Below is information about the winners from around the country and also copies of their work. This list will be updated as results come in.
Rosemary Koper is in her first year at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Pwllheli where she is studying English Literature, History, Art and Law. She recently completed a creative writing course at Ty Newydd, the National Writers' Centre for Wales in Llanystumdwy. She chose the auction as her subject as she had been several times and was surprised by the fact that almost everything sold and by the prices people were willing to pay.
Rosemary said: “I was thrilled when my story was printed, it was great to see it in my local paper.”
If you’ve ever wondered where all the unwanted junk of the Criccieth area ends up then look no further than Rousells Auction. Held once a month, it offers a smorgasbord of antiques, furniture and things you never knew you wanted.
Don’t be put off by the smell or the seemingly never-ending catalogue; it’s a fun way to spend a Saturday morning which never fails to throw up surprises. This week, you could have treated yourself to a set of two Capodimonte tramp figures, a “do not trespass on this bridge” sign or a dinner gong. There was also an abundance of stuffed animals, including a pine marten, a pheasant, a seagull and the heads of a deer and a fox, all of which sold, causing me to question my belief that taxidermy had gone out of fashion.
Be aware that even if you arrive intending just to watch, you may find yourself leaving with a tray of broken bells or some mismatched candle sticks, having been swept up in the moment. If you don’t purchase anything, you can still marvel at the verbal dexterity of the man wielding the gavel. In these times of economic hardship, perhaps this is the place to find a bargain.
Annie Muston is 17 years old and lives in Cambridge. She is at The Leys School studying English Literature, Theology, Economics and Psychology A levels. Annie picked the topic of work and work experience as she found there were very few jobs she could apply for, let alone succeed in getting. After looking for work experience instead she found that was also a nightmare task full of regulations and endless form filling. However she managed to secure two weeks work experience and was then given an interview for a job off the back of it.
Youngsters need work experience to secure interviews
For every 17 year old trying to find a job, being fussy isn’t an option. In the present economic climate, youngsters are finding it even harder to get a foot in the door and prove their worth.
Many jobs are now only available on the internet as companies cut the cost of advertising and many pre-screen applicants by using multiple choice questions before asking about personal attributes and suitability for the job on offer.
The main issue which many come up against is a distinct lack of experience in any sector. Some schools offer work experience during Year 10 or after GCSEs in June but, due to the bureaucracy surrounding health and safety and CRB checks, schools are finding it more difficult to place pupils. Another stumbling block is age related as many vacancies, particularly where alcohol is available or sold, won’t take under 18s.
Mrs Debra Gingell, a Careers Advisor at The Leys School, comments that: “The key is persistence and a positive attitude.”
Successful applicants will not allow themselves to become too downhearted but will continue with the seemingly impossible mission of getting unpaid work for the experience needed to open that door.
Michael Colville is 16 years old and attends Grove Academy in Dundee.
He is hoping to go into journalism and is very keen on sports journalism. He wrote to Peter Houston the manager of Dundee United and was invited to Tannadice Football Ground for a short interview. This was Michael's first interview and he was very excited to go to Tannadice and speak directly with Peter Houston. Dundee United is his local team and he tries to attend as many games as possible.
How Dundee United have progressed under Peter Houston
In 1994 Dundee United won the Scottish Cup for the very first time. But this victory only covered up United’s free fall in Scottish football from being top dogs to relegation fodder. In 1996 they were relegated from the SPL having only accrued 36 points. Fourteen years later they lifted the Scottish Cup with Peter Houston and finished 3rd in the league.
Under Peter Houston, United are re-establishing themselves as a top flight Scottish football club. As we talked Peter Houston sentimentally recalled when he and Craig took over almost five years ago: “The then chairman Eddie Thompson, god bless his soul, asked us to keep them in the league, to keep them in the SPL.’’ United staved off relegation that season, finishing 9th with 42 points.
Even with the limited wage budget causing United to lose ten players this summer, there are talented young players like Armstrong and Allan getting a taste of first team football and new signings like Flood and Rankin giving United a strong starting eleven. With United returning to Europe in back to back seasons the future looks bright, the future looks tangerine.
