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He started off as a simple dockworker, segued into bootlegging on a large scale, and was known and the “King of the Rum Runners.” Big Bill Dwyer made so much money, he was partners with known gangsters in several swanky New York City nightclubs. Dwyer also owned two professional hockey teams, including the New York Americans, and was owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers football team. However, in the end, when Big Bill Dwyer passed away, he died out of the limelight, and flat broke.

William Vincent Dwyer was born in 1883 in the Hells Kitchen area on the west side of New York City. Two gangs, the Hudson Dusters and the Gophers, ruled Hell’s Kitchen at the time, but Dwyer avoided joining both gangs, and instead took a job on the docks as a stevedore for the International Longshoremen’s Union (ILU).

While working on the docks, Dwyer started his own bookmaking operation. After the Volstead Act was enacted in 1919, banning the distribution of alcohol, with the money he made from bookmaking, Dwyer branched out into the bootlegging business. Dwyer purchased a fleet of steel-plated speedboats, each with a mounted machine gun, in case crooks tried to hijack a shipment. Dwyer also purchased several large rum-running ships, which were needed to offload the illegal hootch from whatever boat was supplying it.

Dwyer traveled to Canada, England, and the Caribbean to establish ties with those who sold him the liquor he needed to smuggle into the United States. Then Dwyer set up a system whereby his ships would meet the ships, that were supplying him the liquor, many miles out at sea. There the booze was transferred to Dwyer’s ships, then quickly transported to Dwyer’s speedboats, which were closer to the shore of New York City.

The speedboats were unloaded at the docks, which were protected by Local 791 of the ILU, of which Dwyer was a charter member. From the docks, the liquor was moved to several warehouses in the New York area. When the time was right, trucks filed with illegal alcohol, and protected by convoys of teamster members, transported the booze all over the country: with heavy shipments going to Florida, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and as far away as New Orleans.

Dwyer was able to smuggle large amounts of booze into New York City because he knew one simple fact: you had to bribe the police and the Coast Guard if you wanted to be successful in the bootlegging business. And that Dwyer did, handing over thousands of dollars to whomever needed to be greased.

Paying off New York City cops was easy. The cops who didn’t have their hands out for graft money were far and few between. However, Dwyer was especially skillful in recruiting Coast Guard members to look the other way, when his speedboats were entering New York waters.

Dwyer’s first contact was Coast Guard Petty Officer Olsen. Through Olsen, Dwyer met scores of Coast Guardsmen, “Guardies” he called them, who might be willing to take bribes. Dwyer would bring these Guardies into the bright lights of New York City, where he would feed them sumptuous meals, take them to Broadway shows, and even get them a swanky hotel room, occupied by the lady of their choice, whom Dwyer would pay for too. Once a Guardie took a bribe from Dwyer, he was informed that he could earn hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars more, if he could enlist other Guardies to help protect Dwyer’s shipments.

Soon, Dwyer was making so much money through bootlegging, he was considered the largest distributor of illegal alcohol in the entire United States of America. However, Dwyer had one huge problem, which he needed help in solving. Whenever one of his trucks left New York to distribute the booze to other parts of the country, they were vulnerable to being seized by the hundreds of hijackers who operated throughout the country. Dwyer knew to stop this from happening he had to take in partners – members of the Italian mobs, and the Jewish mobs. Since he was raking in millions in profits, Dwyer didn’t mind, and certainly could afford to share the wealth. The problem was, Dwyer considered himself no more than a businessman, and wasn’t a gangster himself. Dwyer needed someone in the underworld who could make the contacts Dwyer needed to continue to operate without fear of being hijacked.

Almost by accident, that person fell right into Dwyer’s lap. In 1924, two of Dwyer’s shipments were hijacked in upstate New York. Dwyer leaned on the cops on his payroll to find out who was responsible for the hijackings. Word soon came back to Dwyer that the perpetrator, who was arrested for the hijackings, was none other than Owney Madden, an Irishman himself, who grew up in Liverpool, England, before he emigrated to New York as a teenager. Madden was a vicious con nicknamed “The Killer” and had once ruled the murderous Gopher’s gang in Hell’s Kitchen.

Dwyer paid whomever needed to be paid to get the charges dropped against Madden, with the order, “Get me Owney Madden. I want to talk to him. I’ve got a business proposition we need to discuss.”

Madden got the word who his benefactor had been, and that a meeting with Dwyer was expected of him in return. The two men met at Dwyer’s office in the Loew’s State Building in Times Square. There is no recording, or transcript of this meeting, but T.J. English, in his masterpiece on Irish gangsters called Paddy Whacked, said the conversation between Madden and Dwyer might have gone something like this:

“You’ve got a problem,” Madden would have told Dwyer. “Gangsters have been picking off your trucks like sitting ducks and what are you going to do about it?”

“That’s why I called you here.”

“You gotta organize the shooters and the cherry-pickers, not to mention the bulls (cops) and the pols (politicians).”

“You’re right. I need the hijackings to stop. I need a place to make my own brew right here in the city. Protected by the Tiger and the coppers. And I need outlets – speakeasies, nightclubs, you name it.”

“You need a lot, my friend.

“Are you with me?”

“Give me one reason why.”

“I can make you rich.”

“Pal, you and me are two peas in a pod.”

And that was the start of the New York City Irish Mob, which would then unite with the Italian and Jewish mobs to control the bootlegging business throughout the United States of America. The grouping of the three ethnic mobs was known as the “Combine.”

With Dwyer’s millions, Madden oversaw the creation of the Phoenix Cereal Beverage Company, which was located on 26th Street and 10th Avenue, right in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, where both Madden and Dwyer had grown up. This red-brick building, which comprised the entire block, was originally the Clausen & Flanagan Brewery, which was created to produce and sell near-beer, which no true beer-drinker would ever let pass their lips. The beer produced at the Phoenix was called Madden’s No 1.

