Saturday, 29 October 2011

Happy Halloween

Halloween is an annual holiday observed on October 31st, which commonly includes activities such as trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o-lanterns, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories and watching horror films.

A bit of History

Halloween is typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin. The name of the festival historically kept by the Gaels and Celts in the British isles is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end".

According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore: "Certainly Samhain was a time for festive gatherings, and medieval Irish texts and later Irish, Welsh and Scottish folklore use it as a setting for supernatural encounters, but there is no evidence that it was connected with the dead in pre-Christian times, or that pagan religious ceremonies were held".

The Irish myths which mention Samhain were written in the 10th and 11th centuries by Christian monks. This is around 200 years after the Catholic church inaugurated All Saints Day and at least 400 years after Ireland became Christian.

Around the world

Halloween isn't celebrated in all countries and regions of the world, and among those that do the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly. In Scotland and Ireland traditional Halloween customs include children dressing up in costume going "guising" and holding parties, while other practices in ireland include lighting bonfires and having firework displays.
Mass transatlantic immigrations in the 19th century popularized Halloween in North America, and celebration in the United States and Canada has had a significant impact on how the event is observed in other nations. This larger North American influence, particularly in iconic and commercial elements, has extended to places such as South America, Australia, New Zealand, continental Europe, Japan and other parts of East Asia.

How to order in a restaurant

These are two very interesting videos for those of you travelling to London in March. Have a look at them.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Linguistic immersion

The students of 2nd ESO leave for Mohernando (Guadalajara) tonight. They're going to share a week full of experiences and great activities with a school from Granada. The topics they'll work about are:
- our natural and cultural environment
- our global village
- renewable energies
- sustainable development
- reduce, reuse, recycle

Apart from this, they have prepared a power point, a song and a play about grey water recycling.

We hope the experience to be fulfilling for all of us. I'll let you know as soon as we come back.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

ICT activity - October

The first virtual trip of this year is to Alaska. It's the largest state in the U.S. by area. It's situated in the Northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the East, the Artic Ocean to the North and the Pacific Ocean to the West and South, with Russia further West across the Bering Strait.

Approximately half of Alaska's 710,231 residents (as per 2010 United States census) live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska is the least densely populated state of the U.S. .

Alaska has a longer coastline than all the other U.S. states combined. It's the only non-contigous U.S. state on continental North America. The capital city, Juneau, is situated on the mainland of the North American continent, but it's not connected by road to the rest of the North American highway system.

Alaska has no official languages. English is spoken by 89.7% of the population, Native North American by 5.2% and Spanish by 2.9%.

You can find further info on

Sunday, 9 October 2011

ICT activity - September

We begin the school year with an activity about the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games (XXX Olympiad).

London has hosted the Olympic Games on two past occasions: in 1908 (IV Olympiad) and 1948 (XIII Olympiad). The planned 2012 Olympics will make London the first city to have hosted the modern Games of three Olympiads. London is the only city in the United kingdom to have ever hosted the Olympics; the United States is the only country to have hosted Summer Olympics on more occasions than the UK. No city in the UK has hosted the Winter Olympic Games.

For further info visit the official webpage of the London 2012 Olympic Games: