School Report

Brentside High School Year 8Meet the kids from Year 8 at Brentside High School in Ealing, West London. They’ve got plenty to say, and they want to talk to you.

On Thursday WHYS will be coming live from Brentside High, linking up with students in Johannesburg and Budapest, and of course any one else around the world who wants to talk to them. The students have all been involved in School Report, a massive BBC project where kids across the UK (and in a few in other countries too) put together radio and TV news bulletins which then are broadcast on the BBC.

So, in the same spirit, on Thursday our students in Brentside will decide what we’re talking about on WHYS, then help produce the programme as well as share their opinions.

Of course we want our adult WHYS listeners and bloggers to talk to the students, but we’d be particularly keen to hear from our younger listeners and bloggers too (with parental permission if you are under sixteen).

Have a look at what the 12 and 13 year old from Brentside High have already told us is on their minds, and let them know any comments or questions you have:

The image of inner-city kids in the media: Growing up in London they feel as though the media on concentrate on the negative elements of inner-city teenagers – the crime, the gangs, the drugs. The kids from Brentside think there’s so many positive things that they do that never get any focus like working hard at school, taking part in after-school activities and being good citizens. They deserve some credit! Do you think the image of children is too negative? Should the media focus more on the positive things teenagers do?

The global financial downturn: Parents are talking about it more at home and some of the kids are starting to feel it affecting them – they’re getting less pocket money and their parents being stressed all the time is starting to stress some of them out. Is the credit crunch affecting your life if you’re a teenager? If you’re an adult, are you aware of how your own money worried impact your children?

The Cervical Cancer vaccination: These Year 8 students were the first to be offered the vaccine against cervical cancer. There was a lot of controversy over it in the UK because some groups said it would encourage children to have sex earlier, but many others say it’s a way to save lives. Some students at Brentside didn’t have their parent’s permission to receive the vaccination so are more vulnerable to cervical cancer. Do you think all children should be vaccinated? Or do you worry that it will encourage teenage sex?

Cyber Bullying: It’s not such a problem for the kids at Brentside High School, but they’re very aware of it. They want to know if this is a worry for students around the world. Is this a concern for you in your country?

17 Responses to “School Report”

  1. March 24, 2009 at 23:33

    What is impressive about the picture in this entry is that the students are from different cultural backgrounds. The girls in headscarves must be lucky because if they were in France ( where headscarves are banned in public schools), they would have no chance to be at school.

    Children can be affected by the credit crunch because of growing materialism in society. Children are exposed to consumerism at a very low age either from their parents or advertisements directed at them. In the past, it was enough for children to have a playground and a ball to have fun. Now with the spread of electronic gadgets and the Internet, many children can’t live without pocket money. I think it’s time for them to learn to live in the warmth of family life and friendship without the unnecessary and sometimes frivolous luxuries. When grownup, they can make and have their own money.

  2. March 25, 2009 at 08:41

    By Irini, 13, London
    PREVIOUSLY, the council of the Medway Estate located in Perivale were seeing to banning children from spending their leisure time playing in the local area; mostly in the alleyway and amongst the houses in the Estate, only because of a particular couple’s complaints that they cannot maintain sleep and they are also infatuated by the fact the younger children from the age range of 6-13 years intend to CLIMB OVER garages to access a lost ball but sneakily try to avoid getting caught. They insist this was TYPICAL at the time they were freely had the privilege to maintain this ‘fresh air and exercise’, a local Mum quotes.
    However, last week, on Saturday 14th March 2009 a local child was said to be heard playing in the local area despite the threats to face a court order if the children don’t obey the council’s decisions to this problem. Still, it currently remains unresolved.
    The locals strongly believe the council have no power on us and don’t have the right to ban them completely, which they may come to terms with shortly. Also, they argue that the OAPs don’t take advantage of their use of this ‘private property’ it is said to be, while the children longingly wish to go out as they ‘pointlessly’ their parents request, have to entertain themselves inside.
    The majority of parents also complain their children are unsurprisingly becoming ‘couch potatoes’ and blame the old, demanding, couple in particular that blatantly live in the area.
    However, there was no sign of them screaming threats and abuse to this child that did not obey the grounds so they were assumingly out, or simply didn’t suspect anything. Another reason it was best possible, is because it was an appropriate time to be out, approximately around 3 o’ clock in the afternoon.

