Breaking The Chain


For many years, images of perfection have ruled our lives. From wanting to be ‘one of the crowd’ to trying to avoid embarrassment, we all strive to avoid displaying our individuality. As a species, we are constantly changing our appearances like chameleons. Every day, we look into the mirror, and are never fully satisfied with what we see. And so we continue to strive for perfection, evolving and learning from our mistakes. But what if perfection does not exist? What if we are always aiming for an unreachable, ever moving boundary?

Gradually, we are becoming too alike; we leave school and exchange one uniform for another in order to remain ‘on trend.’ We are not just losing our original appearances and personalities, we are losing our identities. Every day, little by little, we are forgetting who we truly are. Trends are not guidelines, they are becoming rules, orders that must be followed in order to remain ’one of the crowd.’ From our clothes to our individual likes and dislikes, we are altering our personalities in order to ensure that we do not become the one jigsaw puzzle piece of society that does not fit.

Every day, we observe our appearance in the mirror. However, we are never fully satisfied with what we see, as we always notice a certain flaw that makes us self-conscious. Even those who believe that they have achieved perfection possess nagging doubts as they assess themselves on a daily basis. As teenagers, we seem to believe that others expect us to be ’perfect.’ We automatically assume that everyone is analyzing our clothes, make up and the way we style our hair. Waking up in the morning and wondering how to meet the standards of others is not at all pleasant.

And so, we spend an incredible amount of time wondering about the opinions of others. Instead of worrying about what others may say or think, we should embrace our own individuality and enjoy life without fearing not fitting in with ‘the crowd.’ Basing our lives around what others may think is not okay, as if we all aim to blend in with others, we shall our lose our identities. Instead of being concerned about the judgment of others, we should allow our true personalities to shine through, as we are all perfect in our own unique way. Perfection is not a goal post, nor is it a status that can be achieved by living by what others may think or say. In actual fact, we are all perfect, as perfection is an individual concept. If we all believe that we are not good enough, we shall never truly be able to accept that the only boundary between ourselves and our ideal vision is belief. And if we are all confident enough to display our identities, we are no longer held back by the restrictions of our invisible master.


All teenagers experience an element of insecurity, and most remain reluctant to allow their true personalities to shine through. We are constantly trying to impress others, and by aiming to please we also pray that we will be noticed for our ‘uniqueness.’ Following examples set by others does not allow us to earn the title of being unique. As individuals, we should be able to set our own examples.

The invention of social media has encouraged us to search for idols and visions of supposed perfection. Once in a while, we should ensure that we put down our mobile phones and reflect upon what is really important. Remember that your real friends are the people whom you can always depend upon, and not an irrelevant number displayed upon a screen. It is our desperation to be ‘liked’ that drives us to alter our appearance in order to meet the standards of others. In the long-term, does it really matter how many times our posts have been ’liked,’ or how many people follow our lives on social media?

If we all choose to alter our appearance in order to become a part of ’the crowd,’ we will all become identical to each other; a species that not only breathe the same air, but share the same thoughts, fears and ideas. We are all being controlled, yet we choose not to break free. Individuality is what makes us a species. If we all base our identities around others, we become one person, and if we are all one person, we are not a species. We no longer think for ourselves.

Therefore, we should speak up and act now because together, we can break the chain.



Passion For Music

All over the world people have passions; passion for sport, passion for fashion, passion for animals, but one passion sticks out the most, music.

Millions of people across the world have an extremely strong passion for music, whether they are in a band, or they just simply listen to music by themselves, music plays an important part in all of their lives.

For many people music is an escape, they find comfort in the lyrics of their songs and feel at ease when watching a band they love play live.

Many students perform in musical concerts to show their love of music and how talented they are at playing different types of musical instruments such as: guitar, piano and drums.

All around the world there are many music festivals that take place in many countries that focus on many different genres: indie, pop, rock, country etc.

