Category Archives: Blogging

Shelter Scotland ~ How It Helps by Sarah, Erin and Ashlyn

We are just about to begin studying the play Stone Cold by Robert Swindells. This play  deals with the very serious issue of homelessness. We had to chose an aspect of this issue to research. We chose to find out about Shelter campaigns to combat homelessness.

The Shelter Organisation

Shelter Scotland was founded in 1968 and it is an organisation that helps people keep or get affordable and safe homes. Shelter Scotland tells us that every 18 minutes a household in Scotland becomes homeless. This has caused 3250 homeless families to begin living in temporary homes. The organisation also lets us know that shockingly in 1 year there has been an increase in rough sleeping by a huge 10%.

What Can We Do To Help

Shelter Scotland tells us what we can do to help fix homelessness. They tell us that there should be safe and affordable homes for everyone, ensuring help is available for everyone, So they can find or keep the one they are currently staying in. Shelter also ensure that there is a safety net for housing so that if someone did happen to lose their home they wouldn’t be alone and could get help.

How They Help

Shelter Scotland helps these serious issues by organising campaigns and fundraising events. What they do to fundraise is bake sales and gala balls and more. They also have shops you can go inside. You can also volunteer, donate any items that you do not need and you can also donate money to any of the 40 shops all over Scotland. One thing they haven’t yet don’t but are looking to start is making renting fit an fair for all.

Conclusion 

Overall we think that homelessness is not fair and homes need to be fit and fair for all. We need to do something and Shelter already do a great job of that but we need to help as well. As Charles Dickens said:

Charles Dickens by Jeremiah Gurney [Public domain]

 

 

 

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
Charles Dickens

 

 

 

And if everyone helps someone, then everyone will be helped.

For our sources we used and

Shelter (2019). Homelessness [online]. Available from: https://www.shelter.org.uk//get_advice/advice_topics/homelessness [Accessed 29 Jan 2019].

Good Reads (2019). Helping others quotes [online]. Available from: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/helping-others [Accessed 26 Feb 2019].

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Celebrities Sleeping Rough by Dylan and Jayden

We are just about to study the play Stone Cold by Robert Swindells. This play deals with the serious topic of homelessness. We were asked to research an aspect of this theme for our blog. We chose celebrities sleeping rough.

Homeless Paris Eric Pouhier (cropped) [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5]

Josh Little

Josh Little is the founder of Sleep In The Park. His aim was to try to raise awareness about homelessness.

Sleep In The Park

The event took place in Glasgow in 2018. It was attended by over 9,000 people including members of the public, celebrities and homeless people. It was the largest ever public sleep-out with 9,300 to be exact.

Famous people who were there

Singers like Liam Gallagher sang traditional Scottish songs. The band Deacon Blue were also there and performed in front of the crowd. John Cleese is a story teller and he told a story about homelessness which inspired many people. Nicola Sturgeon also attended the event and was serving food to people. Another famous person who was at the event was Sir Bob Geldof who is the founder of Live Aid.

Sir Bob Geldof by Siebbi {Licence: CC BY 3.0]

 

“The event has the potential to be a game changer in tackling the problem and I’m right behind it, even if a little nervous to brave a cold Scottish winters night. I know Scotland to be a compassionate nation and I would implore you to get involved.”
Sir Bob Geldof

 

Centre Point

The second charity is Centre Point. They also had a sleep-out in 2018. Hundreds of people slept in a tent for one night to raise awareness and money for homeless people. Centre Point have held many different events apart from the sleep-out. Some of these include marathons or runs, karaoke. They also give presents to homeless people for Christmas.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we have learned a lot about homelessness. We didn’t realise just how much of an issue it is and we feel we have learned many things that we did not know before.

Sources

Centre Point (2019). Sleep out [online]. Available from: https://centrepoint.org.uk/get-involved/sleep-out/. [Accessed 15/2/19].

BBC (2019). Celebrities facing up to life on the street. [online]. Online. Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/…/the-celebrities-facing-up-to-life-on-the-street [Accessed 15/2/19].

 

 

 

Witchcraft in Scotland by Zara and Donatha

Introduction

The topic we have chosen is witchcraft in Scotland. We have chosen this topic because we read a famous series called ‘Harry Potter.’ written by J.K. Rowling We chose this topic because the novel is all about magic and witchcraft, therefore we decided to base our topic on witchcraft in Scotland. We were curious and excited to find out the history of witches in Scotland.

