Tag Archives: Theresa Breslin

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

Theresa Breslin Blog by Stephen and Paul

In class we read the book ‘Divided City’ by Theresa Breslin and we then decided to write a blog about her.

Theresa Breslin was brought up in a small town in Scotland called Kirkintilloch. This was next to old castles, Roman walls and old burial grounds which helped her imagination when she was a child. Theresa would avoid school work as much as possible so she could find a quiet place to read or to write books.

Theresa Breslin by J L Macfadyen [USed with permission]

Theresa Breslin by J L Macfadyen [Used with permission]

Theresa Breslin has written over thirty books and has won more than five writing medals. Theresa has also been runner up in literature competitions several times too. She won the Red Book Award and one of the medals she won was the Carnegie Medal. One of her earlier books was made in 1988 and published then too.

Theresa thinks that it is very important to do research on her books and she loves doing this research. 

In 2001, she was asked to speak at a conference in the United States of America. Just one month before then, the twin towers had been attacked by terrorists. When she was over in America, there were lines as long as a block outside the army offices. This was because people wanted to fight for their country. It was like America were in the world war again.

Theresa Breslin by J L Macfadyen [Used with permission]

Theresa Breslin by J L Macfadyen [Used with permission]

When Theresa was in Flanders, she would often see people laying poppies or flowers next to the youngest soldiers. This is how she was inspired to write the story ‘Ghost Soldier.’ 

In conclusion, we found out quite a lot of facts about Theresa Breslin and how she has grown as a writer, as well as her origins. Also, we saw her take an emotional trip with some of her books, such as ‘Ghost Soldier.’ One of the books that we read was ‘Divided City’ and it was very good. Theresa Breslin is a very good writer and should keep on writing good books. 



Theresa Breslin, http://www.theresabreslin.co.uk/ – 13/11/15

Theresa Breslin Book Details , https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/ – 14/11/15

Theresa Breslin Author Details, http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/profile-author/922 – 15/11/15

History of Celtic FC by Erin and Morgan

Celtic Park by Brian Hargadon [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]

Celtic Park by Brian Hargadon [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]

In English we have decided to look further into the history and facts about Celtic F.C Glasgow. We thought this subject was appropriate as we have just finished reading ‘Divided City’ by Theresa Breslin as our class novel.


Celtic, one of the most recognisable clubs in world football, was founded on the 6th of November 1887 in St Mary’s, Calton. Celtic F.C was originally a charity named ‘The Poor Children’s Dinner Table.’ It was founded by a man named Brother Walfrid.

Celtic’s stadium  is the second biggest in the United Kingdom. There are over 60,500 seats in the park itself.

The first Celtic manager to lead ‘The Bhoys’ was Willy Maley in 1888-1897. He was the first Celtic manager to win three leagues in a row. In later years, Gordon Strachan, Jock Stein and Neil Lennon also won the club three league titles in a row.

Celtic fans, Lisbon 67 by Debbie Mc [Licence: CC BY 2.0]

Celtic fans, Lisbon 67 by Debbie Mc [Licence: CC BY 2.0]


On the 28th of May 1888, Celtic played their first official match against Rangers F.C and won a remarkable 5-2. Also in 1893, the club won their first Scottish League Championship. Celtic were the first ever British team to win the European Cup in 1967. In 1989, Celtic won the Scottish Cup for the 29th time against Rangers .


One of Celtic’s most loved players, Henrik Larsson, left the club after seven magnificent years, scoring 242 goals in total for the club . He signed for the club on the 25th of July 1997. He was believed to be 5 feet 9 inches in height and 12.2 stones in weight. He usually played striker or centre forward and he left Celtic on the 30th of June, 2004.

Leigh Griffiths is one of the most well known players currently and one of many to play for the club. He  is a striker for the club. He was born on the 20th of August 1990 and he is 25 years old. He puts in a tremendous amount of effort for the club.

In conclusion, we have found out a lot about one of Scotland’s biggest football teams, Celtic F.C. We found out about past and present achievements and the legends of players they have had. We have also researched the history of this club. 

For this information we found ideas from:

Celtic, http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/teams/celtic, accessed 12th November 2015

Players, http://www.thecelticwiki.com/page/Players, accessed 14th November 2015

About Celtic, http://www.celticfc.net/pages/about, accessed 11th November 2015


Glasgow Gangs by Michael and Declan

Over the past few weeks we have been researching gangs in Glasgow, due to their role in the plot of ‘Divided City ‘.

