News Round Up 350

IT will be interesting to see the response to suggestions, following a four year study by the charity Youth Music, that school music lessons should be overhauled to include grime, electronic music and hip-hop .

The Guardian says that the study concluded that too many schools fail to include current musical genres and recommended that lessons should focus on “Stormzy rather than Mozart” in order to engage hard-to-reach young people.

The charity, working in collaboration with Birmingham City University, set up partnerships between contemporary community music organisations and secondary schools in England to examine the impact of introducing a modern music curriculum.

Almost 1,000 pupils aged 11-15 were exposed to the new lessons and it was found that young people who were at risk of exclusion at the outset of the programme maintained high levels of attendance – more than 95% – throughout the programme.

More concerning news about Britain’s bees in The Independent.

A ‘Bees Under Siege’ report by the WWF and Buglife says that many species are on the brink of extinction in parts of the UK – and some types have been lost entirely.

An analysis of 228 species revealed the impact of climate change, habitat loss and pollution. Seventeen species were regionally extinct – including the Great Yellow Bumblebee, the Potter Flower Bee and the Cliff Mason Bee – with 25 types threatened and another 31 of conservation concern.

A number of conservation actions were recommended to reverse the decline including ensuring that coastal management plans protect coastal habitats and promoting the management of sea walls and measures to safeguard wildlife-rich brownfield sites.

The BBC tells us that an “extremely rare” 200-year-old gold sovereign is being sold by the Royal Mint for £100,000.

The George III sovereign was one of 3,574 to be struck in 1819 and there are around only 10 left in the world,

Nicola Howell, director of consumer business at the Royal Mint, said the coin was an “incredible opportunity for those who want to own a piece of history”.

Enthusiasts of manga – Japanese comics or cartoons – are in for a treat, reports The Independent.

The world’s largest exhibition of manga outside of Japan is taking place at the British Museum in London.

It has been popular in its homeland for nearly 200 years but enjoyed global success in recent decades.

Osborne House in the Isle of Wight is to display romantic and risqué gifts exchanged between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

An article in The Guardian explains that Osborn House was the couple’s seaside retreat

“There is an abundance of naked flesh here at Osborne in both two and three dimensions,” said Michael Hunter, an English Heritage curator.

“There was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert working side by side on serious papers and letters confronted, full frontal, with a very erotic bevy of semi-clad girls. There is an erotic charge in this very private room.”

The Daily Mirror pays tribute to Bill Root, from Keighley in West Yorkshire, who at 90 is reckoned to be Britain’s oldest Judo master.

The paper says that Bill, a 6th Dan judoka, first took up the martial art at 29 and has been teaching it for 59 years.

Bill said: “Judo is something you get into and you can’t leave it alone. I will never stop practising and learning.”

Reference list

  • The Guardian (
  • The Independent
  • The BBC
  • The Daily Mirror

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