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24 September 2014
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Jason Ham

Blog: Jason Ham

Jason Ham is at Richard Huish College in Taunton, taking drama, performance studies, politics and English literature. Read his blog, and find out what it's really like to live and study in Somerset.

Jason Ham
Description:My main interests are based around theatre and education. I am a member of Wellington Arts Association and have performed in various plays and concerts. When I have time, I also enjoy going on the computer, watching TV and listening to music.

This blog expresses a personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the BBC.

Wednesday 25 October, 2006

I'm currently on half term from college. Time's gone pretty quickly since I started at Richard Huish, and I've signed up to lots of things.

Firstly, I'm taking part in the college's Dramafest. This is a chance for upper sixth-form students to write their own plays/musicals and for them to direct their own productions. These include a play about The Hobbit (based on the book before Lord of the Rings), Powder (about Victorian rituals etc), Doctor Who - the Musical (sounds like it's going to be a great show), and there's the play I'm in - Speed Dating! I'm playing a really interesting part - in a nutshell, I'm a mummy's boy! Rehearsals are going well and it's sure to be a great show in the end.

It was really good to see that each of the productions arranged their own auditions (ran by the writer/s). Each one had their own individual, unique approach in auditioning possible cast members. For example, for The Hobbit everybody had to pretend to be trolls and walk around the drama studio in a troll-like fashion. For Doctor Who meanwhile, there was a contest to see which person could die in the most dramatic way after being hit by a laser beam!

The scripts are all really good and it's going to be a really enjoyable two nights on the 6 and 7 December - you know you want to go!

Then the next production I'm in is called Vinegar Tom - a musical about witchcraft and views about women in Victorian times. It's an extremely good script and really gripping stuff. This will be at the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre in February.

Besides the two productions, there are other activities happening at college. At lunch, there have been lots of musical gigs in the main hall - the members of one band that played were all former students of Huish, and another gig had Huish music students playing, as part of Oxjam. This event takes place across the UK and encourages people to organise and run concerts to raise money for Oxfam's work. It was a great gig and really good music was listened to by all there.

If anyone is thinking about going to Richard Huish after school, it's got to be noted that performance studies is a really good subject to take up. Already I have been on one major trip to Plymouth to see Frantic Assembly, with their new production of Pool (no water). The company uses some brilliant innovations in physical theatre. A couple of weeks ago, a member from this company came to Huish to do a workshop with the class in how the company devise their productions - it was really interesting and certainly skills and tips from this workshop will be used in other theatre productions.

Politics, English literature and drama are also brilliant subjects to take up! So, yes, Richard Huish is a really good college to go to - after all, it's the fourth best in the country in the government statistics! Also, if you like sport, the college has built a new sports dome on site which offers space for basketball matches, football matches etc. It's definitely worth popping down to the college to check this out as visually it's stunning from the outside - once you're in (and your ears have popped because of the different air pressure), you'll definitely be persuaded that Huish is the place for you!

Whether you like sport, drama, singing or even martial arts, Huish is definitely recommended and provides young people with lots of opportunities!

Thursday 31 August, 2006

Going around the world!

When I was handed a list of the parts three weeks ago for the musical Around the World in 80 Days at the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton, I wasn't expecting to get the part I did - the part of a showgirl called Svetlana who comes from Moscow!

It was a smashing musical and audiences seemed to enjoy it (it just would have been good if there were more audiences). With some of the cast doing some interviews on BBC Somerset Sound and a sponsor-a-balloon liftoff, it also produced some exciting marketing stunts!

&Co. is the Brewhouse's young theatre company. It runs throughout the year, but the main production happens in August.

The rehearsal process is intensive - two weeks rehearsing, then one week performing. The days are from 9.30am to 5pm, which is a very tiring rehearsal period!

Of course, the show isn't just drama - it's music and dancing. Each aspect takes a lot of effort, but it's very rewarding by the final week when the audience applaud and sometimes even give a standing ovation. The whole process is managed by theatre professionals (the stage manager has worked on the UK tour of Miss Saigon and the sound designer on Mary Poppins).

&Co. is an essential asset to The Brewhouse and something that Taunton should cherish.

Anyway, all's good with the GCSE results. Court Fields GCSE overall results went up by four per cent on the previous year and 11 per cent on the previous two years - pretty impressive I think!

