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School Report - 2017

Students from this school will be making the news for real on 16 March 2017 as they take part in BBC News School Report, for the third year running. They have been working hard, and will produce reports on an array of subjects, from local to international news, from sports to the media.

 Introducing our Team of Reporters for BBC School Report 2017

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                                            Ruby the Super Dog

Do you like animals? If you do, then you must surely be aware of how talented they are. Many animals have hidden talents, like painting, skateboarding and even housework!

Ruby the super dog is one of these talented creatures. She is a six-year-old canine and helps other people in need of assistance. Ruby became an honourary member of 1st Tolworth Cub Scouts in July 2015. She participates in charity work and spends her days as a Therapy Dog, helping over 100 people a week.

Megan is a normal girl. She enjoys scouting and spending time with her dog and her friends. Megan suffered a head injury in 2011, leaving her with dizziness, loss of balance, hearing loss and fainting. She can faint up to six times a day. She used to go to Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form. Her disability started when she was in year 11. That was the first time she fainted which caused her to hit her head which resulted in major injuries.
Megan also enjoys raising money for Dog A.I.D. to help people suffering from the same problem as her.

  • We interviewed Megan about Ruby and her training:

How long have you had Ruby?

I’ve had her since she was a puppy. She’s six years old now, I got her when she was 8 weeks.

What kind of things does Ruby do for you?

So Ruby does a lot of different types of tasks for me. For example, if I drop something, she’ll pick it up and give it back to me, which reduces my dizziness significantly. She can untie my shoelaces for me, so I don’t have to bend down and I don’t get dizzy that way.If we go to a supermarket, she can get things off the bottom shelf for me.

If I faint, she’s trained to activate a special dog phone that I wear on my wrist. So she’ll push the button with her nose, and it’lsend a text message to my parents with my GPS location. And that means if I hurt myself an ambulance will be sent. And if I was to hurt myself at home, she’s also been trained on how to answer the front door to let the paramedics into the house. 

Another thing she has learnt is to activate pedestrian crossings. She does it with her nose. That means I can stand back and if I do faint, I won’t fall into oncoming traffic.

Another thing that she is still learning (but she’s almost there!) is guiding me to a safe place when I have my visual blackouts or temporary blindness. She’ll take me to the side, away from the busy roads until I get my eyesight back.

Why did you decide to make Ruby a Cub Scout?

Well, I’ve been involved with the Scouting Association since I was six years old, so I went through Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. I’ve recently finished my degree at university studying Animal Behaviour, and as a project as part of my degree we had to do a training project with a theme, so I chose the theme of Cub Scout badges as I am a Cub Scout Leader. I just thought that that gave me lots of different opportunities to train her to earn the different badges.

Was it difficult for you to teach Ruby some of her tricks like painting?

So all of the tricks that Ruby learns are all taught with positive reinforcement training, so everything is broken down into small stages. For example, when I taught her to paint I didn’t just shove a brush in her mouth and expect her to do it. First I taught her how to hold the brush, then how to hold the brush while moving, then how to target the brush to the paper, and how to give it back to me. So it’s all in small steps and it takes a while to train, so lots of tasty treats like real chicken, or hot dogs, and it helps motivate her. And she can learn anything. Dogs are only limited by their trainer’s imagination.

How do people react when you are out with Ruby?

I get a mixture of different views. A lot of people assume that I’m training Ruby for somebody else because my disability isn’t visible, it’s not obvious when you first look at me. So I get things like, “Oh, it’s such a wonderful thing you’re doing, training that dog for a disabled person.” Or I get the opposite, where people say, “It’s so horrible that that dog has to work for you all day, that’s not fair on the dog. You should be ashamed of yourself.” It’s a whole different spectrum of things. But, you know, assistance dogs don’t spend their whole lives working. They get lots of time off to just be a dog and play. So I like to educate people when I can with that.

