BBC School News Report 2016
Today, Thursday 10th March, we had the day off timetable to perfect all of our news reports for the BBC for their tenth anniversary.In the morning, we started with an editor’s breakfast, where we discussed current affairs in the newspaper, and discussed the day ahead. We decided on a variety of issues that we are all passionate about, some of us focused on the EU referendum and the refugee crisis, whilst others looked at the way women and LGBT members of society are treated. As most of us worked together, we went off on our separate ways to complete our reports. Some of us filmed interviews or edited footage. We did this throughout the morning until Lunch.At lunchtime, some of us continued to film footage and to interview others. We then got on with editing throughout the afternoon, before our 2pm deadline. Our teacher, who gave us this opportunity, uploaded our media to the BBC and we hope you enjoy our work.“I am so very glad we all had this opportunity; I had the best day ever, enjoyed running around school, filming, reporting, editing and typing up my reports. I want to say thanks to Miss Wilkins, Arifa and all the people who made it possible, including the BBC School News Report team, so, thank you all!”By Amal 9H
Gender neutral bathrooms and gender identity
What if you felt pressured to go into a bathroom that you do not feel comfortable in? Every day we are faced with gender discrimination especially in such a natural human function, like going to the bathroom.
Feminism is all about the equality of men and women and to stop the segregation between those two genders. Although this is an amazing step, in my opinion, it only focuses on discrimination of women and ignores the other extremely oppressed genders. Recently there has been lots of recognition for the LGBT community and the different sexualities. However the gender identity side of the spectrum is ignored. Most people are unaware of the fact that there are more than just two genders and many of those who are aware do not accept anyone that is no cisgender (denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex; not transgender). Transgender is the most well-known gender identity that is not cisgender. Other examples include Nonbinary/Agender (catch-all category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine—identities which are thus outside of the gender binary and cisnormality) and Gender fluid (Gender fluid is a gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time. A gender fluid person may at any time identify as male, female, or any other non-binary identity, or some combination of identities.)
For people to understand why we need gender neutral bathrooms they need to be educated on the difference between someone’s sex, gender identity and gender expression. People often think that someone’s sex and their gender identity are the same thing, they think that the reproductive organs you are born with determine your gender identity when in fact your gender identity is the way you feel internally and the way you want others to perceive you. With this understanding society will be more willing to except those who do not confirm to cisnormality.
The famous gendered bathroom signs are very problematic. They enforce old gender stereotypes that need to be demolished. The ladies sign is wearing a dress which indicates that an item of clothing is assigned to a certain gender. The family bathroom sign shows a very stereotypical modern day family. The sign includes a mum, a dad and a child. This discriminates against same sex marriage and implies that children can only be a girl or a boy.
Gender neutral bathrooms need to be introduced in the UK and the rest of the world, because although it is such a small but vital part of our lives, everyone needs to feel comfortable going to the toilet and accepted in the bathroom of their choice. Gender neutral bathrooms are not just for men and women but for all genders. This needs to be shown by not just putting both men and women on the bathroom door but by using a gender neutral sign. People argue that it would cost an unnecessary amount of money to make a new bathroom when all they need to do is change the signs which would take less than a day.
To ensure that gender neutral bathrooms are introduced in the near future we need to start educating and acting upon this simple but crucial change. Campaigns for gender neutral bathrooms include, NTAC (National Transgender Advocacy Coalition) and The SRLP. We are already seeing gender neutral bathrooms. The white house recently opened their first Gender neutral bathroom. It is expected that this number will rise and everyone will feel safe going to the bathroom.
By Eva and Remi
Violence against Women and Girls
(also known as VaWG-means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women) is the most widespread form of abuse worldwide, affecting one third of all women in their lifetimes. VaWG undermines the victim’s emotional and physical wellbeing, violates their human rights and can severely impact their lives, health and stability in the long term, but, even though VAWG has played a huge part in society, it is often dismissed as it is expected and has become normal, which should not be the case. You may not think it affects you at the moment but statistics show 1 in 5 people think it would be acceptable in certain circumstances for a man to hit or slap his female partner in response to her being dressed in sexy or revealing clothing in public, which, realistically, is wearing something you want or that makes you feel good.
