Tag Archives: 2015 S2 bloggers

How Football Brings People Together by Michael and Ciaran

We have chosen to research how football brings people together because it shows how one game can make people happy. We are going to talk about two tournaments in particular: the Homeless World Cup and the Green Brigade Anti Discrimination tournament. This links to the book’ Divided City’ through the Glasgow City football team and how that brought Joe and Graham together.

The Homeless World Cup started in 2001 to help homeless people get active and to compete for their country. The first two years they were not playing for a trophy but, since 2003, they have been. Over 100,000 people take part each year as players, match officials, coaches and more. 74 countries take part each year. The organisation has 70 national partners. A player has been scouted for a professional team in Spain and made a good living out of it after playing in this tournament. This shows that this tournament could change the lives of homeless people.

In the Homeless World Cup, the winners of a match get three points and the loser gets 0 points. In this sport there must be a winner; the game would go to a sudden death penalty shoot-out and if you win the shoot-out you get two points and if you lose you get one point. The pitches are 27 metres long and 16 metres wide and a size five ball is used.

Homeless World Cup 2007 by maltesen [Licence: CC BY 2.0]

Homeless World Cup 2007 by maltesen [Licence: CC BY 2.0]

In the Homeless World Cup there have been many winners :

  • 2003- Austria;
  • 2004 – Italy;
  • 2005 – Italy;
  • 2006 – Russia;
  • 2007 – Scotland;
  • 2008 – Afghanistan;
  • 2009 – Ukraine;
  • 2010 – Brazil;
  • 2011 – Scotland;
  • 2012 – Chile;
  • 2013 – Brazil;
  • 2014 – Chile;
  • 2015- Mexico.

The Green Brigade set up a tournament for mostly refugees and immigrants. It is held in the Garngad every year. All the money raised goes to local foodbanks to help the refugees and immigrants. The Green Brigade take part in this tournament and lots of people turn up each year. It is a very big tournament in Glasgow as the Green Brigade are very popular for the things they do for homeless people.

In conclusion, the Homeless World Cup and The Green Brigade Anti Discrimination tournament shows us that people come together in football all over the world.  These tournaments help the homeless, refugees and asylum seekers; no matter where they came from or what backgrounds they come from they still come together to play football. 


Green Brigade Anti Discrimination Tournament 2015, http://www.celticnewsnow.com/news/green-brigade-anti-discrimination-tournament-2015/117191/, accessed 14/12/2015        

Homeless World Cup Home Page, https://www.homelessworldcup.org/, accessed 11/12/15



Martin Luther King By Lucy And Kayla

In English we’ve been looking at the book “The Fire Eaters” which is set in the 60s. We have chosen to research Martin Luther King Jr. because he is a huge icon for the Civil Rights movement.

Martin Luther King was born on the 15th of January 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia , USA. He was originally called Michael but his dad re-named him in 1939. He was raised in a Catholic family with brother, Alfrid Daniel Williams King, and sister, Christine King Farris. In 1948 he was ordained as well as marrying Corretta Scott in 1953. Corretta Scott was a black woman and was a fabulous singer. They went on to have four children.

Martin Luther King Jr. Photo by Walter Albertin [Public Domain].

Martin Luther King Jr. Photo by Walter Albertin [Public Domain].

King was invited to the White House to meet President J F Kennedy.

Martin Luther King with Robert Kennedy. Photo by Abi Rowe {Public Domain]

Martin Luther King with Robert Kennedy. Photo by Abi Rowe [Public Domain]

Civil rights became less of a priority for people until King started to protest in 1961 and 1962, targeting Birmingham, Alabama. Both events were unsuccessful and he even got sent to jail for leading the protest. Fire hoses and dogs were set on protesters. He was interviewed on TV catching the attention of millions of people, This made him a prominent figure. He gave the civil rights movement a voice.

Even though huge progress was made, less than a month later whites bombed an all black church in Birmingham. It killed four young girls and caught King’s attention. He spoke at their funeral.

On August 28th 1963 Martin debuted his famous speech “I Have A Dream.” More than 200,000 gathered in Washington and more watched on the TV. He became a symbolic figure for civil rights across the world and gave hope to millions of black Americans and more.

Five years later, Martin Luther King was assassinated on the 4th of April at the age of 39. This shocked millions and only made the fight for rights even tougher without their leader.

Martin Luther King Jr is an inspirational man and changed civil rights forever. He has shown how hard it was in the 60’s and how one act can affect all of the world forever.

“If you can’t fly, then run

If you can’t run, then walk

If you can’t walk, then crawl

But whatever you do,

Keep on moving forward.”

