In the News

Climate Week – 4-10 March 2013

Climate Week is a national campaign to inspire a new wave of action on climate change.

Culminating in a week of activities and events, Climate Week showcases the practical solutions to climate change being developed in every sector of society. By highlighting real examples, the campaign aims to inspire thousands more, renewing the ambition to create together a more sustainable, low-carbon future.


World Book Day – 7 March 2013

World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.

The origins of the day we now celebrate in the UK and Ireland come from Catalonia, where roses and books were given as gifts to loved ones on St George’s Day – a tradition started over 90 years ago.


National Bed Month – all of March

A month long celebration dedicated to the importance of a good night’s rest. Raising awareness events across the UK. Visit the website for more details.

The number of Britons getting just five to six hours sleep a night has risen dramatically in the past three years, with 40% not getting the NHS recommended six to nine hours.

Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council said: “Sleeping well is as crucial to our health and wellbeing as eating a healthy diet or exercising regularly. But while we’re frequently exposed to government campaigns that encourage us to eat ‘Five a Day’, ‘Live Well’ or ‘Change4Life’, the nation’s sleeping habits are largely ignored. We want to see sleep moved up the political agenda and a public information campaign launched to encourage people to understand the importance of good sleep and how to achieve it.”

First Ever Great British Bedtime Report Launched

What You Need To Know About The Nation’s Sleep


Great Daffodil Appeal

Raising awareness events across the UK. Visit the website for more details.


Call for soft drink sugar tax in Budget

Leading medical bodies are calling for a 20p-per-litre levy on soft drinks to be included in this year’s Budget.

More than 60 organisations, including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, are backing the recommendation by food and farming charity Sustain.

They say it would raise £1bn a year in duty to fund free fruit and meals in schools to improve children’s health.

The soft drinks industry says raising taxation is unnecessary.

What do you think?  Should the government introduce a new tax?  Survey your friends, find out and write a report.



from Nigella's How to Eat

from Nigella’s How to Eat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

British Yorkshire Pudding Day - 3 February 2013

Each February, the 1st Sunday of the month is designated British Yorkshire Pudding Day.

Write an article publishing the day and the history of the Yorkshire Pudding.  What is your favourite recipe? Interview a few cooks perhaps in your school kitchen for their Yorkshire pudding cooking tips.  Find and include a recipe in your story.  Interview or survey your friends and fellow students.




Go Green Week  - 11-17 February 2013

Rising temperatures and changes in the environment has led to all sorts of natural diasters like floods, tsunamis and tornadoes. The results have drastically changed peoples lives, and often meant having to uproot and start all over again completely.

People and Planet are hosting Go Green Week to draw peoples’ attention to climate change and opting for greener alternatives!  There is a theme for each day and something for everyone!

Meat Free Monday – you could write a story about being a vegetarian, share some recipes, carry out a video a cooking demonstration on your iPad etc.

Travel Light Tuesday – Don’t take the car, use public transport, cycle or walk to school instead.  Try to find other ways to get to clubs.  Could your parents manage without the car? Write about your experiences.

Waste-not Wednesday – How can you, your family and school reduce waste?  Investigate the options.  Ask your friends to make suggestions.  Hold a competition for the best idea.  Take some photos of reused items.  Interviews the school site staff to find out how they reuse or recycle equipment.

Switch off Thursday – How simple is this? Interview your friends, family, teachers and school to investigate how many items they could just switch off.   How much electricity would they save?  We can all switch something off – rather than leaving items on standby!

Friday – A Day of Action is planned.  Find out if any events are planned near you and write a report on them. This year the organisers of Go Green Week are asking the government to live up to its promise to become the greenest government ever!

Write a Film Preview

Write a preview.  This is a brief introduction to the film introducing the idea behind the film and story.  You will be able to embed a YouTube video and photographs within your story.  The links below will take you to the IMDb (International Movie Database) website where you will be able to find some reviews and ratings.  Remember this is not a review you can write that later when you see the film.

