Preventing drugs primarily is essential. This is the most important step to take to reduce the amount of drug use in the future. Making poor decisions as a young person could affect one’s future greatly, and preventing this could take a big step in someone’s life.

Peer pressure takes a big role in the use of drugs. In life, reading from a young age leads to great vocabulary, and the same applies for drug prevention. Learning the consequences that drugs have for people body, both psychologically and physically is necessary. Recently, the judgment of peers has been increasingly been effecting the way people think of themselves. Not doing something because you worry what others may think of you is a natural feeling, but when it gets to the point of harming your body, something needs to be done to sort this out. Living your life to please others is not how life should be lived.

Learning the consequences drugs have on the body will convince a child to avoid using them. Having the right attitude to not take drugs is what is needed for a successful adulthood. Being brought up with positive thinking and a satisfying life is great towards a healthy drug-free future.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation is a foundation where people help the younger generation stay positive and avoid any bad behaviour. They aim “To inform and educate young people about the effects of drug and alcohol misuse, as well as to support those seeking help for their problems and those needing on-going support in their recovery.” Being ignorant about drugs is one of the main reasons people accept using drugs, and this foundation intend to educate children on this.

I have concluded that the only people responsible for their actions are themselves. However much you think people will care about what you do or don’t do, it should not affect how you think or act.

By Amina

Is the eclipse dangerous to children? People have been wondering if it’s too dangerous for children to have any type of contact even with the safety precautions. People even believe the safety precautions are not enough for children. Could this mean a band to children having contact to the solar eclipse?

We have interviewed a few hundred children but can only display two. “Children should be able to do as much as adults do as long as it is safe.” And this is what the second student said “This debate cousolar eclipseld take forever but I think children should be able to have contact because this is rare for us”

Children believe that they should be allowed. So does that mean they should?

Facing Peer Pressure

Peer pressure has been affecting children for many years. It can make you act in a way that you never thought you would act like. Peer pressure isn’t a joke. At a young age it could make you do bad things and when you get older it can get worse.

When you are pressured it is really hard to make decisions. But when you are pressured from your friends it is even worse. When one of your friends suggests doing something, you instantly want to agree. Before you agree think about the consequences. It may seem like a normal night out but you never know what might happen. Don’t let your friends take advantage of you. Make your own decisions. Make the right choice.

Trying to avoid these situations is really hard. You do not want to back out of the plan because you are afraid of what your friends would say but you do not want to join in and do the wrong thing. If your friends would tease you for not agreeing to their plan, do you think they are true friends? Confidence plays a big part in this. Don’t sit around thinking about what your ‘friends’ think of you. Do something you enjoy, have fun, make your own choices and do what you want to do. Eleanor Roosevelt said ‘no one can make you feel inferior without your consent’.

Peer pressure can start as young as the age of two, when children do things they are told to do. They are very young and vulnerable so they will do whatever someone says. If this goes on for a long time the child will start to lose confidence and when they grow older they will always do what people tell them to and they could start drugs and taking alcohol. This could change their whole life.

Finally, be strong. Don’t listen to people who are a bad influence, do what you think is right, and say NO to peer pressure. Don’t let people make you someone you’re not. So what if you don’t fit in, you’re doing the right thing and that’s all that matters. Remember that you are important. Your life counts and you can make a difference in this world. If you ever experience something like this speak to a friend or family member and we can all get through this together.

By Sama.

Amy Winehouse Uncovered

Amy Winehouse was a passionate musician, known for her deep vocals and broad musical genres including soul, jazz and reggae.

In the period of 2005, Amy had a strong addiction with alcohol and heavy drug use leading to weight loss. In result to this, she had to cancel many of her shows in the UK and Europe. Through this time, she was hospitalised for what was reported as an overdose of heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine and alcohol. Due to this, on the 23rd of July, 2011, aged 27, she sadly passed away, leading to many crying faces, both from family and friends, but also from her many fans.

