Here is a chance to develop your analytical skills as you attempt to make sense of this news item. Your task is to explore the issue using the question prompts we have included. You can then see if you can plan and write a concise response of 250 words to this controversial news article.

1. What is your reaction to Aubrey de Grey’s predictions?

2. Would you want to live until 150, or 1000, for that matter?

3. What is more important — a long life, or quality of life?

4. What about overpopulation and already dwindling resources?

Who wants to live forever? Scientist sees aging cured

If Aubrey de Grey’s predictions are right, the first person who will live to see their 150th birthday has already been born. And the first person to live for 1,000 years could be less than 20 years younger. A biomedical gerontologist and chief scientist of a foundation dedicated to longevity research, de Grey reckons that within his own lifetime doctors could have all the tools they need to “cure” aging — banishing diseases that come with it and extending life indefinitely.

“I’d say we have a 50/50 chance of bringing aging under what I’d call a decisive level of medical control within the next 25 years or so,” de Grey said in an interview before delivering a lecture at Britain’s Royal Institution academy of science.

“And what I mean by decisive is the same sort of medical control that we have over most infectious diseases today.”

De Grey sees a time when people will go to their doctors for regular “maintenance,” which by then will include gene therapies, stem cell therapies, immune stimulation and a range of other advanced medical techniques to keep them in good shape.

De Grey lives near Cambridge University where he won his doctorate in 2000 and is chief scientific officer of the non-profit California-based SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) Foundation, which he co-founded in 2009.

He describes aging as the lifelong accumulation of various types of molecular and cellular damage throughout the body.

“The idea is to engage in what you might call preventative geriatrics, where you go in to periodically repair that molecular and cellular damage before it gets to the level of abundance that is pathogenic,” he explained.

Click here for the rest of the article.

Mr Waffle by Anthea


Mr. Waffle was a very peculiar man! His favourite food was jelly. Everyone thought it was rather strange because his wife was Mrs. Jelly and her favourite food was waffles. One day, Mr Waffle went and did some exercises down at the park. He tried to balance on a log, but he fell down into some smelly garbage.

Mrs. Jelly was waiting at home for Mr. Waffle because there was a special parcel that was rather large for him. When he got home he had to have a wash before he opened the parcel. After that, he sat down next to Mrs. Jelly then opened it.

Inside were two tickets, a box of chocolates, a 10 thousand dollar gift voucher and a CD player. They had won an amazing prize pack to America! The tickets were to a wonder park called Ice-cream Land!

Oh no! That was their least favourite food and where Mrs. Strawberry and Mr. Apple lived. They are the cheekiest and naughtiest people ever!

Poor Mr. Waffle and Mrs. Jelly had to go, or it was a waste!

The End…
Next… Mr. Waffle’s Holiday!

Mr Waffle’s Holiday by Anthea


After receiving the amazing prize pack to America, Mr. Waffle and Mrs. Jelly were on their way to America!

Finally, they arrived! Mrs. Strawberry and Mr. Apple were waiting there for them. As soon as they saw Mr. Waffle and Mrs. Jelly, they ran out to greet them and started to tickle them all over!

Poor Mr. Waffle and Mrs. Jelly had to stay with Mrs. Strawberry and Mr. Apple for two whole weeks.

The next day, they all went out to see America. Naughty Mrs. Strawberry put a banana peel in front of Mrs. Jelly. Poor Mrs. Jelly slipped over and hurt her arm. Oh, no! Mr. Apple just undid Mrs. Waffle’s belt! Oops! Mr. Waffle’s pants fell down!

After a very long and strange two weeks, it was time for Mr. Waffle and Mrs. Jelly to go. Oh, dear! Mr. Apple and Mrs. Strawberry put a stinky sock in their bags!

So when Mr. Waffle and Mrs. Jelly got home, their bags smelt of stinky socks! From now on, Mr. Waffle and Mrs. Jelly were not going to go to America for a long, long, long time!


Are family meals a thing of the past?