In the last few years, people are slowly becoming more aware of these issues and taking action, for example, the government on the 8th of March announced it is to increase the committed funding to £80 million to protect women and girls from violence as part of a new strategy.
However, in 2015, he CPS saw a dramatic increase in the numbers of cases concerning Violence against Women and Girls with more cases being referred from the police, charged, prosecuted and convicted. In 2014/15, 107,104 of these crimes were prosecuted, an increase of more than 16,000 from last year (18.3%) and the highest ever in CPS records. Likewise, the numbers of those convicted rose by over 11,000 (16.9%) to its highest level ever. Despite the fact this may be because more women (but not enough) feel safe sharing their experiences, some girls and women are still being blamed for sexual abuse being placed upon them.
Lots of people assume that because they are only one person and not in charge of a big system (such as the government) they can’t make an affect in such a complex situation. But every big and small thing adds up. Many things like the human rights act enforcing laws on
-The right not to be treated in an inhuman and degrading way
-The right to respect for private and family life (including the right to physical and psychological integrity)
-The right to life.
As well as this many campaigns have taken place, for example, ‘School Safe 4 Girls’, services where you can donate to help protect vulnerable girls, many companies, such as the Crown Prosecution Service, making people more aware and helping victims of domestic violence, forced marriage, honour-based violence, FGM, sexual offences and many more. Mostly, it’s about educating people from the write and wrongs of violence against women and girls so in the end there will be no reason for women and girls to be scared of walking down the street at night.
http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/equality/vaw/ -information on different aspects of VaWG.
The target for halving poverty rates was met five years ahead of the 2015 deadline. Since 1990 over 1 million people have came out of poverty. This is an amazing achievment but many people in developing countries in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa still live on $1.25 or less per week. On a global scale still over 800 million people still live in poverty. Poverty isn’t only the lack of money and the essentials for survival it is also: starvation, malnutrition, limited access to education, child mortalilty and many other reasons. Global poverty isn’t caused by one factor but there are many factors on why World Poverty exists today.
There is an Unequal Disruption of Wealth. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Today there is a big difference between how resources are being distributed in developing regions. In many places the rich receive a large amount of income whereas poor families receive very small portions. If wealth is not distributed equally then Poverty will remain a problem.
This problem has also created a world where only 62 people own half the world! Even though our world leaders have talked about tackling inequality the gap between the rich and poor has widened.
An Oxfam reports says:
“An Economy for the 1%, shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world's population - that's 3.6 billion people - has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010. This 38 per cent drop has occurred despite the global population increasing by around 400 million people during that period. Meanwhile the wealth of the richest 62 has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76tr. Just nine of the '62' are women”.
Discrimination, racism and prejudice is also another cause of Poverty. This is an issue all around the world for example the United States is a place where a person’s skin colour or religion can make a massive impact on how they are treated. People who do get discriminated don’t really receive the same opportunities compared to other people who don’t. This causes education and income levels to be low and this problem leads to poverty.
How the country is run does not only reflect on the government but also on society and civilization. If political unsteadiness and corruption is constant then the country will fail in fulfilling the needs the citizen’s needs. High rates of poverty is found in countries which have corrupt leaders.
Many charities like Oxfam International try to help countries, communities and families to escape poverty. They help by helping people demand for their rights including empowering women which plays a big part in human development. Also providing resources in natural disasters and conflicts. There are many charities working on getting rid of poverty. You as an individual can make a contribution by donating money to trusted charities. Taking part in fundraises and voluntary events is another way to end poverty.
The US election
Well in all seriousness, Mr Trump still has a long way until getting anywhere near the white house. He hasn’t even been elected as the Republican candidate. But wait, how does the US choose their president? At a first glance it works pretty much like how UK elections work fight between different leading parties, one will win and the other will go off into the wilderness for the next five years until the next election. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Primary elections
It all starts with the primary elections, each state will hold either Caucuses or Primary’s. In Caucuses you have to physically vote by basically going on different sides of a room and then you are counted. In Primary’s you go into a booth, tick a box and you’re done. Here’s the tricky part, the votes don’t really count because it’s really up to the delegates and the super delegates to choose the party’s presidential candidate. Once all states have voted then all of the delegates, who are people like state representatives or mayors, and the super delegates, people like past presidents, go to a huge convention that chooses the presidential candidate. And no its not comic con. After this, the race to the white house finally begins.
