The Guardia Civil says that a Torrevieja car-dealership may have ripped off at least 200 buyers over the last three years by knocking off up to 246 thousand miles from second hand More »



An unidentified fireball was seen soaring across the sky last Sunday night from many areas of Spain, including the Costa Blanca. It was visible for several seconds and changed colour constantly, leaving More »

Ashya King


THERE are some moments when I wish I was the British Prime Minister. I´m sure many of you have had those same thoughts too, when you feel that your personal intervention could More »

Lacey Turner in 'Our Girl'


I’ve never understood the hysterical trailing and promotion of sure-fire popular TV shows that people are going to watch in their millions anyway! ITV is the worst offender with countless plugs for More »



Something’s Got To Give At The Top! Never mind the Badger cull, will the Swans of Swales become an endangered species come tomorrow afternoon at the Bridge? Can equal-top max points Swansea More »

Category Archives: Kids Corner


Although the bubble may not have completely burst, the recession is certainly having a huge impact on many of our lives and the bubble is definitely looking somewhat deflated. Unemployment has reached an all time high in Spain which is not good news for business owners or employees. Despite feeling the pinch, many of us still recognise the benefits of family life in Spain and don´t want to return to the UK with our tail between our legs. If this sounds like you, then it is time to get back to basics, batten down the hatches and cut your cloth accordingly.

If you are worried that your children will suffer as a result of reduced income, it is worth revisiting the important things in life. Provided you have a roof over your head and food on the table first and foremost, second that your children are receiving a good education and are growing and well loved, the rest is window dressing. The good thing about life in Spain is that “keeping up with the Joneses´” does not appear to be so important. People do not put you into a box according to the size of your house or the make of your car. Equally children don´t seem to hanker after clothes with a label or a logo at such an early age and a second hand Nintendo from Ebay is really no different to a new one if it has been well looked after by its first owner. The next few articles will all feature recession busting tips starting this week with children´s birthdays.

Birthdays are expensive for two reasons: the party and the presents. Most children nowadays expect both. This isn´t because they are spoilt but purely because, this is what they have always had. You do not need to spend a fortune on presents. For younger children, it is the number of parcels wrapped up that is important and not the monetary value so take a visit to your local Euro shop and buy lots of small items and wrap them all separately. Put small things in large boxes with lots of tissue paper to add to the excitement of opening them. Add one or two larger items and they will be perfectly content. For older children who understand the value of money a little more, if they want a really big item, then you could ask them to save up some of their own pocket money to contribute towards their desired present. If you have several children who want the same large present – a Nintendo Wii for example – perhaps it could be a joint Christmas present for sharing. An alternative for an older girl is to give money for their birthday and have a shopping party. Pick one or two friends and organise a shopping spree to the centre of their choice. Combine this with a DVD, popcorn and a sleepover and you have reduced your party costs considerably.

Turning our attention now to the all important birthday party, there are a huge range of exciting options for children of all ages which don´t have to break the bank. For little tots, you can´t beat the magic of a traditional party at home and with generally better weather here in Spain, the chances are you will be able to hold it out of doors thus cutting down on the clearing up. Toddlers love playing musical statues, chairs and bumps as well as the fun of pass the parcel. It is a good idea to ensure that everyone gets a turn at unwrapping the parcel and perhaps receives a small gift or lollypop. There is very little point in spending a fortune on food either. Little children are much more interested in the party games than the food so a few sandwiches, crisps, the trusty jelly and ice cream and the birthday cake will keep them happy. If you have a little more time on your hands, you can make a hedgehog using half a cabbage wrapped in foil and sticking cocktail sticks in it with sausages or cheese and pineapple. You can also make pin wheel sandwiches by rolling the sandwiches into thin circles or make a chequered flag using squares of alternating brown and white bread. Don´t forget to include plenty of drinks to compensate for all the running around.

Older children may well have outgrown the joys of pass the parcel but can still feel happy to have a party at home. If you have a strong constitution and can turn a blind eye to lots of mess and noise, a sleepover involving one or two close friends can be a fun way for children to spend their birthday. Ironically not much sleep is likely to take place so make sure sleepover parties take place on Friday or Saturday night so there is time to play catch up.

