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Junior Blog: 4th January 2021

Welcome to the 22nd edition of the Katie Jayne Tutor’s Junior Blog.

Whilst Christmas this year might have been very different to usual, we hope it was a wonderful affair for you and your families. Here at the Katie Jayne Tutors family we found some fantastic positives to sharing a smaller Christmas with our loved ones: We could really spend time together instead of rushing around here, there and everywhere, we made sure that we telephoned or video called those that were on their own, we carried on with our Christmas traditions, but had more time for them and we actually got to relax and spend some time at home with loved ones. We know that you will have all made the most of the Christmas period and will have enjoyed curling up on the sofa watching a Christmas movie with your families, eating far too much and not missing school at all…

Some of our readers have asked us why December 26 is called Boxing Day? See our response below in Katie Jayne’s Interesting Facts…

As it is a new year we thought that we would kick off 2021 by reminding you of the names and faces behind Katie Jayne Tutors. See our Who’s Who section below. All of the usual pieces are included in this week’s blog but because you are not quite back to school yet we thought we would take this opportunity of introducing you to a very special lady, Karen Darke. We chat to her about her life so far, her charitable work with the Spinal Injuries Association, her gold medals, land speed record and her next challenge, The Pole of Possibility. We would love our readers to get involved…so read on.

We hope you enjoy the read and make the most of your last few days of the holidays. Happy New Year to all of our readers, here is wishing you all a positive and healthy 2021.



Reminder of the Katie Jayne Tutors team, our regular guest bloggers and pets…

Katie – Our Founder. Katie loves spending time with her husband, young son and extended family. Katie loves exploring the great outdoors, cooking and reading lots of interesting books. You also probably all remember Katie’s beautiful pet Clawdia Winklecat who is often seen around the office, usually up to no good! This year Katie would like to continue to extend the number of charity projects that the Katie Jayne Tutors team helps to support. See our map on our website to see what support has been given so far…

Shelley – Administrative Support. Shelley has a lovely family, a husband and two young children (who have also written a few articles for our blogs). Shelley enjoys keeping fit, having been a competitive swimmer and runner in her youth, and lockdown has provided the perfect opportunity to get the whole family out together for family bike rides, jogging and other sporting activities.

Sam – Business Development. Sam has a huge family including a partner, grown up son and many cousins, not forgetting her gorgeous little cat called Monkey. You will have seen Monkey when she helped out in the Katie Jayne office doing some research. I think the research was ‘how to sleep in the middle of a busy office…’!! This year Sam would like to continue to learn piano and is setting up her first beehive to keep bees. ‘Life will be truly sweet in 2021’. Happy New Year all.

Our team of teachers are too many to mention here, but the team consists of over 70 fully qualified (QTS), advanced DBS checked teachers, experts in their field and personally chosen by Katie not only for their professional competence but also for their personalities and teaching methods.

Cathy – Founder of Surrey’s Learning & Counselling Centre.  Cathy is a mother of three children (now all over the age of 18 and has the scars to prove it!), wife and wellbeing advocate. Cathy enjoys being around people and learning most of all from young people. Cathy’s New Years resolution – she is going to enjoy 2021 with family and friends and continue her personal growth. Warmest and best wishes,  Cathy.

Link to our Blogs

Would you like to receive our blog direct to your inbox as soon as it is released? Great activities for children aged 5-11 in our Junior Blog, advice and things to keep 11-18 year olds happy with our Senior Blog and a new blog for parents containing help, advice and tips passed on from experts in the field of education, ideas and guidance from professionals in their fields and finally our Teacher Blog supporting those in the industry. Just click the link and tick which blog you would like to receive, we look forward to welcoming you.

Would you like to write an article for us?

We love to receive articles from others, especially our young 5-11 year old readers. Why not write us an article and we can try to include it in our blog. It can be funny, serious, interesting…it can be about something you have seen, taken part in or that you are interested in or you can just send me in a picture of something you have created or of your pet doing something cute or silly. Just write to Sam at info@katiejayne.co.uk I really look forward to hearing from you.

Throw Away the Blues of 2020

Enter a New Phase of Mentoring January 2021

Mentor with Confidence to Make a Difference!

Ask yourself – What does mentoring mean to me?

Have you ever been a Mentor OR maybe you have been the Mentee?

If the answer is likely to be YES, then you will understand the importance of the role.

Were you a role model who provided guidance and emotional support, imparting information and experience to someone who needed it?

Perhaps you were mentoring a younger student who was feeling anxious about starting secondary school, maybe they had suffered a bereavement or simply had friendship issues.

