SCHOOL OPENS OWN BANK

Pupils save over £100 in new school bank!

 

Ws4g3Students at Walthamstow School for Girls have thrown open the doors of their very own bank.

11-14 year olds have been trained by MyBnk to get fellow pupils into good financial habits by offering accounts and loans of up to £40. Using real money, their MyBnk-in-a-Box scheme opens once a week at lunchtime and is also accessible online.

“I opened an account today with £2 and I think it’s important to save so you don’t have to worry about your parents spending all of their money on you! I would like to buy things for myself and be independent”. Amy 12, young saver.

Ws4g2Also opening accounts on launch day were the Mayor of Waltham Forest, Saima Mahmud and our patron, broadcaster and campaigner, June Sarpong. Scores of young people deposited over £100 in a single lunch break.

The young bankers now will also run incentivised saving and enterprise start-up drives for their fellow pupils. This is backed up with financial education workshops covering everything from tax and pensions to student finance, supported by Prudential.

“At WSFG we believe that our girls should understand how banks work and understand how to manage their personal finances. We try to build in transferable and lifelong skills that they will use in their everyday lives, as well as ensuring that they achieve the very best academic achievements they can”. Marianna Philippou, Maths teacher, Walthamstow School for Girls.

 

Ws4gSoon, Walthamstow will be joined by another London school bank, run by young people for young people. Savers bank on average £3.64 a week, 59% of their pocket money, an adult would bank £295 a week on an a £26,000 salary!

“The sooner young people are familiar with banking, the better they can develop sound financial habits like saving and navigate the system. We’re going all out for a generation that will have to make smarter financial decisions and create their own opportunities”. MyBnk CEO & Founder Lily Lapenna.

If you are interested in running the MyBnk-in-a-Box financial education programme in your school, get in touch via info@mybnk.org or 0207 377 8770!

financial education

Advertisements

EARLY ADOLESCENT KIDS

kids-circleAdolescence starts earlier in modern generations than previous ones lasting twice as long as it did in the 1950s. So children are hitting puberty earlier than ever before said Psychology professor Laurence Steinberg who explained why to BrainwavesAdolescence is a period of life between starting puberty and becoming stable, independent adults. This time is being extended because some children begin puberty earlier.Kids-Diverse-1

Adolescence is three times as long as it was in the 19th Century and it’s twice as long as in the 1950s.
Professor Laurence Steinberg

According to Professor Steinberg, in the western world adolescence runs from age 10 or to about age 25. Professor Steinberg attributed this phenomenon of lengthening of adolescence to several surprising factors as follows:youth-world-header-large

Obesity & Man-made Chemicals

The first and most important is obesity. The kids who are fatter go through puberty earlier than the leaner kids he said. Man-Made Chemicals. There are other factors as well. One has to do with the exposure of children to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the man-made environment. The chemicals are not just in food, they’re in cosmetics, they’re in plastics, they’re in pesticides they’re ubiquitous.” “When people are exposed to these endocrine disrupters it alters their hormonal development and many chemicals lead to earlier onset puberty mostly in girls.”hot

More SunLight exposure

The third factor that’s been discovered fairly recently has to do with exposure to sunlight.” It turns out that kids who grow up near the equator go through puberty earlier than kids who grow up near the north or south pole and that’s because, when you grow up near the equator, you have more exposure to sunlight over the course of childhood years.” While it may not be of too much concern to parents in northern Europe, recent research suggests a final factor which applies to many children here.

“Scientists discovered recently the light emanating from tablets or smartphones or computer screens can affect onset of puberty by disrupting brain’s melatonin system. Kids who spend more and more time in front of these screens especially in front of the blue light emitted by the devices probably contributed to earlier puberty as well. Light from the phones impacts brains of kids and adults.“World-Population-889x591.jpg

Adolescent Brainwaves

Brainwaves of the adolescent brain as Pennie Latin examines is relatively a young field of teenage neurology. It has revealed lack of frontal cortex ability to understand risk and consequences. And so although adolescent children may hit puberty earlier, they may not be able to handle the harsh realities of the trauma of war years, distress, rations, famine, lack of tough physical life forced upon previous generations. They worked in factories, chimney sweepers, railway as tracks as children making them more mature. They develop faster on growth spurt but face challenges of the modern generation.

