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The Bloodhound Project

Recently, the army, the BBC and the Bloodhound project came together to form a national competition, called ‘Race for the Line’. ‘Race for the line’ is a competitive cross between friendly school games, skilful sandbox games such as Robocraft and tournament style football, the only difference is the £1000 pound winning ticket and no pay-to-win.

The goal is to build a simple car from a simple block of foam and then turn it into a mass-murdering weapon of ultimate destruction, with wheels. However, you cannot cut into a certain area and can add on all/any of the scraps. This means you could add a cup holder or personalised number plate… as well as improvements…

They will then be attached to a wire before being hurtled down it at breakneck speeds… of about 5 mph. This gives them the completely realistic option to fly and thus this competition should be called ‘Race the airline’. It also means that the bloodhound design is completely useless in almost every aspect, because of all the un-needed down force, which just creates more friction. Great going Bloodhound… great going….

These machines will have one, tiny, game-like aspect… a BBC micro:bit. Using these micro:bits, students can gather data on their cars, such as their speed, and can tweak their cars accordingly (Microsoft Office not included). This gives the edge to either make their cars better and go faster, or moan that the bits are faulty and should be replaced.

Fortunately for the students, The Castle School will be the hosts for our area, allowing us to test our cars in the actual environment, instead of a multifunctional hall. Unfortunately for everyone else, the tennis courts and part of the field may be gone… maybe…sorry

The race will be held between April 19 and June 30, where the fastest car, sorry, AREOPLANE OF DOOM (and their team) will go to Santa Pod raceway (Northampton), on July the 5th. The top 3 fastest teams will win money… for their school and will be able to see the Bloodhound take a test run… not the real thing though.

The competition (build-phase) in The Castle School started on Monday 6th June and the final race will be on the 17thJune, so the BBC School Report would like to wish everyone there good luck!

By Ben




On the 9th March 2016 Castle hosted Yate on the school astro turf.  Unbeaten in this year’s group, Castle hoped to continue a two match winning streak and progress through into the quarter finals. Castle lined up with a 4-3-3 formation and Yate with the orthodox 4-4-2.

Castle started brightly, passing the ball round precisely and it wasn’t long before they gained the lead; a mazy run down the left from Janos and a teasing cross resulted in a simple tap in at the back post for Joe.

Castle continued to dominate, using the wings well and nearly had their second as Janos went on a typical weaving run; he flicked it over the defender and volleyed past the helpless Yate keeper. However, whilst performing the dink over the defender Janos used his arm. It would have been a special goal.

But it wasn’t long before they did double their lead as a volleyed cross from the right went into Harry’s path; he rounded the keeper and slotted into an empty net.

Being in cruise-control didn’t seem to benefit the hosts though, as they began to make some sloppy passes in midfield and give the ball away. Yate took full advantage as well. A floated ball over the top beat the Castle offside trap and a deflected shot took it past Castle goalkeeper Mackenzie. Game on!

After the goal Yate took full command of the game and came close on many occasions to grab an equaliser. But at half-time Castle led 2-1.

Clearly a motivating team talk during the break got Castle going again and it wasn’t long before they got back into their groove.

Soon enough they restored the two goal lead; an in-swinging corner was too much for the Yate keeper and it went all the way in.

Now Castle were bathing in confidence and passing through the visitors as if they weren’t even there. It was once again an in-swinging corner that created problems for Yate, nodded in at the back post by Tom. 4-1.

But Castle was not done yet. They continued to magic up chances and a sweet strike from twenty-five yards found the corner of the net late on to make it 5-1 to Castle.

It turned out to be a good all round performance from Castle but mainly some clinical finishing after the low scoring game at Marlwood. The better team came out victorious in the end. Castle will be eager for their quarter final tie against Bradley Stoke next week.