Over time,  there have been gangs in Glasgow associated with sectarianism between Catholics and Protestants. One Protestant gang was named ‘The Billy Boys’ who were well known for their love of King Billy. They were soon to be joined by ‘The Norman Conks’, ‘The San Toi’, ‘The Tongs’, ‘The Fleet’, ‘The Govan Team’, ‘The Bingo Boys’ and  large scores of other gangs all of whom were as strong, some even getting political.

For decades, gangs ruled Glasgow’s streets with razors, coshes and broken bottles. Glasgow is notorious for its razor gangs, which operated in the south side of the city during the late 1920’s and 1930’s. They were feared across the UK because of their distinct weapon of choice, razors. Today, many gangs still operate in Glasgow. The Calton Tongs are one of Glasgow’s most feared gangs, who operate in the East End, selling drugs, robbing homes and doing other, some more disturbing, illegal activities.


Clyde Arc by macieklew [Licence CC-BY-SA 3.0]

Some general information on gangs is that gangs are a group of people, often young teens, looking for trouble and that take over a place to make money through some illegal activity like drugs, robbing and bribery. It has been reported that 86 per cent of US cities with about a population of 100,00 people have reported gang activity, which shows it is not as big a problem in Glasgow as it is elsewhere. Most people often say that gangs are a ‘big city problem.’

There are many different gangs in Glasgow, though they operate for very similar reasons. Gangs make Glasgow an unusual and sometimes scary place and they also reflect a bad reputation onto the city because of all the havoc they cause across Glasgow.


Gang Violence Around the World, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/episodes/18-with-a-bullet/gang-violence-around-the-world/1392/  accessed 4/11/2014

11 Facts About Gangs, https://beta.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-gangs accessed 5/11/2014

Gang Facts, http://www.gangfree.org/gangs_index.html accessed 5/11/2014

10 Bad*ss Gangs From History, http://listverse.com/2013/07/30/10-badass-gangs-from-history/ accessed 5/11/2014

Razor gangs ruled the streets but even in the violence of pre-war years, one man stood out, http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/razor-gangs-ruled-the-streets-but-even-960790 accessed 5/11/2014

Teenage gang plague ‘six times worse in Glasgow than London’ , http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/teenage-gang-plague-six-times-worse-in-glasgow-than-london-1-1076853 accessed 5/11/2014

I’ve spent 15 years of my life with Glasgow gangs, http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/ive-spent-15-years-of-my-life-with-glasgow-gangs-132927n.21810844 accessed 6/11/2014

The quiet Great Train Robber reveals identity of the gang’s mystery insider, http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/sep/28/great-train-robber-douglas-gordon-goody-reveals-identity-mystery-inside accessed 6/11/2014

Prejudice by Lara & Amy

We read the book “Divided City” written by Theresa Breslin which contained lots of prejudice. We decided to investigate further and we found a lot of facts. Here is some of the information we found.

Prejudice begins when we judge before hearing someone’s story. Prejudice is a form of negative attitude. It can be discrimination of age, gender, disability, national origin, pregnancy, religion, beliefs or race but there are lots more. Targets can be persecuted because they are different. The word prejudice comes from two Latin words – pre (before) and judicium (trial or sentence).

Sadly, there is a lot of prejudice online. Prejudice can become a very powerful force. Targets of prejudice can become depressed or suffer from anxiety and many other mental illnesses. You should speak out if you are a victim of prejudice and tell someone you trust.

Everyone has the same human rights but people are labelled as black and white. Some white people target black people to stop them having the same rights as them. Sometimes communities check black people before entering. People across the world think that prejudice is somehow acceptable.

Here are some quotes about prejudice:

“Don’t just look at the face whether it be black or white we are all the same.” Unknown.

“Do you know what we call opinion in the absence of facts? We call it prejudice.” Michael Crichton.

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudice.” William James.

“Prejudice is the child of ignorance.” William Mazlitt.

“Prejudice is a raft onto which the shipwrecked mind clambers and paddles to safety.” Ben Hecht.


