BBC School News Report
Brexit means Brexit- but what does it mean for Impington?
The letter signed by Theresa May yesterday which will trigger Article 50 is on its way to Brussels today. There has been a lot of discussion about what effect this will have on Britain but here at Impington we have a special reason to be worried. We have one of very few International Sixth forms in the country so how is “Brexit” going to affect us?
6% of all full time students in the U.K. are international students but at Impington that figure is varies during year with an average of 50%. What will that mean for the future of the Sixth form and what has the effect of the vote already been on our international students? We spoke to several of them and asked how this has affected them personally.
One said they were ‘disappointed in the public’ for showing anti-cultural views. He also said he felt as if ‘they're not welcome’ in this country anymore after the results of the EU referendum.
Another said ‘people should have done more research’; because they believe people voted for Brexit solely on the basis of immigration and sending money to the EU, rather than thinking through the consequences.
Students contribute £3 billion to the UK economy each year. If the number of students were to drop due to costs and visa problems, it would have a devastating impact on the UK economy.
IVC principal Ryan Kelsall said ‘ I didn't like the idea of a referendum in the first place’. Clarifying that we have politicians for the purpose of making decision for the general public, he said that this was a ‘step back’ for one of the biggest economies in the world.
The head of Impington sixth form is Ms. Johanna Sale. We asked her if international students would have to pay the full cost for their education at IVC 6 form and she responded with ‘we can only hope not’.
She said that ‘we have plans in place’ with regard to the potential drop in numbers of international students that may follow once the full process of ‘brexiting’ is complete. These plans were unspecified but the college is confident that they will be able to handle whatever the consequences will turn out to be.
How is the new GCSE system causing anxiety and mental health issues?
This year’s BBC School News Report is focussing on mental wellbeing among young people. During half term, the BBC hosted a conference on this and I went along with three other BBC School reporters to discuss mental health issues focused around secondary school aged. I was invited to take part after I suggested reporting on how the new GCSE system is affecting young people and their minds.
I wanted to know what IVC can do to mitigate the stress. We interviewed 6 students as well as a lead practitioner in English and a member of the pastoral support team to find out their opinions on the new approach to the exams and whether they are causing added stress.
The differences between the old and the new exams:
Many of you might be asking what is the difference? There are many changes, here are some of the most obvious:
1. There is a completely new grading system which changed from G-A* to 1-9 which is confusing for the current year 11s as they are used to the old grading system.
2. There is no coursework during the year but all the exams have been moved to the end of the year and this exam counts for 100% of their grades.
3. The exams themselves are changing – becoming more “rigorous” according to the Department for Education.
What do the students and teachers really think?
Two anonymous year 11 students have said: “ It is a waste of time, they have bad GCSE grades, coursework allows backup but now they have removed the coursework and that means there is more stress than ever.”
The lead practitioner of KS4 has said: “ The new GCSE is more challenging and is harder than the old one. Moreover, students have been going to talk to teachers because of the excessive amount of stress that the students are feeling.”
Another two anonymous year 11s have said:
“ They are hard and not fair on students”.They also said that they prefer the A-G grading system over the new one , and that many students have skipped school due to stress and mental health issues.
One other person we interviewed was Miss Mellor, the House Manager for Parks house. She said :
“ The new GCSE is awfully confusing for grading” and “There have been lots of year 11s who have come to me because of exam stress.”
so in conclusion, the new GCSE system is causing quite a lot of stress to the current year 11 students, and it is an issue that we can resolve by the parents of the year 11 students help by talking to their children about the stress and being their physically and mentally and spiritually.
Mental Health through Music
The instruments people will normally play are drums, bells, harps, cymbals and wood blocks. The music people play is a journey which develops how they feel will then help them focus on feeling more positive.
Even though mental health through music is very productive and helps young people with their problems, studies have shown 70% of musicians suffer from mental health problems and 53% find it hard to get help. This means further research needs to be done on the most effective ways of using music therapy.Mental health through music can help get young people to explore challenging feelings and memories that they find to difficult to talk about and can help them build up relationships with other people and how they can relate to them. This means they can develop social and communicational skills with others. Young people can express themselves in a way they could not without music, they can begin to understand their feelings and connect with them. It can also make young people more motivated, express themselves creatively and calmly, build up their self-esteem, think about the impact of music on other people, and become more confident in making choices and feel accepted in the world today.
We interviewed Dr Brierton who is a psychologist that works with families and young people who have brain injuries which can affect their school and social lives. When we asked her why mental health is such a big problem in young people, she said that there is a lot of focus on achievement which means teenagers can see things in black and white when it comes to failure and success. Young people are tested a lot which causes pressure and stress. Also having no down time because of social media means the brain can’t relax. Dr Brierton went on to that say music is wonderful because it is creative and there is no right or wrong. She recommended choirs and bands because they are great as you are with other people and can build connections with them. Music helps mindfulness because it stops the internal chatter (which makes you feel negative about yourself). She also said that music releases a hormone called oxytocin which makes you feel happy and positive so even if you are only playing or listening to music for 10-15 minutes a day it still has a positive effect.
