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BBC School News Report Day


Once again this year we are taking part in the annual BBC School News Report Day.

Thirteen Year 7 students are reporters for the day looking at news around the world, in the UK, locally and in our school. 

They are being supported by four Year 9 students and two Year 10 students.

This page will be updated during the day with photos and news items.

They are all currently researching what is going on today around the world. 

Helen and Rosie have been cuddling our two guinea pigs and writing a story about how pets can help with mental health issues.

Hebe and Maddie have conducted a telephone interview with local Lewes Conservative MP, Maria Caulfield.  Questions included school funding, the importance of pets in mental health issues, and the need for extra curricular school clubs and activities.  They had a 9 minute conversation.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGJICcSkt0GwlBXyr962e1Zg-EtqdbKxL  See our films produced by the students.

Our first story written by Harry, Ed and Mylo

Three jailed after discovery of a cannabis farm worth £2 million

In North Chailey, East Grinstead Road, in 2014, Terence Boyles, Suzanne Hawkins and Anthony Cooper were found with a cannabis farm worth £2.136 million. Although this was two years ago, they have only recently been jailed for their crime. Incredibly, there were more than 1,700 cannabis plants at various stages of growth.

Hawkins was arrested at the farm on the day, also, a 19 year old woman and a 42 year old man were arrested but released later that day without any charges.

But now in 2017, Boyle and Hawkins were given four years imprisonment and Cooper was given a six year sentence. Cooper pleaded guilty on the first day whereas the others took weeks.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Jim Austin, said: “This has been a long and complex investigation involving a number of officers and we have succeeded in taking a massive amount of cannabis off the streets.”

Thanks to a large amount of officers and a lot of time, a large illegal cannabis operation has been shut down.

Three jailed after discovery of a cannabis farm worth £2 million


Our second story written by Summer, Maddie and Hebe

Pets can help with

  • Children with ADHD

  • Children with autism

  • Life stress for all ages

  • Socialising with people on walks

  • Loneliness, you could potentially have a friend

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Physical health

How can pets help with mental health and wellbeing?

Pets can be a great source of comfort, companionship and motivation; for example if you have type two diabetes and you need to lose some weight then a dog could MOTIVATE you to take it on a walk because you would have the responsibility to care for your pet.

Having a pet can help with emotional and physical disorders and it can help with a range of different illnesses like autism, dementia and anxiety.

The companionship that a pet offers can reduce stress and anxiety.

Man’s best friend

Dogs are able to understand lots of different words we use but the thing that they understand the most is tone of voice, body language and gestures. Like any good human friend a dog would look into your eyes to gauge your emotional state and try to understand your feelings and thoughts. If you tried hard enough you could have a good relationship with any animal by studying their behaviour and their body language, which isn’t that difficult to understand. Dogs can comfort you when you are depressed or scared and you can comfort and praise them when you need them.

Chailey School CARE club

Recently, at Chailey School we have recruited some furry friends and twig like creatures in lab2. Ms Purcell is the owner of these fabulous and extremely interesting insects and friendly rodents.

Many students are interacting with the animals at lunch time. We find this time with the animals relaxing and educational because we are learning the key skills for caring: cleaning the enclosures and spraying them with water (because the insects come from a humid place).

Importantly, we want them to feel like they are at home, so feeding and grooming are the main part of caring for pets. CARE Club stands for CLUB FOR ANIMAL RESPECT AND EDUCATION. When interacting with the animals we are taught what is right and wrong, like handling, which is an important part of day to day life, so that the animals get the exercise they need. Another thing that you need to know is when the animal is feeling comfortable or scared, so when we have the guinea pigs out and they don’t look like they are enjoying it then they need to be put back so they learn that we are here to help.


Our third story is written by Adam

Scotch Eggsit-The Scottish Independence Referendum

Theresa May says Scotland will leave the EU no matter whether they like it or not. This shocking statement from the Prime Minister has caused the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon to announce plans of a second independence referendum in response to the UK voting to leave the EU.

Ms Sturgeon wants the vote to be held in autumn 2018 or the spring of 2019. Mrs May received comments from the European Commission on Monday, which suggested that if Scotland became independent they would have to apply to re-join the EU rather than automatically became a member again. Theresa May said to Mr Roberson: "You are comparing membership of an organisation that we have been a member of for 40 years, with our country. We have been one country for over 300 years. We have fought together, we have worked together, we have achieved together, and constitutional game-playing must not be allowed to break the deep bonds of our shared history and our future together." That political discussion will help decide the decision to decide whether Scotland wish to be independent or not.