All in all, prejudice is a horrible thing to be a victim of. It is a negative attitude and we, along with many others, think that it should be stopped. We were shocked to find so much prejudice online and it is sad to think that people suffer this. Thank you for reading our blog. We hope it changed your opinion on prejudice so that you realise how bad prejudice really is .

Our Sources:

Prejudice, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/prejudice

Prejudice & difference by Paul Wignall (Heinemann, 2000)

Quotes abuot prejudice, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/prejudice

Knife Crime by Holly and Michaela

The past few weeks we have been reading the novel “Divided City” by Theresa Breslin which included some incidents of knife crime and we wanted to find out some statistics. We found out some shocking figures and we would like to share them.

The research that we looked at showed many different reasons for people carrying knives or other sharp objects. One of the main reasons that we looked at was for protection; the research showed that people felt safe when they knew they had something to protect them if anything ever happened. Other reasons are that people feel important when they know they have something that scares others – they can use that to their advantage. The reason that is the most distressing is that people carry knives with the intention to harm someone, whether it is planned or used in self-defence. None of these reasons excuse the handling of a knife because it is illegal.

During our research, we found some shocking statistics. For example in the year of 2012, there were 29,613 recorded incidents involving knives. According to the crime survey for Britain in 2011 and 2012, a knife was used in 6% of all incidents of violence and at the end of June there were 19,382 disposals given for possession of a knife. Also in the last year more than 20 teenagers have died of knife crime attacks and up to 1,000 people a month are victims of knife crime.

The punishments given for the possession of a knife vary depending on the circumstances. Statistics show that offenders caught carrying a knife are receiving longer sentences than people of a couple of years ago. The number of people given a prison sentence rose by 44% between 2012 and 2013 but the custody rate for people between the age of 10 and 17 was just 10%. If caught with a knife in school, depending on the circumstances, you could get up to 4 years in jail.

The effects of knife crime can affect the whole town in which it is happening, or even the country, and many people fear it is getting worse. If you look at the figures, the highest numbers are in the same areas because if one person starts to do it then other people see it as a suitable way to go about your life.

The facts we have found show some shocking figures about knife crime. We have learned that knife crime in the U.K is at a very high rate. The amount of people who are killed because of knives is shocking but no-one really does anything about it. We have looked at lots of different areas such as the effects, the statistics and the punishments. The punishments given to people who use knives are mostly just cautions, depending on the circumstances, but we think they should be given harsher punishments. Also, we think that more people should know the statistics of knife crime because maybe it would make them think twice about doing it or maybe more people would do more to stop it. We also hope that over the years the figures of knife crime will drop and it won’t be so common.


Word cloud created by Holly and Michaela about knife crime


No knives better lives sharp facts, http://noknivesbetterlives.com/young-people/the-facts/ accessed 29/10/14

Teaching English, http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teaching/files/ accessed 28/10/14

City knife crime figures down 67%, http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/city-knife-crime-figures-down-67.1392296086 accessed 29/20/14

Word cloud created by Holly and Michaela about knife crime, http://www.wordificator.com/pix/449436_1420807010_38








Friendship by Alicia and Morgan

wordificator (1)

Created by Alicia and Morgan on Wordificator.com

‘Divided City’ is a book that we have recently read in our English class. Theresa Breslin has demonstrated our topic, friendship, in a good way with two young boys, Joe and Graham, whose friendship is very important to them – not just football.  The boys have a very strong relationship with football and this helps them overcome their differences.

Most people’s definition of friendship is trust, respect, loyalty and affection for each other.  Friendship is when two people have similar interests and enjoy spending time with each other.  If you have a true friend, then they will know you better than yourself and they will always stand by you no matter what.  The will put up with your dramas and they will be there through tough times.  A famous quote about friendship is:

”If you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, then you haven’t learned anything.”

Muhammed Ali

Why do we need friends?  We need friends because without them we would be lonely, lost, have no-one to turn to and no-one to rely on.  We need friends because they are one of the most important relationships that we could have.  If you have a good friend some of the affections you may discover might be: they will listen to you, care for you, love you, tell you their secrets, want the best for you and help you through your worries.  Sometimes you might not realise how good a friend you’ve got untill you lose them and realise how much they really are worth to you.