We also interviewed some young people and asked them about how music affects them. Overwhelmingly we found that music helps people when they are dealing with negative emotions such as stress, anger and sadness which can lead to mental health problems. Also something that was mentioned a lot was how people enjoyed sharing their music and using it to lift others up. Also some people said that they find particular genres work better than others such as pop and country music. Some found that music helps them to express themselves which links to some of the ideas behind music therapy. From the information we have collected we have found that young people definitely agree that music helps, so why shouldn’t we use it more?
It can also help people who can feel isolated to be part of a community. One of the groups that helps with this is Ten Sing run by Mrs. King. When we asked Mrs King how Ten Sing helps young people she said that it is all about the members of Ten Sing and it helps them with leadership development which is very important for everybody. It is completely lead by the young people involved with adults overseeing what happens. We then asked why she decided to take on Ten Sing, Mrs. King replied by saying she wanted to give something back to the community and that she had seen how inclusive it was and she wanted Ten Sing to carry on. Mrs. King said that everybody blossoms at Ten Sing and there is no bullying; each young person grows and there is equality. We interviewed Louise about her thoughts on being a Ten Sing member. We asked her why she liked Ten Sing and why it is so unique. She said that everyone is diverse and all want to be there as we all get on well together. She then said her favourite part of Ten Sing is singing with the group and the dynamics and relationships everyone has. Louise looks forward to Ten Sing every week because it lifts her up when she is feeling down. She joined Ten Sing through going to their concerts and hearing how wonderful and how fun it is for her friends.
Does both listening to and reading music affect your memory?
Music suffuses into everyday life: it surrounds us in cafes, at home, in school and at work. However, does listening or reading music affect our minds? Our memory? Classical music is said to make you more intelligent but what about people who listen to pop, indie or rock music, does that make them less intelligent?
We interviewed a grade 8 violinist, Eleanor, who told us how reading music benefits her in defining genres of songs and depicting the structure of them. She also told us that reading music improves her memory because it enables her to link the style of piece to the composer and the period it was written in, helping her in both history and English. “It’s like another skill, like a language,” Eleanor said. “It’s like practising association skills and putting 2 and 2 together and you know that symbol means that note, so you’re already learning how to put things together.”
Next we interviewed a psychologist, Kate Brierton, and she told us how listening to music while studying is not a good idea to help remember information for tests. “Human’s need to be easily distractible because they need to react. This goes back to when we were cavemen.If there was a rustle in the bush, it could be a lion and present potential danger therefore we need to react. By listening to music while studying, we are distracting our brains from the work we’re trying to do because part of our brain is focusing on the music.” She also stated that music with lyrics make it even harder to remember because you’re trying to remember the words. However, Miss. Carbonero, our other interviewee, said that she likes listening to music while studying helps her, but only music without lyrics.
We had interviewed Miss Carbonero and her view as a Maths teacher was that students who were underperforming might benefit from the songs related to learning. She has already started to involve students that are not reaching their targets by helping them to write and remember the equations in a musical form. Miss Carbonero believes that memory can improve by having music a part of your daily life as she plays violin, viola and piano. By having non-lyrical music before the test and making- up lyrics to it before-hand may improve your chance to get a better score. However, the problem that arises with remembering the already made academic lyrics, is that it's hard to remember the meaning of the lyrics because it is often shortened to be able to fit the rhythm of the song.
So does music affect our memories? Of course, and it affects many other aspects of our brain too. Music helps people memorise lyrics that can be applied into maths, science and English. It also increases our mental health. Creating and listening to music is said to produce endorphins, the same as exercise. Music can greatly impact the mood we’re in too: if you’re listening to rock music, you’re going to feel different to when you listen to classical and this can be used as therapy to express people’s feelings. In conclusion, our interviewees all believe listening and reading music affects the mind and memory. In the future, schools are looking to enforce more songs into learning to help boost young people’s memory and mindset about positive learning.
CILIP Carnegie Medal 80th anniversary shortlist
All across the UK librarians and children alike are waiting anxiously for the names of the books on the CILIP Carnegie Medal 80th anniversary shortlist.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the most prestigious literary award for writers of novels for children and teenagers. As we packed up in the library at Impington yesterday after an exciting day of BBC news reporting, our librarian was still inviting book lovers to predict which of the 20 novels nominated by the Carnegie judges would make it onto the shortlist. It was not until just after 7.30 last night that we were able to discover if our favourite authors had made the cut. In IVC, an orange-shaped chocolatey prize awaits the student whose predictions matched the decision of the judges most closely. Here are the details of the eight books we shall be reading, writing about and, inevitably, disagreeing over in the next three months:
Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard
Railhead by Philip Reeve
Beck by Mal Peet with Meg Rosoff
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Everyone at IVC who has had the chance to read ‘The Bone Sparrow’ felt that it strongly deserved its place in the final eight. The one member of staff here who has so far read ‘Beck’ believes it is likely to win, mostly because of the sadness of the reason why Meg Rosoff finished a story first imagined by Mal Peet.
by Hannah Speed and Darcey Swann
What can I do to help?
