Lesson Archive

Susan Boyle’s at No 1 – ‘I Dreamed a Dream’

Britain’s Got Talent superstar Susan Boyle, 48, has made history with the release of her new album ‘I Dreamed a Dream’. The album was the fastest selling debut album in history in the UK for a female artist. It sold a staggering 411,820 copies in its first week. In the U.S. it also went straight to the top - selling 701,000 copies in its first week.

The shy spinster from Blackburn in West Lothian, Scotland, captured the heart of millions of people worldwide in 2009 on the British talent show with her singing of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’. Miss Boyle is set to be No 1 in the UK and many other countries over Christmas. The album is named after the Les Miserables tune that she sang at her audition.

Miss Boyle, who has a minor learning difficulty, recorded the new album weeks after suffering a breakdown following her overnight success. When news broke of her albums success Miss Boyle released a brief statement through her management company - saying, “It’s fantastic!”

Beans Meanz a bit less from Heinz!

Baked beans lovers in Germany and Austria recently kicked up a bit of a fuss after it emerged that tins of the famous Heinz variety contained fewer beans than cans sold in Britain. European fans of the famous Heinz product have been angered after it emerged in an Austrian newspaper that the British variety are superior to its European counterpart. In fact, tins in Austria and Germany were found to have a less tasty sauce and a more watery taste than their British equivalent. Heinz that for decades has used the famous slogan ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ has been under attack from fans following the Austrian Times comparative study.

British Headmaster sends pupils home who fail to stand when he enters the classroom

A British Headmaster in Cheshire recently sparked a ‘respect’ row by sending home pupils who failed to stand up when he entered the classroom – Britain’s Daily Mail recently reported. Kevin Harrison, 55, is the Headmaster (or in these politically correct times Headteacher) of the 900-pupil Macclesfield High School in Cheshire, northwest England.

Mr Harrison believes children should immediately rise when he comes into a room because it helps increase ‘pride and educational standards’. However, he has been accused by some parents of being heavy handed. The ‘standing rule’ in Macclesfield High was dropped two years ago. Earlier this year on becoming headteacher at the school he revived it.

Philippines calamity following tropical storm

Torrential rains in the Philippines caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana caused utter devastation across the country recently. One of the worst places to be affected was the capital Manila. It suffered its worst ever flooding with more than 80% of the city submerged. More than 246 people were killed. Another 450,000 people were displaced. A further 380,000 people ended up in makeshift shelters. Telephone and power services to the capital were cut.

The government declared a “state of calamity” in Manila and 25 provinces on the weekend it struck. This allowed access to emergency funds. Soldiers, police, medics and a huge number of volunteers were involved in the effort to help rescue over 7,900 flood victims. Local government officials said survivors in makeshift evacuation camps were desperately short of food, water and clothes.

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo visited the devastated areas. She appealed for calm and for donations to aid rescue efforts. She described the storm as an “extreme event”...

Steam train reunites British Schindler with Jewish children he rescued from Nazis

A steam train carrying evacuees from the former Czechoslovakia who escaped the holocaust as children arrived at London's Liverpool Street station on Friday (4th September). They were met by the man who saved their lives. Sir Nicholas Winton, an indefatigable 100-year-old, greeted the passengers who had boarded the train in Prague to mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.

Now walking with a stick, he shook hands with many of the evacuees as they stepped off the steam train. Twenty-two of the evacuees were part of the original 669 mostly Jewish children he helped to escape from the Nazis ahead of war being declared on 3rd September 1939. The others were the descendants of these children.

The event was organised by Czech Railways who hired the new British steam train Tornado to re-enact the journey. Before the steam train departed on Tuesday from Prague a statue of Sir Nicholas was unveiled at the station. The train then passed through Germany and Holland en-route for England. A band played as "The Winton Train", as it was dubbed, arrived at Liverpool Street. The event drew many people who wanted to meet the man dubbed the British Schindler...