Homework Tips


Everyone knows homework is the worst. But we do have to do it. Use these tips to make homework shorter and more enjoyable (Yes! Homework can be fun!).

Don’t leave it to the last minute! -Try to get homework done a few days after you’ve been given it. You’ll have more free time later and your future self will thank you for it!

Do revision and drafts -This allows you to familiarise yourself with topics and be more engaged in lessons, as well as making your quality of homework better.

Make a Study Group! -Meet up with some of your less-distracting friends and do some studying, revision and homework together. Just try to get some work done instead of just messing around….

Keep snacks next to you – If you feel hungry, you will get up in search of food and return unmotivated. Fix this problem by keeping healthy snacks and a large drink within arms reach.

Get a planner -If your school doesn’t already give you one, get a planner, and USE IT! Write down all homework and due dates as well as times for revision and when you’re going to do the homework.

Make a revision timetable -Organise your revision so you don’t devote a whole day to one subject or to nothing at all!

Take breaks! -Don’t burn yourself out or just stare at a blank piece of paper for hours. Take short 5 minute breaks or long 15 minute breaks. But whatever you do, don’t feel guilty about it!


Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go do my homework!

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far…

…to totally smash.

As you all know the brand new iPhone X’s are out and people aren’t quite pleased with them. According to the public, they are the most smashable and most expensive to repair phones. Hundreds of iPhone x’s  have been smashed already and they have only been out for a few days.


Now I know they look rather pretty but because of the shape and how thin they are its makes the easily droppable and easy to smash, and trust me they are extremely expensive to repair or replace. Apple’s repair service costs £286.44 for just a smashed screen alone. The replacement costs about £100 more than the previous generation too. 

A full repair will cost you £556.44, which is over half as much as the phone costs in the first place.

Written by Ashleigh Britten



Three American men have won the prestigious Physics Nobel Prize for detecting gravitational ripples. The men in question were Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish. The waves, predicted by Albert Einstein, played a pivotal role in his theory of General Relativity. The waves were discovered by the men’s team, Ligo/Virgo Observatories, who fired lasers into tunnels which were long and L-shaped, and the gravitational ripples in said tunnels disturbed the light. It actually took around 40 years to develop the technology required to conduct this experiment.

The nine million kroner (£831,000) prize was shared between the three, with Weiss taking half and Thorne and Barish sharing the other. There would have been a fourth – Scotsman Ron Drever – but he passed away back in March this year, and it is rare that Nobel Prizes are awarded posthumously. He, in Glasgow University, developed early prototypes of the machines, the ideas of which were taken to Caltech, which manages Ligo/Virgo.

Last year’s prize was won by David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz for their discovery of rare states of matter.

To conclude, I think that this is a phenomenal discovery and I am excited to see how this develops.

Top 5 Pokemon Fusions

Deep in the dusty cavern that is the internet, there are a few glittering gems of websites. One of my personal favourites is Pokémon Fusion, where you can combine any 2 of the 250 first gen Pokémon to create a new combination. But, of the 62,250 unique mixes, which are the best?


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Ekans+Nidorina) Watch out or this creepy poison pocket monster will slice your head off and cook crispy face pancakes for dinner. Do not catch this guy if you want to keep your skin.


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(Pikachu+Gengar) Almost everyone on the planet knows the electric mouse Pokémon, but he seems to have put on some weight since his last appearance. Maybe stop feeding your Pokemon so many Poke-puffs…

3: Farto

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(Farfetch’d + Ditto) Dat name doe!

2: Squirtchamp

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(Squirtle + Machamp) I’d watch wrestling if this smiley little four-armed abomination was pile driving a Hawluchah into the underworld (yes, yes Hawluchah is a luchador, not a wrestler).

1: Hitmonfairy

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(Hitmonlee + Clefairy) Picture this: you wake up in the middle of the night to this horrifying face staring down at you. It is TERRIFYING! Please don’t catch this.

LEGO Minifigures Series 17

Well, well, well. A big part of LEGO’s fame comes from its collectable Minifigures. We’ve had sixteen previous series, plus six special series, and now it’s time for series 17. As with other series, this one is full of excellent characters (and one or two not-so-good ones too!). At a higher price of £3, this is the most expensive non-licensed series yet. Without further ado, let’s jump right into this review with a picture of the gang!