So what will Scotland lose and gain by becoming independent?

Although Scotland wants to become independent, they also want to keep many aspects of England, such as the pound. If Scotland leaves they will lose the pound and possibly their largest trade partners, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They will have to live using their own resources. Many people complain that not enough Scottish MPs actually have a seat in the Houses of Parliament. There are 650 seats and 59 are Scottish. Now, more about money. If Scotland become independent they would either have to use the Euro or create their own currency. The flag of the United Kingdom would change yet again and would lose the Scottish touch. However, Scotland will be able to cope on their own with these differences as other independent countries before them have.      

Will Scotland and the rest of Britain continue being trade partners?

If Scotland does become independent, it will definitely affect the way that the rest of Britain and Scotland trade together. Hopefully Scotland is very well prepared for this and already has plans to reach out to other countries for trade. Britain must also be prepared to lose trade with Scotland and must reach out as well to trade with others.

What I think

I think that Scotland should withdraw from the United Kingdom as it will open up many doors and lead them to an uncertain but bright future. Many may disagree with me but it is clear that Scotland would like to stay in the EU whereas England and Wales voted not to stay. It would give Scotland the chance to be independent and make their own decisions. In conclusion, I think this will be a very good opportunity for Scotland.


Our fourth story is by Leisha 

How are Teenagers’ Individuality Deprived within Society?

In modern culture, teenagers are consistently having their individuality provoked by the media and authority.

It is said that students are feeling deeply insecure, regarding their: appearance, personality and ethical background. Many teenagers believe that within their school lives, they are targeted for discrimination and bullying.

Some people would argue that teenagers are not supported by schools to express themselves in a way that they would feel happy and comfortable, due to the strict uniform policies and limited freedom. Although in some respect, school uniform emphasises a formal impression and a sensible reputation for the school itself. Nevertheless, a vast majority of teenagers disagree and attempt to rebel against this stereotypical protocol.

According to recent studies, expressing oneself in a way where teenagers feel relaxed can encourage positive concepts. This includes: a sense of freedom, style, creativity and self-assurance. In my opinion, this strengthens and inevitably develops a sense of progression and achievement within society.

Despite the positive aspects of expressing oneself, an enormous amount of hate can arise from being who you feel you are. For example, back in 2007 Sophie Lancaster was, tragically, brutally murdered for expressing her individuality for supporting her choice of having a Gothic personality. This implies how teenagers are pressured, which could potentially lead to suffering from social anxiety, depression and feeling suicidal.

Social media is becoming a persistent issue for teenagers in modern society. It produces extremely unoriginal impressions on young adults. In fact, many bloggers, YouTubers and social icons are being singled out, ranging from making makeup tutorials to Vlogging their everyday lives. Social media produces stereotypical idols of which teenagers are pressured to follow; such as revealing pictures, relating to body image, which could potentially lead to dangerous insecurity and mental health issues.

Ever since BREXIT became official on the 23rd June, 2016, racial and religious hate crimes have risen approximately 41%; resulting in protests, peaceful and violent riots and campaigns. At the same time, a growing LGBT rights movement and Gender Equality community is gaining higher priority within the public eye.

Even though there is dispute against expressing your own individuality, many communities throughout Britain support creativity and ethical beliefs. Especially in Brighton & Hove, the Transgender culture is supported and embraced throughout the city. Brighton & Hove were the first council to officially recognise the transgender community. This is consistently being accepted in different parts of the world and society is becoming more adapted to a LGBT lifestyle.

Finally, colourful graffiti and artwork encases the walls of towns and cities which is a form of sending a message, symbolism and independence. All the more reason for it not to be reprimanded by the police, government and other authority figures.

From a teenager’s perspective of the matter, I think that being an individual being with personal opinions and characteristics is vital to sustain a healthy, positive lifestyle. Even though authority tries to make our modern day society a piece of perfection, by disapproving of rebelling for your own rights, it doesn’t mean that we should agree with it. After all, rules are made to be broken.

We are all original people with our own minds.