EXPRESS MARRIAGE TRENDS

Sophy on her wedding day in traditional attireWith Valentine day approaching people are looking for love and romance for a form relationships. So couples celebrate established meaningful, love fulfilling a family bond. Others also ready to settle down prepare and advertise for love in new ways using social media, Facebook post and was married six days later. The marriage took place quite quickly than the normal traditional longer process of a family searching and taking years for the marriage to be finalised. CHIDIMMA AMEDU, did exactly that advertising for love and marriage on Facebook. He found a beautiful wife who said, ‘he is the most handsome man I’ve ever met and I liked him instantly.” Those who use Facebook come across pretty strange posts in their time. But this time however the random friends requests, being added to groups you did not ask to join, and tags allows “friends” to marry. Others clog up timeline with posts or photos you don’t necessarily want. But a Nigerian man took it to a whole new level posted unusual advert. Chidimma Amedu put up a post on 30 December, asking women interested in being his wife to reply, he told the BBC.Chidimma Amedu on his wedding day

The proposal

“Am of age to and I am ready to say I do and am wasting no time. “Send in your applications – the most qualified will be married on January 6, 2018. Application closes 12 midnight 31/12/2017 he posted. He followed up with subsequent posts. ‘Am serious about this oh and don’t say you did not see it on time Good luck.’ He received a couple of responses, but one from Sophy Ijeoma is someone special who caught his attention. She wrote in her reply “Am interested, just DM me… lols,” her post read. At first, she thought it was a joke and she simply replied to keep thread flowing. A direct message from him to her inbox, followed by a Facebook call, would change her life’s trajectory. Chidimma placed the advert initially as a joke but became optimistic when Sophy said she was interested. So two days after their first conversation, he travelled some 500km (300 miles) from his home in the northern city of Abuja, to Enugu in the east where she lived. She had been waiting for him outside a retail store and in true fairy-tale style, “it was love at first sight”, she recalled. “He is the most handsome man I’ve ever met and I liked him instantly.”The couple on their wedding day in Igbo attire

After 2 hours of awkward conversation, he asked her to go to meet an uncle who incidentally is also resident in Enugu. So he asked what was going through her mind at the time, she said she thought it was all a bit of a joke but was excited about it and thought Chidimma was also quite an interesting character. “We got to the uncle’s house and he said: ‘Uncle, meet the woman I want to marry.'” Like Chidimma his family don’t seem to hang about when it comes to getting things done because uncle gave his approval. The couple are friends on Facebook for over a year but never spoken to each other before the advert. Getting family backing for your choice of spouse is an essential part of Igbo culture. Whereas picking your future wife from dozens of respondents to a Facebook marriage advert and marrying her in six days is decidedly not. At this point in their day-old relationship, it was beginning to dawn on Sophy that this fellow was not playing, but how do you commit to marrying someone you only just me. She would not comment on whether they had even shared as much as a kiss at that point, but maintained she was captivated by how focused, determined her new fiancé was. “When I saw him for the first time, I definitely found him attractive, but what I didn’t know was how serious he was about marrying me. “It was after we met the uncle and his wife, I realised that this could actually happen and I wanted it.”A family member felicitate with the couple

The engagement

It was now her turn to worry about how she was going to get the approval of her family to marry a guy she had just met on Facebook. But they had momentum going for them. Having met and fallen in love at first sight, or first message, if you like, and getting Chidimma’s uncle’s approval, couple decided to complete the cycle by visiting Sophy’s family the same day. Approval from the family is essential in Igbo tradition and Sophy recounted how she relayed information to her mother. Her dad passed away, and her mum said she did not have a final word in terms of giving approval for her to be married, so up to Sophy’s elder brother to give his blessings. It appears the odds firmly in their favour as Sophy’s brother gave his blessings too. So after a few questions from her brother it became official. Chidimma and Sophy were engaged to be married in six days.The happy couple cutting their cake

On the rebound?

