Travel

What Do You Know About Africa?

What do you think of when you hear the word AFRICA?

Do you think of safaris? And villages?

 

You might think of drums and dancing. Or do you think of something else?

These are stereotypes of Africa, which means they are a conventional, over-simplified image or impression of the country.

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Travel

Exploring Australia: Specsavers, Sunshine and Sexism

When I found out I was coming to Australia for two weeks, I was so excited. Australia’s completely the other side of the world to my home in Birmingham. I fantasised about what it would be like: kangaroos hopping round, koalas on every corner, barbecues every night. It would be so different to what I’m used to.
But when I got here, the first thing that struck me was how similar everything was. Getting the bus from the airport, I noticed they drive on the same side of the road as us. When I got to the bus station, the first shop I saw was a WH Smiths. In fact, lots of the shops are the same: Specsavers, Zara, Laura Ashley, Vodafone, Starbucks, McDonald’s, KFC. The first night I was here, I was truly adventurous and had tea at Nandos (although it wasn’t as nice as the ones in the UK and they didn’t have my favourite Wild Garlic and Herb sauce) and then went back to the hotel and watched Homes Under the Hammer, Time Team and Coronation Street.

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Home, Health & Style

A History of Fandoms

A lot of adults are very critical of the fans of 1D or Zoella, thinking they are silly for getting so excited, and for screaming and shouting. But did you know that fandoms have existed for a very long time? They’ve not always been called fandoms; that is a fairly recent development, but they are nothing new.

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Science, Nature and Tech

Water and Engineering – Water, Wonderful Life

water and engineering

Dr Lesley Beeton is a scientist, who studies what the DNA code tells us about human life and health. She has always loved science, and believes that science doesn’t just happen in laboratories. It happens all around us. Science keeps aeroplanes flying, electricity flowing, and the internet speedy.
Dr Beeton  grew up in South Africa. Some of you may have traveled there for your holidays, to see the game reserves or Table Mountain. But even if you haven’t been there, we can all still learn something from the experiences of southern Africa.

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Art & History

How To Look At Art

how to look at art

Have you got a favourite painting? Mine is ‘A Portrait of the Countess Golovine’ painted by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, sometime around 1797. It is, unsurprisingly, a portrait of Countess Varvara Nikolaevna Golovine, a talented musician and artist from Russia. Elisabeth and the Countess became great friends and I love the way the Countess is smiling in the portrait, with a red shawl draped around her shoulders and her dark curly hair swept up in behind a scarf. The painting belongs to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham, which is one of my favourite galleries.
Elisabeth-Vigee-Lebrun-Portrait-of-Countess-Golovine-Oil-Painting
I love going to art galleries and looking at paintings, but at first I found it quite a daunting thing to do. Have you ever been to an art gallery and not known where to start? Or heard art critics talking about symbolism, composition and form but not understood? Sometimes looking at art can sound difficult, and talking about it can be a whole other language!
But looking at art doesn’t have to be complicated. Things like symbolism, where objects in paintings are used to represent something that’s happening, like a skull symbolising death, can be important and the composition, or the way things in the painting are arranged, can tell us a lot about the artist and why the painted what they did.

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