For many modern families, the old custom of sitting around the dinner table and catching up on each other’s day has been abandoned. In the face of work deadlines, football training, piano lessons, housework and other commitment this simple communal pleasure is often overlooked.

It is important, however, that we create these opportunities as often as possible. The benefits, as you’ll read in the article below, are too significant to ignore.

Time aside, the other challenge many parents face at meal times is getting their children to contribute to conversations. So, what are some questions that might get them talking? We’ve compiled this list for a little inspiration.


  • If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
  • If you had a time machine, what year would you travel back to and why?
  • What one modern luxury could you not live without?


  • If you were the Prime Minister for a day, what three things would you do?
  • How can we be more environmentally friendly around the house?
  • What can be done to help the issue of youth homelessness in Australia?


  • What was your favourite family holiday?
  • What was the most important day of your life?
  • What is your first childhood memory?

To ensure the spotlight is shared around and parents aren’t always dictating proceedings, it can be a good idea to have one family member ‘in charge’. Rotating each mealtime, this person chooses the topics for discussion and makes sure everyone is getting involved.

Check out the article, ‘The 5 Benefits — and a Few Risks — of Eating Together at the Dinner Table’, and learn more about the magic of family meals.

Will’s Day! by Will Duke

Will’s Day!

I woke up at the Cullen Hotel on Sunday morning and left early in time to go into town. We were there for the opening of the Motor Show which was at Jeff’s Shed. I saw the FJ Cruiser and the new Volvo XC60, and last but not least the BMW, which was very big.

By lunch we were gone. Dad let me go to Cumulus Inc and have roasted almonds, stuffed octopus, pheasant drum stick, soft shell crab and mandarin sorbet. Then we went home. I had a good, good, good day.

The End!



Here is a chance to develop your analytical skills as you attempt to make sense of this news item. Your task is to explore the issue using the question prompts we have included. You can then see if you can plan and write a concise response of 250 words to this controversial news article.
1. What are your thoughts on the UK Government’s recommendations?
2. Is it necessary to target children under 5 years old?
3. Given Australia’s battle with childhood obesity, should we be offering similar advice to parents?
4. Do we need to focus more on the issue of over-eating? See the table below, which illustrates the amount of exercise (in minutes) required to burn off the calories found in various junk foods.

Under-fives should exercise for at least three hours a day, say experts

Children under the age of five should exercise for at least three hours a day, new government guidelines will suggest.
Babies should be taken swimming and play on “baby gym” mats while toddlers should walk for at least 15 minutes of routine journeys such as to nursery, chief medical officers will say.

The exercise guidance, to be issued this week, targets under-fives for the first time. “For children that are not yet walking, there is considerable evidence that letting children crawl, play or roll around on the floor is essential during early years,” said England’s chief medical officer, Sally Davies.

“Play that allows under-fives to move about is critical and three hours a day is essential,” she told the Sunday Times. “I think there are parents who are not aware how important it is for their children to be physically active for a minimum of three hours. Other parents are very busy and may not see how important it is to get that prioritisation and balance right.”
According to NHS figures, nearly a quarter of children aged four and five are overweight or obese. Experts predict that by 2050 this could apply to 63% of children.

Professor Fiona Bull, chair of the scientific committee behind the guidelines and co-director of the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity at Loughborough University, said parents should “turn the TV off”.
The advice follows warnings this month that England faces a liver disease “timebomb” because so many children are overweight. Professor Martin Lombard, national clinical director for liver at the Department of Health, said a culture of overeating was putting the lives of more than 500,000 young people at risk.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/10/children-under-five-exercise-guidance

Statistics based on a person weighing 50 kilograms.

Positive education

Recently it has been reported that prestigious private school, Geelong Grammar, has added a new subject to its curriculum – ‘positive education’. This is a variation of the philosophy of positive psychology, founded by American psychologist, Dr Martin Seligman.

These classes, implemented across a number of year levels, focus on highlighting the strengths of students. Examples include:

  • Year 6 students writing nice things about each other
  • Year 9 students writing gratitude letters
  • Year 11 students identifying each other’s character strengths during prefect training

While the papers may have portrayed positive education as cutting edge, it is something that, as a psychologist, I have been advocating through Edworks since its inception … more than 21 years ago!

