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School Report 2017 stories

Wrotham's BBC School Report team 2017

Wrotham’s BBC School Report team 2017

Wrotham’s BBC School Report news programme for March 2017

Below are the stories we covered today:

Fake news – a 21st Century issue

The NHS – a system under extreme stress?

Wrotham staff have positive and negative NHS experiences

Donald Trump: What do people really think?

What is Counter Strike Global Offensive and is it harmful?

Fake news – a 21st Century issue

Today we are looking at fake news for BBC School Report. So what is it? Fake news is false stories that are deliberately published in order to make people believe something untrue or to get lots of people to visit a website.

These are deliberate lies that are put online, even though the person writing them knows that they are made up or they may be stories that may have some truth to them, but they’re not completely accurate.

Fake news has become hot topic recently due to the current president of the United States Donald Trump.  He alleges there are many fake news stories about him, even calling CNN fake news.

Due to the rise in fake news stories the UK government has launched an investigation led by Damien Collins and his team. They will look at the sources, how they come to be and the origins of fake news. They also will look at where fake news comes from, how it spreads and what impact it has. It particularly wants to look at the effect – if any – that fake news can have on important political decisions, like elections.

Vicky Frost, deputy membership editor at the Guardian gave her opinion on the topic. She spoke to us and this is what she had to say:

“At the Guardian, sourcing our news stories properly is really important to us. Reporters always dual-source their facts – which means they make sure they can prove a fact through two separate sources. We also try not to use unnamed sources, so that readers can understand where information came from. By doing both these things, we hope to avoid disseminating information that is untrue and/or which is being released with bad motive.

“We have seen a rise in what is known as fake news – although I prefer the term untrue news – in recent times, as the number of available news sources and ways of sharing information grows. People who consciously create untrue news may do so to gain influence or power. Having more media outlets and more diverse voices on subjects is really important for democracy, but it also means the reader or viewer has to try and work out which they should believe.

“As an editor, I think having clear standards about transparency and sourcing allows readers to trust us. It means linking to lots of sources and correcting stories if they’re wrong in a constructive manner.”

Dan Fineman, assistant editor at the BBC South East, talked to me on the topic of fake news. He said: “We try to ensure we always have more than one source for a news item. So if, for example, someone phones or writes in with a story we wouldn’t simply assume that it is true. We would seek to verify the information from other sources before we broadcast.

“The rise of internet and social media means there are many more news sources than ever before. This can be a good thing – we find out information and can share it much more quickly. But it can make it harder to verify if the information is true. In the rush to be “first with the news” some people simply publish and share without checking and verifying. This can lead to fake news spreading fast.

“There have always been attempts to hoax the media with fake stories. Perhaps now it’s being done more deliberately and on a more systematic basis – with worrying claims that foreign governments are deliberately spreading fake news here to try to manipulate election results, for example.

“Encourage people to look to reliable established news sources for verification of information and not to be gullible in believing that everything they read online or on social media is true! Encourage people to have curiosity and questioning minds and to research whether what they see or hear is really true.”

Gabriel Shepard, who is the Senior Audience Content Editor at Kent Live gave his opinion on the topic of fake news, we would like to make clear that this is his personal opinion, and that they are not the official view of the Sevenoaks Chronicle, Kent Live or their parent  company Trinity Mirror. This is what he had to say about the topic of fake news:

“We always check the validity of stories before publishing them by verifying with official sources e.g. emergency services and witnesses.

“‘Fake news’ as a term did not exist before the internet/social media. However, ‘news’ today can be circulated more widely and quickly than ever before.

“As I said earlier, the term ‘fake news’ is a new one. Perhaps the original ‘fake news’ was the April Fool’s joke. That said, newspapers have fallen victim to spoofs over the years – and there have been people who, for their own reasons, approached news outlets in the hope getting them to run stories which aren’t true.

By Theo P

The NHS – a system under extreme stress?

For BBC School Report we interviewed Warren Dunkley, an occupational therapist for the NHS. He said his location of his role was recently moved because of NHS financial issues. I asked him about NHS financial problems and he said, “From my experience at the NHS there is not enough money going around and patients would get better sooner if the NHS had more money. They could pay for the patient’s homes so that they could open up hospital beds for new patients to come in and be treated.”

I asked Mr Dunkley if patients would get better faster if they had their friends and family around them. Warren replied saying that, “most patients would get better sooner if they had their friends and family around them, but some patient’s health problems are caused by their friends and family so they prefer not to be around them”.

With the NHS under a lot of pressure sometimes it feels like some people take the NHS for granted. Mr Dunkley said: “Some people who live in the UK take the NHS for granted by not looking after themselves by smoking and eating too much, these just causes the people to get ill and go to the NHS so this makes people say that people who live in the UK take the NHS for granted.”

After that I asked Mr Dunkley about if he thought that patients were satisfied with the treatment they received. He said: “That I think most patients are satisfied with the treatment they receive but some patients are not really happy about the waiting time and the treatment they receive to get better.”

