Can you remember how it felt the first few times you saw a Christmas tree put up in your living room? It’s about the closest thing to magic there is – a piece of the wild that becomes an honoured house guest for a few charmed weeks. Lots of different breeds of tree have played this happy role in British homes over the last century-and-a-half. The most traditional in these parts is the Norway spruce, the first tree popularly used as a Christmas tree in the UK. The oldest living member of the species is a tree in Sweden called Old Tjikko, whose 9,560-year-old root system far predates Christmas, Christianity and the Coca-Cola truck. In recent decades, the Norway spruce has been supplanted in many households by another species: the Nordmann firm, which tends to be gentler on the hands and less prone to dropping needles. Not content with these two traditional options, a significant minority of households are now looking to other types of tree to play the part of … [Read more...] about 8 best real Christmas trees
Top marks 8 times table
The top secondary schools of Greater Manchester are listed here using the most up to date statistics. The Manchester Evening News uses a unique combination of data about schools across Greater Manchester to form a full picture about exactly how well schools perform - not focusing solely on exam results but a whole range of measures. Data is available for comparison on everything from pupils' attainment and the quality of the teaching to when the school was lasted inspected and teacher to pupil ratio. And here's our round-up of the best schools in the region in 2018. The best school in Greater Manchester: Sale Grammar School Unsurprisingly, Trafford’s grammar schools dominate the Greater Manchester school rankings. And this year we can reveal Sale Grammar School as the best state-funded secondary in the region - knocking their neighbours in Altrincham off the number one spot. Leaders at Sale pride themselves in nurturing students to become well-rounded individuals. The … [Read more...] about Which are the top secondary schools in Greater Manchester?
Getwestlondon's Real Schools Guide is an annual list ranking the schools in west London by performance and other key indicators. The survey looks at sall non-private secondary schools in Westminster , Hammersmith and Fulham , Kensington and Chelsea , Brent , Ealing , Hounslow , Hillingdon and Harrow , using a specially devised 50 data pint system to rank them. The data has been crunched by Reach Plc's data unit for parents who want the very best education for their kids, look no further than the list below of the 10 best schools in the region. Here is how The Real School's Guide collated their information: The unique rating system uses 50 different measures, put together from the latest publicly-available data and broken into four categories - attainment, progress, attendance, and outcomes. National league tables may only look at overall GCSE results, as well as newer measures. Attainment This is worth 30 per cent of the total score. It is based on pupils' average grade attainment … [Read more...] about West London’s top 10 best secondary schools revealed
WITH the jumps season heading towards its third month, there is a new name at the top of the jockeys’ championship table as Harry Skelton, boosted by the form of the horses trained by his brother Dan, has opened up a lead over three-time champion Richard Johnson, writes David Hucker. Although having topped the table briefly last season, Skelton was playing catch-up to Johnson for most of the time, eventually finishing third with a career-best total of 131 compared to the champ’s 176. This time, the situation is different as, despite riding fewer horses, Skelton’s 33 per cent strike-rate has seen him notch up 49 winners so far, putting him 20 ahead of Johnson and 25 in front of Brian Hughes. As a result, his odds for the title have been cut from 6-1 to just 5-4 with Paddy Power, although Johnson will have a wider range of trainers to call on as the season unfolds, just two of Skelton’s winners last season were from outside stables, through Kerry Lee and Oliver … [Read more...] about Harry Skelton tops championship after whirlwind start to season
Things are hotting up in the Skegness Darts League’s Sid Dennis and Sons Ltd Division One as just one point separates the top four. Seaview Next Tuesday are back at the top on leg difference after a comfortable 10-2 win over Ex Service Cobras, Sam Hewson (100, 123, 125 3x140), Mark Kirby (3x100, 120), Mark Thompson (4x100, 123, 3x140), Kristian Thein (6x100, 105, 2x140) and Kev Barker (100, 121, 125) scoring well for for the table toppers. The Cobras had Andy Thompson (100, 134, 135), Roy Parnham (2x133) and Stuart Corsen (2x100, 139) on target. Ex Service Sports raced into a 4-2 singles lead against Liberal Lads thanks to Mark Gray (8x100), Brad Martin (5x100, 3x140 and a 16 darter), Gary Garton (3x100, 140) and Pete Evans (2x100, 125), and when they took the first doubles to lead 6-2, the writing appeared to be on the wall for the Lads. But Mark Carter (2x100, 110) and Gordon Mcquillan (100, 115, 140, 180) won the second pairs before Pete Sharpe (100, 125) and Paul Gelder … [Read more...] about It’s tight at the top of the darts leagues