Joe Thomlinson is 17 and from Exeter. Joe has a passion for writing and hopes to become a sports journalist in the future. He loves football but says he's a much more competent cricketer and is a qualified cricket coach, currently coaching at his local club as well as playing for their first team.
Exam pressure hits Exeter
Students in Exeter will let out a collective sigh of relief next month when the gruelling month of exams is over.
Pressure from parents, teachers and universities to pass A Level exams is currently at an all-time-high. With students needing higher grades to access top Universities, more than 80 per cent of students interviewed said the pressure to pass was too much.
Exeter College student Jack Keehner, 17, said: “To be honest with you I think it’s ridiculous; we are expected to get really high grades and it’s all a bit too much pressure
“I am seriously considering dropping out and going straight into work especially with no job guaranteed after University. I know some of my friends who are already resigned to their fate of failing and are planning on going in to the army.”
Josh Jones, 17, however believes the college is doing all they can to help: “I’ve had loads of help with my exams; my teachers have held revision sessions and given me tips and techniques for revising by myself”
Results are expected in August which means a tense two-month wait for everyone involved.
Katie Dixon, 16, is a pupil at Cottingham High School, in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
She is studying photography, film studies, media production and English language. Katie enjoys creative writing and creating small projects for media such as short films.
House move for secondary pupils
An East Riding High School has adopted a House System, which teachers say will improve student’s relationships towards each other and members of staff.
Students attending Cottingham High School in Hull have, this week, been issued with information in preparation for the new House System that will be introduced in September. Four houses have been created and will include all students in years 7 to 11.
Current Headmistress, Elizabeth Logan, has influenced many aspects of the school environment since she began last September and believes creating a vertical system will have positive effects. She said: “We are very excited about this and look forward to the process of creating these Houses.”
However some students disagree with the decision to incorporate the system into the school, a year nine student commented: “Although it could benefit pupils coming up to the school, students that have attended for a number of years could find that being split up from their age group and previous form tutors could have negative results.” The system will be applied when the students return to school on the 6th June 2011 as part of a test, however will become permanent if students and teachers approve of the scheme.
Louisa Hurrell is 16 years of age and has always had a passion for writing. She wanted to write this article to make people more aware of the influence of local charities on peoples lives. She has just finished her GCSEs at Dartford Grammar School for Girls.
Dealing with grief
The worst feeling a person could experience is probably grief. Millions of people suffer from it every day. Our reactions to it? Every individual is different. We all have different ways to numb the feeling. Some sing. Some laugh. Some cry. March 2010, I lost my Nan to cancer, on the same day I lost my Granddad to grief.
In the last few months of her life my Nan, Pamela Ball, a larger than life character was nursed and cared for by Ellenor’s Hospice, a local charity. Without their help, my family and I, especially my mum would have found the experience of losing someone even tougher than we have. Even to this day they continue to support us. I am proud to say that I support them and hold the charity close to my heart.
I asked Gwenda Phillips, a volunteer at Dartford Ellenor Hospice what she enjoyed most about working with the charity. She gave the simple answer: “Knowing that you are doing a good job with the family and patients. I absolutely love it, seen as I have been here for nearly fourteen years!’”
It’s volunteers like these that make charities like this one extremely successful.
Connor Briggs is 17 years old and currently attending Nunthorpe Sixth Form, where he is studying for A-Levels, including English Literature and History. He has always been interested in media, specifically journalism and scriptwriting and would like to pursue a career in this industry.
Holocaust Survivor Visits Sixth Form
The moment Holocaust survivor Joanna Milan entered the room the atmosphere became electric, the anticipation undeniable.
Joanna Milan visited Nunthorpe Sixth Form in May, and spoke movingly of her experiences endured during her time in the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt, and the effect on her life.
Born into a Jewish family, Milan, born Bela Rosenthal, suffered tremendous loss. In June 1943, only months after her father was murdered in Auschwitz, one year old Bela, along with her mother was sent to Theresienstadt, where she was tragically orphaned just one year later. Remaining there until 1945, Bela was then liberated and flown to England, where she was adopted by a British family, and renamed Joanna, the fear that having a German name such as Bela posed too high a risk.
