Monday, 25 November 2013

Yr10 Q1: Cashew nuts/India - another unFair trade example

Click through to to see an interactive presentation on this, featuring some audio and video clips as well as short sequences of text, and photos illustrating the points being raised. One example from this:
from a typical £2.50 supermarket bag of nuts, the supermarket takes over £1, while the pickers get just 3p

Friday, 22 November 2013

Should the AGE OF CONSENT be lowered?

A panel of medical experts have recommended that the UK's age of consent should be lowered to 15; they say that as 1/3 teens have had sex by 16, and the UK has an exceptionally high rate of teen pregnancies and STIs, we should really make a big push to convince 14 year-olds to abstain. All 3 of the big political parties (Tories, Labour, Lib Dems) very quickly rejected this advice. Perhaps they judged that supporting this would leave them open to negative media coverage?
What do YOU think? Remember, the age of consent varies widely from country to country - some of our European neighbours have a lower age, but some nations set the age as high as 21 - YOU might think the age should be increased rather than be lowered.
If you want learn more about this, you could read the Wiki on this; a Guardian editorial on the issue and politicians' reaction; or this debate on the Daily Mail's website for further info. You can find more useful articles at The Guardian's microsite for news and articles on Sexual Education.

This paper argues that the real issue is the need for better sex education - what do YOU think?

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

2013 Guest Speaker2: Mr Milburn

These are notes from Mr Milburn's talk to, and question/answer session with, 10Y/Cz2 on 23.10.13 - if you were absent for Mr Milburn's talk with any class you can use these notes to help you write up your Q2 answer.
FT = Fairtrade
I've included some large images, so click read more below to read the full post.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Q3: Dine With a Difference

You can find the FairTrade guide to this at

You need to start planning this NOW!

How will you evidence this? Photos? Video? Take quotes from guests (probably your family!) about what they think (before and/or after the meal)?

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Q2: 2013 Guest Speaker1: Karen Palframan

This post has more info on Karen + Q2 guidance
You can find details of Karen's previous talks to IGS students here (a sample of this is pictured - there is more info on Karen, and guidance on how to answer Q2); below is the PowerPoint she used. Use
this to add any details you missed, thinking especially about points which help show how this issue works at both local and national levels (controlled test Section 1), but also about how opinions may differ on FT (section2) - as well as looking to BRIEFLY summarise (bullet points would be useful for your controlled test notes) what you consider to be the main points raised.
Hopefully, you will be able to add details of a question you asked our guest speaker, and the response you received (or notes on others' questions and the answer given).
Remember, you are also asked in section2 to consider whether or not our speaker's views match or clash with your own.
[To read the full post, including the PowerPoint Karen used, click on read more below]

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Q2: 2012 Guest Speaker1 Karen Palframan

2. a) Communicate with two people in positions of power or influence to find out what they think about the issue. Attach evidence that shows how you tried to communicate, influence or persuade these people. Outline the views of the two people and compare these with your own view
2. b) Why do you think people hold different views on this issue?
This video footage will form the main element of evidence of your communication, though you have a better chance of getting higher marks if there is clear evidence you personally asked a question during the guest speaker sessions.
In the meantime, start to think about what factors may have influenced Karen's responses to your questions. Question 2b tasks you with analysing the differences between the responses of the two 'people of influence' you've contacted, as well as generally discussing why there might not be universal agreement on the goals or methods of FairTrade:
2b: Why do you think people hold different views on this issue?
Karen on the left, March 2012. Read the article here.
Its clear from some of the questions posed that many of you have already begun to consider Karen's primary focus on the welfare of producers/farmers in LEDCs (though she did note her belief that better conditions for UK farmers, and trying to buy local produce, are also worthy causes). Look for factors such as these that define her 'subjectivity' as opposed to objectivity - the individual, personal view as opposed to unquestionably following a rational, scientific path. Outside of maths and science everyone has their own subjectivity (and even the choice of what to research/experiment on arguably indicates that science is not entirely objective either!).

You can find a good example of conflicting views in this web page putting forward the opinions of a right-wing think-tank that argues that so-called free market economics should be followed, and interference with these (such as government subsidy) is wrong. A senior FairTrade member responded to the think-tank's criticism of FairTrade as an ineffective organisation, which you can read here.


Friday, 11 October 2013

Q2: Possible Questions/Why Views May Differ

As well as evidencing you've spoken to two people of influence over your chosen issue (the inequalities of global trade; how this works and can be challenged at a local and national level, especially through the group Fairtrade), you've got to analyse the differences between the views expressed by the two speakers.
Therefore you need to have prepared possible questions for both speakers, then analyse the difference. Your questions could be designed to highlight points of difference, so think about the role, responsibilities and likely opinions of both speakers in advance of meeting with them.
Here's a reminder of the section 2 questions:

2. Application of skills of advocacy and representation (15 marks) [35mins]

2. a) Communicate with two people in positions of power or influence to find out what they think about the issue. Attach evidence that shows how you tried to communicate, influence or persuade these people. Outline the views of the two people and compare these with your own view. 
2. b) Why do you think people hold different views on this issue?
Below are just some of the possible questions you have come up with in advance of these meetings (I've abbreviated Fairtrade to FT):
  • how might FT benefit the school
  • how might the school benefit FT

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Q1: The Divine Story of Kuapo Kokoo + chocolate

Kuapo Kokoo is a Ghanian FairTrade-certified company that produces cocoa.

