Students from Wycombe High School will be making the news for real on 10 March 2016 as they take part in BBC News School Report. We aim to publish the news by 1600 GMT on News Day, so please save this page as a favourite and return to it later.
Using her skills as an intrepid reporter, Rebecca managed to persuade local chef Tom Kerridge into an interview. Watch the final edit here: goo.gl/1GWrZM
We're ready to go in our News Room - make sure you return for updates!
Charlotte's created this infographic about our pupils' views on politics.
Full story coming soon...
Get out the way politics, I’m taking a selfie!
It seems that all we hear about politics is the ugly side; the prejudice that exists within the system, and a clear separation between those in power and everyone else.
Recently world politics is seen as ‘a bit of a mess’ and we never seem able to escape the headlines, plaguing us with daily outrages with politics; whether this is with Britain remaining in the EU or Donald Trump’s new policies.
As a nation deeply involved in world politics, it’s worrying that our generation have little to no interest in the government’s affairs or the general ruling of our country.
But who cares about politics? The majority of people under 18 think that its ‘boring’ and that it’s all slightly ‘pretentious’, with nearly 40% of girls in our school claiming that ‘it isn’t relative to our lives.’
Many young people feel as though their opinion ‘isn’t valued’ and that a single voice will have no influence or importance within the political community. A recent questionnaire suggests that 80% of students, when they are over the age of 18, will vote in the general election. However, the remaining 20% feel discouraged about voting as they feel that their vote ‘will not make a difference’.
A conversation with a group of girls below the voting age highlighted some of the key issues of how politics is introduced in schools. Some mentioned that when they reached the age of voting they would opt not to as they ‘don’t understand politics’, with one saying that they would have ‘left the UK’ by then.
Even though George Osborne holds one of the most powerful positions in parliament, when we asked, only 27% of secondary school students knew who he was, with no one being able to explain his role in politics or what influence he’s had.
It seems, however, that politics has never been as prominent in our lives as it is today. The recent advancements in the US presidential race has been dominating the news and social media with Donald Trump’s hair being more important than any of his policies. His views have caused heated debates, even with our internal debating society posing whether Kanye West would make a better president than him.
It seems rather unclear what the impact our generation will have on future politics, but it is certain that more exposure is needed. We need to teach politics like we teach history or geography or start debates about how we can change politics in order for it to positively impact our lives.
Written by Shirin, Issy and Charlotte
The age limit for male footballers to play with females has now been raised to under 18s in the UK. As recently as the 2010/11 season, FA rules allowed only girls of primary school age (under-11s) to play football with boys. The FA raised the age group from under-13s for the following season, before one-year increases for each of the following seasons.
However, after I asked an anonymous sports enthusiast, they said ‘I think that all girls should be able to play sport with who they want to as a professional.’ This raises the question ‘Why don’t women play with men in every sport?’
Equality is still a current problem in the UK, with men usually being put before women. For example, it was only recently that Arsenal Ladies got their own training grounds, rather than having to fit their training schedule around the men’s.
More example is that there was only one tab for women’s football on a broadcaster’s website, and only 3 female football stories on another.
In the UK, there are only 4 leagues which are occasionally broadcasted for women – the same amount as male leagues in England, which are televised a lot more than female games are.
However, plenty could be helped by schools encouraging sports. At Wycombe High School, there is 2 hours of P.E., along with several lunchtime clubs. If all schools increase the amount of P.E., this could engage the next generation of sports women and maybe even tackle the rising obesity problem.
At Wycombe High School, we have been looking into the world of sport, and how we can encourage more girls to participate in a variety of activities. As sports enthusiasts ourselves, Hannah and I have tried to figure out what puts girls off taking part in sports, and how we can change that. We have interviewed girls around our school, trying to find an insight to other’s views. We also composed a video of our coaches, pupils and ourselves playing our favourite sports. Finally, we took a look at recent sporting news and women in sport.