– Martin Luther King Jr

Did Martin Luther King achieve his lifedream? http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/z86tn39,  accessed 20th October 2015

Martin Luther King Jr  1929-1968  By Anita Ganeri (Franklin Watts, 2003)

Fidel Castro by Liam and Reagan

In English we are currently reading a book called ”The Fire Eaters” by David Almond. ”The Fire Eaters” is set in the late summer of 1962. So, in pairs, we chose a topic related to an event that was happening in the 60’s. We have chosen to study Fidel Castro. Here is a bit about him:

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born on the 13th of August 1926 in Biran, Cuba. His parents were named Angel Castro and Lina Ruz Gonzalez. His dad was an immigrant but his mum was born in Cuba. He also had a brother named Raul.

In his early life he liked to read and cook. He attended the University of Havana and got a degree in law. He became a political activist in law school then later became a lawyer.

In 1959 he and his brother Raul attempted to take over the Cuban government, but failed and were sent to jail. He was sentenced to jail for 15 years but was let out after 22 months. He fled to Mexico with his brother and met a man named Guevara who helped Castro and his brother create a small army. Castro, Raul, Che Guevara and his small army went back to Cuba and based themselves in the Cuban mountains. They started a guerrilla war against Batista’s government. They gained lots of support by telling the Cubans that he would  bring back democracy and freedom in Cuba. So Batista left the country and on New Year’s Day 1959 Fidel Castro became the new Prime Minister of Cuba.

Castro made a law that all rent prices would be halved in price because lots of Cubans were homeless. He also provided free health care for everyone. He got rid of all the American companies and started up new businesses. Thousands of people lost employment because of Castro’s ideas.

Fidel Castro. Photo by Marcelo Montecino [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]

Fidel Castro. Photo by Marcelo Montecino [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]

In the 60’s America and Russia were involved in a war. Cuba let Russia place their missiles in Cuba so that it would have been easier for Russia to blow up Cuba therefore America and Cuba were now enemies. This nearly started WW III because President Kennedy, the current leader of America, wasn’t going to accept Russia and Cuba ‘teaming up’ to fight America. He tried many times to overthrow Castro. Russia gave Cuba lots of support by letting them use their machinery. The CIA told JFK it would be easy to overthrow Castro but it wasn’t.

When the Soviet Union fell apart Cuba really struggled to survive on their own. In 1976 Castro became the President of Cuba and would be in power for another 32 years until he gave up power in 2008. Fidel Castro is still alive today and is still living in Cuba. Russia eventually took their missiles out of America.

We chose Fidel Castro because he was a big part of the hostilities which was currently happening in the book we are reading  ‘The Fire Eaters’ and the main character in it ‘Bobby Burns’ is scared in case he would need to fight in this war.

Websites we used for our research were:

Fidel Castro, http://www.ducksters.com/biography/world_leaders/fidel_castro.php, accessed 14/11/15

Fidel Castro biography, http://www.biography.com/people/fidel-castro-9241487, accessed 12/10/15

The Cuban Missile Crisis by Peter Chrisp (World Almanac Library, )

Istanbul Derby by Aidan and Nathan

We have been studying “Divided City” by Thresa Breslin and so for our blog we decided to focus on football. We chose to research The Istanbul Derby because it shows a major contrast between two classes, the wealthy and the working class. The two clubs which compete in the derby are Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. The clubs have very interesting heritage and amazing stories. Their stories are very similar to the Old Firm derby, the biggest in Scottish football, which appears in “Divided City”

In the Istanbul derby there are two classes: the wealthy and the working. Galatasaray was formed from a prestigious private school called Galatasaray Academy. To start with, only the wealthy could play for Galatasaray. On the other hand, Fernerbahce was formed by a group of poor locals to give the less fortunate a chance. However, they couldn’t play league football due to a Turkish ban. Eventually the ban was lifted and Fenerbache could play league games.

Fener choreo by Avl Tm (cropped) [Licence: (CC BY-NC 2.0]

Fener choreo by Avl Tm (cropped) [Licence: (CC BY-NC 2.0]

The first game between the two clubs was held on the 17th January, 1909. At this point, the two clubs weren’t rivals. The infamous rivalry really began when Fenerbahce won the first non-domestic cup match .

Since 1909 there as been a series of heated events in the rivalry including riots and the moment that Graham Souness planted a Galatasary flag in Fenerabahce’s home stadium during a match in 1996.The 200 UEFA cup riots involved the English side Arsenal and Galatasary it was nicknamed the battle for Copenhagen there was  stabbings and shootings despite there being 2000 officers.      

