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Brexit Posted on: 7/12/2017

Brexit

It seems like Brexit is always dominating the headlines; but with only a week left to strike a deal with the EU the true extent of the UK's potential difficulties are beginning to show.   Earlier this week the UK was on the brink of signing a deal which ensured a ‘soft’ Brexit when a phone call to Theresa May from  the DUP (the Irish political party currently in coalition with the Conservative party) disrupted an otherwise tranquil meal between the PM and the President of the EU.   It seemed that the DUP were not accepting the proposed conditions. These conditions threatened to install a ‘hard’ border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland ( who are still a part of the EU). Halting the talks of Brexit, Theresa May is now forced to compromise the terms of our departure. Instead of negotiating for a united response, she has requested an extension to the signing of the Brexit treaty, and will attempt to devise another plan in which the UK emerges in a more positive light. For there to be any hope for the future, our Prime Minister must compromise, negotiate and change her approach towards the difficult matters at hand.   But how does the Brexit deal relate to EGA life? How can we learn from Theresa May’s challenges? Following exam week, it is important for us to reflect on what went well as well as consider ways we can adapt and improve. Our mock examinations were an opportunity to learn the different tactics and techniques which will secure us the best results we can achieve, and much like the Brexit negotiation, it’s time for us to learn to compromise. Only this time it is between our leisure time and our studying!   For many of us it is our last chance to obtain the results and the place we want to hold in the future; but unlike the Brexit deal, there is no extension offered. Therefore it is important for us to change the way in which we approach our learning and the difficulties we may face in the next few months. If we are able to do that, then when it comes to May (the month) our exams might not seem quite so ‘hard’.
November - Make a Change! Posted on: 20/11/2017

November - Make a Change!

The days leading up to The UK’s Children In Need Day are times for reflection and solidarity. It's the time when we begin to consider the bigger issues in society and what we can do (as a collective and as individuals) to make a change.   In the UK over 3.7 million children live below the national poverty line, which is over a quarter of all children. 1.7 million of these children are considered to be living in severe poverty. A household living in severe poverty earns circa £8.25 per person a day or less. This is quite shocking when we consider the fact that the living wage is now set at £9.15 an hour in London. And this is only concerning poverty; we could also discuss the other disadvantages that some children in the UK are forced to endure (e.g. disability, illness, abuse).   The UK is considered one of the world's most advanced nations, being part of G7 (along with the 6 other largest economies in the world, representing more than 64% of the global net wealth), yet some children's basic needs are not being met. The situation may sometimes seem insurmountable, but there are many things we can do for those in most need of help.   We can begin with giving a pound this Friday towards the Children in Need Campaign for our non-school uniform day! There are also many things outside of school that can be done. For example donating clothes, or donating directly to the BBC's Children in Need charity. There are two donation points around Angel (only a few shops apart): Oxfam and Cancer Research. These shops are also, incidentally, always looking for volunteers. Not only will you be helping the local community, you will also directly improve the life of a UK child. You can genuinely make someone's life better and the change begins with you!    
School Trip to Spain Posted on: 10/11/2017

School Trip to Spain

Our trip to Barcelona and Tarragona was incredibly successful, with girls especially enjoying the morning they spent in a Spanish school. Who'd have thought it?! “I really enjoyed going to Spain! There were a variety of things we did and many opportunities. We did things that any tourist would do, for example, we went to Port Aventura (a theme park), which was very exciting, we did a tour of Barcelona and we went shopping. But we also did things that couldn't be done on a normal holiday to Spain; unique things that really made the trip educational but unforgettable.  Firstly, we stayed with host families which was not only fun but gave us a chance to speak with actual Spanish people in the way that they would normally, giving us an invaluable experience. It was surprisingly sad to say goodbye. And we also went to a Spanish school... For loads of people this was probably the most fun experience even though it sounded terribly boring at first; but it gave us an opportunity to talk with students our age, from a completely different country and also in the same boat as us in the regard that they weren't very good at English! It also gave us a chance to make friends - lots of us have kept in touch with students we met. Overall it was a great experience and really helped me with my Spanish. I, among others, also decided while I was there that I want to become fluent in Spanish and live in Spain for a period of my life.”   Written by Amrita Kaur
Remembrance Day Posted on: 10/11/2017

Remembrance Day

As Remembrance Day approaches on the 11th November, it is crucial for us to remember those who have given their lives in battle during World War One, fighting for our freedom to live and remain independent and equal in rights and dignity. These sacrifices made it possible for us to take freedom of speech, education, religion, and healthcare for granted.  To commemorate the soldiers in the UK, on Saturday at 11 o’clock we share 2 minutes of silence with citizens across Great Britain. People around the country wear red or white poppies as they represent perseverance, resilience, and humanity’s constant pursuit of peace.  Despite the devastation during World War One, bright red Flanders poppies still flourished near the battlefields, giving hope and faith to those fighting. It inspired an American academic, Moina Michael, to make and sell red silk poppies; a tradition which quickly spread around the world.  Although World War One seems like an event of the past, these conflicts are still occurring around the world today. While we take advantage of our privileges in the Western World, it is important for us to acknowledge the lack of unalienable rights in other parts of the world.  Among these is the freedom to live without fear of death or persecution. A modern example (out of a myriad of them) is Aleppo, which used to be Syria's largest city, with a population of about 2.3 million. Now, it is a center of conflict, and the battleground for a civil war that has been going on for over five years. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986, is now a field of dilapidated ruins, populated by stray cats and people without homes. No one is certain about the future of this historical city. According to “Last Men In Aleppo Campaign”, if Islington and Finsbury had suffered like Aleppo, 1,723 people would have been killed, less than 12% (13,786 out of 114,890) of its population would still live here and less than 4% of children would still be enrolled in school; a truly catastrophic and frightening thought.  So this Remembrance Day, as we remember those who died in defence of the UK, let’s also remember the thousands who still face persecution and fight for the safety of their homes today; all those who still suffer with the physical and mental repercussions of war.  
EGA's Green Initiative Posted on: 1/11/2017

EGA's Green Initiative

  For the majority of the population, global warming sounds more like a sci-fi dystopian myth than a real ongoing crisis - however, some scientists argue it’s one of the biggest challenges facing humanity today. By 2050 it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.  We have a preconceived idea that the world we live in contains an unlimited supply of the resources we need and continue to use. However, our natural resources are depleting all the time and we are reminded of this every day. Examples range from the ever-increasing use of cars (evident in our traffic-congested streets) to the smaller day to day routine household wastage, such as pouring oil down the sink. Even in school, our lunches can leave a stream of  polystyrene, sandwich boxes stained in mayonnaise, empty crisp wrappers and plastic bottles. So we think it is time to make a positive change and set an excellent example to our local community. EGA has decided to form a new Green Initiative to reduce the use of plastic and paper and to encourage recycling around the school. Teachers have presented PowerPoints to students to make them environmentally aware, so that change begins to happen. It’s by no means a coercion. In fact, the girls around the school are keen to raise this issue and put environmental policies into place. Students in Year 8 have been creating posters and essays which have been printed around the school to advertise the new initiative. Our school already runs on woodchip fuel, which is a biomass fuel more beneficial to the environment than traditional coal or oil. Additionally, there are designated places around the school for preserving natural fauna; a pond for aquatic life, bat boxes, and bug hotels. We have a green roof and four electric car charges which reduce CO2 emissions and help EGA take steps towards being more carbon neutral. The future of our generation is in our hands and every single action against the environment leads to a cumulative wave of destruction. We’ll keep you up to date with our Green Initiative as it grows this year!  

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