With Dwyer basically the money man behind the scenes, Madden became the architect who created and nurtured their empire. Madden brought in a former taxi business owner named Larry Fay as the front man for several high class establishments, that were needed to sell Madden No. 1, plus all the scotch, rum, vodka, Cognac and champagne that the Combine was smuggling into the city. One of these places was the El Fay at 107 West 54th Street.

The main attraction at the El Fay was Texas Guinan, a bawdy cabaret singer/comedienne, who was later copied by May West. To entice Guinan to work at the El Fay, Madden and Dwyer made Guinan a partner. Guinan was famous for her wisecracks, which she belted out between clacks from a clacker, or toots from a piercing whistle, while she was sitting on a tall stool in the main room. Guinan’s signature saying was “Hello Sucker,” which is how she greeted all the well-healed El Fay customers.

When a singer or a dancer finished their performance at the El Fey, Guinan would exhort the crowd to “Give the little lady a great big hand!”

One day, a prohibition agent, who couldn’t be bought by Madden or Dwyer, raided the El Fey. He marched over to Guinan, put his hand on her shoulder and said to his fellow agent, “Give the little lady a great big handcuff.”

Dwyer did what he did best, Guinan was released from prison, and the El Fey was soon hopping again, making everyone involved very rich indeed.

Madden and Dwyer also partnered with former bootlegger Sherman Billingsley at the very fashionable Stork Club on East 53rd Street. The two Irish gangsters spread their wings to the north part of Manhattan when they bought the Club De Luxe from former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Johnson. They inserted Big Frenchy De Mange as their operating partner, and changed the name to the Cotton Club. At the Cotton Club, De Mange instituted a “Whites Only” admittance policy, despite the fact the waiters, dancers, and headline entertainers, like Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and the Nicholas Brothers, were all black.

Still, the Cotton Club was wildly successful with the big spenders from downtown, putting tons of cash into Dwyer and Madden’s pockets.

In 1925, Dwyer was arrested for attempting to bribe Coast Guard members during a sting operation headed by the Prohibition Bureau. Dwyer was sentenced to two years in prison, but he was released after 13 months for good behavior. With Dwyer in the can, Frank Costello took over Dwyer’s bootlegging business.

While he was in prison, a despondent Dwyer said to one of his cell mates. “I wish I had never seen a case of whiskey. I spent years in daily fear of my life, always expecting to be arrested, always dealing with crooks and double-crossers, and now look at me. My wife is heartbroken and I am worse than broke.”

As we shall see, that was not exactly the truth.

When Dwyer hit the streets again, he eased out of the bootlegging business, leaving the rum-running operation to Costello and Madden. To pass his time, Dwyer started investing in legitimate business, especially sports teams.

In 1926, boxing promoter Tex Rickard conned Dwyer into buying the Hamilton Tigers of the National Hockey League. Dwyer did so, and he moved his team into New York’s Madison Square Garden, and re-named them the New York Americans. As smart as Dwyer was in running the bootlegging business, he was just as dumb in running a hockey team. His pockets bursting with bootlegging cash, Dwyer’s strategy for winning was basically to over-pay everybody on his team. With the average hockey player making between $1500-$2000 a year, Dwyer gave Billy Burch a 3-year $25,000 contract. Shorty Green also got a huge raise, when Dwyer awarded him a $5000 a year contract.

Being an old crook at heart, Dwyer took an active part in running his team, even going so far as to try and rig the games. Dwyer paid off goal judges to rule his team had scored a goal if the puck just touched the goal line, instead of completely passing the goal line, which was the rule.

At a game in 1927 in Madison Square Garden, the goal judge, whom Dwyer had in his pocket, for some unknown reason started taunting Ottawa goalie Alex Connell. Connell responded by butt-ending his hockey stick into the goal judge’s nose. Dwyer became incensed at the Ottawa goalie’s actions (You don’t manhandle one of Dwyer’s employees), and Connell was told to leave town quickly after the game. A police detail took Connell to the train station, and protected him until the train was safely out of town. After the train left the station, a man asked Connell if he was the Ottawa goalie Alex Connell. Connell afraid for his life, told the stranger no. And, as a result, he lived to goalie other hockey games.

Bypassing a league rule that a person can’t own two hockey teams, in 1929, Dwyer, using ex-lightweight boxing champ Benny Leonard as his front man, purchased the NHL’s Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1930, Dwyer inserted his grubby fingers into the newly-formed National Football League too, by buying the Dayton Triangles for $2,500. Dwyer moved the team to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, and renamed them the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In three years, Dwyer, again overpaying all his players, began losing so much money, he sold the Brooklyn Dodgers to two former New York Giant Football players: Chris Cagle and John Simms, for $25,000. Even though he sold the team for 10 times more than he had paid, Dwyer estimated he still lost $30,000 in the three years he owned the team.

In 1934, having his fill of America sports teams (he still owned the New York Americans, but they were bleeding money), Dwyer bought the famed Tropical Park Horse Racing Track in Miami, Florida.

However, the roof fell in on Dwyer, when in 1935, he was indicted on a gambling charge. Dwyer beat that case, but then the government did to him what they did to Al Capone: they hit him with tax evasion charges. Those charges stuck, and Dwyer was stripped of all his assets, except the New York Americans, and a house in Belle Harbor, Queens. Almost penniless, Dwyer no longer had the money to keep the New York Americans afloat.

In 1937, the National Hockey League temporarily took control of the New York Americans. To show the NHL that he was financially solvent, Dwyer borrowed $20,000 from Red Dutton. However, instead of paying his team’s salaries, Dwyer decided to try to multiply his money in a craps game. That didn’t go over too well, when Dwyer busted out, and lost the entire twenty grand. Unable to pay his team, and unable to raise any more capital, the NHL booted Dwyer out permanently, and took final control of the New York Americans. Broke and despondent, Dwyer retired to his Belle Harbor home.

On December 10, 1943, Big Bill Dwyer, the “King of the Rum Runners” died at the age of 63. Dwyer was reportedly penniless at the time of his death, his only asset being the roof over his head.

