Archive for March 29th, 2010

Changing the clocks

In the UK, we all change our clocks and watches by one hour, twice a year.

Last Sunday in March
We add an hour and go onto what is called British Summer Time (BST).

Last Sunday in October
We put our clocks back one hour and adhere to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Why do we change our clocks?
We’ve been changing our clocks forwards and backwards in the UK since 1916. It’s all to do with saving the hours of daylight, and was started by a man called William Willett, a London builder, who lived in Petts Wood in Kent (near our school).

William Willett first proposed the idea of British Summer Time in 1907 in a pamphlet entitled ‘The Waste of Daylight’. Willett had noticed that the summer mornings light was wasted while people slept, and that the time would be better utilised in the afternoon by putting the clocks forward. After campaigning for years the British Government finally adopted the system a year after Willett’s death

What time do the clocks change?

The clocks are always changed at 01:00 GMT (02:00 BST).

In the Autumn (October), as we are on BST (British Summer Time) before the clocks change, we change the clocks at 02:00.

In the Spring (March) we are already on GMT so change the clocks at 01:00

Henry – Stonehenge Tour Guide
Histouries UK – Travel through time on one of our tours

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Rule Brittania

Rule Brittania

Would-be citizens to learn British History

Immigrants who want British citizenship will have to learn about the history of the United Kingdom but will not be tested on the subject, it was revealed today.
The Home Secretary’s expert on citizenship, Professor Sir Bernard Crick, said he had written a 38-page potted history of the British Isles which will form the basis of the course.
Immigrants will have to pass the “Britishness test” – due to come in next year – to be entitled to a British passport.
Sir Bernard revealed first details of a handbook which will form the basis of the test as the Home Office launched a new Advisory Board on Naturalisation and Integration.
“As a scholar, I put my head on the block and wrote a 38-page section on British history,” said Sir Bernard.
“The Home Secretary wanted some history in there, and so there is indeed some contained in the handbook. People won’t be tested on that.
“Only certain sections of the handbook will be tested but we see it all as being useful to them.”
British traditions
Home Secretary David Blunkett rejected early proposals for the handbook because they ignored British traditions and focused instead on teaching immigrants how to use the NHS and claim benefits.
The final draft – to be published next month – will include Sir Bernard’s chapter which covers early Britain, the Middle Ages, the Early Modern period, the growth of the Empire, the 20th century and British politics since 1945.
The handbook is designed for teachers, mentors and immigrants who already have a good grasp of English.
A condensed version will be produced “in as many translated languages as can be afforded” for people with poorer English skills, said Sir Bernard.
Sections of the course which will be tested are:
• “A changing society” – on migration to Britain, the changing role of women and children, family and young people;
• “Britain today” – on the population, religion and tolerance, the regions of the UK and customs and traditions;
• “How Britain is governed” – on the British constitution, formal institutions, devolution and Europe;
• “Employment” – on looking for work, equal rights, maternity, self-employment and children at work;
• “Knowing the law” – on human rights, the rights and duties of a citizen, marriage and divorce, children, consumer protection, the courts and legal aid and advice.
Two further sections will not be tested:
• “Everyday needs” – on housing, health, money and credit, education, leisure, travel and transport and identity documents;
• “Sources of help and information” – on help for refugees and newcomers, libraries, Citizens Advice Bureaux and the police.
Applications for citizenship rose by 21% to reach a record 139,000 last year, compared with a 6% rise in 2002.
The number granted citizenship was 124,315, of whom more than half came from Africa and the Indian subcontinent. A total of 426,000 people have applied for citizenship since 2000 and 416,000 have been granted it.
‘Dunkirk spirit’
The introduction to the handbook says: “Some history is essential for understanding the culture of any new country and can also help in following references in ordinary conversation by British people.
“We British are very fond, for instance, of ‘the Dunkirk spirit’, ‘the Nelson touch’ or ‘she’s a real Florence Nightingale’.”
In September last year the Tories estimated the cost of the citizenship classes would be £40 million a year, based on each applicant having to attend 10 two-hour classes.
Sir Bernard, an emeritus politics professor at Birkbeck College and Mr Blunkett’s former tutor, helped devise the citizenship courses in schools which Mr Blunkett initiated while Education Secretary.
To qualify for citizenship, applicants must have lived in the UK for five years without committing any serious offence, or three years if married to a British citizen.

Pat – Stonehenge Tour Guide
Histouries UK – Bringing ‘British’ History alive

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