Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Yes, I  have managed to write 50 000 words in a month (51, 490 to be precise!)
I am going to save it in lots of places and leave it for a while before coming back to read through and edit. I plan to put some extracts on my blog - would be really interested in feedback.
The whole point was to see if I could write that much and try to tie it into a coherent story. I have never written this much before and am really pleased that I did it :O)
One day I hope to write something that will be published. In the meantime I will keep on practising.

Monday, 25 June 2012

I'm a scientist!

This term , along with many other schools across the country, we have been learning lots about the Olympic games. It has been of particular relevance to schools in Dorset as the sailing events are to be held at Weymouth and the torch is going to be spending several days along the world heritage site Jurassic coast.

We have been having fun planning our own sports day which will be happening (weather permitting) later this week.

Something a little different that I have done with my class this term is "I'm a scientist!"

  ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here!’ is a free online event where school students get to meet and interact with scientists. It’s a free X Factor-style competition between scientists, where the students are the judges.
Pitting students against scientists in a live round of intense, fast-paced, quick fire online live CHATs. Students get the chance to ASK scientists all the questions they want to, then VOTE for their favourite scientist to win prize of £500 to communicate their work with the public.'

We had a fabulous live science chat last week where the children could ask science related questions. What a fast paced session it was- here are some of the questions and answers we had:

gordon : What inspired you to become a scientist?
classash : @Stuart who do you think your information will be useful to?
classash : stuart are you always so cheerful or is being asientist hard work?
classash : @stuart when you were little was your dream to be a scientists
trumpetdude : @ stuart how many skin sellls can you fit in a bath
classash : @stuart are you friends with any of the other scientists
jadey2412 : hi @stuart what does it feel like being a scientist
classash : have you always wanted to be a sientist?
classash : @stuart how many skin cells on one body
classash : @stuart what are muscles made of.
youforgotthebluebe : @stuart were you the smartist in your class?
abigail6995 : @Stuart did you study alot of science at high school or were you not as interested in science then you are now?
jadey2412 : hi @ stuart whats the most toxic thing you have used before and explain why?
abigail6995 : what type of experiments do you do? Are they on humans or something else?
classash : @stuart thank you for coming and answering all our questions we have learnt a lot
hetty123 : @stuart it's great that you answered all those questions I didn't know that theres so many different sciences to do?
mrshalford : @stuart thanks so much- the class are quite literally buzzing with excitement and are very impressed with your speed of answering
classash : @Stuart thak you for all the chat it was fun
Here are some of stuart's answers. You can read his profile at
  • stuartgray : @jacobr i use many pieces of equipment. Bikes, treadmills, analysers for oxygen, strenght testing equipment, centrifuges. The list can go on and on and on......
stuartgray : @youforgettheblu ebe I was one of the smartest in my class but there is always someone cleverer than you!!
stuartgray : @abigail yes i studies maths, physics, chemistry and biology at high school. I have always liked science
stuartgray : @jadey2412 formaldehyde as it can send you to sleep, very toxic in large amounts
stuartgray : @jadey2412 i enjoyed in class experiments when you got to see explosions or anythign cool like that!
stuartgray : @gordon @trumpetdude I do enjoy being a scientist and it is because of the variety of things and the discoveries you can make. Also things like this are very fun!!
stuartgray : L@ the best chemicals I have used are the radioisotopes. they are radioactive so I have to very careful with them, but they give great results
stuartgray : @classash it is quite hard being a scientist but if you enjoy it it seems more like fun than hard work
stuartgray : @abigail6995 I most definitely work as part of a team. I have many doctoral students and staff working with me in the lab. The old saying that 2 heads are better than one is very true!
stuartgray : @trumpetdude. there are many tubes, the main ones would be the blood vessels and the airways. They are very important for helping keep you all moving about!
stuartgray : @trumpetdude I probably run about 1000 miles a year. I just trianed for and ran the London Marathon this year and was beaten across the line by a women in a wedding dress
stuartgray : @hetty123 lots of scientists study biology but many also study things like the environment, engineering and chemistry for example!
stuartgray : @trumpetdude I most experiment on humans so dont do much work in plants. I did do some stuff in my early University years and found it very fascinating!
stuartgray : @1tich1 we all just have one overall immune system in the body but it is made of many many different parts. We have millions of immune cells in our blood to help protect against bacteria and viruses and also proteins in tissues and saliva to help to.
stuartgray : @abigail6995 a very good question. Some people have weak hearts because of their genes (i.e. they get it from their parents) and there is not that much that can be done. Others it is because they do not carry out enough exercise or have a bad diet. These people can change their lifestyle to help this
stuartgray : @gordon If the sun explodes then that would pretty much be the end of the galaxy as we would have not heat to support human life. The gravitational pull of the sun would also be lost. All in all it will be bad news but a long time away, hopefully!
stuartgray : @hetty123 probably not as many people as I would like become scientists. The more we can get the more help we can be!
stuartgray : @trumpetdude there are about 5000000000 red blood cells in a ml of blood so 330 times that. A very BIG number!
stuartgray : @classash I think my research will be useful to medical practitioners who need to know the exact amount of exercise or proper nutrition to advise people to take to help with their health
stuartgray : @hetty123 Being a scientist involves a lot of planning experiments, trying to convince somebody to fund them and then actually carrying out the experiments!
stuartgray : @jadey2412 it feels good to be a scientist. There is a great feeling when you realise you are the first person in the world to discover something!
stuartgray : @classash that is a lot of good questions. Not sure about the skin cells in the bath, but a very large number! Muscles are made of protein, the main ones being actin and myosin.
stuartgray : @jacobr I qualified with my PhD (doctorate) in 2007 so I would say i have been a proper scientist for 5 years!
stuartgray : @akni I think i always have wanted to be a scientist. It was always my favourite subject at school and I think you should get more of it!
stuartgray : @youforgottheblu ebe I never actually remember deciding to become a scientist it just all seemed to fall into place!
stuartgray : @hetty123 I wouldnt say it was easy. it does involve a lot of hard work and study. but it is fun!