Choosing the right school for any child is a tough decision. But choosing the right school for a child with special needs or learning difficulties is absolutely critical. Which is why I have written this article to hopefully give you some tips on how to choose the right school.

When you have a child with special needs, the RIGHT school can:

Be a fantastic source of support for you and your child.

Help your child reach their full potential.

Minimise the symptoms of your child’s disorder or difficulty.

Make your child feel comfortable and happy.

Allow your child to make friends and eliminate the chance of bullying.

Improve your child’s chances of a bright future full of opportunities and possibilities.

This all sounds fantastic and is what every parent wants for their child.

However, choosing the WRONG school can:

Give you little or no support.

Hold your child back.

Make their symptoms worse.

Cause your child to feel scared, alone and isolated.

Make it difficult for your child to make friends.

Increase the likelihood of bullying.

Limit the chance of your child having a bright future.

YES, this is how important it is to get the right school when your child has special needs. And unfortunately this is the reality of what could (and often does) happen.

I have had a lot of experience in this area with my own son:

When he was due to start school. I spent hours trawling the internet in search of the best local schools, in the best areas, with the highest league table scores and best reports.

This was a HUGE mistake.

If you have a child who does not have special needs or learning difficulties, then yes, do what I did, and look for those high performing schools in ‘good’ areas.

BUT, if your child has special needs, DO NOT DO THAT. I can’t stress that enough.

High performing schools are often high performing because they have very few children with special needs.

This means that:

a) they won’t have such good facilities and procedures in place for them.

b) they won’t have such good knowledge or experience with special needs or learning difficulties.

Also, high performing schools in ‘good’ areas often lack in diversity. This can make your child more likely to be subject to bullying. Where a school has a higher number of children with special needs and a greater level of diversity, children are more open to differences between them and less likely to pick on a child for being different.

The first school I sent my son to, I made this mistake. I sent him to a very high performing school in a typically rich, white christian area. The school had less than 1% special needs. And 0% cultural diversity.

Within a few months, my son was terrified to go to school. He hardly had any friends. He was being bullied. The teacher constantly came up to me at the end of the day to tell me what he’d done wrong that day or how much he’d struggled. He achieved barely any learning progress. And every time I went into a meeting with his teacher or special needs co ordinator, they would say things like, “we don’t know what to do with him”. And, “We think you should consider sending him to a special school”.

For far too long, I left him at that school, not realising the damage it was doing, or that things could be different.

After nearly 2 years I pulled him out. And not to send him to a special school (like they had suggested). I sent him to a school in a nearby town, which was the exact opposite of the school he had just left.

I sent him to a school with low performance rates. The highest percentage of special needs children in the area (12%) and was located in quite a ‘poor’ area with lots of diversity.

Within a few weeks he started to read simple words, write his name and count to 10. Things he had never been able to do. He enjoyed going to school (most days – we still had the occasional day he couldn’t be bothered, but no screaming fits). He made lots of friends. And all the teachers and staff their loved him.

Instead of having a teacher constantly moaning about him, they spoke about him with fondness and affection. It was fantastic.

After just over 4 glorious years at that school. Sadly he had to leave, because we had to emigrate from England to Australia.

But, when we started the search for a school in Australia, I had already learnt my lesson. So I immediately looked for a school that was:

Small (under 400 students) the less the better.

Had high rates of children with special needs and learning difficulties (minimum or 8%).

Had a very diverse mix of students, with children from lots of different economic, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

A school that focused a lot of attention on social development and happy children.

We visited school after school after school within about a half an hour drive of our house. And eventually we found a school that met all my criteria. Woodville Primary School in Victoria.

My son has been there now for 6 months and he couldn’t be happier. He has lots of friends and the staff adore him. But most importantly he enjoys going to school. And I feel supported and listened to by his teacher and the other staff.

The practice of underpainting is almost as large an area of study as oil painting.

The purpose of an underpainting is to establish the composition and overall light/dark pattern while initiating the development of volumes and substance to the forms.

An underpainting allows you to envision the totality of the pictorial idea. In addition to correcting drawing errors the underpainting’s primary purpose is to fix the all important Notan, which is the Japanese term for light/dark harmony.

Generally speaking, there are three types of underpainting: there is the fully worked up monochromatic grisaille. This is the academic approach where little is left to chance. However, the classical grisaille of mixed white and black possesses an Achilles Heel. As the white paint ages it becomes more translucent and the black paint in the grey mix will dominate. Hence the overall picture will darken significantly, especially if there was extensive correcting of the grisaille.

If a basic oil/turpentine medium is employed this darkening is all but guaranteed. The solution is to use a thixotropic resin based medium — such as Venice Turpentine — which suspends the pigment and nullifies the oil’s interminable darkening. Despite its name Venice Turpentine is a resin not a solvent. A confusing but important distinction.

The Renaissance approach often employed the verdaccio which is a green-hued underpainting. Michelangelo’s unfinished Entombment exhibits his painting process from beginning to finish. The central Christ figure is a wholly resolved verdaccio underpainting.

The optical grisaille resolves many of the problems of the grey mixes of the classical grisaille. The imprimatura holds the light middle tones; raw umber and charcoal gray produces the darker values; and concludes with a select impasto of white lead paint that supports the highest values of the overpainting as the oil paint grows more translucent over time.

The final appearance of an optical grisaille is a painting that exhibits a higher key of color than what can be achieved by an academic grisaille or even direct alla prima.

The key for achieving a translucent grisaille is the thixotropic medium of stand oil, Venice turpentine and Damar varnish diluted with turpentine.

In oil painting your medium is to painting what sauces are to French cuisine. The all-too-common medium of linseed oil and turpentine actually degrades the paints robbing them of their lustre. You can buy ready-made painting mediums in the art store, but in my opinion this is like pouring Kraft Thousand Island dressing onto an exquisitely prepared gourmet meal.

As with any trade, a contractor entering into the pressure washing industry has their sight on one primary goal. That is to make money and LOTS of it.