So, I have now enrolled at Richard Huish College, taking drama, performance, politics and english literature. It's sure to keep me busy - one of the cast in Around the World in 80 Days is currently writing Doctor Who - The Musical. The role of the Doctor hasn't actually been cast yet, so perhaps... me?!

Of course, going to college means the holiday's come to an end (boo!) and we haven't exactly had the best summer weather (extra boo!), but at least with me being at college it means I won't be glued to the internet and the TV so much!

&Co. does take up a lot of time during the summer mind you, which is good!

Anyway - got to go.

Bye,

Jason

Wednesday 2 August, 2006

Miserable on both accounts

Brilliant! Went to see Les Miserables in London on the weekend. I have previously taken part in Les Mis with the Brewhouse Young Theatre Company, so I thought I knew what to expect. The London production exceeded those expectations - highly recommend it!

Came back home, meanwhile, to hear the crisis deepening in the Middle East. Came back to Bush and Blair still not calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Today, the United Nations have drafted a resolution and yesterday, the European Union called for a ceasefire (well, everyone except the UK and Germany). But the two men from the two most powerful countries are still persisting with not calling for one.

There are lots of questions to be answered, with one big question: when is this conflict going to end, and more importantly what must happen for this conflict to end?

The beginning of this war started with the capture of Israeli soldiers (surely not a cause for war), so I think that there's a deeper meaning behind the conflict. However, surely an immediate ceasefire being called would be a big step towards stopping the conflict?

More questions to ask, more soldiers dying, more innocent civilians dying... more human life dying.

If Bush and Blair don't call for a ceasefire, Israel has said it's not even going to think about stopping its attacks. So whatever the United Nations or EU say, it all depends on Bush and Blair. The United Nations and European Union are powerless - it's all resting on the Prime Minister and the President. Or shall we say it's all resting on just the President?

Les Miserables in the Middle East.

Wednesday 12 July, 2006

End of an era

Ambulances, police cars and fire engines surging to the scene. Then someone gets out of the vehicle, and walks down the red carpet to the Oake Manor Golf Club, whilst the surge of camera flashes beckons them. This was the scene at Court Fields School, Class of 2006, Dinner and Dance!

Dinner and Dance (photo: Martin Woodward)
Court Fields School's Dinner and Dance

There were certainly some interesting vehicles that transported people. Besides the emergency services, there was a rubbish cart, a tractor, vintage cars etc. You name it, people came in it!

First on the agenda for the night was food - we had the choice of roast turkey or beef for the main meal. For dessert, we could have something from the chocolate fountain, whether it was strawberries, grapes or bananas...

Following the meal, the head boy and girl gave speeches thanking the head of year, Mr De La Croix, for the work he had done for the year group. Then each of the form tutors were thanked for their hard work over the years. In my case, having had four form tutors in five years, a number of tutors were thanked!

The speeches began to feel like an assembly for a while (and we thought we were out of school for good!). Nothing like home sweet home!

Following that, some of the year group had a go at karaoke (the less we say about that, the better) which was followed by live music from Glastonbury band Tijuana (you can find out more about the band, by following the link on the right).

They were a brilliant band, that certainly got everyone dancing - even when people were still sober!

Dinner and Dance (photo: Martin Woodward)
Court Fields School's Dinner and Dance

Midnight soon came, as well as the group's last song. The night had finished, the year group finished, the class of 2006 had finished.

But we're going to see each other in November for our GCSE awards evening. It should be good to see everyone again.

It was a brilliant evening. It was clear that the Dinner and Dance Committee, and Miss Levett, had certainly put a lot of effort into the evening!

As everyone trundled off home, a phase in the year group's life had come to an end. Court Fields School will never be the same again (hopefully for the better, anyway).

The future awaits everyone.

Thursday 15 June, 2006

Finished. No more exams to do (until A Levels, anyway!). The GCSEs went well and the questions that popped up were the ones that I expected, meaning that I could write a fair bit for the answers, which is good news.

So, where did I go in the evening of my last exam? To the Wellington Arts Centre (my second home) for a thoroughly entertaining production of Murder Weekend, written by Bettie Manktelow. You can read my review of the production on this website - the link's on the right of this page.

I haven't exactly left school for good as such, as I will be going back for various events. I'm taking part in a Summer Cabaret - I'll be singing a song, handing out certificates for school-council members for their record of achievements, and going to the Dinner and Dance at the Oake Manor Golf Club. There's even going to be a chocolate fountain at the Dinner and Dance!

