I’m pledging allegiance to the Caliphate – and no, before you call the Police, I don’t mean Isis – Comment – Voices – The Independent


A lovely and insightful piece!


Adultery website hackers threaten to ‘name and shame’ users – Channel 4 News


Life’s short. Have an affair. This is the slogan of this adultery dating website. It was hacked, with those responsible threatening to release personal information in order to shame the site and users.

All for a private life and living life to its fullest…..but surely life’s too short to be in a loveless relationship or to cause someone the pain it would bring.

Maybe an open relationship is better for you, but deception….that’s a time waster.

I mean this isn’t even touching on the morality of this site….

Does religion still have any relevance in the twenty-first century? by M.B.

What follows is a winning year 9 essay from my school. Every student had to write a piece on one of 3 optional titles. MB won over 200 other students in her year group!


In my essay I will be discussing whether religion still has any relevance in modern day life.  I will look at both sides of the argument and hopeful come to a conclusion of my overall thoughts and opinions. I believe that it doesn’t have any relevance and hopefully by the end you will have a view on this interesting question.

First of all religion was originally created as a way of helping people understand the way the world works and answering questions that were thought to never have an answer, so it was simply someone having an interpretation of the world. Spreading the message until most of your country believes it. Therefore religion was everything in the past. However more and more people are looking at the facts and scientific evidence that humans have gathered and are thinking, hang on a minute this is different to my religion on how the world was created. Also people are becoming atheist (people who don’t believe in God/ religion) giving me the impression that we don’t need religion any more because science can help us explain what really happened.

On the other hand, religion gave humans hope, when there was none. This also created interesting theories of life and understanding the universe. For example Pythagoras, although he was an amazing mathematician, he did believe in religion and many of his ideas were on the connections of maths and his religion. He also believes in reincarnation. So if we didn’t have religion would Pythagoras have made all of those discoveries or would the human race have taken longer to develop as he wouldn’t of had religion to inspire him.

Although, religion is one of the main issues surrounding war. For example the Crusades was only about religion and who can have holy land, or the rise of the Nazi party leading up to WW2 and the restraints on the Jewish people all over Europe purely because they were Jewish, not because they did something wrong, but because of what religion they followed. Also if you added up all the days of the human race living on this earth where there has been peace everywhere it would only come to about 4 years. In addition to this I know that war isn’t just about religion, it’s also about money, economy, land and freedom; but religion is one of the main reasons why there is war. So religion doesn’t really help us any more. If anything religion is the one tearing the human race apart rather than making us all come together.

Alternatively religion has helped humans connect with one another to create communities and a pleasant way of life. Without religion you wouldn’t be able to make connections with others or have peace and harmony in your life. I think religion does this as it makes people focus their energy and good spirits towards something meaningful and will not only make you feel happier but make what time you have on this earth memorable. Also some religions have a similar idea of a soup kitchen where they will help the less fortunate. For example Muslims will give a small percentage of their annual saving to charity, their place of worship or to help an individual. But now a-days humans create communities with politics and having laws, by democracy and the way we run our countries.

In addition to this religion helps explain moral issues surrounding life. Like whether it’s excitable to do certain things. It also helps explain punishment if you do wrong, and helps to guide you along the way on your life journey. This is what I think heaven and hell help represent in Christianity, as it explains if you’re good you will get rewarded, but if you are bad you will be punished for it later. Although you can’t always trust what a religious book says as some of their moral compasses are wrong and things that are accepted and recognised in today’s society, back then was punishable and illegal. For example being gay used to be outrageous and you could get sent to prison for it but now its part of our community. Yet the Bible tells us to love all creatures and humans no matter what unless, and effectively list everything you can’t love. This is similar to the idea of killing someone is punishable and a horrible thing to do; yet if someone isn’t in this certain ‘higher’ class of society then its fine. This I think is wrong so some religions can give the wrong images and suggest things that aren’t exactly true. They may have been ok when they were written but the world is always changing, and things needed to carry on developing otherwise it gets left be hide. Creating questions like ‘Does religion have any relevance in the twenty first century?’

However, its not like after hundreds of years that you can suddenly give up religion all together and you can’t exactly change your religious book to keep up to data with society, but religion is becoming less and less valuable and is getting more and more extinct.