This is probably the one common denominator that most pressure wash contractors give as their reason for joining the rank and file as a professional power washing contractor. Obviously there is nothing wrong with making money with your business; this is why you are in business right? Often time a contractors success is measured by prescribed benchmarks passed down from one generation to the next. One of them being how much money do you make? The formula has always been that money equals success. The other is whether or not you are busy? If a contractor is busy, then the old cliche is that they must be successful because their busy. And if a contractor is busy 7 days a week from sun-up to sun-down then obviously they are making great money ~ right?

The Rat Race of Success?

Imagine having a 5 year business plan that yields a surge of growth for your business that everything else in your life is on hold in order to accommodate the abounding growth you experience year after year? The influx of sales calls must be answered within 24 hours preferably. Once answered, then you must schedule the estimates. Do not forget to take the time to proof read your marketing fliers/postcards in between answering all the sales calls and the estimates that you just scheduled. Phone time with your distributor is a must in order to keep the chemicals/soaps stocked. The phone time with your distributor also affords you the opportunity to ask technical questions about the “rattling noise” you hear on your rig when it is in operation. For some of you, if your rig goes down then you are nonoperational at least for the next 24-48 hours at minimum.

Fellow contractors need their time also on the phone with you so they can “bend your ear” for tips and suggestions. Set some time aside at night to keep your companies web presence in the forefront for your customer base and to answer emails from customers that opted to not call you during the day. Training any new employee will take a good chunk out of a work day so plan accordingly. If you are a one-man operation you obviously will need to finesse your washing schedule in order to make time to actually perform the work that was booked from those sales calls mentioned earlier. In the past you were able to make bank deposits every Friday but today you just cannot seem to make it to the bank until after it is closed because you literally have a thousand other priorities going on with the success of your business.

In between this fast operation tempo you may manage to give your significant other a call on the phone to let them know that you will not be able to make it to your sons little league game or your daughters dance recital again as promised. You offer up a sincere and heart felt apology not only to your significant other but more importantly to your child who is obviously upset that you will not be there – again. You had every intention to make it this time when you left for work that morning but as luck would have it a customer frantically called at the last minute saying the stain you applied yesterday was not the right color! Before you hang up with your wife you mention that you will not make it home for dinner either. Has this been your routine lately? Do the demands of your business and the priorities associated with it overshadow the very reason why you are in business of pressure washing in the first place?

What is Your System?

Business growth and the effort that is required to manage that growth can be a pleasant experience as a pressure wash business owner. As your business grows externally i.e. sales, marketing, increase in contracts, you must ensure that you internal business infrastructure i.e. employees, managers, sales team is also growing to compliment this external growth. It is highly recommended that your business plan not only speaks on “systems” but more importantly that you understand the action on your part to place the right people into your business so that the “systems” in writing can turn to “systems” of reality. As business owners, we often overlook the infrastructure portion of our business plan by diverting our attention on only how to get our phone to ring. When this happens we find ourselves running our business in what is commonly known as ‘catch up mode’. This means that no matter what time of the day it is, you are behind schedule or in ‘catch up mode’ because your “systems” still lay dormant. In conjunction with just being behind schedule every day, we also unconsciously run a very high risk of losing out on the joys of spending quality time with our family and loved ones as described in the example above. Does this sound like you?

Who is in Charge?

There is good news and today you are empowered as the owner of your business to stop this cycle of madness and take control of your business instead of letting your business control you. The first step in order to regain control of your business is that you need to arrive to the understanding and belief that constant business growth is not necessarily the only indicator to success. As a pressure washing contractor with a family you owe it to your significant other and children to ensure that the growth of your business does not constantly overshadow the simple things in life that everyone in your household needs and wants.

Who ME??

As business owners, we have the luxury and the ability to ‘scale back’ our time in the field in order to make the time to give our family the attention they deserve. Why? Because you are the owner and the BOSS. That is right; YOU call the shots on the day to day operations and at what the operation tempo of your day will be like. If your ‘systems’ action plan only got as far as it being written on a piece of paper then you run a very high risk of burning yourself out very quickly. Coupled this along with the mental peer pressure from your significant other that you have not spent quality time with your family in the last 4-6 months, it is plausible that one day you may wake up and realize that you do not enjoy what you are doing i.e. pressure washing.

Instead of starting your pressure wash season with only the purpose of making as much money as you can, could it be feasible that you approach your pressure wash season with the mind set that your business and family will sustain a “balance” through out the year? Oh the joy of seeing a young boys face light up when he sees BOTH parents sitting in the bleachers to watch his little league game in the middle of the afternoon; Or the smile from ear-to-ear when a young daughter happily jumps into your arms because you came to pick her up from school. Establishing the right “systems” in your pressure washing business takes time and ultimately some trial and error. It is okay if you do not get it right after several attempts but be mindful and confident that you will get there eventually. Managing the growth of your company may even mean temporarily not growing at all until you able to find the right individuals that posses the skill set your business needs to take it to that next plateau.

Time To Reflect

If you find yourself in the middle of the pressure wash gauntlet today, take a moment and reflect on what is really important in your life on your terms. Ask yourself why you became a pressure washing contractor in the first place? Was it because you and your family wanted the freedom that you could not obtain working for someone else? If so, where is that freedom today? Take inventory on how your time away from the family may be viewed by your significant other and your children today. If making money at all costs is what drives you then congratulations on your success. If you seek that “balance” between pressure washing and family remember that you are empowered to be in control of your days. One of rewards of being a business owner is that you have the ability to keep any schedule that you wish.

I personally know a pressure washing contractor located in Kentucky that has carved out a pretty decent pressure washing business. One of the keys to his success is that he manages his business verses letting his business manage him. It is not uncommon for him to be out riding his Harley in the afternoon or taking his beautiful family to a local restaurant for an early supper on any given day. This is a prime example of how one pressure washing contractor has taking advantage of why he is in business in the first place; that is to enjoy life. I do not know how much money he makes a year but I would guess that he, along with other pressure washing contractors that have mastered this “balance” between work and family, is probably one of the richest guys in the industry and has very little if any to do with the size of his bank account.

