BBC News School Report

BBC School Report

Thursday 27th March 2014

Students from this school will be making the news for real on Thursday 27th March 2014 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.

Local | National | International | Sport | Blundell's

Local News

30 chickens stolen from poultry factory

In a poultry factory in Willand, three thieves were seen stealing 30 chickens. The trio of men were seen putting 30 freshly processed chickens through the fence that they had broken.

PCSO Sims said that this was not the first time this had happened. He also suspects the chickens are being sold on somewhere. The Farmer also said this and that the hole was made to be accessed from Dean Hill.

A witness said that the black bin liner was thrown over the fence to the other criminal and the bag looked heavy and bulging at the seams. The police were called after three men were acting suspiciously.

The police are hoping that the locals can identify the thieves. They were seen wearing dark clothes before driving away in a black saloon car.

The police said ‘If the chickens are being sold on, there is no way of knowing if they have been stored correctly and in a supermarket they are kept in refrigerators.’

The police also said that if there was any strange behaviour among people then they should report it to them.

Emily, Kiera, Issy and Scarlett

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Steak Stops M5

On February 5th, traffic was halted by a couple of cows wandering along the M5 between Junctions 28 and 30. CowBBC Travel Southwest warned people to approach the cows with caution.

It completely stopped the traffic at one point. But it is a bit of a mystery because no one knows how the cows actually got onto the M5. The police are a bit puzzled by what happened because there was no report on the incident in the files.

Police say it was either not true or the cows found their own way out. They also said people think they see animals on the motorway but they don’t see the fence that the animal is actually behind.

Rory and Ralph

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Tivoli Cinema to be Destroyed with New Thoroughfare in Tiverton

Hello today we have some local news about the Tivoli Cinema. The Tivoli cinema that has entertained people since 1932 is to be demolished with the council’s new plan for a thoroughfare in Tiverton. The legendary cinema is conveniently placed in a walkway next to marks and Spencer’s in Fore Street. The cinema was once closed in 2008 but merlin cinemas (owned by Geoff Greaves) invested, and brought the cinema back to the people of Tiverton. He spent a lot of money saving and rebuilding the cinema. During the campaign in 2008 the Tiverton residents received a lot of help by Oscar award winning actress Helen Mirren!

Although the Tivoli will be destroyed, the council have proposed a new multi-screened cinema with modern sound to be built on the Beck’s Square car park. As well as the cinema the Tourist information centre will also be destroyed to make room for shopping outlets along phoenix lane. Phil Brind, Who runs the canal boat company said, “I have been very frustrated to see the information centre empty and think it’s immoral that the council should think it has the right to get rid of the building that it was given for a specific purpose.

Elliot and George

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Storm-Damaged Devon

During February, the South West has been battered by strong winds, high tides, and many storms, following the wettest January since records began.

The beginning of February brought some extreme weather for those in Dawlish.

Dawlish railway was seriously damaged due to the bad storms and now between £2million and £20million is lost every day to the businesses that relied on the railway. In Dawlish, the sea wall collapsed when high tides struck it, forcing around 60 people to leave their homes. One of the evacuees, Mr Jones, said, “It’s like living in a washing machine!”

His home was behind the railway, and the front of the building is now dangling in mid-air. Like Mr Jones, many residents were unaware that the sea wall was going to collapse, so had no time to make any preparations to evacuate their homes. They just left with the clothes they were wearing.

Network Rail reported that around 46 metres of railway track has been destroyed and the train station has also been damaged.

Subsequent storms have meant that the Dawlish railway won’t be fully repaired until mid-April, taking the loss of business to more than £130 million.

In Kingsand rough weather has also taken its toll and some have had to evacuate their homes
In Kingsand, Cornwall, properties have been evacuated after huge waves swamped the area, widespread flooding has been reported across the region and councillors said damage would cost millions to repair.

fbIn and around the UK weather has been very bad and for Julie Sillitoe, and her minicab, this was fatal. 49 year-old Julie Sillitoe was crushed in her minicab in north London when strong winds and heavy rain hit the south of England. Her passengers were also hurt, but their injuries aren’t life-threatening. Julie Sillitoe’s family have made a number of comments, and they thanked the services that helped.

Mr Sillitoe said "We would like to thank the emergency services that fought to save Julie's life, and know that they did everything possible."

A post mortem investigation is trying to find out exactly what caused her death.

Because the flooding in southern England has been so bad, the RAF are using their most sophisticated plane- the Sentinel- to map the scale of flooding for the first time. Exactly what has been said on board is classified for the reporters on board because they don’t want the equipment photographed or copied. The images are very advanced and can be used to see the depth of water and objects submerged on roads and railways that might make the route unsafe.

The government’s promised aid of £10million for the whole of the UK isn’t enough to even start to cover the costs of the damage in the South West.

Jack, Anna, Charlotte and Grace

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Planning Permission Woes for Anaerobic Digester

A local man named Stuart Cole has been fighting for 5 years to achieve planning permission for an anaerobic digester on his poultry farm in Nomansland. Mr Cole has been helped along this journey a company by another company called Greener for Life, Mr Cole is also the Director of agriculture for Greener for Life.  Another employee for this company is a man called Charles Kane. We are lucky to have a couple of quotes from the questions we asked him:

What got you into the idea of Anaerobic Digestion?

I am very interested in Agribusiness and have spent much of my career managing large farming businesses across Eastern Europe and the Middle East. When I returned from Saudi Arabia, I was interested in identifying an option that would enable me to remain within the agricultural sector and would allow me to utilise the skill set I had developed managing large operations.

