Who was St Andrew?

In the Bible, Andrew the Apostle was one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. He was one of the closest disciples to Christ and was at the Last Supper.

Saint Andrew Figure at Osorno Church in Chile

He is associated with Scotland as it is believed his remains were taken there in around 700AD to the place now known as St Andrews. The Scottish Flag, also known as the Saltire, is based on the Cross of St Andrew. St Andrew was meant to have been crucified on a cross of that shape.

Scottish flag blowing in the wind

He is also the patron saint of other countries too, including Romania, Ukraine and Bulgaria. The 30th of November is St Andrew’s Day.

For a video of his story, please see below.

 

 

 

What is UNESCO?

UNESCO is part of the United Nations. Its full name is United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Its headquarters is in Paris, France and 195 countries are members.

unescologo

It’s main aim is to coordinate international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. It hopes that this will bring together nations and societies and wants to ensure that each child has access to quality education, can fully benefit from scientific advances, can enjoy freedom of expression and can grow and live in a cultural environment rich in diversity and dialogue.

One of the main things UNESCO is known for are ‘World Heritage Sites.’ These are areas or landmarks chosen because they important for cultural, historical or scientific reasons. Once chosen, these sites are then protected under international law.

There are UNESCO World Heritage Sites all around the World.

Click on this link for the full list of sites.

If you wanted to visit a site in the United Kingdom, you have plenty of choice.

Examples in England, Stonehenge…

Stonehenge

The City of Bath…

bathpic

The Palace of Westminster…

parliament

In Northern Ireland, you have the Giant’s Causeway…

Giants Causeway on Sunny Irish Day

In Scotland, you have the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh…

edinburgh1

In Wales you have the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd…

beaumaris

The country with the most World Heritage Sites in the World is Italy, closely followed by China.

Thank you to SJR Photography for the pictures.

For further reading on World Heritage Sites, please see the link below.

Who was Guy Fawkes?

Guy Fawkes is famous for the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Guy was a Catholic who wanted to kill the Protestant King James I and put a Catholic monarch back on the throne.

Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators

The plotters rented a cellar under the Houses of Parliament and packed it with gunpowder. They planned to create a massive explosion when the King was in the Houses of Parliament. An anonymous letter was sent to the authorities warning them of the plot. This made them search under the Houses of Parliament and Guy Fawkes was caught guarding the gunpowder.

He was tortured and executed and ever since we have celebrated the failure of this plot on the 5th of November.

For a fun video explanation, please see below.

For further reading on the Gunpowder Plot, please click below(links to Amazon).

Who invented fireworks?

Fireworks were invented in 7th century China. The Chinese people believed they would ward off evil spirits and bring happiness and good luck.

Family looks holiday fireworks

Nowadays fireworks are used all around the world to celebrate various events. In the United Kingdom they are traditionally used on Bonfire Night, the 5th of November, to celebrate the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

Please see below video on how fireworks work.

For further reading on the history of fireworks please click on this link.

If you would like to try some indoor fireworks, please see the link below.

What type of animal was the first to orbit the Earth?

The first animal to orbit the Earth was a dog called Laika. She was launched into space aboard Sputnik 2 in 1957. She was a stray dog from the streets of Moscow in Russia. In the early days of space flight animals were used to test the safety of the technology, before humans tried it.

For further reading on the history of animals in space click here.

For an animation of Laika’s story, please see below:

For further reading on Laika’s story, please see the link below.

There is a special event this weekend to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Laika’s flight. Please click here for details.

What is coffee and where is it grown?

Coffee is a drink made from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. The coffee plant originally grew in Africa, but is now grown around the world, usually in areas near the equator.

Girl in coffee plantations

Coffee is grown in over 70 countries around the world. The top three producing countries are Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia. Coffee is grown near the equator because it needs certain weather conditions to grow well(plenty of warmth and rain).

The seeds are roasted and then ground according to the type of coffee you are making. It is then mixed with hot water to brew, although you can also soak it in cold water to make a different tasting drink.

Coffee is not recommended for children as it contains caffeine. This is something that helps adults feel more awake when they drink it!

For further reading from the Eden Project, please click this link.

For a quick video run through of the process, please see below.

For those that prefer to learn by doing, please see link below to try growing your own coffee plant. (links to Amazon)

What is a diamond?

A diamond is a precious stone and is the hardest naturally occurring material known. It is made from carbon which can come in different forms depending on how its atoms are arranged. A diamond has a lattice structure in which the atoms are bonded together very strongly.

Family in shopping mall looking at jewelry department

Diamonds are formed deep underground in the earth’s mantle, around a 100 miles down. They are formed under high pressure and temperatures and can take 1 to 3 billion years to form. They are brought closer to the surface by deep volcanic eruptions and are then mined by people.

For further reading and some fun facts on diamonds please click this link.

For a video explanation, please see below.

For those that prefer to learn through doing/play, please see the product below. (links to Amazon)