Tension really gathered when, in 2013 after a heated match where Fenerbahce came out victors over their rivals Galatasary, a young boy was stabbed to death by a group of Galatasary ultras.

The Istanbul derby is an event of controversy and tension but something that plays a major part in the derby  is over-looked: the football. Fenerbahce won their last meeting but the two clubs have played some amazing football. Galatasary have one more Super Lig title though and, as it stands, Fenerbahce are seven points ahead of Galatasary (2015/16) and are on course to win the league. If they win they will go equal on Super Lig titles with Galatasary. To conclude, Galatasary and  are apart of what could be the most intense rivalry in the history of football. They will next compete against each other on March 20th 2016.

Galatasaray badge by Federico Mera [Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

Galatasaray badge by Federico Mera [Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

History of the Istanbul Derby – Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray: http://www.sportskeeda.com/football/history-istanbul-derby-fenerbahce-galatasaray – 21//11/15

Arsenal 0-0 Galatasaray: http://www.arseweb.com/99-00/reports/170500.html – 23/11/15

Hallowe’en around the World Emilia and Maja

We were learning how to use a blog and had to choose something scary. We chose to write about Halloween in different places around the world. Some of the traditions are similar but they’re all very interesting. We hope that this piece of writing will make people want to read it.

The first country we wrote about is Poland. In Poland the tradition tells that people buy flowers and candles and lay them on the graves of their family members or friends. It happens on the 1st and 2nd of November and it’s called “Wszystkich Swietych” which translates to ” All Saints Day. ”

The second place we have researched is Spain. In Spain during Hallowe’en people honour the dead members of their families or their friends. This feast is a happy celebration, so people make parties.

We also wrote about Indonesia. On Hallowe’en, people in Indonesia traditionally make a lot of noise, they say it helps to scare away the evil spirits. Therefore the next day people must stay quiet and can’t do any work.

The next country we’ve chosen is the United States of America.  In the USA on Hallowe’en we can see children dressing up in scary costumes. They go around houses and ask for sweets which is called trick-or-treat . However if children don’t get anything they do something bad to the house owners.

The last place we decide to write about is Scotland. During Hallowe’en  in Scotland, people do apple dooking, tell scary stories and many children dress up which is called guising. When they go around the houses they have to say a joke, dance or sing to get a treat.

In conclusion all the traditions are very interesting . They are quite different,  they are very fascinating and we would all like to take part in them.

Mystical tree and abandoned house by Artiom Ponkratenko [Licence: CC BY 2.0]

Mystical tree and abandoned house by Artiom Ponkratenko [Licence: CC BY 2.0]


All Saints’ Day in Poland, http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/poland/all-saints-day, accessed 17/11/2015

Hallowe’en in Spain, http://spainattractions.es/halloween-spain/, accessed 17/11/2015

Celebrating Hallowe’en in Indonesia, http://www.expat.or.id/info/halloween.html , accessed 17/11/2015

  Hallowe’en in United States,  http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/halloween , accessed  17/11/2015

Discussion with Mr. Kerr,  17/11/2015

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Euan and Evan

We were learning how to write a blog in English and we had to pick a scary story and the topic we chose to do was Jekyll and Hyde. We chose this because it was interesting and captivating.

The Story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a very mysterious and thought provoking story written by Robert Louis Stevenson based on the true events of Deacon Brodie. Dr Jekyll is a man who experiments on himself and only ends up creating a monster that he can’t control. Mr Hyde is a mischievous character who only wants to bring out the worst in Dr Jekyll. Dr Jekyll tries to make pills that can control Mr Hyde but it is difficult because there are people out to get him.

Robert Louis Stevenson was a very clever and strange author. He wrote a few books and one in particular is Treasure Island. The books he wrote tells us about his life and what life was like for him. He was an outstanding person because back in the 1800’s no one would have dreamed of the way he wrote and how he wrote it and he was constantly experimenting with his writing. He was born on the 13th November 1858 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His full name is actually Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson and he came from a long line of lighthouse engineers. During his boyhood he spent his holidays with his grandfather who was a minister and professor of moral philosophy and he shared his love with him through storytelling. It came to be widely known that he was a great writer because everyone was talking about him because Jekyll and Hyde was such a good story and it was a very fascinating story and book. We found a variety of websites that we looked deeply into and we picked all of the key information such as the story of Deacon Brodie and used it to make our story even better.

Deacon Brodie is the man in the original story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He was a burglar by day and a criminal by night. He could never control the monster inside him which caused him to be executed in public. He was really just a man who wanted more in life but couldn’t quite get it and all he ended up doing was just ruining his own life.

