Shenfield High School



BBC School Report banner






Big Bosses, Big Money, Big Bonuses, Bad Effect

We are living in a society where business is everything but are bosses getting paid too much at the jeopardy of the general public? Are corporate companies controlling the consumer and are schools being run for profit not to educate.   

In the South of Wales last night, big company bosses slept out on the street to raise money for charity, specifically the homeless children. The idea came from businessman Michael Tobin, the bosses of big companies such as ITN, PayPal and Dell joined him in this struggle to stop the helpless children fending for themselves on the street. They spent the whole night outside of London Stock Exchange. But is the government’s money going to the wrong place, should less money be given to these big company bosses and more to support other things in our economy?

The reason that there is a need for projects and events like this all comes down to capitalism. Not enough money gets to low paid job workers, because far too much goes to corporate business owners, bankers, insurance dealers and most astonishingly of all, footballers. “School support staff, library assistants, care workers, clerical assistants and cleaners now find themselves regarded as the lowest skilled and lowest valued in the labour market. It’s a shameful culmination of years of neglect of workers who keep our communities clean and safe, care for our elderly and help our children learn.” –UCATT. Because of this, the government does not receive enough money in taxes from the working class and from people with everyday jobs in the public sector, who keep our society ordered and safe.

This has disastrous consequences for the education system and for young people at this time. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting considerably poorer, and those who suffer the most are teachers, and because of that, students.  Teaching has become downgraded as a profession, it is seen as a career to fall back on, and because of this, and teaching standards have gone down. Is this fair to students? If their education is seen as a business rather than a means of helping them to grow up, learn, and prepare for the rest of their lives. Because of the lack of finance being sent to schools by the government, money is an issue in school life, and if saving money is a priority when teachers are hired, can everyone is going to suffer.

We spoke to our Head Teacher about her opinions on the subject, and she agreed that life can be unfair to teachers, and “compared to others, teachers are not given the respect they deserve, when role models for young people come from other places students’ lives, such as the media and celebrity culture” she went on to support our belief that “often the wrong things are valued in society. Programmes like TOWIE send the wrong message to young people about values, and teaching is not a thing that is valued enough. This does mean teachers have a rough time, but the school does all they can to support them through a time when the education system is going through rapid change.”

As money continues its corrupt circulation, from boss to boss, business to business leaving the general public starved of wealth. Governments and economies will begin to feel increasing pressures on finances and public sector services as money cuts through circulation. This problem needs to be solved and until this is done economies will continue to fail and decreasing the deficit will be almost impossible.

BBC School Report 2014

I feel so sorry for Shakespeare… especially if he had to talk regularly to his kids

I GENUINELY can’t predict the future of our country. Young people do not seem to have a clue what they want to be. In my day everyone knew what they wanted to do when they were fourteen. By sixteen we were out earning a living. I understand that times have changed and fewer jobs are available, however that is no excuse for the laziness of children today.

When sat at the dinner table enjoying my Christmas meal, something happened which humiliated and angered me. We had the usual parents and in-laws round for dinner, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. That was until my father-in-law asked my youngest, Katya, what she was aiming to do in the future. I’m sure most of you have experienced this humiliation with your children.

At first she looked the other way, almost in embarrassment, hoping the question would go away. I thought to myself what is she hiding? I told her to answer her Grandad, much to my regret. That’s when her reply came, “dunno.”

It seems as though all of my children’s responses to every question is “dunno.” What do you want for dinner, dunno.  What do you think of Nick Clegg, dunno, or even if we’re lucky, who? When it comes to One Direction however, my daughters don’t stop talking.

Even if the reply was ‘I’m not sure’ or even ‘I don’t know’ the embarrassment would have been minimised. However, the reply of “dunno” is wrong on so many levels. It’s just plain lazy, informal and rude.

I did not teach my kids to speak like this however, I’m sure my in-laws think differently. I have banned anyone watching awful television programme

in which ill-mannered fakes go in and out of relationships like a yo-yo, speaking rubbish such as ‘reem’ and ‘fusey.’

Don’t blame me

So where did I go wrong? If I’m honest I do not blame myself or my wife. I blame social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The way kids speak to each other on these websites is the laziest thing known to man. I say kids, knowing full well some older people communicate this way, showing that they have the brain of a child.

I see this as bad enough, but when their spoken language has adopted this laziness it gets rather embarrassing. Missing out key letters and words in speech is needless. Wuld u rthr red ur nwspper if txt ws rittn lke ths? Surely not.