I could see the life-changing impact that comes from encouraging children to believe in themselves. As such, Edworks places an enormous emphasis on encouraging children to recognise and celebrate their own successes. This is very much in line with Dr Martin Seligman’s focus on the positive.

Furthermore, we encourage parents to offer their children plenty of positive affirmations. These three easy tips form an ideal starting point:

  1. BE POSITIVE! Focus on your child’s successes, rather than their failures.
  2. NO BUTS! Next time your child shows you a piece of schoolwork and asks for an opinion, try to avoid the “but” – that is, “This is great, but…”
  3. IT TAKES THREE! Try to say three positive things to your child per day. It’s surprising how long many parents will go without offering a positive affirmation.

The great thing about the three steps is that they cost you nothing more than a bit of kindness!

Note: If you haven’t spotted them already, look out for the posters in reception featuring 101 Positive Statements you can relay to your child.



Wat is won plus won?? by Lin

Wat is won plus won??

By Lin

Hi, my name is Max and I am the cleverest person in the school (considering that I’m only in prep). I always the get 100 per cent in all my tests and I do year nine maths and I sometimes teach the teacher a lesson! (For example: I taught her how much a half a pie is worth.) Sometimes helping others can get to really annoying, especially when the teacher and the students do not understand the question. Then they always have to ask me.  I don’t like this because then I end up not able to do my own work.

Today at home time, the teacher gave me a challenge, and on the piece of paper it said:

“To celebrate how smart you are, you will have to prove it. To do that, you have to solve this riddle:

Who am I…?”

Is it a ‘who am I’ question? Well this is going to be easy. But first, let’s read the rest of the riddle…

“Who am I…?

I might be red, or maybe green,
And sometimes, I am as blue as a stream.
It’s hard to see me in the day,
And it’s impossible to see me in the night.
And in the morning…
I strike!!
I eat live insects and maybe small animals,
But I do not belong to the mammals.
What can I be??
You’ll have to wait and see…
Until the first of August.”

Okay, now that’s a hard riddle. Is the ‘thing’ a colour-changing creature or does it come in different colours?? And I have to solve it in one week!! I have to hurry. Wait, if I solve this riddle, what I will get as a reward? So many questions to ask!! But first, I must hurry back home, finish my homework in a flash and start searching my brain for answers.

I am having the most HORRIBLE time of my life trying to solve this nearly impossible riddle!! Is there anything else written on the back of the piece of paper? And there is!! Now, what does it say…?

“This is a really hard question, but if you want to win a prize then you must follow the rules.

You MUST NOT use:

  • A computer
  • A book of any kind
  • Help from your parents or adult.
  • Any type of information source.
  • You MUST use –
    Your brain

If you know the answer, then please write if down on the dotted line below and give it to Mrs Daff.
You only get one chance.”

Is that not obvious?? Of course you have to use your brain, if you can’t use any type of information source. But this is one tough riddle. I wonder… does this ‘thing’ even exist? Is it just something to trick me? They can’t trick me; Mrs Daff is the year six teacher!! If the riddle was for year six, then the answer should not be ‘there is no such thing’. Instead, it should be a name of a creature. Oh, at this rate, I will NEVER solve this riddle.

Maybe I should go to the canteen tomorrow and buy some ‘smart ice-cream’. Some people say it’s a fake, but some think it’s true and have brought some, eaten it AND their grades have improved!! Tomorrow, I will bring $2.00 and buy myself some ‘smart ice-cream’!!
Now it is lunch time at school and the queue is SO LONG!! Ah well… the good things come to those who wait.

“Hey Max, do you want some ice-cream??”

Who was that?? I looked around and there in line near the start of the line was the school bully, Billy!! Is he going to help me buy ‘smart ice-cream’, or is it just a fib and he is going to give me ‘dumb ice-cream’? This is just sooo weird! But I took a big breath and asked, “Yes I do, can you please buy me some ‘smart ice-cream with my money?”