What affects will it have on the local area?

In an ideal scenario, impacts to the local area are very limited. Careful plant layout design means that the plant itself compliments the local environment so that visual amenity is not lost. The impact of traffic from construction through to day to day movements of feedstock and digestate are carefully considered so that impact to local roads is limited.

What are the financial advantages and disadvantages of the project?

Anaerobic digesters are very expensive to build and require a large amount of feedstock over its life span to ensure a continuous supply of energy. As a result the construction and operating costs are very high. Fortunately, the owner of the AD plant is paid for the energy the produce.

Here is also a quick explanation on how Anaerobic digestion works:

The AD process begins when biomass is put inside a sealed tank or digester. Naturally occurring micro-organisms digest the biomass, which releases a methane-rich gas (biogas) that can be used to generate renewable heat and power, this helps cut fossil fuel use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The remaining material (digestate) is rich in nutrients, so it can be used as a fertiliser.

The Anaerobic Digestion system has lots of uses but it mainly produces heat and electricity. Anaerobic digestion is used on farms to treat manure and slurry. Anaerobic digestion is also used for a large range of biodegradable wastes. Local Authorities are looking towards this technology to address the diversion of biodegradable waste from landfills. Water companies have been using it to treat sewage sludge’s and industrial wastes.

Elliot and George

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National News

Floods in the UK

Many parts of the UK are in danger of being washed out as flood warnings were still in place on Wednesday. Forecasters warn there will be more rain, high tides and strong winds today, and the Environment Agency has more than 150 flood warnings in place in several parts of England and Wales.

Nine of those warnings are classed as 'severe', which means a serious risk to people's safety. The worst affected places are the south-west of England. Villages and towns across the Somerset levels have been hit the worst by flooding and those areas are expected to get more rainfall too.

The flood levels in England and Wales went down over night on Tuesday, but forecasters warned it would get worse on Wednesday.

There were 33 warnings for England, and 17 for Wales in place on Wednesday morning. There were also 64 less dangerous "flood watch" warnings.

Most of the warnings are for the Midlands and the north-east of England.

In Wales, coastal areas were hit by gusts of winds up to 85mph and huge waves spilling inland. Parts of western Scotland felt the worst of Saturday’s weather too with roads and homes flooding. The worst hit areas were the south-east, south-west and Midlands in England. The environment agency has three severe flood warnings (meaning danger to life) on the Severn near Gloucester. The Met Office has more severe weather warnings for rain for southern and south-west England and south Wales from Thursday afternoon.

There are also about 60 flood warnings in England and Wales and more than 200 flood alerts.

In Scotland, there are flood warnings in Tayside, and a number of flood alerts. The Environment Agency, who give out the warnings, have also said that strong winds and wet conditions could make driving dangerous.

Wales saw the worst of Tuesday's flooding. Four people were reportedly trapped in their homes in Pontardawe, Wales, and are waiting to be rescued from their top floors.

Forecasters say that the rain started early in Southern England. They expected that it would move north and east through the day. But some parts of the UK have seen unusually high temperatures. It was 16.3C in Church Fenton, North Yorkshire, which beat the previous February 3 record of 16.1C. Tides are expected to get really high on parts of the Welsh coast, so authorities there have set up evacuation centres in places like Cardigan and Aberystwyth.

Kiki and Katie

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Teachers’ Strike Closes Schools Across England and Wales

Thousands of children in England and Wales are off school as teachers strike over pay and working conditions. The teachers have demonstrated by not going to work and this has caused the students of those teachers to be incapable to go to school and get an education.

Members of the NUT, National Union of Teachers did not teach yesterday leaving many schools closed to some, or all, students.

Union leaders said the action has been a clear demonstration that teachers were thoroughly tired of intolerable pressures from the government.

The DFE, Department for Education said the NUT was holding back children's education and disturbing parent’s lives.

But Union leaders said the decision to strike was a "last resort" because talks about the issue with the DFE were not working.

The NUT has 326,930 members in England and Wales, 92 per cent of members voted to take strike action.

Kiki and Katie

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Weather Forecast

UK Weather

Hello and welcome to your Weather Report for the 27 March 2014. I’m Marcus and I will be running you through the National weather for today. So!

Weather forecastWe will expect another chilly day throughout the country with brisk easterly winds. The brightest and driest will pop up again in the North West. Scattered and heavy showers elsewhere. There is the possibility of thunder in some areas with a risk of hail. Temperatures reaching a high of 12 degrees at Heathrow and a low of 1 degree in Aviemore in Scotland. In North East England and Scotland you will expect showers and some bright spells. Coming down towards the South East of England there will be clear sunny skies throughout the day with light clouds. Moving into the South West you will see often but light rainfall. Up to Wales sunny intervals will be expected but constant cloud through the day. West into Belfast you will experience cool chilly breezes without rain but a covering of light cloud. Back up into Scotland, there will be a strong blanket of clouds throughout the region.

Thank you and I will see you again later on today. Now I am going to hand over to Will.

Local Weather

Good Morning and welcome to our local Weather. My name is Will Spencer and I will be taking you through the Weather from Cornwall to Somerset.

Down in Cornwall expect a band of fairly heavy rain pushing its way across Penzance. Truro and Falmouth will have mostly dry but cloudy day. With temperatures hovering around 6 degrees throughout the Cornish region. Towards the Northern coast of Cornwall there will be a small strip of heavy rain moving straight through Bodmin and Newquay. Into South Devon it will be mainly dry and cloudy everywhere except it will rain on Tiverton, Honiton and Chard just avoiding Exeter and Lyme Regis. It will be a fairly cold day with highs of only 7 degrees and lows of 5 degrees. North Devon will be a fairly similar picture but slightly less rain fall. In Somerset it will be a bright and sunny day but the temperature will stay a solid 7 degrees.