Series 17

Surfer – I myself already own the surfer from series 2, and this one (while wearing more) is not that much of a big deal. While this is the cheapest way to get Luke Skywalker’s signature hair, it’s a pretty unoriginal character. The surfboard, however, with the shark pattern, is quite good.

Circus Strong Man – Another re-jig of a series 2 character (the weight lifter), this is definitely an improvement. The macho appearance is aided by an overly large moustache and scowling face. His leopard-skin uniform adds to his circus style. And I love the weight that he holds!

Pastry Chef – Believe it or not, there hasn’t been a collectible cook minifigure before, and this one is a good way to start. She has a different design to that of the tiresome red ribbon-wearing City chef. Her buttoned uniform has printed cuffs on the arms and continues onto the hips, and her hair/hat combination is a new piece. All in all, it’s a great minifigure.

Corn Cob Guy – The third minifigure dressed as a food item, the corn cob guy is a very friendly-looking character. His unique mould is unlikely to be seen again and gives him the look of a mascot for Kentucky, completed by the over-friendly smile beneath his massive moustache.

Veterinarian – The veterinarian is a great minifigure, as I enjoy the ones related to city jobs. She has a new hairpiece which reminds me of Jennifer Aniston’s character Rachel Green in the 90’s sitcom Friends. Her uniform could almost pass as a nurse if it weren’t for the paw print, and the rabbit accessory is great!

Carhop – This diner waiter is a very detailed minifigure, and has plenty of accessories. His red and white uniform is complete with a bow tie and smiley face sticker and his chef hat has good unique printing. There is also a dark red hot dog for the first time.

Butterfly Girl – This child has many exclusive features, such as the blonde Wildstyle hair, the printed pink trainers, and of curse the new detailed wing costume. I don’t believe that this piece will appear on many future minifigures.

Roman Gladiator – Warriors from previous series have another competitor. Armed with a trident, this minifigure includes the hairpiece first seen on Winston Zeddemore in 2016, but in a different colour. His best feature is the gold shoulder pad with the printed lion. The other arm, on the other hand, has one solid colour.

Connoisseur – Named the connoisseur, this is really just a stereotypical French guy. His striped shirt has printing that continues on the back, and also the arms. His beret is a flat cap piece on its side, and it is not the first time this technique has been used. He has a very critical look on his face, and carries an exclusively-coloured baguette. His bulldog is also a new piece.

Battle Dwarf – This short character is fierce no matter which way he is viewed. His belt has a rather ornate gold buckle and he has a tattoo on his arm. He also wears a Spaghetti Western type moustache. I love the warthog print on the hammer.

Retro Spaceman – Jumping right out of one of those goofy black and white movies, this intergalactic hero is quite the minifigure. He has lots of rich printing on his sand green jumpsuit, and both his helmet and gun are new moulds.

Yuppie – This middle-class eighties dude is great and wears a gaudy white suit with a bright pink polo shirt. His head is printed with shades that apparently reflect the sunset, and his hair was also seen on the 2016 DCEU Superman minifigure. He comes complete with a large, over-the-top mobile phone.

Rocket Kid – This boy has a great Halloween costume of a child’s illustration of a space rocket, which is well-moulded. Underneath, he wears the first ever light grey Classic Space torso! He also carries a hand-drawn astronaut flag.

Aerobic Fitness Lady – This is probably my least favourite minifigure from the series, as she has had many similar incarnations in the past. Her hair, however, allows for customisation possibilities, and her water bottle is pretty good. All in all, I don’t really care about this one.

Elven Princess – This girl adds to the fantasy theme and can easily slide into Lord of the Rings. Her Minifigure features a blue dress and strawberry blond hair with pointed elf ears. She carries a sword and shield to help in battle.

Highwayman – This was LEGO’s ‘mystery’ Minifigure, but the secret didn’t last very long, due to the wonders of the Internet. He has a standard tricorn and a mask similar to the one used in Ninjago (The one with the hair). His face is adorned with thick British sideburns and his cloak is of a new design. The torso and leg prints have the right amount of detail, with buttons on the arms and hips. He also carries two flintlock pistols.

