Friday, 24 December 2010
Despite it looking like Obama was going to end 2010 with little success after the November elections, Obama has managed to pull the START treaty out of the bag and the law allowing gays to serve openly in the military. The former should enhance his reputation abroad to get things done and the latter reassure his own party that he still wants to achieve the radical agenda promised in the 2008 election.
Happy Christmas everyone!
Thursday, 16 December 2010
In today's 'Governing the UK' AS Politics lesson, a sheet was handed out detailing some excellent examples of how select committees have been successful in scrutinising and calling the government to account.
A copy of the article can be found here for those who would like to investigate the work of select committees further.
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
The embalmed head of King Henry IV of France has been rediscovered and confirmed as genuine after a series of scientific tests. After Henry was assassinated in 1610 his head was kept in the royal chapel in Paris until it was ransacked in 1793. The head was then kept in private hands before reappearing in public. One piece of evidence which assisted the scientists was a healed facial wound, left from a previous assassination attempt. Henry played a significant role in French history as he converted to Catholicism when he became King and enacted the Edict of Nantes in 1598, guaranteeing religious freedom and effectively the 36 year long French Wars of Religion. He was given the nickname "Le Vert Galant" or "The Green Galant" which (according to Wikipedia) "is a reference to both his dashing character and his attractiveness to women."
PS: Here are articles on the subject (in French!) from Le Monde and Le Figaro.
Monday, 13 December 2010
The HP Society have drawn up a shortlist of significant events, developments and people of the last decade. They are (in no particular order).
- September 11
- Invasion of Iraq
- Obama’s election
- Harry Potter
- Financial Crisis
- Launch of the Euro
- Civil Partnerships
- The Tsunami
- Stem Cell Research
What do you think of this list? Which of these do you think is the most significant? You can have your say in our latest poll on the right hand side of the page, but if you would like to justify your decision (or criticise any of the inclusions) please comment below.
As you can see from the image above, Time Magazine are also looking back over the decade, and you can see some of their choices for significant events, etc here.
PS: If you are having trouble remembering back 10 years, here is another set of top 10s from Time focusing just on 2010 (even though the year hasn't finished yet!!) including Top 10 US Political Gaffes and Top 10 Tweets.
Apparently 20 million people watched Matt Cardle win the X Factor last night, with the 27 year old decorator beating Rebecca Ferguson and One Direction into 2nd and 3rd place. The result was probably not the one Cowell wanted, as he had made his support for One Direction quite clear. Is this then an example of the public's bloody-mindedness - particularly after the many allegations of poll manipulation this season? The inexplicably long tenure of Wagner (and Anne Widdecombe over on Strictly) presumably has something to do with this. Can any longer political trends be drawn? What lessons should Cameron, Clegg and Milliband be learning from this?
PS: Here is the Guardian's review of the final programme (described as a 2 hour chasm for the slow opening of an envelope...)
PPS: Here are some more detailed stats (and a graph!) on the X Factor voting week by week, if you're interested.
Friday, 10 December 2010
Thursday, 9 December 2010
It's decision day for the coalition's tuition fees proposals, and the Liberal Democrats in particular are under pressure, as many of their MPs pledged to oppose any increases in the fees during the election campaign. A dozen MPs are expected to rebel, and several others (including Lib Dem Deputy Leader Simon Hughes) will abstain, but at present this does not seem sufficient to overturn the motion. There is a good overview of the tuition fees debate on this BBC page, and please let us know your opinions on the issue!
UPDATE: What a day! The motion was (just) carried with a majority of 21 votes. 21 Liberal Democrat MPs voted against it and 8 abstained. 6 Conservative MPs also voted against it. 28 Lib Dem MPS voted for the plans. The protests and in particular the attack on Charleshave of course overshadowed this. This Daily Mail article has plenty of dramatic photos. Michael White in the Guardian has some good points to make about how the violence has become the main focus for the media. Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph comments on how Cameron and Clegg are handling the crisis, and here is the New York Times' view to put things into perspective. What are your views?
