Matthew Hopkins

The Witchfinder General of Essex

Many myths surround Matthew Hopkins, the self proclaimed Witchfinder General but his actions in 1645 in Essex are well documented.

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School Report: 'The Thankful Villages'

Here's our next look back at a local story from the First World War selected and told by schoolchildren from across the region.

We all know about the huge losses incurred in the First World War. But what you might not have heard about are those rare places in the country that did not lose a single life during the conflict.

They are known as the Thankful Villages and the Anglia region has six of them:

  • Culpho and South Elmham St Michael in Suffolk.
  • Strethall in Essex.
  • Puttenham in Hertfordshire.
  • East Carlton and Woodend in Northamptonshire.

This School Report was sent to us by Year 8 at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles in Suffolk and it tells the story of the Thankful Villages.

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Students' make-up skills win awards

Charlie Youngs, the model of winner Rebecca Youngs
Charlie Youngs, the model of winner Rebecca Youngs Credit: College of West Anglia

Students from the College of West Anglia have won regional heats of a make-up competition which could take them to the finals of the WorldSkills competition in Birmingham.

Model Andrew Brett, whose wife Michelle came second
Model Andrew Brett, whose wife Michelle came second Credit: College of West Anglia

The theme of the competition was 'out of the shadows'. The students will learn next month if their scores will take them to the finals.

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MP raises early learning fears

Concerns over children starting school too early Credit: ITV News Anglia

Concerns from teachers and academics that children may be forced to start formal learning too early have been raised in Parliament by Cambridge MP Julian Huppert.

Julian quizzed the Education Secretary Michael Gove on what assessment he had made on the benefits of creative, play-based learning.

Academics from Cambridge and members of the National Union of Teachers met with Julian to call for his support for the Too Much Too Soon campaign which shows that starting children on formal learning too early can hamper achievement and affect their health and well-being.

Julian asked Mr Gove: “Is he aware of the evidence that has been produced by the Too Much Too Soon campaign about play-based learning? What assessment has he made of the benefits of a sustained period of creative play-based learning before children are exposed to more formal learning environments?”

Mr Gove replied: “Early years practitioners know that we need both structured play and appropriate introduction at the right time to more formal methods of learning to get the most out of every child. We are very fortunate that we have.. more and more talented people teaching in the early years.

Longer school hours transforms results

Some of the children at Great Yarmouth Primary Academy Credit: ITV News Anglia

A primary school in Norfolk which was one of the worst performing schools in the country has transformed results after introducing a 9 hour day.

Now MP's are being told that longer school days like at Great Yarmouth Primary Academy helps youngsters, particularly those from poor communities.

The school introduced the 45 hour week to give pupils the same opportunities as those from private schools and wealthy backgrounds. It believes that giving them somewhere to do homework can boost results.

In a dramatic turnaround in less than 2 years it's earned a good rating by Ofsted.

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