In conclusion, I think this is a great series. Just as good as the others and with a fair mix of different professions. I love this series and hope to see more like this.

Splatoon was a spectacular third-person shooter released for the Wii U in 2015, and its long awaited follow up is coming to the Nintendo Switch: Splatoon 2. But just from watching the trailers and gameplay from the global test fire, I wonder if the series can ‘stay fresh’.


Well, after quite some researching, I think that Nintendo has vastly improved  upon the original. I love the cool new haircuts and the new weapons, subs and specials are crazy, inventive and awesome. Just from watching the trailer, I have seen a pink haired inkling utterly destroy the opposition with back mounted ink missiles, a green squid unleashing ricocheting seekers of death upon a narrow corridor, and a mysteriously familiar figure in such a dramatic pose it makes little shivers of pure joy run down my spine.

This is not Splatoon. This is a game that will expose your childish obsession with making a mess, a game that will make your little brother cry when you beat him at Dojo mode, a game that will turn you into a ruthless strategist barking orders down the (new) voice chat. It’s Turf War like you’ve never seen it before. And it’s flippin’ amazing.

5 Days Out for Kids!

Here are our top 5 places to visit during a lazy Saturday or Sunday!

Discovery Museum 

Discovery Museum

The discovery museum is a great place to have a fun and enjoy an educational day out, it has a brilliant source of information regarding local history and ship buildings. Plus, its free entry!

Opening times:
Monday               10am – 4pm
Tuesday              10am – 4pm
Wednesday         10am – 4pm
Thursday             10am – 4pm
Friday                  10am – 4pm
Saturday              11am – 4pm
Sunday                11am – 4pm

The Centre for Life


The Centre for Life holds many events, workshops and interesting exhibitions, including adult events and pre-school days.
Monday – Saturday             10am – 5pm
Sunday                                11am – 5pm

Ouseburn Farm

Ouseburn Farm
Ouseburn Farm is a great place where people with disabilities and the able-bodied can work together, in developing and running a farm project. Here you can develop agricultural, horticultural and environmental skills through dealing with the livestock, growing and environmental projects based at the Farm.

Weekdays: 9:30am – 4:30pm
Weekends: 10.30am – 4:30pm

 Seven Stories

Seven Stories

Seven stories hold unique exhibitions, lively events and playful activities that bring children’s books to life. They also support children and young people working towards their Arts Award through dynamic workshops, events and programming.
Seven Stories have their own Independent Bookshop with a wide variety of choice that suits everybody.
Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm

Sundays and Bank Holidays 10am – 4pm

Price list:

Type Single Annual
Baby (up to 12 months) FREE FREE
Toddler (1-3 years) £2.50 £9.00
Child (4-16) £6.60 £21.00
Adult £7.70 £26.00
Adult & Toddler £30.00
Family £23.10 £65.00
Family + £27.50 £70.00
Concession £6.60 £21.00
Concession Family £18.70 £45.00


kaspas dessert

You can’t go wrong when satisfying a sweet tooth, and Kaspa’s is perfect for that! They have a huge range of options for Sundaes, waffles and crepes, cakes and puddings, hot drinks, milkshakes and smoothies.

Opening times:
Monday        11am – 11pm

Tuesday       11am – 11pm
Wednesday   11am – 11pm
Thursday      11am – 11pm
Friday           11am – 12am
Saturday       11am – 12am
Sunday         11am – 11pm

Well, there you go, no excuses for staying indoors at the weekends!

So, let’s talk about Mario. As he’s arguably about to get much worse with Super Mario Odyssey, I’ve decided to talk about a recent good game starring the plumber who’s done all but actual plumbing, and that’s the Nintendo 3DS equivalent of Super Mario Maker.


Unfamiliar with the game? As the name suggests, you have the freedom to build the Mario course of your dreams – well, using the resources given. You can play with graphics from three of Mario’s best games (1985’s Super Mario Bros, 1988’s Super Mario Bros 3 and 1990’s Super Mario World), plus one of the desperate money-makers of today (New Super Mario Bros U from 2012). But, the 3DS version has definitive differences from its Wii U counterpart.















