there were also modifications, changes,  new steps and other dance moves.  More dances evolved.

We will, in this series of articles, look at the different styles of dance and find out how you can get involved.  We shall start with BALLET and ask the question ‘Is ballet for boys too?’


What is ballet?

Ballet Class


Ballet was created in the courts of Italian princes about 500 years old.  A royal dance school was later founded in France by Louis XIV in 1661. 

Many positive benefits are associated with learning the art of ballet.  Besides learning the traditional techniques of ballet, ballet lessons can also nurture a positive self image.  Ballet teaches skill, grace, poise, self-discipline and confidence.  If your dream is to become a dancer, you must practice a lot in order to master the many challenging poses and steps of ballet.  You will begin by learning the rules and traditional techniques of ballet.


Why should I learn Ballet?




Ballet lessons have three major benefits.  First of all, a dancer expands their vocabulary through learning the French names of the steps and hearing the musical terms.  Secondly, they develop their musicality and rhythm through coordinating their bodies to the music. A third benefit is that memorising new steps and dances improves the memory of young ballet students. 

So, Ballet makes you smart!


Dance offers a greater range of motion, coordination, endurance and strength than most other physical activities.  If you have an interest in any kind of future in dance, you’ll need ballet because that’s where you learn the basics.  But even if dance isn’t the ultimate goal, ballet lessons improve posture, flexibility, coordination, strength and grace.  They also provide an opportunity for you to be active regardless of the weather outdoors. 

So, Ballet makes you fit and strong!  This IS looking promising.


Ballet lessons can also be good for a kid’s development by improving their social skills.  It’s been suggested that ballet classes encourage kids to form new friendships. Dancers also get to interact with positive role models in their dance teachers.  In ballet class, you need to follow directions closely and discipline yourself to not run around the space of the dance studio!  Your confidence will grow as you develop new skills and perform in front of an audience.  My dancers love to perform for their friends and family.  After working hard all year, my students feel a sense of accomplishment while performing on stage in awesome costumes. 

So, Ballet can make you a more confident person!  What’s not to like?!


Is Ballet just for girls…?  No, definitely not!  More girls than boys do ballet, but the ballet that girls do is very different from ballet for men and boys.  Male ballet dancers have to be strong and athletic.  When scientists tested male ballet dancers against sportsmen, they found that the dancers were fitter and able to keep going for longer.  Lots of sports clubs invite Ballet teachers in sometimes to give the players a lesson!  It’s great for their balance, agility and core strength. 

So, Ballet is great for boys too! Sign me up.  



Naomi is an AISTD trained dance teacher, has been teaching since 1994. As well as a long career in dance schools, she has also been Head of Dance in a sixth form college. She runs a small, encouraging dance school offering classes for children and young adults in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Linedancing, as well as Dancing Hands which uses songs and signing to introduce Ballet to pre-school dancers. The school is based in Bassingbourn and Litlington, on the border of South Cambridgeshire and North Hertfordshire, UK.  Naomi has a particular love for working with children and young adults who have learning difficulties – dance is for everybody! Find out more on


Home, Health & Style, Written By You

The Cage of Society

What do you do when you see someone being bullied? And what happens when the bullies are your friends? These were the questions that were occupying the mind of 11 year old Kirsty. Here’s her story.

Not so long ago the only thing on my mind at school was to fit in with my friends and to feel like part of a group.We were a very close circle and I was positive that they were the most loyal, kind and caring friends I could wish for. However, there was one thing that concerned me, their behaviour towards a boy named Ryan.


Science, Nature and Tech, Written By You

What Is a Raspberry Pi… and How Does it Work?

You may have heard of a Raspberry Pi – a credit card sized computer that plugs into your keyboard and monitor – but exactly what IS a Raspberry Pi, how does it work and what can you do with it?
12 year old Elspeth takes a closer look at the mini-computer and explains how even young kids can use it to learn how computers work and how to code.


Language & Literature, Science, Nature and Tech

Where did the Word Butterfly Come From?

Millie explained recently what etymology means, and fitting to this week’s theme of Jump! Into Biology, we are are asking ‘where did the word butterfly come from?’.
Who hasn’t seen a butterfly flitting by and  enjoyed seeing the flutter of its wings? But have you ever considered why it came to be called “butterfly”? Perhaps you have wondered whether there used to be a large number of yellow, butter-coloured butterflies who gave their name to the whole species?

Well, there is a nice little story attached to the name of the butterfly. In the past, there was a general belief that butterflies ate milk and butter. This probably came about because of the way that flies hover over any food at all that’s left out, and butterflies may have been seen hovering over uncovered pails of milk and butter. Not only that, but this belief developed to encompass the idea that butterflies were either sent out by witches to steal butter, or were in fact, witches themselves, disguised as butterflies. Quite why the witches were out to steal the butter, we don’t know!