538 votes are shared out between the states. They start off with three then votes are given out according to population. People vote for electors who are put forward by the party candidates. Weeks later 538 electors vote and choose who the president will be. This is only a brief summary.
And that’s how the US choose their president, it may be long but it does show that there is still a very long way until Obama steps down and the new president steps in.
Why is homophobia such a big issue in secondary schools?
Britain has come a long way since homosexuality was punishable by death but there is still a lot of discrimination against young people who identify as a part of the LGBT community. Often this discrimination takes place in areas with lots of other young teenagers like secondary schools.
9 out of 10 teaches in secondary schools say that they have seen pupils experience homophobic bullying. The most common form of homophobic bullying is verbal abuse. Closely followed by malicious gossip. Teachers often don’t know how to deal with homophobic bullying as they haven’t had enough training. This causes young students to believe that homophobia is acceptable as no one has taught them otherwise.
A lot of young teenagers have adopted using the word “gay” as an insult. Which, although it isn’t direct bullying, it can be extremely degrading to homosexual teenagers who hear it being used to describe things that are broken or “un cool”. Usually the reason teenagers use the word “gay” as an insult is because they haven’t been taught about homosexuality and what the word gay actually means. “The children call each other gay but not in a homophobic way it is used in the context of being stupid, pathetic or even too clever.” Lenny, secondary school teacher, special school (South East)
Another reason homophobia is such a big issue in secondary schools is because young teenagers can be extremely impressionable and therefore adopt the same views that their parents have. Many parents will not explain homosexuality to their teenagers so their teenagers will be confused and just copy what everyone else is doing. This means that these beliefs and opinions will probably stay with them long into their adulthood.
Stereotypes also play a big role in boosting homophobia in secondary schools. Many teenagers, while at secondary school, become very self-conscious and confused about who they are, so the various stereotypes of being gay, lesbian or bisexual often puts people off coming out and openly identifying as a part of the LGBT community. This means that a lot of homophobia will go unquestioned as standing up for LGBT rights associates’ young people to those stereotypes. Many teenagers who don’t identify as a part of the LGBT community also experience homophobic bullying because they do conform to the stereotypes of gay, lesbian or bisexual people.
There are many reasons why homophobia is such a big issue in secondary schools but most of it can be linked back to people being uneducated and ignorant about LGBT. To eradicate homophobia completely, primary and secondary schools need to start including LGBT issues in the curriculum so young people will understand homosexuality, bisexuality, and transexuality without any prejudice. Also teachers need to be properly trained on how to deal with homophobic bullying.
Junior Doctor Strike
The strike started on Wednesday at 8:00am and has definitely affected the NHS as the amount of staff in hospitals has decreased due to the strikes. As a result of this, 5,000 operations have been cancelled and thousands of check-ups, tests, appointments and treatments have been postponed. The strike has lasted 48 hours and is the longest strike so far.
What has caused this strike?
The cause of the strikes are because of the change in the contract created by the government. Before junior doctors were paid an average of £23,000 per year. However when working overtime it can increase to £30,000. The new contract states that they will paid 13.5% and extra overtime is included so that means that they will working on the weekends and not getting the extra pay for it. Jeremey Hunt has enforced this contract as he wants junior doctors to work on weekends and weekdays. One of his reasons for this is because it is said that people die more on the weekend then on weekdays.
Are death rates higher on weekends?
In September the British Medical Journal published a study stating that on Saturdays there was a 10% higher risk of death and on Sundays there is 15% higher risk compared to Wednesdays.
I think that the government should change the contract so that junior doctors get paid for the weekends as it is not fair to be working excessive hours as it can lead to mistakes and errors when dealing with patients.
60 secs news
BBC School News Report 2015
Students from this school will be making the news for real on 19 March 2015 as they take part in BBC News School Report. We aim to publish the news by 1600 GMT on the News Day, so please save this page as a favourite and return to it later.