It is estimated that in 2015, 41,000 children aged 0-17 were bereaved. That’s a parent every 22 minutes who dies in the UK. A study found by the age of 16 , 1 in 20 children have lost one or both of their parents. These statistics show that child bereavement is a lot more common than it is thought. Therefore, the stigma around death should be eliminated for the well being of others.
This is the experience of two people at IVC who have gone through this.
Jasmine, 14 years old
“In November 2015 my dad sadly passed away after dealing with 11 months of stage four bowel cancer. He was very ill before his death and he wasn't able to do what he usually could before the illness. He was unable to walk around and do his job. His treatment was intense and meant he was weak and got a lot of infections. This meant he was in and out of hospital and homework was hard to fit in.
When he died I was obviously sad but it just felt “weird”and like nothing I’ve never felt before. I found that people didn't know what to say or do.”
Jasmine isn't the only person who has gone through this type of situation. I asked her and another student, who had been through something similar, to tell us about their experiences.
What was it like at school after your dad died?
The teachers took time to make sure I was okay, and most of my friends treated me normally; my grades were normal.
How did your friends treat you?
Most of the time they were normal but they were scared of saying the wrong thing.
How did the school help? Was it useful?
The school gave me a chaplain to work with for a time, but I didn't see how he was going to help me, because I’m not Christian and he was preaching about God.
How could friends help?
“I found that people not knowing what to say was a regular thing. My advice for people who are friends with people who are bereaved students is be sensitive but not so much that you treat them differently that you did before.”
Interviewed by Darcey
How did you feel?
I remember feeling “Is this actually happening?” I couldn't prepare for something like this. I couldn't and didn't want to believe it.
What do you think could help?
If everyone was nice but sometimes I just wanted to be left alone.
Have you received any support and was it helpful?
I didn't want any help, but it is good to know that it was there if I needed it, but i know some people like it.
What would you like to tell people who are friends of bereaved students?
It doesn't change them. They're still the same person.It's all taboo and it shouldn't be.
Did you find people didn't know what to say?
Overall people were good but I wanted it to go back to how it was before it happened
Interviewed by Jasmine
We interviewed Ms Russell Impington Village College student manager;
What do you put in place at the school when a child is bereaved?
We have conversations with the family member in charge of them, and see how the young person wants to deal with it. We also inform the teachers and the tutor of the student about the situation and the student’s wishes.
Are there any websites you can suggest for bereaved students?
I would suggest stars (http://www.talktostars.org.uk/), cruse (http://www.cruse.org.uk/), or mood juice (http://www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk/). But anywhere which supplies online support for bereavement would be good. Some people like to stay anonymous so websites which allow them to stay anonymous are also useful.
What do you feel is the worst thing to say to bereaved children?
“Why are you so moody?” Teenagers are generally very egocentric. They find it very hard to think about someone else, and to empathise with them.
Do you ever have students who were bereaved years ago and come to you because of grief?
A few students who lost their parents in primary school have had to come to staff for help about issues, we have a counselling service in Cambridge called ‘centre 33’.
Do you have any advice for friends of bereaved children?
They should support and help them. However, they should also be taught about bereavement to help the friends of bereaved children to help them understand about the situation that bereaved people are in, as many don’t know what to say or do in these types of situations.
Interviewed by Jasmine and Darcey
Progress 8 - is it really moving us forward?
Progress 8 is a new grading system that is measuring progress since year 7. If a student receives +1, it means that the student went up a grade. -1 means the student dropped by a grade. However 0 means that the student hasn’t gone up or down a grade and has stayed where they were. Furthermore, subjects are in ‘buckets’.
Bucket 1: English } Worth .Double
Bucket 2: Maths }
Bucket 3:History, Computer science, Geography, Science and a language (Only 3 can be chosen)
Bucket 4: Other subjects
This new system is raising concerns about whether academic subjects will still be picked as they might be dropped in favour of the main subjects. In order to explore this further we asked teachers from Impington Village College what they think.
The lead practitioner for art is Susan Conroy. She claimed that this method is a good way of marking progress but the problem was that there has been a drop in students picking art. Another problem was that students don’t have flexibility in their choice of subjects as now they are required to pick maths and English along with History or Geography, causing the students not to be able to pick purely performance studies if they would want to.