Thank you so much to Megan for coming. We hope that she and Ruby the Super dog can continue helping people! If you would like to find out more about Dog A.I.D. or about Megan and Ruby please visit the web pages below:

http://rubythesuperdog.weebly.com/

http://dogaid.org.uk/

By Fatima, Gemma and Leila

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London's Local Litter

Litter is a huge problem in our local area that effects us, our friends, family but especially animals. There are so many different animals that can get hurt so easily by our carless littering. Hedgehogs can get their heads trapped in yogurt cartons, tin cans, and polystyrene drinking cups.

 

They can be attracted inside by the leftovers and are then unable to reverse out as their bottom half is facing sharp edges. This can lead to starvation and then death. Click here to read the full article on London's Litter 

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Is Donald Trump the top trump for his citizens?

Two of our reporters interviewed India, a sixth former at Tolworth Girl’s school, about her views on Donald Trump and other political issues around the world. As she is American and had a right to vote for the election that was going on in America, we thought we would find out what she thinks!
Q: Do you think Donald Trump is a good president?
A: No, the best, there has been some distress in American society since the election.
Q: Do you agree with his (Donald Trump’s?) politics? Why? Why not?
A: Not, I do not agree with the Mexican border stopping people from coming in to the country.
Q: Do you think Isis is a problem? Why? Why not?
A: Yes, not much has happened this year but last year a lot.
Q: Do you believe children should be more aware of politics?
A: Yes, politics need to be made simple and clearly explained to them.

Q: Brexit having happened, do you think that may have an effect on the future of girls and boys in school and Sixth Form? How?
A: Yes, there might be less diversity and limited opportunities. For example ending the Erasmus* program.

*The Erasmus program is funded by the EU and allows sixth form students from across Europe to take part in exchange visits across the continent. If you would like to find out more about the program, visit: Click here for more information about the Eramus program!

Article by Shaleen

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Derek Landy talks about writing, reading and his own books

We had an interview with Derek Landy, the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant author, on Wednesday 22nd February about what books he enjoyed as a child and about his own books he has written.

He told the two reporters, Hana and Gemma, who interviewed him that he loved reading comics as a child and they had taught him to read and write. He believes that some comics are the best stories he has read.

Landy said that he loved writing when he was in primary school and that’s when he first realised he loved writing more than most of the other people in his class.
We asked ‘Do you think reading is important?’ 
He thinks it is ‘great’ that you can easily get books from your local library but it is sad that a lot are closing, however he loves going to a book shop and buying a whole set of books. He suggested that even with social media and the internet you should still read a lot and it is just as important now than it ever was and is the best way of losing yourself in an adventure.

His favourite book to write was the first Skulduggery Pleasant book because when he wrote it he did not know the rules of book writing so he was free to do anything and put anything in it. 

‘Which do you prefer, films or books?’ Asked the reporters.  
He answered that reading books can be in many ways better than watching the film version because the films have to cut a lot of parts of the book out, but sometimes a film can be better than the original book - but he said most films that are adapted ‘suck’.

Hana and Gemma asked him, “What genres did you read as a child?” and “What was your favourite book as a child?”
When Landy was a child he read a lot of mystery genre books because that was all there was in the shops at the time; his favourite book as a child was the American book series ‘The Three Investigators’.

He revealed to us that he went to an art college but was kicked out for not what he did but more for what he didn’t do. He is a great artist and I have seen some of his drawings.
Landy said that he had a stammer and he sometimes finds it hard to read a script because of it.
He told us that in his house he has loads of old movie props he has brought and collected and loves Star Wars.
For all the cat lovers you will be delighted to hear that Landy also has cats!   

The two reporters also interviewed a few people who lined up to have their books signed by Landy, they said “He is interesting and inspiring.” Some also mentioned that he was a famous author and he writes good novels. One said how ‘cool’ it would be if he signed her books seeing as she had them. 