Walthamstow School for Girls are going to be making the news for real, for the first time, on Thursday 19th March. We have a group of ambitious year 9 students who are interested in commenting on the world around them. Some of the stories are based on youth identity, changes to education, music within our school, money – specifically MyBnk – which runs successfully in our school, and plenty more.
Please check this page again on Thursday 19th March at around 2-4pm to read the news!
BBC School News Report day
Today, Thursday 19th March, we had the day off timetable to perfect all of our news reports for the BBC.
In the morning, we started with an editor’s breakfast, where we discussed current affairs in the newspaper, and discussed the day ahead. We said goodbye to three of the students who got the chance to go the BBC offices, to be on BBC Asian Radio, which we listened to later on in the day.
As most of us worked together, we went off our separate ways. Some of us filmed interviews or edited footage. We did this throughout the morning until Lunch, whilst we listened to our peers on the radio. Most of us debated the things said on the radio, and we had our own group discussion.
At lunchtime, some of us went to MyBnk to film footage and to interview others. We then got on with editing throughout the afternoon, before our 2pm deadline. Our teacher, who gave us this opportunity, uploaded our media to the BBC.
Walthamstow School For Girls
On Friday 20th March, there will be a solar eclipse. To truly grasp how exciting this is first we need to find out what a solar eclipse is. Solar eclipses are very rare due to the circumstances need for them to happen. The Earth, Moon and Sun need to be in direct alignment. Additionally there needs to be a new moon. The moon has to be in lunar mode and it has to be at a perigee (this is when the Moon is closer to the Earth than at any other time in its orbit). The eclipse will first be visible to those in London at 8:25am. The maximum point (when it gets dark) will be at 9:31am. It will officially be finished at 10:41. For those not bothered to do the maths, it will be a total of 2 hours and 16 minutes.
In all the excitement, people forget the basic rules of eye safety. Regardless of whether it is blocked by the moon you should never look directly at the Sun. Even with sunglasses you should never attempt it otherwise you might damage your retina. In worst case scenarios people have become permanently blinded because they looked at the Sun. However all this does not mean you are unable to enjoy the eclipse. There are many ways you view it safely. The easiest is a pinhole projector.
Projector with two sheets
Projector with a box
Music Departments in school
The music department at WSFG includes multiple outside lesson music lessons, steel pans, orchestra and many bands, like; Jazz. Some of us are current members of Steel Pans; this means we have to manage our time well- so balancing our academic lessons with our music lessons.
At WSFG we have 4 steel bands across all 5 years; 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.This offers the opportunity to work as a team and know that you have something great as the outcome. All bands practice every day of the week- lunchtimes, breaks, before and after school. Each practice is only 20 minutes long. On Thursday we have an hour lesson which is when we are expected to catch up with our academic lessons.
Independent practice is once a week and still only 20 minutes long, every Monday break time the orchestra (string band) come together and practice for several carol services we hold at the school.
Today I interviewed a student who plays an instrument;
Q. What instrument do you play?
Q. Do you feel it interferes with your academic life?
-no, you just have to catch up by asking classmates what you did
Q. How long have you been playing?
Q. Do you have any role models in music?
- Music is becoming a less influential business as people are just doing it for success, and how they are not taking charge in the genre; pop, classical, rock, etc and how they are all morphing into one.
We need a change in music
Q. Can this school offer the change?
- Yeah definitely because this school can offer a range of style in music, for example African drumming, xylophone practice, singing, etc.
Feminism at WSFG
By Lily and Ekaterina
International Women’s Day fell on the 8th March this year. At our school in our home rich with culture, we celebrate this occasion with pride.
In the east-end of London, we have a rich history of protestation of women’s rights. Sylvia Pankhurst, the famously radical suffragette, lived and worked in Woodford Green for much of her life, helping poor single mothers find work. As a leading member and daughter of the founder of the WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union), she worked with two suffragettes who lived and breathed East London – the sisters Annie and Jessie Kenney. Annie Kenney was one of the few working class leaders of the WSPU, and was a role-model for many young working-class girls. Her speeches were witty and passionate, and inspired many women to believe in their own rights.