Lets Go Out for Dinner

So as your phone continues to ring off the hook and you are attempting to be superman for all your customers all at one time, stop and asked yourself whether or not ‘is it really about all the money?’ If so, continue on your journey and you should be applauded for your sacrifice. If not, I am sure you would be superman, at least for that night, to your family when you show up at the house unannounced to tell them you are taking them out to dinner!

IV. 4 Limited choices

Since September 2004, Modern Foreign Languages are an entitlement, which means, as explained earlier, that schools must offer pupils the opportunity to study one language up to GCSE. However, in practice schools deal with this new governmental policy very differently from each other. Head Teachers of Comprehensive Schools have the possibility to implement the decision in varied ways, and for instance in Specialist Languages School the tuition of Modern Foreign Languages at Key Stage 4 is still compulsory. In School Z, where the number of options offered is limited, pupils who opt for textiles have to take a language. There are timetable constraints, which makes any other combination impossible. Pupils are therefore often resentful, as they feel that what should have been a choice has been imposed on them.

Some other Head Teachers promote the learning of a language and ensure that it is valued in the school and community, and so they manage to keep the number of candidates who decide to enter for a languages GCSE quite high. This is often the case in middle class catchment areas where the benefits of learning a language are understood and supported by families.

The schools that have suffered the most from this decision are Comprehensive Schools in more deprived areas, where there is no understanding of the resource that languages can be, especially to improve Literacy skills. Some schools even withdraw pupils who have Special Educational Needs from Languages lessons, in order to provide them with extra support in English. In school Z, the Literacy Co-ordinator agrees on the importance of offering children the possibility to gain from learning a language, and he has advised the Special Educational Needs co-ordinator to avoid removing them from lessons.

Pupils acquire transferable skills in Modern Foreign Languages, and this should be explained more thoroughly to the general public.

Schools often aim to raise achievement in terms of numbers, and in this concern the actual learning process is not taken into account. Modern Foreign Languages teachers sometimes have to face poor behaviour in lessons, due to the perception of the subject. This is in direct link with the impossibility to practice speaking and listening skills in some contexts, which implies that pupils will perform badly when they are assessed. Pupils are set according to ability in most schools, and the group which is labelled ‘bottom set’ is usually a mixture of low achievers and badly behaved pupils. However, this has also a negative impact on pupils’ self esteem. Very low predicted grades have a negative effect on their motivation.

Some Languages Schools, but some Comprehensive Schools as well, have decided to disregard the languages entitlement at Key Stage 4 by creating fast track sections in which pupils take their GCSE exams at the end of Year 9. In Year 7, pupils are set by Christmas and the lessons of the fast track groups are immediately tailored to progress at a quicker pace. Other pupils are in mixed ability sets. Pupils who sit their exams at the end of Key Stage 3 are also learning a second language, which follows the mainstream teaching routine, and they are eventually assessed at the end of Year 11.

The policies that the Government is implementing for the 14 to 16 education in Languages also appear to be in contradiction with some development plans for the 16 to 19 provision. The future of the system of assessment has been discussed lately by politicians and educators. Some suggest the introduction of a baccalaureate system which should be based on the existing International Baccalaureate. This would imply the necessity of learning a language in the post 16 education. Although this seems to be the direction favoured by many educators, Governmental plans appear to be different and somehow ambiguous.

The English baccalaureate which is a suggested route seems to be strongly following the lines of the current A Level system. As far as Modern Foreign Languages are concerned, Recommendation 14 included in the “14-19 reform: Inclusiveness, challenge, quality and choice”, published by the Dfes in 2004, states that “the Government should ensure a comprehensive and flexible Modern Foreign Language offer, building upon the National Languages Strategy (…) The existing entitlement to study a Modern Foreign Language at Key Stage 4 should be extended to 16-19 year olds.”

The United Kingdom is aware of the need to raise the profile of Modern Foreign Languages. The necessity to teach pupils languages so that they become proficient users is recognised by the Government. Several business groups have expressed their concern in the last ten years about the lack of skilled employees. Although it is common knowledge, as many studies and enquiries have researched this matter, none of the current or forthcoming educational policies appear to have the potential to change durably the present situation. “Britain is Europe’s foreign languages dunce: only one in three Britons can speak a second language (…) The inquiry into exam reform by the former chief schools inspector, Mike Tomlinson, suggested a foreign language should become a compulsory part of a new style vocational qualification such as Leisure and Tourism” (The Independent, 24/12/2004: 6). The Government strongly focuses on developing vocational studies and might integrate more specialised languages skills within the curriculum. However, the current Programme of Study for Key Stage 3 already focuses on the necessity to provide pupils with a range of appropriate transferable skills. The content of the curriculum, though, would benefit from covering a wider range of needs.


Traditionally the educational system of the United Kingdom conveyed first and foremost the national language, values and traditions throughout its curriculum. Modern Foreign Languages were not a priority.

The birth of Comprehensive Schools could have brought some progress. The selecting process to enter Secondary School known as the ‘eleven plus exam’ was suppressed and schools were opened to every individual, regardless of class, gender or ethnicity. Languages teaching had to be adapted to fit the new generation classrooms as the lessons were no longer attended by the elite of students. The process was not without difficulties and the exam results were not encouraging.

To try to improve matters, Modern Foreign Languages became compulsory at national examination level in 1986. At the same time, business professionals and associations promoting languages, such as the Centre for Information on Language Teaching, noticed a shortage of people able to use languages in professional contexts. To research into the reasons for this, the Nuffield Foundation started an inquiry whose final results were published in 2000. The Government was held partly responsible for the absence of coherent policies to promote languages within the United Kingdom.