I have interviewed Mrs Slaney about her interest in music and the musical talent she has. Mrs Slaney has even been involved in several bands and has performed at many concerts. Mrs Slaney is a very talented person with a gift for music which you will see from my video interview.


Science Week – The link between High Schools and Primary Schools

On Monday 9th February until Friday 13th February, Paulet High School visited River View Primary school to help improve their science, English and design technology skills.

During these days different activities took place including: building dens, making homes for nocturnal animals, writing newspaper reports, making skeletons out of straws and much more.

We thought that this link between the Paulet students and the River View students was important, because it gave them a valuable experience of life at high school. Many of the River View children enjoyed working with older students and we really enjoyed working with them. It was very educational but fun at the same time! We personally think that it is great to have fun whilst learning; it helps the children to really think about working together and makes school a lot more enjoyable.

A big part of this experience was how to ‘work together’ and this week was all about team work. Team work is a valuable skill to have, and we hope we have helped them to understand this.

A lot of the year five and year six students told their teachers that they would now be a lot more confident after meeting some of the Paulet students and teachers. The children bonded well with the older children. This also makes them feel better and more confident about their transition to Paulet High School.

Reporters: Maddie & Ellie

Burton-on-Trent Keeps Moving

Back in 200 AD, Burton was a nature valley filled with the odd building dotted around. But now in 2015 – 1,815 years later – the valley is now filled with houses and even its own shops, takeaways and petrol stations! So, what’s made the quiet valley of yesteryear turn into the bustling community it is today? If you read on, we will uncover the secrets of how Burton-on-Trent and the surrounding area went from a settlement, to a town, to one of the biggest brewing industries ever in the history of our country.

The history of Burton probably started around the time of Anglo- Saxons, when the abbey was built (on the site now proudly stands The Winery restaurant). It was founded as a Benedictine Abbey by Wulfric Spot, the earl of Mercia in 1002. It was finished in 1004. Unfortunately, Wulfric died in October 1010. Before the Anglo- Saxons, Burton was mainly just countryside. Burton Abbey featured in the Domesday Book as ‘The Abbey of Saint Mary’. It was also recorded to be controlling lands such as Mickleover and Ticknall. This was also when the brewing industry began, founded by the monks of the Abbey.

When we jump forwards to 1520 Burton had been reduced to one of the smallest abbeys in Britain! The number of monks had shrunk to just 20 but, ironically, it was the most important abbey in Staffordshire! There had been a number of Royal visits to the abbey. William I came on a visit to the shrine of St. Modwen; Henry II was in Burton in 1155; John I came in 1200, 1204 and 1208; Henry III in 1235 and 1251; Edward I in 1275 and 1284 and Edward II in 1322. On the 10th March 1322, Burton came under attack by King Edward II of England with about 700 knights and militia fighting for the rebellious side and over 7000 fighting for the king. The battle was short lived, as much of the town was destroyed.

As the civil war swept across England, Burton played a key role along with Ashby. Burton was a strongly parliamentarian supporter. One of the most prominent Burton parliamentarians was Daniel Watson of Nether Hall whom, before the civil war, was a lawyer. One contributing factor to Burton’s allegiance was its strong puritan belief. Lord Paget, probably one of Burton’s leading figures, was always changing between allegiances but eventually settled for parliamentarian. Burton, with its strategic position and defence – because of the river – was used as the rendezvous point for the royalist forces of the Earl of Chesterfield and his son Ferdinando Stanhope in late 1642. One problem for the inhabitants of Burton was the fact it lay between the parliamentarian strongholds of Derby and Stafford and the royalist strongholds of Lichfield, Tutbury, and Ashby-de-la-Zouch it was fought over for the entity of the civil war. In 1643 the king placed a garrison in Burton, but that was short lived as the forces of Gell and Lord Grey drove the garrison out. After many more battles, purely by luck, it became a really important roundhead stronghold. Proof of the battles before is a plaque to commemorate the event on the bridge by the Burton Civic Society in 1993. The plaque reads:


But like all wars it was eventually ended with victory awarded to the parliamentarians. Yet again, we must now move on to another moment in Burton’s history…

In the Tudor times, 1536, Henry the VIII, wanting to divorce Catherine of Aragon, appointed himself leader of the Church of England. There was generally fear for Burton’s religious buildings, the promotion of the current Abbot de Bronston to Abbot of Westminster. This caused some excitement because it was the highest post ever accompanied by any monk of Burton! Early in 1538, the town’s Abbey was described as the centre of life in Burton and was also a place of pilgrimage as many travelled here to see the shrine of Saint Modwen (mentioned earlier).

Jumping forward to Victorian times we discover yet more of Burton’s history. Lots of evidence of a clay mill pumping station has been uncovered. The clay mills pumping station was and is still an excellent example of Victorian engineering, and has buildings dating back to 1885!

Some surviving buildings from throughout even our short glimpse into the history are buildings such as Waterloo Tower. It is so large it can be seen from many miles.

If you wish to see the abbey ‘s remains, some still stand in the back of The Winery restaurant and some parts of Burton’s history are still able to see, even through the modern day hustle and bustle.


Alex , Year 8.




Welcome to the Spring Solstice

On Friday 20th March a special event called Spring Solstice will take place around the world. Scientifically, the spring solstice occurs the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the earth’s equator. Its deeper spiritual significance revolves around the mysteries of spiritual resurrection – the idea that life springs forth after death.

Another memorable experience this year will be a full eclipse in some parts of the world, other areas will have just a partial eclipse. In the spring solstice you will hear about a solstice ‘legend’. There are many legends, about solstice and here are some that stand out:

Egg and broom:
A fun game, with and egg and broom where the aim is to try and balance the egg on the broom without it falling off.

Celtic goddess of spring:
The name of the goddess is ‘Eostre’ (later becomes Easter) and she awakens all new life on the day of spring solstice. She is also associated with the fertility symbols of red eggs, rabbits and the very welcome flowers of spring.

It’s no coincidence that early Egyptian built great sphinx so that it pointed directly towards the rising sun on the day of the vernal equinox. Some view this transition as a victory of a God of light (or life, rebirth or resurrection) over the powers of darkness (death).

Have a happy Spring Solstice!

Reporters: Annise, Abi, and Lily


Closing the Net on Cyber Bullying

A young girl meets up with a random stranger she found online. The next thing she knows, she’s giving him her bank details, her address and he’s stolen her identity. There’s nothing she can do; she gave it all away. That’s the danger of cyber bullying – you don’t know when it’s happening until it’s too late.
What can you do to educate young people to avoid getting into this nightmare?
Two students from Paulet High School, Rupert and Joey, have spent their time creating a video in which the lessons of cyber bullying have been explained and understood.

So join us on Bullying News 2.00 as we take you through a lesson of wonder and knowledge of the dangers of the internet!

World Maths Day

World Maths Day (World Math Day in American English) started in 2007 on 13th March. 287,000 students from 98 countries answered 38,904,275 questions. The student numbers and the participating countries have increased in the years as evidenced by the Guinness Record created in 2010 1.13 million students from more than 235 countries set a record correctly answering 479,732,613 questions. In 2012 as the World Education Games, over 5.9 Million students from 240 Countries around the World registered to take part in the games with the World Math’s Day being the biggest attraction. In 2013, it was held between 5th –7th March. This year it is being held on Wednesday the 14th October 2015.
Countries that participate such as- , Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, Canada , China, Colombia , Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland , Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.
The following paraphernalia that will follow may seem gibberish to you but it is actually an example of a high level question that may be asked on the day. It is all about the chance or probability of people sharing the same birthday. Welcome to the birthday paradox.

Question: What is the probability of two people in a class sharing a birthday?