Nevertheless religion has created terrorism, as some religious people have become extremists trying to prove that religion and their way of life is the best. Everyone else however knows that no one would want to live under this threatening way. Terrorism is   act of violence or aggression in an attempt to get your own way, its similar to a child throwing tantrums. But what makes this worst is many mistakes are made about who are terrorists; lets say Isis, they are “Muslims” and many take this as all Muslims are terrorist, so shouldn’t be trusted. Why did it mean having great faith in something imply that you are a terrorist? So does this mean the religion is really a way of people turning against everyone else because they don’t believe in what you believe in. And I know that this is not true as not all Muslims are terrorist but many terrorists are Muslim. I read this book called My Sister Lives On The Mantelpieces and it talks about a twin who died from a Muslim terrorist group how hid bombs in London (she got blown up). Therefore the dad thought that meant all Muslims are terrorists and he had a real hatred for them. They had moved to the countryside, his son made one friend, a Muslim. It goes into detail about how this boy would go against his dad’s wishes in order to be friends with this Muslim. I think it’s a great way of explain to kids and adults a very serious message through a simple book.

As well as terrorism, religion makes it easier for people to get penalised due to the way they look and act. For example in the work place many people with a religion other than Christian will sometimes get penalised, the cloths you wear as part of your faith may make people look down on you as if you are different. E.g. wearing a Burka (a long, loose garment covering the whole body from head to toe, worn in public by women in many Muslin countries) if you wear it people can give you funny looks thinking your different and out of place. But people give the same looks to the newish fashion items. So I don’t think this makes religion have any relevance socially as it makes you stand out, look different or even suggest you are not part to the human race.

In conclusion I think that religion is more or less not relevant in todays society as it was created to explain the impossible, but now that impossible is real and we now have scientific evidence to back up all our claims. Also personally I believe that religion can teach us quite a lot about moral issues and right from wrong but so can our parents, teachers, friends and family so that role is effectively taken; and religion is a good way of keeping our moral compass correct in a more engaging manor. Finally I think religion creates more mess and drama than is solves. Although I know that the majority of the human race would disagree with me as many of them are religious, but what makes my opinion unique is that I do believe religion has been out dated for a long time now. However I know it can be quite hard to just suddenly stop using religion and only listen to scientific evidence. But what I think I cool about religion is it separates up the human race into sections of what you believe in but it separates us up in a good way, which create debates and interesting discussions. But if we didn’t have religion, RE teachers would lose their jobs; therefore I think we need religion.

Community by R.V.

What follows is a winning year 8 essay from my school. Every student had to write a piece with the heading ‘Community’ and they could choose to focus on any aspect of it. RV won over 200 other students in his year group!


Community is all about the people. If you don’t have a close bond with everyone around you are not in a fun and friendly community.

In this essay I am going to explore what factors contribute to a successful community and compare this against a dysfunctional community. To demonstrate this I will be talking about the communities that I belong to; good and bad. The communities I am going to be talking about are: my karate club Crawley Black Belt Academy, my school and the village of Worth (where I live).

Firstly I am going to talk about the strongest community I am in; Crawley Black Belt Academy. It is the largest karate club in West Sussex and it run by eight sensei’s. The club consists of four hundred and eighteen pupils so is a relatively small community.

The community is defined by how friendly it is, every single one of us is friendly with everyone else. I would go so far to say as we are like family, maybe this is because the club is family run with a husband and wife team at the helm and their son running many of the classes. They are a close knit family and this influences the atmosphere of the club and the behaviour of the other sensei’s. All of them have a positive outlook and limitless energy. They welcome us with smiles and take the time to get to know us and get to know what is happening in our lives. Before you know it they will have thought up a nickname for you and be dishing out plenty of banter. My nickname has recently been changed to Ski’s following my winter holiday.

I can genuinely say that it is impossible to feel sad while in the dojo.

Another reason why we are such a strong community is because we are all very disciplined and respectful. This is because the sensei’s are such strong leaders and have laid out clear rules for us all to follow. We all know the rules (no fighting, no swearing, and no disrespect to the sensei’s) because we are taught them when we join the club in a fun way through games and we also have a student creed that we learn off by heart and say together at the start of every class. The rules are always in place and we know that breaking those rules will end up with having to do doing fifty push ups. This penalty is always given if a rule is broken by every sensei. There is never a situation where a penalty is given out, not one of the sensei’s is a soft touch. As a result of this we are an ordered and safe community.

I believe another reason that Crawley Black Belt Academy is such a strong community is that everyone cares and supports one another. If someone was to make a mistake on a kata they would get help and support. A sensei would ask a more able student to take them off the mats for the next fifteen to twenty minutes. In that time the more able student focuses on passing their knowledge to the person who did not know the kata. As a community we are all focused on learning more and achieving the best we can as well as helping others achieve the best they can. The ultimate goal is to become a black belt master. I am proud to say that I am a black belt second dan master.

Also if someone was to hurt themselves then they would be cared for by the fellow students. When I broke my toe during karate I was helped by one of the sensei’s who took me to the side and helped me calm down and feel relaxed even though one of my bones was broken at the time. In fact I was devastated that I was not able to attend the next class. This demonstrates to me that if a community has a supportive and caring infrastructure, people feel happy, safe and motivated, because they know if something goes wrong there will be someone there to pick up the pieces, in this example a trained first aider.