The Nuffield Final Report suggested some measures which could help to develop the interest and knowledge in Modern Foreign Languages. Most government policies then followed the recommendations of the Nuffield Foundation. A National Curriculum was created in 1999. A new Strategy for teaching Modern Foreign Languages at Key Stage 3 was elaborated in 2003, alongside a Framework for teaching languages. The introduction of Modern Foreign Languages as a foundation subject within the curriculum in primary schools should be implemented by 2012. All these measures aim at enforcing the position of languages within the curriculum, as a subject that provides transferable skills and which is a valuable asset to the development of pupils’ literacy skills. However, alongside all these constructive improvements, the Government decided to change the status of Modern Foreign Languages by removing them from the core curriculum at Key Stage 4. Schools are required though to offer the option, as any student is entitled to benefit from tuition in a foreign language.

The innovations in the educational system between the 1960s and the present mean that the teaching and learning of Modern Foreign Languages have had to face many changes too. The resources available to teach the subject were not suitable after the schools transferred to comprehensive schools, and so the resources had to be adapted. Changes in the examination process with the introduction of the General Certificate of Secondary Education in 1988 also led to necessary adaptations. Publishers had to provide resources that fitted the new standardised curriculum, as Local Education Authorities lost their control in that matter in favour of the central Government. Another evolution is that the plethora of traditional resources meets new competition from the rapidly improving 21st century technology. Information and communication technology, and interactive whiteboards, are now a common feature in classrooms.

Although the future of language teaching should look positive with all these developments, there are still some detractors, but also some deeply rooted beliefs which are detrimental to the progress of this school subject. In the United Kingdom, people still do not feel a sense of belonging to continental Europe as far as traditions, culture and languages are concerned. “In every other school subject, the model of performance is one who has followed the same learning route that both pupil and teacher must take. In our subject, the model is the well educated native speaker, whose mastery neither the learner, nor most teachers, however gifted, can hope to equal.” (Hawkins, 1996: 16). Modern Foreign Languages remains a highly academic subject and the governmental decision to make it an optional entitlement leads many students to drop this subject which is both challenging and demanding. Schools in deprived catchment areas are not encouraging students to pursue the learning of this subject and some Key Stage 3 students are already showing signs of disaffection. School budgets vary tremendously according to the way Local Education Authorities allocate their funds, and if schools do not benefit from additional grants it is increasingly difficult to provide up-to-date resources.

Although the quality of published material has vastly improved, the statutory inclusion policy that the Government expects from schools requires a greater need for differentiation. Schools can hardly afford buying sets of textbooks to suit the needs of every individual student. Modern Foreign Languages are often a department that performs badly at national examination levels, such as the General Certificate of Secondary Education or the A Levels. Achievement is one of the most common decisive factors used by schools management to allocate funding. Therefore even if new technological devices are available, many Modern Foreign Languages departments can not get equipped with them because it is not within their budget. On the other hand, some colleagues who benefit from instruments such as interactive whiteboards are not trained appropriately and do not use them to their full potential. The educational value and actual effectiveness of these new resources are yet to be proven, once the novelty factor has subsided.

Teaching and Learning is the latest governmental focus in its effort to improve national examination results. The latter is many schools’ obsession as it determines their rank in the League Table, which is the way schools are judged by the general public. Some schools strongly guide their students in their option choice to obtain better overall results. Some other schools think about alternative strategies to enforce the government requirements but also develop their students’ languages skills, such as the creation of ‘fast track groups’, so that students can take their General Certificate of Secondary Education in Modern Foreign Languages at the end of Key Stage 3, when it is still a core subject.

The paradoxical political position of the United Kingdom in educational affairs reflects to some extent the country’s public opinion about language learning. According to surveys, the British population appears to regret their lack of proficiency in Modern Foreign Languages but do not transmit this to the younger generation, who is in a position to acquire languages skills at school. Although the decision to introduce Modern Foreign Languages at primary school level as a core subject in the curriculum can only be praised, its actual implementation is yet to be achieved appropriately. Primary school teachers who are not specialists in Modern Foreign Languages might resent teaching the subject, even if they are provided with suitable training. The shortage of linguists at higher level, that is to say studying A Level courses and/or attending University, will generate in turn professionals with no skills at all in this area, including primary schools teachers.

The recent focus that the Government makes on vocational training does not involve Modern Foreign Languages. On the contrary, it has led to their disappearance as a foundation subject in the curriculum at Key Stage 4. Ruth Kelly, the Secretary of State for Education, made the following statement to the House of Commons on the 14-19 White Paper on 23 February 2005: “Historically, our education system has produced a high achieving elite while failing the majority. In today’s global economy, in which our national competitiveness increasingly depends on the skills of each an every person, we cannot afford so much talent to go to waste.” However, Modern Foreign Languages as an optional feature in the curriculum creates a divide in opportunities according to social class. Figures show that in deprived areas the disaffection and the rejection of Modern Foreign Languages at Key Stage 4, and to some extent at Key Stage 3, have already reached high percentages. Other measures, such as the reintroduction of assessments at the end of primary school, will lead to even more segregation in the access to education. Schools which are in the top places in the League Tables are the ones many parents want to send their children to. Some are even prepared to move to live in the catchment area of specific schools to offer the best opportunities to their children. The price of housing is dependent upon many criteria amongst which the proximity of a sought after school is a prominent one.

Besides, restricting access to some schools by selecting on aptitude is against the principle of comprehensive schools. The plan to turn all schools into Comprehensive Schools was never achieved, and the political direction taken by the current Labour Government turns away even more from this plan. Tony Blair announced a focus on developing schools with a ‘specialist status’ in 2000. Schools bidding for this status need to raise £50,000 in business sponsorship, set improvement targets for the school and involve the local community. If successful, schools obtain £100,000 in capital grants and an additional £120 per pupil a year for four years. They are also allowed to select up to 10 per cent of their new applicants. The Government seems to encourage selection and elitism and Modern Foreign Languages are highly affected by this ethos.