Progress 8 compares pupils’ key stage 4 results to those of other pupils nationally with similar prior attainment. The first step is to put all pupils nationally into prior attainment groups based on their key stage 2 results, so that there are groups of pupils who have similar starting points. This is done by working out a pupils’ average performance at key stage 2 across English and mathematics. Pupils’ actual test results in English and maths are converted into points and an average of the points is taken to create an overall point score. The second step is to work out a pupil’s Attainment 8 score. The points allocated according to grades the pupil achieves for all 8 subjects are added together to the Attainment 8 score. English and maths point scores are double weighted to signify their importance. The points that pupils are allocated for each grade are in the table below:
2017 and 2018 Points
We interviewed the principal of Impington Village College, Ryan Kelsall, about the change ”I think measuring progress is definitely the right thing to do; I think it allows all schools,particularly one like ours, which is inclusive, to have a level playing field.” He also said it was fairer because it doesn’t judge purely on attainment. He didn’t think it would affect grades.he didn’t think so. He commented that the new exams will be more challenging. He thought there were flaws, for example, because of EBAC, some students will choose to do things that don’t suit them.
Education Budget Cuts - How will they affect Impington?
It is a well known fact that the schools of the UK are incredibly underfunded already with schools in the Cambridge area receiving only around £6,000,000 per year. This may seem like a fair amount of money but when you factor in the large cost of staff wages and maintenance costs for the school, the remaining amount of funding for the school is next to nothing. In fact in 2014, Cambridgeshire schools received the lowest funding per pupil in the UK at only £3,950 per pupil per academic year. Unfortunately, this low funding has lead to many cuts at IVC,putting children and staff not only at safety risks but risks of an lower quality and variety of education.
Teachers in the Pavilion, which caters for students with special educational needs, were very concerned and fear for the future of the children using their services. One teacher spoke about the lack of funding for specialist teachers and therapists. She said many students may end up being “left behind due to lack of staffing” and said there was a need for a permanent speech and language therapist as well as the need for ancient equipment to be replaced. She believes the future of education for children with special educational needs, and indeed all children, is going quickly downhill.
Students from all years are concerned about many areas of the school. For example a Year 13 student said he was concerned about the funding for performing arts which is a key area for IVCl. Their incredible history of performing arts stretches back decades and their latest performance of the musical ‘Oliver!’ was a hit with audience members, describing it as ‘The Best Performance In The County For The Last Decade‘. However, this long history of amazing shows p may come to an end. This is a worry for many of the performance students as their careers may be at stake.
Additionally, Year 7 students are concerned about their safety at the school. With no funding to repair broken things and barely enough to afford maintenance, much of the school lies in desperate need of repair. ‘Stairwells are falling apart and roofs look like they could collapse at any given moment’ said a Year 7 student. Walking through the K Block, he pointed out a broken banister repaired by only a thin sheet of wood looking like it had come from a scrapyard. This really needs to be taken into account by the government as many students and teachers alike believe that the government ‘don’t care about the future’.
‘This is the future of our county,’ stated one teacher. ‘Why are the government so blind that they can not see what will help and what will not help our future?’ Many of the people involved in education share similar views.
On the other hand, the Principal, Ryan Kelsall, seemed optimistic about the future, promising to keep the curriculum varied and to continue to fund and offer opportunities in non-core subjects and extracurricular activities. He said “one of the real challenges will be to preserve the level of choice for students”. He talked about the importance of keeping a range of subjects available, and promised to “work very hard to resist” dropping option subjects. He did admit, however, that if the budget cuts continue at the current rate, the attitudes of pupils and teachers will change. This shows that even the principal can not sugar coat the changes that may occur with the cuts.
In conclusion, the standard of education is in danger of falling with budget cuts and with more expected of the students and teachers, the stress of the matter is only going to rise. T. Many believe that the government need to clearly address the matter of education seriously. In failing to do this, the education system will be at risk.
Bed Blocking - One Person's Experience
With people living ever longer, the NHS is under increasing pressure when elderly people get ill. One of the problems is that when they are recovered, they may not be able to cope with every-day tasks and consequently stay in hospital, blocking beds.
Colin Speed had pneumonia at the age of 70 and was treated at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge. After being in hospital for 3 weeks he was transferred home with staff from Med-care coming in 3 times a day to give him medicine and support. He said “my care was outstanding but bed blocking as a real issue. I was better but I had to stay in hospital which for me was annoying as I could have come home to my family. But other than that I felt comfortable in the hospital environment and reassured I was going to be better soon. ”
Bed blocking is a real issue as care outside of hospital is limited and elderly people who have no loved ones near them can be at risk of hurting themselves even more if they go home. It is proven that nearly 60% of people who have been discharged and have no family around them end up back in hospital within a week of being discharged.
There are many ways that the elderly can be supported and have medical help at home or in a safe environment. Some of the options include; a care home, med-care and a care package.
In general care homes have good reactions. One person said that care homes are underfunded and there is a shortage of them in and around Cambridgeshire. Also people say finding the right one care home for a person is hard because some of the care homes are overpriced and is sometimes unaffordable.
