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The Truth About Being a Twin

Some people treat twins as one person, this isn’t nice. Twins like spending time with each other and may have the same friends and interests, however, this does not mean that they are one person. Twins are often very close and have a unique relationship. However, sometimes they can have disagreements, just like any others can. They are both two individuals and quite often can lead two completely different lives. It is always thought that all twins are identical, this is not true, fraternal (non-identical) twins are more common. Most people think that twins are always exactly the same age, however, they are not, if you take time to ask, you will find that most twins are born one or two minutes apart, sometimes even up to 15 minutes. Recently, there has been a rise in the number of twins born each year. Up until recent years, all births of twins have been natural, however now with the help of special treatment (such as IVF) more women have been given the chance to have children. This treatment commonly results in the birth of twins as two eggs are fertilised and implanted. Being a twin, I have spent my whole life encountering people who have different opinions. It angers me when people call my twin and I “the twins”. It is understandable that people may get your names confused, but as a non-identical twin, I see this as no excuse. In my opinion twins should be viewed as two different people, because they are! Even if they have the same physical features they will still both have unique personalities and passions, because everyone is different. When you are a twin you are expected to share everything you own and ‘be happy about it’. My twin and I were always given joint presents, a shared bedroom and sometimes even expected to share clothes. Lots of people think that because we are twins, wherever one goes, the other goes; this can sometimes result in reluctantly inviting one twin to an event just because the other is invited. This should not happen because it makes it feel like you are not appreciated as your own person. Take it from a twin, it is better to treat us like individuals. Even though sometimes there are pros and cons to being a twin, most of the time the life of being a twin is a brilliant one. For me, it has really helped to have someone to turn to and talk with as we share many amazing experiences together. You always have someone to play with or someone to go out with, if you ever feel alone you can always rely on your twin. I hope this has opened up the world of twins for you! To find out more, check out these weblinks for further reading and information: Isobel Morgan, Year 7


The season to be jolly

One of the concerns when the group split into two was, ‘But who will have the end of term celebration?’ An understandable concern, and the only way to make this fair was to have two lots of celebrations… and two lots of cake! My older group had their final session of the term last week and I gave them a series of Christmas prompts. Lily Rachel in Year Eleven opted for this one: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Third world war in the kitchen. Christmas as usual. I liked her piece very much: When Sadie got home the house next door was gone. She stood still for a moment, looking at the heaped rubble, before hitching her satchel further onto her shoulder and continuing up the garden path.  Marc was sitting at the kitchen table. “Leave the glass,” he said. “Next door’s wall hit the window.” “Was anyone in there?” “No, they were out when it happened. Don’t know where they are now, probably with the Displaced lot in the stadium.” Sadie winced and sat down, reaching for the teapot. “The electricity turned off a couple of hours ago, you’ll have to have it cold,” said Marc. “I’ll pass.” She swung her bag onto the table and began rifling through it. “Half the teachers weren’t in today ‘cos the roads got blocked with broken cars in the night so we got put with the little ones. They made me these.” She held up a few tattered paper snowflakes. “Nice,” said Marc. “Shame they’ve got pictures of bombed out houses on the back.” I also liked Katie-Mia Diamandi in Year Nine’s piece on the topic of someone who was extremely competitive about Christmas. The cold ate my fingers, but I had to fight it. Who did they think they were, buying their lights from the same store as us? That was my store, my time to shine. How dare they steal my shop from me? I mean, do they have an eight-foot rotating frosty the snowman on their roof? I allow the cold to beat me, and so I walked up our twinkling driveway, red and green lights illuminating my view, I waddled towards our jumbo wreath, fingers fumbling with the key. With the door finally open, Christmas overcame me as our 32 spiced marmalade and cinnamon candles burn their way into our hearts. I called for my wife, only to complain about the neighbours, of course. She glided down the stairs, and so then began my rant. “Oh, don’t let them get to you!” “I know, I know. I mean, they only got their Christmas tree , when, the beginning of December – we’ve had our up since September!” “Don’t worry, the holidays are nearly here, so we can illuminate Frosty!” “You’re right.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Balaclava in hand, I step out into the snow, all internal warmth whipped from me. I creep round the fence, and into the neighbours back garden. Their house seemed easy enough to climb, or so I fooled myself to think. With a prayer and a cross I ascend the brick barricade, towards their gleaming rooftop. As I haul myself over the roof, i search for a plug or wire of sorts. Tumbling across the roof, I find the wonderfully black wire, and drawing my clippers, blue and red lights flash in the corners of my eyes. Sirens raid my ears, and as I turn to my side, an army of neighbours surround the house, their tutting forming a symphony of disappointment.   I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the pieces written by my brilliant students in 2016. Happy Christmas!