Their website has up-to-date info on what they do; their 'story' is also told on this webpage on the Divine Chocolate website.

Divine Chocolate is, of course, the FairTrade chocolate brand that has had a transformative impact on the lives of many Ghanians (here's a link to the Divine story!) - you can see videos about schoolchildren from there and what difference FairTrade has had at

Monday, 7 October 2013

Q1: unFairTrade? Resources for your research

Logo from a 2007 web page. Do FairTrade still refer to '3rd World'?
CASE STUDY USED TO EXPLORE THIS ISSUE: The apparent unfairness of global trade, the impact of campaign group FairTrade, and what can be done locally (including personally!) and nationally to influence this issue.
This post contains hyperlinks to useful resources, videos you can play directly from this blog, a summary of the controlled test, ideas for action plans, a few points on considering sources (as you need to for question 3), and, at the very bottom, a guide to the controlled test including tips and the markscheme for each question. As there is so much multimedia content, you need to click on 'read more' below to see the full post, as otherwise this content would slow the blog from loading in your browser.

There is a further post with resources specifically on the case study of Ghana, and how its farmers make more from their cocoa through Divine Chocolate and Fairtrade's higher prices for their crops.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Q1: Some Pointers on Notes + Research

This post outlines what you should be working to include in your answer to the 1st section of the Controlled Assessment (CA), which you have 35 minutes to write up. A reminder of the questions:

1. Enquiry into the citizenship issue (10 marks)
Annotated/highlighted web page print-offs are useful evidence

1a) Choose an issue and say why the issue is importantly locally and nationally. Attach issues-based evidence.
1b) Describe how the issue links to at least one of the following citizenship themes from Unit 1:
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Power, Politics and the media
  • The global community

You are allowed to consult notes when writing up your answer. The key stipulation/rule is that these must not be written up as paragraphs; your notes must be in bullet point form only, otherwise you'd simply be copying up pre-prepared answers. So, keep your notes brief. Here are 2 examples of notes; the 1st breaks the rules, the 2nd is fine:

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Yr10: Ctrld test in a nutshell...

You have 3 hours in total
This will be split over at least 4 lessons
SECTION 1: Identify the topic/issue (thinking locally + nationally) + research it

Friday, 4 October 2013

Q1-4 The 4 Qs for Controlled Assessment

You will have accessed a guide to your controlled test with these, but for convenience you can always access the questions for each of the 4 sections in this post. Remember, it is a 3 hour controlled test, and you will get 4 time slots in different lessons to complete this. You also have a Citizenship exam.

1. Enquiry into the citizenship issue (10 marks) [35mins]

1a) Choose an issue and say why the issue is importantly locally and nationally. Attach issues-based evidence.
1b) Describe how the issue links to at least one of the following citizenship themes from Unit 1:
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Power, Politics and the media
  • The global community
2. Application of skills of advocacy and representation (15 marks) [55mins]

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

How Laws Are Made

This video from provides a clear, plain-language guide to the steps involved in making a proposal for new legislation into a binding law within the UK:

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Voting systems and debates

There are two general approaches to voting systems: simple majority and proportional representation. The BBC provides an interactive guide to various voting systems (only one is a simple majority system: first past the post); use this to note definitions of FPTP and the other PR systems, and where in the UK they are used.
Click here to visit the site
You can also find superior, more detailed definitions at or at

This table can be found here, with more detailed breakdowns of voting systems and more international examples of where they're each used

You'll be asked to find arguments for or against FPTP and STV (as an example of PR): use these links - FPTP, STV.

This is another very useful site for comparing arguments for/against FPTP.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Local government - some resources

First up, five especially useful sources for finding out more about local government:
1: The Ilkley Gazette is an obvious starting point - look for recent stories which tell you anything about the powers or spending of the local council - what do they fund, what do they control? (I've linked some sample articles below)

The BBC's guide on local government funding
2: The guide breaks down some of the many roles and responsibilities of local and regional councils.(scroll to bottom for a screenshot)

3: There is always the wiki on Local Government in England...

4: The Guardian newspaper has a useful microsite bringing together all its articles on local government.
Here, for example, is an article on an analysis of spending cuts faced by local councils nationwide, from May 9th, 2013.

5: The BBC provide this useful guide on local government funding.

Further resources on local government:
Here's the BBC or the Financial Times on the story about spending cuts for local government ... or try the Local Government Chronicle!.

Here's an article analysing Local Government Minister Eric Pickles' 1.7% funding cut for 2013-14.

Elsewhere, you can find lost of analysis on the topic of library closures, such as this Guardian article (and here's their microsite bringing together all articles on this topic).
The BBC also report on this story.
Google carries a lot of news links for the search 'local government cuts'.

