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BBC Radio Devon Interview

BBC Radio Devon Studio

Brilliant end to a brilliant day. Emily, Neave, Joe and Mrs Hope were invited back to BBC Radio Devon for a quick interview to feedback on our busy and productive day! mp3 download  



Will Spaceport bring opportunities for Britain?

By Ella (Year 7)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15thMarch

Spaceport is a cheaper and quicker way for British companies to access outer space. Jo Johnson -Transport Minister- said “The Space Industry Bill gives companies the ability to launch satellites from UK soil, putting us at the forefront of the new space race, and helping us to compete as the destination of choice for satellite companies worldwide.”

Increase in global space economy

The government believes that the global space economy will increase from 6.5%-10% by 2030. The main sights are being developed in Glasgow airport, Newquay and Stronway. Jules Mattloni – operation director at Glasgow- said.. “This means we will be able to offer horizontal launches of orbital and sub-orbital missions for satellite launches and passenger flight experiments. Gavin Tweedie- Global Surface Intelligence- told sky news “The legislation will create more interest in the sector. It will bring investment, which will lead to more research and more reliable applications of the data collected from space.” “It will bring more investment, which will lead to more research and more reliable applications of the data collected from space. Gavin Tweedie, Global Surface Intelligence Even though to many of the public this may seem like a revolutionary project, but for some others this seems like a large pollution machine.  


The Billion Dollar Brain that will outlive you

By Izzy (Year 7)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

Silicon Valley billionaire aged 32 pays $10,000 to be killed and have his brain digitally uploaded and be preserved forever. Sam Altan is a tech billionaire that is one of 25 on Nectome`s waiting list. This process is similar to a physician-assisted suicide. On the company`s website (Nectome) their mission is to `preserve your brain well enough to keep memories intact’.

Not yet available to the public

The brain embalming procedure is not yet available to the public because there is still a lack of evidence that memories will survive in dead brain tissue. “I assume my brain will be uploaded to the cloud. Sam Altan, Silicon Valley Billionaire The 32-year-old will have to die in this procedure, the company will be using an embalming technique on the brain. Robert and Michael are the co-founders of this `unusual’ project. Sam will pay a $10,000 deposit for his brain to be immortal.  


Chelsea’s fall from fame following 4-1 annihilation on aggregate

By Lenny (Year 7)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

Yesterday Chelsea lost to Barcelona 4-1 on aggregate with two goals scored by Messi and the last for Ousmane Dembelé; his first for the club. This could affect the rest of Chelsea’s season, resulting in not winning the league, like they planned, and have a chance of not even getting to the top four. This result could put Champions League football out of the club.

Guarantee for Messi

According to Conte, Messi was undoubtedly the “game changer” along with scoring two goals and his one-hundredth in the Champions League. This will guarantee confidence for Messi and the people around him due to not playing to expectations and not making as much magic as Messi made when he was younger. Antonio Conte wasn’t very impressed with his team’s performance and has acknowledged Messi. He claimed that he has no regrets and that by just watching the game you could tell it was unfair. ” We’re talking about the best player in the world,” stated the Chelsea boss “He scores 60 goals a season. He’s a top player. Conte, Chelsea F.C. Manager The Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtios claimed that they didn’t deserve all they got given from Barcelona and that it was a very even game, not agreeing with the boss’ opinion, which was that they were easily manipulated.  


NASA suggests solar storm could cause catastrophe for UK

By Sebastian (Year 7)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

What is a solar storm?

A solar storm is a term used for atmospheric effects felt on Earth from certain events that occur on the sun. it’s an exposition that shoots energy toward a planet. However, it might sound scary, but you have no need to be afraid as its expected to be mild.

How might the solar storm affect the UK?

There may be a power cut so be prepared as schools and homes could be affected and in the northern regions of the UK may be able to see the northern lights. Be prepared for darkness, as there will only be the northern lights in the sky! “[S]olar activity is forecast to remain very low over the next four days, with no sunspot regions expected to develop or move onto the visible side of the Sun. MET Office

When was the worst solar storm?

The worst solar storm ever recorded was in 1859 (also known as the Carrington Event) and if the same storm hit today we would face trillions of pounds worth of damages and year-long blackouts.  


Plastic waste: what a disgrace!

Photo Credit: BBC

By Sebastian (Year 7)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

What are the effects of plastic in the sea?

At the moment, 100,000 animals are killed each year by plastic and by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean unless we do something about our plastic consumption. In the UK, just 57% of bottles are collected to be recycled.