The scale of this research is limited and some implications may not have been analysed. Although the elitist approach of the Government is detrimental to Modern Foreign Languages as far as secondary schools are concerned, the introduction of languages at primary school level can generate hope as to a potential for language skills to be developed in the United Kingdom. One might put forward the possibility of outreach work that colleagues from specialist schools can offer to their primary school counterparts. This would improve the quality of the delivery of teaching and the learning outcomes. Besides, the number of students on roll in languages at secondary school level decreases, which implies that some Comprehensive School teachers will become available to teach full time in one primary school or in a consortium of primary schools.

In the perspective that human resources are dealt with adequately, the transition between primary and secondary level will have to be addressed. So far, students who start Year 7 are taught the rudiments of a Modern Foreign Language during their first year of instruction. The content of the curriculum needs to be altered rapidly to fit the level of ability students will have reached at the beginning of Year 7. As pupils come from various ‘feeder’ primary schools, the difference in level of achievement will have to be dealt with. Teaching and learning Modern Foreign Languages at primary school has a huge potential in so far that ‘fast tracking courses’ could become a standard practice, and most students could take their General Certificate of Secondary Education in Modern Foreign Languages at the end of Year 9. Achievement is self perpetuating; pupils who experience success in the early stages of their learning may well be motivated by this and continue to succeed on into Key Stage 4.

The development of vocational strands could also be interrelated with Modern Foreign Languages. Current General Vocational National Qualifications (GNVQ) which are an alternative post 16 route in specialities such as Leisure and Tourism, Media or Business Studies, do not include a module in Modern Foreign Languages. To encourage students to pursue languages at Key Stage 4, a vocational course in Modern Foreign Languages designed to lead on this speciality could be developed.

The FIFA World Cup is one of the most anticipated events in the field of sports. It is also the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world. Held once every four years, football fans across the globe follow the gaming action live, watch their favorite players vie on field and witness new records being set.

Fédération Internationale de Football Association is the international governing body for football. The first inaugural tournament was held in 1930. The 20th edition of the FIFA World Cup is slated for 12th June 2014. The South American country, Brazil will play host for the 2014 games. This is the second time Brazil has been chosen to organize the game. Not only this, they have won the title five times and are the only team to have qualified for every tournament since its inception. The next two world cups will be held in Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022).

32 Teams to Participate

32 teams from across five different continents and confederations will battle it out in Brazil for what is the most coveted football competition title. The list of 32 teams is ALGERIA, Cameroon, Australia, Iran, Ecuador, Greece, South Korea, Honduras, Switzerland, Ghana, Costa Rica, USA, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cote d’Ivoire, Mexico, Japan, Nigeria, Chile, Russia, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Croatia, England, Belgium, Uruguay, Colombia, Italy, Argentina, Germany, Spain and Brazil. The armadillo Fuleco is the official mascot of the game.

Game Format

The tournament lasts for a month; this time from 12th June to 13th July. As already stated above, it is held among 32 teams. These 32 teams are chosen after several qualifying matches held in the preceding three years. The qualifying matches are called the preliminary competition. The Final competition phase in held between the 32 teams. The games during the final competition phase are held at various venues within the host nation.

“We Are One” – The Official 2014 World Cup Song

Every FIFA World Cup is incomplete without an official song. It has given us several hits over the years including Ricky Martin’s “The Cup of Life” and Shakira’s foot-tapping “Waka Waka”. Brazil has earned the moniker “Land of Music” on account for its love for music. As a result, football and music fans alike are looking forward to a musical masterpiece – a blend of pop culture and the infamous Brazilian beats.

The latest news from FIFA’s information desk states that the official song for the 2014 soccer World Cup will be composed and sung by American rapper Pitbull and songstress Jennifer Lopez. The song is titled “We Are One” (Ole Ola). There will also be a live performance by Brazilian performer Claudia Leitte. She will perform on stage alongside Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez on 12th June at Sao Paulo. They have hinted at a Samba dance performance. The video once released will be available on YouTube for public viewing. Sony is the official releaser and partner in the song.

With only four odd months left, it’s time to gear up for a month of exciting gaming action that will bring you to the edge of your seat. So, save the date!

What in the world would you and I do if there was no such thing as music?

Can you imagine a world without music? No songs, no tunes, no rock, no roll, no jazz, no hymns, no boogie-woogie, no country-western, no symphonies. No singing in the shower. No whistling Dixie.

Lovers wouldn’t have songs to romance to. There would be no such thing as “our song.” Sinatra couldn’t fly to the moon. Elvis couldn’t complain about people stepping on his blue suede shoes. Tony Bennett would have to write a letter about how he left his heart in San Francisco. Willie might go on the road again, but without a guitar. And Ray Charles would look pretty strange up on stage without a piano telling us that Georgia is on his mind.

Then when the wedding day arrived, what would the bride march down the isle to? A poem? Silence? Applause? And when the happy couple marched out of the church together, would they do it to the bark of neighborhood dogs, or perhaps all the wedding guests talking at once?

And at the reception, what would they dance to? The Funky Chicken just isn’t the same without music. Since rhythm is part of music, no drums would even be allowed.

And the honeymoon I suppose would take place with radio news on, or perhaps the educational channel accompanied by the drone of an air-conditioner.

When baby arrives, do we lull her to sleep with a reading from Shakespeare? Or perhaps random readings from the dictionary or encyclopedia? Could we bore her to sleep with words?

Nursery rhymes would have to be chanted or recited instead of sung. School music programs would of course be non-existent, as would school choirs and orchestras and bands. When the school football team plays, there would be no school fight song. Cheerleaders would have to cheer and dance minus any music.

And when those birthdays roll around, we would have to all recite together in a monotone “happy birthday to you.”

And when duty calls, what would soldiers march to? What would take the place of music in parades, since there would be no marching bands? John Philip Sousa would have had to get a day job.

And on the 4th of July there would be no patriotic songs – just speeches. At Christmas time there would be no Christmas carols. No rousing gospel music at Easter, no hymns in church.

And can you imagine radio without music? Nothing but news and talk shows and bla bla bla bla….

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it up to here just thinking about it. I’m heading for the piano now to celebrate the fact that our Creator gave us the wonderful and inspiring and uplifting gift of music that we all take for granted.