Outside of school, I'm going to see Les Miserables in London, take part in auditions for the Wellington Pantomime Group production of Cinderella for their 2007 production, and audition at Richard Huish College for the theatre and drama studies course I will hopefully be doing.

OK, as you probably can tell I really enjoy theatre. Yet ironically, the government is cutting more and more theatre projects around the country. So now is the best time to visit your local theatre, and see which productions are about. You will no doubt have a good night out if you do go.

The Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton is also great, as it's organising, in partnership with other groups, the drama and music festival called Westival. With comedy, street theatre, debating and dance, it's something that I'm sure will interest us all. Plus, it's keeping theatre and entertainment very much alive in the Taunton area.

The Brewhouse is also allowing young bands from the area to go and perform pieces in the restaurant on Saturdays. For some of these young people it will be their first time in a theatre, so it's a brilliant idea in that respect. Additionally, the varied music that gets presented at The Brewhouse demonstrates the wealth of talent in the area. Definitely worth a visit, I think.

Anyway, that's enough for now. Let's enjoy the sun!

Monday 15 May, 2006

The final departing

Busy, busy, busy. With GCSEs on the horizon, it's all go at school. Added to that, I'm breaking up on Friday... well, kinda breaking up.

They've changed it this year (the Government that is). Before, once you had broken up from school, you only had to come back for lessons you think you needed to do more work in. But now, you have to attend all lessons before you have finished all the exams in that subject.

But I've already done two subjects which is good. This means that I have about eight lessons free per week, plus we don't have to go to PSE or PE (somehow, I don't think I will be missing PE). Which all means I've got erm... a lot of lessons per week free!

My five years in Court Fields has definitely been exciting - going to several national conferences and speaking at others are two things that I didn't imagine I would be doing whilst at school.

I'm also pretty excited to be leaving an exciting, developing and ambitious school council. This year has definitely been revolutionary, under the chairship of Charlotte and I. So much so, some even say we have kind of made a legacy behind us, with the subject of Student Voice in education!

So where to go now? Well, Richard Huish for drama, performance, politics and English literature. And for enrichment, something to do with video production and maybe web design. Not forgetting working with the drama productions at the school, and no doubt accepting some other roles within the college - an exciting challenge!

But that's all on the way after the long summer break I will be having after the final exam.

The question is: what shall I do with it? I've been thinking about writing a play or something along those lines. However, I'm probably going to do some school council training in other Taunton Deane schools, sharing the Court Fields school council's excellent progress. Original (I know), and I thought I would have got away from school for good!

Anyway, that's all to come. I've got lots of revision to do, lots of dates to remember (in history that is), and of other revision-type exercises to do. Fun (not).

Tuesday 28 March, 2006

Hollywood comes to Bridgwater!

Hollywood - the glitz, the glamour and not forgetting the red carpet! OK, so it wasn't exactly like that, but it was certainly an exciting event!

Bridgwater Sports and Social Club was the destination for the Somerset Fellowship of Drama David Beach awards.

The SFD exists to celebrate theatre in Somerset. They hold various competitions throughout the year for drama groups and society's to submit their entry to. These competitions include the popular Original Writing Playwright Competition.

The Somerset Fellowship of Drama continues to want to expand their membership list in the hope that the SFD can be representative of the amazing theatre that happens in Somerset.

This particular event was to celebrate musical societies in Somerset from Minehead to Yeovil.

I had been nominated for the production of Half a Sixpence I was in last year (based on the book Kipps by the legendary HG Wells!). This was with Wellington Operatic Society. My nominations? For Youth Under 21 and Best Supporting Actor.

In Half a Sixpence I was playing a socialist called Sid Pornick. I was working with other actors of my age, so to get nominated was very, very exciting! I also felt very privileged: after all a moderator had come to see the production and had spotted me as being "quite good", so that's why he nominated me for the awards.

After a delicious meal, the lights went down low. Mary Hobbs, who was the moderator for the awards, stepped up the podium to read out the different nominations for the different categories from lighting design to best choreography. 

Jason Ham, Beth Swan and Kerri Newell
Jason with Beth and Kerri

As each of the different groups were mentioned (as they also had nominations), what was noticeable was that each of the different groups cheered. So, when it came to reading out my name the rest of the Operatic Group leaped out of their seats to cheer - wow!

It came to the nominations for Under 21, then the winner was announced - me! I went up, received the cup, had a picture, then sat back down. No long speeches mind you!