    This is rather ironic – the government is trying to encourage children to exercise more due to the obesity ‘epidemic’ and the local government is preventing children from doing so! Does this happen in other countires?

  3. 3 Bence
    March 25, 2009 at 11:11

    Hi, this is Bence from Budapest!
    On the issue of cyberbullying I think it’s a very popular topic, but fortunately I haven’t met with this problem yet. However, I heard a lot about it, and I think we should discuss it together. I’m particularly intrested in that part of cyberbullying where bad guys change your password, or send e-mails from your server to your friends with an offending message or something like that.

  4. 4 Dóri, Tibi, Bálint, Bence
    March 25, 2009 at 11:36

    Hello everyone,
    We are the Hungarian team, from Budapest. Your ideas are pretty interesting, especially cyberbullying. We have a new topic about school violence.
    It’s a serious problem in our country, but it is slowly becoming an international problem. Students harass their teachers and younger students. We can hear about more and more cases when students just go in to their school with a gun, and shoot people, and after that they commit suicide. There’ve been plenty of videos on the internet about students terrorizing their teachers. Also, videos were posted about fighting students. However, later it turned out that they were fake.
    Luckily we’ve never faced such situation in our school.
    We would like to know if you are affected by this problem in your country.

  5. March 25, 2009 at 16:29

    Hello fellow students. I am from Liberia, West Africa, but I currently live and study at the Asia Pacific University in Beppu, Japan.

    I like to comment on the media with regards to the children. I support the children view that the media do focus more on negative issues as compare to the positive ones, especially those activities carry out by children. Even in my university here, we have been discussing this issue among ourselves. At one of the UNICEF Conferences in Kumamoto, we also brought this topic at which time we discussed with Japanese junior high school children. We proposed that, it would be highly educative and appreciated if the media could throw light on the positive things the children carry out in their schools as well as those extra-curricula activities carried out in the local communities. With this, it will encourage more children to participate in the education process and began to practice what they might do as career in the long-run. Instead of the media been based on one side, I also believe it will be good if they try to balance the news or information.

    The issue of the financial downturn is affecting everyone around the world including myself. With this view, I believe everyone have got to make some sacrifices. For those adults who have got children, I would like to propose that you look for a suitable means of sensitizing your child/children so as to get adapted temporarily to the current situation while we fight in common accord to make it good for all.

    The Cervical Cancer vaccination: I am for the idea that the children/students at Brentside be given the permission by their parents to take the vaccine against this disease as their colleagues. I do not believe that teenage sex should be the excuse to deny the children of Brentside their right to good health. As a matter of fact, with or without the vaccination, those who decide to have teenage sex will surely do and those who are determine not to get involve will not. I think it would be good to let them benefit the vaccination and then you the parents carryout our homework by talking to them about the impact of earlier sex.

    Concern school violence: even though I am not from Japan, but I have learnt quite a little about the Japanese Culture. Actually Japan is more safe and I would like to inform everyone of you that since I arrived here in 2007, I have never seeing a gun of any sort here. Even the police, I have not seen them carry a gun with them. On the local televisions, Japanese films do not have people/actors using guns in their films. If there are, I believe it is seldom. Besides, according to my observation of the school children I usually do education exchange program with in the local community, I believe they are very obedient. The schools here are also very peaceful and so, I am not aware of any school violence in the area I live.