I think I’ll play a nursery rhyme or two, then the wedding march, then Silent Night, then Auld Lang Syne, then Fur Elise, then the blues, then a little jazz, then… and then…

Football is one of America's favorite sports, and now that the season has kicked off have your family and friends over to toss around the pigskin with your very own football birthday party!

Firstly, you can not throw a party without sending out invitations, as it is essential to give your friends ample time to prepare for the big shindig. Selecting the perfect invitations is important, so be sure to note on the custom cards what kind of fun your partygoers can expect to take place. No one wants to show up to a football party unprepared. Personalized invitations shaped like football are perfect. Also, invites that look just like tickets to a professional game can put a unique spin on the traditional birthday invitation, and they will certainly be a big hit with your friends.

Nothing makes the perfect party like decorations, and with a football-theme the sky is the limit. Start with supplies like balloons and streamers to add some flair, and then kick it up a notch with some amazing backdrops that make it look as if your attendees are in an actual stadium. Cover your tables with runners that look like football fields and place real footballs as centerpieces. You can even hang a large personalized banner like one you may see when entering a professional stadium. Place life sized cutouts of your favorite players, making it feel like you're up close and personal with your idols.

When it comes to football, no one wants to be confined to the indoors for a birthday bash, so make sure to have some fun party games set up outside to keep your guests on their toes. Setup a football toss and have them test out their throwing skills and see who can stack up the most points. Remember to set football themed luminarie bags around the yard to help keep things bright after the sun goes down.

Your guests will surely work up an appetite while they're enjoying a fun game in the yard, so remember to stock up on plenty of paper goods such as plates, napkins and cups. Throw some burgers and hot dogs on the grill and it'll feel like you're tailgating the big game. To keep with the football theme, select items that have a football on them. You may even find serving dishes in the shape of footballs so you can serve chips and dip.

Football season is always highly predictable and brings families together. Watching your favorite players score amazing touchdowns and complete mind-boggling plays brings plenty of entertainment for everyone. A football-themed birthday bash is the best way to celebrity turning one year older.

Football betting has become the leading gambling activity in UK bookmakers. As a result numerous football betting systems have appeared on the market. As with all sports betting, there is an element of risk, but using a football betting system can have huge merits.

Football betting always only involves 3 outcomes, Home win, Draw, away win. Therefore you have a 33.33% chance of being correct before you start. By using some research and the correct football betting system you can make yourself a decent living with the volume of football that is played now.

The first element to make money, and this for me goes for all sports betting, is to stop doing accumulators. An accumulator is a bet on three or four teams sometimes more and as each wins your bet rides on and can result in a huge payout. Obviously as you football bet rides on the more chance you have of hitting a loser and the whole bet is lost. I can never understand people who place this type of sports bet. Why watch three teams win only to lose it all when the fourth team loses.

So I would avoid any system that involves accumulators. Another football betting system to avoid which is doing the rounds on Google is Ubet4me. This football system revolves around you receiving selections and then placing a bet for yourself and a £125 bet for the system seller. So he has your money for the system, then you risk your money placing his bets. Football odds can be fairly small so a few losers and you are chasing losses. This system has been around in horse racing for years.

The best way to win at football is to research individual bets and place your stake down when you have a wealth of favourable information. Each week there are some stand out football bets, and the general public as a whole bet on football with opinion not with the correct research.

I have made a lot of money betting on football that it has enabled me to stop working and do it full time. Football betting changes every season as bookmakers look to eek out more profits. Buying a system and being left to your own devices is next to useless. I personally email every match I trade on to my system buyers. I help them online using messenger services and give them daily support to help them achieve full time incomes from soccer.

If a system is sold to you on a buy it and that’s your lot basis I can guarantee you it does not work. Successful betting on football or any sports betting is about research and well thought out bets. Don’t bet for recreation bet to win. If you want any advice or help please visit the website in my resource box.

Nowadays, there are numerous die hard fans of football that collect everything related to their favorite team; they buy scarves, caps, flags, armbands and most importantly, football shirts. Most of them are completely hooked in collecting memorabilia, and in some cases there are people who marvel at anything related to football, even if it's not strictly related to their favorite team. There are many collectors today, who tend to collect shirts and items of other teams as well, simply because they fancy the world of football more than anything else. That is why football shirt websites and online stores exist today in abundance.

Whether you are a die hard fan yourself, or you simply want to give a gift to a friend who likes football, these shirt websites are great resource. For people who are indeed crazy over football, there is no better gift than a football shirt or kit. These people can appreciate the gesture and the value of such a gift, more than anyone else. Websites make this easy; you can find what you need online, in really competitive and reasonable prices.

If you are looking for a football shirt website, there are some factors to consider.

First of all, you need to determine the reason for which you are buying a shirt. Is it for you or for someone else? Is it a gift for fun, or is it a gift to someone who is playing football as an amateur or professional player? This can help you determine which website is most likely to meet your needs. Football shirt should fit the person well, so as not to feel any kind of discomfort, especially if playing a match. If you are buying for a friend of yours who will use it to play, then you need to consider weather as well. If weather is usually cold, or chilly, buy a long sleeved shirt, but if weather is fair, an airy shirt is highly recommended. If you are buying a gift for someone who is a football enthusiast, then you probably want to buy a new shirt, which is trendier and belongs to the latest football season. Most teams tend to change their uniforms every now and then, so make sure that you buy the latest one, provided that you can afford it.

Most of the football shirt websites and stores offer authentic shirts that come directly from the big football clubs from all over the world. Some teams are definitely more popular; Real Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Milan, Manchester United, are teams with fans from all over the world, who go online and buy the shirt of their favorite team and player. Since the original ones are somewhat pricey, it's recommended to do some research before buying; not all football shirt websites sell original shirts, so you need to make sure that the one you purchase is a good value for money.

Online stores offer a great variety of football shirts and in some cases of the entire kit; caps, shorts, goalkeeper gloves and footwear can also be found. Browse the football directories online and find the football shirt website that can meet your needs to the full.