Last year Chidimma was engaged to another woman and the wedding was scheduled for December, but then that relationship fell apart in March leaving him dejected. As December approached, the disappointment of not being able to fulfil his dream of getting married made him put up the post, he said. In wedding it was a blend of old and new “I had the desire to get married, had date in mind, but no bride, decided to place an advert as a joke, but I was open and up for it.”  Asked whether she knew about earlier engagement and her thoughts on how this seemingly rushed marriage might be seen as a rebound, Sophy dismissed any suggestions that her relationship was not well thought through. “I don’t care about that when you see what you want, you go for it.” They are friends on Facebook for more than a year, but had never met or spoken to each other until the advert. Am interested just DM me… lols” was all it took for the union to be formed. Sophy admitted her friends were sceptical about the whole thing, while some are still in disbelief, but as she said: “When you see the one, you will know he is the one.” And they got married on 6 January in a traditional Igbo ceremony, and posted photos of wedding day on Facebook of course to the amusement of the social media community. Chidimma put up a post saying people may have thought he had been joking but clearly wasn’t. And as expected there was mixed reactions, but mainly a lot of support for the couple. They hope to have a church wedding in April and honeymoon somewhere nice.

COCONUT OIL SUPER FOOD?

CoconutsCoconut oil classified is considered a superfood according toCoconut oil is high in saturated fatSales of coconut oil are rocketing, propelled by celebrity endorsements and claims that drinking the stuff will cure everything from halitosis to digestive disorders. Actress Angelina Jolie-Pitt is said to have a tablespoon or so with breakfast most mornings, while model Miranda Kerr says she not only adds it to salads and smoothies, but she cooks with it and splashes it on her skin as well. The health claims that swirl around coconut oil are treated with a great deal of scepticism by scientists. Coconut oil is seen, in the scientific community, as an unhealthy fat. It is very high in saturated fat (86%), even more so than butter (51%) or lard (39%). The reason that foods rich in saturated fats are frowned on is because eating them causes a rise in blood levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein). LDL is known as “bad cholesterol” because high levels are linked with increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, saturated fats – which are particularly bad for you – also tend to raise HDL, “good” cholesterol, which has the opposite effect. It is possible that a particular food can raise overall cholesterol levels, yet still be heart-friendly.

Cholesterol check

So is coconut oil a cholesterol-busting wonder food, as some claim, or is this all dangerous hype? Despite all the sound and fury that surrounds coconut oil there have been surprisingly few human studies carried out to test specific health claims. So for the current BBC2 series of Trust Me I’m a Doctor, we thought we should help organise a trial. The Trust Me team started by contacting Prof Kay-Tee Khaw and Prof Nita Forouhi, both eminent Cambridge academics. With their help we recruited 94 volunteers, aged 50-75 and with no history of diabetes or heart disease, and designed a study to assess what effect eating different types of fat would have on their cholesterol levels. We began by randomly allocating our volunteers to one of three groups. Every day for four weeks, the first was asked to eat 50g of extra virgin coconut oil – that’s about three tablespoons full.

Type of oil or fat Polyunsaturated (%) Monounsaturated (%) Saturated (%)
Coconut oil 2 6 86
Butter 3 21 51
Lard 11 45 39
Goose fat 11 56 27
Olive oil 10 76 14
Rapeseed oil 28 63 7
Sesame oil 41 40 14
Corn oil 54 27 12
Sunflower oil 65 20 10