Also in general care packages had a mixed reaction due to them not being funded and not enough people wanting to look after the people who need it most. Due to this issue the patients have only 15 minutes with the carer whereas they could really benefit from an hour to chat and express their concerns. Also the carers are often late to their appointments because they have to cram 10 people in to two hours.
Another problem is the time it takes to be seen in Accident and Emergency departments. One member of staff, Mrs Wade she said “I have been to A and E a couple of times in the last month and have been treated quickly and effectively. We don’t give them enough credit as they work in difficult and sometimes life threatening circumstances. The only thing that could be improved is the waiting time as it is normally 4 hours and could be cut down for people who actually need professional help quickly.”
Overall, the people we spoke to have had good experiences of the NHS locally and feel it deserves more credit.
What it is like to be an LGBT+ teen?
Most LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other sexualities and genders) people ‘come out’ (a term used to describe these people telling others about their gender or sexuality) when they are in their teenage years. However, this doesn’t mean it is easy being an LGBT+ teen. It is important that people should feel comfortable talking to others about their sexuality, because it is part of who they are. Even though it is true that LGBT+ adults are in the minority; only 3% of people in the UK have different genders and sexualities. That may not sound like a lot but it’s actually almost 2 million people - the chances are you’ve met quite a few LGBT+ people in your life without realising it. Still, we have a long way to go in terms of acceptance, and representation is becoming more and more crucial in our society; because of this, we have interviewed several teens and their friends, about acceptance and their hopes for the future of the community.
We asked the teens who regularly attend the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance club) what their opinions were on the issues. ‘Humphrey’, aged 11, thinks that the ‘lack of representation’ in the media, is the main issue as to why there are so many homophobic people around the world. Furthermore, they realised that the only ‘real representation’ of LGBT+ people in films, is usually the ‘gay best friend’, and there definitely needs to be more awareness - especially in children’s films. Disney has begun to represent gay couples in films such as ‘Finding Dory’ and the new real-life version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’: we believe that other film companies should follow this great example.
‘Be yourself. For the love of God, just be yourself.’
We also asked ‘straight’ (heterosexual) teens about their opinion on the LGBT+ community, to see if they had a different experience. Luckily, we received positive feedback which shows the improvements that the younger generation is making. For example, ‘Josie’, aged 13, stated “I haven’t seen anyone being isolated or bullied at Impington because of their sexuality or gender, and a lot of my friends are LGBT+. I think it is important just to be accepting, because gay people are just like us. If we discourage racism all the time and we include people of all ethnic backgrounds, why shouldn’t we discourage homophobia and include people of different sexualities?” Additionally,’ Mavis’, also aged 13, claimed that ‘there is a good representation of LGBT+ people in books, and authors are very understanding of their LGBT+ characters.’ However, it must be said that sometimes representations in media feel forced; as if a character's only characteristic is that they’re gay, and they only exist because their creators had been told they needed LGBT+ representation. Still, progress is progress, and though there may not be many naturalistic representations currently, as time goes on it will hopefully become more normalised and it won’t be made such a big deal of in the media.
Another hurdle LGBT+ people face, is telling their parents about their sexuality or gender. It can feel daunting to come out to them, as it can seem like a big deal. Another reason young people may feel anxious about coming out, is if their parents aren’t supportive of the LGBT+ community. For example, ‘Josiah’, aged 14, is a gay teen whose parents are extremely homophobic. Josiah hasn’t come out, but his parents regularly make comments on how ‘gross’ it would be if he was gay, and so he therefore doesn’t feel safe or comfortable coming out. Most of his wider family is homophobic as well, so he mainly relies on friends for support.
When teens do come out to their parents, sometimes it can be difficult to explain what their sexual orientation means and how it affects their lives. ‘Danni’, aged 18, is pansexual and has come out to her mum, but not her dad or brother. She expressed that her family are ‘not aware of the LGBT+ community and don’t really understand what being pansexual actually means.’ Although her mum said that she accepted her homosexuality, ‘Danni’ believes that her ‘unknowingness’ of her sexual orientation could be a hurdle in the future.
‘There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s a lot wrong with the world you live in.’
- Chris Colfer
Almost all LGBT+ teens hear the words ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ being used as insults. This makes them scared of coming out to others. ‘Rylie’, aged 13, said “ I feel afraid to defend myself when I hear these insults, because I’m scared of people knowing I’m bisexual. I wouldn’t be afraid if I didn’t hear these things, but they discourage me and they make me think that most teens aren’t accepting of LGBT+ students.” She also stated that when she was younger everyone seemed more accepting: “Once I was talking to my friend - we were 6 at the time - about how cool it would be if we were married. She told me that if we did that, we would be called lesbian. I spent the rest of the day telling people that I was going to be a lesbian when I grew up; it’s great that children can think that way, but all adults should be inclusive like that too.”