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Year 7: Castle Building. Year 7s are invited to construct a castle in one of 3 categories:
- Motte and Bailey
- Stone Keep
- "Super" Castle (Any design of castle you like, but still identifiably medieval, and preferably not too Disney-influenced!)
Years 8 and 9: Film-making. Year 8s and 9s are invited to make a short film based on one of the topics they have learned this year. So Year 8s could make a Tudor drama about Anne Boleyn or Lady Jane Grey and Year 9s could make a film on the theme of the British Empire or the Black Peoples of America. Please can these be no more than 5 minutes long and submitted on a USB stick or a CD-Rom to the department office.
Years 10 - 13. The senior students are invited to write a blog post for Nonsuch HP. It can be on any political or historical topic, perhaps concentrating on recent events and developments or even taking Christmas itself as a theme. It should preferably include links to other websites of interest and be illustrated with a suitable picture or diagram. Please submit your entries by email to a history or politics teacher, and we aim to put most of them on the blog. There will be separate categories for GCSE and A-Level students and the winners will be given the opportunity to be regular contributors to the blog.
The closing date for all entries is 3.30 on Monday 10 January. Best of luck to everybody, and if you have any questions, please get in touch with the History and Politics department, or leave a comment here.
Monday, 6 December 2010
Anne Widdecome had her last dance on Strictly Come Dancing at the weekend, making it all the way to week 10 and nearly into the Semi Finals. What do you think was the secret of her success? Sadly this wasn't shared with Lembit Opik, who was the second person to be evicted from I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Are there any other politician / reality show match ups you would like to see?
Friday, 3 December 2010
Passing a newsagents in snowy Chessington this morning, Nonsuch HP noticed the headline in the Daily Express, "NOW FOOD IS RUNNING OUT". Does this seem to anyone just a little bit irresponsible? The media has indeed got a duty to report events and the not insignificant problems the bad weather has caused, but the tone of a headline like this was surely excessive.
There is obviously plenty of grumpiness about the failure of the World Cup bid this morning, with some of the blame being put on the Panorama investigation into dodgy dealings in Fifa, which followed up a similar report in the Sunday Times a few weeks ago. These reports were specifically referred to by Sepp Blatter just before the vote, and do appear to have had some influence. Is this another example of poor judgement by the media (The Guardian's coverage of the Wikileaks data could possibly be another) or do the media have a duty to expose stories like this whenever they wish? Please add your comments below!
Lots to keep American politics students busy on a snow day... Another selection of interesting articles from the Economist - on the virtues and talents of Sarah Palin, on a Pentagon report leaving the way clear for gays to serve openly in the military, and on the Wikileaks fiasco. On the latter issue, Mike Huckabee (a 2008 Republican presidential hopeful) sees execution as the only option for dealing with those who leaked the information to Wikileaks and many other politicians are lining up to condemn those involved. Washington Post is concentrating on Congress and Obama's attempt to cut a deal with the Republicans over the Bush-era tax cut and whether to renew it as a whole or only for the middle class. Great topics for discussion and examples for your political analysis - and possible questions for Wednesday's current affairs test.
Here is a summary of instructions for Mr Coy's classes today. These can also be found on the relevant Fronter pages
Please make sure you have completed your tables on the main characters Henry VII faced during the Pretenders Crises and other rebellions. You should also make notes comparing the scale of the threat of each pretender. Which was most significant? You may have to write something about this in the near future...
Our next topic will be Henry and the nobility, so please start reading this section of the book and consider how effective you think Henry's policy was.
Please can you continue revising as of course your exams will start next week. You must answer 1 question on Russia and 2 on the Cold War (up to and including the Cuban Missile Crisis). A revision checklist will appear shortly!
Many thanks to those of you who have downloaded your song lyrics into the resources folder in Fronter. If the other teams could do the same (and maybe even record some songs?) that would be great.