Thank You for listening, Goodbye.

Will and Marcus

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Schooling is Taking Over Childhood

Schooling is already stressful for some, but is just about manageable, but this could all change if what the Government are contemplating takes place. Firstly they are considering introducing 9 hour school days, for all schools. Secondly they are thinking about making it compulsory for 2 year olds to start school. Finally they are thinking about shortening school holidays. Some people argue that this would be better, but some think that this is very unfair.

School Is Too Much Pressure!

Some people think of longer school days and shorter holidays as a worthy thing. If you attended school from the age of 5 to the age of 16 it is the equivalent of 7 years more of education. Starting school at a young ageThis is important, as jobs are nowadays are becoming much more difficult to get. It is also considered beneficial by some parents because it means they have more time to work and it costs less as they need less food and supplies.

Starting school at the age of two is advantageous for some people because their parents can work more to earn more money. If a child comes from an underprivileged background then the parents would probably not be able to afford for them to go to daycare or a nursery. This would mean that when they start school they could be a year and a half behind other the better off students. Michael Gove, thinks that this should happen. If the government start schooling at the age of two then it would take away the child’s childhood. It would also mean that the school needs to employ plenty of staff which would be tough as the children need to be supervised in all respects.

Overall school could become too much pressure if all this took place.

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Virtual Reality: Who Are We?

Are we merely the toy of some other greater being? Are we puppets among giants? Is life only as advanced as virtual reality software? Life could be anything, even an illusion or a computer program. Are our lives already decided? Are we to die at the will of another? We cannot know this and if we could we would not be able to escape it. What if virtual reality was everything and everything virtual reality? Could there be a mastermind among us who subtly sculpts the future in the back alleys of our minds? It could be anyone, your aunt who last week bought you a bag of sweets or it could be that beggar down the street who every day you ignore as if you were a better person than him, but you’re not, we are all equal.

This is a fascinating subject of philosophy and science. Films have even been made on it like Matrix or Star Trek the general theme with these are evil people controlling others. Virtual reality could be everything. Religions are based on it. One greater being, who made us, controls us and performs miracles.


It could be you.

Amelia, Niamh, Rafe, Robert

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School Holiday Prices

Early this year Paul Cookson had posted on Facebook entitled ‘school holiday rant’. Paul had enough of being ‘ripped off’ by companies which had put holiday prices outside school term time. Soon after more than 143,000 people shared it. Supporters are making a petition calling for government action and has more than 100,000 signatures needed for Parliament.

It’s now being debated in court. MP hemming had requested this in parliament. The debate was started by a petition which calls for price caps to stop holiday firms cashing in on the school holidays. No MP backed price regulation during the Westminster Hall debate, and the government also rejected the idea. Toddlers on HolidayA rule change which came into effect last September means head teachers can only grant time off in "exceptional circumstances". Previously parents could be allowed to take their children out of school for 10 days per academic year.

The government is not convinced higher prices in school holidays are as a result of market abuse said by Jenny Willott. Mr Hemming, who is MP for Birmingham Yardley, said one possible solution to the prices problem was to go "back towards" that system - but "not necessarily as far" as 10 days. She said the head teacher had "no choice", and said schools must be given far greater discretion. But consumer affairs minister Jenny Willott said: The government has not said that no absence is possible. It has given head teachers the discretion to make that call and we also haven't specified what constitutes exceptional circumstances as we think individual cases need to be considered individually.

On pupils going on holiday during term time, she said the change in September was simply misconception and that parents were allowed to take their children out of school for 10 days a year. She said she was very sympathetic to people who struggled to afford them in peak season. But they should not be at the expense of a child's education, and school attendance throughout the school year does remain absolutely critical, she said.

She also said children missing school could have a negative impact not just on them, but also on fellow pupils and teachers.

Interview from a local family in Exeter

Beth and Ben go to a local school in Exeter and Polly goes to a different school in Exeter. Their dad is a doctor and was working through the Christmas period and has hardly any work leave with his family, so he organised to take his family to France skiing three days before the end of term. He thought he would be allowed to take them out because they will just be watching films.

He asked the two schools, Beth and Ben’s school said “Yes of course, enjoy the well-earned break!” whereas when they asked Polly’s head teacher she said “No I’m sorry but rules are rules, there is no she can leave without are consent”. However the family were not able to go on the pacific day to France there dad did and that the family had to go later in the actually holiday time they went and met their dad in France. Although the family has lost about £500. The family are very disappointed with Polly’s school which may lead Polly to move school possibly to Beth and Ben’s school.

Immy and Anna

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International News

Malaysia Airlines

Ukraine Crisis

What is Russia’s claim to Crimea?

Its historical links with the peninsula go back to Catherine the Great in the 18th Century, when Russia took over southern Ukraine and Crimea, taking them from the Ottoman Empire. In 1954, Crimea was handed to Ukraine as a gift by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who was himself half-Ukrainian. Only 10 years earlier, Joseph Stalin had deported Crimea's entire Tatar population, some 300,000 people, allegedly for co-operating with Hitler's Germany.

What would happen if Ukraine had a new president?

The Russians are very keen to keep their base in Crimea. The Russians are allowed to keep up to 25000 troops in their base. So the fuss is not about much seeing as they have only got about 15000 troops at the moment. The peace treaty said this so they do have a right to keep troops. Although it is a very bad time to do exercises seeing as Ukraine is in a very big crises.