A Discussion about Bullying

Bullying can make you feel small and weak. It can be physical, verbal or can even happen online! It also exists at home and in our wider communities. It doesn’t just happen to children, adults can also be bullied or be bullies themselves. The result being a constant, and unrelenting attack. Research shows that bullying can have long-lasting and devastating effects. Bullying is an issue which affects people from all walks of life and can happen at any point. Research confirms the long-lasting and damaging outcomes for the individual being bullied including prolonged absenteeism from school (NatCen and Red Balloon, 2011) and negative consequences on physical and mental health even at the age of 50 (Takizawa et al, 2014).  The reality is, bullying isn’t confined to the school gates and its victims aren’t limited to young people. It also exists at home and in our wider communities; in boardrooms, and lunchrooms, on highstreets, stadiums and pubs! Telling someone is really important, DO NOT keep it to yourself. We wanted to write this article to raise awareness of bullying and outline some of the most common forms of bullying and offer advice on how to stop it. Physical Bullying Physical bullying is when someone hurts you by maybe: causing bruises, cuts or any kind of wound. It is also when someone steals or tampers with your belongings. Whatever you do, do not fight back or you will become as bad as the bully. To sort it out, simply tell a teacher or a trusted adult what is going on and they can help you. Verbal bullying Verbal bullying is where someone says something to you that is offensive, mean or rude. This can really affect your self- esteem. Try not to retaliate, instead ignore silly taunts and tell an adult. Cyber bullying Cyber bullying is when somebody spreads rumours, posts pictures or says rude and mean things about you online. They could send things directly to you or to others behind your back. It can be humiliating and can make you feel small. Like always, tell a parent or trusted adult. You could also talk to your form tutor or head of year or even your school councillor. Remember you could also speak to a parent or friend; just tell someone what is going on! What can we do to stop bullying? Some useful advice on how to stop bullying can be found on the ‘Stand up to Bullying’ website. Some of the tips include: There are lots of other ways that you can stand up against bullying in your school or community: Talk to your teacher about running assemblies in your school about what bullying is and how important it is to speak out about it. Be someone that cares about others and encourage your peers to do likewise. If you see someone being bullied in your school, try to help them or speak to a staff member. Create a notice board in your school about your anti-bullying work. Make it obvious to students where they can get help or report concerns. Write a letter to your school or your local MP to ask what they are doing to take a stand against bullying. You could run social action projects in your school such as Kindness Day You can learn more about different types of bullying and how to support someone Other advice includes…. Be assertive. When you’re being bullied, it’s really hard not to show that you’re upset or angry. But by not giving the bully the reaction they want, you’ll be able to take back the control and stop the bullying cycle in its tracks. How can this be done? By learning to be assertive! You can find out how here Make new friends. You can join a club or find other people who love the same things as you. A good friend should make you feel good and support you; encourage and inspire you; listen and share with you; be honest, consistent and make you happy! We hope this article has helped to raise more awareness about bullying. Thank you. Amelia Semark and Ameile Wade, 7F Useful links If you wish to find more information on bullying or wish to report bullying, follow these links. – useful website, the inspiration for our article. 0800 111 111 – Childline  Call them or visit the website to talk about any problems you may have. –Bullying UK can give lots of advice to you. –call them to get help or read their article. – for people who might think they are a bully, this video and quiz helps to help bullies change their behaviour.


Ready to Read?

How much do you read? How many times have you visited the library? Reading a single book can boost your creativity and impact your imagination. It can inspire yours as well as others’ amazing ideas – who knows, maybe you could be the next great children’s author. Like many human abilities, reading is a learned skill, you have to engage in a book to enjoy it. So what are your interests? Statistics from 2014 show that one in five children in England cannot read well by the age of 11. Research conducted in 2012, found that 17% of 15 year-olds in England do not have the minimum level of knowledge in literacy. In 2013, research found that in England 16 to 24 year-olds have lower levels of literacy than young people in 21 out of 24 countries, and researchers estimate that about 774 million adults worldwide do not have minimal literacy skills. Let’s change that… Michael Morpurgo and J.K. Rowling are two, along with many more, thriving authors, who have written some of the most famous books in the world. They have created emotional, as well as comical, fun filled books that have inspired young people around the world. Most of Morpurgo’s readers have commented on enjoying his books as well as learning about historical events whilst reading them.  J.K. Rowling has, also, got a number of readers who have mentioned that reading her fictional story have put them “In control.’’ Personally, I enjoy reading because it gives me an inspiration that I can express in art, music and even writing my own story. If you are not a fan of reading, why not try… You will find that your favourite subject or genre in a story is based on your interests. For example: If you are a fan of adventures then, perhaps, a mystery book is for you! Audio Books, they can take you to a magical place without you having to focus on any words Or, if you have seen an inspiring film maybe you want to read the book, to find more information about the atmosphere. So, I hope this article has changed your mind about reading! For more information check out these web links: Sophie Baker 7C


End of Term Party for Student Librarians!