I was the only winner from Wellington Op Soc. However, there were two other people who were nominated for Best Male and Female actor. This was Kerri Newell and Beth Swan. They were the two leading characters in the production. Although they did not win any awards this time, they certainly deserved to win!

After a thoroughly enjoyable eveningm I am now stuck with the job of having to clean the cup every now and then, so it continues to sparkle. It's a bit tedious, but it doesn't matter - this is show business guys!

Wednesday 15 March, 2006

The incredible worldwide debate!

Students from Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, UK, South Africa and Malaysia all participated in a wordwide online conference for the last fortnight. What an amazing event it was!

This online conference was well and truly groundbreaking for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (of which Court Fields is a technology college). It was a tricky decision to make - will the conference be worthwhile for the amount of work and money that they would put into it?

Minds were soon put to rest, as the first day opened with students talking about Student Voice (school councils for example). For a relatively quiet website, it was hit with lots of visitors - thousands even. Thankfully the website didn't crash!

Specialist Schools and Academies Trust >
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

For the past two weeks, a different topic has been discussed each day. From Assessment for Learning (how you assess work) to mentoring (and whether this is effective or not for students), as each day passed, the conference got bigger, brighter, and better!

I was lucky enough to host a four-hour online discussion on Tuesday, and it was so brilliant to see how different students from all different countries were contributing to the online discussions.

Jason Ham sat at his computer

It was also interesting to see how different schools go about things. What was clear, and I'm sure that almost all the delegates can vouch for this, is that students certainly do have some really interesting ideas about education and about how it could be improved.

One topic that I found most interesting was discussing new technologies. Some delegates were even talking about virtual helmets in the classroom!

But what I found most interesting was the idea that technologies, generally, shouldn't take over teaching. Instead, it should enhance teaching. There were really passionate comments about this, which I suppose I didn't think about at first.

Another four-hour discussion about thoughts on discipline was also very interesting to say the least. Aspects such as the cane were even talked about. I really think this is going back in time, not going forward!

This online conference is all in preparation for the national conference that the Specialist Schools Trust are hoping to have this year. This will almost definitely happen now. This is fantastic news, as long as hopefully I can come, because I will be in college by then I expect.

If there's any delegates from the conference reading this, hello from me and hello from Somerset. Meanwhile, thank you everyone for a great online conference - roll on next year!

Tuesday 28 February, 2006

As for the White Paper...

Being the only student out of the student bloggers' section of bbc.co.uk/somerset who is in school, it only seems right to comment on the reforms outlined in the government's White Paper.

It's fair to say that not many of my fellow students are interested in what the Paper contains, however, as I'm interested in the government side of education, here is my take on it.

Generally, I think the White Paper is quite a good idea. There are some brilliant elements in it.

Take the community aspect of it, which means schools can have greater links with the community in a variety of methods. For example, schools allowing the community to come in and use their ICT facilities.

Also, what's quite good is that 'successful' schools can help 'failing' schools. This is quite good, particularly as this means schools share good practice with each other. However, are schools (and head teachers) going to have time to work on this fully?

The White Paper also talks about greater links with local colleges. For example, at Court Fields, students who take the vocational route, rather than the academic one through GCSEs, go to SCAT (Somerset College of Arts and Technology), East Devon College, and other colleges of this sort to do courses which include working on car mechanics and emergency services training.

Students I know who go to these vocational courses really enjoy them. It gives them the desire to carry on with their subject course, after they have left school - great news!

Another major aspect of the Paper, which is proving to be really controversial, is this thing about schools setting their own admissions policy.

I'm really not too sure on this. I am very keen on schools being given greater freedom setting up their own rules. I also believe that the curriculum should be freed up so much, so that it can be modified by the teacher according to their class.

The people who oppose the Paper say that this will create a two-tier system. I really don't think this will happen, and I really don't think the media helps the situation - they just hype up the arguments and debates.

Reading the Paper, I can't help thinking that the people arguing about it are really wasting their time. A huge amount of the practices in the Paper are already happening in schools, and they are working brilliantly!

I also believe that, no matter how much money the government puts into schools, it is never going to fully improve until it actually listens to the students.

As for the White Paper? As long as it gives greater freedom for schools, parents and students, it seems to be a good thing... time will tell!

Friday 10 February, 2006

Student Voice ground-breaking conference!

Workshops, debates and discussions all happened at Court Fields School yesterday, when it held its first ever Student Voice conference. It was a massive success!