The Swimming Test

The swimming test was one of the ways of finding out whether a witch was guilty or innocent. This technique was not really used in Scotland (where it was called ‘Trial by Douking’) that much but it was used in a lot in other countries. It was rare for it to be done in Scotland but they still used it. The way this technique worked was that they would throw a witch in the lake or sea. If the witch floated, they were guilty; if the witch drowned, they were innocent. Lots of them drowned near the Nor’loch in Edinburgh.

How They Were Killed

Bonfire in Dartmouth by Moli Luo [Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0]

In Scotland, most ‘witches’ died differently. One way they were killed was that they would be strangled at the stake, which is a wooden platform, and once they were dead, they would burn the dead bodies in a bonfire. Another way they died was that they would be hanged till death. They would be burned too. Some were even imprisoned meaning they were locked up until death.

How Many Witches Were Killed

Back in the 16th and 17th century, up to 3000 to 5000 women were accused of being witches in Scotland. 32% of ‘witches’ came from the Lothians, 14% came from Strathclyde and 12% came from Fife. Although witches created witchcraft they were not poor.

Kinds Of Tortures

Although witches were killed they were also tortured before death. They were mostly physically tortured. The most common one was lack of sleep meaning they would not let them sleep which leads to hallucination.

Witch burning bu Robert Benner [Licence: CC BY 2.0]

Conclusion

Overall, we think that witches were important to people in the past. As of today, we think that witches might still exist. This topic was interesting to investigate and experience. We learned a lot of things about the history of Scotland

Mullen, Kerry (2013) The witch reports: torturing and executing in Scotland [online].  Available from:  https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/incoming/witches-were-executed-tortured-scotland-1749092 [accessed 30th November 2018].

Goodacre, Julian, Martin, Lauren, Yeoman, Louise and Brewster, Kaye (2003). Introduction to Scottish witchcraft [online]. Available at: http://www.shca.ed.ac.uk/Research/witches/introduction.html [accessed 5th December 2018].

Royal-Mile.com (no date). The Nor’ Loch [online]. Available at: http://www.royal-mile.com/history/nor-loch.html [accessed 6th December 2018].

The history of Scottish mythical creatures by Klaudia and Demi

Introduction

The topic we chose is the history of Scottish magical creatures. We based this topic on the “Harry Potter” novels by J.K. Rowling because of the way the book describes everything in perfect detail and leaves you wanting to read more. These novels are full of magical creatures and fantasy things. Due to the variety of magical creatures we are going to focus on the ones that originate from Scotland.

Unicorns

Unicorns are an ancient myth from India and Mesopotamia. There have been legends and myths about sightings of them for thousands of years.

Badge of the Unicorn Pursuivant by Sodacan [Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0]

They were first introduced to Scotland when James VI King of Scots made it the Scottish Coat of Arms. It was much more powerful than England’s who at the time were Scotland’s biggest enemy.

Unicorns look identical to horses but with a horn that can be up to 3 ft long on its forehead. They have lots of different powers: one can mimic the sound of a human’s voice, another’s skin cant be pierced and some even have the ability to morph into anything.

Nessie

The first sighting of The Loch Ness Monster (Nessie) was in 565AD when she attacked a royal servant and St. Columba fished her back into the depths of the loch.

Nessie by Fornax [Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0]

She is often shown with green skin or on cartoons/television shows she is painted purple and a lot of people seem to debate whether any or all of these representations are correct.

This large ferocious sea monster is apparently the world’s most famous kelpie known to exist. 

Kelpies

Kelpie in a fountain by Thomas Nugent [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]

Kelpies are dangerous horses that appear always dripping wet. They will only appear next to rivers or streams and that is because they drag humans into the water to drown them. Kelpies often get mixed up with “Water horses” but they are two different things. They get mixed up often because “Water horses” drag humans into water like Kelpies but they don’t drag humans into rivers or streams, they drag humans into deep waters. Kelpies are much less dangerous than “Water horses.” Kelpies also have magical powers that they use. The most famous Kelpie is Nessie. Nearly every stream, river and lake has a Kelpie legend in Scotland. Kelpies are also very strong creatures, they have the strength of 10 normal horses.