I’m sure Shakespeare did not do all he did for the English language only for dimwits to change it, to save ‘valuable’ seconds of their time. Some of you will disagree with me, especially my children, but I’d like you all to think of what this sluggishness will do for our language in the future. They are destroying one of the most widely used languages in the world, we should treasure it.                                                 

As I’m sure you know I pride myself on being British; the countryside and the people (other than Piers Morgan); I also love our language. The formality of the upper classes is something I see as beautiful. I listen to the Queens speech purely for the pronunciation of her words and the language used. It makes me wonder however, in years to come whether this phenomenal British tradition will be replaced by the King/Queens tweet? With abbreviations such as ‘dunno’ being used and #LOL to conclude, that’s the way I see this country going.

Don’t get me wrong, the internet is a beautiful thing, I can’t speak any more highly of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, he is certainly another reason I am proud to be British. Young people today should aspire to be like him achieving something for society, rather than Katie Price or Wayne Rooney.

I can safely say I have never EVER replied to a text message with any abbreviations, in my eyes it will cause confusion which is unnecessary. I am often replying to my kids messages with ‘what does that mean?’ resulting in them having to send two messages as opposed to one.

After writing this I asked Katya, ‘what do you think of my latest article?’ and I would be lying if I said I was shocked to hear the word…’dunno.’

James Taylor

FROM THE TEMPEST… to the iPhone

Putin’s possible intensions and solving the Crimean crisis

The invasion of Crimea seems to have died down slightly now but was this really the full extent of Putin’s plans, has something changed his mind or is he just not finished yet?  Is this lull temporary?

Recently at a Brussels Concert Hall, Obama set out strategies for dealing with Russia in these modern times. He said “Europe is once again confronted by those who believe that bigger countries can bully smaller ones” and that “with time Russia will realise they cannot win with brute force.” But the West would prevail with the power of its values.

The sanctions taken against Russia have been purely economic; crushing their stock market which proves effective as the majority of Russia’s trade is with the European Union. However, many European countries aren’t prepared to take the damage that Russia could retaliate with. Most of Europe’s gas and oil comes through Russia so if we stopped trading with Russia oil and gas prices would soar and there would be major shortages, limiting the sanctions that can be taken against Russia. There is no clear answer to whether Europe is willing to implement any major sanctions at all without a full scale invasion.

Still needing to be approved by the full International Money Fund board, the IMF is making an agreement with Ukraine on financial assistance worth fourteen to eighteen billion dollars. This is also expected to make a further twenty seven billion dollars’ worth of loans available to Ukraine and the European Union.  To secure the deal, Arseny Yatsenytuk increased domestic gas prices by fifty per cent; saying that “Ukraine was on the edge of economic and financial bankruptcy”.


One of the problems with the crisis is that there was not a large enough public awareness of it. Many people had no idea of what was going on until things were several days in and getting out of hand. This makes a huge difference in these situations where the crisis is rushed and there are major developments every day. People do not realise just how dangerous the situation is and how the realisation of war is a possibility-somewhat remarkably similar to the past and the leaders at those moments in history.

If Russia is intent on pushing its boarders further out then the next step could be one of several different areas. Eastern Ukraine is an obvious option especially seeing as Russia gathered troops on its western border. However, the Trans-Dniester is also a possible option as it is a strip along eastern Moldova with a majority Russian speaking population. It proclaimed independence in 1990 but this is not acknowledged internationally. The Russians also have 1,000 troops in the area which also borders Ukraine. In Gagauzia (an area in southern Moldova) there was a supposed 98% vote in favour of backing a Russian-led custom union. The kremlin also expressed anger at the treatment of ethnic Russians in Estonia which has a 24% population of ethnic Russians. This was the same reason they gave for “intervening” in Crimea.

Will this not provide a solution but rather a problem.

Benjamin Simpson

 BBC School Report

BBC School Report


Inspiring students with your accomplished Dreams and success

On March 24th 2014 Joy Tottman came into Shenfield High School, students were picked from all years to listen to the famous Referee for ice hockey. She came in and told us her inspirational story about her being a 3 time referee for the Olympic Games in 2006 in Turin, Italy. 2010 Vancouver, Canada and 2014 Sochi, Russia.  Joy told us how she started when she was 12 when her and her father went to watch a figure skating practice and an ice hockey practice when she chose to do ice hockey. It wasn’t till a few months after that her father took the refereeing course so he could referee her games. Joy then took the course so she could referee the games with her father and then she got chosen to do the 2006 winter Olympics. We asked her what one of her best memories were from the Olympic games and she said it was when she was in Vancouver when a figure skaters mother died 2 days before the lady was supposed to perform and that how all of the people in the Olympics were behind this lady and how Joy thought she was very inspirational how she had to put her emotions behind and still do the performance for her mother even though she wasn’t there.

