Year 12 debating skills


Motion for debate: “Russia is engaging in cyber war against  democratic states.”


Source text 1 The Guardian 19 November 2017: 

Disruption games: why are libertarians lining up with autocrats to undermine democracy?

Source text 2 El Pais 23 November 2017:

Ecuador calls on Julian Assange not to interfere in the Catalan crisis

Source text 3 The Guardian 31 October 2017:

Russia-backed Facebook posts ‘reached 126m Americans’ during US election



TASS Russian News Agency

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: Home

Sergey Lavrov has made a number of statements on this topic in the past weeks: read them and build a counter argument.  “Why would Russia interfere with western democratic elections?”
Kremlinster Palace.jpg

Image credit The New European, 25 November 2017, a newspaper carrying another story this week about the Russian influence on Brexit.  (This article is behind a paywall so you cannot access it but the image is a good one for our theme.)

One line of argument you may like to explore is the “cui bono?”
Cui bono?” literally “for whose benefit?” is a Latin phrase which is still in use as a key forensic question in legal and police investigation: finding out who has a motive for a crime.
Cui bono?  “Russia clearly attempted to manipulate the results of the US and French presidential elections. Why on earth would it not seek to diminish one of the world’s leading nuclear powers and undermine the European trading bloc by interfering with the Brexit referendum?”
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Flood hydrographs



Practice questions:

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Yr 9 Plastic Pollution Project

Dead seabird with plastic contents in stomach

As part of the environmental unit (Unit 3 in Interactions) we are now going to do an extended study of the way plastics are polluting the environment, particularly the oceans.  More than eight million tonnes of plastic is thrown away each year and washed out to sea.  It takes centuries to break down. It’s eaten by marine creatures. And it’s in our food chain.

Homework this week will be a research task based on the film A Plastic Tide:

seal plastic

The plastic choking the oceans of the world is illustrated very well by this photo of a seal injured by discarded plastic fishing net.  The irresponsible dumping of plastics in the oceans is a topic which concerns all of us and we need to ask how can the problem be addressed. We must start by recognising that we are all part of the problem.

Homework week 1

Return date (9M) Monday 15 May; (9W) Tuesday 16 May.

Homework task for Plastic Week 1 is to research your fridge at home.  A good time to do this is immediately after the weekly shopping has been done: that is why you are having longer to do the homework this week, so you can choose the right moment to survey the fridge.  Do not leave your fridge door open while doing the survey: take all plastic items out from one part of the fridge, close the door, record the items, then replace them and take out some more.  Remember, leaving a fridge door open wastes energy.  Record all plastic items like this:

Date: Time:
Description of plastic Rigid Soft Number
1 litre bottle water 2 2
Juice carton plastic top 2 2
Egg tray top & wrapper 1  1 2
500 ml yogurt pot & top  2 2
100 gm flan de huevo 6 6
Pizza tray & top 2  2 4
500 gm bacon 1 1

Please keep a full record as this will be used for pair-work in class.

Further links for Plastic Project Week 1:

andaman-south-sentinel-584x464 (1)


Week 2: the Great Plastic Rubbish Gyre


Homework week 2

Return date (9M) Monday 22 May; (9W) Tuesday 23 May.

The homework task for Plastic Week 2 will be completely rubbish! Every time you finish a plastic drink bottle, food bag, crisp packet, plastic writing pen, anything… Don’t throw it away.  Keep it.  Yes, I want you to  keep your rubbish! Have a shopping bag or something inside your school bag to collect your rubbish.  Then at the end of the day, add the items to your plastic diary, to be set out like this:

DAY Description of plastic Use Quantity
MON Crisp packet S (Single) 1
Coca Cola bottle & top S 2
Ballpoint pen & top M (Multiple) 2
Sandwich box and lid S 2
Water bottle & top S 2
Old document wallets M 5
Etc… Total

Please keep a full record as this will be used for pair-work in class.

Plastics Project Week 3

First we looked at the problem and now we shall attempt to see what the solution may be.  What steps are being taken to recycle plastics or avoid using them so widely?  This is a complex issue and there are no easy answers because we have become used to the convenience and cheapness of plastic goods and plastic packaging.  However, our present dumping of plastic waste is so environmentally unsustainable that we can argue this is  serious problem like climate change, and we MUST address it somehow.

There are ways of addressing specific issues of plastic waste, and we will probably need to take steps one-at-a-time like this to solve the problem.  Banning plastics overnight is simply not going to happen, but there are things we can start doing to recycle or return to non-plastic production of some items.  For example, building houses in developing countries using plastic bottles, as seen in this video.

World’ largest plastic bottle recycling plant in California, USA.  “Closed loop recycling ” means that there is a continuous recycling of the plastic and none of it ends up going into landfill rubbish sites or into the sea.

Homework task for Plastic Week 3 is called “Solving the Problem: Sustainable Plastic Use?

1. Read the information on this web page: and say which three of the ten solutions are most practical and why you think so.

2. Add two more ways to this list to reduce plastic use.  These can be ways you discussed in class in the pair work.

3. Use Google to search for one plastic recycling project you think is a good example: summarise the project in about half a page.  Search with advanced Google search, using “recycling plastic” as a key phrase and other key words such as “bottles” “packaging” “micro-plastics” etc.

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Year 8 Geography

8C will be continuing Geography for the rest of the year with Mr Thomas, who is taking over from Miss Pyott, so there will now be supporting resources for some topics on this Geography blog.

The materials for 8C will be in the drop down menu at the top of the main blog page.

Welcome again to the Geography blog, which most of you last used in Year 7.

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Cover work: Year 7 and Year 9

DSCN2995 7L  and 7C  work

Pages 114-115  Title: What do aerial photos show?  These are quite easily understood fun activities involving interpretation of photographs.  Try to complete all activities 1,2 and 3 in the lesson.

DSCN2996 9W work

Pages 50-51  Title: Why are we concerned about the environment? This was the extension activity from the last lesson: if you did not do it or did not complete it, start with this.

Move on to the next exercise…

Pages 52-53 Title: Who cares for the Environment?  Read the introduction and do as many of the activities as you have time for.  This is very centred on British environmental control: as usual I will introduce some local examples of care for the environment in Costa Blanca next.


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Extreme weather: orange warning

Costa Blanca on Orange Warning today from 13.00.  See


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Rue du Brexit


The mayor of a town in France has dedicated a road by renaming it the Rue du Brexit.

It is an insignificant road in an industrial estate in Beaucaire in the southern department of Gard. It is not clear whether it is intended as a joke, but the road leads around in a circular route back to the road you started on, a road named “Rue Robert Schumann” after one of the founding fathers of the European Union…

A report in the Daily Telegraph says the National Front mayor of the town Julien Sanchez intended it as a tribute to the Brexit decision of the British people, but critics point out that the road is in an ugly industrial zone and “goes nowhere” as it is circular.

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