Write a preview for one of the following films due to be released this week

Write a film review

Currently playing at the Harrogate Odeon are:

Some Tips

1. If circumstances permit, view the film more than once.

2. Express your opinion of the film, but support your criticism

3. Write for your friends and family.  Make sure they will understand it.

4. Avoid spoilers – don’t reveal what happens in the film that is going to damage peoples’ enjoyment if they haven’t watched it yet.

5. Judge the story. Does the plot make sense? Are the character’s actions justified and consistent? Is the story slow and boring or exciting?

6. Rate the actors.

7. Evaluate the technical elements. How do the cinematography, editing, lighting, and sound, music and other components support or detract from the film?



Below are some recent stories that you may want to investigate and report about.

Should we ban killer robots now?

Neuron, Europe’s First Stealth Drone ‘Killer Robot’, Makes Test Flight.  The first stealth drone developed in Europe has made its first flight from a test base in France.  Built by France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Sweden and Switzerland it is designed to carry precision missiles controlled by a human operator.  Could this be the beginning of autonomous killer robots?  Could this be the end for mankind?  Should killer robots be banned before they are developed?


Français : Bradley Wiggins, vainqueur du Crité...

Français : Bradley Wiggins, vainqueur du Critérium du Dauphiné 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does your name influence your behaviour or the way you are treated?

Analysis by the company School Stickers which looked at the names of more than 63,000 children who logged good behaviour or achievement awards in online sticker books found  that the boys’ names which appeared most frequently were Benjamin, Alex, Jordan, Mohammed and Aaron.  The girls who were most likely to receive the stickers were called Elizabeth, Rosie, Grace, Lydia and Emma.  The boys’ names that appeared least often were Bradley, Jacob, William, Morgan and Joe. And the girls’ names which appeared least often were Paige, Niamh, Natalie, Holly and Phoebe.

Interview students with the good and bad names:  What do they think of the research?  What is it like to be called Bradley or Natalie?   Are people with certain names discriminated against?  Has Bradley Wiggins changed the fortunes of Bradleys? Are there any names teachers fear? Carry out a survey or run a poll to identify the best name for the new royal baby. Is it time for Bradley Windsor?


How secure is your iPad?

Police use Twitter to reunite Thai owner with lost iPad 6,000 miles away

This is a story about how Harrogate police tracked down the owner of a lost iPad to Thailand using social media.  What could people find out about you if they found your iPad?  What can you do to improve your iPads security?  You could produce a list of your top ten tips for keeping your iPad safe.



Christmas top 10 lists

People love lists and they are beginning to appear all over the weekend newspapers.  Its time for Atticus to produce its own lists.

Top 10 Christmas presents for:

Men, women, parents, grandparents, kids, girlfriends, boyfriends, teachers. Produce a list of your best picks.  They could be just yours or based on some research.


Top 10 wanted Christmas presents

Carry out a survey launch a poll

The 10 best Christmas films

 What are the ten best Christmas films of all time. Produce your top 10 list or survey your friends and family for their recommendations.


Like computers, want to join the army but don’t want to go to war?

Dad’s Army of cyber security experts to be created

A “Dad’s Army” of cyber security experts is to be formed to tackle the growing threat to Britain’s companies and help the military in times of crisis.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will develop a “cyber reserve” of online security experts which the armed services could draw upon to tackle the increasing problem of online attacks.

And the government also wants to train more students in cyber security, with a degree course module on the importance of trustworthy software being piloted at De Montfort University, the University of Worcester and Queens University Belfast.



Should the Girl Guides and Cub Scouts “drop God” from their promise?

Children may be stopped from pledging their devotion to God when joining the Girl Guides  and Cub Scouts following complaints that it discriminates against non-Christians.

Are you a Guide or Scout?  Is the promise an issue for you?  Have you been put off joining because of the promise to God?  Should the reference to the queen be removed as well?

 The Guide Promise

"Girl Guides". Information on nation...

“Girl Guides”. Information on nation/location needed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I promise that I will do my best

to love my God,*
to serve the Queen and my country,**
to help other people
and to keep the Guide Law

 The Scout Promise

On my honour, I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to God and to the Queen,
To help other people
And to keep the Scout Law


Monday 10th December  is the United Nations Human Rights Day

The United Nations declared that human rights are “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. But prejudice and discrimination are still stopping us from having an equal, more peaceful world.