By Sam



Castle School Reporters Meet the BBC


Teachers at the Castle School were delighted to receive a phone call from the BBC the afternoon before Curriculum Focus Day asking if a couple of students could be interviewed prior to the event. Luckily they managed to round up two who have been in the after-school club since its 2015-16 launch, and these are their experiences.

Adam and Grace being interviewed by BBC Radio Bristol 

Grace, 9L

“At 7:45 in the morning of Friday the 10th of March 2016, I bundled myself and my school supplies through the door of the Resource Centre, in tow of a radio presenter from BBC Radio Bristol. Because I have been part of the BBC School Report club since its first meeting, I was asked by the teacher leading the club to participate in a radio interview live on the morning of the Curriculum Focus day based upon making the news.


“I originally thought we would have to sit inside the van with the satellite dish on the top, but the set of broadcasting equipment the interviewer had let us answer his questions in a much more relaxed environment – the library, which you could call my ‘natural habitat’ during school hours. The familiar setting made me more relaxed, and the guy was very nice. It wasn’t scary at all, not like I thought it would be.“Afterwards we were taken back outside to the van with all of the equipment inside and were given a tour, which was really interesting. He explained how our words were beamed from the resource centre, down to the van, up to a satellite in space, and down again to the BBC Bristol radio station to be broadcasted to the local area. When we finished, he filmed us asking a few more questions; being on camera was a lot more nerve-wracking than on the radio, and I stumbled over my words a bit. Discovering the video had gone schoolwide-viral on Facebook was a shock, but doing the interview was worth it, and if given the chance I would do it again!”

Adam, 9K

“Getting to school for 7:30 was a tall order, but it felt good after the interview was over. It filled me with a sense of basic glee that I had for 10 short seconds been live on BBC Radio Bristol, especially when we were given a mention in the assembly that followed.

“I thought it was interesting the way that the BBC runs things; I must admit though I thought it would be more complicated. I thought we were going to have to go in to a tiny room or sit in the van to be interviewed but it turned we were just interviewed in the school library. The other thing that surprised me was that the video recording was videoed just on an iPhone 6, no fancy camera equipment or anything.  Personally I am very glad that I did this because it was a brilliant experience and it just gave this feeling of accomplishment when my friends found it and shared it over Facebook.”

All in all BBC School Report Day was very successful, with all the classes in Year Nine taking part and writing news to a national and potentially international audience; the best articles were uploaded to the school website linked to by the BBC. Everyone had great fun taking on the roles of reporters, photographers, presenters and researchers to make the news – their way.





Smarten Up: Primary School Bans Parents From Wearing Pyjamas on a School Run – By Jasmine, Mariya and Lois

The Head Teacher of a primary school in the UK sent out a letter to the parents guilty of wearing pyjamas to drop their children off at school. On the 20th of January 2016, headmistress Kate Chisholm of Darlington Primary School sent a letter out to parents of children attending the school to convey her concerns about the large number of parents bringing their children to school in their pyjamas as it sets a bad example for children and makes the school look unprofessional.

The letter proceeded to go viral on the Internet due to Facebook users sharing it and therefore spreading to other platforms such as Twitter and Buzzfeed. According to reports the head teacher has received widespread support. However, many people are also upset by the new rule as they believe that she is telling people how to dress.

When we asked for opinions, there was a wide range of thoughts. The school council said that they don’t have a problem with parents wearing pyjamas on the school run as parents could be ill or have a busy schedule; “parents aren’t saying they are going to parents’ evening like this.” Furthermore, Mrs Cook stated “I think it’s generally not ideal but I think some days at home things go wrong and I’d rather have my children at school and on time.” On the other hand, Mr Degenkolb said “I can understand in the mornings some parents are rushed, busy, have 3 or 4 children at different schools but I also think it is setting a standard.”  Mrs Titcomb says “I think parents shouldn’t wear pyjamas on the school run because it makes them look very lazy and gives a bad impression.”