Facts and figures
In the UK, 94% of children aged 11-14 participate in sport and 15.74 million people aged 16 years and over in England played sport at least once a week. Unfortunately, only 1 in 10 girls do enough exercise to stay fit and healthy. In order to change this we shall explore why more boys participate in sport, how female sporting stars are presented in the media and how we can encourage girls to start a sport. Also, we shall look at the difference in salary and pay for tennis and other sports between women and men.
Why do less girls like sport than boys?
From the age of 10 many girls start to reduce the amount of time spent playing sport because of increased body consciousness, peer pressure to be socially accepted and less direct parental involvement and support. Also, by the age of 15, exams are increasing so there is more pressure to do well at school. Consequently, there is less free time to socialise and do sport. With “pressure” from social media to look a certain way, many girls avoid sport because they end up looking sweaty and red-faced.
After asking female students in Years 7-10, we found that the older students were more opposed to the idea of doing sport. One student in Year 8 referred to sport and exercise in general as “useless” whilst a Year 7 student believed that sport was “essential” to her way of life. These different views support the idea that only 15% of 16 year girls take part in sports. In a study, seventy-eight per cent of boys said they were sporty compared with just 61% of girls.
Does sexism apply to even the most successful of sportswomen?
Comparing famous tennis players, Serena Williams earns USD 67.397,00 per day and Novak Djokovic earns USD 132.054,00 daily. Both these players are currently world number 1 but receive a different salary. This seems unfair as it suggests that men are worth USD 70,000 more.
How can we change this approach to sport?
We think that sport should be more inventive, and offer a variety of games and activities that would interest all different personalities as we grow up and become more aware of our own likes and dislikes. Our school offers sports such as fencing, Zumba, softball, squash, ultimate Frisbee, horse riding and many more, with the aim to entice different personalities into taking part. The idea works well, girls who are not interested in sports like netball and athletics, have managed to find what they enjoy. We think leisure centres, schools and clubs should be more daring and unusual in the activities they provide, putting a new spin on the world of sport to suit different characteristics.
We interviewed Jess, Year 11, who has been dancing since she was 4 years old, and has taken part in many successful competitions such as ‘Udance’, ‘Refresh’, ‘Activate’ and ‘Dance Challenge’. We asked her about how we can encourage girls to participate in dance.
She said, ‘By raising the awareness of the variety of different options available in the world of dance could encourage increased participation in dance, or providing well known dance role models to the younger generations which could inspire them to have a go.’
Hannah also interviewed me, she asked me many questions and we came to the surprising fact that all the members of my tennis squad are boys. This does not bother me, although it is an interesting matter. Although tennis is a technical and relatively ‘masculine’ sport, this shouldn’t stop girls from playing. I think we should promote tennis and other sports like this one to girls and women by emphasising the importance of feminine players, hoping to increase levels of determination within women.
We spoke to a budding athlete who is HIPAC hockey and county athletics. She started hockey because of family connections. Jemima (this player) enjoys the social aspect of team sports and hopes to pursue it further in life. As Wycombe High School is planning to get two AstroTurf hockey pitches, this will promote more girls to engage in hockey and improve Jemima’s ability. The introduction of this hockey pitch opens up possibilities for all students to start a new sport and promotes all students to contribute to physical activities.
Quick points to devise a plan for encouragement
Public launch events, where women can meet coaches and see activity sessions
Personal follow-up from coaches afterwards
Encouraging existing participants to bring a friend
Promotion across communities, using a variety of media
Forging links with partnership organisations to reach women from a range of backgrounds
Providing easy-to-access information about what sessions entail
Reassuring women that most others will also be beginners, and that you don't have to be in shape to enjoy sport.
Inspirational women in sport
Serena Williams Jessica Ennis-Hill
Martina Navratilova Rebecca Adlington
Victoria Pendleton Kate Richardson-Walsh
In this article we will be hearing the opinion of student and staff and finding out what skills, qualities and benefits music has.