Ukraine Crisis, troopsThe old president make an agreement that there would be an election in 2015 but two days later it was the protests and the talks were scrapped.

We also have to look at it from Russia’s eyes they have a port in Ukraine that they have agreed is theirs but the new parliament might not agree with the agreement of the last president.

Some countries like Germany are supplied by Russian gas so they don’t want to say much just in case they upset Russia and are not supplied. The Ukraine crisis is in a very bad place hopefully it will sort itself out soon.

President Vladimir Putin ordered thousands of Russian troops near military bases near Ukraine's border to return to their base today as US Secretary of State John Kerry was on his way to Kiev.

The order came after tensions in the strategic base of Crimea which remained on high alert. Troops loyal to Moscow fired warning shots at protesting Ukrainian soldiers.

Jack, Matt and Max

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Ukraine on the Brink of Disaster

Background Information

  • A series of events led to fighting between police and campaigners.
  • The government announced deals with Russia - which to many looked like an even bigger move away from Europe.
  • The most violent clashes in February began after reports a policeman had been shot.
  • By the end of February, officials said 88 people had died because of the clashes.
  • Ukraine has had a violent few months that have caused some massive changes in the country.
  • It all started when in November 2013, a big anti-government protests took place in the country's capital, Kiev.
  • These protests became very violent. Dozens of people lost their lives and hundreds more were injured.
  • The violence began when police tried to remove protesters, but they stood their ground - both sides fought with force.

The Ukraine is in a tug of war for Europe against Russia. Most governments do not want to start war, but the USA was prepared to do so if Russia takes evasive action. Ukraine protestors have taken key presidential buildings and have already brought down the heroic statue of Lenin in the capital city of Kiev.

Most of the major pipe lines from Serbia flow through the Ukraine and therefore President Putin wants the whole of the Ukraine back or he will lose a lot of his oil industry. Currently, the Ukraine get all of it.

For some countries, like the UK, it is hard to decide how to help the Ukraine, but not start a war as the Ukraine has asked for help from the UK and US to protect its national security.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague is flying to the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev to meet with leaders there.
NATO, a group of 28 countries that work together, is having emergency talks on how to resolve the crisis.

Its secretary-general said Russia's actions "threatened peace and security in Europe".

The Two Archies

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How are Phones an Ethical Minefield?

On December 9th, 2013, profits from mining precious metals to make smartphones are used by illegal armed forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to finance violent conflict. Fairphone prioritises ethical materials [like coltan] sourcing and environmental values to minimise such human rights abuses.

PhonesThe history of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been one of civil war and corruption. After independence in 1960, the country immediately faced an army mutiny and an attempt at secession by its mineral-rich province of Katanga.

In Congo, there is a civil war going on and is being funded by selling precious metals to make money to get weapons and the metals are then sold for making phones.

At the moment, at least 3 million people have died, not just because of them getting shot, but also because of disease and starvation. The war is still going on and there will probably be many more deaths to come.

Barney and Ed

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Rising Death Toll in US Landslide Disaster

A landslide on Saturday 22nd of March in the northwest corner of Washington the landside gave way, destroying approximately 30 homes. The disaster was reported to authorities at 10:45. The US Geological Survey (USGS) say that it was caused by recent weather conditions. US landslideThe USGS said that they did warn Geologists warned about Washington landslide 15 years ago before and after shots clearly show the lethal geography that has worried experts since 1999 and then was again mentioned in 2004 and 2010, as DOZENS are feared dead. Several people were rescued on Saturday through to Sunday but it isn’t even close to the amount that are still missing. On Monday evening it was confirmed that 14 people were dead but that toll has been going up every day. However yesterday the death toll reached 16 with 90 people still missing. Bodies could be buried 54m (177ft) in thick mud and rock. A young boy of the age of 4 was retrieved near Oslo and has managed to survive the mudslide. His parents and his siblings are still yet to be found.

8 bodies were found but were unfortunately not able to be recovered but they were feared to be dead.

Mothers and sons, brothers and wives, babies and children: whole families were swallowed when the sparsely forested hillside gave way on Saturday morning, rushing downslope and across the north fork of the Stillaguamish river, filling its contours and ploughing through 49 homes clustered around Steelhead and East Steelhead drives, before burying a mile of Highway 530.

What has Obama got to say about the disaster?

On the 25th of March in the Netherlands president Obama asked all Americans to send their thoughts and prayers to the victims of the mudslide, where it is thought around 90 have gone missing and at least 16 are dead. "We know that part of this tightly knit community has been lost," he said. US landslide"We hope for the best, but recognise this is a tough situation." He has declared that Washington is in an emergency state and ordered federal authorities to co-ordinate the disaster relief effort.


"Sometimes, landslides that are this catastrophic just happen," said John Pennington, the director of Snohomish County's department of emergency management. "People knew this was a landslide-prone area," he said, noting that he is still trying to understand whether a small earthquake could have shaken the hill loose. "Sometimes big events just happen; large events that nobody sees happen. The community did feel safe. They knew the risk, but they felt safe from the smaller events. This wasn't a small event. It was large, and it was catastrophic."

When asked if the country should have been more prepared, Pennington said: "I'm not sure that we could have. It haunts me. We did everything we could have done, and the community did feel safe."