Many cases similar to this have come up before and made it into the news; in 2007 there was a report on how a school in Northern Ireland had the same issue, then saying that the trend set a bad example to students and made staff feel uncomfortable. In 2011, another story surfaced about a school in Middleborough where parents even attended meetings in their pyjamas. The school’s Head Teacher, Chris Wain, sent letters to parents asking them to think about what they were wearing when they dropped their children off or picked them up from school. It was said that certain parents were seen wearing pyjamas when they dropped their children off and then wearing the same pyjamas when they picked them up at the end of the day. Schools across the country are seeing a decrease in parents wearing pyjamas on the school run yet it is still a controversial problem that we must find a solution to.  


Powerful Plans, Shocked Shoppers

By Lara, Evie, Sophie and Lauren

It is being reported that Cribbs Causeway Mall plans to expand by more than half its current size.

If the plans for the new expansion are approved, building work to transform the shopping centre will start in 2017, and is estimated to last 4 years until 2021, when the newly renovated centre will be fully open to members of the public.

The new proposals include plans to add 35,350 square metres of space for shops, up to 8,980 square metres for restaurants and cafes, an 120 bed hotel, 150 apartments, a new bus station, a new multi-storey car park with 1,500 spaces; replacing those lost in the extension, new roads and cycle ways with a foot and cycle bridge over Merlin Road and a public space that will be used for concerts and special events.

Some people think that the extension of the Mall is a good thing, because it will bring thousands of new jobs, a boost to the local economy, improved pedestrian and cycle routes and better sustainable growth. The developers have been talking to shoppers and the local community, with 200 people filling in feedback forms during an exhibition at the centre – 83% were in favour, however people who responded were most likely shoppers who frequently used the centre.

On the other hand, not all feedback about the new developments has been positive. Bristol Mayor George Ferguson said that this massive development is ‘bad news for Bristol and Bath’. Lots of local councils also expressed concerns. They could be right to complain as the Cribbs Causeway expansion may cause a great deal of traffic when first opened and when concerts are on at the new public event area. It will also draw people away from Cabot Circus in Bristol and other shopping centres in the area.

Some local companies responded to this new proposal.  Park Hotel in Thornbury said that, ‘It’s generally a good thing. People who live further away will want to use the new facilities; the traffic should not be a big problem due to the new metro bus that will be added in.’

So, is this new extension a good idea?  On the whole, the response was good but anything could happen.


Match fixing: are our heroes who they say they are?

Over the past years match fixing has been spreading like a plague through many sports. Can we believe who we think are our heroes? Do the big names in sport earn their fortune or when they lose is it because they have been paid a large sum of money to purposefully lose the game.

Recently, tennis has come onto the match fixing scene. World number one Novak Djokovic revealed he was bribed with £140,000 to fix a match ten years ago. But the male world number one also stated that nothing major has taken place since. Serena Williams, female number one, agreed with Djokovic on the fact that nothing vast has really happened in the sport other than the male number one’s story. However, angry words came from Roger Federer who talked about the latest allegations as highly unlikely.

In the bigger picture, it is quite worrying that stories like these are beginning to come up more frequently. Sport is such an inspiration for so many and if things like match fixing and racism are taking place it could make people think that it’s pointless. If it gets worse then who knows what could happen to not only sport but everyone’s opinions about the whole sporting world.

By Sam 


Top 10 Hobbies and Games to get into for 2016

Ever bored with what you do? Ever wanted to try something new? If yes, these are the top ten hobbies and games for you! Each game is rated out of 100.

10. Making Games- 67: Got no new games to play? Then make your own! Use the best software, Scratch or make IRL games like TCG’s and Miniature wargames. Have fun testing new ideas.



9. Reading- 68: I suppose you think that books are boring, think again! Reading can be a way to transport yourself into other worlds; you just need to find the right book. Some ideas to get you started are: The Stonewylde series and Cherub: Action-packed books for girls and boys!

