Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat

Following last year’s successful performance of “Oliver!”, Bluecoat Academy’s talented young actors and actresses are working together to recreate the story of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Students have been working hard since October 2013 in preparation for their final performance in June 2014.

Joseph’s coat will be designed and created by the Year 9 Textiles team along with the help of designers from the large fashion company Paul Smith.

After interviewing some students who are a part of the performance we got very similar opinions about the musical:

“There is a very diverse range of people working in the musical”

“Students of every age are involved”

Members of the Textiles class working with designers from Paul Smith believe that working with a professional team of designers has helped broaden their knowledge of the textiles industry and led them towards the right path to pursue their dreams and ambitions.

“Working with them has given us an insight to what it’s like working on a big project in a design company”

Students who aren’t acting in the Musical think that it’s good that lots of students are given an opportunity to be a part of the show and it’s not just orientated around acting; everyone is involved in the making of it.

Students in the Aspley Lane and Wollaton Park campus are very excited for to watch the final performance in June.

-Jenny

Has Michael Gove gone too far?

Many people across the country are aware of a man named Michael Gove MP – particularly teachers. This is because Mr. Gove is the Secretary of State for Education. As many of you will have heard, much of what he has changed in schools across the UK is causing quite a lot of controversy among parents and teachers alike, but what about the students? What do we know exactly? Should we understand what’s happening in our schools?
Now you’re probably wondering what he is doing and planning on doing; well he is proposing ten hour school days, allowing for extra homework time, revision time and extra classwork. This is designed for the people who struggle to find an adequate and peaceful working environment at home. But this is a proposed three hour daily increase on the seven hour current time. If this change was enforced, school could end at approximately 6.30pm, assuming it shouldn’t start any earlier than 8:30, especially as many pupils wake up at 6am. In addition  to this , Gove wants children to sit exams at thirteen.
Much of this sounds quite unappealing, but none of it will necessarily happen. But what has Gove already done? He has cancelled a program that was improving results without having to privatize schools. He has axed the building schools for the future program funding new school buildings and refurbishments for a better quality education and learning environment. He has tried to enforce ‘traditional’ punishment methods such as writing lines, sitting detentions and litter picking. He has changed exams in a way that means it is harder to retake exams so only those who succeed on the day have an immediate advantage. He has scrapped the pay body for Teaching Assistants.

When asked what they thought of Michael Gove and his policies, teachers disagreed with his policies and felt quite strongly against what he is trying to enforce:
“I believe that Gove has ambitious ideas but that these ideas aren’t always acting upon the best advice from teachers.”
“I think that there are a lot of problems with Gove’s ideas and these problems need to be addressed.”
“I believe that Gove values a certain kind of education, and one which differs enormously to the education that the state is able to provide.”
“I don’t think he’s listening to the professionals, he has very narrow and antiquated views”
When students were asked the same thing, there was a mixed response. Those who knew who he was felt similarly to the teachers, but many did not know who he was or about his policies:
“I don’t really think that we are told enough about what he does, so to be honest I’m not sure”
“I don’t really know anything about Michael Gove”
“He has a lot of policies with potential and if he can put those into practice properly he could redeem himself but equally much of what he actually is putting into practice is completely ridiculous!”
“I don’t know who Michael Gove is”
“They’re stupid. They’re ridiculous, I don’t want to be in school for ten hours a day and that is not unreasonable”
The survey was taken randomly on a mixture of years and a mixture of teachers and it became apparent that teachers were sure of what they thought and had strong opinions, whereas students either had no idea or a very similar view to teachers- that his policies are wrong. Let’s hope then that tomorrow’s Secretary of State for Education has a better approach to education than today’s.

-Frankie

 

 

 

Three strikes for N.U.T

Schools across the nation closed as hundreds of teachers set out on a strike. The union that began the strike was N.U.T; they have had experience in executing strikes before, hit Britain and Wales three times before.
The government’s action against this was “It damages children’s education and will anger many parents”.

The reason for this strike is that the government want to make the school day from 8 am to 6pm! Additionally they want to make tougher pension packages for teachers throughout England and Wales.

-Taysir

Haemophilia

Do you know what haemophilia is? Most of you won’t. So let me tell you, haemophilia is a hereditary bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot properly, this is due to a factor deficiency.
I am aiming to educate schools and their teachers so they know what to do if a pupil with haemophilia bleeds. An opportunity to learn more about haemophilia is on April 17th, World Haemophilia Day. You can go red for haemophilia on April 17th; you’ll be joined by thousands of others. Schools and teachers need to know about living with haemophilia because approximately six thousand people in the UK have haemophilia and many of them are children. Haemophilia can be fatal if it’s not treated properly, teachers should know how and when haemophiliacs should be treated as the child may not be old enough to understand. Physical Education teachers should be very aware of any pupils with haemophilia as there are a few sports haemophiliacs shouldn’t do e.g. Rugby.
In The 1970’s secondary schools refused to let haemophiliacs into their school as they didn’t want that sort of responsibility. I believe this is wrong, haemophiliacs shouldn’t be denied education or opportunity. There have been many famous haemophiliacs, for example:
• Queen Victoria was a carrier of the genetic disorder.
• Also, the Paralympic swimmer, Jack Bridge, is a haemophiliac.
• Professor Green is also a haemophiliac!

