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Director: Good morning, my name is Bob Ferguson and I’m the director of Ascot Child Care Centre.
Mother: Good morning, I’m Sallyanne Cullen. I made an appointment to enrol my daughter.
Director: That’s right, I’ve got the application form right here. Now, first I need some personal details. So the family name is Cullen, is that right?
Mother: That’s right.
Director: Now, what about your daughter, what does she like to be called?
Mother: Oh, her name is Alexandra, but we all just call her Alex, A-L-E-X. 
Director: Great. As you know, we organise the children into different age groups. There’s the babies’ group, the toddlers, aged 2 to 3, and the pre-schoolers – they’re aged 4 to 5. How old is your daughter?
Mother: Well, she’d go into the toddler group – she’s just turned three. 
Director: And we always like to make a note of our children’s birthdays so we can celebrate it all together if they are at the centre on that day. When was she born?
Mother: Oh, uhm, the 8 of November. 
Director: Fine. And we also find it’s a great help to know about siblings – sometimes, a problem at the centre can be related to problems with a sibling. Does she have any brothers or sisters?
Mother: Yes, a brother, Fraser. He’s two years older.
Director: So that would make him five, is that right?
Mother: Yes, that’s right. 
Director: Fine. Now, we also need a contact address. Where do you live?
Mother: It’s 108 Park Road, that’s P-A-R-K, Maidstone. 
Director: Good. Now, last of all, we need a telephone number we can call if there are any problems.
Mother: Oh, well, I’ll be at work and so will my husband, so the best number to call is 34678890.
Director: Right, and is that a close relative?
Mother: Yes, it’s my mother-in-law’s number.
Director: We prefer to make a note of how the person is related to the child, so I’ll write down ‘grandmother’.
Mother: Yes, that does make more sense! 
Director: Now, that’s all of the personal details. We also like to try and get a picture of your child’s personal development. Can you tell me if there are any specific problems she’s having? For example, does she get on well with other children? Is sleeping a problem?
Mother: Oh, she gets on well with others, I think, but she does have trouble sleeping. We gave up her daytime nap a long time ago! 
Director: That’s good to know, I’ll make a note of that. She can just have some quiet time while the others are resting if she likes.
Mother: That should be fine. She enjoys drawing quietly.
Director: Right. Now what about other skills? We occasionally take the children swimming, fully supervised of course, and we only go in a paddling pool as we don’t expect them to swim by themselves yet. Does your daughter need a lot of help getting changed?
Mother: No, not at all. In fact she’s been able to get dressed in the mornings for over a year now, so no problems there! 
Director: That must be a big help for you! Now, what about the childcare arrangements? Are there any specific days you require?
Mother: Well, I work Monday to Wednesday, but my mother-in-law has agreed to look after her on Wednesdays.
Director: So does that mean that you’ll just need Monday and Tuesday for now?
Mother: That’s right. 
Director: And what about the pick-up time? We offer extended hours for parents who work a great distance away.
Mother: Hmm… I work until 3 o’clock, but it takes me about half an hour to drive home, so ideally I’d like to pick her up at four if that’s OK.
Director: That will be fine.  Now is there any other information you’d like to…
Narrator: The school holidays are fast approaching and I’m sure all of you parents out there are worried about how to occupy your children. Well, I have a few tips that may help keep your children entertained without spending large amounts of money. One of our biggest problems is that today’s children often do not have the type of hobby that was familiar in the past, such as making their own toys.  Instead they rely on sophisticated video games to keep them amused. But children also like to feel needed, so why not give them jobs to do around the house? You may be surprised how much they will enjoy simple tasks such as washing your car.  Another idea is to use this time to develop their cooking skills. Food is something we all enjoy, so why not get them to prepare some simple dishes in the kitchen?  Learning to cook is a useful life skill for children to learn and it can also keep them happy for several hours.
Children also love doing arts and crafts, so why not give them the task of making presents for upcoming birthdays or celebrations?  Not only will they enjoy making them but you’ll also save some money and the family or friends who receive the gifts are sure to be delighted. A great idea to get children out of the house is to find out about how they can help in your local community. Perhaps there is a home for the elderly nearby.  They are sure to welcome a visit from young people – even a few minutes a week can brighten their day. Of course younger children cannot do these things for very long, but older ones may find that there are ongoing projects around your neighbourhood that they can help with. 
These are just a few ideas, but I’m sure you can think of many more. If not, there are plenty of places to look for other suggestions. Nowadays the first place people seem to look is the Internet, which can be a good source of information.  However, it does have its limits because ideas suitable for children living in the city may not translate well for children in rural areas. So don’t overlook your library. These are often filled with great ideas targeted at children in your specific area.  There are a few key points to remember, however. One of the most important things is to keep your children active, otherwise they will be sure to get bored.  Also remember that, although children can be very independent even from nine or ten years old, you should still be there to take care of them up to the age of twelve.  So don’t be tempted to let older children babysit their younger siblings. This should only be done by an adult.
Susan: Hello, John. How was your conference on space travel?
John: Hi, Susan. It was great. We heard some fascinating speakers, especially one fellow who was an expert on Mars. He thinks it’s quite feasible for humans to live there in the near future.