BBC School ReportIn 2011 Joy’s father passed away and I asked her what gave her the motivation to carry on after she had most of her ice hockey memories with her father. She replied “I carried on doing what I love because I know my father would have wanted me to; this is my way of saying thank you to him for always being there for me along this memorable journey.”

We asked her if her father had ever gone to the Olympics with her and she said no he hadn’t but the next Olympics she would have been chosen to go he would have went. Then in 2011 when he passed away 3 years later she was chosen to go again. She said that even though he wasn’t there it was still special that she could take her husband because he also plays ice hockey.

Joy told us stories about the highs and lows of how she got to her dream and that is wasn’t easy. When her father died in 2011 she took 1 year out of doing what she loved because she didn’t know if she wanted to carry on. After a year passed she decided she still wanted to do it and got a personal trainer to get back into shape. When she was telling us this story she laughed and said “running around in a park when it was raining really wasn’t fun” it goes to show that if you want something really bad you will do whatever to get there. That’s what’s so inspirational about Joy is that even though her father died she carried on doing it for him and herself. Over 1,140 games later she is still doing it!


After Joy had left I interviewed the students and asked what they thought about it. They said surprising, interesting but mostly inspirational. Some had said “striving for success” and “done something for herself”. I think more inspiring young adults should come into schools because of how much positive feedback the children give off after. It gives children the motivation, dreams and memories come true and happen.

We thank Joy for coming into Shenfield High School today and that the inspirational speech she told us today has moved the children who were selected to be with her for the day. The whole group wish you luck on your further journeys.

By Rachel /Year 10

Curtis Simmons explores how new words are accepted into mainstream vocabulary

New words are constantly being introduced into the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and we are used to hearing these words having created by world famous linguists and writers such as Shakespeare and Roald Dahl. Last year the most used new word of 2013 was selfie. How did this word come into our everyday lives without us realising?

The word selfie has come into existence mainly due to advances in technology and we can mainly thank global market leaders, Apple for this. They were the first worldwide corporation to release a phone with a front facing camera, the iPhone 4, making it much easier to see the picture you are going to take. This product was released in 2007 and due to the steep increase in the popularity of taking pictures of yourself with the front facing camera, the word selfie was born from the word self portrait.

Selfie is not the only word that has managed to smash its way into the OED. Another word that has been influenced in a completely different way is the word twerk. “To twerk” or “twerking” is a descriptive word for a type of dance that involves usually a woman” shaking her hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion, causing the dancer's buttocks to shake, wobble and jiggle".

It wasn’t just the introduction of the front facing camera that helped develop the word selfie but also the applications on the iPhone app store which encouraged users to partake in taking ‘selfies.’  The main culprit for this is Instagram, an app for the iPhone which involves uploading pictures to share with friends and family. Of course people were wanting to upload pictures of themselves in  times where there was no one around, therefore selfies became the most convenient option to grab those memorable snaps.

The most controversial twist in the making of this word being introduced into the dictionary is that it wasn’t a typical linguist that you would expect to of created such a popular word, but none other than teenage pop star Miley Cyrus. Miley has been one of the main sources of media attention in 2013 for her erotic ways on stage, drug taking in personal life, and maximum nudity at any opportunity. However despite all these antics, Miley was the first big star to release a video of herself ‘twerking’ and from there on it became an internet sensation receiving over 6 million views on the website YouTube. This internet craze then spread all the way onto online video apps such as vine where people would film themselves and friends twerking to different songs.

However this was only the start for the word twerk. As it became more and more popular bigger celebrities decided to opting on putting their own twist on the type of dance. The so called queen of pop herself Beyoncé first put her stamp on the twerking scene at one of her concerts wearing a rather revealing leotard and sitting in a way that it was reflected off the mirrored floor she was performing on. Instead of the typical erotic ‘jiggling’ action the queen turned twerking into a slow sexy provocative movement, adding her own individual twist with the dance move.

Obviously the media dove into how Beyoncé portrayed the dance move, helping the word twerk being seen all over the best magazines, papers and especially all over the internet. Thus the word gradually made its way into people’s lives without realising, before we knew it one day twerking was a completely imagimary word the next it was an internet sensation!

 BBC School Report Logo