The moving response to Milan’s speech demonstrates how inspirational and powerful her talk was. “The talk was very moving. It made me realise how lucky I am,” says Matthew Mohan-Hickson, an audience member.
With poignancy and pride, Joanna met her aim in keeping the events of the Holocaust alive. With fewer Holocaust survivors every year, it is unlikely that the students will forget about this event any time soon.
NCTJ (for students without participating papers)
Mollie Chard is 18 years old and lives in Devon. She is studying for a BTEC in Journalism as well as A levels and enjoys socialising and playing guitar.
The article she submitted was written about her mother’s condition.
Local woman suffers from rare condition
Debbie Chard, a local mother of two, has recently been diagnosed with an incurable and rare condition after suffering from multiple sclerosis for many years.
Mrs Chard has been diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia; a condition where a blood vessel is compressing the Trigeminal nerve in the brain, sending shock-like pains down one side of her face when triggered. The diagnosis comes after she suffered symptoms for six months.
A spokeswoman for the Trigeminal Neuralgia Association said: “It’s the worst pain known to man.”
Debbie’s children have to watch as she screams in pain roughly every three hours, with some attacks lasting up to 50 minutes. The severity of Debbie’s condition is very rare and has puzzled professionals.
The only way to suppress the pain is to take epileptic drugs which calm the nervous system but these have bad side effects.
Debbie Chard said: “The drugs are awful; I can never think or walk straight. Having to make a decision between unbearable pain and losing control of yourself is the toughest thing to do.”
There is ongoing research into finding a cure. Many professionals have stated that it may be caused by damage to the myelin sheath and multiple sclerosis is a possible cause of this.
Samuel Entwhistle attends Trinity School in Carlisle and is keen to become a journalist in the future. He saw the competition details on the internet and thought it was a great opportunity. He wrote his article about a big concert visiting the area.
Radio One’s Big Weekend
YES! Radio One’s Big Weekend is coming to Carlisle. The city’s Trinity School was the venue for the announcement as the acts performing were revealed.
Excited pupils were really keen to get their hands on a precious pair of tickets for the event, to be held at Carlisle Airport on May 14 and 15. So who do they think are the big acts?
One Trinity pupil lucky enough to get tickets was Ben Grogan, 16, of Houghton. I asked him who he was looking forward to seeing most.
He said: “I am really looking forward to seeing the Black Eyed Peas, Tiny Tempah and the Foo Fighters. It should be really good. Saturday is easily the better day.”
With more than 300,000 people applying from all over the country for just 40,000 tickets, there will be plenty of disappointed people.
But, for those successful, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience going to see these magnificent acts for free. It is an opportunity not to be ignored.
For the full list of acts appearing at the Big Weekend, or for any further information, go to www.BBC.co.uk/radio1/bigweekend/2011.
Hope the weather stays fine...
Becky Daniels is from Clavering in Essex. She is studying French, Spanish, English Literature and Media Studies and is really interested in journalism, poetry and literature. She says in her spare time she likes to see her friends and dance a lot.
Do we really have it easy?
A time of horror, of realisation, a time where everyone seems about to break down due to a distinct lack of work, and yet procrastination is ever-present - welcome to the A level exam season.
A multitude of revision timetables, notes and study guides litter every young person’s bedroom. Libraries are rife with desperate shadows of the former binge drinking, social butterflies searching for help.
Maybe you don’t think it’s that terrible, but when the only thing teenagers hear about are these all-important tests it consumes us like a virus: we become withdrawn, tired, short-tempered and ready to snap at the smarmy adults claiming life was so much harder ‘back in the day’; all of which are classic signs of ‘pre A-level stress’.
“I get annoyed at my family because they’re overbearing, I don’t feel I have enough time for revision, which makes me want to do it less. It’s a huge spiral of anxiety”, says SWCHS student Madeline Clinton, a view shared by students everywhere.
There’s more to learn than ever before, especially with family pressure. So please, don’t yell too much, sometimes, even the most confident student needs a shoulder to lean on, and a cup of tea.