“Of course!! Here give me your money and you will have your ice-cream in no time!!” said Billy with a smile. I was sooo glad that someone will help me cut the queue!! “Here’s your ice-cream Max, enjoy!”

Dis is the next day. Today is our mats test. I tink I wuill do ear won mats. It’s a real hard question. It’s won plus won.

And my answer to de widdle is ‘no such thing’.

Now it is first of Augest and de real answer to de widdle is ‘I am a lizard’

The Awesome Art of Alliteration by Noah & Ty


The Awesome Art of Alliteration

By Noah & Ty

Barry Brown had some bumpy, bonky, bubbly blisters bunching up on his buffy backside, sticking out like bushy broccoli. (By Noah)

Larry, the lethargic, ludicrous leprechaun leapt like Lily. (By Ty)

Sally, the silly, stressed seagull slid along the slimy, smelly stones and struggled to survive when she sank into the slippery seaweed. (By Noah)

Clare closed the case containing the cute clarinet. (By Ty)

Miraculously, the man mixed meringue like magic. (By Ty)

Simon, who wore silly socks, slipped suddenly on soot and landed on a slimy, shiny smelly, slippery centipede and spat out a smooth, slimy gram of saliva. (By Noah)

Robbie, the rowdy, raucous rooster annoyed the nervous, nauseous Nate with a continuous cacophony of crowing at the crack of dawn. (By Anon)

Lost in a Forest by Austin Luong

Lost in a Forest

By Austin Luong

I suddenly found myself in a forest clearing! Where was I? Tears stung my eyes. How could I get out of this place? The sun was bleeding out, so I had to go quickly. Already the moon’s faint glow was replacing the sun’s radiance.

Choosing the right path, without a shard of knowing, I walked on. After brushing through locks of foliage, I came to another clearing. I realised that it was already night-time, as the moonlight pierced through the thick trees. I started wondering where I was and how I got here, but no ideas came to mind. A slight rustling shook me from my reverie. Looking around, I noticed a pair of crimson eyes to my left! Yelping out of shock, I ran out of the clearing and back to where I appeared! Pulse thrumming my temples, I thought I heard a growling sound, so I ran through the frontal path.

After a few minutes of running, I came into a clearing with such thick flora that the canopy overhead had stolen the moonlight. The first object I noticed was an old, roofless, double story mansion. The whole abode was desolate and leached of colour, probably due to exposure from the elements. For some strange reason, I thought it would be best to go inside. I was very glad the door didn’t slam behind me, as that would have been horribly cliched and very frightening.

As my eyes became accustomed to the dim light of the moon, I noticed the antiquity style furniture and realised everything was in shades of black and white. The silence here helped calm my nerves down. I then decided to sit on one of the seats to further rest myself. The armchair was very firm, but the moment I managed to get comfortable, the whole chair crumbled to dust! What brittle furniture! After recovering from the shock, I had realised that the moon’s faint lustre had been replaced by a red glow! With a horrifyingly clear understanding, I knew I had triggered an alarm. I also became aware of the door closing and the sound of metallic clanking.

An automaton appeared, ridged, robotic and rusted. It looked a little like a sphere on legs. I let it clank towards me, which I soon realised was a mistake. When it made contact, I found myself being zapped to kingdom come! My eyes clouded over with tears, impeding me. With the macabre machine coming close again, I ran upstairs, the automaton hot on my heels. Once on the second floor, I realised this was an ill made decision, as it was impossible to escape now, as the machine was already upstairs and even though the house was roofless, I knew I couldn’t escape!

I slowly backed myself into a corner, all the while the machine coming closer and closer… Then suddenly, I heard the sound of large, beating wings and the absence of the red light, replaced with a strong white light. Suddenly, a gigantic winged horse flew through the canopy of trees, and swooped down next to me, as if offering me to climb on. The machine was very close, so I had no choice. The winged horse and I then flew up through the trees and into the horizon!