Teachers are always looking for fun and relevant tidbits for the classroom to increase student engagement, break up the lesson and provide new focus for learning. We have done the searching for you. A couple of times a year, we will send you a handful of relevant tidbits that you can use in the classroom. Like our Facebook page and see them as we post them individually through the term, along with our other updates and latest news. You can also leave feedback on our blog.

Thank you, Mr “Poubelle”

French journalist Victor Fournel writes in 1867 about the estimated 35,000 Parisians tinkers who acted as de-facto garbage collectors and recycled most of it. In 1883, the local civil administrator, Préfet Poubelle, instigated the use of garbage bins, leaving a great legacy and his name! See how recycling has progressed since then with our Cross Curricular Tour of France

Etna volcano on the move

The most active volcano in Europe is slowly sliding towards the sea and the village of Giarre, 15 km away. No need to worry yet though, Etna is only moving 14 millimetres per year. If you’d like to find out more about volcanoes, you can visit Auvergne on our Cross Curricular tour of France or see the famous consequences at Pompeii and Herculaneum on our Cross Curricular Tour of Italy

How the Bayeux Tapestry was nearly lost, twice…

Several attempts have been made to “re-purpose” the Bayeux Tapestry! Autumn 1792, the 6th Battalion of Calvados Volunteers, en route to yet another war against Prussia and Austria, commandeered the 68-metre tapestry as tarpaulin to cover ammunitions on a carriage. February 1794, zealous revolutionaries nearly sliced it to use as decoration for local celebrations. Authorities were able to intervene on both occasions and save the tapestry which dates back to 1077. See the tapestry as part of your 3 week Cross Curricular Tour of France

2000 year old sports hooligans in Pompeii

In 59 BCE, under the rule of Emperor Nero, a gladiators’ game ended in a brutal confrontation between the inhabitants of Pompei and the “tourists” supporters from another community, Nuceria. The visitors were either wounded or killed. Account of the first recorded hooligans’ event in history was written by Tacitus and depicted in a fresco found on the wall of a house in Pompeii. The fresco is now in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. The Latin word Collegia can be translated as Supporters in this context. Livenius Regulus, the organiser, was exiled and meetings between Collegia banned for 10 years. Visit Pompeii and Herculaneum as part of your Cross Curricular tour of Italy

Europe splitting in two?

UNESCO World Heritage List now includes a site in Auvergne, France.  The Limagne fault was part of a massive geological upset that saw part of the continent sink more than 3 kilometres. The Alps mountain range creation was a result of this major shift which nearly resulted in the European continent splitting in two. The Auvergne region is dotted with extinct volcanoes. See this region for yourself and understand more about volcanoes on our Cross Curricular Tour of France – or visit Pompeii and Herculaneum as part of your Cross Curricular Tour of Italy.

Written all over Vikings

In Sweden, fragments of fabric dating from the 9th Century CE appearing to be decorated with the geometric Kufic characters of Muslim calligraphy were found in Vikings’ graves. Vikings are known to have regularly traded with the Muslim world, and dirhams have often been found in Viking hoards. The Vikings have a major impact on Western Europe and which you’ll see on our tours of France and Spain.