8. Writing- 71: If you don’t want to read, why not try your hand at creating a story? When you write, everything is up to you. You can make anything happen in the world that you have created, it is a fun and engaging hobby.

7. Clicker Heroes- 74: If you don’t have much time on your hands but still want to try something new, this game is perfect for you. You can play this Cookie Clicker style game in five minute bursts, or 1 hour killing sprees. You have one goal, kill 10 enemies (or the boss) to continue then repeat. With hundreds of Hero’s, thousands of upgrades, billions of enemies and unlimited power, this is the best PC/ Mobile game.

6. X-Wing Miniatures- 75: Now that the new Star Wars is out and you have a spare friend at hand, this is the miniatures for you. Based on the original series, this game makes you fly in some of the most tense space battles to date, with amazing rules, both detailed and quick to learn, this is definitely a game for any Star Wars fan.

5. School Clubs- 81: There is such a variety of school clubs that there is bound to be something for you. There are clubs for Dance, PE, Science, STEM, Music and so much more! They’re fun, free and you can do them with friends.

4. Music- 82: Music has a very broad range of styles, it has everything from Jazz to Rock’n’Roll. You can listen to music anywhere, you can buy the albums and download them or you could just watch them on YouTube. It’s free and so easy.

3. YouTube- 83: YouTube is the free app which allows you access to billions of videos anywhere, anytime all for free. YouTube caters to all needs, with funny cats, PewDiePie and serious reports. Along with all of this, you can also learn anything, from anyone!

2. Magic: The Gathering- 84: Just Scraping in at second is the Award-Winning TCG (Trading Card Game) Magic: The Gathering. You are a planeswalker, traveling the multi-verse after ‘igniting your spark’ from a young age. In this deck you will strategically build a deck from one of 5 colours; Fire, Water, Earth, Life or Death! Will you bring your opponents down, or will you be left in the dust?

1. ANIME!- 90: Easily coming in at first place is the Japanese art of anime. Amine is a Japanese form of cartoon aimed at older audiences; it is as diverse as TV ranging from action and adventure to high school romance. It is easily accessible on many websites such as Kissanime and Gogoanime and won’t cost you a thing! We advise that you watch these in the English sub rather than the dub. Here are some of our recommendations:

Ø  Attack on Titan
Ø  Assassination Classroom
Ø  SAO (Sword Art Online)
Ø  Ouran High School Host Club

Thank you for reading our top ten list. We hope you’ve enjoyed it. Look out for our other stories coming soon!

 Ben and Elissa


Disappointing loss in Public Speaking Bristol Finals

                                                                                                          Following on from an exemplary performance in the heats of the ESU Churchill National Speaking Competition, The Castle School have unfortunately walked away disappointed from the Bristol Finals.

The winning team were from Cotham School, composed of Sean, Abhijith and Theo. Their chosen topic was ‘The UK is better out than in the European Union.’

Miss Corpe, who organises Castle’s team, Amelia, Josh and Jack, said that it was a very close competition. “They tried very hard, and we look forward to taking part next year.” Josh again spoke about how the UK shouldn’t ‘stop giving aid to countries that kill endangered species.’ He did fantastically well and picked up the award for the best speaker on the night.  Jack and Amelia did very well as questioner and chairperson, having been dealt a very difficult topic.

We wish them all the best of luck in the future and look forward to following Castle School’s entry next year.

By Grace and The Castle School Report team



If you want a fun, exciting new hobby then the Army Cadet Force is right for you. This is just a snapshot of all the things they get up to.

From the 27th to the 29th of November the Thornbury Army Cadet Force detachment went on a Christmas camp to Oakhampton on Dartmoor. When they arrived it was pitch black, the only light was from the buses headlights and our Sergeant’s head torch. They walked to the Sergeant’s mess hall which was the only light source for miles around. This was because of the Moore light pollution. Then they waked to the dormitories and unpacked the kit they required for the following day.