You can also learn more about haemophilia on ‘HaemoWhat?!’ by scanning the QR code above.

Haemophilia is a very important issue that we need to raise awareness for, we can do this in many ways and all we need is your support.

-Nikki

Catching Fire Review

Catching fire is the second movie in the Hunger Games; it is based on the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy written by Suzanne Collins.

Following their previous 74th hunger games victory, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark return to district 12.

This year is the 75th annual Hunger Games and past victors cannot be entered into the reaping but there is a twist, Every Quarter quell something unusual happens. This time, The tributes are reaped from the existing pool of victors. Is this just pure coincidence after Katniss’ rebellious act or is this exactly what President Snow intended for?

In our opinion, the movie was great (and so was the book) but it didn’t live up to our expectations because they missed out some key points from the book. We would rate the Hunger Games: Catching Fire: 4 ½ Mockingjays out of 5!

By Jenny and Nikki

Next Generation Consoles

At the end of November last year two of the hottest new consoles went on sale: the Xbox One and the Playstation 4. Both had a massive hype up to the launch date and they didn’t disappoint. These are highly anticipated consoles but why get one? Well apart from the fact it’s new; it’s got better graphics and a faster processor.

But what about the features of both consoles; well both consoles run games at 1080p HD, which is really beautiful. With regard to the differences let’s start with the Xbox One. One of the best features is Kinect 2.0. It’s much improved from the Xbox 360 with better tracking and more thorough voice commands. One of the things I like about it is that you can log into your gamer account with Kinect by just looking at your face! Another interesting feature that’s quite unnerving is that Kinect is always on so you could just say ‘Xbox on’ and it will turn on both your T.V and Xbox.

So let’s take a look at the Playstation 4 now; one of the brilliant features is the ‘Share’ button which will allow you to upload game play to YouTube without the need for capture cards. So not only can you brag to friends about how good you are; you can now prove it! Another great feature is downloading games, with past consoles when you wanted to download a game you would have to wait, but with the Playstation 4 you can now play while it’s still downloading!

The best aspect of the Xbox One is the controller, which is brilliant with improved triggers, thumb sticks and D-pad. The best feature is the triggers will now vibrate! It looks and feels similar to Xbox 360 one but still brilliant.

The Playstation call their controller the Dualshock 4. I felt that the last controller for the Playstation 3 wasn’t very good at all; it didn’t feel that good in my hands, while the Xbox 360 did. But the new Playstation 4 one has been completely redesigned now with a touch-pad in the middle of the controller. It’s also a bit bigger which may sound like a small thing to pick on but it actually makes quite a difference.

So that rounds up my Review of the Next Gen Consoles so thanks for reading and do stay tuned for more!

I’m Tired Today

Teenagers: Lazy, tired, irritable and unreasonable creatures that don’t appreciate everything parents do for them and just want you to ‘SHUT UP!’

But recent studies suggest that the first two of those words aren’t anything that can be helped. The majority of teenagers get approximately 8 hours of sleep, but they actually need at least 9! The teenage body runs 2-4 hours slower than the average adult, this means that forcing pimple ridden, stroppy teens into a 10’ till 6’ (or around that time) sleeping pattern could be unhealthy. This is perhaps the main reason why teenagers struggle to drift into a slumber at a reasonable time, and then wake up refreshed at a reasonable time.

This then shows that allowing teenagers to ‘lie in’ and stay in bed until about 9 o’ clock could make them in a better mood, and more importantly, increase concentration, awareness, memory, and possibly even boost exam results.

Scientists can do experiments, such as late and early starts to test whether waking up later or earlier can make concentration better or worse, and ultimately, much of the problem comes down to the person. All of the social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, BBM, Kik, Whatsapp, Ask.fm, iMessage, Skype, FaceTime, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Other Mail Services, Flickr, Vine, Myspace, and Google+ etc.) and popular websites such as YouTube and television shows such as Family Guy, Waterloo Road and other technical doohickeys that increase the brains activity should not be taken an hour before bed time, as it takes longer for the brain to relax.

So, teenagers need more sleep. But how much of the problem is due to those early starts; and how much is down to you, them, or us. Your choice.

Written by Laura and Frankie