Charlotte and Anna

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Sports News

Manchester United

Manchester United, a premier league football club, have dropped their amazing winning streak in the premier league. Last season Sir Alex Ferguson retired from Manchester United with a record of 13 premier league wins. Now David Moyes has taken over as Manchester’s manger. He has won 12 games, drawn 5 games and lost 8 games. After Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure Manchester United position has fallen. In the January transfer window, David Moyes bought in Juan Mata from Chelsea. Mata’s first game at Manchester was a win. But then the last two games, Manchester United has lost one, against Stoke City, 2-1, and they drew to Fulham (who are having a fairly woeful season, at the bottom of the table) 2-2.

We interviewed Tommy, a Manchester United fan.

“How do you feel about your club's position?”
“It’s been a bad season but we are still a massive Premier League.”

“Who do you think is to blame for this?”
“I don’t think David Moyes is to blame. It was a too big of club for David Moyes. It’s Sir Alex Ferguson’s fault.”

“What do you think you could improve on if you were the manager?”
“I would have bought better players.”

“At the Start of the season, did you think Moyes was the right man for the job?”
“No. As I said before, it was a too big of club for him.”

“Where do you think Manchester will finish this season?”
“I think they will get Champions League position.”

Well it’s going to be hard for David Moyes to get Champions league position as they are in 7th with 45 points and behind Manchester City who is in the last Champions League Spot with 59 points. And the mighty Tottenham Hotspur is in front of them as well.

Josh, Jack, Marcus, Will and Louis

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Is Sochi Safe?

Events have been getting under way before the opening ceremony, taking place at the Fisht stadium, on the newly-built Olympic Park. The Olympic course at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park has had to be modified over the last couple of days after competitors, including two-time halfpipe gold medallist Shaun White, complained it was too dangerous during training after the Norwegian, Torstein Horgmo, broke his collarbone. So, is Sochi safe?

The first athletes to compete in the Winter Olympics took to the slopes on Friday 6th as the Russian government issued further assurances it was doing everything possible to ensure the Sochi Games are as safe as possible.

Sochi securityRussia’s stance on gay rights has been another area of concern for many visitors. Russia has come under international pressure since its parliament passed a law last summer outlawing “gay propaganda.” The legislation makes it illegal to tell children about gay equality and has been widely criticized by Western leaders, who have called it archaic and discriminatory. But Putin defended it before journalists on Friday, saying that the law was about protecting children. “We have just recently passed a law prohibiting propaganda, and not of homosexuality, but of homosexuality and child abuse, child sexual abuse. But this has nothing to do with persecuting individuals for their sexual orientation,” he said. “So there is no danger for people of such non-traditional sexual orientation who are planning to come to the Games as guests or participants.”

Russia has also been criticized over the limitations placed on freedom of speech at Sochi. The official protest site is about a 30-minute drive from the Olympic village and is difficult to find. But Putin said no visitors should fear problems if they protest, for example, over gay rights. Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged that the Olympic Games in Sochi will be “the safest Olympics in history,” but in light of the recent terrorist bombings in Russia, questions have arisen as to why Putin says Sochi will be safe. The Winter Olympics, Russia’s first Winter Games, are a matter of personal prestige and a major project for Putin, who has spent a record $48 billion on the games. This sum is four times the cost of the London Olympics and 25 times the cost of the Vancouver Olympics.

Millie, Tabby and Grace


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Winter Olympics 2014

In the Winter Olympics there are 15 different sports. All are held either on snow or ice. They were held in Sochi, Russia. The winning country was Russia. Next was Norway followed by Canada. Britain came 19th overall, with 4 medals (1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze). Britain’s best event was the Women’s Skeleton as they received a Gold medal.

Elise Christie is well known for her disqualifications in the Women’s Speed Skating at Sochi 2014. In the 500m final she finished second but she was disqualified for causing two competitors to crash, placing her in eighth place. She was disqualified in a 1500m and she sadly crashed in her favourite event in the semi-final. She was receiving abusive messages online.

Winter Olympics     Winter Olympics

25 year old Lizzy Yarnold won the only gold medal for Britain in Women’s Skeleton. Her run was 0.97 seconds ahead of USA. She’s planning to go to the next Winter Olympics in 2018.

Britain’s Men’s Curling team made it all the way to the final (winning nearly every game) but unfortunately they lost to Canada in the final with a convincing win for Canada of 9-3.

Britain’s Women’s Curling team nearly made it all the way but unfortunately they also lost to Canada. The women were disappointed, as they were the favourites to win, but they still came away with a respectable bronze medal.

Katherine and Ellen

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Jenny Jones Receives First Medal for Great Britain on Snow

Jenny Jones said “I did the best run I could have done.” She scored 73.00 and received fifth place and only 4.25 off the podium places, and after a very impressive second run got and amazing score of 87.25 which move up to first place.

“It feels amazing”, Jones added, “I just cannot believe it. I knew I was going to drop from first place but I didn't know how far. I’m just so happy. It was so difficult waiting; I thought I did my best run and I landed it as best as I could.”

Jenny Jones claims she is put off when her parents are watching her, but what she didn't know was that her parents were hidden in the crowd and surprised her after she had come 3rd.

Her Head Coach said “I am extremely proud of her. I think this could be a big deal for UK snowboarding”.
Among those watching on television was British Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill, who said on Twitter: "Amazing. I was gripped!!"

Soon after, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray said after Jones's final run: "Jenny Jones! Is it wrong to hope everyone left falls?" followed soon after by...”Yesssssssssssssssss!”

Great Britain team-mate Jamie Nicholls, who was sixth in Saturday's men's final, said: "This is amazing, I'm shaking. Jenny's been though a lot, she was at the top four years ago and for her to come here and put it down and get a bronze medal is pretty crazy!