This shows that books are still very much loved and read and if you want to purchase any of his books and find more about him you could go to:

http://www.skulduggerypleasant.co.uk/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Skulduggery-Pleasant-book/dp/0007241623

Article by Hana

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Angela Merkel

The German refugee crisis and how it effected Merkel’s campaign during 2016
Angela Merkel’s background
Angela Dorothea Merkel, a 62-year-old German politician and the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, is the current Chancellor of Germany. She is highly educated and was a former research scientist with a doctorate in physical chemistry. During 1989, she became a politician when the Revolutions of 1989 (a radical wave in the late 1980s as well as the early 1990s that resulted in the end of the Cold War) took place. Furthermore, she served as a deputy spokesperson for the first democratically elected East German Government in 1990. Merkel’s first role in government was as Minister of Women and Youth. During her early political career, she was seen as uncharismatic and dowdy, however, she managed to remove that image with a wardrobe change and a new style. She then gained enough popularity amongst the German public to become Germany’s first female Chancellor in 2005.


Germany’s views on immigration
Germany used to be very pro-immigration, however, since the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Germany, views have rapidly changed. On New Year's Eve 2016, over 2,000 people were alleged victims. There were at least 509 alleged victims of the sexual assaults out of 1,616 alleged crime victims in Cologne. The crimes included groping, sexual assault, rape, robbery and theft. Chief Prosecutor Ulrich Bremer stated that “the overwhelming majority" of suspects were foreigners seeking asylum and illegal immigrants who had recently reached Germany. However, only a small number of perpetrators were identified. Almost all of the crimes in Cologne were committed by non-Germans. Two-thirds were from Morocco or Algeria.


Germany’s treatment of refugees
Ever since these assaults, people began to protest against refugees being let into Germany. Right-wing demonstrators devised the phrase ‘Rapefugees not welcome’ in protest. Lutz Bachmann (the founder of the organisation Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) sold merchandise featuring the axiom. Furthermore, violence towards refugees heightened. On the 10th of January 2016, eleven people were beaten in Cologne, in an area located close to where the assaults happened. The assailants attacked six Pakistanis, three Guineans and two Syrians. All of the victims were injured and hospitalised. Express (a Cologne newspaper) described the attackers of the 10th as ‘a group of thugs’. Angela Merkel opined on the incident by saying that the attacks of New Year's were ‘almost exclusively’ enacted by males ‘of an immigrant background’. Moreover, the Chancellor told business leaders that ‘all of a sudden we are facing the challenge that refugees are coming to Europe and we are vulnerable’. Merkel’s government has received heavy criticism for her ‘open door’ refugee policy for some time. However, on the 28th of July 2016, after a week of violence towards asylum seekers, she refused to back down from her ‘open-door’ policy. “The terrorists want us to lose sight of what is important to us,” Merkel said at a press conference regarding the week of bloodshed. Despite heavy opposition, the leader of Germany insisted that her Country will not fail in its ‘historic task’ to house more than one million asylum seekers who arrived in 2015.


Merkel’s 4th campaign
In late November of 2016, Merkel announced that she will be running for Chancellor of Germany for a fourth term.


On the 29th of November 2016, an Afghan boy thanked Merkel and shed a few tears during a debate on the migrant crisis. She had allowed the boy and his family to stay in Germany. The young boy was met with applause after he said in German: “I would like to thank you, Mrs Merkel.” He told Merkel that he was ‘very happy’. In spite of being met with applause and positivity, this situation will effect her campaign due to Germany’s negative views on immigration. Alternative für Deutschland (a far-right German political party that won 6.1% in the 2015 Hamburg state election) are very influential and have spoken against Merkel’s accepting of migrants multiple times. According to a poll published at the Breitsheidplatz, the AfD’s vote surged to 15.5% (a lot for an extreme right party) whereas Merkel’s party’s vote dropped to 31.5%.
In conclusion, due to Merkel’s policies on immigration, it is not likely that she will be Chancellor for a fourth term. Furthermore, Germany will be accepting a lot fewer immigrants, amplifying the migrant crisis. However, Germany has still exceeded Britain’s acceptance of immigrants: Germany has a net immigration of 1,139,000 (as of July 2016) whereas net migration to the UK has dropped to 274,000, falling by 49,000. Since Germany’s net migration numbers will be falling once Merkel (most likely) fails to become chancellor for the fourth time, thousands of refugees and asylum seekers will have nowhere to go. Nevertheless, if the UK and other European countries accept more immigrants, this problem will be lessened.