One of these differences is the fact that it’s harder. In Wii U, you start with a limited selection of items, and your collection grows over time. But on 3DS, you must clear the Super Mario Challenge, with each world cleared unlocking more tools for you to play around with. To get one of the antagonists Bowser Junior you need to clear a secret world! Another issue is the one that got all of the fans stirred up – there is no internet compatibility. So, the ability to globally share your created courses, that was a huge part of the original, has gone from the 3DS version. Amiibo use has also been lost. No more Mystery Mushrooms and costume changes!


Nope… none of these for the 3DS edition… but the Weird Mushroom is now common.
















However, the basic concept of the game remains the same, and the course creation lessons from Yamamura, the annoying and greedy pigeon, explain some of the features really well. Plus, the Nintendo 3DS console is considerably cheaper than the Wii U, so it’s easier to get the game, which is also about £10 cheaper. The game itself is excellent, so I’d still recommend it to any fans of Mario ‘Jumpman’ Mario. As good as the Wii U edition? Maybe not. But a great game anyhow.

Artemis Fowl

I recently finished the first AMAZING book in the Artemis Fowl series. I was spellbound from start to finish by the 12-year-old genius and his diabolical plan to separate an entire fairy police force from a large chunk of their gold.

The plot is fast-paced and punchy, with a dry sense of humour and great characters. The descriptions of fairy technology are amazing and the storyline is great. During Butler’s battle against a giant troll I bit my fingernails so much they bled and and I may or may not have cried when(SPOILER ALERT!) the bio-bomb hit Fowl manor.

Overall, this is a great book for 8-12 year olds and I would definitely recommend it.

Restaurant Review: Kaspa’s

Kaspa’s is a dessert restaurant, which is in town on Clayton Street. It sells thousands of desserts such as ice cream, milkshakes, waffles, crepes, cake, slushies, chocolate and lots more!

Their service is pretty fast for such a busy place.

I’ve heard lots of great reviews like Tia, who said, “I love the atmosphere because it’s pretty and sparkly”.

But some people say the desserts shouldn’t be so filling!

By Olivia B

National Geographic Kids

This is a magazine about wildlife and the world. Some of the children’s favorite pages are: Inside Scoop, Weird World and the posters. It also comes with a piece of paper that gives you a little bit of info before you actually read it.

It also comes with some animal cards that give you true or false statements/facts. It has puzzles and jokes in the back and like all magazines it has a prize competition.

Some readers find there are two downfalls to the monthly prescription:

1.) You have to pay.

2.) You don’t get the animal rubber toys.

Otherwise it is a great magazine.

By Olivia S


Let’s get straight to it. See, Batman movies are a mixture of wonderful to awful. It’s mainly because of the actors or actresses picked to bring the heroes, villains and sidekicks to life. 1997’s Batman and Robin is a generally taboo subject among fans and enthusiasts, just because of George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Uma Thurman was alright, but Alicia Silverstone? A good actress, but isn’t Batgirl supposed to be ginger? I could probably ramble on about this for quite a while, but I’ll stop now. I promise.


But who would be the ideal cast for a Batman film? If we were to ignore the newer depictions of him and the other characters? Well…

Batman – Clive Owen – In order to play Batman, you need to play Bruce Wayne. He has both the Bruce Wayne swagger and the Batman’s solemn style.

Robin (Tim Drake) – Jack Gleeson – He’s young, so that’s a check, and he’s great as Joffrey in Game of Thrones, but I think he’d make a good Tim Drake version of the character, because Jason Todd meets his end (spoilers!) and Dick Grayson is Night-Wing.

Batgirl / Oracle – Emma Stone – Okay, as mentioned above, Barbara Gordon is definitely a redhead. Emma Stone has the right face, and she doesn’t require any makeup as she looks the part already.

Joker – Cameron Monaghan – Technically, he does play him already. Well, before the incident with the chemical bath, anyway. He brings life to Jerome Valeska in the TV show Gotham, by the good old people at Fox, who brought us the Simpsons and the X Files. I took one look at Jerome, and thought, “YES!”