Our fifth story by Helen and Rosie

Welcome our new “grinny pigs!”

Hazel and Teaser – the two new additions to Chailey School - have been getting a lot of attention from the students. We have interviewed Miss Purcell, their owner and Science teacher at Chailey

Why did you get the guinea pigs / why did you bring them to school?

I have always really enjoyed keeping animals and looking after them. I have had guinea pigs since the age of 7 and think that they are wonderful, friendly pets with their own personalities. I decided to bring them to school because I wanted to set up an animal CARE Club so that students could learn about them during lessons and be more engaged in biology lessons because of them. I also think that they are great for when someone is feeling sad. So if anyone is ever feeling a bit down, come and cuddle a guinea pig!

Are guinea pigs easy to look after?

I think they are relatively easy to look after. They need fresh vegetables every day as well as water and dry food. They also need to be picked up every day. They need cleaning out twice a week and will come home with me at the weekends too.

What's it like having guinea pigs in the classroom and how do the students react?

Students have been very enthusiastic when seeing the guinea pigs. So far, no one has been too distracted by them and are getting on with their work very well. In some lessons where the students have been working outstandingly all lesson, putting in all their effort, I will get the guinea pigs out five minutes towards the end to reward students for their hard work.

Can you do experiments with your students when they are in the classroom?

Some experiments are still fine to do with them in the classroom. Others, such as dissections, I will arrange to swap rooms with another science teacher, or not bring the guinea pigs to school on the days that I plan to do dissections. If we are using Bunsen burners I will cover their cage over in case the fire frightens them (although I'm sure they would be too distracted by food to notice!).


The Ruben’s tube

This week, Science Week, Year 7 have been looking at the sound waves through the Rubens tube. The sound is plugged in one end and the gas the other. Depending on the rhythm and sound of the music, is how much the waves move. Watch this short video below to see how it works.


Our sixth story by Elise and Lucy

Is anorexia affected by the media?

What is Anorexia?

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that affects thousands of people across the world; mainly young girls and teenagers. Anorexia makes people lose more weight than is considered healthy for their age and height by starving themselves or taking unhealthy medication. Sometimes cases can get so serious that that victims stay in hospital for months and even years. In rare cases some may die.

Is the media to blame?

Many are debating whether the media is cause of some cases of anorexia. Every day we are bombarded by pictures and stories of celebrities and fashion models without even knowing it. They are edited by computers and cameras to become “perfect people”, who are famous and admired for their attractive figures and stunning characters. The concern is that everywhere we turn, we are told that we need to look like these celebrities to be attractive. The media is an important aspect of life in our culture. About 95% of people own a TV set and watch for an average of 3-4 hours per day. By the end of the last century over 60% of men and 50% of women read a newspaper each day and nearly half of all girls, as young as 7, read girls’ magazines each week. In addition, people interact with a wide variety of social media as part of their everyday life

Unfortunately, it is believed that this is the reason teens, especially girls, feel that they cannot be popular or pretty; without being thin and attractive. As well as anorexia, the media may also cause low self-esteem and depression due to the amount of fake images and personalities of celebrities.

Speaking out about AnorexiF

Although there is hope for those suffering. For example Jade Thirlwall: popular singer of Little Mix, a girl group who won X Factor in 2011, recently spoke out about her struggle with anorexia and bullying during secondary school. Also Demi Lovato, Lindsay Lohan and Kesha, all popular role models for teen girls, have revealed their battles with anorexia. This has proved inspirational for young girls.

There are also many charities and organisations devised including MIND and BEAT, that are devised to help those with anorexia.

So if you have anorexia you’re not alone. But don’t think you’re not good enough because who’s to say what you should be like. Be your own kind of perfect, be the way you already are.


Our seventh story by Hebe, Summer and Maddy

Our telephone interview with Maria Caulfield, Conservative MP for Lewes

These are the questions that we asked her:

How do you think schools should promote mental health and well-being?

Schools should show children that they have people to talk to in school, and there should be that atmosphere where it is ok to talk about things. I don’t think there should be anything physically, it is more the overall atmosphere –like a broken leg- we would all ask for help if it was hurting.

How do you think pets affect mental health and well –being?

I have cats, and I think that having that distraction and the relaxation really helps. Before I was an MP, I was a nurse, and I found that most hospitals have hospital cats because it was also a distraction from being ill. Some hospitals still allow pets because it is a reminder of home.