School Council workshop
Delegates listen to the School Council workshop

Four schools, including Crispin School (Street) and Chilton Trinity (Bridgwater), came to find out what different Student Voice projects we have in the school. These include the traditional School Council and other ones, such as students attending faculty meetings, and students being governors of the school.

I am currently chair of the School Council, and have been involved with the project for a couple of years. So to see our school sharing what we have done with other schools was brilliant.

The day began with all the delegates in a classroom. Mrs Elaine Faull (head teacher) gave a brief overview of Student Voice, with support of students who explained what Student Voice meant to them.

Afterwards, the fellow chair of the School Council attended staff science meetings to give her input. She said that her involvement has made big changes in the subject, such as ways ICT can be better used in the subject.

What followed next seemed to be the most exciting part of the day for the delegates. Students ran workshops about students linking with governors, how Model United Nations works in the school, and how a Super Learning Day provided an opportunity for students to become 'teachers'.

Then there was lunch - a chance for networking with other schools, and to hear people say that they liked the canteen's cakes. It was true - by this time, everybody was hungry!

The day finished off with myself chairing a student debate, where all the student delegates discussed reward systems, sanctions and head boy systems in their own respective schools. We discussed which ways worked better and why. It was great to see such enthusiastic students - everyone contributed something.

A Model United Nations debate
A Model United Nations debate, ran by a student

I have just finished off today collating all the finished evaluation forms from the delegates. To say that there is a good response is simply mild  - in fact, the responses were excellent.

I know that today (Friday), at least one school has had a meeting to discuss where they are going to head with the topic of Student Voice in their school, and I suspect that a least some sort of meeting has happened in all the schools to discuss what they thought of the day.

The students themselves were the real stars of the conference (that was clear from the evaluations), so well done to everyone.

A big thank you should go to the schools that came, for helping to make this a fab day.

Finally, thanks should go for Mrs Elaine Faull, for once again allowing an event of this kind to happen in the first place!

Tuesday 24 January, 2006

Election fever hit Court Fields School today!

Students were asked to vote for a student who would represent them in the UK Youth Parliament (which is facilitated locally by Somerset Youth Service).

As it says on its website, the organisation "gives the young people of the UK, between the age of 11 and 18, a voice, which will be heard and listened to by local and national government, providers of services for young people and other agencies who have an interest in the views and needs of young people".

The students had a choice of four candidates, who all go to school in Taunton Deane. There were three students from Taunton schools, and there was me... from Wellington!

I had previously gone to a selection day at Richard Huish College, where all the possible candidates had to give a basic manifesto pledge.

I got through to be a candidate, so I was invited to attend Street Young People's Centre for a manifesto writing day. The bulk of this day involved... you guessed it - manifestos.

However, candidates took part in more workshops this time, in order to get a deeper view of the role of UK Youth Parliament.

This manifesto was put together in a booklet for distribution to schools. Students on Tuesday 24 January, 2006 looked through this booklet to help them who to choose.

It was only Friday that I was running around school, putting up posters saying 'Vote Jason!', and other posters advertising the elections.

The fate of whether I become MYP (Member of Youth Parliament) or not now lies with the votes that were cast, and the other schools who will be voting this week.

Monday 19 December, 2005

Today, I took part in the first inter-schools Model United Nations conference for Court Fields Community School.

Model United Nations, Court Fields (Channin Lloyd)
Me debating at the lecturn

Model United Nations (MUN) involves students 'being' countries, writing resolutions (proposals) and debating them. I was on the Health and Ecology committee, which dealt with issues including Aids, population growth and animal rights. I represented Pakistan's point of view.

The day began with a time called lobbying. This involves the delegates of the conference going around the other countries, trying to make them sign their resolution in the order they want it to be debated/agreed with.

I put forward two resolutions. The first was on war on terror - that terrorists should face trial in a United Nations international terrorism court, and if found guilty should be hanged.

My second resolution was on conditions in zoos and the creation of 10 UN guidelines for zoo conditions in the future.

These resolutions were with my country's views in mind, and not my own! After I had gained three signatories (three countries who signed my resolution), I then submitted it for possible debating.

This time no resolutions of mine got debated. The resolutions that did provoked strong arguments.

One particular resolution that caused much debate was that member states of the United Nations should discharge anyone in the armed forces with HIV/Aids. This resolution, in particular, provoked strong debate with the delegates from the younger years of the school.

