Happy Talk

One factor that is increasingly being cited as an important economic indicator is happiness.

After all, what good is increased production and consumption if the result isn’t increased human satisfaction? Until fairly recently, the subject of happiness was mostly avoided by economists for lack of good ways to measure it; however, in recent years, “happiness economists” have found ways to combine subjective surveys with objective data (on lifespan, income, and education) to yield data with consistent patterns, making a national happiness index a practical reality

But at this moment in history, as GDP growth becomes an unachievable goal, it is especially important that societies re-examine their aims and measures. If we aim for what is no longer possible, we will achieve only delusion and frustration. But if we aim for genuinely worthwhile goals that can be attained, then even if we have less energy at our command and fewer material goods available, we might nevertheless still increase our satisfaction in life.

To read the full article click here.

Sport Your Trainers 2012

Sport your Trainers and get involved in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games!

As a school we’d like to set you the challenge of reaching your partner country by Commonwealth Day on the 12th March of this year and show your support for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games by getting involved in this year’s Sport your Trainers campaign.

You can take part by walking, jogging, rowing, cycling, and spinning or even skipping, the choice is yours and all activities count, so get creative. You can find out more about this in the Sport Your Trainers Glow Group.

To help celebrate this we will be having a special Glow Meet as part of the national launch and we will be coming live from Maddiston Primary in Falkirk on Thursday 23rd February at 11am. The athlete who will be appearing at the school is 18-year-old Scottish Pole Vaulter Jax Thoirs. Find out more about Jax.

Join us and find out more about Sport Your Trainers 2012 and ask your questions!! Sign up and join us in Glow TV.

The German Teacher Awards

Do you know an outstanding Teacher of German who you feel should be recognised at a national level?

The winners will receive a personal prize of £750 and a certificate. The prizes will be presented at a special ceremony at the “Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprache” on 28th of  June 2012 in the German Ambassador’s Residence in London.

For further information please click here to visit the website.


Herriot Watt University – The Multi- Lingual Debate 2012 – 22nd of March

This year’s multi- lingual debate will take place on Thursday 22nd of March 2012.  If you would like to attend, or would like to register your class to participate online, then please visit Herriot Watt’s website where you will be given details of how to register.

It’s a really fantastic opportunity for langauge learners to get an insight into the skills and techniques used by translators, while taking part in a really interesting and topical debate.  This is the first time that the event will be streamed live so that schools can fully participate no matter where they are located.

To register your class, click here to access the Herriot Watt website

What are friends for?

The presence of friends mitigates negative experiences, study proves

“Stand by me” is a common refrain when it comes to friendship; however, new research from Concordia University proves that the concept goes beyond pop music: keeping friends close has real physiological and psychological benefits. 

The presence of a best friend directly affects children going through negative experiences, as reported in the recent Concordia-based study published in Developmental Psychology. The study was conducted with the collaboration of researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Feelings of self-worth and levels of cortisol, a hormone produced naturally by the adrenal gland in direct response to stress, are largely dependent on the social context of a negative experience.
“Having a best friend present during an unpleasant event has an immediate impact on a child’s body and mind,” says author William M. Bukowski, a psychology professor and director of the Concordia Centre for Research in Human Development. “If a child is alone when he or she gets in trouble with a teacher or has an argument with a classmate, we see a measurable increase in cortisol levels and decrease in feelings of self-worth.”
A total of 55 boys and 48 girls from grades 5 and 6 in local Montreal schools took part in the study. Participants kept journals on their feelings and experiences over the course of four days and submitted to regular saliva tests that monitored cortisol levels. 

Concordia psychology professor William M. Bukowski | Photo by Concordia University
Although previous studies have shown that friendships can protect against later adjustment difficulties, this study is the first to definitively demonstrate that the presence of a friend results in an immediate benefit for the child undergoing a negative experience.
These results have far-reaching implications. “Our physiological and psychological reactions to negative experiences as children impacts us later in life,” explains Bukowski. “Excessive secretion of cortisol can lead to significant physiological changes, including immune suppression and decreased bone formation. Increased stress can really slow down a child’s development.”

According to Bukowski, when it comes to feelings of self-worth, “What we learn about ourselves as children is how we form our adult identities. If we build up feelings of low self-worth during childhood, this will translate directly into how we see ourselves as adults.”

The study builds on previous research at Concordia that has shown multiple friendships inoculate against negative outcomes such as bullying, exclusion and other kinds of aggression.
About the study
 The paper, “The Presence of a Best Friend Buffers the Effects of Negative Experiences,” published in the journal Developmental Psychology, was authored by William M. Bukowski of Concordia University in Canada, Ryan E. Adams of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and John Bruce Santo of the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the United States.