2015                                

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Politicians to take questions at

Castle School

Castle School will be hosting a Political Hustings on Friday the 27th March. All the key parties will be represented and will take questions from sixth form students. The event has been organised by Lou Davies, Head of sixth form and Jess Taylor a humanities teacher, to raise awareness of political issues and to help year 13s decide how to vote in the next election.
The event will take place at in the main hall of Thornbury’s Castle School and will be open to VI form students and teachers. All of the main parties will be represented including, Luke Hall the local conservative candidate, Steve Webb, current MP of Thornbury, Hadley Roberts the Labour party candidate, Russ Martin of UKIP and Ian Hamilton of the Green party.
The politicians will be taking questions from year 13 students at the Castle School in the main hall. Each politician will be given only two minutes to introduce themselves and one minute to answer each question given. The questions will be submitted in advance by students, however, the politicians will not see them and will not be able to prepare. This means that the politicians will have to be brief and clear and cannot ramble on if they don’t know the answer! The candidates should be given some challenging questions, especially on the subject of tuition fees.
Peter Smart, Head of Castle School, said “Democracy is important and students should participate.” When pressed about how he would be voting in the election, he declined to answer but did say he supported “Any party that commits to supporting young people.”
Jess Taylor, who helped organize the event, commented that she was “not clear” on what UKIP or the Green party had in mind for educational policy and that she was interested in what they had to say.
Views amongst year 9 students were mixed although Ollie of 9S remarked that “UKIP are mostly concerned with immigration and don’t focus on other issues.” Ellen, also of 9S said she thought “it is disgusting that all the candidates are men and women’s views are not represented.”
Rednock School in Dursley recently hosted a similar event with candidates from the Stroud Constituency and they faced some very tough questions from students on education, tuition fees and benefit fraud.
The Hustings promises to be a lively and worthwhile event, although in this day and age it seems very disappointing that all of the candidates are male. 
 

Vunipola for England

By Max and Tom.

Billy and Mako Vunipola, two England rugby players, who used to go to Castle School are currently helping England lead the Six Nations. Have they influenced Castle School rugby?
When PE teacher, Mr Saunders was asked he said “Yes, they probably have but I wasn’t at the school when they were here so it is a personal opinion for the students.”
We asked him who he thought was going to win the six nations. He said “Ireland will probably sneak it but England could also contend for it.”
“How important is school rugby?” “Really important because most kids have never played rugby before they go to secondary school so it is important because they can develop skills like teamwork and it helps them get fitter.
Mako Vunipola plays for Saracens in the Aviva Premiership. He played his first game for England in November 2012 in the autumn internationals.
Billy played for London wasps. He played 30 matches over the course of two seasons. In January 2013 he moved to Saracens to play with his brother, Mako.
Billy has played 16 games for England and has scored 2 tries, Mako has played 19 games and has scored once.
 

Day to Dusk

With tomorrow’s eclipse fast approaching, people all over UK and Europe are going to be watching the partial eclipse which is the first one in sixteen years. This is the first eclipse in the UK in this millennium. With a decent weather forecast many people are gearing up with their solar eclipse glasses and getting ready to watch this incredible event.

The eclipse will be seen all over Europe, Russia, North Africa and North Asia. But even though the last eclipse was seen 16 years ago many people still do not know how it happens. The moon passes in front of the sun which means the moon is blocking the sun light getting to the Earth. The Moon will start to cover the sun at approximately 7am and will reach its peak at 9:30. Then the sun will start to re-appear at 10:40. Because the sun is dangerous to look at many scientists are urging people to get solar glasses which cost £5.

With an improved weather forecast the sun will be pretty easy to see even with a little bit of cloud. This means that 

you should not look directly at the sun or it could seriously damage your eyes. You can buy special glasses which have been approved by the CE. The weather for Friday is supposed to be sunny with intervals of cloud and a good visibility.

In 2021 to 2026 there are supposed to be four more eclipses with a total eclipse on Wednesday 12th August 2026 in the UK. We asked two science teachers at The Castle School in Thornbury about the eclipse. We asked how animals get affected and they both said “animals and plants get confused thinking it is dark which confuses their sleeping pattern and when they eat.” Also we asked about how the sun damages your eyes. They responded “the UV radiation damages your retina which causes permanent damage and cannot heal.” Our final question to the 2 teachers was about how this partial eclipse will be different to the one in 1999. “The time of day is perfect and this is a partial eclipse where it doesn’t cover the whole sun whereas the one in 1999 was a total eclipse where it covered all of the sun”.

An interesting fact that got brought to our team was that the reason the moon covers the sun is that both the moon and the sun appears to look the same size in the sky but the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun but is 400 times closer to earth than the sun. 

World Book Day hits Castle School!

At Castle School, World Book Day was celebrated by Year 7s and members of staff dressing up as their favourite fictional character. This was arranged by Mrs Titcomb, head of the resource centre, who also distributed £1 book tokens to each student. In addition to this, in all our lessons, members of staff read a part of their favourite book for the last 10 minutes of period 2.

In order to mark World Book Day, the Castle School reporters also interviewed Mrs Titcomb and head teacher Mr Smart about their favourite books.

Mrs Titcomb

Phoebe interviewed Mrs Titcomb about why she organised the World Book Day events within The Castle School. She told Phoebe that “I love books and reading, and I wanted to promote it in school.” She also told us, “I really enjoyed ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ because I really liked the characters and the way John Green, the author, wrote it, and the humour despite the sadness. I also liked the references to other books and TV shows.”

Mr Smart

The BBC school reporters interviewed Mr Smart about his favourite book. He told us that his favourite books were ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Pirates Next Door”. He said that those books spur his imagination, and ‘The Hobbit’ opened his eyes to a different world. Mr Smart prefers to read books rather than watch films, because he wants to imagine the characters in his head, and he would always recommend reading the book before seeing the film.  He encourages his own children to read by reading children’s books to them, such as ‘The Pirates Next Door’. He also said that he would encourage children to write their own stories.

11th March 2015
Jess, Jade, Julia and Phoebe.