Whatever the reason, you gave your time willingly and supported vital change in that young person’s life.

Are you thinking about becoming a Mentor in 2021?

If you are then I urge you to go down this path of change.

Mentoring brings so many benefits:

M – mental change – motivate

E – emotional support

N – nurturing encouragement

T – tolerance

O – opportunity

R – respect

In my experience of being a trainer of hundreds of Peer Mentors, mentoring gave those children self-confidence to communicate and it nurtured their motivation. Peer Mentor’s are valued and respected members of the school community. Teachers mostly commented on ‘how the students matured in such a short space of time’ and the younger students gained confidence to be the best version of themselves.

So throw away the blues of 2020 and become a better version of yourself

Become a Mentor!

Author: Cathy Coombs-Surrey’s Learning and Counselling Centre


Katie Jayne’s Interesting Facts

Boxing Day is definitely a day for Father Christmas to relax, but it is also a public holiday known as Boxing Day in the United Kingdom and other British Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand. In spite of its peculiar name, Boxing Day has nothing to do with fisticuffs, the recycling of empty boxes left over from Christmas or the return of unwanted presents to department stores. The term is of British origin, the exact roots of the holiday name are unknown, but there are two leading theories, both of which are connected to charity traditionally distributed to lower classes on the day after Christmas.

One idea is that December 26th was the day centuries ago when lords of the manor and aristocrats typically distributed “Christmas boxes” often filled with small gifts, money and leftovers from Christmas dinner to their household servants and employees, who were required to work on December 25, in recognition of good service throughout the year. These boxes were, in essence, holiday bonuses. Another popular theory is that the Boxing Day moniker arose from the alms boxes that were placed in churches during the Advent season for the collection of monetary donations from parishioners. Clergy members distributed the contents of the boxes to the poor on December 26th, which is also the feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr and a figure known for acts of charity. (Ireland celebrates December 26 as St. Stephen’s Day.)

Thought For The Week

Getting ready for the new year ahead is really important, having a tidy bedroom and workspace is key. Knowing where all of your books and equipment are located will save you time and worry. How about having a good tidy up, box up things that you know you do not need anymore but that you may wish to keep (perhaps ask your parents if you can store this in the loft or an old wardrobe), group all of your subject items together, tidy up your rucsac/school bag, clear your workstation of any bits and bobs that might distract you whilst you are working. Make sure there is enough light in your room so that you can work comfortably. Put up a calendar or school calendar so you can see what is happening when, this really helps to organise your mind.

Once you have done these few easy tasks you will feel ready for the start of the new term…Good luck!


Regular items...

Cook’s Corner

Left over Pie (with help from Mum or Dad)


25g butter / 2 leeks, trimmed and finely sliced / 200g mushrooms, sliced / 200g leftover cooked ham, roughly chopped

25g plain flour, plus extra for dusting / 500ml chicken or vegetable stock / 150ml crème fraîche (greek yoghurt or double cream)

600g leftover cooked turkey cut into chunks / Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper / 400g puff pastry


Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat, add the leeks and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Remove the leeks and leave in a bowl.

Return the pan to the heat and add the mushrooms and ham. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the flour and stir over the heat for a few minutes to get rid of any lumps before pouring in the stock. Bring to the boil then add the crème fraîche/greek yoghurt/double cream. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the sauce reduces and thickens.

Remove from the heat and stir in the turkey now add the leeks. Season.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Transfer the filling to a medium pie dish.

Your pastry can be bought ready made from the shop, just roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface so that it is large enough to cover the pie dish and is about the thickness of a £1 coin. Place on top of the dish and push down the edges. I always make a pattern out of pastry to go on top of my pies, either I cut out leaves or make lattice strips to add, you can add a shape that you wish. Just cut your pastry to the shape and place on top of the pastry lid.

Brush this with the beaten egg then lift the pastry sheet over the pie to cover, pressing it around the edges.

Trim the excess pastry with a small, sharp knife and crimp the edges together to seal. Make a small hole in the centre of the pastry lid to allow steam to escape.

Glaze the top of the pie with the egg, bake for 40-50 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is piping hot.

Outdoor Delights

What a fantastic time of year to be outside enjoying nature…

There has been so much in the media and on the television about Britain’s National Trust properties putting on wonderful light shows for the public to enjoy that we thought that you could create your own light shows in your gardens, or perhaps even go and visit your nearest National Trust property.