Despite the fact that society is gradually changing its attitude, children across the country suffer every day from bullying associated with their sexual orientation. Not everyone understands, or is inclusive like the people we have interviewed. Unfortunately, ‘Angelina’, aged 15, revealed that she had personally received verbal abuse at school when a boy called her a ‘fag’. This outrageous behaviour went unreported to her previous school, and this example proves that we desperately need more available advice for LGBT+ teens and heterosexuals at school. Moreover, the statistics are shocking, with over half LGBT+ pupils experiencing direct bullying from people in their school, and 48% of transgender people under 26 years old attempting suicide. However, through our studies we understand that things are changing and there is hope for the future.
Teachers in our school are also trying their hardest to become more accepting. Miss Jarvis, an assistant principal, is going on a LGBT+ course in the near future because she shares the same beliefs as we do: everybody should be more aware of these issues so we know how to deal with them properly.
All LGBT+ people ask for is acceptance, and it is vital that society offers it to them.
‘As long as you are happy, does it matter who you fall in love with?’
All these stories/opinions are genuine but we have changed names for confidentiality. If these names relate to any person living or dead it is purely coincidental.
by Ella Craddock, Kelda Smith and Louise Koch
How do our actions reflect on the environment and what can be done to stop it?
The welfare of the environment is a growing concern for many. Climate change is an issue that is increasing in severity and many people are worried about what resources and wildlife will be left for the future generations. Awareness is being raised through various campaigns and organisations.
Nicole Barton works for Cambridge Carbon Footprint, a Cambridge charity that hosts various workshops and events suggesting ways for people to reduce their carbon footprint, regardless of how small or big it may be. She does this through small, manageable steps. For example, they introduce a diet called 5-2 where for two days of the week one would reduce or cut-out meat and dairy from their daily diet. This would help because meat and dairy are large contributors to climate change. CCF helps people realise that changes do have to be made, but they don’t have to be drastic.
We asked Mrs Barton what would happen if people don’t change their habits and reduce their carbon footprint. She replied that “Climate change is huge. We all have a long way to go until we can stabilise the current situation of the deterioration of the environment.”
One of Nicole’s biggest concerns was that people in less wealthy countries will be hit hardest by the effects of climate change as HICs (Higher Income Countries) can build certain defence method, whereas LICs (Lower Income Countries) don’t have the resources to do to this. Also many jobs in LIC rely on weather, which climate change can affect. “Equality will help reduce the impacts of climate change.” she said.
However, she also said that it’s not too late for people to change their ways and turn things back around. “The environment is resilient.” she said, adding that it’s absolutely not too late to undo the damage that humans have caused. However, this will be hard: it’s necessary to lower the average of carbon tonne emission to 2 tonnes. If the population continues growing as it is. then it will need to be lowered further to 1.2 tonnes. The average American person uses 19.8 carbon tonnes per person per year so to lower it to 1.2 tonnes is a big ask but not impossible so long as everyone is willing to participate.
When we asked students around the school similar questions, their answers were mixed. Although the majority of people we asked agreed that climate change is a large concern, and they would like to limit their carbon footprint, this is easier said than done. Children in HICs are accustomed to a certain quality of life, and although they want to change their ways, they can’t imagine giving up many of the luxuries that they are simply used to having. When we asked Nicole, age 13, if she thought that global warming was a big issue, she responded that she did. However, when we asked what she did to help the environment, she shrugged and said that occasionally she walked places instead of driving.
In conclusion, we can stop or hinder climate change using many different methods. Nicole stressed that it's not going to stop immediately, many different steps will need to be taken and all damage done to nature may be rectified so long as we all act now. 56% of wildlife is in decline and faces the threat of extinction, small actions such as renting a DVD instead of buying one and never using it again is one small step towards a better future for us and the generations to come.
Whales in captivity
The film Blackfish, which was released in 2013, caused an outcry for orca whales in parks like Seaworld to be released, and stopped many people from supporting these parks. It revealed the shocking secrets about how orcas in marine parks are treated, following the story of a frustrated whale called Tilikum, who killed 4 people in his life confined in Seaworld. In the wild, nobody has been killed by an orca. 92% of Seaworld's orcas, who are expected to live to 30-50 years did not make it to the age of 20, having to spend their lives swimming in circles around pools which, for a human, would be the size of a bathtub.
After the death of Tilikum in March 2016, Seaworld finally decided to end their orca breeding program which was a relief for many. Many people believe that Seaworld is now a company that many people think is fair to their animals, but is this the case?
Research by The Dodo, an animal rights organisation, found that Seaworld is still unfairly breeding beluga whales. These whales are drugged with Valium. In 2015, two baby whales, one 2 years old and one 3 years old died with their mother, Ruby, due to poor living conditions. Beluga whales live for up to 50 years in the wild.
