Friday, 28 October, 2022

Ten-year-old climber bags a record; the Socceroos speak out; and the research report every video gamer was hoping for.


The Socceroos’ statement:
Video gaming research:

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Drumroll please… it’s World Teacher’s Day! And considering that just a few days ago, a report into education in Australia found that teachers are struggling with unsustainable workloads, we think you should be EXTRA kind towards your teachers today. 

What does unsustainable workload mean? Well, a workload is the amount of work that you do. And unsustainable means that it’s impossible to keep going at that rate… it’s too much. In its report, the Grattan Institute surveyed more than 2,000 teachers, and found that they were in an “almost impossible” situation. 

Now, you might be thinking, “But kids are only at school from 8:30ish to 3:30ish! That’s much less time at work than other adults I know.” 

Well, take it from me, the hours a teacher spends with YOU in the classroom are just the beginning. In most cases, your teachers are having to plan every single lesson they teach you from scratch. They then put hours into creating fun activities to go along with the lesson, because that makes the learning enjoyable – which means it has a better chance of sticking in your head. They also have to write up each one of those lesson plans for their boss… they have to read and mark all your work…they have to communicate with your parents… they have to go to a LOT of meetings. And teachers are constantly learning themselves, keeping up to date with the latest techniques and research, to make sure they’re doing the very best they can to help you learn. 

But do you know what I think are two of the hardest parts of being a teacher? I spent years as a grade 4 teacher, so take it from me… Every year, you fall in love with a new batch of students. You call them “my kids” and you spend more time with them than you do your actual kids… and then all of a sudden, the year is over, and they move on. We miss you when you leave! 

And yes, I said there was another hard thing. You know how when you want to go to the toilet, you just ask for permission and go? Well, a teacher isn’t allowed to leave kids unsupervised… which means that they can spend a LOT of time absolutely busting. Too much information?


Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Scotland, where a 10-year-old girl has become one of the youngest people in the world to climb all of her country’s Munros. Now, if you’re anything like me, you hear that and you think “What on earth is a Munro?”. It’s any Scottish mountain over 3,000 feet high – which is 914 metres. They get their name from Sir Hugh Munro, who published a list of all 282 Munros way back in 1891. 

Quinn Young started “bagging Munros” with her Dad when she was just four years old, and set herself a goal of climbing them all before she finished primary school. She carried all her own gear, and her Dad says she never complained once. Seriously? She never, over 282 climbs, asked “Are we there yet?” Quinn Young, Squiz Kids salutes you! 



Do you know what’s happening in Qatar, starting next month? That’s right, it’s the event that soccer fans wait four long years for… the FIFA World Cup. You might remember that the Australian team, the Socceroos, qualified by the skin of their teeth. 

Yesterday, the Socceroos became the first World Cup team to release a public statement urging their Qatari hosts to treat its migrant workers better. Migrant workers are people who have been brought in from other countries, in Qatar’s case to build soccer stadiums and do other work to prepare for the World Cup. There have been reports of workers not being paid for weeks; not being allowed to quit or leave; living in terrible conditions; and having to work in dangerously hot conditions. One newspaper estimated that 6,500 migrant workers had died while working in Qatar… the government acknowledges that people have died, but disputes the number. 

And it’s not just migrant workers that soccer players are concerned about—England’s captain Harry Kane has said he will continue to wear a rainbow armband to show his support for equal treatment of people regardless of their gender or sexuality. That’s something the Socceroos – whose video I’ve linked in your episode notes – are also calling for. 



And now, the report that every gamer has been waiting for… researchers have found that kids who play video games do better on brain function tests. 

Now before you rush out to play video games before your next test, the researchers emphasised that playing video games didn’t necessarily CAUSE kids to do better on tests. But there was an association. 

They compared a group of 9 and 10 year olds who played at least 21 hours of video games a week—that’s an average of three hours per day, crikey!—with kids who played NO video games, and found that the gamers did better on memory and attention tests. There was, however, no difference between the two groups’ mental health, which helps to rebut the argument that video games are bad for your emotional well being. I’ll put a link to the study in your episode notes, in case anyone wants to show it to a parent… 


Now, the other pop culture news is, of course, Halloween… many of you may be dressing up, trick-or-treating, or going to parties this weekend. And you may also have heard some grownups complain that they don’t want Halloween to be celebrated in Australia, because it’s a sign of us becoming too Americanised. But Halloween didn’t start out as an American holiday – not by a long shot! To prove it, have a listen to our Squiz Kids Shortcut to Halloween, which will play right after this podcast. Shortcuts and Squiz the World are usually only available to subscribers… but it’s our little treat – get it, trick or treat?



This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening … 

  1. Where are the Munros? 
  2. Which Australian sports team spoke out about human rights in Qatar? 
  3. What nice thing are you going to do for your teacher today? 



It’s October 28… did I mention it was World Teacher’s Day? 

It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means .. lots of birthday shout outs for today and the coming weekend … for which we’re going to need the ol’ birthday reggae tune … hit it … 

It’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… 

Aria from Forest Lake, Reid from Helensvale, Huxley from Mosman, Jude from the Gold Coast, Benjamin and Sophia from Bardon, Bridgette from Ashtonfield, Sam from Kincumber, Aspen from Bendoc, Xavier from Hornsby, Amelie from Appin, Elle and Piper from Sydney, Annabel listening over in Washington D.C and Luna listening in Guatemala. 

And belated birthday shout outs go to…Georgia from Scone and Will from Deniliquin. 

Not forgetting the Squiz Kids who are celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend … Joey from Wagga Wagga, Emma from Cannon Hill, Harrison from Katherine, Zac from Mermaid Beach, James from Sydney, Veen from Forest Lake, Danielle from Craigburn, Aaliyah from Sydney and Felix listening over in Tokyo, Japan.  

And special classroom shout outs this Friday go to… the students at Middle Harbour Public School and a happy birthday to Mr Le Jeune,  to Mrs Wiliam’s class at Mount Hawthorn Primary School and to India at Cannon Hill State School – who is leaving today to return to New Zealand.  All the best India. 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Scotland
  2. The Socceroos
  3. Answers will vary!