Women gained the vote, and so the WSPU disappeared. But even today, women do not have the rights of men. Women and men are not equal. Women and men often do not get equal pay for the same job they are equally qualified to do. There are countries where women are not allowed to drive unless in the company of a man. There is so much work to do to create equality.
At our school, much work is done to create awareness of women’s rights and impressive women. The Year 8’s create a calendar, working together to create a celebration of women and their achievements. Some people in our school have created calendar pages about Sojourner Truth, the anti-slavery worker, Amelia Earhart, the pioneering pilot, and Jane Goodall – yes, the famous woman who works with primates.
We asked three Year Nine students, Katie, Martha and Rebecca, a few questions about the celebrations at our school.
Do you think it’s important to celebrate IWD?
R: Yes I do. It is important to celebrate it because our society is men dominated.
M: People forget how hard women fought for the rights we have to day and it reminds us about the people who still don’t have them.
Should everyone celebrate IWD?
R: Men think they’re more powerful than women. Everyone should, it should be referred to in the news to make people aware. Out generation has to be educated.
M: I think everyone should celebrate it, especially people in power because they’re influential; if Jay-Z did a rap about how cool women are it would do a lot more good than some fascist, sexist rap.
K: Our school is a girls’ school so we celebrate it. You get a bunch of sexist people in other schools and they aren’t educated to know any better.
What activities do you do in school to celebrate IWD and would you rather do something else?
R: In Year 9 we didn’t really do anything. Year 8 was better in terms of how we celebrated. Every year we get IWD ribbons. I’d like to do something more exciting.
M: Once we’ve done something ourselves at school, we don’t do anything in the neighbourhood, nobody’s passionate about it anymore.
Do you know the definition of feminism? Would you call yourself a feminist?
R: I think feminism is group of women who protest about how women don’t have equal opportunities, for example, the wage gap. Feminism also touches on male issues. I describe myself as a feminist.
K: Feminism is a dirty word; everyone just assumes it means hatred of men. That’s not what it means.
We hope that everyone in our school understands what we do. We understand that it is necessary to talk about these important issues in order to create a fair and equal society.
As the teenagers of today we are subjected to many different forms of media such as magazines, social media, newspapers and television. Especially for us at a girls’ school, fashion is a very prominent topic. We may wear uniform but we like to incorporate our own individuality into it. ‘Big fur coats, skinny models, lots of make-up and big hair’ is what one of our fellow news reporters said when we asked her about what her expectations are of fashion. Many others also agreed with this representation. But is our representation of fashion becoming distorted?
Some girls feel that they have to reach a certain weight goal but once they reach it they feel like they need to maintain it. Sometimes they go too far. This can lead to certain types of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, anorexia and even body dysmorphia. Various trends can also lead to this feeling that you have to be skinny to be considered pretty. The ‘thigh-gap’ trend, for example, is the trend that your thighs mustn’t touch, which also caused girls to feel inadequate.
In our school I think we need to make a charity to enforce the fact that we need to be comfortable in our own skin. However this won’t stop the images that circle around in the media we view every day. As young people, we feel that, however difficult, we should not pay attention to the things we see, and not take it personally. We should feel comfortable with who we are and love ourselves.
Written by Elysia and Luella
Walthamstow School For Girls
BBC Report on LGBT
LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and along with heterosexual they describe people's sexual orientation or gender identity. A lesbian woman is a person who is romantically, sexually or emotionally attracted to other women. Many lesbians prefer to be called lesbian and not gay. A gay man is a person who is romantically, sexually or emotionally attracted to men. The word gay itself means happy but it can also be used to refer generally to lesbian, gay and bisexual people. A bisexual person is a one who is romantically, sexually or emotionally attracted to both genders. A transgender or trans is a person who surgically changes their gender into the opposite sex, for example; if a woman transformed into a man, the ‘woman’ would be called a transsexual. LGBT is about supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The recognition of LGBT is by its colourful flag. On the rainbow flag it includes the colour hot pink symbolising sexuality; red representing life; orange demonstrating healing; yellow meaning sunlight; green signifying nature; turquoise indicating magic/art; blue showing serenity/harmony and finally violet presenting spirit.
