Date Posted: 19/05/2017

15 May; the week at Read

Where Do You Stand?

On Thursday 8th June, those of us who are old enough to vote will be taking to the ballot boxes, registering our choice for which party we'd like to see leading the next UK government. For those of you in school, you might notice that the Sixth Form have been flexing their political muscles. There has been some lively debate going on, both inside and outside the Sixth Form common room, from whose windows can be seen the banners of the three main political parties. So we thought, why not give the most passionate of them a voice: the opportunity to put (in no more than 500 words) why you should vote for their party on 8th June. So without further ado, let's hear their points of view!

Sam Barrick: Conservative

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Why Vote Conservative?

The Conservative Party has rebuilt the economy over the last seven years and is best placed to keep the country financially powerful after Brexit. The previous Labour government’s economic policy left the country vulnerable to the financial crash of 2008 and it is only logical to suggest that in the post Brexit era they would do it again. Due to Labour’s failings with the economy between 1997 and 2010, difficult and significant cuts were essential to allow an economic recovery to begin.

The economic recovery has ultimately been successful under the Conservative government. Unemployment is now at an all-time low, the budget deficit has been cut by three-quarters and we have the fastest growing economy in Western Europe. The problem is that, at this moment, Labour’s economic policies are not viable. Spending more and more borrowed money isn’t sensible, especially at this period in history. Likewise, Brexit will put almost all investment at risk. Increasing corporation tax will also drive big business out of the UK. The Conservatives’ policy over the last seven years has made the economy more resilient, and it wasn’t ruined by the Brexit vote last June. Therefore, the Conservative Party are the only party that can be trusted to keep the economy functioning properly during and after the Brexit negotiations.

Whilst Jeremy Corbyn’s ideas are very appealing and seem very generous, they have no substance to them. If you were to increase taxes as markedly as he suggests you would be removing the motivation from people to create wealth and without any wealth creation, there would be fewer jobs. So by looking after wealth creators in the first instance you are indirectly helping the people generally. Also, everyone needs protecting in the post-Brexit era because if there were to be less investment, jobs would also become less abundant. Under a Conservative government with low corporation taxes we would remain a reasonably attractive place to invest and it would mean more jobs were available especially to younger people. Plus, scrapping tuition fees is a very attractive proposition for young people, but sadly tuition fees are required simply because 60% of 18 year olds now go to University. 30 years ago, when 6% of 18 year olds went to University, it was possible to offer higher education for free. It isn’t now.

The Conservative Party also has a leader capable of standing up for the country during the Brexit negotiations. Theresa May strikes me as a very competent but firm negotiator. I feel that she will not be afraid to go toe-to-toe with the EU to get the deal that we need. Mrs May is far more likely to achieve a deal that benefits the whole country as she has the overwhelming support of her MPs, unlike Jeremy Corbyn who only had the support of 19% of his MPs. It is clear she has far more authority.

Sam Barrick

 Eloise Hewson: Labour

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 Why Vote Labour?

Labour are pledged to invest in the services which underpin our economy and social well-being. By reinvesting in healthcare, education, housing, transport, and modernisation Labour hopes to build not only a more globally successful country, but one which supports every citizen individually. It is because these vital services matter to me that I will be voting Labour.

By supporting a cradle-to-grave education plan which promotes continued development by providing bursaries for the lowest income students and aiming to abolish tuition fees, Labour strives to create a skilled workforce capable of building a stable economy. The abolition of tuition fees will prevent workers entering adult life with a minimum of £27000 of debt, which in turn should encourage more young people into life-changing further education. By limiting class sizes for 5, 6, and 7 year olds to a maximum of thirty children Labour will ensure that the education of every child begins on a stable footing. As a student these educational reforms are absolutely personally necessary and relevant.

I believe that any good government should support free health care for all as a priority; if our government cannot maintain the health of its people than it has fundamentally failed. Current NHS funding and staffing levels are not maintainable or safe and privatising the NHS strips the country of a vital state asset. As such I believe that Labour’s plans to properly fund national health and provide bursaries for healthcare students in order to encourage a wider uptake of healthcare professions is the only rational step forwards.

In a technologically governed world investing in nation-wide super fast broadband and the provision of 4G will update the UK jobs market by encouraging growth in industries reliant on such basic services. Labour’s pledge to invest in technological growth demonstrates excellent global awareness and a preoccupation with providing for the future which I absolutely respect.

By raising the minimum wage to a living standard and ensuring that rental properties are habitable, Labour will improve the quality of life of vast numbers of UK residents. By supporting trade unions Labour gives workers the power to protest when necessary in order to ensure that good standards are maintained in workplaces. By increasing paternity leave and paternity pay Labour will support entire families in developing together on a more gender neutral basis. By better funding state childcare Labour will encourage parents back into the workforce where otherwise they may have been unable to work. By nationalising transport services Labour will create a quality affordable public service in place of the fragmented and extortionate systems currently in place.These steps are necessary and support that growth of the UK as an entire nation “for the many, not the few.”