Do you think that pets should be used to help mental health at schools?

It is difficult because there is no scientific proof that pets do make a difference. But it is great for helping children learn about how to care for animals. In a community college nearby, they have a farm on site with lots of different animals, which makes them feel better. Although there isn’t any evidence, I think it should definitely be encouraged.

What do you think about the importance of extracurricular activities, for example school trips, lunch time clubs, having the opportunities to learn/play musical instruments, learning outside the classroom. Everything that enhances school life over and above the normal lessons?

I think they are very vital. For example, schools come to the Houses of Parliament for school trips, which shows them what the real world looks like. East Sussex Music is phenomenal, and the talent there is incredible. But if we lose extracurricular activities it will be a huge loss. For me education and core exams are important, but it is also important to see the other aspects of life, and if you don’t experience it at school you might not when you get older.

How do you think the new funding cuts will affect schools in the local area?

I think there will be an impact. I am encouraging the parents who email me to be a part of a consultation group and I have also had meetings with most of the head teachers, and have met with yours as well, and we have spoken to the school minister. It will make a difference to the resources and teachers they have.

What else are you going to do as an MP to prevent schools shutting down because of the funding cuts?

I am doing quite a lot already, we are getting positive responses from Government. It will eventually come to the House of Commons for a vote. We are all facing the same problems across East and West Sussex. If it comes to the House of Commons, and there is a vote on it, then ultimately I said that I will not support it and vote against it, and if enough of us do it, then the funding proposals will not go through.


Our eighth story is by Dylan and Corin

Ways to reduce your carbon footprint

What is a carbon footprint?

For those who don’t know, your carbon footprint is your impact on the creation of green-house gasses, contributing to global warming.

The majority of green-house gasses produced by the UK comes from energy suppliers (31%). However, 23% comes from transport, 17% comes from businesses, 12% comes from residential sources, 9% comes from agriculture, and 8% from other causes.

Ever wanted to know your carbon footprint? Here is a link to a carbon footprint calculator: http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/questionnaires/show/1/1/1

How can we lower our carbon footprint?

There are many ways to lower your carbon footprint, here are some of them. One of the best and simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to turn off the lights whenever you leave a room. Although, only do this if you are not going back into that room in the next 5 minutes. Did you know that turning the lights back on uses more energy than leaving them running. Importantly, installing LED light-bulbs will help to decrease energy consumption.

Also, installing solar-panels are another energy efficient way to cut down on your carbon footprint. Surprisingly, one of the biggest CO2 producers is the meat industry, which has more of an effect than you might think. Therefore, one of the best ways at limiting your carbon footprint is to eat less meat. Charities like Greenpeace give free information about how to protect the environment. One really good thing to do is meat-free Mondays.

For more way to reduce your carbon footprint, click the link below:



Our ninth story is by Maddy

How important is recycling?

Recycling is very important as it helps prevent global warming and protects the planet.

Waste that is chucked in a rubbish bin gets sent to a land fill and sometimes is burnt. Smoke is partly carbon dioxide and that is one of the greenhouse gases which is making an impact on our world. This means that icebergs melt leaving polar bears without their original habitat.

Things you can recycle to prevent the world getting damaged:

  • Glass

  • Paper

  • Tin/aluminium

  • Plastic

If you recycle then it will protect the environment and animals. If it is not recyclable, then put it in the bin, don’t leave it on the floor or chuck it in a bush because animals could get trapped in it.

The majority of the rubbish we put in the bin could be recycled and save the environment.

Last year, householders chucked out more than 81,000 tonnes of rubbish. So remember to recycle.


Our tenth story is by Rosie


Recently in the news, there have been lots of articles on fake news.

Different types of fake news:

Accidental: This is when a news reporter has accidentally got a fact wrong and has reported it.

Purpose fake news: This is when someone purposely writes something that they know is fake.

Misleading news: This happens when someone creates fake news because they want people to have a different opinion on something, for example if there was an election then that person might want the reader to vote for someone else.

Humorous news: This is when someone writes fake news but it is supposed to be funny, and they make it clear that it is fake.