EBS Student Librarians enjoyed a wonderful end of term party and awards ceremony last week. A number of our helpers received their Student Librarian badges and one student, Helin Demirci 8G was awarded a certificate for being our Student Librarian Of The Term. She is in the library every day helping us and she always has a warm smile and a helpful demeanour – congratulations to her. Students enjoyed taking part in holiday arts and crafts as well as a quiz and scavenger hunt. A big thank you to all our Student Librarians and we look forward to seeing you all in the Spring term. If this inspires others to help us we would love to see you in the library next term.


Flash Fiction

Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to create a short story in only six words. He came up with this: For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn. It’s a brilliant example of what has come to be known as ‘flash fiction’. We have never tackled this topic before in the writing group and at first when I suggested writing stories in just ten words, everyone was scratching their heads at how difficult it was! But after a while, the students began to get the hang of it and some in the group discovered that they actually had a bit of a knack for this type of writing. Here are some of the pieces they produced: Saul Mishra – Year 10 Working to death, slaving to survive, the pain drives me. Everyday, dwelling on the thought that you will come home. Take your next step with caution or you’ll regret it. I am a man imprisoned with my own fear. Never take a step back from hope. Keep it close. Alex Schwaller – Year 10 Always trying, always going extra miles but never ever succeeding. Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, Roosevelt. All good with words, not countries. Start the car. Drive a way. Make a new life. Run out of fuel. Stop and walk. Time to go. Roisin Tambimuttu – Year 11 She waited by the curb for him…he never came. He tried to listen, but the wind stole her words. Her face showed no cracks, but she was dying inside. His pen scratched terrible words across the paper; he smiled. She went on her tiptoes, face darkening at the sight. She draws him close, as if for the last time. Heart pounding, she ran into the forest, dodging the bullets. Katie-Mia Diamandi – Year 9 Ink. Pen. Love in letters. Stolen my heart. No reply. Dancing in the sky, twirling, twisting. Air flows by. Tick. Tock. The pencil hits the floor. Ding. Dong. Opened door. James Tivey – Year 10 The marching stopped. Legs buckled. Mud stained bodies. Screams echoed. Saying words. Hearing them. Not understanding. They echo around me. Time was stopping, the hands stood still. The dust settled. Death took hold, paralyzing. A cold body fell. He grinned. A puff of smoke. A monstrous roar. Rocks crashed down.


To sleep, perchance to dream…

We’ve been thinking about the topic of sleep and dreams in the creative writing club. One of the writing prompts this week was to imagine what it would be like if you were denied sleep. Dylan Hickey-Extra in Year 9 wrote this very imaginative piece.   A man starts to film himself, in a small white room with a single porthole visible. This leads many people to believe that he is in a boat, but what is strange is that you can’t hear the ocean or in fact anything bar the man’s calm, soothing voice. He then speaks. “Hello, I am Jonathan Charles Walker. The government has paid me to take these pills.” He holds up a small pill jar. The oval pills have a strange glow to them.   The man continues: “These are a type of strong caffeine; they have an immediate effect of not allowing someone to sleep. The government has placed me in this room to monitor my actions after several days without sleep. I have a couple of possessions, such as a TV, a toilet and the laptop with a webcam.” He pauses to think. “If I go insane I have written my will, but if I do there is a trace of heroin  and cannabis. So I should in theory get addicted to these pills.” He leans in and turns of filming. The video turns on again, the man then starts. “It has been 24 hours and I feel great. Actually better than normal.” He turns off the camera again. The camera flickers on, he walks into frame, he ends up stubbing his toe and starts cursing. “Sorry about that, but the effects of the pills make me extremely angry.  But it has been days since I had any sleep.” The man then screams and punches an object, the camera shakes and turns off. It begins again with the man sitting there shirtless. “It has been a week since men in coats became interested. Now that I am insane…” The room is extremely dirty, it is completely filled with trash and half-eaten food smeared on the walls. The camera turns on but he’s not there, instead all the furniture has been pulled down and the porthole has been smashed with a slight smear of blood on the glass. As if he jumped out of the window. The video stops now. I looked behind me to see a large ship with a brown hull and large majestic sails, but what really stood was the single broken porthole with a smear of blood. Then I felt a slight sting at my lower abdomen, I looked down to see a large cut there. “Oh it’s me!” Is all I could say.  