"We don't even have mountains in our country but this shows anyone can make it happen."

Kinna and Sparkle

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Six Nations

England vs France

The first match for England was a loss but a very tight loss with France only winning by 2 points in the 76th minute from a late try from Frances outside centre Gael Fickou.

It started with England trailing behind from two tries by the French winger Huget. After that the score was 16-3 to France which looked bad for England but then England took the lead with a try from Mike Brown and one from Luther Burrell on his debut match, which left England winning 24-19 but then France struck back and took the lead in the 76th minute which left England heartbroken.

England vs Ireland

In a brilliant and tight game of rugby England came out the winners with the score 13-10. In the first half the score was 3-0 to England, after Farrell kicked a screamer over the points and to take the lead. The first try came to Ireland in the second half, when Heaslip popped the ball into Kearney’s grasp as he cut through the game line to score the try. Farrell kicked another penalty to close down the score to 6-10. A few minutes later Luther Burrell gave a cracking ball to Man of the match Mike Brown who offloaded it to Care as he ran the ball over the line and scored. Farrell converted to make the final score 13-10.

England vs Scotland

This was a good first win for England in their second match of the six nations. They beat a weak Scotland side 20-0 to remain the winners of the Calcutta cup. There were two tries from Mike Brown and another from Luther Burrell, his second try in two international matches. Also a drop goal from outside the 22 from Danny Care and a penalty from Owen Farrell gave England 6 points on the board as well as two tries, which both got converted.

England vs Wales

After only 5 minutes Danny Care scored the first try from a quick tap and go as he caught Wales sleeping, Farrell then converted to put England 7-0 up. Then a very clever kick allowed Luther Burrell to score in the corner for his 3rd try in 4 matches, Farrell then converted for the extras. In-between all of these tries Farrell and Halfpenny had kicked all there kicks and so the final score was 29-18 with all 18 points coming from Halfpenny kicking.

France vs Italy

France saw off Italy to maintain their 100% start and remain second in the table behind Ireland, the only other team with two wins from two games. When a brilliantly worked driving lineout left Louis Picamoles with a lot to do but he still crossed after a very strong run in which he bounced off two tacklers. When Fofana crossed that added to three Doussain penalties.

Ireland vs Italy

Ireland ran in 7 tries in Brian O’Driscoll’s 140th and final game for Ireland and there were no surprises when he was named man of the match!

Jonny Sexton crossed twice and kicked 1 penalty and 2 conversions to complete a brilliant display earning him 19 points. Other tries came from Trimble, Healy, McFadden, Cronin and McGrath. Paddy Jackson completed the scoring with 2 penalties after being subbed on.

A great individual effort from Italy winger Leonardo Sarto was converted by the fly half Luciano Orquera which were Italy’s only points of a very poor display.

This victory gave Ireland the upper hand in the table as they now have a massive points difference over the other teams. The final score was 46-7 to Ireland.

Ireland vs Scotland

Ireland had a rampant victory in their first game at home to a poor Scottish team.

Ireland were hit with a massive setback when before the game captain Paul O’Connell had to pull out after getting very little sleep on Saturday due to a chest infection.

When Trimble crossed it started the Scottish collapse, captain Heaslip got on the score sheet before veteran Rob Kearney completed the tries.3 penalties from Jonny Sexton were included in the 28-6 rampage.

Italy vs Scotland

Scotland pipped Italy in a thrilling encounter. Duncan Weir’s last minute drop goal gave Scotland a 20-21 victory. Italy’s defeat means they are yet to get any points in this year’s tournament and leaves them rock bottom of the table.

An early try from Italy fly-half Tommy Allan gave Italy the lead before Alex Dunbar crossed twice in quick succession to give Scotland the advantage. When Josh Furno scored in the corner it looked like the points were staying in Italy but a last gasp drop goal from Scotland fly half Duncan Weir ensured that Italy remain at the bottom of the table and that Scotland earned their first points of the competition.

Tommy Allan traded 2 penalties with Greig Laidlaw. Scotland’s only conversion came from Duncan Weir with Italy converting both tries via Tommy Allan and Luciano Orquera.

Scotland vs France

In the first 10 minutes the score was 0-6 to France after two penalties were converted. Two minutes later Stuart Hogg scored a brilliant try and Weir converted it. This made the score 7-6. After 22 minutes the score was 14-9 after Tommy Seymour scored and France converted a penalty. Later on in the game Huget made a fantastic interception and ran the ball over the line. The final score was 17-19 to France.

Wales vs France

A strong Welsh side stormed against France with a victory of 27-6. Halfpenny the fullback for Wales was on top of his form with 5 penalties for Wales and also 1 conversion. The scorers where North and the captain Warburton also leading by example with a try. This was the most that Wales had ever beaten France since the world war!

Wales vs Ireland

Ireland smashed Wales in a very one sided game of rugby. The score at the end was 26-3. The first points on the board were Sexton’s two penalties to make the score 6-0. Then after a pile driving maul Chris Henry carried the ball over the line and Sexton converted to make it 13-0. After Sexton and Priestland both converted penalties to change the score to 16-3. After Paddy Jackson was subbed on for Sexton he scored and converted to make the final score 26-3.

Wales vs Italy

The first try fell to Alex Cuthbert when the ball bounced over opposing 14’s head and Cuthbert caught it and scored. Halfpenny converted to make the score 7-0. After that Scott Williams got Wales of to an amazing start by scoring another try to change the score to 14-0. Then Italy fought back with two tries from Italian centre Michele Campagnaro. One of his tries was thought to be a forward pass but anyway, the try was given. These two tries were not enough as the score ended up 23-15 to Wales. An upsetting loss for Italy.