What are we doing to help?

We pay 5p for plastic carrier bags to discourage plastic bag use and the number we use has dropped by over 80%. Some cafes and restaurants are only giving out straws if people ask for them and replacing them slowly with paper ones. Plastic microbeads have been banned from products like face scrubs and toothpaste, so they can’t end up in the sea. Many supermarkets are making changes too, including making their packaging easier to recycle or even plastic free. Countries such as Germany, Norway and Sweden have a Deposit Return Scheme and it helps those countries recycle over 90% of their plastic waste. This means you pay more for a drink in a bottle, but you get that money back when you return the bottle to be recycled.

What about the future?

The sea will become even more polluted and the fish will eventually become dangerous to eat unless something is done to counter the problem.  


Play-off hopes still alive for Plymouth Argyle

Photo credit: Joe Leitch photography

By James (Sixth Form)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

Rewind to the Christmas period, and the atmosphere at Home Park was bleak. Grounded at the bottom of League One, Plymouth Argyle were struggling to pick up points, with some supporters even calling for the sacking of manager, Derek Adams. However, the Green Army’s fortunes have certainly changed, with the League One club now situated only two-points off the paly-off zone.

Upcoming underdog

Argyle were bottom of the table at the start of December but have won 11 out of 15 games since then. Whilst the good fortune has undoubtedly silenced many of Derek Adams’s critics, it is vital that the players do not become complacent. “[i]t is a different sort of pressure now, But the boys are taking it in their stride. David Fox, Plymouth Argyle midfielder “It is a different position that we are in at the minute because we are going into games as favourites,” explains midfielder, David Fox. The former Norwich City and Blackpool player continued, “it is a different sort of pressure now, but the boys are taking it in their stride.”


Are the elderly neglected by the public?

By Emily (Year 7)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

The elderly are a range of older generations, ranging over the age of 55. Some of the elderly are alone.

Where is their help?

There are many organisations to help increase the number of care homes and full/part timers careers for the elderly in need. Some public foundations that are yet to be confirmed have agreed to help increase the number of care homes and are fighting to give more time to the elderly.

Where is their help?

But some would say that the elderly still won’t have enough help - especially if they have an illness such as cancer. Some have also pointed out that the weather is a critical problem, such as snow the carers can’t get to them. As we already know, scientific studies have shown that with age you start to become weaker and struggle a lot more with the simple tasks of the day like tying your shoes. The media doesn’t look at an old persons opinions or help them when it is needed.  


Prince Charles praises NHS nurses

By Bethan (Year 9)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

Prince Charles meets 350 NHS nurses at an open event at Buckingham Palace.

A royal visit

Prince Charles, at an event in Buckingham Palace, met 350 NHS nurses across the country, including first responders to last year’s terror attack and Grenfell Tower fire. He was joined by the Countess of Wessex. While at the event, Charles was reminded of the experience of his first hospital encounter. He quotes “I was rushed to Great Ormond Street with a rapidly expanding appendix.”

A glowing report for nurses

He remembered how wonderful the nurses were to him and despite being discharged from hospital he wanted to stay. Charles’ 70th birthday this year is also clashing with the 70th anniversary of the NHS. “I was rushed to Great Ormond Street with a rapidly expanding appendix. Prince Charles Prince Charles is now also aware of the crisis among the lack of young nurses working for the NHS. He bought up the issue of how fewer people are choosing the profession. Health Educational England has found a shortfall in nursing staff of approximately 8.9% but this amount could increase by 11.4% by 2020.  


License to kill: Why are animals who are wild kept in homes as pets?

By Ruby (Year 7)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

It is against the law to catch and keep wildlife. Almost all native birds and mammals in Oregon are protected by state and federal laws, and it is illegal for you to keep them. These laws exist because wild animals have special needs and it is difficult to keep them healthy and alive in captivity. For example, we had a fox pup turned in to us at the Center by a family that had kept it in captivity for a while. Due to an inadequately nutritional diet, the fox became blind. This is in the UK as well as many other places.

Health risk

Beyond the headline-grabbing stories of people mauled or killed by wild pets, wild animals pose many health risks to humans and domestic pets. In 2003, prairie dogs sold as pets made people sick with monkey pox. The Centers for Disease Control see so many cases of salmonella from pet amphibians and reptiles that they recommend that no one with children under the age 5 own these pets. Other diseases animals can transfer to humans (called zoonotic disease) include rabies, raccoon roundworm and herpes B virus.