The second group was asked to consume the same amount of extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, which is widely seen as being extremely healthy. And the third was asked to eat 50g of unsalted butter a day. Again, that adds up to just over three tablespoons. The volunteers were told that they could consume these fats in whatever way they pleased, as long as they did so every day for the whole four weeks. On the other hand others think that Coconut oil ‘as unhealthy as beef fat and butter’ so the Diet debate: Is butter back and is sat fat good? They were also warned that, because they were consuming an extra 450 calories a day, they might well put on some weight. Before our volunteers started on their new high-fat regime we took blood samples to get baseline measurements, focusing mainly on their levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and HDL (the “good” cholesterol) The importance of these two measures is that your heart attack risk is best calculated, not by looking at your total cholesterol score, but your total cholesterol divided by your HDL score. NHS Choices suggests that this figure should be below four. So what happened? As expected the butter eaters saw an average rise in their LDL levels of about 10%, which was almost matched by a 5% rise in their HDL levels Those consuming olive oil saw a small reduction, albeit a non-significant drop, in LDL cholesterol, and a 5% rise in HDL. So olive oil lived up to its heart-friendly reputation.Olive oil

Early Stages of Studies

But the big surprise was the coconut oil. Not only was there no rise in LDL levels, which was what we were expecting, but there was a particularly large rise in HDL, the “good” cholesterol, up by 15. On the face of it that would suggest that the people consuming the coconut oil had actually reduced their risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, which is seen as particularly healthy. I asked Prof Khaw, who was clearly surprised by these results, why she thought it had happened. “I have no real idea,” she candidly replied. “Perhaps it is because the main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid and lauric acid may have different biological impacts on blood lipids to other fatty acids. The evidence for that comes mainly from animals, so it was fascinating to see this effect in free-living humans.” So should we be hailing coconut oil as a health food? “I think decisions to eat particular oils depend on more than just the health effects” she said. “This is just one study and it would be irresponsible to suggest changing dietary advice based on one study, however well conducted.” This was a very short-term study and compared to olive oil, research on coconut oil is at an early stage. So the claims about coconut oil being a superfood are premature. But if, like me, you enjoy putting coconut in your curries, there seems no very good reason to stop.

The new series of Trust Me I’m a Doctorcontinues on BBC2 at 20:30 GMT on Wednesday 10 January and will be available on iPlayer afterwards.

DEPRESSED MUMS SINGING

Mum singing to babySinging speeds up’ recovery from post-natal depression. Singing helps mothers recover from post-natal or post partum depression more quickly study suggests. Researchers found women who took part in group singing sessions with their babies experienced much faster improvement in their symptoms than those who did not. The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at 134 mothers with post-natal depression. Early recovery is seen to be crucial to limit effects on mother and baby. Post-natal depression is estimated to affect one in eight new mothers. And previous studies have indicated singing can help improve the mental health of older people and those with dementia, but this is the first controlled study of its effect on post-natal depression. The women were placed into three groups:Mother and baby music group
  • one took part in group singing
  • another took part in in creative play sessions
  • a third group received their usual care, which could include family support, antidepressants or mindfulness

The singing workshops saw the mothers learning lullabies and songs from around the world with their babies and creating new songs together about motherhood. And those with moderate to severe symptoms of post-natal depression reported a much faster improvement than mothers in the usual care and play groups. All the groups improved over the 10 weeks, but in the first six weeks, singing group already reported an average 35% decrease in depressive symptoms. The Principal investigator Dr Rosie Perkins said the study, although small, was significant because it was important to tackle the symptoms as quickly as possible. “Post-natal depression is debilitating for the mothers and their families. As research indicates some women think accessible singing with their baby helps speed up recovery at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives,” she said. The lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt at University College London, said singing is another useful therapy to offer women. babies with musical instrumentsMany mothers have concerns about taking depression medication whilst breast-feeding and uptake of psychological therapies with new mothers is relatively low,” she said. “These results are really exciting as suggests something as simple as referring mothers to this community activities could support their recovery.” Dr Trudi Seneviratne, who chairs the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Perinatal Faculty, said: “It’s exciting to hear about the growing evidence base for novel psychosocial interventions like singing to facilitate a more rapid recovery for women with post-natal depression. “I look forward to more work in this area in the future, as it will be enjoyed by both mothers and their babies.”Since the study, Breathe Arts Health Research has started running singing workshops in partnership with the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for women with post-natal depression across the south London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. Community and socialising helps overcome isolation and loneliness of new mothers. The feel good factor of singing with the babies is definitely a win- win situation lifting the mood and going out of the home helps to lift their spirit too. Isolated mothers can organise own singing sessions with friends in communities and their babies benefit too from a calm, happy, relaxed mother. If child raising is recognised or considered as a valid hardwork and to celebrate mothers and carers the world will become a better and safer place. So families must be prioritised and to help mother’s like Finland pays both parents to raise their children. Depression is caused by loneliness, pressure, stress of modern living without extended family support and children become depressed too. So it is good news to help mother’s and also to improve motherhood as an honourable collaboration with God’s idea to multiply to replenish the earth.