The cuts have impacted locally; here's a few stories that refer to Ilkley or Keighley:
(BBC) Council services face further cuts;
(Telegraph) Titchmarsh: Sin to cut funding for parks;
(Ilkley Gazette) Shock and outrage at Otley food bank need;
(Ilkley Gazette): Charity battle as funds run out.

The guide breaks down some of the many roles and responsibilities of local and regional councils.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Rapping Bananas

This is from a FairTrade campaign from a few years ago - you can see a wide range of other short films/videos produced by FT by clicking here.
(view on Vimeo if you want to avoid ads)

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Twitter and the long arm of the law

Few people seem to realise they can be fined or jailed for the content of their tweets...

A student who racially abused footballer Fabrice Muamba received a 56 day sentence in March 2012 …

lThe same month as a law student was given 2 years community service after pleading guilty to racially abusing ex-footballer Stan Collymore on Twitter.

lKuwait jailed a citizen in January 2013 for tweeting an insult about the emir 
Lord McAlpine is suing 500 Twitter users for tweeting he was a paedophile (he's offering to let users with less than 500 followers off if they donate £25 to Children in Need). He's suing Sally Bercow for £50,000 damages 
See David Conn's analysis of an official report into the racism and other abuse footballers and clubs have received on Twitter and other social media.
lThe Attorney General is seeking fines or imprisonment for the Twitter (and Facebook) users who posted pictures of Jamie Bulger, in contempt of court proceedings. Google, Facebook + Twitter were all ordered to remove the pictures.
Another tweeter was arrested in July 2012 for messages about Tom Daley's late father.
Back in August 2012 The Guardian published a list of 10 ways in which Twitter users could find themselves in court.
The case that perhaps best demonstrates how far the police are prepared to get involved over tweets concerns a joke, but was no laughing matter for the tweeter involved, who was found guilty and faced jail after 3 trials, but finally won his freedom after his third appeal succeeded at the High Court and his conviction was quashed.
Here's some resources to help you explore this case, gather 5 key facts, and 5 specific arguments for and/or against his conviction:
Lets start with the Wiki on the case! 
Here's an editorial from The Guardian on the case; 
After the publicity the case recieved, the legal guidelines on when to prosecute social media users was altered to prevent unnecessary prosecutions in future - here's a BBC summary
There are yet more Guardian articles here, or simply try googling 'twitter joke trial' with additional search terms. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Media and the law

There are various key resources we will use for this:
Wikis on the Press Complaints Commission and libel/slander; the Press Complaints Commission's own website; Media Guardian articles on media law; my blog on Media Regulation.

Lets start by pinning down the difference between libel and slander:
"Defamation" is the general term used internationally, and is used in this article where it is not necessary to distinguish between "slander" and "libel". Libel and slander both require publication. The fundamental distinction between libel and slander lies solely in the form in which the defamatory matter is published. If the offending material is published in some fleeting form, as by spoken words or sounds, sign language, gestures and the like, then this is slander. [SOURCE]

Lets check out today's front pages:
Do you think these papers serve our democratic need to be well informed citizens? What sort of content is featured as headline 'news'?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Budget, Revenue and Spending

The money raised by the government through taxation, assets and borrowing is its revenue, whereas the money paid out is known as government spending. We are currently experiencing widespread government spending cuts. Your generation could grow up with austerity the defining approach to government finance.
Every year the Chancellor of the Exchequer, second only to the Prime Minister in terms of seniority and authority within the government (and many would argue that Gordon Brown was more powerful as Tony Blair's Chancellor than when he became PM himself), sets out the government spending plans, including any changes to revenue-raising (taxes etc), in the Budget.
The Budget is the single most important economic and financial statement made each year by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to Parliament and the nation. The Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011 require the Government to produce a Budget Report for each financial year. The Charter for Budget Responsibility sets out what the Budget Report must cover.  [source:]
Here's a short history of the Budget:

Every budget has winners and losers. In theory at least, Labour governments (at least before Tony Blair) would set budgets that reduced tax on the poor whilst increasing spending on the poor, using increased corporation (business) and wealth (income) tax to pay for this, while the Tories would cut public spending overall, especially welfare payments to the poor, and focus on reducing tax on the rich and business. The  2012 budget was extremely controversial: the so-called pasty tax (here's the BBC's take) seemed to penalise the poor while the richest saw their income tax cut from 50% to 45%.
After every budget the media quickly calculates who they think will the winners and losers, as do think tanks such as the IFS. The Guardian analyse the 2012 winners and losers from the autumn 2012 statement, which was heavy on welfare cuts, here.

This is a very simple task that you can achieve by quickly browsing the relevant Wikis, hyperlinked above, and looking for the different forms of taxation they list. You should be able to find at least 9. They don't list Council Tax as they focus on national taxation. Write or type these 9, + Council Tax.
The Wiki on public finance is full of useful facts, including the range of taxes the government uses to raise revenue. There is also a separate Wiki on taxation.