We interviewed some students at school, and 3 out of 10 students knew about what these animals face at marine parks. After we explained how cruelly they are treated, ALL students said they would not visit a marine park in the future. So why do people still visit? And what can we, as students, do to stop it?
The best thing we can do is spread the word.
What is the IVC Bake-Off
Even though the BBC has given up on Bake-Off, IVC definitely hasn't. Impington Village College has been hosting an annual bake off for 3 years. Students say they enjoy the bake off and that they would be willing to take part any time.
Miss Rachel White, the organiser of the bake-off, was interviewed by 2 BBC school news reporters about the event.
16 people entered, 4 from each house. We asked what gave her the inspiration for the bake-off, “when we moved over to the house system, I thought it would be nice to include my love of cake in a house competition.”
Miss White added that the only problem for the competition was getting the cakes to school without damaging them and keeping them fresh.
At 2 o’clock, judging took place and after the testing of many scrumptious looking (and tasting!) cakes, the results were in. In first place was Jenna (year 10), second was BBC reporter Matilda (year 9), and in joint third place was Ellie (year 10) and Lucy (year 11)This year the Women's Institute judged the competition along with the principle of IVC, Ryan Kelsall.
On the 8th of March 2017 Impington Village College staged another rendition of a famous musical, this year’s was ‘Oliver!’ Directed by Jane Milne & Orris Gordon, drama and dance teachers respectively. The consensus among cast, crew and audience was that this was probably IVC’s best performance yet.
The acting in ‘Oliver’ was overall very good. A highlight was the actor who played Fagin, Alan Wilson, who was very funny the whole way through. Amelie Gilberts was amazing as the title character, matching the sixth formers’ talents with five years’ less experience; in ten years’ time we predict she will probably be acting in professional stage plays.
Directing a musical is most likely the hardest part. “Oliver!” directing was split into parts with Ms Jane Milne leading the acting, Mr Orris Gordon as lead choreographer and Mr Jason Haggett Leading the Orchestra and vocals. The acting had a lot of attention to detail with cast members saying “it felt very professional, they didn’t want it to feel like a school play” another cast member described how “they told us what to do but they weren't too controlling, if we wanted to add something we could suggest it, and hopefully it would
Mr Orris Gordon is a phenomenal choreographer and displays all of his skill and experience in this piece. His direction displays a clear vision that he uses to depict an accurate representation of Victorian life. However he makes it subtle as not to take away from the story or visual imagery. A cast member told me that he “basically taught me how to dance “. Many others told me about “how he was all about energy” and how he “kept spirits high and made the experience fun”
The lighting. laudibly provided by the volunteer stage crew. There were some amazing colours and angles during ‘Where Is Love’ (my favourite scene in the whole play). Although, when someone walked on the balcony above the stage, it was the only part of the stage not lit, which is particularly annoying since they demonstrated good lighting, so when they miss the mark it’s frustrating because of their talent.
We asked for the opinions on the orchestral performance and composition and the overall consensus was they were the most well performed and rehearsed part of the play, with one of the audience members saying “Amazing orchestral section” and “best part of the show”. However one actor portraying a member of Fagin's crew said “there was one or two places where the orchestra was to slow or was out of time.” However this was disputed when a background vocalist said “They did very well considering how few of them there were performing.” And this is where the majority of people stand, in a nutshell, they did the job, but were the best part of the show.
Alfie - In conclusion ‘Oliver!’ was an overall enjoyable play (though this might be because i got in for free as a reviewer!) I think that though it may not be ready to be shown on Broadway just yet,i t is one of the best school plays I’ve seen and does showcase some of IVC’s up and coming drama, dance and musical talent. I’d give it a solid 6/10* (9/10 if your child or relative is in it.)
Johnnie - In my opinion ‘Oliver!’ was a well made production with some problems, though they weren’t big enough to take away from the experience. With good acting, good technical work, fun dancing and great singing and orchestral work there would be no reason whatsoever to miss this play, if it was still in production. I have to agree with Alfie here, 6/10*.
*Gethin (One of Fagin’s crew) tried to bribe us for a better review score if that makes a difference to your viewing experience
Year 12: The Best Sporting Year in IVC History?
Impington Village College is renowned for its success in their students’ sporting abilities. The current year 12’s, who have now moved on to their different sixth forms, have achieved the treble of district cups and many other cups and finals. However, the individual success of the students is better than the school has ever seen. For example, Fin, 17, is the starting scrum-half for the Northampton Saints Academy and is hoping to sign a contract for the men’s team at the end of next season; Leon recently signed a professional football contract for Cambridge United on his 17th birthday; Monty playing for Cambridge United men’s futsal team and the England U20 futsal team and hopes to progress into into the full national team.