Selfie by Carolyn Emetic [Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0]

Selkies

Selkies are also known as “seal folk.” Selkies are mythological creatures. They change from seals to human beings by shedding their skin and they are described as incredibly beautiful. Selkies are also both predators and prey and they can be men or women. They originate in Scotland. Selkies are not dangerous creatures.

 

 

 

Faeries

Faeries are Scottish dangerous creatures. They are very small creatures but they also are not friendly. Back in 19th century it was dangerous to even talk about them. When people talk about them they had special nicknames like “little people” or “hidden people”. There are guid faeries (the good or blessed court) also the wicked witches (the bad faeries) and a lot more. The faeries can appear and disappear and they are about 18 inches tall so they are very small. The faeries also steal babies.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading our blog and we hope you learned from us. We have learned so much from doing the research. Our favourite thing from this was learning about the faeries. We hope you enjoyed it.

Sources

Scotland.com (1995-2018). Scottish folklore [online]. Available at:  https://www.scotland.com/culture/literature/folklore/. [Accessed 3rd December 2018]

Fleming, M. (2002). Not of this world. Edinburgh: Mercat

Real mermaids (2018). Selkie-myths and legends [online]. Available at http://www.realmermaids.net/mermaid-legends/selkie/. [Accessed 5th December 2018].

Immune System Diseases by Niamh and Katie

Introduction

We got the idea to research this topic from the book ‘Everything Everything’  by Nicola Yoon because we were interested in the disease that the main character suffers from and how drastically it affects her life. The disease affects the immune system so we are going to talk about that first.

Immune System

The human body’s immune system contains many different cells which are able to protect the body from viruses and harmful bacteria. Some of these germ fighting cells are: Phagocytes, cells that protect the body by absorbing harmful bacteria; lymphocytes, a form of white blood cell and an Antigen, a toxin or other foreign substance which induces an immune response in the body.

SCID

The disease SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency) is a rare collection of unusual disorders which are passed through families this cause mutations in someone’s genetics. Due to this, serious problems occur in the human body’s immune system. This means the body is unable to fight off harmful bacteria that can cause infection.

Effects

SCID has lots of different effects which can be life threatening. It also has a huge effect on the person’s social life. The main problem caused by SCID is vulnerability to infections in the immune system and body and some of these infections can be a threat to the person’s life. As a result of this risk, people suffering with SCID tend not to leave their homes and receive a lot of special care; this is often referred to as ‘living in a bubble’.

Mental Health

Living with SCID is a fairly lonely life, especially if the person has very little family. This is because it is a risk for them to leave their home as it could have a impact on their well-being. This type of isolation from the world and society could cause serious cases of depression, bad social skills and social awkwardness. This just adds to the hardships of living with SCID.

The Boy in The Bubble

David Vetter and John Montgomery by Michelle Goebel [Public domain]

A young boy from Texas, named David Vetter, who had SCID from birth, was living in a plastic bubble. He was known as the bubble boy or boy in the bubble. He died at the age of twelve and he lived in his own little bubble all his life. David was six when he took his first step outside the bubble. He died of a cancer that begins in infection-fighting cells of the immune system – this is called Lymphoma.

Conclusion

From researching this we have learned the risks and effects of SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency) and how the immune system works. We have enjoyed doing research for this subject and hope that cures and medication will be found for SCID.

NHS Great Ormond Street Hospital (2018). Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) [online]. Available from: https://www.gosh.nhs.uk/conditions-and-treatments/conditions-we-treat/severe-combined-immunodeficiency-scid. Accessed 5th December 2018.

CBS News (2018). “Bubble Boy” 40 years later: Look back at heartbreaking case [online]. Available from: https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/bubble-boy-40-years-later-look-back-at-heartbreaking-case/. Accessed 7th December 2018.

Gribbin, J., (2002). Killer diseases. London: Dorling Kindersley.

Yoon, Nicola (2017). Everything, everything. London: Corgi Children’s.

 

 

Predators by Roman and Connor

Introduction

We chose predators as our subject for our blog because we have been studying predators and prey in our Biology class and we had read some books about what predators do and what they eat. The book we based our blog on was ‘The Children’s Encyclopedia  of Animals.’

Where do they live?

Predators can be found on any continents of the world. Hot desert heat, cold polar climates, rainforests, jungles, valleys, oceans and lakes. Predators are found in really every habitat known to us.