For a girly sleepover, you could organise an artistic friend to do their hair and make up for them or for boys a football tournament in the garden will burn off excess energy. For the birthday tea, provide them with some pizza bases so that they can decorate them themselves, add some garlic bread and oven chips and some corn to pop in the microwave and you have the perfect, easy solution.

If the idea of a party at home has you reaching for the valium, what about a barbecue or picnic at the local beach or park with your child´s class mates? Bring along a swingball, some racquets and shuttlecocks or rounders equipment and they will have a great time. Alternatively, arrange an “It´s a Knockout Tournament.” You will be surprised how little equipment you need to make an obstacle race. Add a few balloons to pass over and under your legs and an orange to pass under your chin and before you know it you will have a tournament on a grand scale.

Sometimes a lack of cash prompts us to come up with creative solutions and in years to come we look back on these occasions as being some of the happiest moments of our lives. Perhaps the fact that we have to substitute hard cash for lots of enthusiasm and imagination is the recipe for success regardless of our finances so here´s to a happy birthday!


On 27th August, the largest exam board in the UK, Edexcel officially releases the GCSE exam results to a large number of anxious children (not to mention their parents!!). If you have children in Spanish school you have probably left all of this behind you but nevertheless, you may have young adults in your household who do not know what to do in the future.

Not so very long ago if our expatriate teenagers wanted to stay on at school or college after the age of sixteen, unless they had fluent language skills then they had no alternative but to return to the UK. Some students, of course were entirely happy to complete their studies in Spanish whilst others couldn´t wait to get on the plane and return home. Nevertheless, for others who had settled in Spain, the prospect of going back was not a pleasant one and left them with the option of staying in Spain and foregoing their qualifications or moving away and losing touch with friends. It is a crying shame that some of these young adults now find themselves working in low paid, unskilled jobs over here much below their capabilities purely because they lack the qualifications that they need to progress in their chosen field.

Luckily this situation is rapidly changing and there are other options whereby young people have access to a whole host of qualifications without having to up sticks and move to a new town or country. It is never too late to turn your life around and learn new skills. Furthermore, thanks largely to a standardised qualifications grid, these skills are becoming internationally recognised.

Whilst Spanish qualifications might suit some pupils, others who would prefer to learn in their mother tongue or who wish to achieve a British qualification might want to look at alternative options. These qualifications are also a sound option for adults who wish to return to education whether this is to gain skills for work or purely for personal growth. Studying at a college of further education can improve your career options, enhance your social life and increase your self confidence and motivation.

There are two main routes open to you to achieve your desired qualifications: the first is the traditional method of GCSEs and A Levels. The second option is to gain skills through a more vocational route. Let´s explore the possibilities.


BTECs are vocational qualifications providing a more practical, real world approach to learning and skills development but still underpinned by traditional teaching. BTEC qualifications can open doors directly in a chosen career path or develop further with Higher Nationals or a university degree.

Unlike A levels and GCSEs, BTEC Firsts and Nationals are assessed through ongoing coursework and graded assignments and there are no exams to take at the end. Assignments have to be checked by an external verifier to ensure that stringent quality standards are implemented and that a BTEC grade achieved in one centre is on a par with the same grade in another centre.

BTEC Firsts are a level 2 qualification which means they are equivalent to GCSEs whilst BTEC Nationals come in at level 3 which is the same as A levels. They can be studied on a full time or part time basis depending on the needs of the students and college.

A Levels and GCSEs

Regarded as essential qualifications by most employers, GCSEs and A levels are the cornerstone of many jobs and professions. A levels are recognised as the gold standard of the British education system and our abilities, even later in life, are still measured against them. Generally, full time students will study between 7 and 10 GCSEs over a two year period. However, GCSEs can be achieved in a year with intensive study and dedication. A levels are a two year course and when studied full time students can usually sit between 3 and 5 taking an exam at AS level after the first year and followed by the final A2 level exams in the second year. GCSEs and A Levels always require you to sit examinations and some also have an element of coursework which is also graded. When studying GCSEs or A Levels in Spain, you need to make sure before you start the course that your chosen school or college is an accredited examination centre and what the requirements are of both the centre and the examination board. If the centre is not accredited, ask them what provisions they will make for you to sit your exams somewhere else as you don´t want to be flying back to the UK at the eleventh hour. Fortunately a select few centres have the appropriate facilities to meet the exam board criteria and you should therefore have no problems finding somewhere suitable where you can complete your course and sit your exams in comfort.

