EU Referendum

At school we’re going to have our own EU Referendum vote on 23rd June.

Do you know if you’re going to vote to remain in the EU or leave it?

If you’re undecided, here are some easy links to help you understand all the pros and cons:

  • Newsround is often a good place to start if trying to get your head round a difficult topic. It has a few useful pages to help you understand the topic.
  • Most news websites have special sections dedicated to the EU referendum. When you’re reading be aware of possible bias as most newspapers have an opinion of whether Britain should stay or go. The Guardian tries to shine a light on some of the claims made by Brexit or Remain groups. The Independent has plenty of articles about the division currently faced by the people of Britain. The Daily Mail has numerous articles too, though it’s less easy to find them all in one place, you’ll have to search for them. The Daily Mirror is my last link for you, with a plethora of articles and even a quiz for you to fill in so you can find out whether you should vote remain or leave.

Revising for the Year 8 RE Summer Exam

Year 8 have given themselves a really good grounding in RE this year with the two units: What does it mean to be a Christian, and, What does it mean to be a Muslim. These two updated units were specifically designed to drip some of the new GCSE Religious Studies into Key Stage 3 so when students get to Year 10 and 11, they’ll understand a lot already!

We also have the Caring for Others, Genesis (creation and environment) and Suffering and Evil units to revise for the summer exam.

Here are some things to watch from BBC Bitesize Learning to get you started:

Revising for the Year 9 Summer Exam

Year 9 have enjoyed some updated units this year, helping them to prepare for the new AQA Religious Studies GCSE which we’ll start after the May half-term. So what will they have to revise for their summer exam?

This should be enough to get you started on revision. Don’t forget there’s also some SAM Learning which has been set for all Key Stage 3 students.

Revising for the Year 7 Summer RE Exam

In class throughout the year we’ve practised different revision methods each time we’ve done an assessment. Perhaps you can use some of them again over the next month to revise for the summer exam? You might create a huge mind map on A3 paper for the whole year using the Positively Mad Mind Mapping skills we learnt when discovering how we can see the world from our window. Below are some things to read and things to watch, to help you review your learning. Why not revise with a friend, so you can talk about things you see and hear. Afterwards you can test each other to check you’ve what you’ve learnt.

On YouTube there is a Beginner’s Bible which is a quick and easy way to revise some of the main stories we’ve learnt this year. For example The Easter Story, The Story of Moses, Jesus and his miracles, and the Nativity.

On Newsround there are numerous good articles and clips about religion which will help with the exam. For example a report on young people finding religion important today, the only Buddhist primary school in Britain, Scouts not wanting to making a promise to God, and a woman winning a Christian cross battle.

Generally the BBC is a good place to look for clear informative articles which can help you understand school work better as well as short video clips to strengthen your knowledge. There is a super page about what you’ll find inside a Mosque, and in the Key Stage 2 Video Clips pages you can search for some easy explanations of things we’ve studied. Meanwhile their Key Stage 3 video clips pages have numerous clips on Buddhism, as well as more on Christianity.



Quickfire Genetic Engineering Videos

Need a quick peek at informative videos about genetic engineering? Here are some easy videos for Unit 8 Section 1.

Gene Editing

Horizon – Playing God This is just a commercial for the TV programme

Horizon – Are we still evolving? This is just a commercial for the TV programme

Nature Vs Nurture 5 minutes BBC documentary

GM Food Debate 

Should we make designer babies?

Efforts to protect conscientious objectors’ graffiti from WWI

Richmond Castle in Yorkshire was the ‘prison’ where conscientious objectors in WWI were sent and where they left their mark. They included Quakers, Methodists who wrote hymns on the wall, Socialists who added the words and music of The Red Flag, and a lace maker who contributed a delicate pattern for a flowery border. There are drawings of mothers, girlfriends and familiar landscapes their creators must have wondered whether they would ever see again. Well now English Heritage is doing everything it can to preserve and record these protests for generations to come.

Pacifism – The view that war is morally unacceptable and never justified (such as a conscientious objector). The term is sometimes applied to the belief that international disputes should be settled peacefully.

war objector

Graffiti 2


Sadiq Khan says he’ll extend the ultra low emission zone

The new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has promised to expand the ultra low emission zone to help tackle London’s air pollution problem. It is something he describes as London’s biggest environmental challenge. When he visited a primary school in Aldgate this week he said, “For me it can’t be right that this school on three occasions last year has to make the call whether to allow children to play in the playground breathing in this dangerous stuff or play indoors.”

Air pollution hangs in the air lowering


You can also follow London’s air pollution on a nowcast page, seeing whether pollution has reached high levels or not, which for people with asthma can affect whether they spend a lot of time outside or not.


India’s Dying River

It can be difficult when you learn a lot of subject specific keywords at school, perhaps you do a homework using them, even a lesson or two more when you need to know them, and last of all an assessment to check you’ve remembered them, and then two months later you have completely forgotten what they were and what they meant.

Well if you’ve just been learning about river basins, the source of the river, tributaries, meanders, oxbow lakes, delta, estuaries and the mouth of a river – here’s a handy and colourful BBC guide to the pollution which is slowing killing the River Ganges  in India. You’ll read it and suddenly realise that all that language which you learnt in Geography has helped you understand the article. Go Geography!


It isn’t just Geography though where knowing about the River Ganges is useful; it is also a holy river in Hinduism.


Hindu devotees pray as they bathe.

Community Cohesion in London

The news that London has its first Muslim Mayor is met with pride by some and fear by others.

The Guardian reports how British Muslims feel about Sadiq Khan becoming the city’s first Muslim Mayor.

Meanwhile the Daily Mail talks about how the Britain First leader turned his back on Sadiq Khan when he gave his victory speech.


Horrifying Natural Disaster in Canada as Wildfires keep on Burning

The numbers say it all: 88,000 people from Fort McMurray have all been evacuated as the largest of currently 40 wildfires keeps on getting worse. The Guardian newspaper has some interesting video clips to give you an idea of the disaster.


The weather isn’t helping the efforts to get the wildfire under control, with temperatures on Saturday expected to rise as high as 28C (82.4F). Not only have entire neighbourhoods been destroyed by the flames but there are economic consequences too with about half of Canada’s oil sands production capacity being taken offline.

Geographers will also find interesting that the wildfires also create their own weather system and the high winds in Fort McMurray haven’t helped the firefighters trying to get the flames under control.