VEX Robotics London Regional Competition 2016

Last Wednesday, East Barnet School hosted its 5th VEX Robotics London Regional Competition for VEX EDR and VEX iQ. There were a total of five schools competing from EDR  which consisted of 11 teams. Every team was competing for a space at the UK VEX Robotics National finals. For the last five years since the inception of VEX Robotics here in the UK, East Barnet School has competed and won all its VEX Robotics London Regional competitions and gone on to qualify for the VEX Robotics UK National finals. So it came as no surprise that Team VOLT won the London UK Regional VEX Robotics tournament for East Barnet School in the VEX EDR division. This year also saw a few new entries in the VEX EDR division. We now have a new all girl team – Girls of Steel, and they competed in their first ever qualification match and did very well, achieving 8th place overall. They didn’t qualify for the nationals but there are other regional competitions that they will attend and Team VOLT will be helping to get them through to the 2017 National Finals in Birmingham. In the VEX iQ competition, we had a Year 8 team, Flash Robotics and also a new Year 7 all girl team – The Robows. The Robows only joined EBS Robotics last week Monday lunchtime but they competed and came 2nd out of 10 teams in their competition. Flash Robotics came back from a bad start (bottom of the table) to break through and compose themselves. They went on to win the Teamwork Champions Award and this meant that they too qualified for the UK VEX iQ National finals with Volt Robotics next year in March 2017. The atmosphere was full of energy and everyone had fun. For the 5th year running, EBS Robotics now has two teams that have qualified early for the VEX Robotics National Finals in Birmingham next year at the Big Bang Event 2017.


Book Fair in the Library Update

A grand time was had by all November 2-4 at the Scholastic Book Fair. Many students bought reading books for the holidays and the book fair raised funds for the Library. Librarians Mrs Cobb and Mrs LaTulip enjoyed talking with the EBS parents and carers about reading. Keep an eye out for exciting new books to borrow in 2017, we’ve already placed an order based on students’ wish lists from the Book Fair!


Raising Awareness of Gender Inequality

I believe, that to combat gender inequality is not simply a case of just ‘closing the pay gap’. The issue, to me, undoubtedly runs deeper. It is, however, true that a developed and so called enlightened society such as ours still refuses to shine that light onto its own glaring faults, but thinks nothing of a tabloid shaming and slamming women in an unparalleled way to how it addresses men. Now, that is not to cry “sexism!!” every time a woman is so much as criticised, no. It is, instead, to silently endure headlines which treat women as bodies, constantly focusing on weight and dating and how to make yourself more attractive to men, as though that is our main purpose. Anyone who says women and men are treated equally, is sadly deluded. However, in the same vein, I believe we must address how we view men, and in doing so we can begin to undo these restraints of stereotype. Men are similarly marginalised into society’s brackets of manliness and strength, and how emotion is for women when in reality emotion is simply for humans, regardless of gender. Could it be that if men did not feel pressured into being manly and controlling, then the idea of women exerting power or questioning how society treats them wouldn’t be so hard to deal with? If boys were encouraged to be in touch with emotions, perhaps talking about stereotypes and how they influence us would be easier. A statistic currently is that suicide is the biggest killer in men under 45. That’s 11 deaths, per day. And that figure is stable, because we are doing nothing about it. Understanding an issue is the first step in solving it. Instead of saying “not all men are like that” defensively, boys could simply show that it isn’t the truth in their actions and understanding. Instead of creating a tense, clashing rivalry or defensiveness between men and women, why not share these issues as PEOPLE, not separate genders. Your gender isn’t what is talking, working, deciding, believing, it is instead, your mind. I believe that men and women are equal. Not cats and dogs, but two different breeds of the same species to be celebrated in their differences and supported in their many similarities instead of confined by margins born from a difference in physical attributes. Our society has become more and more politically focused, a world where a person’s mind or intelligence is valued higher than their physical strength, therefore why is it so complicated to separate us from our genders themselves? We are both people, capable of work, whether or not we happen to be male or female. Why should men be strong, athletic, and women weak and submissive? If a woman is strong or intelligent she is labelled as bossy, nagging or aloof, while a man is ridiculed if he expresses any emotions which may be regarded as “feminine”. Why? Because in the world we inhabit, being feminine is a bad thing. A weak thing. I believe that unconfined and unrestrained by these ridiculous notions of emotions belonging to certain characteristics, we will blossom. Gender equality is not a women’s issue, but a human issue. Boys should not feel threatened by those words, because I believe the way forward is through eliminating or at least recognising the stereotypes which force men into repetitive and harmful patterns time after time. How fair is it that men are discouraged from talking about issues such as rape, domestic violence, and mental illness? That isn’t any sort of equality. Sophie Moores – Year 11