The TV show Jekyll and Hyde was a very good programme. It was also really interesting and had a very good plot but also very entertaining to watch and there was a new episode on every Sunday night which was broadcast on STV at 7.00pm. It was also brilliant because every week it left you on a cliffhanger and made you want to watch it the next week.

In conclusion we really enjoyed reading and looking deeper into the story of the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and just getting to grips with the aspects of the whole story. It just shows how a good man can be two different people due to science and him and his mad ways. All he wants to do is just be different and he ends up creating a monster. Our opinion is that we thought that the story was great.


Deacon William Brodie, http://www.rampantscotland.com/famous/blfamdeacon.htm, accessed 15th November 2015

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Irish Potato Famine By Emily and Abigail


The topic we have chosen was the Irish Potato Famine. We chose this as we are very interested in this topic. It is also a topic that is brought up frequently in the novel “Divided City” by Theresa Breslin. There is one scene in the novel where during a football match between Celtic and Rangers, the Rangers supporters throw potatoes at the Celtic fans as a symbol of the Irish potato famine which is what we decided to research more about.

How the Famine Began

In 1846, more than half of the entire Irish population were relying only on potatoes for their diet. The other half of the population relied on potatoes for the majority of their diet. Moist, damp weather and the arrival of the North American potato disease, Phytofthora, caused at least a quarter of all potatoes to rot before they were ripe. Around one million people died of starvation and disease. Another two million emigrated to other parts of the UK and overseas in order to stay alive and not be at risk of dying.


The Potato Famine lasted for six years and the population went from 8.4 million to 6.6 million. Also known as the Great Potato Famine, the life expectancy dropped to 40 years old. Although the government tried to help it was unfortunately inadequate and did not help the tragic circumstances nor did it help the situation for the unlucky Irish in this terrible situation. The government did not do enough to help the people of Ireland.

The Aftermath

The effect was shocking as the famine lasted for a total of six years and killed many. The decades that followed were no better as businesses were taken over by poorly educated farmers. Rent prices increased so that the houses could be knocked down so that there was more potato farms. They continued this after the famine was over in order to grow potatoes. When Ireland gained independence in 1921, the population was half of what it was in the 1840’s before the famine.


We hope that this has been informative and has taught you something that you perhaps did not already know about the Irish Potato Famine. The novel “Divided City” discusses the event and how people today remember and are even mocked for the tragic event in history.

Great Irish Famine Memorial at Penn's Landing, Philadelphia by Alexmar983 [Licence: (CC BY-SA 3.0]

Great Irish Famine Memorial at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia by Alexmar983 [Licence: (CC BY-SA 3.0]


The History Place, http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/introduction.htm, accessed 30/10/15

Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/event/irish-Potato-Famine, accessed 30/10/15

BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/victorians/famine_01.shtml, accessed 30/10/15

Asylum Seekers by Chloe, Eve and Stephen

We chose “asylum seekers” as our blog topic because we thought it went well with the novel, “Divided City” by Theresa Breslin. This is what we have been studying in English. We went with this topic because of Kyoul fleeing from his own country and about his amazing  story coming to Glasgow. He came from the Balkans because his country was at war and he was getting threatened to be killed.  

An asylum seeker is someone who has left their country and applied for asylum in another country, but some applications can be rejected. Asylum seekers come to different countries to escape from conflicts in their own country, they also go to different places to look for safety.

Syrian refugee by Bengin Ahmad [Licence: CC BY-ND 2.0]

Syrian refugee by Bengin Ahmad [Licence: CC BY-ND 2.0]

Asylum seekers don’t come to the UK  to claim benefits because some of them don’t know what benefits are. They are not allowed to work so they are forced to have state support. They are expected to live on £5 a day to buy food and buy clothes for their children or themselves. Immigration officers have the power to jail asylum seekers even if they have not done anything wrong. 

In the UK, there is between £200,000 and £250,000 being spent on training new doctors when some asylum seekers are trained doctors but cannot work here. We need these doctors to help people who are coming here with injuries from their journey. They are coming here to get away from conflict in their country. There is lots of violence and war so they flee to somewhere safe. Many people jump on the back of lorries because they or their families have been threatened to be killed. They need to pay lots and lots of money to get on the lorry or a bus. 

In the UK there were 19,801 asylum applications in 2011. This is the second lowest level in 10 years. 490,000 refugees have fled the conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo, including about 15,000 in 2011. A lot of people are granted to stay in this country.

When we started the topic, we didn’t know a lot about an asylum seeker’s life but we have learned a lot, such as how they get to the country, why they come here and how long the process is to have permission to stay. We found the topic very interesting and we think that Scotland could help them by making the process shorter.