Vertebrate Predators

Animals with an internal skeleton made of bone are called vertebrates. This includes mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and fish. Although vertebrates represent only a very small percentage of all animals, their size and mobility often allow them to dominate their environment .

Endangered Predators

Even though predators are animals that eat other animals and are fierce, some are about to become extinct like the Cross River Gorilla. There are lots of other predators that are also going extinct like:

  • Jaran Rhino
  • Malayan Tiger
  • The Mountain Gorilla
  • The Whale Shark

What They Do

Predators are animals which hunt or eat other animals. Hawks, wolves, lions and bears are all predators. They need the flesh of other animals to survive. Predators live all over the world. Lots of predators hunt in teams like:

  • Lions
  • Wolves
  • Hyenas
  • Buffalo

Top 5 predators

There are lots of predators in the world but these predators are by far the most dangerous. Most of these predators could easily kill their prey. Here are some of these animals:

  • Tarantula
  • Black Mamba
  • Piranha
  • Grey Wolf
  • Komodo Dragon

Small and Large Predators

Many small predators belong to the weasel family such as weasels, skunks, badgers, stoats and otters. The largest and fiercest animal in the world is the Killer Whale. The Killer Whale is part of the dolphin family and they weigh about 5500kg.

Orca by NOAA [Public domain]

Desert Predators

In the desert there is a lot of predators who are very competitive and battle for food:

  • Rattle Snakes
  • Lions
  • Elephants

Two animals that are perfect examples of predators battling for food is the Desert Coyote and the Sidewind Rattle Snake. They fight over food like the pocket mouse and also water.

Antarctic Predators

There are lots of predators in the Antarctic. Some of these predators live in the water and some on ice. Here is an example of some Antarctic predators:

  • Earless Seal
  • Crabeater Seal
  • Killer whale
  • Penguin

Rainforest Predator

It is hard to live in the rainforest because of the amount of rain. Here are some of these predators:

A good example of a predator in the rainforest is a Green Anaconda which feeds on large rodents and other small animals which it can hunt and eat.

Conclusion

We have learned about what predators do and where they live in the world. We also learned about what they eat and what are the most dangerous predators on earth. We enjoyed researching this a lot. Thank you for reading our blog which we hoped you have enjoyed.

BBC (2014), GCSE Bitsize: Interdependence [online]. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/ocr_gateway/understanding_environment/interdependencerev2.shtml [accessed 5th December 2018].

Feller, Walter (no date). Digital desert: predators [online]. Available at: http://digital-desert.com/wildlife/predators.html [accessed 7th December 2018].

Butler, Rhett (2015). Rainforests [online]. Available at: https://rainforests.mongabay.com/ [accessed 4th December 2018].

Distribution of Wealth by Matthew and Joe

In our English class we were given the task of writing a blog about a topic of our choosing. We were Inspired to write this blog by reading Yanis Varoufakis’ book Talking to My Daughter About the Economy. This book talks a lot about economic wealth and this gave us the idea to write about how money is distributed among countries in the world.

Countries of the world have many ways of making money. There are factories to employ workers where they make goods and make use of natural resources in their locality. But inevitably some countries are richer than others. Nations such as the UK and USA have high employment rates and decent salaries due to their industries and trade compared to countries south of the equator which are in a developing state. The UK is considerably more wealthy.

Why are we richer ?

There are many reasons for this economic difference, one being the history of individual countries. What this means is that throughout history some nations have captured, held and plundered other nations and sold their goods across the world, building industries and  eventually developing education in their home nations which has had great significant impact on the world’s economy.

Another reason is that different countries have more readily available resources (such as timber and oil) which are extremely valuable in today’s market. Many governments profit well from sales of these through tax.

A pumpjack in Texas by Flcelloguy [Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0]

Finally  we will consider different wages in diverse societies within various countries.  People in different nations have a stark difference with others and this is because countries that have been poor for the majority of their existence have driven the wages of their inhabitants way down. This has left an opportunity for big corporations to move production of their goods to these countries in order to capitalise on the unfortunate situation the people find themselves in. However this has had a bad effect on the economic stance of the countries where the work originated broadening the gap between the ordinary people and the wealthy in a way that has been destructive to many trades and communities because of the decrease in work availability .

This is the end of our blog. We hope that we have outlined some of the reasons for the economic differences in our world and that in reading this you will recognize them. Thank you for reading we hoped you enjoyed our blog.