Read more about immigration stats HERE:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34131911

Sources:

www.wikipedia.com

www.BBC.co.uk,

www.news.nationalpost,

www.telegraph.co.uk,

www.express.co.uk

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Did you know how much the internet is effecting your life? To find out how many people used the internet today, follow this link: http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/.

We interviewed two 13-year-old girls named Amelie and Simrat who said that they use the internet for about 3 hours a day. We also asked them what they do on the internet on a daily basis. Their answer was that they used the internet for: YouTube, homework and social media. We asked them if they think that the internet is good for the environment and Simrat said “Yes, because some apps give you information about keeping you fit and healthy and some apps make you go outside.” Whereas Amelie said “No, it is not good for the environment because it keeps you inside.” We also asked them if sometimes they use the internet unnecessarily and they both said “yes, you always want to check your phone if someone posted a picture on social media or a video on YouTube so you are the first to see it.”

These were the answers from students. To see the difference between adults and teenagers, we asked a  teacher at our school, Mrs Chiddy, the same questions.

click here to read the rest!

The election is on! Who will represent us as a whole? But do you know who they are and what they do? If not read on…

click here to find out more!

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                                                   Disabilities

Hello, this is our official article for the BBC School News Report, hope you enjoy: Barira, Serene, Ashley and Alice

Today’s topic of discussion will be about people with disabilities, both mental and physical, how they are treated and helped, what they do in their daily life and how their life’s are different to ours. This subject is one that should be talked about more not just in England but around the world in different countries as although it may not seem like a pressing matter to people without, it is actually an issue that should be more talked about. Right now let’s head over to Barira who has researched disability and has found many interesting facts.

Background to disabilities

People with disabilities are known as the “the world’s largest minority”, they have generally have a lack of services available to them, and there are many obstacles they face in their everyday lives. These obstacles take a multitude of forms, including those relating to the physical environment, or those resulting from government policy, or from social attitudes and discrimination.

Many of their challenges involve people’s attitudes. The UN brought together a variety of research to understand current attitudes towards disability and disabled people.

  • More than one billion people live with some form of disability.
  • Two thirds (67%) of the British public feel uncomfortable talking to disabled people.
  • Over a third (36%) of people tend to think of disabled people as not as productive as everyone else. 
  • Over four fifths (85%) of the British public believe that disabled people face prejudice. Here are some staggering statistics about disabilities. 
  • A quarter (24%) of disabled people have experienced attitudes or behaviours where other people expected less of them because of their disability.
  • One fifth (21%) of 18 – 34 years old admit that they have actually avoided talking to a disabled person because they weren’t sure how to communicate with them. Disabled people all around the world tell that negative attitudes affect every area of their lives – in the playground, at work, in shops, on the street.

These results show that much of the population holds negative attitudes towards disabled people and these attitudes are supported by a lack of understanding about disability and disabled people’s needs.

Furthermore, attitudes towards people with less ‘visible’ disabilities tend to be much more negative.  A great deal can be done to change this, including better education; ensuring that there are more prospects for disabled people and people who aren’t disabled to have positive relations; and encouraging more positive depictions of disability and disabled people in the media.

Famous people with disabilities

We found that due to the stigma surrounding it many people believe that disability means that people are unable to achieve their goals. That is completely untrue.

Although disability does not aid a person, it does not make their dreams unachievable as proven by amazing and truly inspirational people such as Stephen Hawking, who suffered from a motor neurone disease however he went on to write a book on the origins of the universe and to this day is considered to be one of the greatest scientific minds.