At the end of what was an exciting and informative day, all the countries came together in the General Assembly, where Indonesia proposed a resolution that said there should be an investigation into the transportation of terror suspects by the United States of America.

Model United Nations, Court Fields (Channin Lloyd)
Countries vote yes for war on terror resolution

I have participated in Model United Nations conferences before in Court Fields itself, Bath and Belfast. So, to see delegates from Richard Huish college, Uffculme School, Kingsmead School and Court Fields all in one MUN conference was very exciting.

The analytical style of all the delegates about the resolutions, and the concise, productive debate that took place, leaves me in no doubt that this event was extremely successful.

Some of the delegates only spoke once during the day, however that one time may mean that they have that little more confidence, and that little bit more understanding of the pressing issues facing states worldwide.

I have always believed that young people are our young politicians. The enthusiasm of all the delegates showed me that young people do care about the world, do care about life, and do care about respecting each and every person's point of view. I find that really exciting.

Thanks should go to Mr Noel Jenkins (Humanities teacher) of Court Fields, who did an amazing job of organising the conference. Thanks should also go to the other teachers of the different schools in helping their students write such thorough and precise resolutions.

I would also like to thanks Mrs Elaine Faull (head teacher) for allowing the conference to happen in the first place, and for all the other school staff in helping to make this such a fantastic day!

Finally, thank you to all delegates for making this day fantastic. Long may MUN conferences continue locally!

Friday 28 October, 2005

It finally might happen - the voting age may be reduced to 16. The situation changes daily, but there is a real chance that this will happen very soon.

I really do wonder why the voting age hasn't been reduced before. You would think that the government would try to get as many young people as possible to vote.

The statistics are shocking. In 2005, 37% of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the general election on 5 May, compared with an overall turnout of 61%.

Statistics also show that the 18- to 24-year-olds were the only age group where turnout fell - it dropped by 2% compared with 2001 (source: Mori, 2005 - Young People Now magazine 18-24 May 2005).

True, if they reduced the voting age to 16, it wouldn't necessarily mean the number of young people voting would increase. But I really do think these numbers would change.

I think the reason that so many young people don't vote is that they are not taught about politics and the need for voting from a young age.

This age group has plenty of other distractions and activities, which means that these people don't realise that voting is a very big issue. If they were taught from a young age that voting is a big issue, I really do think this number would increase.

It also makes sense to bring the voting age down. Citizenship is now compulsory education for those aged five to 16. The government is always going on about how young people should be 'good citizens', but I am wondering what signal the government is sending out to these young people.

Not letting 16- and 17-year-olds express their political views through the ballot box gives the impression to society that young people's views are not valid and young people are not real citizens.

The Iraq War protests were a real insight into the feelings of young people. Lots of 16-year-olds were involved in these protests - they had a real belief that the Iraq War shouldn't happen.

This was the only way they could show their disconnection with the government - they weren't allowed to express their views in any other way.

This is really wrong - we are talking about basic human rights here. Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child says that children and young people have the "right to express views freely in all matters affecting them".

At 16 you leave school, work full-time, pay taxes, leave home, join the armed forces, and receive social security benefits. However, you can't vote. You can be serving in Iraq and die for your country, but you can't decide who puts you there.

In society, the government keeps going on about 'giving everybody a fair chance to say anything', but with the present voting age, that statement is simply false.

Sixteen is an age when you could be a millionaire via the National Lottery. You could get the biggest house ever, with plenty money to spare, but you can't decide who runs the country.

A group of MPs were reminded about all this information recently, and they signed an Early Day Motion (a petition), for the subject to be debated in Parliament. It has, however, produced no outcome as yet.

You can read more about this story, by clicking on this link:

MPs call for Votes at 16 >
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

2005 was the year we tried to Make Poverty History, let's hope 2005 is the year when the voting age is reduced to 16!

Saturday 8 October, 2005

At long last, Court Fields Community School has finally got the funding for a long-awaited sports hall!

After years of meetings, campaigns and endless discussions we now have this hall, which means that we can keep up with the standards of facilities set by other Somerset schools.

I am a student at the school and, even though I am not a sports enthusiast, I know that there are lots and lots of talented young sports stars at the school, who currently have to use terrible sports facilities.

Some of those same students in my year took part in a badminton championship recently.

In spite of the poor facilities, they eventually got to play against local colleges! This is a real achievement for them.

Indeed, some young people in the school are no doubt going to continue with physical education as a career - these could potentially be future England football players. Would the current England football team put up with these appalling sports facilities?