We set out and asked a set of students and teachers from IVC to see if they backup our ideas. Many agreed with the fact that they were the best year in IVC’s track record and that out of all of the students Leon and Fin top the best sportsmen in the year with Isis and Ellie for the best sportswoman. We asked Mr Dummett, a PE teacher that has been at the school since the true start of the group’s success, what he thought on the success of that year. He said that one of the main reasons for their accomplishments is because they dedicate their time to practice and they all had a desire to win and be the best that they can. In his time at the school he said that he hugely enjoyed teaching them.We also questioned another PE teacher, Miss Pegg, and she believed on similar views that the reason for success was just the pure determination in the group. She also thought that the way of replicating the success that they achieved is through spending time trying to perfect your trade.
We spoke to some of the people considered to be the best sportsman and the best sportswoman in that year group, Fin and Isis, and questioned them on what they thought on the year’s success. They had similar views on what the reasons were for their achievements. Isis thought that it was a mix of raw talent and hard work - inside and outside of school. She also believed that the teachers played a relative part in their skill but they had a true help in the mental attitude to secure wins for the school team. They both had very similar views on what is was like to partake in such a successful year; they said that it was such an extremely fun experience playing with people with that high determination and work rate but at such a low level of competition. For Isis, her biggest success outside of school would be playing tennis at and international level, she said that representing her country was one of the proudest moments of her life.
In school Fin and Isis shared their highest achievement in being nominated for the best sportsman and sportswoman in the district.They each won a prize with Fin finishing 2nd in the mens and Isis finishing 1st in the women’s. For Fin there was also the additional fact of winning three football district cups in a row and then the rugby district cup in Year 8. The biggest accomplishment in Fin’s eyes outside of school was; “Walking out and playing for Northampton Saints academy at their homeground, Franklin's Gardens.”.
Throughout our report we received similar views sharing the fact and thoughts that this year was clearly the most accomplished and that they will have the most successful products either now or later in life.
Sport - The Chinese League - Is It Just For The Money?
Everyone has noticed the huge surge in top-class football players moving to China. A few years ago, that massive country had barely registered in most minds as a footballing nation, ranked, as it was, 81st in the FIFA rankings. They have only qualified for the World Cup finals once- 15 years ago, in 2002. So, almost certainly, the most influential factor that brings these talented players to China is the incredible wages. Chinese clubs have broken records and spent fortunes to bring some of Europe’s best to the CSL, the Chinese Super League.
For example, Belgian footballer Axel Witsel currently earns a staggering £300,000 per week at his team Tianjin Quanjian- a figure that some of the greatest talents in England can only dream of. Additionally, the well-known ex-Chelsea midfielder Oscar earns £400,000 per week at Shanghai SIPG. However, both of these enormous wages pale in comparison to Carlos Tevez- the highest paid footballer in the world- earning £615,000 every week. To put this in perspective: if the Argentinian striker set a £5 note alight, he will have earned it back (and then some) by the time it is reduced to ashes.
We spoke to 17 year old Alex, a football player in Histon Academy, who had previously lived in China. We spoke about his personal experience playing there, the difference in the quality of players in comparison to England, and whether such jaw-dropping wages were necessary or deserved. ‘I played in the Shanghai SIPG academy- the same club that Oscar and Hulk went to. I’d say that the quality is definitely better here in England- in fact sport in general is not as big in China. I think the Chinese football fans don’t have the same motivation and passion as English football fans. But I think that football in China definitely should be developed and helped to grow - the football in Europe can get boring.’ When asked if he thought the high wages of professionals were deserved, he replied ‘Definitely not. I think- especially with players like Pogba- the wages they receive are way higher than is reasonable.’
Many agree that moving to the ‘Super League’ is fine if they are near the end of their careers - as is done in the U.S.A, with players often going to the ‘Major Soccer League’. For example, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard both chose to leave their Premier League clubs after very successful careers while still relatively young men, in order to prolong their footballing lives.
Let’s look at the financial side of it. How are Chinese league teams able to offer such ludicrous wages? The main reason why is that the Chinese president, Xi Jinping has a great passion for football. He was recently taken on a tour around a Manchester City football academy and he wants China to be regarded as a great footballing nation He has created a 10 year plan with the aim to double the size of the Chinese sports budget to more than £600 billion, a huge increase which will require a lot of the government's money. In the next 10 years, he aims to have built more than 20,000 new football academies and around 70,000 new pitches.
This ‘playing for money’ has been met with lots of opposition within the football community. Antonio Conte stated earlier this season that ‘Chinese wealth is a danger to other clubs around the world’, stealing top-flight players- using their massive funds to do so. However, Carlos Tevez was another supposed critic of footballers ‘playing for money’, saying in 2010: ‘I’m tired of football. Football is only about the money and I don’t like it. Players don’t want to win titles anymore. They only want money.’ He then, ironically, went on to move to China, with the promise of record high wages. So maybe, we will all call players who move for money ‘gold-diggers’, and ‘not real sportsmen’? However, given the choice, wouldn’t we all choose to set ourselves (and future generations in the family) up for life, at least financially?