Robin Williams suffered from depression, anxiety, paranoia and, what took his life in the end, Lewy Body Dementia, however he did not fail to bring a smile to countless children and adults in his movies.

Demi Lovato, who has been open about her struggle with bipolar disorder, cutting and bulimia has helped thousands of younger people with their body image with her music and many motivational speeches.

Now our exclusive interview with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community about how they help people every year

We interviewed ladies from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to talk about their experience with disability.

These ladies go around twice a year to care homes and special needs schools to give presents and flowers to the patients. Our reporter sat down and did an exclusive interview with them.

Why do you, personally, do it?

I do it because helping other people makes me feel happy and knowing that you made other people happy and feel wanted encourages me to help more often. These people that we visit, have been abandoned and when we meet them they feel honoured and more wanted. Many people feel happy when they eat chocolate or watch a movie, but for me going and seeing these children with disabilities makes me feel happy.

Can you think of any stories that have stayed with you?

When I was little I use to be with the children who wrapped up the boxes of chocolate and I loved it. When I was in year 7 I had to go with my mum to deliver the present on New year’s eve. I was really nervous and when I handed a boy who had a physical disability I realised he was just like me. I handed him his present and a book and he started crying. I asked him why are you crying, do you not like the present? And he replied that the tears were for happiness. No-one has ever given him a present before and now he feels every happy.

What is it like going to the care homes and special need schools?

At first I was really nervous and my mum wasn’t! But once I came in the care homes I found out that it was actually a welcoming home. They were all old but they were really kind. The schools aren’t anything like my school but the people in the school were lovely and they are all amazing.

What is one thing most people should keep in mind?

They should keep in mind that whether someone is old or has a physical disability treat everyone with respect. Don’t only think about yourself but others in mind and be happy for what you have in life. Help as many people as you can as you will be glad at the end.

What do you think could be done in the future to make their lives easier?

To be honest I think that they do have every source they need as they live in the UK I personally think that they need happiness, hope, inner peace and love. If they have these things, then they will feel better about themselves and feel more wanted.

We asked the ladies if we could take a picture of them for their work and they said:

We would allow you to take a picture but it is not only us who do every year. Many ladies around the world so this work and we are not taking all the credit. We want to encourage people to come forward and help other people. If many people help each other it would create harmony and peace between everyone. Our aim is to live in peace and spread peace all over the world.

Thank you for reading our article!

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Mental Health

Neha, Shalet, Lauran and Isabelle

What is Mental Health?                                                                                                                                 ‘A person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.’(1)

A few different types of mental health conditions include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Bipolar
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder also known as OCD
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Stress
  • Self-harm
  • Self-esteem issues (2)

Many people have mental health conditions, however some are more easily recognisable than others. No one’s conditions are exactly the same, so each person needs to be treated differently.

Celebrities with mental health issues:

  • Ellen Degeneres suffers from depression
  • Leonardo DiCaprio suffers from OCD
  • Demi Lovato suffers from Bipolar Disorder
  • Frankie Bridge suffers from Depression
  • Justin Bieber suffers from ADHD (3+4)

Key facts:

  • One in four people are affected by a mental health condition
  • 8.6 million adults have suicidal thoughts
  • One in thirty people experience PTSD
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death
  • 1/3 of children in Britain have had suicidal thoughts (5+6)

 

This is an interview conducted with a Nurse who works for the NHS. She herself deals with mental health patients daily, as part of her job. Her identity has been kept hidden throughout the interview due to her personal choice.

What experiences do you have with patients who have suffered from mental health?

"They can be very challenging patients and they can’t always articulate exactly what they want from you."

How do patients, and treatments for them, vary?

"All treatment is tailored to individuals’ needs and you can’t treat a whole group of people exactly the same. Patients have different expectations from what they want from you. Some people want lots of treatment, some people don’t. You have to be led by what the patient wants."

Do you feel you have had enough training to support them?