  6. 6 Kirirajan, London
    March 25, 2009 at 17:43


    HSBC, europes biggest bank, has cut up to 1200 jobs in the uk. The workers that were ment to be stripped of the duties were to be informed today on the 25th.
    At least a third of the staff cuts will come from back office operations such as call centres, not from High Street branches

  7. 7 Emese
    March 25, 2009 at 17:54

    Hi all,

    I’m Emese from northeastern Hungary, Gyöngyös. I found all the topics interesting, but especially two. First the image of inner-city kids in the media.
    In my opinion the main reason the media get out the negative part of students life is because it has newswothiness. No one really cares about being a good citizen and working/studying hard when it’s usual. The other is the last suggested topic, school bullying since I think it’s connected to one we also often talk about. It’s cliques in schools: cool people and losers – how we judge each other and how it’s effect our life even now and in the future. Does the world of Mean Girls real? Can our image be as much important that we break rules just to maintain the respectabilities? What if school bullying actually not else than an insane trend? (fake-video)
    I’m looking forward to get acquainted with your opinions.

  8. March 25, 2009 at 18:54

    Hey everyone,
    Ros spotted this story today – it’s big news here in the UK.
    In Oxfordshire near London, some girls as young as 11 will soon be able to request the morning after pill by text. The programme is being piloted in four schools.
    Girls will be able to text their school nurse to ask for the emergency contraception pill.

    What do you think about that? Is it right that girls as young as 11 will be able to do that without letting their parents know? Do you think it will encourage them to have sex at a younger age? Or is it just a very sensible and safe way to stop teen pregancies?

  9. 9 Jake Smart
    March 25, 2009 at 19:43

    Hey Everyone, it’s Jake Smart from Brentside High, London.

    I am interested in the global finacial breakdown issue and I would like to talk about how the credit crunch is bringing everyone down and finding it hard to struggle financially. Recently many of children in our school are being made to lower their weekly pocket money because their parents simply can’t afford it. This then ends up that the children can suport themselves in school. For example, the canteen food prices are rising and the children do not have the sufficient amount of money to buy themselves lunch. I know this has happened to many people and we need to start to notice that this could be a problem. I also think that this could be the case in many different countries around the world. That is why I think This could be discussed on WORLD HAVE YOUR SAY!!!

  10. 10 Laci
    March 25, 2009 at 19:54

    Hi everybody,

    My name’s Laci,I’m from Gyöngyös, like Emese. My favourite topic listed above is The Global Financial Downturn. I don’t really know much about it, but it intrests me. Thanks for God, I don’t really feel the affects of it yet, but I’m afraid I will. Some experts say that the state will go into bankruptcy and won’t be able to get out of it soon. of course, it would affect our daily lives directly, as parents wouldn’t get their salaries. So, in my point of wiew, it’s a really actual problem, that needs to be talked over by the youth, too.

  11. 11 Martin, London
    March 25, 2009 at 20:15

    Hi everyone,

    I am Martin from London, and I have a new topic which is about Hillary Clinton talking about the drug problems in Mexico.

    Clinton: US shares blame on drugs

    The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the US must take part of the blame for drug-related violence in Mexico on a visit to the country.

    Mrs. Clinton said the US appetite for drugs and inability to stop arms crossing the border were helping fuel violence.

    Her visit came a day after the Obama administration revealed new measures to boost border security.

    Over the past two years, as many as 8,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico.

    Trade and immigration issues are also expected to be high on Mrs. Clinton’s agenda.

  12. 12 David
    March 25, 2009 at 21:18

    Hi, im david from brentside highschool
    i am very concerned and would like to talk about the issue on cyber bullying.
    my opinion on cyber bullying is that the people who do attempt cyber bullying are quite, (as a friend of mine pointed out) quite insecure and realy need to find something else to do rather than start to bully fellow friends, classmates or just people they may not know over the internet, things such as msn, bebo, etc.
    cyber bulying is just completely wrong, and im not sure that the suspects of cyber bulying would aswell like it one bit if they were being bullied over the enternet, so my response to this would be STOP!