These ambitions may seem idealistic and unattainable to some, but surely as a nation we must constantly strive for the best. Ultimately I believe in a supportive government structure which invests wisely in necessary services in order to ensure that every citizen lives well.

Eloise Hewson

Alfie Thomlinson: Liberal Democrats

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Why Vote Liberal Democrats?

I keep frequently being told that my vote on 8th June will be that of a wasted one. There is no such thing as a wasted vote, the only wasted vote that exists is that of not voting at all!  So why will I be voting for that northern fella, what’s his name? Ah yes that’s it, Tim Farron. He may not be well known, but he’s very much on the ball!

So, first of all, the unanswerable question, was Brexit a mistake? Well, no one really knows the answer to that however, Brexit under the wrong sort of government will be catastrophic to our nation as a whole, I am in fact talking about the ‘New style’ Labour that seems to have pitched up. It no longer opposes the Tories on key issues such as Brexit and stands up for the true hard working people of society. It’s safe to say that the true leader of the opposition on many aspects, mainly Brexit, is the leader of a party which at this current time only has 9 MPs in Westminster. It’s clear that Jeremy Corbyn has ‘got into bed’ by accepting the will of the people. It wasn’t the will of HIS people as he was on the side of the Remain campaign. It’s vital that our borders remain open to economic migrants from Europe as our economy is supported by their hard work and contribution to our country as a whole.

The NHS, the best thing to happen to Britain, is under huge threat with the Tories, with waiting times exceeding 20 hours. As you are reading this, the young, elderly and seriously ill are waiting in a busy corridor on an ambulance trolley. This in turn results in longer ambulance times which I experienced when I found a young girl hit by a car while cycling. As I assisted the young girl, we waited 45 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, the girl had suspected spinal injuries. The Liberal Democrats aim to raise corporation tax by 1% purely for the NHS funding it so desperately needs!

International concerns to Britain also need to be noted. I was strongly against the bombing of Syria, however the 9 MPs voted for it. The average cost for children up to the age of 18 is around £11,000. So, for just three missions with Two Tornadoes, we could help save and support, with no financial burden if the bombing was scrapped, 272,727 innocent children! Instead, we decide to carry out the bombings and only take in a mere 350 children! Tim Farron pledges to re-open the Dubs plan and help these poor refugees.

So there you have it, just a few reasons why I will be voting for the Liberal Democrats on the 8th June, a wasted vote is a no vote!  

Alfie Thomlinson

How Protein-Rich is Your Diet?

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8JB produced some tasty high protein and low saturated fat dishes yesterday which was the non-exam assessment for their food preparation and nutrition unit of work. Special congratulations to Daisy Heywood who made a prawn and tofu Ramen which had delicious Asian flavours, Olivia Crossley and Theo Chandler who both made very flavoursome Spanish chicken and Georgia Beaumont who adapted a Moussaka dish making it lower saturated fat than the traditional recipe.

D of E Practice Expedition

Eleven Year 9 pupils completed their practice expedition in the Ripon area in May. They walked in two teams and had to be ‘journeying’ for six hours each day carrying everything they needed for the two days in their backpack.  Carrying the backpack is a real challenge for most. They camped at Winksley campsites after walking about 15k on day one. Tired but happy they pitched their tents and summoned up the energy to cook their tea on a stove and play a ball game. During the second day, they walked to Fountains Abbey where they were set a challenge to visit five of the landmarks highlighted on the map. They were very lucky with the weather and all completed the practice expedition. Congratulations to everyone!

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The STEM Challenge!

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Olivia Crossley and Georgia Beaumont work on their project

Images are taken from the STEM challenge activity where a teams of four has been selected from each year at KS3. Their challenge is to build a solar powered boat. Their prototypes will be finished over the next few weeks and then raced against other school teams from the York area. This week the pupils were soldering the circuit.

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Lily Handforth and Lexie Maw springing into action!

The 350 Commemorative Garden Lives!


The 350 commemorative garden is coming along beautifully, with Colin Patrick overseeing the project with care, diligence and patience. The rockery feature – some of which can be seen - is essentially harvested from submerged reclaimed debris from hundreds of years ago from other nearby areas of the school grounds. it is thought that some of this masonry was originally part of the old priory which was knocked down some years ago.


With metal detector and shovels, Colin, along with willing budding gardeners, Matthew Cook, Alex Crossley, Flynn Kelly, Dominic Chennells, Malte Aschenbeck and Alex Rivett have all crafted this beautiful enclave of nature; using an array of bulbs, plants and flowers to complete the look. The hope is that the next month or so will herald the arrival of a pond to complement the features already in place. Well done to all!