The probability of one person having a unique birthday is one (365/365).

The probability of two people having a unique birthday is 364/365.

The probability of three people having a unique birthday is 363/365.

To find the probability of everyone in the group having unique birthdays, we multiply all those probabilities together.

An example of this is shown in the graph on the next page.

Based on a lot of Excel and complex decimals.

The birthday paradox!
Fun facts about maths (amaze your friends with these)

If you write out pi to two decimal places, back to front it spells “pie”.

There is not enough space in the known universe to write out a googolplex on paper. And a googolplex has a trillion zeroes.

What comes after a million, billion, and trillion? Quadrillion, Quintillion, Sextillion, Septillion, Octillion. There are so many more as numbers go on to infinity.


Here is Pi to 100 decimal places-


Lu Chao of China recited 67890 digits of Pi on the 20th of November 2005.

March 14 is international Pi Day. Get it – pi is 3.14, and March 14 is 3/14.

Caring v Curing

Vivisection (from the Latin ‘vivus’ and ‘sectio’ meaning ‘alive cutting’) is where animals are operated and tested on for medical science or product testing. There has been lots of controversy over the subject of animal testing. The use of animals in scientific experiments can lead to treatments and cures for serious and sometimes terminal illnesses but, as human biology is slightly different to that of the animals, there is no guarantee that something that doesn’t affect a lab animal won’t affect us.

Some animals are being left maimed, blinded and occasionally brain damaged, if they survive the procedures at all, in an attempt to test the safety and affectivity of drugs or to find preventions and treatments for disease. Groups such as the NAVS (National Anti-Vivisection Society) campaign and protest against animal testing. Several questions were asked to the NAVS to help get a better image of what vivisection is and why, in their eyes, it’s so wrong.

Q1. What is the NAVS?

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) is the world’s premier anti-vivisection group, campaigning tirelessly since its inception to expose the cruelty and futility of animal experiments.

Q2. Why are you against vivisection and animal testing?

Because animal testing is unreliable, unethical and unnecessary. Hundreds of thousands of animals suffer in laboratories yet we know that the differences between species can produce misleading results.

Q3. Are there alternatives to vivisection and animal testing?

There is cell, tissue and organ culture as well as computers for making predictions about the likely effects of chemical substances.

Q4. Are animals necessary for medical research?

No. Each species responds differently to chemical substances making results misleading and dangerous when these results are used to predict effects in humans.

In my personal opinion, I am strongly against animals being harmed and killed for the sake of medical research yet it is hard to argue with the fact that, in some cases, this has and will help speed up cures and save lives of people that may not survive without it. Millions of animals suffer every year being operated on and injected with poisons to test the effects and are then caged and practically left for dead. But, in the end, it’s normally a case of a few animals’ lives against thousands of human lives.

I think that animal testing is overused and far too harsh, I don’t believe vivisection should be banned forever as it can benefit medical research dramatically but the number of animals being tested on is far too high and needs to be reduced! We need organisations like NAVS to help save and protect animals from vivisection and to give them a chance of a new home.


British Science Week 2015

What is British Science Week?

British Science Week is an annual event, taking place for ten days each year. This year it fell between 13th and 22nd March. It is a celebration of all things science! It celebrates science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Many schools and organisations across the UK like to celebrate British Science Week by setting up different activities, hoping to inspire others to enjoy and feel more passionate about science.

I have interviewed a local science teacher, Ms McNeilly and also a Paulet High School science teacher, Miss Rosborough and asked them about their thoughts and feelings on British Science Week and science in general. My interviews can be found by clicking on the video links.

Here are a few science related questions that you could try to answer yourself:

  • What is LI on the periodic table?
  • Who came up with the theory of the big bang?
  • In which field of science does genetics come under?
  • What, in a plant cell, allows photosynthesis?

*Answers below

1. Lithium
2. Stephen Hawking
3. Biology
4. Chloroplasts