Some people find it hard to make friends because maybe they are too shy and not confident enough to ask but, when they do ask, they feel a whole lot better.  Sometimes saying ‘Hi’ or smiling at someone could be the start of a friendship.  Friendship usually starts with meeting up with people, through other people or being at school/work together.  You could even just have a general chat to get to know them better and know their interests, personality and hobbies to create a new relationship with someone.  In class when we read the novel ‘ Divided City ‘, there were two boys in it called Joe and Graham.  Joe and Graham were friends not just through the interests of football but the interests of other stuff outside of their football career.

In addition to this, friendship is a very important part of our lives.  Some people find it easy or difficult to make them.  Friends are really important to us and everyone should have one.  In our opinion, friendship means trust, love, care and respect for one another.  Learning more about friendship made us think and realise that good friends are hard to find and we should be grateful that we have them.


The true meaning of friendship,http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-do-you-think-true-meaning-friendship-396915 accessed 7/10/2014

Definition of Friendship, http://friends.com/definition-of-friendship accessed 8/10/2014






Gangs in America by Gunther and Liam

We recently read Theresa Breslin’s book, “Divided City” and we had to pick a subject which is shown in the book. We decided to pick the subject ‘gangs’ and we looked a bit further and decided to research the gangs in the United States of America.

The present gangs in the United States of America include these very dangerous gangs: The MS-13 Bloods, The 18th Street gang and much, much more. One of the most famous gangs in America is Hell’s Angels who have members all over the world including the U.K, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and even Australia. If you don’t know what a gang is, it’s sometimes based upon ethnicity or territory.

We also researched about gang wars in America and we found found a really famous gang battle that was in Chicago which was called the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. It was a battle between the North Side gang as well as the South Side gang. It was on Valentine’s day. The North Side gang planned an attack on the South Side gang. They planned to do a fake raid from the police and come in and shoot them but, on the day, the South Side gang leader saw the cops and did not go in to the building so when the North Side gang went in, they lined them up on the wall and shot them down. One of the victims was shot by a twelve gauge shotgun and half his face was gone. A civilian walk in after the shooting and saw the bodies and called the police.

We think American gangs was a good subject to cover for Theresa Breslin’s ‘Divided City’ book because it shows how even one of the biggest countries  in the world still has so many problems with people having gang battles on the streets, just like the gang attack on Kyoul.

13 American gangs keeping the F.B.I up at night, http://www.businessinsider.com/13-american-gangs-keeping-the-fbi-up-at-night-2012-8?op=1  5/11/14

10 most dangerous gangs in America,  http://www.criminaljusticedegreesguide.com/features/10-most-dangerous-gangs-in-america.html  6/11/14

11 facts about gangs, https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-gangs   6/11/14

Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, http://www.history.com/topics/saint-valentines-day-massacre   12/11/14

Hartwood by Chantelle, Ebony and Charlotte

We have been researching Hartwood Mental Hospital which is a 19th century Mental Institution. In the novel,  ‘Divided City’,  Joe’s dad suffers from mental illness. We wanted to learn about some of the places where people with mental illnesses are being or have been treated.

Hartwood Hospital opened around 1895 for people with serious mental health issues. It was the largest Mental Hospital in Europe and the most crowded in the UK – it could fit over 2500 patients. It was originally called Lanark District Asylum.

Hartwood Hospital had a lot of things. It had its own farm to grow food for its patients. It had its own graveyard for any patients that died. It also had its own staff-house, railway line and reservoir.

Hartwood Hospital is in pieces and would cost too much to rebuild and get up and running again. It closed in 1999, mainly due to the Care in the Community Act. It was then used for two years for a small television channel and finally closed in 2001.

Ruins of Hartwood mental hospital by Ian Wilson

Ruins of Hartwood mental hospital by Ian Wilson Licence : CC BY-SA 2.0]

Hartwood has a bad reputation because of the state it is in and there are apparently ghosts. Lots of people would not like for them or their family to go there, even if they are mentally ill and needed treatment.

Hartwood Hospital seemed like a good place before it burned down in 2004. We would had loved to go and visit it to see what it was like and how the patients were treated.

28 Days Later Urban Exploration:

http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php/85106-Hartwood-Hospital-North-Lanarkshire-August-2013 accessed 5/11/2014

Hartwood Hospital, Lanarkshire:

http://www.whateversleft.co.uk/asylums/hartwood-hospital-lanarkshire accessed 5/11/14

Whatever’s Left Blog

Hartwood Hospital, Lanarkshire