 

Sources

Varoufakis, Y.V, (2017). Talking to my daughter about the economy, London: Vintage Publishing

Britannica,E.B., (2013). Distribution of wealth and income [online], Available from: https://www.britannica.com/topic/distribution-of-wealth-and-income  [accessed 06 December 2018]

Share, S.S. (2016). Difference between rich and poor countries [online], Available from: https://www.slideshare.net/DeepakKarunakaran/differene-between-rich-and-poor-countries  [accessed 06 December 2018]

Puss in Boots by Marcin

In English class we talked about different traditional stories. We decided to watch Shrek to see the different traditional fairy tale characters. We chose  characters to research and my character  is Puss in Boots.

The story of Puss in Boots

A miller had three sons. Then the miller dies. All three sons inherit different things. The oldest son inherits a mill. The middle son inherits mules. The youngest son inherits a cat. The cat wants to make his master rich.  The cat asks for a hat and boots and a sword.

The cat catches rabbits and partridges and gives them to the king. The cat says they are a present from the Marquis of Carabas.  The cat tricks the king into believing that the master is rich so that he can marry the king’s daughter. A coach takes the royals home and the cat goes ahead in front the carriage and tells the people of the town that his master owns the land.

Puss in Boots mascot at Australian premiere, 2011 by Eva Rinaldi [Licence: CC-by-SA-2.0.]

The cat then meets an ogre that has the power to change himself into different  animals. At the end of the story the cat eats the ogre. The carriage arrives at the castle and finally the son gets married to the king’s daughter.

The story was published by French writer Charles Perrault in 1697.

Shrek and Puss in Boots

When Puss in Boots was in Shrek he was a bit different. He is angry, likes fighting and he pretends to be sad with big eyes so he can attack!

 

 

 

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puss_in_Boots                https://www.newark.rutgers.edu/events/true-history-puss-boots

 

Ogres by Hayden

In  English we have been watching Shrek The Movie. We have chosen to study different  fairy characters.  I am going to research  Ogres. Ogres are ugly. In the film, Shrek, the Ogre is the hero.

Ogres normally eat humans especially children. They are very strong and never stop eating. Ogres tend not to live beyond 30 years. Adult Ogres are normally 9 to 10 feet tall. They weigh between 600 to 650 pounds. There colour is usually dull yellow to dull brown. They usually wear fur and animal hide (leather). They often feature in folklore and mythology. Most of the movie that an Ogre is in are made up stories.

Likeness of Shrek by Carol M. Highsmith [Public domain]

Sources

Spelljammer Wiki. Ogre. Available from http://spelljammer.wikia.com/wiki/Ogre, [online]. Accessed 19th September 2018.

Sir Lancelot by Dylan

In English we have been watching Shrek. Each of us have been researching a fairy tale character. I have been researching Sir Lancelot. He was a famous English knight. He was the sidekick of King Arthur. He was a Knight of the Round Table and he was nicknamed Sir Lancelot of the Lake. He was the only man known to have defeated King Arthur in sword fighting. He searched for the Holy Grail. He was the father of Sir Galahad who became the greatest knight in all of Camelot. He was well respected and trusted but this changed when he fell in love with Arthur’s queen Guinevere. This relationship destroyed the kingdom of King Arthur. Guinevere was punished for this – she was almost burned at the stake before she was rescued.

Sir Lancelot saves Guinevere by Lancelot Speed [Public domain]

There have been lots of films made about the Knights of the Round Table. Here is a video about Sir Lancelot.

Here are a number of films that have Sir Lancelot in them:

  • Night at the Museum
  • Shrek 3
  • Arthur and Lancelot
  • Prince Australian
  • King Arthur
  • The Sword in the Stone
  • Camelot
  • First Knight
  • Knights of the Round Table

I think this was a good source in the future. So if I need to do more studying in the future I will know better what to do.

SOURCES

Currin, Nathan (2001-2009). Sir Lancelot Du Lac (Launcelot) [online]. Available from:  http://www.kingarthursknights.com/knights/launcelot.asp. [Accessed 4th September 2018]

IMDB (2018). Most popular Sir Lancelot du Lac titles [online]. Available from: https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword?keywords=sir-lancelot-du-lac-character. [Accessed 4th September 2018].