Educational Activities

Introduction to Karen Darke, her story, her life changing fall, her Paralympic journey and the Pole of Possibility Challenge…

Some of you will not actually be back to school just yet so I thought I would use this space and time to introduce you to a woman who is superhuman, inspirational and motivational. Karen Darke is somebody that I, and many others look to for inspiration, she is an author, an athlete, an amazing team player, a motivational speaker and a very giving soul….Karen is very modest so would not agree with my introduction of her but I think I would not be doing justice to her, myself or this story without letting you know what you are in for right from the start…..


Karen has had the most amazing quarter of a century, her life did a 180 degree turn at the age of 21 when she had a horrific rock-climbing accident whilst climbing on the sea-cliffs in Scotland, Karen woke from a coma to be told by Doctors that she would not walk again. This life changing incident took Karen on a very different, truly inspirational journey. Aged 21 Karen became involved with raising money for spinal injuries charities, inspired by the support, opportunities and information they provided. Karen believed that so much was still possible, and she has been able to move forward and live a full and incredibly adventurous life again.

Twenty-four years after her injury, Karen’s connection to the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) is as strong as ever. The bike she raced to gold on in the Rio Paralympics 2016 was designed and built by Williams F1, whose founder Frank Williams, was also paralysed in an accident. His daughter Clare Williams is Patron of SIA, and the support of Williams F1 in production of her bike inspired Karen to target fundraising £79K for the charity. Karen has broken the land speed record in a handbike – Karen achieved a speed of 46.05 mph over the 2.5 mile course, 17 mph faster than the previous female world record and won silver and gold medals at the Paralympic games. More publicised though was her effort to embrace heart and the true spirit of humanity, crossing the finish line holding hands in the London 2012 Games for the bronze medal.

Karen has moved mountains to raise money for charity and has the sort of personality that when you are asked by Karen to get involved, you do – because you really want to…. her energy is irresistible.

I hope that by reading Karen’s story and hearing about her new project, ‘Pole of Possibility’, that you will want to get involved. Read on here today and over the coming weeks to find out what the POP (Pole of Possibility) challenge is all about and how you can get involved.


Hi! I’m Karen, a lover of life and adventure, and always seeking the learning in life, staying curious as to what we can learn not only when things go well, but when things don’t go as planned too. I broke my back in a climbing accident when I was younger, and I think that is what taught me the importance of focusing on what we can do, not on what we can’t; and on being grateful for what we have instead of thinking about what we don’t have. I have been lucky to have a very adventurous life since then, sharing the learning with others and now helping people of all ages adopt an ‘adventure mindset’ as a way to feeling more freedom, joy and love within life.

In the Paralympics in Rio in 2016, I won the 79th medal for Britain, a gold. There is a bit of a story behind how things developed from there, but I came up with an idea for a project called Quest 79. I would visit seven continents and do nine rides – one on each continent, plus two Paralympic Games. While raising £79K for the Spinal Injuries Association, I want to encourage as many individuals, families and groups as possible to take on their own Quest 79 challenge, by taking a step out of their comfort zone. As I have learned through my own experiences, when we commit to something that stretches our mind or body in new ways and consistently work at it, it often begins a life-expanding process and allows us to see all sorts of new possibilities.

Once upon a time, pushing my wheelchair 79 metres was a big challenge, let alone crossing 7 continents. It seems almost unbelievable to think back to when I was laid in a hospital bed, broken and bruised, paralysed from the chest down with nothing but a view of dull ceiling tiles and the prospect of life in a wheelchair, that I have been able to ski across icecaps, kayak oceans, cycle across continents and experience the life of adventure and exploration that I have. This has inspired me to encourage others to do something that seems a bit of a challenge to achieve. We all have our own mountain to climb, but no matter how big or small we are aiming, we are destined to discover something inside ourselves that is precious. I call this our ‘Inner Gold’.

To date I have cycled six of the seven continents: Antarctica and creating the ‘Pole of Possibility’ remains. Each of the journeys has given me far more than the wonderful experience of travelling to new landscapes and cultures. Each adventure has gifted me with an experience of a powerful positive emotion: I felt compelled to write my Inner Gold blog series to share some insights on these, as I believe they are helpful emotions that we can all nurture in everyday life. If you like the sound of these, you can visit www.karendarke.com for blogs and podcasts on these ideas. In future blogs, I will tell you more about The Pole of Possibility and invite you to take part in a virtual way, so that you can join us on the flag, and maybe even have your own Top Trump card to represent your personal Quest 79. See https://pop.karendarke.com (soon to be www.thepopchallenge.com )

Thanks and I look forward to getting to know those of you that get involved!!

Wishing you a happy 2021


Watch this space for more news next time!