Spotting fake news

In a survey in America, less than 45% of children aged 10-18 said they could spot fake news. That means 55% of them couldn’t. Also, over half of the teenagers said they went on the internet to find out news. The problem with looking on the internet for news is that not all sites say real news, so lots of them tell fake stories.

You can spot fake news by:

  • Does it make sense to you?

  • Have you heard the story anywhere else?

  • Does it look normal?

Make sure you are sure something is not fake news before you tell other people.

What is the problem with fake news?

Fake news is a problem because the people that read the news believe it and spread the news. For example, before the American President Donald Trump was voted, apparently he said that he had called his own voters “the dumbest voters in the country”. But he never said this! People believed this fake news, though. Another example of fake news is recently when some newspapers said “England is planning to invade Switzerland unless the country changes the shape of its’ Toblerones”. Of course this wasn’t true! Also, on the news recently, sites like Facebook have been trying to solve the problem of fake news on their site, because people were spreading fake news.                      


Our Eleventh Story

Written by: Barney Morris

Co-written by: Leisha Limbachia, Corin Beckwith and Chantel Camara

Mrs Key interviewed by: Barney Morris, Chantel Camara and Corin Beckwith 

Are schools defying the human rights act?

Many of us believe that schools must follow the rules put in place by the government. By thinking that, you may be wrong. However, it is possible that school detentions and being sent out of class is against the ‘human rights act 1998’. It can also be against the European Convention of Human Rights.

In Article 5 this key line is the strong base of my argument: “(a) the lawful detention of a person after conviction by a competent court”Surely in order to receive a detention from a teacher you must first be convicted by a fair “competent court”. This also links in with article 6 which states that “Right to a fair trial “ should be held.

Key Human Rights and why they’re important

Funnily enough, it doesn’t stop there. A while ago a 15 year old student took legal action against Moray council after she received a detention. She stated that Speyside High School violated the European Convention of Human Rights, due to the fact it is illegal to detain children in school, against their will, without securing a court order. She too based this on Article 5, with her lawyers citing Article 2 and article 3. Article 2 states every child has a right to education, and Article 3 protects children from degrading treatment.

Keeping a child in detention, especially if it is multiple times, could be seen as degrading treatment and goes against the European Convention of Human Rights. Would you as parents allow this emotional trauma? We also have upcoming GCSEs which require intense stretches of work up to two hours of revision a day. In Year 11 if you miss one piece of homework it is immediate detention. This could also be seen as a contributing factor to cognitive decomposition and brain trauma.  

School Policies

Many will argue that school can detain students due to the home school agreement, however, this was not forced to be signed and unlike others our home school does not contain any information regarding punishment. If you patrol the depths of our website (http://www.chaileyschool.org/media/1258/behaviour-policy.pdf) you will find a particular part on detentions.

“From 1 September 1998 Schools and colleges have had clear legal authority to detain students after school on disciplinary grounds.

  1. Detentions must be reasonable and proportionate to the offence.”

However, Article 6 and article 5 very clearly states that detention must be convicted through a fair court and a teacher’s judgment. Unfortunately it is biased and not fair. In effect this would be like going to court where the judge is the defendant.

 To answer these pressing questions, the Headteacher, Mrs Key, we interviewed her. So here is a brief transcript of the important points…

When asked about detaining children without conviction, she stated “It depends on how you detain children; schools aren’t to do with the court of law, which means that schools don’t work within the legal system. However, they say that they do their best to investigate before coming to a conclusion. In isolation, people are allowed to: eat, drink, go to the toilets and do not have to work for the whole day.”

Mrs Key said that it would be different if their treatment was worse. However, she thinks that people need to know the rules and abide by them. It is freedom and liberty for everyone and it is alright as long as you don’t get degraded treatment.

She explained, “Schools have the right to detain students at the weekend.”

On the home-school agreement, there is nothing about detention and under the home-school agreement it is seen as illegal so it does not have to be signed. Importantly, she stated that the school acts as the ‘parental figure’.

When a teacher has removed a student from the class, and then forgets that they are outside, that is against the human rights act. Everyone has the right to an education. In response to this she said that the school is an institution of people, not robots and that teachers can sometimes make mistakes. She states that the school works in a civilised way.

All in all as schools do not work with the legal system they are not defying the human rights act. However, some may say that detentions are against Article 3 which prevents children from degrading treatment, but this is down to my personal opinion.


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