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BBC School Report

BBC School Report News

S2 BBC School Report News Day, Thursday 27 March 2014

We've had a busy day of news reporting and interviews today (27 March) as part of the BBC News School Report.  We all worked really hard preparing news and organising students and staff for interviews.  The team enjoyed learning new skills such as presenting, camera work and other technical duties for example downloading and editing footage. 


Click on the News we've uploaded above to see what we got up to throughout the day.


A big thanks to Bethany (S5) who supported us with learning camera and other technical skills all day!



Below are some news reports our S2 students have been working on.






The Northern Lights

 Aurora Borealis, more commonly known as the Northern Lights, are a natural light display in the sky normally in areas with high latitude such as the Arctic. They are multicoloured, normally green and pink in colour but sometimes red, violet and blue. Recently a surprising Northern Light display was in the UK. It was seen from areas in Edinburgh, England and Wales. Auroras are caused by the collision of energetic particles with atoms in high altitude atmospheres.


The Northern Lights were seen in the UK on the 28th February because of a major solar flame elsewhere earlier in the week. It wasn’t the first time they ever appeared in the UK but it is very occasionally we see them. Apart from in the South and North Pole the lights are commonly seen in the Arctic Circle which includes places like Alaska, Canada and Norway.


Auroras have been seen for centuries and we know that, from many Greek and Chinese writings, the furthest they have been dated back to is 700AD. A man named Pierre Gassendi was the first to name them. He named them after two Roman deities, Aurora the God of Dawn and Borealis the God of the North Wind. People sometimes call them Aurora Australis if they are in the South Pole. Scientists have now discovered that in most instances northern and southern auroras mirror each other with similar shapes and colours. 


Although the Northern Lights are seen frequently in the North and South Pole it could be another 100 years until they are shown elsewhere again.


Amber - S2






“Two possibilities exist. Either we are alone in this universe, or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”


The chances that we are alone in this universe are very slim. For instance, the universe is said to be 15 billion light years long. The possibility of there being another species or race in those 15 billion light years is incredibly high. In my own opinion, I believe that the Government know of aliens and their advanced technology but are keeping it secret from everyone else in places like Area 51. And there is evidence to back this up. For example, Bob Lazar has claimed to have reverse engineer extraterrestrial tech in a site called S4, near Area 51. He gave us a lot of details about aliens, UFOs and the site itself. He said that there are aliens in S4 and that the UFO that the government are in possession of is a disc shaped and about 15 metres in diameter. But, Lazar has never shown us any records of his credentials. So he may have just been seeking attention. But there have been a lot of other evidence that ETs exist, from photos, videos and even sightings of UFOs themselves. The thing that kills me inside though… is that we may never know.


Tommy - S2




Football Association Increasing the Racism and Discrimination Ban


Due to recent events in the English Premier League, the Football Association are considering increasing the maximum ban for racism and discrimination. In the summer of 2012 the FA had increased the maximum ban to 7 games after the Luis Suarez and John Terry incidents but now are talking about increasing it further. In 2011 both Suarez and Terry were charged with racism for saying racist comments to fellow players.


During West Bromwich Albion’s game against West Ham in December Nicolas Anelka preformed the “quenelle” gesture. The “quenelle”, is a gesture which is usually performed by pointing one arm diagonally downwards, palm down, while touching the shoulder with the opposite hand. Jewish leaders, anti-racism groups and public officials have interpreted it as, an "inverted Nazi salute" and this is why it is seen as a racist gesture. He was banned for 5 matches and had to pay an £80,000 fine but the FA couldn’t secure a further punishment due to regulations.  Apart from the recent outbursts of racism, the FA feel that racism is becoming too common and feel offenders should be more severely punished if they are found to be racist or discriminative towards other players or through ‘gestures’.


Greg Dyke (chairman of the FA) said on the matter, “We'll look at the judgment and we'll ask those who deal with it - Look, what do you think?  Do we think that's fair?  Do you think we ought to change anything as a result of that? - You should do all these things after you've considered them in some depth."  


I think it is right for the FA to increase the ban as I have also noticed racism becoming too apparent in football which is just giving it a bad name.  


Connor - S2



The Difference between Peanut and Tree Nut Allergies


Peanut and tree nut allergies are both very common, but some people get their differences mixed up.


Tree nuts are grown on trees, as said in the name. Examples of tree nuts are: hazel nut, brazil nut, almond, cashew, walnut, etc. What makes peanuts different is the fact that they are grown on bushes. Peanuts are in fact not even classed as nuts they are in the legume family. Legumes grow in pods and examples of legumes are; beans, lentils, peas and of course Peanuts.


Even though tree nuts and peanuts are two different things, it is likely that you can be allergic to both rather than only one. Also the symptoms of an allergic reaction to either of them are the same.


If you mistake someone for having a ‘peanut allergy’ instead of a ‘tree nut’ one, or vice-versa, it could be life threatening.  Sometimes when someone says that they have an overall nut allergy, most people refer to the allergy as just being a ‘peanut allergy’.  An example of this can be when travelling on an aeroplane. The airline would sometimes say that there is a passenger with a peanut allergy, therefore banning peanuts. When in fact the passenger is allergic to nuts as a whole, therefore the passenger could have an allergic reaction to products containing tree nuts.