Even if you have been studying in the Spanish system for a number of years and have fluency in Spanish, you might still wish to extend your skills base by adding a number of core GCSE subjects such as English, Maths and Spanish. This will definitely keep your options open when making career choices in the future.

The good news is, whether you are a school leaver needing to achieve qualifications to kick start a career or a mature student looking to broaden your horizons, you don´t have to move back to the UK. There are various options available right here on your doorstep and with the recession squeezing the number of suitable job opportunities both in England and Spain, what better time to pick up an extra qualification or two so you are armed with a portfolio of skills to catapult you into the career of your choice once the economic climate improves.

San Miguel International College of Further Education offers a wide range of study options to secure the long term future of young adults and mature students including BTEC Firsts, BTEC Nationals, GCSEs and A Levels. Special core packages are available for students in Spanish schools. You can contact us on 965 720 785.



Pay Extra Attention to Kids and Pets

It always bears repeating that the temperature extremes inside parked vehicles during summer make cars and trucks dangerous, if not deadly places for youngsters and pets.

You should never, ever leave a child in your vehicle, even with the windows down. When the outside temperature is 28 degrees Celsius, and your window is down 5 centimetres, the temperature inside your car can reach 43 degrees Celsius in just 15 minutes.

Parents sometimes have trouble getting little ones into hot car seats. A couple in Las Vegas invented its own “cool” solution. Using frozen gel packets, their Kool Seat attaches onto a child seat when the child isn’t sitting there. The frozen gel packs help counter the rising heat and keep the seat and metal buckles cool to the touch, says Brian Kale, whose wife invented the patent-pending Kool Seat.

Obviously, the same extreme temperature conditions inside vehicles can also injure or even kill animals.

The RSPCA urges you to never leave your pet unattended inside a vehicle. And whenever you travel with your pet, have drinking water and, preferably, ice cubes with you so your dog or cat does not get dehydrated. The society says ice cubes are “easier on your pet than large amounts of water.”

And you should never have your dog ride in the back of a pickup truck either it is illegal in Spain.


Heat-Beating Choices for Your Next Car

Consider buying a light-colour car with a light interior if you don’t have one. Light colours don’t absorb heat as much as black and other dark colours do. The National Safe Kids Campaign estimated that a car with a white interior can heat up inside to 57 degrees Celsius on a 26-degree day, while the temperature inside a car with a black interior could go as high as 89 degrees, yes Celsius.

If the heat really becomes an issue and your new-car budget isn’t constrained, you can look into some new models that offer built-in sunshades for the rear window and, in some cases, the rear doors.

Audi’s A8 and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, for example, have power sunshades on the rear window. The shades go up and down with the touch of a button on the dashboard. There also are attached sunshades on the rear doors of the A8 and S-Class. They’re made of a fine netting material. Back-seat riders can raise and lower these shades manually.

And for driver-seat comfort in hot weather, consider ventilated driver and front-passenger seats, pioneered by Saab. They cool the driver and the privileged front passenger’s posteriors via vents and a fan built into the leather seat cushion. It’s similar to the kind of driver seat system used in some commercial trucks.



Silly Riddles


Q: “What has one head, one foot and four legs? “
A: A Bed

Q: Did you hear the joke about the roof?
A: “Never mind, it’s over your head! “

Q: How many letters are in The Alphabet?
A: There are 11 letters in ‘The Alphabet’

Q: How can you spell cold with two letters?
A: IC (icy)

Q: What state is surrounded by the most water?
A: Hawaii (this is really just a trick riddle)

Q: “David’s father had three sons: Snap, Crackle, and ?”
A: David!

Q: “If you were in a race and passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in?”
A: 2nd place!

