Student

Eleanor Doughty is dismayed at the news that some universities and colleges are offering rewards like fee reductions or laptops to students with good grades

Present perfect: Christmas gifts for fashion followers

From bunny ears to designer skis, from killer heels to the ultimate pair of pants, Harriet Walker has the definitive guide for the fashion follower this Christmas

Rhiannon Harries: Look closely at boarding schools and 'Cracks' in the fantasy soon appear

Trying to explain your home nation's cultural peculiarities to an outsider is the best way to gauge the degree of their absurdity, as I found out the other day when a French friend asked me what exactly Eton is. "Well, it's just a school really..." I began, before launching into a labyrinthine explanation of how it was actually much more than just a school. I covered tailcoats, rowing songs, Gothic architecture, 18 British PMs (not by name, obviously – I'm not that good) and a recipe involving broken meringues.

Tom Sutcliffe: The over-complicated life of Belle de Jour

I wonder how many men looked at the photograph of Dr Brooke Magnanti – who outed herself the other day as the real Belle de Jour, blogger horizontale – and thought to themselves, "Yeah ... well I reckon I'd pay £300 for that". I know I did – and it's not because I'd pay £300 for that.

Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Allegra McEvedy, chef, writer, broadcaster and restaurateur

'School was a golden time – until I was 17'

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With no more Harry Potter tales on the horizon, how to get the ankle-biters to get into a good book?

The magic of treehouses

The great British treehouse is under threat – from the planners. But looking at the world through leaves is a rite of passage no child should miss, says Brian Viner

Kids prefer bedtime stories read to them by Dad

A new poll from Silentnight has found that children prefer their Father's to read to them at bedtime. 76 per cent of children surveyed said that they prefered their dad's funny interpretations of bedtime stories, as opposed to the strict rules their mothers' impose on bedtime reading.

Fever Crumb, By Philip Reeve

London calls for a master of invention

DJ Taylor: Let's forget about imposing our tastes on our children

The trouble is that the roots of this list of 'great books' lie in adult nostalgia

One Minute With: Glen Duncan

Ripping yarns: Enid Blyton's secret life

Enid Blyton's life was not always as jolly as her stories. As a new BBC biopic is announced, John Walsh reveals the author's darker side

Minor British Institutions: Ginger beer

For some reason ginger beer is regarded as a kid's drink, and a particular kind of middle-class 1950s Famous Five type of kid as well – thirsty for "lashings of ginger beer" after catching the smugglers of Kirrin Island, or whatever. (Actually, that phrase more likely comes from an Enid Blyton spoof made by the Comic Strip in the 1980s, but the point stands.)

Famous Five return to solve last case

New Enid Blyton stories featuring original characters from some of her most famous books are to return in a series of novels, her estate said yesterday.

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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'