Susan: Well, if we spent the billions of dollars that go into space research on looking after our own planet, then perhaps we wouldn’t need to worry about the Earth being uninhabitable in a hundred years’ time. Nor would we need to look for another planet to colonise!
John: Yes, but there are some important things that space exploration can teach us, you know, especially about the history of our own planet and its atmosphere.  That sort of knowledge could help us solve some of the problems that threaten our planet.
Susan: Still, I don’t really see why they have to send astronauts into space. Robotics is so much more advanced now, why can’t they simply send robots?
John: Well, robotics has come a long way and it is more expensive to send a manned spaceship into orbit, but the biggest problem with robots is that they have to be programmed for every possible eventuality. 
Susan: Yes, I suppose you’re right. Robots just can’t react to situations independently the way that humans do – they still need us to tell them what to do.
John: That’s right. Robots may have come a long way, but if you’re going to go to all the expense of building one, you really need to make sure it’s going to work when it gets there and they don’t tend to take risks with new and untested technology. What if it lets you down? So, instead, a lot of the space technology nowadays is actually based on the technology they used in the 1970s, because we know that it works and it’s reliable. 
Susan: So do you think it will ever be possible to send robots to Mars?
John: I’m not sure. One of the speakers spoke about that, and he says that communication would be a problem.
Susan: Is that because of the conditions? I mean those extremes of temperature and even the atmosphere itself, would probably create an awful lot of interference.
John: Yes, but they’re both issues that can be dealt with. No, the real problem is simply how far away it is. That would cause long delays before the robots received any messages about what to do next, so for the moment they don’t think it’s feasible. 
Susan: Hmm, that makes sense. But, tell me, do you really think we should be contemplating sending humans to Mars at all? Don’t you think we should wait until we do have the technology?
John: Well, many years ago the civilisations that built the pyramids or that began building enormous cathedrals must have started the project never expecting to see it finished. I think we should take the same approach and start our preparations now.
Susan: That’s an interesting point, though I’m still not convinced. Surely you don’t foresee a time when humans will be living on Mars, that’s just science fiction, isn’t it?
John: Not at all. I think there is a distinct possibility that humans will live there. 
Susan: But what about the conditions there? Even the dirt on the ground could kill us.
John: Yes, I agree with you there , but we can easily build a self-contained structure there so people don’t need to go outside.
Susan: Mm, I suppose the ground does also contain a lot of resources, so getting metals wouldn’t be a problem.
John: That’s right.  A lot of building materials could be found there. But there are still many risks involved.
Susan: Yes, what about radiation? I don’t think there will ever be a way to shield us totally from cosmic radiation. Even inside a spaceship.
John: I can’t agree with you there.  Astronauts have been travelling in space for a long time now, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem for us.
Susan: I just don’t think we have enough experience of living in space long-term.
John: But you have to accept that it is within the realms of possibility that one day there will be a Martian space station.
Susan: Well, I have every faith in science and Mars does seem to be the next frontier. So, yes, I imagine we will eventually send a space mission there, but I can’t see people living there. 
Welcome once again to ‘Introduction to dentistry’ and in today’s lecture we’ll be looking at the history of dentistry through the ages. Now, skulls of the Cro-Magnon people who inhabited the Earth 25.000 years ago show evidence of tooth decay and the earliest recorded mention of oral disease was in 5000 BC.  This proves that oral disease is by no means a modern-day problem and has in fact plagued humans since time began. That particular reference appeared in a text written by the ancient people of Sumeria, which referred to ‘tooth worms’. There is also evidence that dental problems caused difficulties in other early civilizations and people from those times actually developed treatments for them. For example, we have found historical evidence that the Chinese used acupuncture to treat the pain associated with tooth decay.  There is even further evidence of the troubles caused by toothache in the Ebers Papyrus, which is a text written between 1700 and 1500 BC by the people of ancient Egypt.  This papyrus contains references to diseases of the teeth, as well as prescriptions for medications they used at that time. While today we automatically prescribe antibiotics, the ancient Egyptians relied on more traditional remedies to help with tooth decay. Firstly, olive oil, which even today is known to have therapeutic qualities and secondly, onions, which again are an age-old traditional medicine and are still recognized as a reliable source of natural antibiotics. [35, 36]
A large proportion of early dentistry was practised as a part of general medicine. However, by the fifth century BC, Herodotus, a Greek historian, made the following observation: ‘In Egypt, medicine is practiced on a plan of separation – each physician treats a single disorder and no more. Some undertake to cure diseases of the eye, others the head and others again, of the teeth.’  The Greeks were at the forefront of dentistry of that time and it was a Greek physician who lived between 1300 and 1200 BC who chose to extract problem teeth long before anyone else.  Arabs were also pioneers in the area of oral hygiene and used a small polishing stick as a toothbrush as early as 100BC.
So, what of Europe? Well, throughout the Middle Ages, dentistry was made available to the wealthier classes thanks to physicians who would visit individuals in their home, while dentistry for the poorer people took place in the market place.  Italian sources from the 1400s mention the use of gold leaf as dental filling material, but it was a Frenchman, Pierre Fauchard, who is credited with being the father of modern dentistry , thanks to his book The Surgeon Dentist: a treatise on teeth, which describes basic oral anatomy and the signs and symptoms of tooth decay.