ENGAGED/MARRIED ONE DAY

Nicole and Danny Rios hold hands and smile as they get married

Nicole and Danny married in their back-garden by the groom’s father in Smithtown, New York. The couple got engaged and married on the same day. Nicole Rios, née Carfagna married Danny Rios less than two hours after he proposed to her surrounded by friends and family. Nicole suffers from lupus, a long-term condition with no cure, which is aggravated by stress – so to save Nicole the anxiety of planning a wedding, Danny put it together for her. The symptoms range in severity and can affect different parts of the body. In 2015, singer Selena Gomez  suffered same condition and was treated by chemotherapy. The pair had gone on a trip to Walt Disney World for Nicole’s birthday, and were returning home when Nicole noticed a string of lights in their driveway. “Danny leads Nicole by the hand, he is smiling, while she is open-mouthed in shockI thought Danny’s mum and step-dad had decorated our house for Christmas,” Nicole said. “But Danny took me by the hand and I saw a big tent in our backyard, with our family lined up outside it. “Behind me I hear Danny saying ‘you know how much I love you, right?’ that’s when I realised I was about to get engaged.”When we walked into the tent I saw more family and friends were there. He brought me into the middle of the tent and proposed, I was so happy, I couldn’t believe it.”According to Nicole, Danny’s favourite moment of the day was her facial expression as they approached the tent and she has framed this photo and placed it on his nightstand. The proposal was only the first major life event for Nicole planned by her husband-to-be for that evening. “I said hi to everyone and Danny asked me to come inside the house and talk to him,” she said. “I assumed he just wanted to process what happened. “In the bedroom he told me he loved me and he said, ‘If you want, I have everything set up to get married.’ Danny, on one knee, proposes to Nicole in front of their friendsThere was a dress and tux hanging there in the bedroom. His dad had gotten ordained that morning. There was no pressure because our friends and family thought it was just an engagement party, he told me to think about it. “But I didn’t need to think about it. Suddenly all my jitters and anxiousness went away because I knew I wanted to marry him. I just said yes.”Not even their friends and family knew about the wedding as Danny had told them it was an engagement party. Nicole says she would not have coped well with planning a wedding. “Stress is not good with lupus. I would have been sick the majority of the time, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. “It’s been a tough time with me being sick and Danny helping me with everything. “What if we’d planned the wedding then on the wedding day I’m sick? So this took all that stress away.”Nicole and Danny, in dress and tuxedo, kiss at their weddingDanny picked out the wedding dress with Nicole’s mother and bought it in two sizes, with the smaller size a perfect fit. Despite the short turnaround, Nicole said everything went ahead without a hitch – including a hasty arrangement of her ‘man of honour.’ “I had joked with my brother Mike in the past that I wished I could have a best man because he’s my best friend,” she said. “When I was getting ready, Mike came into the room and asked to be my man of honour. That was the best thing ever. “The wedding was perfect with us surrounded by our family and friends. I felt so loved. “It was a great surprise. There had to have been people watching over us for it to run as perfectly as it did.”

By Tom Gerken and George Pierpoint, UGC & Social News Team

BAN HOMEWORK PETITION

Schoolboy launched petition for homework to be banned so he has ‘more time to socialise. Lee Sibley has said enough is enough and is demanding that his school, local MP, the PM and the Labour Leader back his petition to change the rules as Sarah Ward’s report titled: SCHOOLBOY LAUNCHES PETITION FOR HOMEWORK TO BE BANNED. The 15-year-old boy wants Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May to back his campaign to have homework scrapped so he has ‘more time to socialise.’ Lee Sibley has so far amassed 160 signatures for his petition calling on the two biggest party leaders to put aside their differences and ban homework in UK secondary schools.