Throughout history being lesbian or gay would have been a crime, not normal or a mental illness. Discussing the present, many countries worldwide unfortunately still think that being gay is a bad thing, many of these countries are highly traditional or they personally just decided on their opinion of gay people. It’s only been recently that the first country ever to pass the same-sex marriage law was in 2001. Up until now many other countries have also passed the law. Numerous countries still have the death penalty as a punishment for being gay or lesbian since it is completely illegal.
Being gay is not a thing that you can choose, it’s completely normal. People who discriminate against gay people don’t understand that this is who they are and being in love with the same sex is as beautiful as being in love with the opposite sex. Many celebrities came out as being gay or lesbians for example Tom Daley; a gay British athlete or Ellen DeGeneres; a lesbian American comedian or even Angelina Jolie; a bisexual actress. Several YouTubers, actors/actresses, models, musicians and many more people publicly came out. In comparison to ordinary people, celebrities are treated with far more respect and acceptance. Society seems to “support” celebrities, but when it comes to regular people they have trouble appreciating their sexual preferences.
About one in every 10 people is LGBTQ. The term “LGBTQ” was recently introduced. LGBTQ stands for: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and questioning. You obviously know what LGBT means in depth but the letter “Q” in LGBTQ is quite unusual as it is newly presented. The letter “Q” means that some people feel unsure about their sexual orientation. They may describe themselves as “questioning”. Sometimes people use words like "gay" or "lesbian" as an insult. This is hurtful because it makes it seem like there is something wrong with being LGBTQ. In society, sometimes people portray the LGBT community as not “normal”. Individuals may argue about why the letter “Q” was added and how social media pressurizes the LGBT community. This letter may make some members of the older generation feel as if they are insulting members of the LGBT community as that word is seen as offensive. It affects teenagers more than any other age because they now live in a more judgmental world than the older generation of adults. People may even lie about their sexuality just to be “normal”. This may lead to depression as they can’t express their true selves and feelings to the public or even their friends because they’re scared that they’ll get judged by society. No one should have to go through this experience because we live in a free world where everyone and anyone are treated equally.
At Walthamstow School for Girls celebrate LGBTM every single year. No one has ever discriminated against lesbian or gay people in our school. Every student and members of staff within the school supports LGBT. During LGBTM, the majority of the lessons are about LGBT. The students learn about the history, the present and sometimes the future of LGBT. Many pupils are shocked or angry about the discrimination towards the LGBT community worldwide.
“I personally believe that everyone, regardless of their sexuality should be treated equally and not discriminated against because of who they are. It’s their life not ours, so why should it bother people so much? ”
“In my opinion, I consider gay and lesbian people part of our community, and we should accept them, like they’d accept us, in different circumstances.”
“People of any sexual orientation shouldn’t be discriminated. It shouldn’t matter because at the end of the day we are all humans and someone’s sexual orientation shouldn’t bother anybody else.”
“Gay and Lesbian people aren’t forcing us to change to their sexual orientation so why should we force them to change to ours.”
“This school deals with it really well. It’s one of the best in the borough. It celebrates LGBT equally.”
“As a girl’s school, we research about women’s rights including lesbians.”
“It is crucial to celebrate and mark LGBT month in schools as there is still some ground to cover to fight homophobia. Our girls in WSFG are very involved in our inclusive community and I am really proud to be the Equality Co-ordinator of our school.”
“Given that same-sex marriage was only legalised last year, 12 long years after the Netherlands, I think we have to stop congratulating ourselves on being a very progressive society. A recent survey indicated that a fifth of people would refuse to attend a same-sex marriage. The media does portray a divergent view of what being a LGBT person in the UK actually means. There are quite a number of LGBT people who are very successful in the media, thereby creating the myth that British society is very accommodating towards LGBT people, however, when you hear stories of same-sex couples being refused hotel rooms, I think it is quite clear that we have a lot of progress to make. The situation of LGBT people is certainly better than it was 50 years ago but until we reach a point where we don’t have to use the term LGBT and we can just refer to each other as fellow human beings with the same rights and be granted the same respect, we cannot rest on our laurels.”
BBC News Report - Society