Johnnie Pascalidis is 17 and attends the Sixth Form at Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury. Johnnie is a keen sportsman, particularly basketball and squash, in which he plays for the local men's and county team respectively. He is also the editor of the school magazine (Wordsworth magazine) for which he was lucky enough to interview Ralph Fiennes (who went to Bishop's). After university he is hoping to be a journalist.
Milford Mural Masterpiece Reaches Conclusion
May 7 saw the culmination of the Milford Street Bridge Project, with Fred Fieber completing his depiction of the buildings in the Milford Street area lost when the ring road was built.
The local artist has been working on the mural under the ring road bridge on Milford Street since mid-February. It is a snapshot of the best remembered buildings and characters, including Foster’s bakery when the cows broke in and the Invicta leather works where many local people have worked. He described himself as ‘elated’ during the community project ‘Family Fun Day’ at the Salisbury Arts Centre, which brought together fans and participants alike to enjoy a day of activities to celebrate the scheme’s conclusion.
‘The project has immortalised the memories of this vanished area. This is my greatest ever work and giving it to the community has made me a very satisfied man.’
Project leader, Clare Christopher, on seeing the response of the community and the finished mural said that she was ‘bathed in a rosy glow’ and wanted to thank the 40 volunteers without whom the scheme wouldn’t have reached completion.
‘Despite the challenges and doubts over the funding of this grassroots community project, its success has made me want to organise more schemes like it.’
Francesca Flynn lives in Much Wenlock and studies at William Brookes Sixth Form. She loves sport, and has been selected to go on a Coubertin Youth Forum in Beijing to represent her school, and consequently GB, which she’s really excited about. Francesca loves writing articles, and hopes to make it as a professional journalist.
No Stop for Wenlock
Olympic town loses race for torch.
London 2012! No-one in Britain can fail to be aware of the significance of this momentous occasion. This is especially true for the residents of Much Wenlock, Shropshire, a town which breathes fascinating Olympic history. So how is it that a town that has been dubbed the “birthplace of the modern Olympic movement” is being denied a stop-over in the Torch Relay?
“It’s a disgrace if Wenlock isn’t recognised as a hugely important stop.” according to local trader Lesley Ingram.
Despite the prestigious award of the Olympic mascot being named after Wenlock, it seems the torch will barely touch the historically important town.
There are of course logistical issues which prevent the torch staying over in Wenlock, with an estimated 300 people and 40 vehicles making up the Torch’s entourage, but the general feeling in Much Wenlock is still one of outrage.
However, whilst it appears that there will be no over-night stop in Wenlock, the town’s residents still remain hopeful that the flame will visit the town on its journey across the country. Mr Cannon, chairman of the Wenlock Olympian Society said: “We await the final route announcement in November and sincerely hope we will be included.”
Alicia Nugent is 18 years old and studying at Swansea University for a joint degree in Spanish and Media.
When she finishes, she would love to work in the media industry preferably specialising in the print media and is also hoping to study in Spain for a year.
Residents in uproar over proposed development
Residents of Maes y Gwernen have recently found themselves fighting a battle to keep their estate from the hands of property developers. Plans to build 52 three-storey houses along with 6 flats on the field adjacent to the estate situated in Cwmrhydeceirw, Morriston, would be built in an area that has remained untouched for nearly fifty years.
The proposed development has caused uproar amongst residents, who believe that amongst other issues, the plans are not in keeping with the existing style of properties on the estate. Many of the three-storey dwellings would overlook bungalows, blocking sunlight and also invade privacy. Residents also fear that the development would bring excess traffic to an area which already suffers from severe congestion from nearby schools. Resident Steven Nugent commented: “It is already impossible to access the estate with the school rush first thing in the morning and in the afternoon. These days most families have two or more cars, so there would be at least an extra 120 cars in the area - I dread to think what it would be like.”
Residents have rallied together to express their opposition to the plans, and a petition with several hundred signatures has been sent to the Swansea council planning application office. Until a decision has been made, all residents can do is wait in anticipation.
Alice Weavers is 18 and from Southampton.
Southampton City Youth Parliament Axed
Southampton’s young people are struggling to have their voices heard due to the closure of youth groups as a result of funding cuts.