By Lenny D

Wrotham staff have positive and negative NHS experiences

We spoke to staff that work at Wrotham School to find out about their experiences of the National Health Service.

Miss Strachan, Head of Drama, Mrs Sanders, Deputy Progress leader of Year 7, Mr Williams, Head of year 7, Mr Scott, Head of Year 8 & 9 and Mrs Reeves, our long-serving School Receptionist.  They all have been to the hospital for themselves or a family member and were treated by the NHS. Two people said that the NHS isn’t the best place to have been treated , others said that they helped a lot.

When we interviewed Mrs Reeves she said that phone calls were answered quickly but Miss Strachan said that she had to make at least two phone calls for them to answer.

Both teachers that have different medical conditions said that the service they needed was very poor and they had to ‘go private’ to get the service they needed, Miss Strachan said that she needed to pay a private doctor to see her,  the same day she was told about the condition she had. They both said that they were treated really nicely.

Mr Williams said that his son ate some berries in the garden and he phoned NHS Direct. They answered very quickly and gave him very helpful advice. He said that “There are lots of things that could help the NHS.”

Mrs Sanders said that she hurt her knee on our playground and she had to go to hospital; she had to wait 1 hour and 40 minutes. She said “It was excellent service.”  Her dad had cancer and he got the treatment that he needed.

Mr Scott said he broke his leg about 20 years ago and he went straight through emergency. He said that had “zero waiting time”. He also said that the doctors and nurses were very kind and looked after him.

Overall people think that the NHS is a great service and that we sometimes take them for granted.

NHS waiting times

Every year there is long waiting times for a non-urgent treatment and in some area’s there can be a waiting list for up to eighteen weeks. More than ten patients everyday are waiting a long time just so they can have a hospital bed after an emergency admission.

The NHS are also struggling with all the complaints about how long people wait to see a doctor or nurse and hospitals worry about those people who don’t have a bed to sleep over night when necessary. I spoke to Mrs Reeves, receptionist at Wrotham School, about the NHS waiting times and she said that she had to wait a long time. Mr Williams, Head of Year 7 at Wrotham, told me about when he took his son to hospital “It wasn’t very pleasant when I had three young children and one of them had blood dripping down his head; I had to wait at least two and a half hours to get treatment for my son”.

The NHS facts

If people complain about the NHS or are not happy with them then it will be solved quickly if you speak directly to the staff where you received care, also if you complain you should expect within three days to get a knowledgeable answer.  The NHS is a hard-working health service and will always try their best to make you better by the second.  Sometimes the NHS will ask for your own opinion on them so they can see what they can improve on for the local community.  The NHS is the fifth largest workforce and is rated the best system in terms of efficiency.

The NHS is England’s biggest healthcare system by far, with the population of 54.5 million and employing around 1.2 million people.  There are lots of staff working for the NHS, including; 150,273 doctors, 40,584 GP’s, 314,966 nurses, 18,862 ambulance staff and 111,127 hospital and community health service medical and dental staff.  The NHS helpline is 111 which you must call if there is a non-emergency and less urgent than 999.  All emergency calls are 999.

By Mollie-Mai K, Ella H and Lola B

Donald Trump: What do people really think?

The general feeling about Donald Trump and his presidency is that he is a bit power crazy and has gone a bit too far planning to build a wall that costs around $15 billion  to supposedly get rid of drug dealers and criminals who threaten their communities. Building the wall has become a focus of rage for many across the entire world. A quote for the Daily Express states: “We will restore integrity and the rule at our boarders.”

‘I’m still stunned he was elected President’, said Mr Wright


Mr Wright, is Executive Head of Wrotham School, his thoughts on Trump were “I think like many people I’m still stunned that he was elected as president despite all the controversial comments he made regarding women’s role in society.” I also asked him about the travel ban and his wall and he thinks that it is all a gimmick to get people to make him popular and to get votes.

Nate M, a year 9 pupil at Wrotham School, is American and from the Washington DC area. He has lived in The UK for about five or six years and he thinks that “he is just a crazy person“ He went on to say: “I think it is quite stupid because you can literally just swim around it.” He added: “Personally I do not want to talk about Donald Trump.”

Many people that I speak to say the he is crazy and insane and that seems to be the general thought of him throughout the school. My friend Lenny’s thoughts on his wall and Trump is “I think that Donald Trump is a bit unfair on the Mexicans blocking them off from America with a wall”.

Mathew interviews Sean about his views on Donald Trump.

I also interviewed Sean R and this is his point of view: “I think that he can be scary sometimes like with the Mexicans and his wall and that he has the power to blow anybody up” and his thoughts on the wall are “Personally I think that it’s not going to work.”

So over all everyone that I have interviewed has said that Donald Trump is a gimmick or crazy and really with the things that I’ve heard, he should not be president.

By Mathew B

What is Counter Strike Global Offensive and is it harmful?

Counter Strike Global Offensive, CSGO, is a fast person competitive shooter created by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment. It uses Valve’s Source engine, a physics engine the game runs on. The issue is that some young players of the game have become involved in online gambling, through third-party websites.