Another problem is scheduling - I have a lesson when year seven and year 11 students have PE at the same time.

Even though the PE staff all try their best to make the year sevens safe, it is still an incredibly bad situation. The changing rooms are extremely small and dangerous for year seven students.

At long last, we won't have to endure these kinds of situations into the future.

Sadly, I will miss out on these new sports facilities as I am in year 11 and then will be leaving.

However, I leave with this exciting development in the school and the celebration of young people in the area, and that's really exciting.

Monday 12 September, 2005

This morning, before school, I was watching a breakfast programme. Along with the usual competitions (with premium rate numbers) and 'entertainment' reports, that are, in a nutshell, rubbish, there was a news report that really caught my eye.

Perhaps it was because it was about GCSE exams, which I will be taking this year, or it may be that the story was inflamed to such a degree, that there was no chance I could simply switch over.

Upon reflection, it wasn't any of those reasons, but the fact that the report was discussing issues which I am gravely against - the undermining of young people's talents and abilities, just a couple of days before GCSE results came out, and a week before A-level results came out.

In each of these cases, the response wasn't "well done, you have raised the standard of results yet again", it was "exams are getting easier; you had an easy time".

The report I had seen on the programme was saying you didn't need too many marks to pass a business studies exam. At that time, the programme could not say why the needed marks to pass was low compared to others.

After school on the same day I looked at the internet and found a report explaining why the pass mark was so low - it was a very hard exam to other years. You can read the report by clicking on this link:

However, it was yet another story which explained why people are getting better and better results, without saying "you've done well in your exams; you worked hard".

The message of this tale - celebrate young people; they really do work hard!

last updated: 26/10/06
 
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Natty C
HEYA DARLIN! ITS ME NATALIE ! YOUVE WRITTEN A LOT, BLESS. I JUS WNA SAY U LOOK GORGEOUS IN DA FOTOS. LUV YA XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Natty C
HEYA DARLIN! ITS ME NATALIE ! YOUVE WRITTEN A LOT, BLESS. I JUS WNA SAY U LOOK GORGEOUS IN DA FOTOS. LUV YA XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

JODI WEBBER
YOU ARE SO RIGHT GO GO GO JASON

Guy Murray
Jason my draling, i love the work and effort you have put into our brilliant school, and now i hope you will reach to other people hearts, as you take this ability to change things for the better, and share it world wide in your goal for world domination!! Remember me when your king of the world!

Liam
I love u jasey babes, i rly wish i cud spend more time with u but ur so busy being totally amazing xxxxxx

liz
you are a very handsome man - please take me to the prom , i want it to be a very 'special' night, if you know what i mean. i've always wanted to be your wife, i love you tonnes jasey baby!!!!!!!

kizzie, lucy, falon
we find you are a very nice person to be around - always attracting the ladies, but you dont leave much time to chat. love u

megan bond
i love u jason

megan bond
i think court feild is a good place to learn and study

Falon
Hey jasey you are one of the most brilliant and inspiring people in all of court fields school i think your very hansome aswell! ;) all my love and luck in the future your babe falon x

kizzie leigh
hey jason i really admire all you have done for courtfields. i fully read yor blog and thought it was great. If you ever need any to support ur ideas then give me a bell jason!U know im always thgere for you. luv ya kiz and lucy

Matt D
Good luck with the Votes for 16 campaign and hope you win the local seat or whatever it is, i know who im voting for

Someone from Court Fields
You have to listen more to the students and act on more issues raised in the school council that the pupils want, not what the teachers would like. Other than that, well done for speaking up!

Cherie M
Jason i have so much respect for all that u do! and i dont agree with martin, cos u listen to me when we argue!!

martin
u need to listen to ppl mor jason. you are meant to be deputy head boy

Jenny K 11RF
Hi jason i agree wiv u 110% see u soon bye

Liz Hall
nice blog jasey.. you look nice in your picture. MAKE SURE YOU WRITE A STORY ON THE DINNER AND DANCE!

u no who i am
well done jason fair play 2 u lol but listen to people more please

Elliott Billington
:) well done :) nice website blog

Anonymous Girl xx
GREAT!! Keep up all the good work Jason. I totally agree with you on the breakfast show!! Your an inspiration

KIM CHUGG
GO GO JASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sam Gerrard
Very well done jason i fully back ur idea ur a legend more pple should stand up like u do

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