Q: What is the center of gravity?
A: The letter ‘V’!

Q: What English word has three consecutive double letters?
A: Bookkeeper

Q: “What has a head, a tail, is brown, and has no legs?”
A: A penny!

Q: The turtle took two chocolates to Texas to teach Thomas to tie his boots. How many T’s in that?
A: There are 2 T’s in THAT!

Q: “What goes up, but never comes down?”
A: Your age!

Q: What gets bigger and bigger as you take more away from it?
A: A hole!

Q: How many months have 28 days?
A: All of them!

Q: Can you spell rotted with two letters?
A: DK (decay)

Q: How many books can you put into an empty backpack?
A: One! After that it’s not empty.

Q: “Which weighs more, a ton of feathers or a ton of bricks? “
A: “Neither, they both weigh a ton! “

Q: Does your shirt have holes in it?
A: “No, then how did you put it on?”

Q: What starts with a P and ends with an E and has a million letters in it?
A: Post Office!

Q: When does a cart come before a horse?
A: In the dictionary!

Q: What is full of holes but can still hold water?
A: A sponge!

Q: “What has two hands, a round face, always runs, but stays in place?”
A: A clock!

Q: Where does success come before work?
A: In the dictionary!

Q: What breaks when you say it?
A: Silence!

Q: How many peas are there in a pint?
A: There is one ‘P’ in a ‘pint’.



A Balanced Food Plate

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is serving Americans a new plate. To help consumers better balance their meals, the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama announced on Thursday that the government is throwing out its familiar but complicated food pyramid. The pyramid had been used to represent nutritional guidelines. It will be replaced by a symbol that the USDA hopes is easier to understand: a food plate.

“When it comes to eating, what’s more useful than a plate?” Mrs. Obama said Thursday during a news conference unveiling the new icon, called ‘My Plate.’ The USDA, which provides nutritional guidelines to consumers, first introduced the food pyramid icon in 1992. The USDA revised the symbol in 2005 to reduce the significance of grains and include exercise. Many nutrition experts had criticized the pyramid-shaped guide. It was too complicated for people to easily understand when making food choices, they said. So the USDA partnered with Michelle Obama and her “Let’s Move” campaign to better show consumers how to build a healthy meal. The Let’s Move initiative aims to “put children on the path to a healthy future.”

“This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating,” the First Lady said at the conference. She emphasized the importance of having a kid-friendly nutrition symbol. “Children can learn to use this tool now and use it for the rest of their lives,” she said.

The plate icon is a colorful circle graph divided into four sections representing fruits, vegetables, protein and grains, plus an additional small circle on the side for dairy. It illustrates that half your meals should be fruits and vegetables, a little more than a quarter should be whole grains and a bit less than a quarter should be protein, plus a small amount of dairy.

The symbol also serves as a reminder to control portion sizes and to consider various options for each category. Nutritionist Toni Bloom is the co-founder of Funfoodle, which provides hands-on food and nutrition education to kids and their parents. Bloom told TFK that the icon’s simple message, such as a clear emphasis on fruits and vegetables, makes it practical and effective for families. “I like how ‘clean’ the plate is,” she said. “There are no foods pictured on it, just words that represent a food group. This subtly suggests that any food can fit as long as it is portioned correctly and is a food that can clearly fit into a food group.”

On the MyPlate website, the USDA provides a tool to determine more specific serving sizes based on your age and health. Other dietary guidelines from the USDA’s include eating whole grains for at least half your grain servings, choosing low- or fat-free milk and water over sugary drinks; and selecting soups, bread and frozen meals with lower sodium, or salt, levels.


The Secret Language of Dolphins

Scientists are studying wild and captive dolphins to decipher their secret language.

Here’s a conversation worth talking about: A mother dolphin chats with her baby…over the telephone! The special call was made in an aquarium in Hawaii, where the mother and her two-year-old calf swam in separate tanks connected by a special underwater audio link. The two dolphins began squawking and chirping to each other.