Not right?

The animals are held in a cage, not being able to roam free, causing the animal to become depressed for life. Also, scientists have proven that animals that are kept in cages become stressed, sick and don't live as long. Furthermore, animals should definitely not be kept in cages because it's not their natural habitat. So please don’t keep animal if it’s not in its natural habitat.  


Will Walk on Girls be walking off?

By Emily (Year 7)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

There are many debates showing that the public is not happy with ‘Walk on’ girls being banned. An interview with one of the PDC’s walk-on girls Charlotte Wood said that the darts made up 60% of her income. “I have chosen to do this job. I go to work. I put on a nice dress. I escort darts players to the stage. I smile and that is it.” She doesn’t see what the problem is. It’s an easy gig. She chose to do it. Many people in the media are not happy because they feel that the companies are showing younger girls how they should dress and that they should be like this.

“I have chosen to do this job. I go to work. Charlotte Wood, PDC Walk on Girl

The companies girls such as Charlotte Wood work for get a lot of back lash because of the impression they give to younger viewers.

The darker side of cheerleading?

Cheerleading may also be seen as a ‘Walk on Girl’s sport.’ Although cheerleading may be perceived this way, Zoe Rutherford, managing director of The London Cheerleaders, says cheerleading is often misunderstood: "It's a real shame that it is linked with the idea of shaking pom poms and looking pretty.  


UN: Finland ‘happiest country on the planet’

By Hetty (Year 7)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

According to a new report by the UN, Finland is the happiest place on Earth. Journalists believe that Finland’s top rating is largely due to high levels of freedom, income, trust, healthy lifestyles, an average life expectancy of 81 years, social support and generosity. Finland is located in Europe and has exactly 5,262,930 people living in it. The population of Britain 65.64 million.

Finland vs UK: How do they compare?

British citizens are often deemed as polite in a way that does not happen in Finland (not saying Fins are not polite). British people tend to use words liked ‘dear’ or ‘darling ‘and ‘sweetheart’, whereas in Finland these are reserved for close people that they love. Health: in the UK we benefit from a public health care system, the NHS, that is free for everyone. However, in Finland they pay a small charge every time they visit the doctors or hospital. History: England is an amazing place to explore historical and culturally remarkable places. For example, London is a great metropolis. Alternatively, Finland has few major cities. School: in the UK primary schools have locked doors or gates so that students can’t get in or out without supervision, in Finland they don’t do that. In the UK students pay to attend university however, in Finland a university education is free of charge.

The conclusion?

Overall, it is clear to see why the Fins may be happier than us Brits as they have free higher education, better health care and more financial freedom.  


3D-printed homes turn slush into shelter

Photo credit: BBC News (Technology)

By Rocco (Year 7)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

More than a billion people in the world go to sleep each night without reliable shelter. However, a pair of companies working on solving this problem believes their 3D-printed model of a one-story house could not only provide merely a roof over the head, but a genuinely great place to live.

A unique design

It is made of fibre and mud from the surrounding ground and makes a house in 24 to 48 hours. The 650-square feet dwelling required costs about £7,000 ($10,000) of concrete. Created by Italian 3D printer company WASP, the giant, three-armed printer was demonstrated at Maker Faire Rome last week. While there are already 3D printers out there that can rapidly build houses, this model is unique as it can be assembled on site within two hours. The model is then filled with mud and fibre to construct extremely cheap dwellings in some of the most remote places on Earth.

So how does it work?

The mud that goes inside the printer first needs to be mixed with another natural fibre, such as wool, to help bind it together, creating a grainy paste that can then be squeezed out into the desired shape, sort of as though you were icing a cake. Although they may not look like much, these homes can be up to three metres high, and when dry create a tough and sustainable shelter for people in rural or impoverished areas. This is an amazing creation and has the potential to change the way we make houses forever.  


Stephen Hawking: A legend from out of this world

By George (Year 9)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

Stephen Hawkins died yesterday at age 76, despite being told he’d never make it past his 20s due to his ALS. He was born on September 8th, 1942 and died on March 14th 2018.

A celebrated academic

Stephen Hawking was a British physician who was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.) This is when nerve cells that control voluntary muscles such as arms and legs. Stephen Hawking received his education from Cambridge University, where he studied cosmology.  Stephen Hawking is famous in the world of physics for inventing the idea of singularity and string theory, which became one of the leading theories in how the universe works. “His passing has left an intellectual vacuum In his wake. But it’s not empty. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist Another of his theories includes his theory that black holes lose mass over time. This process was dubbed ‘Hawking Radiation’. It could be argued that Hawkings’ life has helped significantly to revolutionise modern physics.