Jake, Will and Oz

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs Cleared by FA

Arsenal have succeeded in confirming that neither Kieran Gibbs nor Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be suspended following Saturday's red-card mistake at Chelsea. Referee Andre Marriner sent off Gibbs instead of Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had handled a shot from Eden Hazard. The Football Association moved the red card to Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Gunners successfully argued he had not stopped a goal scoring chance given Hazard's shot was going wide.

Marriner has also escaped punishment. The 43-year-old official, who apologised for mixing up the identities of the players, will take charge of Southampton's home game with Newcastle on Saturday. Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the body took responsibility for training referees, decided he should be given the chance to get over his mistake immediately, rather than being stood down for the weekend. All four officials involved at Stamford Bridge will be in action this weekend.

Rules drawn up by world governing body FIFA state a player should only be shown a red card for handball if "the unacceptable and unfair interference prevented a goal being scored". The rules make no mention of a player's intent when handling the ball. PGMOL said cases of mistaken identity were "very rare". It also said: "While this was a difficult decision, Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player. He stated his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue."

UEFA spokesperson Pedro Pinto said the error highlighted the need for extra goal-line officials. He tweeted: "With an additional assistant referee on the end line, referee would not have got that sending off wrong. Technology is not the answer. More eyeballs are the answer."

Arsenal were trailing 2-0 at Stamford Bridge when defender Gibbs was mistakenly shown a red card. They eventually lost 6-0 with world class play by Chelsea attackers. The defeat dropped the Gunners to fourth place in the Premier League, seven points behind leaders Chelsea but with a game in hand.

Jack, Josh and Louis

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Mo Farah Falls During New York Half-Marathon

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah fell during the race after being tripped at the six-mile mark, allowing eventual winner Geoffrey Mutai to break clear. Mo went on to finish second. He was practising for the London marathon next month.

Cram who once held the world record for 1500 told the BBC that it wasn't how he wanted to feel and the headlines were very dramatic but it's no big deal.

Mo has been training in Iten Kenya. So the trip to New York, was massive change of temperature, “it was much colder than anyone would have been expecting for the middle of March, It would have united against him," said the 53-year-old Cram.

Before the race Mo said “I’m targeting my own British half marathon record” with was 61 minutes.
Mo will attempt to transfer his ability to the road when he races over 26.2 miles for the first time on 13 April.

Louis, Jack and Josh

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Debates Over Format for New European Cup

The new European Cup will be set up and run by a Switzerland company instead of the ERC.
English Premiership clubs withdrew from ERC in June 2012, and have supported changes to the present tournament, the Heineken Cup.

As part of the new structure, teams from England, France, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy will be represented on a board, an independent chairman - will be in charge of commercial affairs.

The main cup competition will involve 20 teams rather than 24, with six qualifying from the Aviva Premiership, six from the French Top 14 and seven from the Pro12.

At least one team from each of the Pro12 countries - Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy - will be guaranteed a place in the tournament, while the remaining spot will go to the winner of a play-off between the seventh-place teams in England and France.

Josh, Jack and Louis

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England Winger Jack Nowell Suffers Shoulder Injury

The 20-year-old was hurt on his return to the Exeter after the Six Nations. He is set to miss the match against Gloucester on Saturday.

"We're having some scans and some work done on his shoulder just to assess the damage," Exeter head coach Rob Baxter.

Nowell earned his first cap in the Six Nations loss to France and started all five of their matches in the tournament.

"Obviously we're hoping it's not too serious. Nothing particularly has shown up yet but it looks a doubt that he'll be fit for this weekend," Baxter said.

"We haven't found any muscle tears or whatever yet, but he has to have another set of scans to assess fully what's going on around his shoulder and neck.

"We've got a week off next week, and by the time we get to the end of next week we'll know exactly where we are with him."

Josh, Jack and Louis

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Blundell's in 1989, 25 Years Ago

Interview with Mr Shrimpton

We asked Mr Shrimpton, one of our English teachers, some questions about Blundell’s and how it has changed from 25 years ago. We have asked a few other teachers: Mr Barlow, Mr Goodwin, Mr Rivett, Mr Deighton-Gibson and Mr Samson about the school.

Calendars@ 1989 and 2014The most interesting fact they mentioned was that 25 years ago, very few girls were in school and as time passed girls have been introduced. There were also very few female teachers in school at the time. Blundell’s was a senior school 25 years ago, with no prep school.

There was also a difference in the campus, for instance the Prep School was the San and School House was only for boarders. Also Gorton House and North Close were boy houses and it was only in 1989 they changed to girl houses.

The Blundellian has changed a considerable amount since 1989. Firstly, there were more poems and extracts the students had written and had published in 1989. At the present moment, artwork is published in to a particular section of the magazine, however back then, artwork was put in various places. There were less photographs than there are now. There were advertisements in the 1989 Blundellian of nearby hotels,
CCF was a bit different, instead of having just the army, they had the RAF and Navy sections. They all had different exercises and tasks to complete.

Mr Barlow in 1989     Mr Goodwin in 1989

Interview with Mr Rivett

Mr Rivett our renowned maths teacher has been with us for over 25 years and we have asked him some questions about the year of 1989.

We asked ‘How much has Blundell’s changed in the space of 25 years?’He came back with…‘There have been huge changes to Blundell’s over the years in particular the introduction of girls into year 9 to 11. And the introduction of School House. It is a far more civilised school than it was 25 years ago. The introduction of the new Westlake. The prep school taking over a day house. Lots and lots of changes.’