“It seemed clear that they knew who they were talking to,” says Don White, whose Project Delphis ran the experiment. “Information was passing back and forth pretty quickly.” But what were they saying? That’s what scientists are trying to find out by studying wild and captive dolphins all over the world to decipher their secret language. They haven’t completely cracked the code yet, but they’re listening…and learning.

In many ways, you are just like the more than 30 species of dolphins that swim in the world’s oceans and rivers. Dolphins are mammals, like you are, and must swim to the surface to breathe air. Just as you might, they team up in pods, or groups, to accomplish tasks. And they’re smart.

They also talk to each other. Starting from birth, dolphins squawk, whistle, click, and squeak. “Sometimes one dolphin will vocalize and then another will seem to answer,” says Sara Waller, who studies bottlenose dolphins off the California coast. “And sometimes members of a pod vocalize in different patterns at the same time, much like many people chattering at a party.” And just as you gesture and change facial expressions as you talk, dolphins communicate nonverbally through body postures, jaw claps, bubble blowing, and fin caresses.

Scientists think dolphins “talk” about everything from basic facts like their age to their emotional state. “I speculate that they say things like ‘there are some good fish over here,’ or ‘watch out for that shark because he’s hunting,’” says Denise Herzing, who studies dolphins in the Bahamas.

When the going gets tough, for instance, some dolphins call for backup. After being bullied by a duo of bottlenose dolphins, one spotted dolphin returned to the scene the next day with a few pals to chase and harass one of the bully bottlenose dolphins. “It’s as if the spotted dolphin communicated to his buddies that he needed their help, then led them in search of this guy,” says Herzing, who watched the scuffle.

Kathleen Dudzinski, director of the Dolphin Communication Project, has listened to dolphins for more than 17 years, using high-tech gear to record and analyze every nuance of their language. But she says she’s far from speaking “dolphin” yet. Part of the reason is the elusiveness of the animals. Dolphins are fast swimmers who can stay underwater for up to ten minutes between breaths. “It’s like studying an iceberg because they spend most of their lives underwater,” Dudzinski says.

Deciphering “dolphin speak” is also tricky because their language is so dependent on what they’re doing, whether they’re playing, fighting, or going after tasty fish. It’s no different for humans. Think about when you raise a hand to say hello. Under other circumstances, the same gesture can mean good-bye, stop, or that something costs five bucks. It’s the same for dolphins. During fights, for example, dolphins clap their jaws to say “back off!” But they jaw clap while playing, too, as if to show who’s king of the underwater playground.

“I have not found one particular dolphin behavior that means the same thing every time you see it,” says Dudzinski. “If you like mysteries and detective work, then this is the job for you.” And who knows—maybe someday you’ll get a phone call from a dolphin.



Kiddies Corner

A 16-year-old has become the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest.

16-year-old George climbed the infamous mountain with thirteen other climbers and completed the gruelling and dangerous trek in six weeks. In the past, over 200 people have died trying to climb the mountain in the Himalayas. This is not the first time George has embarked on such an expedition. The keen climber also climbed Kilimanjaro when he was 11 years old.

A survey has revealed that 73% of kids want to learn life-saving skills.

A special Report revealed an increasing number of school children want to learn life-saving skills and now a survey has revealed that 73% of kids are on board with the idea. As a result, The British Heart Foundation has asked the government to include life-saving skills on the national curriculum.

7 Lost Egyptian pyramids, ancient settlements and tombs have been spotted from space.

Archaeologist Dr Sarah Parcak made pioneering discoveries using satellites more than 400 miles from space with powerful infra-red cameras. The images from the satellites not only show pyramids, but underground buildings, tombs and over 3,000 ancient settlements. The authorities in Saqqra, Egypt were not interested in Dr Parcaks findings, however, after initial test excavations they now believe this to be one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt.

Should Children under 13 be able to use Facebook ?

At present, children under the age of 13 are unable to use Facebook, by American law. Many believe disallowing younger users from using the site helps prevent online bullying. However, the social network’s founder, Mark Suckerberg, has said that he believes children under the age of 13 should be allowed to use the site, as it can be used for educational purposes.


Silly jokes


What do you get if you cross a skunk and a pair of tennis rackets ?

Ping pong !