A popular cultural celebrity?

Stephen Hawking also left a mark on pop culture making many cameo appearances in TV shows such as ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘The Simpsons.’ Other physicians reacted to his death Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted his feelings towards the death: ‘His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it’s not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of space-time that defies measure. RIP Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018. Stephen Hawking is expected to be buried in the Ascension Burial Ground where other greats of Cambridge University have been buried.  


Could pro gamers also be considered to be ‘athletes’?

By Ollie (Year 7)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

When you hear the word athlete, you will often think of football players and runners, but you don’t think about pro-gamers because they only “sit in a chair” and play a game. Something that takes “no skill” to do.

A challenge to the norm?

Though underneath, there is a lot of skill and a lot of teamwork. An example for this is that footballers train 4-5 hours a day, however, pro-gamers train 12-14 hours a day and only sleep 4 hours a day. Pro-gaming also requires teamwork and communication, for example, a Tokyo Pro-gamer (Han Ki- Hoon) lives with his 4 teammates and coach in an apartment. They mostly play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games (MOBAs) such as League of Legends, Smite and Heroes of the Storm. The idea of pro-gaming has already spread around the world in countries like China, Japan and the U.S which host various gaming tournaments such as Blizzcon, for example. Pro-gaming is a lot more than sitting in a chair, so if someone asks you if pro-gamers are athletes, the answer is yes.  

Brexit: a young person’s guide to what it is and what it means for us

By George and Bethan (Year 9)

Hele’s Student BBC School Reporter

Thursday 15th March

Brexit was the controversial referendum. The vote ended with 52% in favour of leaving the EU and 48% preferring to stay a part of the EU.

What are the pros?

Brexit can be positive in some ways. We will no longer have to contribute to the EU budget, so the UK would be able to use this money to invest in more important things like NHS and schools. We will also be able to control immigration. We can allow migrants to enter the country. The people we let in could have the skills and qualifications we need to fill vacancies. We will be able to regain our fishing rights in our waters. This is good because the British fishermen in terms of jobs and local economies. We will keep things like workers’ rights, holiday pay and maternity leave the same if we are no longer bound by EU rules.

What are the cons?

Brexit can also be negative. The EU regulates how much things cost, like phone calls and texts. When we leave the EU, things like this could become much more expensive. The EU also funds a lot of scientific research in British universities. This is important for advances in things like medicine. We will lose a lot of this funding when we leave the EU.

What does the long-term effects of Brexit mean for me?

  • Education and our healthcare systems could gain an extra £350million for development. This could help improve future lives as they will have the chance to be better educated and have free reliable healthcare.
  • More jobs will be available to British citizens and there will be better immigration standards only allowing immigrants with suitable and relevant skills. This is beneficial to the future British lives.
  • Future generations will be provided with British fish instead of Russian and Norwegian fish and are waters won’t be violated this can create fishing related jobs. This will benefit the local economy.
  • However, we will be unable to move freely between countries in the EU. E.g. it will be harder to be able to retire and move to another country in the EU.
  • Sciences and universities may receive less funding, which will potentially affect our education as the EU science program would no longer involve Britain.


Exclusive interview with War Horse cast: Meet Thomas Dennis and Jasper William Cartwright

Hetty and Ruby in Year 7 had the privilege of interviewing Thomas and Jasper from the National Theatre, who are currently performing in War Horse. Thomas is presently playing Albert and Jasper is playing Billy in the production. We caught up with them for an exclusive interview to find out more:

Q) What is your favourite part about acting as this character?

T: That is a really good question! My favourite part, I would say is that I get to play and interact with Joey the puppet horse. It takes three J: I would also say that I really enjoy interacting with Joey. My favourite part is that I get to ride Joey the puppet horse at the end, but I have to say I also enjoy the big battle scene which is very exciting!

Q) Do you have a particular favourite scene in this play?

J: It isn’t so much my favourite scene, but rather my favourite aspect is that I get to puppeteer the horse at one point the play and just do something a bit different to what I would normally do on stage.

T: For me, it’s the transformation of baby Joey into adult Joey. It is such an amazing feeling to see how the audience’s response to the change – a real heartfelt moment.

Q) What was challenging about performing in this role?

