Happy New Year!

 (and bonne année! bliadhna mhath ur! sretna nova godina! ??????? ???? ??????! gelukkig nieuwjaar! ???????? ???? ????! feli?an novan jaron! head uut aastat! gott nýggjár! ….)

What do we have to look forward to in the coming months?

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, in particular recognizing their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.

(Order your resource pack here)


2012 has also been designated as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All recognizing that “… access to modern affordable energy services in developing countries is essential for the achievement of … the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development.

(Fact: more than 1.4 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity, and 1 billion more only have intermittent access. Some 2.5 billion people – almost half of humanity – rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating)

© Daniel Rogers

It has also been designated Alan Turing Year, commemorating the mathematician who, when seconded to top secret Bletchley Park during WWII, designed the first computer, which enabled the allies to crack the German Enigma code and, arguably, win the war.  Many events are scheduled for 23 June, the centennial of Turing’s birth.

Films relating to Turing include:

Breaking the Code
Enigma Secret
Decoding Nazi Secrets
The Strange Life and Death of Dr Turing
The Secret Life of Chaos
Decoding Alan Turing


2012 marks 60 years of The Queen’s reign and Diamond Jubilee celebrations will centre around 2-5 June.

(Fact: The only other British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897.)

Find out more about London 2012London will host the Olympic Games from 27 July-12 Aug).

(Click here to find teaching resources inspired by the London 2012 Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Values)

Further details of forthcoming observances will continue to be posted here on our new look blog (check out the calendar on the right).  Meanwhile, you can follow us on Twitter (@observe_hq) and, to whet your appetite, here is a taster of what January has to offer:


  • 17 – Martin Luther King Day
  • 23 – Chinese New Year (Dragon)
  • 25 – Burns Night
  • 30 – Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day (no, we’re not making it up, and if you want to pop some virtual bubble wrap, click here)