What do you get if you cross a pudding and a cow pat ?

A smelly jelly !

What do you get if you cross a pig and a box of itching powder ?

Pork scratching !

What do you get if you cross a bear with a freezer ?

A teddy brrrrr !

What do you get if you cross a computer with a vampire ?

Something new fangled !

What do you get if you cross a tin opener, a vampire and a cricket team ?

An opening bat !

What do you get if you cross a cow with a grass cutter ?

A lawn mooer !

What do you get if you cross a ice cream with a dog ?

Frost-bite !

What do you get if you cross a helicopter with a cornish pasty ?

Something pie in the sky !

What do you get if you cross a pair of dogs with a hairdresser ?

A shampoodle and setter !

What do you get if you cross a shoulder bag with a Mallard ?

A ducksack !

What do you get if you cross a dinosaur with a dog ?

Tyrannnosaurus Rex!

What do you get if you cross a football team with a bunch of crazy jokers ?

Mad jester United !

What do you get if you cross a Viking and a detective ?

Inspector Norsel !

What do you get if you cross a large computer and a beefburger ?

A big mac !

What do you get if you cross an overheating large computer with a beerburger ?

A big mac and fries !

What do you get if you cross a hat factory and a field of cows ?

A pat on the head !

What do you get if you cross a mouse and a bottle of olive oil ?

A squeak that oils itself !

What do you get if you cross a jogger with an apple pie ?

Puff pastry !

What do you get if you cross a detective with a cat ?

A peeping Tom !




After a rocky start the infantil football club of San Pedro del Pinatar won the Murcian league.

They worked their way up the table, reaching second place, where they stayed for weeks, until they managed to beat the leaders, in a breath taking match, two weeks before the end of the season. They managed to hold on to the lead over the last two matches and celebrated in style when they won the final match 6-0.

Unfortunately the regional Murcian government has no money for a cup for the winners, so after the players’ hard work and dedication they won’t be rewarded with some form of momento.




Sponsored by the House Maids


Benjamins: Sponsored by Kulsveen s.l.

Junior Strikers 2 Jacarilla 4

The Benjamin Blues had to accept second place in this great final. Jacarilla started the brighter of the two teams creating some good chances, after countless attacks Jacarilla finally took the lead.

Junior Strikers replied minutes later through Jordan Turner who met a cross from Jordan Harding with a thunderous shot into the top corner to level things up. Jacarilla managed to get their noses in front once again just before half time with a long range free kick. The Blues came out from the break with more determination and found themselves all square after some great work from Sheldon Green who delivered an inch perfect cross for Eddie Corbit to fire home at the back post. This was a great moment for Eddie Corbit who after three and a half years was playing his last competitive game for Junior Strikers before heading off back to the UK where a trail has been lined up for him at the Watford F.C youth academy. Within minutes of the restart Jacarilla fired themselves ahead with a well taken goal to leave Junior Strikers chasing the game. The Blues had to push for the equalizer; Captain Joshua Charles tried to take matters into his own hands and went on a fantastic individual powerful run from his own half which unfortunately ended with a strong tackle from a Jacarilla defender inside the penalty area. The ref allowed the play to continue even though Joshua was down and injured, Jacariila broke and took advantage of the Blues being a defender down to seal the game to become champions.


Alevins: Sponsored by Quesada Fish & Chips

Junior Strikers 3 San Miguel 6

The Blues Alevins turned their season around after a poor start to be competing in this Vega Baja Final. Junior Strikers were actually the better of the two teams for the first ten minutes but San Miguel managed to take the lead against the run of play to go 1-0 up. With their confidence dented the Blues let their heads go down and conceded a further three goals. San Miguel’s number 7 Alex was running the show and caused Junior Strikers all sorts of problems throughout this game. Max Gillespie was by far Junior Strikers best player on the day and it was Max that gave the Blues a glimmer of hope with a wonder strike to go in at half time 4-1 down. The half time break seemed to give Junior Strikers a new lease of life; Blues defender Kyle Nash was then given a more attacking role which paid of when he got himself on the score sheet with a well taken volley. San Miguel answered back with a goal of their own shortly after. Max Gillespie once again found the back of the net with a powerful free kick to set up a great final 10 minutes. Junior Strikers dominated the last period of this game by creating some good chances that were unfortunately for the Blues not taken.