J: My character suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the war, and so that was a real challenge in capturing the emotions that go with that experience.

T: I must say I have to agree with what Jasper said – it’s all about the journey with the characters through the fields of Northern France. It is so hard to convey to an audience the full emotion of that experience as my character journeys through the war.

Q) Did you audition for the role or were you selected? What criteria were they looking for, for your specific role?

T: Both of us auditioned for the part, but I had a slightly different experience as I had worked with the National Theatre beforehand. There were four auditions in total over four to five weeks which tested different things, such as can I work with puppeteers? How many different ways can I play the scenes? A real range!

J: There was a lot of criteria but I think the most important thing aside from the ability to work with the puppets was to see how well we worked together. We are a tight-knit company and we work so well together and I think that was what they were looking for just as much as could we act.

Q) As an actor on stage, how does it feel performing in front of so many people?

(Both) – Great!

T: I am sure Jasper will agree that the main reason we do what we do is that we feel so alive on stage. It is a very unique experience which I know some people may be afraid of as it can be seen as scary, but for us it is a great experience to immerse ourselves into.

J: We actually find it hardest when we have no audience!

T: Yeah – the audience play as big a part of it as we do. Each audience is unique in their response to the show.

Q) How did you first get involved with the National Theatre?

T: For both of us it was through our agents, but back in 2016 I auditioned and performed as Christopher in A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, so this is actually my second year of working with the National Theatre.

Q) Do you have a particular place that you love to perform?

J: It is so special for me performing in London where I live as it is a busy city where people come from all over the world to see shows like this. But especially to perform where the show started ten years ago feels like the play is coming home.

T: I come from near Brighton and that was special for me as my friends and family came along too.

J: Yeah I agree. To have the people who have supported you come and see you perform is very special.

Q) Who would you love to act alongside in the future?

T: Apart from the cast (who are brilliant) Meryl Streep. She is beautiful in the way she works and it would be brilliant to work alongside her and learn from her.

J: Daniel Glover would be an exciting artist to work with. Either him or Idris Albert.

Q) What inspired you to take up acting?

T: I had a friend at primary school who was better than me at most things at school, and for some reason I was a lot better at making people laugh! It was a real mixture but I have a lot to thank my friends for.

J: For me, it was history. I loved playing around the house with swords pretending I was in a world that was not this one. But I think another factor was my mum bet me 50 euros (I was living in France at the time) that I couldn’t learn a Shakespearean monologue for a poetry competition. The monologue was from Henry V and I learnt the monologue and wont he poetry competition at school aged 11.

Q) Which actors have had the greatest influence on you?

T: Kenneth Branagh when he played Henry V. I adored his portrayal of a medieval king. Through my childhood, he was the actor I watched. I also liked that he worked on the directing team and helped to produce the play.

J: In King Lear there is a particular young man called Edmond. He is young, mixed race (his mother is from Scotland and his dad is from Africa) and I liked seeing someone who I was alike up on stage. I actually got to meet him too!

Q) What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a career in acting?

T: If you really want to act, and that is your dream, go for it. Start young and get involved with a junior agency. Research and see what is out there. There is a lot of opportunity for child roles in adverts, movies and plays and it means you wouldn’t have to work all the time. If you do a few things every now and then you then have some credits to your name to show what you can do, which may potentially get you more interest.

J: I didn’t do much as a child, I just kept my head down and worked hard. Think about what you like! I love theatre but I have a passion for film (I grew up watching the Harry Potter films and Lord of the Rings) so I used that as a fuel to ignite my imagination.

T: I guess it’s also an opportunity to work out if you really want to do it. Some of my friends were child actors and decided it wasn’t for them. By the main thing is to not let anyone say what you can or can’t do. People are so afraid that it can be competitive but there is a role out there for everyone. Jasper and I are very different people and we play very different roles so look for the part that is out there for you.

Q) What would be your dream role in a production?

Tom: For me it would be Henry V, but I think that is because that was my inspiration. Your dream roles will be the ones that inspired you as a child as that passion stays with you. Jasper: Edmond from King Lear, although I like the idea of playing Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (which I had the opportunity to play briefly when I was working in theatre in education).

Q) What upcoming performance are you part of later this year?

(Both): War Horse! [laughs]

T: War Horse is running into 2019 but there may be some more time spent doing it after that time. War Horse is running for 18 months at various venues around the country.

If you wish to see War Horse in Plymouth, see the Theatre Royal’s website for tickets and tour dates running this August.