I was incredibly impressed by the range of questions the children (y5) asked and how sensibly they took part in the session. It really highlighted to me the importance of  making science relevant and of showing children how science is used in jobs and everyday life. I will wait to see which scientist wins the £500 award...
As I look through the new curriculum in detail I plan to work with colleagues across our cluster schools to shape a curriculum for science that will motivate and enthuse our pupils, that will show them ways that science is used by real people in the local area in the here and now, not just what happened in the past.
I want to make better use of the internet to show how science makes a difference in our lives. 
That is my plan , I'm hoping that my colleagues will want to come along for the journey.

Monday, 18 June 2012

100 words for grown ups week 46

 This week the lovely Julia has set the challenge to include the words the dark recess of my mind...

This week's effort is a little darker than my usual offerings.
I am still trying with the 50 000 words! Up to 27K. Am in a bit of a hole (rather a large one at the moment) so am going to the gym for my mile swim to see if that will get my mind whirring again. In the meantime, hope you enjoy.


It’s early morning and I can’t sleep.
When I turn to look at him, I see the man I loved.  Those thick dark lashes  ( wasted on a man),  hair  falling carelessly across his eyes, ears with their crumpled edges from one too many rugby games.
I still love him in these moments.
 But I know that today, in the dark recess of my mind, I will plan when to kill him. He has driven me to this. I know exactly what I need to do, but will I have the strength to go through with it?
Will I have the strength to walk away? 

Beautiful Bloggers

Yesterday I was nominated for the beautiful blogger award by Sally Jayne (her blog is at
I was very touched, not having been nominated for anything like this before :O) Thank you for making me smile.
The rules of the award are that if you accept it you post it on your site, choose (about) 6 people to pass it on to, and then tell ten facts about yourself that others may not know. I have chosen the people who I think deserve the award next.  The nomination made me smile and pleased that my blog interests others , so I hope these nominees see it in the same light.
If it seems more like a chore than an award, then I apologise now.

These are the people I am nominating
1.       Rachel Selby at always enjoy reading her take on life’s matters and she regularly contributes to 100WC
2.        Alison Green over at A teacher who blogs – like nearly everyone I follow on twitter, never met her but think she is great
3.       Re Harris who writes at and has taken the time on numerous occasions to critique my writing. Her flash fiction pieces are always well worth a read
4.       Polly Burns at another 100WC writer as well as musings on life and everything
5.       Isobel and cat at another cat lover whose blog is always great to read
6.       Mrs Teepot at fab photos and loads of interesting pieces including 100 WC
7.       Susan K Mann at  love her gothic inspired short stories and her take on life; not sure how she finds the time to write such a fab blog J

I am new to blogging really and don’t blog as regularly as some.

Now for things people don’t know about me-
1.       Being a mother is my greatest achievement.
2.       I have played the flute since I was 10 and still do every now and then.
3.       I taught myself to play the guitar which I love
4.       I have always wanted to learn to belly dance- it’s those wonderful costumes!
5.       I am allergic to melon – weird but true; makes my throat swell- not pleasant.
6.       I really (and I mean REALLY) hate flying ants- not sure why, but I loathe them and will run away (no matter where I am) from them
7.       I used to want to be a doctor when I was a little girl. Very glad I changed that to becoming a teacher (but science IS my fave subject)
8.       I am a complete coffee snob after being given a nespresso machine- can’t stand instant coffee :P
9.       I love a single malt (highland) whiskey, half and half water, with 70% dark chocolate to nibble on at the same time!
10.   I am very scared of heights- don’t know why and it seems to be getting worse as I get older; crossing wibbly bridges, going up lighthouses and other tall buildings, really steep steps, walking up steep hills- brings me out n a cold sweat and shakes. So no ascending Everest for me!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week#45

 This week the challenge from Julia was to include "There's a real buzz about this place." in a piece of writing not to exceed 100 words. 

I am trying to complete the campnanowrimo for the first time- I have got to 20000 words but hit a bit of a wall at the moment. 

Never written that much before and thought I would see if I could manage the challenge! Have until the end of the month so some time left yet.

When I saw the prompt I couldn't think beyond bees so  here is a little rhyme in their honour. I adore honey (am a real fan of manuka honey and firmly believe that it is a real health supplement as well as being delicious - far more palatable than fish oils; yuk!)

Thank you for reading :)
You can read the other pieces by clicking here


To-ing and fro-ing with hardly ever a break

 Their tiny wings humming as they fly busily around.

Collecting  pollen from flowers for the honey they’ll make.

Just stand still and listen to the summer-time sound!

Nurses, guards, workers, housekeepers , royal attendants.

Honeybees improve the environment and prey not on any other.

All working together and communicating through dance

Their stings only used if they’re in a  spot of bother!

There’s a real buzz about this place;

United, harmonious, team players, all taking care of each other

From them much could be learned to help the human race.

The humble honeybee is a splendid creature unlike any other.