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THIS MONTH 'KIDS GO FREE' WITH THE NATIONAL TRUST. There's loads going on this summer, come rain or shine - and the best bit is that you can take two children along free. The offer runs between 1-26 August. Download a voucher now!

Greetings from Mumsnet Towers,

Where we're gratefully sussing out stuff to do for still-on-holiday children in Mumsnet Local listings, and contemplating the best Bank Holiday outing in Days Out reviews

If you've got a child starting preschool, primary or secondary school shortly, you should have received one of our starting-school emails by now. If you missed yours, you can read them on our Education pages. 

And 'Slummy Mummy' Fiona Neill was our guest for a webchat this week to coincide with publication of her new novel, What the Nanny Saw. If you couldn't make the live chat, catch up here.

Now for this week's parenting news...

A-level results out as teens vie for places ahead of fees rise: hundreds of thousands of teenagers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have received their A-level and AS results, with the overall pass rate up for the 29th year in a row and boys achieving as many top grades as girls. University admissions body Ucas says 185,000 candidates are chasing 29,000 degree-course places through clearing. The results come in the same week as the annual National Student Survey of final-year university students found 83% were happy with the quality of their course. (Guardian, 18.08.11; BBC News, 17.08.11; join the discussion on Talk)

Parents of small babies need more cot death advice: the parents of babies weighing less than 2.5kg (5.5lb) must be given more information about reducing the risk of sudden infant death, says the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID). Cot death is five times more likely for underweight babies than those of a normal weight. FSID chief executive Francine Bates says: "All mothers whose babies are born under 2.5kg should follow the recommendations to sleep their babies in a separate cot, in a room with them, for the first six months." (BBC News, 17.08.11)

COME WRITE WITH US AT THE BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM! Turn your visit into a story to remember in this bookmaking family event, plus activity sheets for children of all ages with a small prize for all those who take part. Admission and events are free!

Other stories in brief

The week on Talk

Quote of the week

Rueful smiles all round, as MrsWifty confessed: "I once found myself rooting furiously through my handbag to find a file I wanted to attach to an email."

Blog of the week

Discover a safe place to obsess about chickens with the madchickenlady. On the menu this week: Eating Out, Chicken Style.
"Would Madame like to hear the specials? As well as the usual high-quality layers pellets, chef has been busy making sure there are plenty of tasty leftovers for your perusal. Firstly, we have a portion of mashed potatoes. Yes, Madame, I understand your excitement. There is also a small selection of rice noodles going spare, and a slotted spoonful of garden peas. Would Madame care for a sharing platter? Very good."
Enjoy more juicy blogs on our Bloggers Network.


Check out the great prizes in our August competitions. Here's what you could win:

FUTURE OF SAFETY TOUR INVITE: would you and a friend/DH/DP like to attend a Ford exclusive press/Mumsnet event, the Future of Safety Tour, in Glasgow, London or Cardiff? Click here for full details.


Aitch's TV round-up: The Man Who Crossed Hitler, Sun 21 Aug, BBC Two, 9pm

Ian Hart and Ed Stoppard go head-to-head in a dramatisation (much of it from actual court transcripts) of a little-known confrontation between a rising star of German politics, Adolf Hitler, and a charismatic young Jewish lawyer, Hans Litten, who sought to expose him for the nasty thug that he was. The year was 1931, so we all know how it all turned out, but it's a story worth retelling, if for no other reason than to give Litten the credit he's due. 
Discuss this show (and others) on our Telly Addicts Talk board.

Recipe of the week

Summer fruit tart: This recipe ticks the seasonal fruits box, has lashings of visual pizazz but is incredibly easy to make and requires no cooking. Perfect holiday nosh.

You can review this recipe here - or why not upload one of your own?

That's all for now. We're back the week after next.
Love, MNHQ

DO YOU HAVE A CHILD AGED 8+? Take part in a short survey on talking to your children about alcohol and win a £250 high street voucher.

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