Scottish Refugee Council – http://www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk/ accessed 19/11/2015

Daily Record – http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/ accessed 19/11/2015

The Garngad by Neve and Collette

We picked Garngad (Royston) for our topic. We chose this topic because we were interested in the area and why Theresa Breslin decided to put this district in her book, ‘Divided City.’

The Garngad wasn’t ever a peaceful place. Even the name ‘Garn’ means ‘rough ground’ (Gaelic). Once a year the Hibernian Walk would take place. They would leave the Garngad and weave through streets until they entered Protestant areas, before ending up circling around their own area again. It was rumoured there would be a battle every year. They would be armed with blades and hammers. Kids from the local secondary school, St. Roch’s, would have fights with local Protestant schools and some of these school kid fights ended in death.

In 1942, a campaign was led by Mr. McGrath so he could rename Garngad to Roystonhill. In 1933, there was a slum clearance and rebuilding project that took place. Recently, cars from the M8 motorway were greeted with a gable-end sign of: YOU ARE NOW ENTERING FREE GARNGAD.

Railway Bridge over the M80 Motorway by G Laird [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]

Railway Bridge over the M80 Motorway by G Laird [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]

On November 16th, 1951 a murder happened in the Hibernian hall. The suspect of this crime was 20 year old labourer, James Smith. A murder trial was held at the high court, Glasgow on February 26, 1952. Smith denied the accusations that he was Malone’s murderer but was later convicted. Smith was sentenced to death and there was no reprieve. He was hanged at Barlinnie Prison on April 12, 1952.

In 1953 Mick McLaughlin wrote a poem called ‘Farewell to Garngad‘.

“Oh father dear and did you hear new houses they have built.
Some of them in Easterhouse and some in Castlemilk.
Balornock and Barmulloch too, they’re building them like mad and now they’re taking our friends away from the dear old Garngad.”

In conclusion, The Garngad was a rough place in the 1900’s. It has since improved and it has now become a considerably safer place.

Sources –
Glasgow Story, http://www.theglasgowstory.com/story/?id=TGSFG09, Accessed 30/11/15
Daily Record, http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/glasgow-torn-apart-by-knife-fight-death-960799, Accessed 30/11/15
Royston Road Project, http://www.roystonroadproject.org/archive/history/garngad_royston.htm, Accessed 30/11/15

Modern Gangs in Glasgow by Ishvir and James

We chose modern gangs in Glasgow as our topic because it sounded intriguing and we liked the sound of learning about the behaviour of so-called ‘Neds.’ We did this topic because it links in with the book ‘Divided City’ through the behaviour of the gang who attacked Kyoul.

We found out that there are around 900 known gangsters in Glasgow. There are 48 active gangs in Glasgow selling drugs, counterfeit goods and illegal tobacco, as well as being involved in money laundering. They also use legitimate businesses to do this. Gangs only care about making money and don’t care about the consequences.

We also found that Glasgow’s crack crime police squad have been able to arrest 570 gangsters and have taken more than £13 million in illegal assets from gangsters all over Glasgow.

Another thing we found out was Andy Gunn (head of the Organised Crime Unit in Glasgow) said that serious gangsters are driven by power and profit and that they deal in anything from drugs to human trafficking to taxi firms and tanning salons. Mr Gunn also said that gangs find weaknesses in a community and then they penetrate it so crime takes over.

One of the most famous gangs in Glasgow was the Calton Tongs until 2007 when they were caught out. They had caused mayhem and chaos for 60 years. Their territory was known as the ‘Tong-land’. There were a lot of gangs like this one. They were called Young Peelglen Team, Yokerlangy, Young Shields Mad Squad and The Young Springburn Peg. There are many more.

In conclusion, we believe that gangs in modern day Glasgow are a real problem as they sell drugs and are involved in countless illegal activities. What shocked us was that there are over 900 gangsters and there is a police unit that specifically hunts down the gangsters. Glasgow could solve the problem by having more police officers working undercover in the gangs across Glasgow.

Glasgow Transport Police by trawets1 [Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

Glasgow Transport Police by trawets1 [Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]


List of gangs  in Glasgow, http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/list-of-gangs-in-glasgow/north-glasgow.html, accessed 11th November 2015

Police target 900 Glasgow gangsters, http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13215232.Police_target_900_Glasgow_gangsters 48_active_gangs_identified_operating_across_city/, accessed 11th November 2015

How we ran the Glasgows biggest gang out of the town, http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/how-we-ran-glasgows-biggest-gang-1110167, accessed 12th November 2015