Monday, 21 March 2016

The Eagle Has Landed. Film Review: Eddie The Eagle

If like me you were a child of the 1970's and 80's and grew up in Great Britain, you would know who Eddie The Eagle was.  He was the odd looking man who was our sole representative at Ski Jumping in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

Now, almost 30 years on; Dexter Fletcher -
previously of Press Gang fame (another child of the 80's reference there.) and my secret crush, has made Eddie the Eagle's story into a film.

Luckily I was able to get two preview tickets from ShowFilmFirst so of course I took along the 10 year old.  He was oblivious to Eddie The Eagle and his fight for flight in 1988.

Obviously the film has used some poetic license and it is "based" on a true story.  Hugh Jackman's character is fictitious - but who cares? He's lovely.  Taron Egerton played the part of Michael "Eddie" Edwards brilliantly and it was a far cry from his character in The Kingsman.

I spent a large proportion of watching time egging Eddie on, wanting him to compete and win. This film is real inspirational feel-good family movie. It doesn't matter if your children have never heard of Eddie the Eagle. It's about determination to make your dreams come true.  A reminder that it's the taking part, the Olympics are for amateurs (not that you'd know it now) and self belief can get you anywhere.

The 10 year old and I give it 5 stars and recommend you go and see it.

Eddie The Eagle is on at cinemas from April 1st.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Bloody SATS!

Those of you who have had or currently have a child in year 6 at school have either thought or are thinking this at the moment.

Bloody SATS!

There, I've said it and I feel better. Just a little.

Actually it's not the actual SATS I have an issue with. I understand the Government need a way to mean test the schools and see how they perform with actually educating our children.  What I have a massive problem with is the schools cramming so many practice tests on our children from January to May that they become utterly demoralised, un-interested and can't wait to leave the place and head off to their next adventure of bigger school.

I have a 10 year old in year 6 currently. He is tested on maths and literacy every day. It's too much. Sadly, it means the actual SATS are worthless, It's a result not based on what your child has achieved to learn over the past few years but what they can remember that has been crammed into their minds in the past four - five months.  It's too little, too late and ultimately not a true representation of the schools education system.

This year we have been told they are harder than ever. Some of the literacy they are expected to know is of GCSE standard.  I can construct a sentence but I'm buggered if I know what a modal verb or a subjunctive clause is.  Do you?

This year they are tested more aggressively on spelling, punctuation and grammar.  Oh and handwriting.  Now you may have seen my previous post about handwriting The Writing Rant  and the fact schools are told to teach children cursive writing when it's about as much use as a chocolate tea-pot.  As long as it's neat and readable and they know when to use lower or upper case.  When they get to Secondary school, they can write how they want.

I also disagree with the schools boosting. They take the high achievers and boost them to get their marks up. They take the low achievers to try and scrape them through.. then the plodders are left bobbling along.

Today is the day many of us find out what secondary school our child is going to.  As far as I can tell, most secondary schools don't even use the SATS to group the children when they start, preferring to place the children themselves.

Maybe it's time the government changed this outdated system and actually used teacher reports to grade the schools for their league tables?

What are your thoughts on the SATS?