When they woke up at 6:30 they went to get showered and get dressed, then the Cadets marched down to the canteen to get breakfast. After breakfast the cadets trekked to the Sergeant’s mess hall for registration and lessons. The lessons consisted of air rifle testing and shooting.

At 10:00 they had Naffia (a break and a snack) and then the group hiked back to the Sergeant’s mess hall for more lessons which were fieldcraft followed by drill and marching lessons.

At 3:25 the Cadets returned to their dormitories to get ready for the Christmas meal and disco. After everyone was ready in smart clothes, they assembled outside the dormitories to march to the Christmas meal.

Joining the Army Cadet Force is good because it gets out doors and gets you have exercise and get away from home where you spend too much time on games and the internet.

So if you’re looking for a fun new hobby then join the ACF today.

By Fin and Connor


Castle School vs Beechen Cliff

By Sam and Alex

On Tuesday 12th January 2016 year 9 Castle School rugby entertained a very strong Beechen Cliff.

Sadly, despite their best efforts, Castle couldn’t prevent a harsh 15-0 defeat.

Mr Wills, Castle coach, stated “Castle were very unlucky as they were up against a very strong side.”

He also said “There were some high points from the game to though. From Castle there were some impressive individual play and hard tackling no matter what was thrown at them. But towards the end a lack of team structure did take the game from their grip and allowed the opposition towards the end.”

However, two weeks from now Castle School year 11’s will face the same team who, interestingly, beat Beechen Cliff in a cup final last year. Hopefully, they will repeat their great performance.

 Beechen Cliff having their post-match team talks.

Castle School Dancers Steal the Show

On Tuesday 1st December, The Castle School invited you to see their amazing Dance Show, Dancing for Young Minds. The event went down a storm and for the first time ever, a full house appreciated the dances. The dance show was organised by Amy, a sixth form student.

 The dance show raised lots of money for the charity, Young Minds, chosen by Amy. Running for 21 years, Young Minds is a charity for young people who suffer from mental health problems. These people don’t always get what they need and often feel isolated and unhappy and may develop eating disorders. Their unhappy lives may lead to self-harm or suicide. Young Minds offer advice and knowledge to parents and children, which is why they deserved the money.

There were many amazing dances in the show, lasting for 2 hours. There were dances from each year group, various year 10 and 11 pieces, Street dance (led by Amy and Leonie) and the winners of the first winter dance competition. These dedicated students perfected their dances in 12 weeks. Just in time for the competition too!

In an interview with a GCSE dancer, Rosie, she told us; “I love doing the dance shows, they are a fantastic opportunity to show everyone what we have achieved. I think that Amy has done a really good job organising the dance show and the rehearsals.” She also said, “It was a lot of fun to do.”

Adults, students and teachers alike cannot deny the roaring success of this show. Being the first to drag in a full house and have its spectacular group of talented pupils and dances, the 2016 summer show is set to be amazing!

By Ben and Elisse


The Autumn Fayre

Another great Autumn Fayre was held this year at The Castle School on 27th November. The Fayre filled two school halls with over 25 stalls, some run by students, and it was an overall roaring success.

For two terms Year 7 students created and developed 9 successful stalls, making plenty of profit. The stalls included hairspraying, toy gun target ranges, bake sales, pick ‘n’ mix bags, and more. All these stalls’ earnings went to support the National Association of Blood Bikes charity, which transports much-needed blood around the country.

There were also many other stalls at the Autumn Fayre consisting of multiple hand-made crafts and a chocolate tombola. All of them raised money for various other charities. It was also the last of Mr Thorne’s famous cake sales for Down’s Syndrome children, which many of us will remember. One pupil on a Year 7 stall said, “I had a great time this year, and I really want to do something like this again!”

All in all the Fayre was, as always, something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you went along to take a look or you were running a stall, I’m sure we can agree that it was a successful night for all.

By Adam and Grace



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