Junior Strikers coach Added” I am so proud of all my players, they have all done fantastic to be competing in this final day of the season. Junior Strikers are now well and truly on the football map here in Spain after two great years in the Vega Baja league. I want to sincerely thank all the children, parents, sponsors and everyone else that has supported us. I would also like to say Good Luck to Eddie Corbit and his family who I will miss dearly. Eduardo has been an absolute pleasure to work with and Watford F.C will gain from Junior Strikers loss”.


Junior Strikers training sessions take place at the new sports centre in Playa Flamenca.

Monday and Wednesday 6pm-7pm

Mini Strikers group for age 3-5 years on Monday’s 6pm-7pm

For more info about Junior Strikers please visit our website



For those of you who want to book holidays, the region of Murcia has published the official dates for the 2011-2012 school year. It will restart on September 9th for primary schools, who will break up on June 22nd 2012, and September 15th for secondary schools, which will break up on June 29th 2012.

Music and dance conservatories and the official schools of languages will start classes on September 22nd.

Christmas holidays will be from December 23rd to January 6th, and Easter will be from April 2nd to 9th. Other official holidays will be October 12th, November 1st, December 6th and 8th, March 19th, May 1st and June 9th,

Both primary and secondary schools offer 175 school days a year.



The honeymoon came to a swift end and Prince William appears to have been busy saving lives ever since. The week after getting married he performed TWO rescues as part of his work in the RAF. As a helicopter pilot, Prince William helped a 70-year-old walker and four men in their 20s who were airlifted to safety in Snowdonia in Wales.

And more busy times are ahead for the newlyweds. Their first official overseas trip as a married couple kicks off in Canada on 30 June. After that they’ll go to California in America on 8 July. It will be the first time William has visited the United States in an official capacity and the first time Kate has been to the country. They have postponed their honeymoon for the time being and the destination is being kept secret.


Cat enters Guinness book of records for PURRING!

It’s purr-ficial! A pet cat has been told it has the LOUDEST purr ever recorded. Smokey’s purr is as loud as a lawn mower or a hairdryer! Imagine having that noise on your lap as you watch TV! Guinness World Records has confirmed that the noisy cat, from Northampton, is a record breaker. The 12-year-old’s purr reaches 67.7 decibels – which is about 16 times louder than a normal cat. Her owner says they are very happy with the news. But Smokey has a long way to go before being the loudest creature. That title belongs to the blue whale who can reach 188 decibels!

Why not write in to tell us about your pet’s talents?


Cheryl Cole has been confirmed as one of the judges in the US version of The X Factor.

Simon Cowell’s production company confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the Girls Aloud star will appear alongside him on the show. Exactly what this means for The X Factor in the UK isn’t yet clear, but Cheryl and Simon probably won’t have the same level of involvement. After the announcement Cheryl said: “I can’t wait to get started!”

Cheryl has been a judge for three years on the UK version. She’s a massive star over here but is not very well known in America. Simon said: “I’m thrilled for Cheryl. She is massively excited about this show, and has been fantastic to work with. “She is also a complete brat. Most importantly, this girl can spot talent.”



If the red house was made out of red bricks, and the blue house was made out of blue bricks, what was the green house made out of?



What runs but never walks?



What is white when it’s dirty and black when it’s clean?

A blackboard!


What has one eye but cannot see?

A needle!


What kind of coat you can put on which doesn’t have buttons, a zipper, or sleeves?

A coat of paint.


What do you throw out when you need it and take in when you don’t need it?

An anchor!


What belongs to you, other people use it a lot, but you hardly every use it?

Your name!



Try this: Hold your tongue and say “Bench”


What starts with a T, ends with a T, and is full of T?

A teapot!


What happens once in a minute, twice in a moment but never in two thousand years?

The letter M.


There are many castles in the world, but who is strong enough to move


Any chess player.


When is a door not a door?

When it’s ajar.


What’s a quick way to double your money?