While she was alive, she took in many homeless people and provided shelter and food. Even behind her father’s word, she still helped the homeless. Through this kindness, after her death, her father stepped up and realised he needed to support those with the same issue as Amy, helping them with addiction towards drugs and alcohol. Thus, four years ago, the Amy Winehouse Foundation was born; to keep her memory alive.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation, working alongside Addaction, a drug and alcohol treatment charity try to get the message of the danger of drugs to up to 5000 children every year. As well as this, they give out hot meals every day of the year and also give a shelter during winter for homeless people from up to the age of 30 years.

“Media portrays drug and alcohol users as a negative image,” says a volunteer at the Amy Winehouse Foundation.  However, addicts just have different experiences in their lives but the media don’t look at the bigger picture.

The foundation also tried to raise young people’s self-esteem, by getting them to share hopes, dreams and ambitions in life. They try and teach them that takings drugs and alcohol could lead them to ending their hopes.

Overall, the Amy Winehouse Foundation helps and supports drug and alcohol addicts recover from their bad habits and helps them try to see the better side.

By Khushi, Rona and Diya

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover”- Yet We’re Doing It Everyday!

In today’s modern and judgemental world, we group people into stereotypes because of the way they look, dress or act. Are these groups, however, helpful or harmful?

One definition of a stereotype is “a set form”. Another is simply “convention”. Our brain produces stereotypes to help us decide what a particular person’s personality or life will be like. Although grouping people in this way can sometimes be beneficial, on other occasions we may think badly of something just because they do not fit into the criteria which we regard as “normal”. Since there is no firm meaning of ordinary, can we really assume we know what a person will be like? Can we really judge a book by its cover?

Without even realising, we are constantly grouping and judging people who we do not know. We may see these people on the street, on television or even in our school or place of work. When asked her view regarding stereotypes, one year seven commented, “I don’t think people should stereotype other people because you can’t really judge people by how they look and you don’t know what is going on in their life.”

A few examples of common stereotypes are: He has red eyes so he must be abusing drugs. She’s not walking in a straight line so she must be drunk. She’s a teenager so she must be moody and stroppy. If we were the man with red eyes, if we were the woman not walking in a straight line, if we were the teenage girl, would we appreciate these stereotypes, or would we find them unfair and offensive?

On the other hand, people who we view as normal may surprise us by later showing that they are not as ordinary as they once seemed. For instance, Amy Winehouse was had trouble with drug and alcohol abuse. However, coming from a strong family background, and gifted with a beautiful voice, she was not a person you would expect to eventually die from drug and alcohol overdoses.

Every person is unique, with their own personality, opinions and attitude. A representative from the Amy Winehouse Foundation says she has learnt this from her work with drug and alcohol abusers: “People like to be treated like people. They should be treated like individuals.” Similar to snowflakes, every person is special and different. So, next time you find yourself categorising people you don’t know, just remember everybody is unique, everybody is an individual and no, not everybody is normal, but isn’t that a good thing?

By Amber

The Debate Dress

The dress debate about the colour of this dress has been going on for about a month now, but why does everyone see the dress differently? How did this all start? What colour is the dress? Everyone is wishing to find out the answers to all these questions about the dress and now they all might just be answered.

First of all we decided to interview a few people about this topic. Here are our results…

The questions that were asked were:

  1. What colours do you see the dress?
  2. Do you always see these colours?
  3. Why do you think people see different colours?
  4. What do you think started the whole thing?

We interviewed a girl in Year 7, called Harmeet, and said that she thinks the dress is very light blue and white, she always see these colours when she looks at the dress. Also, she thinks that people see the dress in different colours because different people have different blood, and that the whole thing started because people use an app and change the colours. Another girl, Andreea, said that she can see the dress as white and gold, and that she can see those same colours every time, and that she doesn’t care why other people see different colours, and she doesn’t  know  what started the whole thing. Finally, a girl named Aisha told us that she also can see white and gold all the time, thinks that people see different colours because of the way they think, and thinks that the whole discussion started coincidently; people thinking their own ways. From these interviews, the questions arise; why do you think people see different colours? What do you think started the whole thing?