The GCSE pupil wants the political rivals to look past their differences, and help make sure he has a spare evening to play outside. Lee, who is studying GCSE in Politics, History, English, Maths, Geography, and Science and does three or four hours homework each night. Lee has asked the fierce political rivals to support his cheeky petition. Lee says that the four hours of homework means he has less time to spend with his mum and his friends (Image: Glos Live / SWNS.com) Overworked teen has asked Jeremy Corbyn to back his plan to end homework. The Severn Vale School, pupil says too much homework and he would rather be playing badminton or tennis, or out fishing. “Students go to school about 30 hours a week and spend more hours doing homework. “They should be able to relax their brains and have a break, not work all the time. “I can’t socialise with my friends and family because of all this homework. “I haven’t been able to play tennis or badminton as much recently, or go fishing.” During his half-term break in October, Lee was given ten pieces of homework to do which he says is too much.

Lee raised the issue with his local MP Richard Graham on a school trip to the Houses of Parliament, but was told he should discuss it with the school. The petition is addressed to his local MP, the PM, Labour leader Jeremy Corbin and Severn Vale School head teacher Richard Johnson. Lee also asked the Prime Minister to back his campaign for no more homework.School says the homework is much-needed revision for his GCSEs. Lee, who has learning difficulties, muscle problems and hypermobile joints, lives in Hardwicke in Gloucestershire. Lee’s mum Nicky, 43, said: “When I got home from school, I couldn’t wait to get out and play. “Now they have stress and too much homework. Lee suffers from anxiety. “He gets very anxious about it. He is committed and willing to learn but sometimes it is too much.” Are millennials expecting no pain without gain but want good success and a good life. It is true all work without play makes Jack a dull boy but all play without work is not a wise either. So a balance is required to do work hard, play reasonably, safely and sensibly.reading-homework

A spokesman for Severn Vale School said: “We have extremely high expectations of our students as learners and expect them to take personal responsibility for their learning as well as benefiting from the expertise of our highly skilled staff. “Extensive academic research – from the Sutton Trust amongst others evidences regular completion of homework increases levels of both attainment and achievement across all subject areas.”Much homework for GCSE students is revision which is an ongoing process given the demands of the new GCSE subjects. “A recent feedback session with a panel of students from across the school showed that this is extremely popular.b7c5ff7bc3d9f57fa35d16b84af33772--homework-motivation-homework-folders

“We have two rooms available after school for students to complete homework in and these sessions are well attended and are open for all students to use.” Modern education is commercialised with many companies setting and marking exams. So results are from different boards with extensive details justifying cost of exams and fees. Years later, many graduate with an excellent academic knowledge but under employed. While the few in jobs relevant jobs are over tasked with too much work similar to homework overload. There is a misconception that any studies too simple, easy and straightforward is cheap and low standard. Hence the long years set aside for education and associated homework.4-PowerCuts-Dont-Stop-Homework-In-Gaza-Palestine

So employed people similarly take home work that should be done by two or more employees even during weekends. There is need to recognise that human well-being is far more important than the stress, pressure, panic attacks and lacking practical social skills. A win win situation is ensure academic achievement enhanced and enjoy healthy social interaction and integration. Overwhelming children not academically able is torture and does more harm than good. One academic size does not fit all so assessing genius gifted children with same league table exam is unfair on the ones unable to do so.homework-ban-education-582641

Billions of dollars earned by competitive exams is income generating source so children study for exams they pass but never get the desired universities restricted to privileged few. It means the stress, pressure becomes futile waste of time because there are too many candidates chasing few places. Some children are naturally more talented than others but a compulsory system of education demands all children sit the same exams. Or will not be able to meet the criteria for standards required to go to university to train into life’s calling. Talents, abilities still require training and the experiences necessary to quality in any chosen career and profession. And continues after employment for personal development to upgrade for promotion.