Southampton City Youth Parliament (SCYP) is the latest group to be axed. Attended by young representatives from schools and youth groups across the city, SCYP has played an important role in giving Southampton’s young people a platform to raise their opinions locally and nationally. “SCYP was a great champion for Southampton’s young people by representing their views to the council and services to help build a better future for our city’s young people,” says Nathan Stafford-King, Southampton’s Member of the UK Youth Parliament, “this vital link between young people and the adult decision makers has now been unfairly lost.”
Although the group has been struggling with membership in the past year, the younger generation is more interested in politics than ever. John Vaughan, a politics teacher at Barton Peveril College has seen the number of students taking A-Level politics increase; “The general election and the tuition fees debate has sparked a real interest in politics among young people.”
Thus, this could provide some hope that despite SCYP’s closure, young people will continue to make their opinions heard.
Shannen Molloy lives in Omagh, Co. Tyrone.
Summer holidays or bummer holidays?
Is there a super summer ahead of us OR a bunch of drab and dreary days?
School summer holidays consist of roughly seventy-five days and those days can prove quite tedious living in a rural district, particularly for the fifteen to seventeen year olds, battling boredom. I asked a sixteen year old, living in a rural area, what her view was.“Yes, I totally agree. I think we’re at that age, stuck between children and adults. I know I’d appreciate somewhere where we could have fun and hang out with our friends”. So, with that in mind, I feel this issue should be addressed.
It goes without saying that teenagers are often portrayed in a negative light and in a recent report on the drinkaware.co.uk website it was stated that by the time that young people reach fifteen, more than eight out of ten have already tried alcohol. In my opinion, if local entertainment facilities were provided that catered for our age group this would steer our youth away from alcohol, drugs and criminal behaviour. With the summer holidays around the corner, don’t you agree a change should be made NOW for the up and coming generations?
Liam Lines wrote an opinion piece on events in his local area. He is a student at Cirencester College taking A/S levels and also a BTEC in journalism. He is really interested in sports and would like to be a sports journalist in the future.
Events in Stroud, are there enough?
Stroud is a town full of young, out-going teenagers who just want something to do. Having activities and events such as music or sporting activities allow younger people to have something to look forward to and stay out of trouble.
The problem is, there aren’t any of these, it’s just a textile festival after a textile festival, and it’s so boring!! The only sports festival scheduled over the next couple of months is the walking festival on Friday 2nd September to Sunday 18th. There are very few summer events scheduled, and even if there are they aren’t publicized enough.
Of course we have local community centres and youth clubs but past sixteen those sorts of places become boring and that’s when young adults start to turn to the streets instead of doing something useful.
I asked a local who as a teenager used to organise music events in Stroud, who himself brought U2 to Stroud. He answered “It’s better than it was but events aren’t publicized enough, also more venues could be available. A huge problem nowadays is contacting modern bands, but it’s still possible.”
If younger people have something to do then it leaves them less time to get into trouble. If they work with councils they could organise certain events that would take interest to them.
Loretta Dean is 16 years old and lives in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. She is currently studying English literature, English language, geography and religious studies: ethics. She enjoys reading and writing and would like to pursue a career in the field of media and journalism.
'D.N.A’ Drama Displays High-School Talent
A-LEVEL students at Kesteven and Sleaford High School left their audience breathless after their performance of Dennis Kelly’s chilling drama, ‘DNA’.
Tackling contemporary issues, the sinister play explored group dynamics and adolescent cruelty reminiscent of William Golding’s, ‘Lord of the Flies’.
When a group of teenagers take advantage of an outsider’s desperate attempts to be part of the ‘gang’ their bullying proves fatal. Once things go too far a desperate panic brings together their fractious lives as they try to conceal the truth. The ruthless characters provocatively urged the audience to question morality in human nature; whilst the thumping soundtrack of high-volume chart music reinforced the fact gang violence is a topical concern, its location: contemporary society.
Filled with suspense and odd moments of hilarity, the talented cast left their audience hanging on every word.
Martha Watson-Allpress delivered a stand-out performance as the talkative Lea, beside Nikki Langworthy who captured the sinister character of Pip with unsettling silence. Promising actress Emma Collier was equally compelling with her emotional portrayal of the terrified Danny, an aspiring dentist caught-up in the tragedy.