We have received lots of different responses. But why can’t we all see it as the same colour?  What is the science behind it all?

The problem being that the brain has to avoid seeing the colour of the light reflecting off an object, and just see the colour if the object itself.  For example, if we see a white shirt in yellow sun light, the brain needs to get rid of the yellowness of the sun, so it can see the whiteness of the shirt – and that it normally does. This same type of system is found in cameras as well, ad is called ‘white balance’. This system allows the camera to do the same thing the brain does, which is deciding what should be white in an image, and adjusting the colours accordingly.

Well, it is quiet complicated you see, and the truth is that whatever colour you see the dress is the consequence of the ways your eyes have evolved. This tells you important things about how your eyes and brain work out the colour of things in a world lit by the sun/sunlight. It is a trick of the brain and eye. The black and blue/ the white and gold dress as some people say it, may sometime confuse our brain. It is both colours, depending who or where you are. Some brains may attempt to look at the blue part of the dress, in relation of the light of night time. Others try to get rid of the effect of the gold part as the brain sees it as the colour of a sunny day, which means it is eliminated from your mind, hence making it think it is blue, black or even white.

This allows people to see both different colours at different times. This also depends on the brightness of the room or the background of the page that the dress is printed on. These things can encourage the brain to either see the light as day light coloured or night coloured.

We now know the science behind it all, but how did it all start?

This whole debate started when a Scottish singer named Caitlin McNeill posted a picture of this dress on her Tumblr blog. Two of her very close friends were getting married and the bride’s mother sent her a picture of the dress she was going to wear. The bride thought it was white and gold and the groom thought it was black and blue. When they saw the real dress at the wedding they said it was clearly black and blue. Since then, people have been debating about what colour they see the dress as.

In the end we found out that this dress is actually black and blue. We have found this out because this dress is sold in a shop called ‘Romans’. It is sold in the colours ivory, scarlet, pink and royal blue. After all this fuss about the colour of the dress the company is thinking of making a white and gold version of this dress.

by Mayuri, Shiza and Sama

Overcoming Barriers

Everyday barriers occur at any unexpected time whether they are physical, emotional or mental. ‘Barrier’ has many definitions but overall it means obstruction. An example of a barrier could be trying to overcome a difficulty. Have you ever found yourself trying to overcome a barrier?

Serita Solomon (aged 24) is an athlete for the 100m hurdles. She recently competed in the Commonwealth games in Glasgow but had been faced with some unfortunate barriers to get to her goal. Luckily, we got to interview her. ‘Who inspired her to be an athlete?’ She was inspired to take up the sport by her brother but it wasn’t just handed to her. A barrier that she overcame was a physical barrier.

At 17 years old Serita injured her leg and this resulted in her no longer running. She had surgery and after rehab, which altogether took 3 years, she felt like giving up. However, with the help of her supportive family especially her mum- who was her coach – she was finally running again. She commented ‘My emotions were all over the place; I was nervous but was motivated to finish what I started.’

That wasn’t the only barrier Serita defeated. In 2013, someone had told her that she wouldn’t be the best athlete. Experiencing this discouragement from him pushed her to achieve her personal best (PB). The following year, she won gold and the negative man congratulated her.

Overcoming barriers are not always easily accomplished. A way to overcome an emotional barrier could be to talk to someone close to you or even a counsellor. Emotional barriers are rarely overcome alone and are disempowered through conversations with a trusted confident. Even professional athletes run into barriers that could affect their performance. The solution to defeating physical barriers can be as simple as having rest and being patient.

In addition to all these solutions, 8/10 people believe determination and motivation are equally important and are keys to overcome barriers. Everyone faces barriers but the only way they overcome it is by doing something about it.

By Neha and Khushi

Serita Solomon Presenting at KHS

Serita Solomon Presenting at KHS