Harley Quinn – Melissa Rauch – The Joker’s psychotic girlfriend can be played by Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski-Wolowitz from US sitcom the Big Bang Theory, she is small and can change her voice easily. Cast this person immediately!

Alfred – Bob Newhart – Another Big Bang actor, this old guy would make a stern but caring Alfred.

Riddler – David Tennant – We need no explanation for this one. Ex-Doctor David John McDonald makes a perplexing but hilarious riddle-man.

Catwoman – Danielle Harris – She looks completely Gothic. Need I say more? Black hair, dark eyes… this has Selena Kyle all over.

Ayoade for Bake Off? Maybe…

THE I.T. CROWD‘S Richard Ayoade is the most likely candidate to replace Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins on the ex-BBC One show, the Great British Bake Off.

Mel and Sue, as well as judge Mary Berry, left the role following the show’s purchase by Channel Four back in September. Paul Hollywood and the large white tent are the only features keeping true to the show’s original formula, as all of the other presenters have remained loyal to the BBC. Berry, 81, has been given the go ahead to host her own cooking show, and she says that she will work with Mel and Sue again.

So people were left wondering: who will replace the presenters, who were best known for their banter?

Enter the Nigerian-Norwegian Englishman, Richard Ayoade. He seems to be front runner for this position, and is best known for his role as the geeky genius Maurice Moss in the sitcom The I.T. Crowd. He has also been in Channel Four documentaries such as Gadget Man and Travel Man, as well as the animated movie, the Box Trolls. His dry sense of humour will make a fine replacement for Mel and Sue.

My thoughts? GO AHEAD! He is an extremely funny man, with a very strong Southern English accent. He is rather intelligent, too, and should know a thing or two about baking. If they do decide to hire him, all I can say is…



They’ve survived a burning spa, a man-made-man, and time-travel chocolate, but can Cass, Max-Ernest and Yo-Yoji’s Friendship survive when Cass’s responsibilities as the secret-keeper come between them? As if this wasn’t bad enough, Dr. L, Ms. Mauvais and Lord Pharaoh are out for their blood. Throw in a walkabout mummy, invisible thief and the allegations they’ve stolen a museum artefact leads to one major emotional rollercoaster. But as the Secret series draws to its dramatic conclusion, one burning question remains, will the valiant terces society beat the evil alchemists of the midnight sun or will they learn the all-consuming secret?

The best part by far is the dramatic final battle on the Vegas stage of the Cairo Hotel, culminating in Cass learning the secret…almost. However, no good book is complete without a hint of sadness and the death of Luciano and Pietro Bergamo Certainly add this to the storyline.

I would certainly recommend this book, particularly to ages 9-13. The first time I opened the first book in this series, “the name of this book is secret”, I fell in love. It was one of the best books I’ve read (“Harry Potter and the goblet of fire” is close second) and I still regularly revisit them.

By Archie R (A student at Thorp Academy)

Death Cure Review

He survived the Maze. He survived the Scorch. Now, the World In Catastrophe Killzone Experimental Department wants to restore Thomas’ memory and complete the final blueprint for the cure to the Flare virus. But too many people have died. And Thomas knows that WICKED have lied and manipulated people too much.

The Gladers must survive the real world – full of crazy people and where nobody can be trusted. Can Thomas and his friends bring down WICKED once and for all? Not everyone will make it to safety, and some more must be killed, so prepare for tears.

This is one of the best books I have ever read. It’s action-packed, suspenseful and perfect for fans of the Hunger Games or Divergent. Author James Dashner creates the perfect Sci-Fi adventure book. It’s also full of emotion and Dashner kills people off (Not going to say who!) really well.

We also see Thomas building on his relationship with Brenda, and drifting away from Teresa with every second. Just about everyone hates Janson the Rat Man at this point, and we finally discover why. Also, we get help from more than one unlikely ally…

I would rate this book five out of five because, as pessimistic as it may sound, I love reading about death and gore (watching it in a movie is a totally different question). Get your handkerchiefs ready, because it’s sad how many of Thomas’ best friends lose their lives.

It’s the end of Thomas’ adventure. WICKED will stop at nothing to get that cure. It’s time for Phase Three of the Trials to begin.


Lucas K (A pupil at Thorp Academy)