“The girls were outstanding!” enthused Head teacher, Alison Ross, “I was on the edge of my seat.”
Spencer Brown is 17 years old and from Easingwold. He attends Easingwold Sixth Form and submitted an article on North Yorkshire County Schools’ Football Association winning the Northern Counties, Schools’ U18s Football Association title.
He wrote the article the team’s success after playing for them throughout the competition, and in the picture Spencer is third from left on the front row. His dream is to follow a career in journalism, as it is such a varied, competitive and lively profession.
North Yorkshire C.S.F.A U18s secure historic title
North Yorkshire C.S.F.A U18s football team have secured an historic Northern Counties’ S.F.A title after overcoming their Roses rivals Lancashire in a ferociously competitive final.
To reach the showpiece event - hosted at Victoria Park, home of Nelson F.C near Burnley - North Yorkshire stormed to first place in the Northern East Counties league, beating Cumbria, Cleveland, Durham and drawing with Northumberland.
The top two from the Northern East and Northern West Counties League qualified to the semi-finals, where North Yorkshire then triumphed 1-0 over Cheshire to book a tantalising final berth against a strong Lancashire team.
Lancashire had beaten Cleveland in the other semi-final, and were brimming with confidence after winning the ESFA National Trophy the previous month. A determined and thoroughly disciplined performance, however, ensured a first-half goal was enough for North Yorkshire to end their season in emphatic and glorious style.
It is the first time the White Rose have won the competition, after losing in the final four years ago, and manager Mike Mastrolonardo was proud of his side’s achievement: “The lads had an outstanding work ethic and team spirit,” he said, “They are a credit to their families, their schools, their districts and North Yorkshire.”
Emily Coyle is 18 years old from St Agnes in Cornwall. She has had a passion for writing since she was little and used to make poem books for her family. She thinks a career in journalism would be ideal for her as every day is different!
NHS reforms cause faulty test results
A local woman has received the wrong test results due to a voice recognition system that has replaced some medical secretaries.
Georgina Coyle, 50, from St Agnes had lower spinal surgery last July due to unstable vertebrae.
Following a car crash earlier this year, an MRI scan was performed on April 19th to reassure her she had not suffered further spinal injury.
The results obtained on April 20th stated, “obvious abnormality or evidence of failure is identified.”
After the Easter weekend, Mrs Coyle telephoned the Clinical Imaging department having been distressed with these results.
“I was told there had been a mistake with my results”, she said. “They had missed out the word ‘no’ because my results were typed up by a machine”.
Recent NHS cuts have meant that some medical secretaries have been replaced by digital dictation and speech recognition software.
A computer transcribed Mrs Coyle’s results as the Radiologist read them aloud. However, unclear diction meant the computer was not able to detect “no”.
Mrs Coyle added, “I was so upset over the Easter weekend thinking I might need more surgery. I don’t think I will be the first, nor the last, to suffer due to these NHS cuts.”
Aaron Wise, age 18 from Worcester is currently studying Journalism and Media Cultural Studies at the University of Worcester.
His dream is to become a journalist and my strongest area is sports journalism. I enjoy writing for local Newspapers whenever I get the opportunity and also volunteer at a local community radio station which I love.
The University of Worcester attracted a high attendance of young men from all over the country for their first organised fun-day.
On Wednesday 25th May the University of Worcester set up a 7 a side football tournament as a fun-day to end the year’s semester for the students that finished Friday 6th May.
The University's Men's football team organised the event and invited any students and young men to attend the tournament from 10am to 4pm.
A total of 120 plus turned up at the University making 12 teams varying from Academy players, Rugby players, students from other University's and young men from the community.
There was a £2 entry fee for each player which went towards the University's facilities and the winning team got a trophy provided by the University's men's football team.
Marc Harrison, one of the players from Worcester's community said “I really enjoyed the set up at the University, the atmosphere was great and it was a good laugh. I was surprised how many people turned up from all over the country with mixed ethnicity's, age and cultures coming together to take part”.
For more information on events and fun-days from the University of Worcester visit http://www.worcester.ac.uk/community/local-community.html