Now I am going to explore the community of a different location. School displays good and bad points of a community. I am going to focus on a few of these points.

I am going to explore the respect in school for teachers by students. The respect between the teachers and the students is very mixed. The easiest way for me to describe this is to look at the behaviour of a usually well behaved class when they get a supply teacher. From my experience you can often hear yelps of joy when a class finds out they are being taught by a supply teacher and they often behave in ways they wouldn’t usually in class. I have experienced seating plan swaps, people changing their names and throwing stationary around the classroom. I believe this is because we know the supply teacher doesn’t know the school rules clearly enough and will not dish out the correct penalties e.g. detentions. This is true throughout the school, students are not sure what actions will result in discipline and which will not. In fact this does actually differ from class to class. This causes a breakdown in respect by some pupils who will try to push the boundaries as far as they can until they meet with some resistance. This can create some tense and stressful reactions from teachers and an unpleasant learning experience for the rest of the class.

On the other hand the relationship between the students at school is very good and builds a good community as it makes us feel happy and safe. I feel that the structure of mixed mentors is very beneficial and influences the behaviour around school. As we are all used to being around different ages and talking to the different year groups I believe that this influences behaviour around the school particularly in the public areas like the courtyard and the library. Just the other day I was sitting down eating my lunch when a whole gang of year tens sat down around me and introduced themselves, I am now friends with them all. This is a great example of the great sense of community that my school has between its students.

It is disappointing that a small minority of students seem to find pleasure in destroying our modern, fresh school. Great amounts of graffiti can be observed in the toilets and on the desks. I think the reason for this is because the small amount of people that are going through hormonal stages want to let their anger or hatred out anonymously. There can also be bullying through graffiti, like, “tick if you think —- —– is a @#&$”. I have seen this and the tick box was full of over twenty ticks. I found this very disturbing, imagine what the victim would think if he saw it. It seems in many large communities that there is a small minority of people that think this type of behaviour is acceptable.

School has a strong and motivated leader who is well respected by his team of teachers and students. He has strong ideas and believes learning should be fun and his energy spirals through the school which means teachers work hard to motivate us to achieve the best we can achieve. We have so many opportunities from history day and science fair to Animazing and school productions. As a result there is a strong work ethic throughout the school.

I have lived in Worth all my life however I do not feel like part of the community. In my opinion Worth lacks community spirit. Despite being a small pretty and historic village nobody really knows each other even neighbours do not talk to each other. I think the main factor causing this is the lack of communal meeting places. There is no shop in the village and although we have the Worth way there is not a play park. All the houses have a private back garden which means that children do not play in front of their house. Whilst there is Worth church which in theory should provide a central focus for the community it does not because it has turned into a tourist attraction where people from the rest of the town go to get married and have christenings. In reality the church actually works against the community spirit as it brings in much traffic which makes people moan.

Worth may have an MP and may also have a PCSO, however we are not aware of them and they are not strong influences. We do not even have a neighbourhood watch scheme.

To conclude, what I believe from my investigations is what makes a good community is as follows:

Public areas provide a place for people to bond.

Clearly defined rules provide boundaries.

Consistent penalties earn respect.

A strong leader to guide people in the right direction.

Finally, there needs to be room in a community to have fun.

Holocaust ‘hero’ Sir Nicholas Winton dies aged 106 – BBC News



Every year in a topic about suffering and faith my yr9s and I watch a documentary about Nicholas Winton.  Every year they ask if he’s still alive and this afternoon I said yes for the last time. Upon coming home I find out that a truly good man has passed away at 106 years old.

I want to use this time to raise awareness of this man’s existence, google him, ask about him, but know there are 100s of people only alive today because he acted selflessly.

Rest in peace Winton.

The Guardian view on religious education in schools: don’t trash it, transform it

The Guardian view on religious education in schools: don’t trash it, transform it


Religion’s place in modern society has been long debated and new advice has come out regarding religion in school.

I shall read it in full tomorrow but the Guardian comments on the need for good RE in scools. I’d go a step further and suggest it’s not just about enhancing community and fostering a better world view, but teaching critical readings and debate. Creating a safe environment for views to be explored fully.

A common statement made is that religion should be taught in the church  (or other centre of faith), but I say that is exactly where it shouldn’t exclusively happen.

Did Wittgenstein use silly points to make profound ones?

Did Wittgenstein use silly points to make profound ones?


I feel like I’m being tricked into learning about cricket! I tried these cricket specific terms on my husband, who proudly claims to be a sporting man, and he knew from the term ‘nurdle’ that cricket was the game!

In teaching I suppose it is a specific game too. If i was to tell you that my NQT was favouring SEN specialisms and that I am responsible for RE, PDC and SMSC…well you’d have to have QTS and working your way up the framework to get me!