It is a Terrorist vs Counter terrorist game, each with similar objectives. The terrorists have to plant a bomb at a bomb site, and defend it until it explodes. The Counter terrorists have to stop the bomb from being planted and defuse it if it does get planted. Alternatively one team can be wiped out for the other to win.

The game features multiple weapons with a unique feature – gun sprays. Each gun has a different pattern of bullet spread which is consistent and is a need-to-know for any good CSGO player. This makes it the most skill based first person shooter due to intense knowledge of patterns to be used instead of randomly shooting like in other shooters.

A CSGO skin is a pattern you can get for your guns. This comes in a variety of different patterns and wears (how scratched it is). Some skins are so common they are hardly worth anything. But some skins are so rare everyone wants one, but they are at such an extraordinarily high price that most will never get that skin.

Currently, CSGO skins come in a large variety of looks and prices and with money comes gambling. People opened up gambling websites, taking innocent people’s skins and keeping some, while giving one person the rest of the skins. This poses a real problem: Getting underage people gambling. This poses a threat to a lot of people as the child can get addicted to gambling, and buy more skins from the ‘steam market’, using their parent’s money. This is a big threat as it is against the law for people under 18 to gamble, and by sites having little proof of age restrictions, underage people are allowed to go on a site, and gamble illegally all they want with no restrictions.

This becomes a huge problem psychologically on the child involved in gambling as if they constantly lose, they begin to get unhappy, as their dreams at that point get crushed. They can take some more money and put it into sites in which they can gamble on, in the hope of making their money back, but chances are, they will lose again. This causes a huge problem as the child will pick up a gambling addiction at a lot younger age than they would, as they are allowed into the sites as early as their parents let them play the innocent game of CSGO, which are loosely connected to gambling through third parties.

One way of stopping it is to take down the steam API, but this may not be the best idea. This is because the steam API is required for trading items from one account to another, which is currently a big thing. If someone has something you want you can trade something of yours to them for it. However sites use this to get skins from people so that people gamble in their sites. This goes both ways because if steam API was removed, people couldn’t trade items, but if it wasn’t removed, people would still gamble illegally. It is a real ethical issue with no simple solution. The only think Valve can do is chase gambling site owners to try and legally get the sites to be taken down.

By Tom H, Ben HB and Alfie M

You can see the work they did last year, with reports on diverse topics such as the EU referendum and Year 7 going to lunch early.

There is more on BBC School Report on the BBC website.

You can see the video report produced for BBC School Report here.

Wrotham School have taken part in BBC School Report, covering diverse topics such as the EU referendum and Year Seven students having early lunch.

Year 9. pupils set up filming

Year 9. pupils set up filming

You can find out more about BBC School Report on the BBC website. You can also see which other schools are taking part and see the link to this page on the BBC School Report map.


Wrotham’s 2016 School Report team

EU referendum background

By Theo P and Thomas H

The EU referendum is a vote to see whether Britain wants to stay in the European Union and the vote will take place on the Thursday the 23rd of June 2016.

The European Union – often known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other. It has since grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country. It has its own currency, the Euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas – including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things like mobile phone charges.



Theo P interviews Miss Noakes on the EU referendum

Early lunches, justified or a load of rubbish?

By Thomas H & Ben HB

After three terms, Year Sevens still get early lunches. At first, every Year 7 got early lunches, but only for a week or two. But now, the Year Sevens still get early lunches. Some might see the bright side, which the food hall will become less congested with Year Sevens, but most are annoyed that the Year Sevens still get the benefit of early lunches.

But why are the people complaining about this? The Year Sevens get let out to lunch early, which means they get a longer break. This means that they miss out on a lot of lessons just before lunch. It started out with 15 minutes extra lunch, then ten, then five, but the Year Sevens still miss out on a lot of lesson time. This calculates to about 18.5 hours off lessons, with five days a week and about 7 weeks a term! This is about 18 and a half lessons missed out on because of early lunches.

We interviewed the people who put this rule forward. Mr Wright is the head-teacher of Wrotham School and he had told us that there was a problem with the lunch times and that we can’t change it back to the regular timing.

He told us that the Year Sevens get early lunch times because there are a lot more students coming here each time. At first, it was going to be five minutes for only two weeks. After that, he then said that he realised that he can’t change the times back to normal otherwise the canteen would be too full, so the times have kept to this time table. He had also said that the Year Sevens will not be the only year, since he said that he will include other years.

When we asked Mr Cater, Deputy head-teacher of Wrotham, some questions about the early lunch for Year Sevens, he said gave similar answers, such as the lunch hall and canteen will get “clogged”. He added that the students that are doing their GCSE’s may not be able to have early lunches. This is because if they do, they could be using valuable learning time that is really important in their GCSEs. If they don’t do the early lunch, it will be possible to learn a little more that would have a huge impact. In that case, there would only be Year Sevens and Eights going to lunch early.