Our next topic is going to be the American Civil War. Please can you do some research on this topic and bring to the next lesson an information sheet on the main causes of the Civil War, the names of the two sides, their leaders and their flags. Here is one site I found via Google and here is another. I'm sure you can find some more!
Please can you spend some of it going over the sections in the book about the development of the Conservative Party, checking that you have understood everything that was said in the last lesson. I would also like you to use your initiative and bring to the next lesson a summary of the key Conservative Party policies, and how some of these may have had to change since the formation of the coalition. You may find websites on the right hand side of the blog of use here.
If you have completed your homework on a portarit of Elizabeth, and you did it on a computer, please download it (with your name) into the resources section of your Fronter page. I would then like you to do some more research in general into how Elizabeth used portraits (seach Elizabeth portraits in Google) and in particular I would like you to do the "online lesson" from History on the Net to show what you have learned! Here is the link! There are questions to answer (including matching up facts and portraits) and I will check how you got on in the next lesson!
If there are any queries about these lessons, please leave a comment below.
As it is now Snow Day 3, here are details for Miss D'Souza's classes. Please check Fronter for work from other teachers. If you can't get on to Fronter, leave a message below and say what class you are in.
Yr 12 CT: Keep working through the Unit 1 exam paper in your handbook. Remember the Unit 1 test is on 9th December
Yr 12C: Read the chapter on Henry's economy and answer all of the questions in the margin.
10B: Read Pgs 153-155 and makes notes under the sub-headings on those pages, including the case study on Rasputin. Copy the Summary box on P.155. (These are long term factors for the March 1917 Revolution)
Read p.156 about the March Revolution. Answer Qu 2 on p.156. Write one paragraph explaining which reason you think was the most important in leading to the abdication of the Tsar in March 1917.
Thursday, 2 December 2010
The snowy season has certainly started early this year, and Nonsuch HP is here to help! Please check here and on Fronter for news of particular classes and work to be done. GCSE students with mocks coming up may wish to look in particular at John D Clare's site (he also writes textbooks) for revision guidance. The AQA website itself has some helpful resources for A-Level and GCSE History (Politics students should look at the Edexcel website). The School History website is very extensive, and is a good source for Years 7-9 as well. A-Level students can use their time profitably by researching some of the historians they are using in their work and taking notes on particular interpretations.
If you do find any sites particularly useful, particularly for historical interpretations, please leave a comment below.
Here is work for Miss D'Souza's classes today. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.
12 C 1: Continue with your presentations on the Economy-remember you will be presenting them next Wednesday.
12 C 2: Complete 2 mind maps one on Ordinary Revenue and one on Extra Ordinary revenue- you should have done one of these already. Then answer the following question- Was Henry ruthlessly efficient or just greedy?- there is information in your textbook to answer this question.
8N: Complete the front page (that we usually fill in after we have completed work on a particular monarch) on Mary- was she a Catholic or Protestant- what religious changes did she introduce?
Complete a one page biography on Queen Elizabeth I. Include the following information:
- when did she reign?
-Brief information about her background.
-What religious changes did she introduce?
History Today have created an advent calendar which will include daily entries on the most significant historical moments of the year. There is also an interesting article on advent calendars themselves. Apparently the tradition dates back to Germany in the 19th Century, when people counted down the days to Christmas by drawing lines of chalk on their doors. The first printed calendar, with 24 different windows to open, probably appeared in the early 1900s, also in Germany, but chocolates didn't turn up until the 1950s!
PS: Here is an online calendar (about Christmas traditions and fascinating facts) that you may enjoy - although it is really pitched for primary school students...
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
While the snow keeps us all at home, spare a thought for those 30 million people around the world who live with HIV/AIDS. It is World AIDS Day today - highlighted in the assembly last week. Have a look at the official website to find out more about what you can do to help raise awareness and money. Elton John has also guest edited the Independent today to highlight issues to do with the epidemic and articles include an interview with Elton John by Jimmy Carr, Bill Clinton's view of the issue and Stephen Fry's involvement with AIDS charities like the Terence Higgins Trust.