IN BRIEF

Active involvement in the Arts is good for you, personally and academically, a new academic study shows. Students involved in the arts have higher levels of academic motivation, classroom engagement, self-esteem and life satisfaction than their peers, researchers conclude in a paper published in the latest Journal of Educational Psychology. “This study provides new and compelling evidence that the Arts should be central to schooling and not left on the fringes,” University of Sydney Associate Professor Michael Anderson says. The study tracked the academic and social wellbeing outcomes of 643 Australian primary and secondary students, from 15 schools, over two years.

Educating youngsters about rail safety is the focus of Be on the Safe Side, launched during National Children’s Week. The initiative introduces train and track safety into the primary school curriculum and website is available to teachers and students at
www.tracksafeeducation.com.au

Everything you, and your students, ever wanted to know about Australian cotton can now be downloaded in a 73-page kit. Each chapter is linked to outcomes in the NSW and Queensland senior secondary syllabuses, Cotton Australia said. CEO, Adam Kay said the resource was put together with the help of national and international experts. The Cotton Education Kit can be downloaded from www.cottonaustralia.com.au/cotton-classroom/test.

If you have an old guitar or ukulele lying around, teacher Philip Feinstein, would like you to consider donating it to help refugees relieve their stress and anxiety. He has been teaching music to adult and child refugees at Villawood Detention Centre for the past four years and, in that time, has convinced people to part with five pianos and 45 guitars. Now he wants to take the Detention Centre music program nationwide and needs more instruments to make that happen. People can learn more about the project and find instrument drop-off points by emailing him at philipf9@bigpond.net.au.

ME Bank has won three major honours in the 2013 Mozo People’s Choice Awards – the only Australian banking awards decided by customers. The bank that grew out of the trade union movement was judged to have the best home loans, best credit cards and best debit cards. It is the second successive year that ME Bank has carried off the home loan and credit card awards. Mozo is one of Australia’s largest comparison websites, comparing banking and insurance products. This year more than 28,000 people took part in the voting process.