"No I don’t think you can ever really have enough training, because one day someone will come in that you have never come across and be something completely new and you just have to learn as you go."

Due to each patient having different mental health conditions, how are you able to find different solutions and methods to cure each individual?

"There is an awful lot of research that’s going on at the moment which links to various forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s. There are lots of different establishments out there who offer help in various ways. We try to look at it in a holistic way but some people need a lot of support with their daily needs. Some people need surgery which obviously is what the NHS is geared up for. Mental health is a very wide subject and how it can vary from someone who has a little phobia and who doesn’t want to go out, to someone who can’t interact with society at all, they can be aggressive but you don’t know why they are aggressive."

Do you think the NHS could do more to help people who suffer from a mental health condition?

"Very probably but there are always going to be so many financial constraints from the NHS - the budget has to spread so thinly. There will never be enough, we could always do more for everybody."

Why did you choose to become a nurse?

"Thought it might have been a cool thing to do, there is no great reason or calling really."

Do you think that society needs to be more aware that people do often suffer from a variety of different mental health conditions?

"Yes, I do, I think people are very judgemental on the whole. I think people with mental conditions are often misunderstood and people don’t seem to understand all the problems they have. They think they are difficult and come across as aggressive. I certainly have patients that come across as very aggressive, they are in your face, spitting out what they want you to do, but purely because they have mental health conditions and they can’t find the words that they need. If you are on the street and someone comes up to you and speaks to you like that, you would avoid them like the plague because you would think they are very aggressive and are going to punch you but they are not, they are just that way as they don’t know any other way. Some people don’t understand mental health."

Also, how do you think that people can be educated about the different conditions?

"I think it is really good if people could go and have some sort of work experience - you don’t have to do it as a life commitment. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to go into some of these places and just spend half a day with the mental health patients and get a feel of how they are and that they are actually people. Their mental health is as real to them as a physical illness and it is not people just crying out for attention or anything else. They can’t help it as much as people with a limp can’t help limping, as it’s not their choice. So I think to go and talk to them and find out that they are actually people would be really useful."

Thank you

Mental Health is an issue which is increasingly affecting young people. This is mainly due to stress which causes anxiety and depression. We feel as a group that mental health awareness should be taught more in schools so we can develop a further understanding of different mental conditions.

Sources:

- https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#safe=strict&q=mental+health+definition&*

- http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/

- http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/celebrity-news/celebrities-speak-out-about-mental-health-12047

- https://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/slideshows/celebrities-who-suffer-from-mental-illness/

- https://www.pinterest.com/lmswedberg/mental-health-ministry/

- http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/a-third-of-children-in-britain-have-had-suicidal-thoughts-8688940.html

Click here for more information on Mental Health

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Women's Football

Women's football is becoming one of the most relavant and interesting sports to watch. I have looked into the history of women's football and uncovred amazing facts.I also posted  my top five favourite female footballers.

By Naomi

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20 quotes from TGS about J.K. Rowling to celebrate 20 years of Harry Potter!

  1. “She’s awesome.”
  2. “I love how she faked her name to see if more people will read it as a boy.”
  3. ” I love how she carries on writing more books”
  4. “She’s just so amazing. I would willingly worship her.”
  5. “J.K Rowling is one of the most influential writers of the 21st century. “
  6. “She’s really creative.”
  7. “I-just-love her so much…”
  8. “she’s the reason I’m such a huge book nerd”
  9. “Harry Potter is awesome!!!”
  10. “she gives a lot of money to charity; that’s really nice”
  11. “I LOVE her twitter game”
  12. “I don’t know who she is”
  13. “I like the Harry Potter series”
  14. “She’s done really well for herself”
  15. “she very imaginative”
  16. “she’s done a lot for Children’s literacy”
  17. “she’s an inspiration to all women”
  18. “she’s shown that you should NEVER give up”
  19. “I’m very pleased that she uses her money well”
  20. “She’s a Change-Maker”

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The BBC News Team 2016