Maia 9T - for her excellent performance in the year 9 test!
Year 8 Geography
Year 8 geographers headed to the River Bulbourne near Hemel Hempstead this week. The sun shone and the students had a lovely day taking measurements and testing their own hypotheses. Then the splashing began.
Trip to Barcelona
Recently the two year 10 classes went on a school trip to Barcelona.
This trip consisted of spending three and a half days exploring the ins and outs of Barcelona. During this time we managed to visit a large number of famous landmarks, museums and parks in Barcelona, such as La Sagrada Familia, a Flamenco show, going to the Cinema, the Gaudí Park Güell, a Boat ride, the Picasso museum, Monserrat and many more. Going to these famous landmarks and touring around Barcelona was such a wonderful experience which I would love to relive. We all had so much fun and as a class we all really bonded.
While simultaneously expanding our cultural knowledge of the city, we also got the opportunity to practice and improve our Spanish in a hands-on way. For me, the best moment of the whole trip was watching the Flamenco show at the Tavern, as it was both incredibly impressive and inspiring.
This trip was so wonderful and I really recommend the future year 10s to consider going.
The biggest thank you to Mrs Garcia, and the other teachers on the trip, for not only looking after all of us, but also organising such an incredible few days.
PE Trip to Stubbers Outdoor Centre
On Wednesday 14 June some students from Years 8, 9 and 10 who regularly attend PE clubs went on a trip to Stubbers Outdoor Centre in Essex.
We took part in lots of different activities throughout the day. These were, high ropes, rock climbing, bell boating, kayaking, laser tag and archery. We enjoyed all of them, but the bell boats were really fun because we could jump into the lake to cool down as it was a really hot day!
The high ropes were our favourite as we got to climb up to the highest point on the course and take a zip line down or attempt the leap of faith! Most of us had never done any of the activities, so it was great to try things that we’ve never seen before.
In laser tag we were in two teams, and had to ‘shoot’ the other team and get them all out. This was really fun as we did it in a field and were able to hide behind bales of hay and piles of tires.
We all had a great time and really hope we can go on the trip next year. It is a reward for students who regularly attend PE clubs throughout the year, so we hope that these reviews motivate people to go to clubs and hopefully get into the trip next year!
Zara, Embla, Maddy, Year 9
Assembly Speaker - Allison Havey, The Rap Project
The speaker began with her concerns surrounding the privacy of children on the internet and one's “lack of childhood online”. This introduced the primary issue of the effect of sexual and violent content accessible to minors and the damage it could do. The content within the porn industry has become more male dominating, violent and misogynistic in recent times, and this element could easily be instilled in the youth of today which is very worrying especially given the easy accessibility to sites like Pornhub, which is free and online. Pornhub was founded in 2008, and spiked the curve of the global intake of pornography.
Modern porn focusses a lot around gender stereotypes, sometimes in a grotesque fashion, risking that further stereotypes are embedded in young people, mainly young men, about how they should behave in relationships, and what being ‘manly’ entails - she referred to reductive stereotypes like should be ‘strong and powerful’ ’ and “boys don’t cry”. Rather than focussing on the negativity surrounding this culture, the speaker urged us to refer instead to “positive” or “constructive” masculinity which instead focuses on the potential good that there can be within humanity, regardless of gender.
She outlined that the more violent side of porn can unfortunately endorse a lot of rape culture, the jokes, slut-shaming, victim blaming, objectification and plain disrespect towards other people. Many of these things have been normalised and praised through influential and misogynistic internet personas like Andrew Tate. His possession of a large platform is dangerous due to some of his ethics and morals that he posts about frequently. He has been noted saying that “if a woman is raped she is partially to blame”, an obviously problematic statement that has been followed with many more of the same nature. The speaker recommended a book (The Art of War) to which the takeaway was, “don’t react” which I agree with to a certain extent concerning the more minor forms of harassment like catcalling. However, she strongly advised that once harassment persists it requires someone to step in otherwise the prosecutor will never be held accountable for their actions, and we should never be afraid to call it out.
The speaker then continued into the topic of sexual harassment and assault, namely the stigma created by men like Andrew Tate who insinuate that the percentage of false allegations is more of a problem than it is. Not only is this untrue (3-4% of sexual assault allegations have been declared false by the Home Office and 2-6% across Europe and the US) but this argument is often us approximately 97% of women experience some form of sexual violence or harassment in their lifetimes, for the majority, at the hands of men.
Back to the topic of pornography, the speaker questioned whether or not it may be losing its appeal, perhaps due to the steadily accumulating violence and porn addiction having been spoken about more freely in recent times. The awareness of the dangers surrounding porn addiction have also had light shed on them in recent times; excessive use of porn can lead to erectile dysfunction and create an unrealistic expectation for one’s personal sex life. That being said, she outlined that masturbation is perfectly normal and it can actually benefit us in reducing stress, relieving tension, improving focus and sleep and even aid the prevention of depression and anxiety. The speaker urged us, therefore, to “honour your erotic nature”, explore and be unashamed of your sexual drives.
Finally, the speaker covered revenge porn and sexting, the two often go hand in hand with explicit images or videos having been sent to one party, being sent by them to others as a form of revenge or pure malice. This is not always the case but often, sending “nudes” places you in a vulnerable position, especially if you don't know the person very well. A “digital footprint” is everything you do on the internet and while you can delete things from your phone, it is near impossible to wipe them from the internet forever and somewhere there will be a record of your “nudes”. If any photos or videos of yours get leaked by someone you may have thought you could trust, don't blame yourself, tell someone (if you’re a minor, confide in a trusted adult) and try not to let it control your life!
The assembly was extremely helpful, in particular the way that it tackled potentially embarrassing and difficult topics in a really accessible and safe way.