This day commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights emerged from the horrors of World War II when so many people were treated as less than human. This why human rights belong to all of us equally no matter who we are or where we are. By marking Human Rights Day on 10 December we celebrate the ideals and values that bind us together.

Scan through the newspapers online and find examples of Human Rights abuses.  Write an article to bring the day to the attention of your school.  What are the biggest human rights issues in 2012?  What can your school do to support the day and help protect peoples human rights?




Women bishops

The Church of England has voted against women bishops – do you agree.  Is this a matter of faith or discrimination.  Are there enough women headteachers, army generals, police chief constables, or football managers?

How are the floods affecting Harrogate or where you live?

The greatest rock band ever? 

The Rolling Stones have been performing for 50 years. Are they the greatest?  Write a review of their music.  You could embed video and images to help tell your story.  Do your friends or family listen to their music? What is their best song?  What other bands would you put in a top ten all time rock list.


Sports Personality of the year.

Who does Harrogate Grammar think should be this years Sports Personality?  Who would you have included on the list? Who would be Harrogate Grammar’s Sports Personality of the Year.  The nominations are:

Jessica Ennis
Heptathlete, 26
Won gold with record points in the heptathlon at the Olympics and was dubbed the face of London

A silver medal with the olympic rings inside

A silver medal with the olympic rings inside (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 Andy Murray

Tennis player, 27
Has enjoyed a successful year as the world number 3, and British number 1 and won the US Open, his first major grand slam tournament.

 Sir Chris Hoy

Cyclist, 36
Won two gold medals at London 2012 making him Britain’s most successful winner with six gold medals in total and was also honoured as Team GB’s flag bearer for the opening ceremony.

 Mo Farah

Athlete, 29
Joined athletics greats such as Zatopek, Kuts, Viren and Bekele as winner of the Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres double and became the first Briton to win gold medals over both distances.

 Ben Ainslie

Sailor, 35
Is now a four-time Olympic champion after his gold this year and was Team GB’s flag bearer for the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony.

 Sarah Storey

Track and road cyclist, 35
Won four golds at London 2012 to become Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian with 11 titles in total.

 Nicola Adams

Boxer, 30
Created Olympic history by becoming the first woman to win a boxing gold medal.

 Rory McIlroy

Golfer, 23
Established himself as world number 1, topping the money list in Europe and the United States, winning the USPGA Championship by eight shots in August, his second major victory.

 Ellie Simmonds

Swimmer, now 18
Won gold in the 200m SM6 individual medley and 400m S6 freestyle at the London 2012 Paralympics as well as a silver in the 100m S6 freestyle and bronze in the 50m S6 freestyle.

 David Weir

Wheelchair athlete, 33 
Sealed his place as one of the most formidable wheelchair athletes in the world by winning four golds at London 2012.

 Katherine Grainger

Rower, 37
Finally won gold at the 2012 Olympics alongside Anna Watkins in the women’s double sculls at Eton Dorney, after a heartbreaking streak of coming second at the three previous Olympic Games.

 Bradley Wiggins

Cyclist, 32, 
Created history this summer by becoming the Tour’s first British winner of the Tour de France and ten days later he stormed home to win Olympic gold in the men’s time trial.

Related articles


Local MP Andrew Jones has praised the “great work” done by volunteers throughout the community.  Watch his video.  How could you and your friends give back to the community?



Should mobile phones be banned from schools?

A school that banned mobile phones has seen a big improvement in behaviour and now the  chief inspector of schools has called for mobiles to be barred from classrooms


The end of mankind?

“Cambridge University is to launch a centre for the study of existential risks to the human race – including the rogue robot scenario depicted in the Terminator films”, reports the Guardian .  Is this department necessary?  What are the biggest threats to mankind?  You could produce a top ten.


Should GCSEs be abolished?

Business leaders have called for a radical rethink of England’s schools system, including abolition of GCSEs at 16 and a break from the “exams factory” of the national curriculum and league tables.


Should Britain Leave the European Union?

Tony Blair’s passionate plea: we must stay at heart of EU – or face disaster



Should you boycott the Hobbit?

Some people think you should; why?  Investigate the controversy.




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