Who sits on babies?

A babysitter.


What is the richest kind of air?



Why did the man sleep with a ruler?

To see how long he could sleep.


What did one wall say to the other wall?

Meet you at the corner!


Why did the girl throw the clock out the window?

Because she wanted to see time fly!


What gets bigger the more you take away?

A hole!


What can you keep and give away at the same time?

A cold!


Which is the fastest, cold or heat?

Heat, you can catch a cold!


What did one eye say to the other?

Between you and me, something smells!


What has a bottom at its top?

A leg!


Which is the left side of the pudding?

The side that’s not been eaten!


What has one foot and four legs?

A bed.


What did the light say when it was turned off?

I’m delighted!


A man rides into town on Friday, stays three nights and leaves on Saturday morning. How is this possible?

His horse was called Friday!


Which months have 28 days?

All of them!


What did the hat say to the scarf?

You hang on around while I go on ahead!


If you drop a white hat into the Red Sea, what does it become?



What can a whole apple do that a half apple can’t?

Look round!


There was a red bungalow. Everything in it was red – the walls, the carpets, the furniture. What colour were the stairs?

There weren’t any stairs. It was a bungalow!



When I was at school, I used to worry about what I would do if I didn’t get great marks in class.

Believe it or not, at my school it was cool to be clever, so most kids were keen to do well. While most of the time that was good thing, sometimes we all felt the pressure to come out top.

We’ve all heard that it’s important to work hard at school and do your best. I think that’s good advice. But what should you do if your best isn’t enough to get the grades you want?

If you’re trying hard, but still struggling with your school work, what should you do? Worry about it? Ask for help? Or is it easier to just give up all together?

Do you worry about school?

It’s quite usual to struggle with school work – apparently one in five kids do. If you are having a hard time – don’t be embarrassed to ask for help – that’s what parents and teachers are there for.

If you’ve had help and you still feel you can’t cope, then don’t worry. You could be great at something more practical.

If you’re good at fixing stuff, you could become a mechanic, if you’re good at art, you could become a designer. It is not the end of the world. If you are studying for exams and you fail as long as you have tried your best that is all anyone can ask of you. If you have a learning need such as Dsylexia then additional time can be given to you in exams to complete the Exams. If you have problems with reading you may also be entitled to have someone read for you as well as write for you. All English and International schools will be able to help you with this as per the conditions set out for children with special requirements by the examining board. Exams can also be retaken as can repeating a year in Spanish school. All adults will probably tell you that being 15/ 16 and studying for exams is one of the hardest times of their lives. So there will be someone who understands.

Kids tell us their school worries

If you are worried about your school work, the most important thing to try and realise is that not doing well in class doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

You might not be top of your maths class, but that doesn’t mean you won’t become a success in life.

So instead of worrying about your school work, spend that time finding something else you’re good at…and do your best to become great at it.


If you chose to leave school at 16 with your Spanish Diploma or GCSE’S there are options for you here in Spain. The first step is to try and decide what you want for the future this is usually based on something you are interested in. For example if you want to work in the Media industry you need to find out what qualifications you are going to need and then work backwards. This can be done by contacting local newspapers, radio and TV stations and speaking to their personnel department. Or look on the internet at job specifications for journalists. If a degree is required you then need to look at the entry requirements at Universities for these courses and then look at how to obtain these qualifications. Further Education is available at all of the International Schools and it is possible to study for the Bachillerato at Spanish schools. Whether you study A levels, BTEC, or Bachillerato you can then progress to studying for a degree either in Spain the UK or other parts of the world.


For many 16 year olds studying in higher education is not something that they want to do. Lots of young people learn better through learning a trade whilst working. It is possible to do this in Spain and you need again to decide on an interest that you have and try and seek an apprenticeship with a local business or offer to work voluntarily to gain work experience. San Miguel College and Oscar Marine who offer engineering courses are looking at these options so that apprenticeships can be offered along with BTEC courses. There are a number of Hair and Beauty courses that are available at local salons. We suggest that you watch in the local press for Careers evenings that schools and colleges may be offering in the near future.

Written by Mar Azul International School,