So overall if you have a peanut or a tree nut allergy you need to make it clear and be specific, whether you are on an aeroplane or anywhere else.


 Emily - S2




Xbox One and Play Station 4 Comparison


‘Xbox One’, made by Microsoft, and ‘Play Station 4’, made by Sony , are the new next generations consoles which were both released last year.  Sony based in Japan and Microsoft based in America both want to make money from these consoles. If you want to buy a console but don't know which one to choose, this report might be of help.


The main aspect to look at is the quality of the graphics. This is important to gamers so they can experience the best game play. Also, this is important to customers who wish to use the console for movies. Overall the ‘Play Station 4’ has better graphics than the ‘Xbox One’. If you want to watch movies on your console, you can watch Blu-Rays on both ‘Xbox One’ and ‘Play Station 4’.


Another important aspect is accessibility of ports. If you take your console from one place to another often then easy accessible ports are important, so setting up and unplugging your console can be quick and easy. Although the ‘Play Station 4’ has the best graphics, most of it's ports are hidden and has fewer ports than the ‘Xbox One’. Also most of the Play Station's sockets are hidden making setting it up more time consuming than setting up the Xbox.


If you like a range of games to buy or download the Xbox is for you as it has a larger range of exclusive games than the Play Station, but if you need a lot of memory the ‘Play Station 4’ is for you as it has larger storage than the ‘Xbox One’.


Price range is another issue because you need to get best value for your money. The ‘Play Station 4’ is £349 which is good value because the graphics and storage space are good. ‘Xbox One’ is £499 but for that you get a ‘kinect’ which means you don't need a ‘remote’ because you are the ‘remote’ and this widens the range of games you can get for it.


After researching the matter I have came to the conclusion that both machines are equally good, it just depends on what you want to use your console for. You should buy the one that suits your needs the best.


Holly – S2




My Report on Basketball


Basketball was originally invented in 1891 by a man named James Naismith, who was a Canadian physical education teacher. James Naismith was born in Almont, Ontario and educated at McGill University and Presbyterian College in Montreal. James Naismith initially thought of the idea of basketball as a type of indoor soccer so it started off with a football.  Then he gradually thought of the idea of using a ‘bouncy’ ball which means that players are able to ‘dribble’ the ball, which would make the game faster and more enjoyable. The NBA (National Basketball Association) was founded in 1949, after the combination of the NBL (National Basketball League) and the BAA (Basketball Associate of America).


The first basketball game took place in 1892, where the court was half the size of today's courts, and only one point was scored during the match.  Basketball is usually played with five players on each team; however numbers can vary as long as they are equal on both sides. In a five player game the positions are usually one centre, two forwards, and two guards (defenders).


The basic rules of basketball include: no double dribble (dribbling the ball, stopping and then dribbling the ball again), no traveling (carrying the ball for more than two steps) and no physical contact with the opposite team.


The aim of the game is to move up and down the court scoring baskets into the opposite team’s basket. The scoring varies from one to three points depending on where you score from. One point is awarded if you shoot from the free throw line. Two points’ are given if you shoot from inside the three point line surrounding the basket, and three points are scored if you shoot from outside the three point line.


The all-time best basketball player in America was Michael Jordan. His position was shooting guard and small forward. His shirt number was 23 and 45 for the Bulls and 23 for the Wizards. His nickname was ‘Air Jordan’. He was called this because of the amazing way he flew through the air when scoring ‘slam dunks’. Basketball legend Michael Jordan made a statement when he first stepped onto the court in his original signature shoe, the ‘Air Jordan’. The Jordan collection includes shoes, clothing and accessories, inspired by Michael Jordan himself. Most people say that Michael Jordan’s height gives him a great advantage over his opposition, his height is 6’ 6” /1.98 m. Altogether his team has won six NBA championships.


I decided to do my report on Basketball because I play with the West Lothian Wolves and I thought it would be interesting to find out more about the sport so I can be even more interested in the sport than I am already.


Olivia – S2



Things You Didn’t Know About Earwax!


Earwax is one of those bodily substances which very few of us like to discuss in company. Like other secretions it is something most people deal with in private, but it is still a fascination to some. In the past it has been used as lip balm and salve for puncture wounds. Although it does not stop there; it can do more.


Research suggests that earwax can indicate a build up of pollutants in the body. It may also be used as a diagnosis for certain conditions.  A pollution monitor can show toxins in the body such as heavy metals. Although it is very odd place to look a swab is as reliable as a simple blood test. A recent notable scientific discovery on earwax is the 24cm wax plug found in a blue whale.


Unlike humans, who shed their earwax and dead skin cells, filter-feeding whales retain their earwax. They record their life events just like tree-rings reveal arid and wet seasons during its lifetime. Sascha Usenko, an environmental scientist who works at Baylor University in Waco in Texas, and his team found that during its lifetime a 12 year old male whale had been in contact with 16 different pollutants. They found this out through his earwax. There was a peak exposure during the first year of his life, suggesting that these were transferred from his mother, either through the womb or through milk/feeding. High levels of stress hormone cortisol appeared in the waxy plug as the animal reached sexual maturity, when competing for a mate had been a priority.


Reading my report has hopefully helped you learn more facts about earwax.


Leigh - S2

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