Over all the years he has always taught Mathematics (and Further Mathematics) but in his early years Mr Rivett taught a bit of RS to help out that department.

‘All year groups are special and each has its own challenge. I have always tried to do my best with whomever is in front of me.’

One of Mr Rivett’s many favourite events was coaching the Under 15 rugby team that beat Sherborne…that was good. There have been many plays he has enjoyed and the school fete was always entertaining.
It was round about 1989 that GCSE were introduced by the government and they had coursework in Mathematics (which he thought was great fun).

‘Mathematics can be a challenge to all age groups…I have always tried to do my best!’

Mr Deighton-Gibson and Mr Barwell in 1989     Mr Pilbeam in 1989

Interview with Mr Olive

CCF in 1989

Mr Olive mentioned the CCF in his interview so we did some research using Old Blundellians from Mr Sampson.

Helicopter visit

On 16th February a Sea King from RNAS Culdrose visited Blundell’s to take the RN section up for a flight.
Before they went up in the helicopter, they had to be briefed about the procedures, they also had to wear helmets at the time.

After the safety brief and they had their helmets on they were finally ready to go up to the sky. After about 15 minutes they came back down after they had a look around.

Witheridge Moor

It was a very cold and rainy day, but they obviously were having a fantastic time as its CCF! After being taught how to do army crawl they were given instructions on where to go they eventually set off. The road crossing outside Big School in 1989Their target was to get to a tree, soon they found there were many trees in this area, then they realised they were at the wrong ones! Eventually they found the correct tree.

They also had to do an exercise called “The Nuclear Bomb”. In this exercise they had to be split up into two groups. The nuclear bomb was a canister, a group had to place it under a bridge where the river was flowing. The other group was allowed to be 50 metres away from the bridge but not allowed to approach it. They had to get the canister from the other groups by any means, as long as they did not hurt anybody.

There was a third section which was an intelligence section. The day started with falling in a pond full of slimy frog spawn. Then they marched down the road, then they dived into a muddy stream on the side of the road. The scouts were sent into the woods either the side of the road, they laid in the muddy stream for ages, until they were ushered into the wood. After this they had to start their task. The task was to get to the command centre and then keep a look out which they all did. Only one of the Platoon was captured and when he got tied he used his initiative to un-tie his ropes with a butterfly knife.

Keira, Emily, Scarlett and Issy

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The Russell

For many the most dreaded day of the school year, for others a day of victory and eager anticipation.

Started in 1879 The Russell has been a tradition throughout Blundell’s School history and is still going strong after 133 races.

The course, for the seniors consists of 6 gruelling miles, whilst the juniors compete over a “meagre” 4 miles. Last year’s senior race got underway with two competitors set to fight it out for the title. They were both neck and neck in the training and it was set to be a great race between Ollie and Jack.

“The actual race was tougher than training because of the competitive nature” said Ollie. “My tactics were to stay with Jack and hopefully get him on the sprint finish, when I crossed the line first it was just a feeling of complete elation because I had worked so hard and even vomited whilst on the canal.”

The first girl to cross the line in the junior race was Zara who also had a rival in Tabb. “My main rival was Tabby. She was away for most of the practice runs and I knew that we were about the same speed. Not running against her in some of the practices made me more determined to win because I had run all of the practice races.”

As a preview for this year’s Russell we asked the winners a few questions.

Zara, first girl back

What was tougher, the training or the actual race?
I found that the race was tougher because I was put to the test running against Tabby and I was very determined to get a win against her.

Who was your main competitor/rival?
My main rival was Tabby. She was away for most of the practice runs and I knew that we were about the same speed. Not running against her in some of the practices made me more determined to win because I had run all of the practice races.

If there were any what were your tactics for the race?
I knew that Tabby had a quicker start than me. However, when she was a reachable distance I knew that I could overtake her. Towards the end of the race I would pick a point and run as fast as I could to it and keep doing that.

What was the feeling like when you crossed the line?
When I crossed the line I was so happy, I never thought that I could actually beat her. However, I was told that I went the wrong way in the last field. Luckily for me I just did the other two sides of the field. It was a panicking moment when you’re told you cheated but you actually didn’t. I was just thinking to myself before I was told I ran exactly the same amount as everyone else and that I ran my best race.

Were there any moments in the race where you felt you couldn’t carry on?
I knew the area quite well where we ran so I knew where I was which helped me. Running along the last stretch of road was the worst bit for me...

Olly, Senior winner

What was tougher, the training or the actual race?
The actual race because of its competitive nature.

Who was your main competitor/rival?
Jack / OH

If there were any, what were your tactics for the race?
Stick with my opponent then take them on the sprint finish.

What was the feeling like when you crossed the line?
Elation, because I won.

Were there any moments in the race where you felt you couldn’t carry on?
Along the canal on the way back to school, I did vomit but I had to carry on to maintain my lead.

Sam, Junior winner

What was tougher, the training or the actual race?
Definitely the training.

Who was your main competitor/rival?
Jack, who was in year seven at the time. He is now in year eight.

If there were any what were your tactics for the race?
My only tactics were just to keep running.

What was the feeling like when you crossed the line?

Were there any moments in the race where you felt you couldn’t carry on?
I accidently went the wrong side of a flag, and ended up running through the muddiest part of the field. Other than that, no.

So what will happen this year? Nobody knows and that is the beauty of the Russell run.

Greg, Byron, Victor and Jim

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