  13. 13 David
    March 25, 2009 at 21:24

    Hi, its David from brentside highschool.
    the issue i would like to be talking about is should sex eucation be tought in schools?
    my answer ot this question would be that sex education should be tought in highschools because, well, first of all the amount of teeb=nage pregnancies is growing quite infatically big, and i think that it is good that sex education is tought in schools so that young girls and boys are aware of the consequences of having unprotected relations

  14. 14 Josiah Soap
    March 25, 2009 at 23:03

    It looks as if things haven’t changed since when I was in school 25-30 years ago. We had the same problems and we had the same image in the public eye – yobs and louts, lazy and up to no good. The media didn’t concentrate on much good stuff. We didn’t have the internet or complex computers, too much TV was our curse.
    However, there are big differences, as you would say “in my day and age” we didn’t have these politically correct rights, we weren’t full of our own self importance (having been told that everyone has limitations to what they can do) and we didn’t have multiculturalism pushed down our throats morning, noon and night and then told if you didn’t embrace multiculturalism or gay rights that you were a racist evil bigot. If we fell out of line the police would often take you behind the station and give you a good thumping and our parents would thank the police for doing so. I am so glad that I am not a kid today. Unfortunately the government and media seems to control everything they do, how they think and what they think about themselves. They then brainwash us into thinking they are crazed gangsters, not so, they are brainwashed robots.

  15. 15 Alex and Thalia
    March 26, 2009 at 08:22

    Hi it’s Thalia and Alex from Parktown High School for Girls, Johannesburg.

    We will be joining the Thursday programme from South Africa.
    On the topic of the inner-city kids in the media we fully agree that teenagers aren’t being acknowledged for their acheivements. We would like to discuss this because it occurs regularly.
    Another topic that we’re interested in discussing is the cyber bullying. We agree with David of Brentside that cyber bullies are insecure and quiet. Although groups(ethnic, religous, racial, gender specific, etc) are targeted more often than individuals here in South Africa. We still think it’s a problem in other parts of the world. We have not personally encountered cyber bullying but are extremely aware that it violates many teens emotionally AND physically.

  16. 16 Shayhar
    March 26, 2009 at 13:41

    Hi, good to see all of you take time off normal school curriculum to discuss these issues. Here’s my take on some of the talking points:

    The image of inner-city kids in the media: I grew up and studied in Singapore where, quite contrary to your concerns, has a strange habit of boasting about the education system – No. 1 in Math, No. 1 in Science, No.1 this, No. 1 that. As a result, people have developed some sort of blind trust in our schools that anytime a young adult misbehaves, the public is ever ready to blame parents, society, etc and dismiss their juvenile delinquency as the effects of lack of schooling. The education system becomes indemnified by the constant praises given by the media and they continue to polish their diamonds while blatantly ignoring the gems in the rough. I know, this doesn’t really answer the question, just ranting about pompous Singapore schools. The point is there are good children and there are naughty children. If naughty kids are getting media attention by being naughtier, good kids who want their airtime in the papers should just be good-er.

    Cyber-Bullying: I have experienced/been around people who experienced cyber-bullying as both victims and culprits. As a culprit, the thrill and excitement came from anonimity offered by the cyber-world and was a cheap release from the formalities of school. On the other side of the coin, the pressure and stress of receipients of cyber-bullying can be far more detrimental and the danger is it isn’t accompanied by conventional tell-tale signs of normal bullying (ie. bruises and bite marks). In that regard, schools should be aware of such instances and be more accomodating of students experiencing/executing cyber-bullying. For the record, I no longer flame online. I have real friends now.

  17. 17 Anita
    March 26, 2009 at 21:16

    It has been an absolute pleasure to take part in the ‘World have your say ‘ programme. I really enjoyed it. I was very privilaged to be able to take part.
    Thank you to all who listened and particapated.
    We discussed the following questions:
    1. Does teaching sex at school, encourage teenagers to do it?
    2. Should you follow your dreams or your parents?
    3. Is the image that the media are giving teenagers fair?

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