Friday, 2 March 2007

I am sorry if you missed the chocolate today at MerrionHouse but it has been an interesting and challenging week with the Key Stage 3 results officially released by the DfES on Thursday, the admissions letters winging their merry way to 16000 families, the meetings with politicians and the DfES about Academies, Trusts, 14 - 19 provision and secondary standards.

Peopel constantly ask me what it is about me and chocolate. Chocolate is a psychoactive food made from the seeds of the cacao tree. The Greek term means literally "food of the gods". Cacao beans were used by the Aztecs and chocolate itself was reserved for warriors, nobility and priests. The Aztecs believed that chocolate gave wisdom and vitality.

More recently, a study of 8000 Harvard graduates showed that chocoholics live longer. Coincidentally, many of the worlds oldest people are passionately fond of chocolate. Their longevity may be explained by the high levels of polyphenols in chocolate which protect against heart disease.

Trials also suggest that chocolate consumption may subtly enhance cognitive performance... scores for verbal and visual memory are raised by eating chocolate... impulse-control and reaction-time are also improved. Experiments suggest that chocolate stimulates neurovascular activity, enhancing memory and alertness. Chocolate also makes you feel better.

Colleagues should eat small amounts of dark chocolate.

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