What is the Baillie Murphy?
The Baillie Murphy is Wycombe High School’s annual music festival; a showcase for all of the musical talent that is harboured here. There are various classes for different instruments and age, from Junior Vocals to Senior Woodwind, there is an opportunity for anyone to perform.
Beth playing in the Junior Piano final
It spans over the next two days, ending with the always hilarious house choir competition, in which the houses go head to head performing various fun songs. Think of it as the school’s musical ‘sports day’; days dedicated to the performing and adjudicating of high standard music. But what drives these young individuals to take part in such an event?
Integration of music in school life
Music is often seen as a sub-academic subject, but why? Music at Wycombe High, though, is a big part of school life, what with the opening of the new state of the art music block. Physics teacher Peter Jasper said ‘Music is a key subject that everybody should learn’. Music in fact has lots of links to other subjects, and helps develop lots of skills.
The number of participants in the Baillie Murphy speaks for itself, in that many people at our school are dedicated to the subject and it is well integrated into the foundations of Wycombe High School. Hannah Rogers, English teacher at Wycombe High, said ‘…English and Music are both to do with rhythm and poetry…’ which shows how music develops cross-curricular skills and is respected across the school.
What inspires people to play music?
Many people enjoy the social and communal aspects of playing music, Hannah Rogers said that ‘it gives opportunities to join bands or orchestras, which are great social opportunities.’
Music is less of a subject and more a community, which allows people personalities to grow and flourish. On top of that, music provides new talents and a variety of activities. Peter Jasper said ‘I spend so much of my day doing boring teacher-things that it is quite nice to do something completely different and show that I can do things other than do some maths to explain what happens to a spring when you pull it!’.
The Baillie Murphy is a prime example of the community and integrated atmosphere of the music department, with English and Drama teachers in choirs to science teachers conducting orchestras, everyone is smiling clapping and enjoying the day.
What benefit does music have on musician’s life?
Apart from the skills that musicians gain, it opens up a range of opportunities for the students. Hannah Rogers said ‘It’s enjoyable and looks good on a university application’. Music is giving students social and communication skills. Beth, piano finalist, said ‘I was more worried about introducing myself and messing up my words then the actual playing.’
Sophie, violin winner, said ‘The Baillie Murphy is a great chance to practice performing in a relaxed environment, and build confidence’. This well-spoken quote sums up todays festivals. The music department should be proud of their wonderful young musicians.
By Beth and Sophie
‘I do just enjoy being involved in the performance aspect of the music department’
– Mr Jasper, Physics Teacher
In our modern world, where technology dominates nearly everything, people are reading less and less. Instead, they are spending their time on social media, computer games and lots of other things.
It is a fact that 7-16 year olds on average spend 3 hours a day online. Since it was World Book Day last week, it has made me think about how often teenagers actually read a book so I carried out a survey.
When I conducted my survey on 10 people, 30% of the people I asked thought reading was pointless and only read a book if they were forced to by an adult. However, 70% of the people I asked enjoyed reading very much and said they would always read when they got the opportunity.
The age of the people I asked varied between 12 and 15. The 13-15 year olds all said they rarely ever read. This result doesn’t surprise me and it was what I expected.
On World Book Day, the Year 7s in my school were asked to dress up as their favourite book characters. There were also book-related competitions that they could enter.
A Year 7, Martha, said ‘It was fun dressing up but it didn’t really make me want to read more.’
This clearly shows we need to do more to encourage teenagers to read more often.
Despite the wide range of music artists across the globe, the BRIT awards have demonstrated a huge lack of diversity both racially and musically among the nominees.
The Brit awards is a celebration of talent and hard work, yet only ‘Mainstream’ artists have been shortlisted for numerous awards. Artists, such as Adele, Justin Bieber, Years and Years and James Bay were receiving much more recognition as opposed to other artists like Stormzy, Big Narstie and Laura Mvula. Why are they getting all this publicity?