Friday, 23 October 2015

Community breakdown

A playlist of videos giving examples of community breakdown - the image below lists the videos included, the actual playable video playlist is further down!

Note that only the beginning of the Theroux clip is shown in lessons, the full programme isn't suitable for younger viewers.
Note too that strong, potentially upsetting, views are expressed in these various clips.


Friday, 16 October 2015

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Human Rights

TASK: You will be given one of the 30 human rights enshrined (included) in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights (dating back to 1948, a response to the horrors of WW2) to consider. Your task, using your own opinions as well as findings from research (I've provided you with some links with groups for and against human rights below) will be to come up with points on:
  • why it is important
  • examples of where this human right has been denied
  • examples of pressure group campaigns to enforce this human right
  • any argument against this as a human right
  • exceptions to or limits on this human right (does it conflict with others? issues around security, anti-terrorism, extremism? are there any government proposals to reform law on this area?)
  • (most importantly!!!) YOUR views on this: do we need stronger enforcement of this right, or do we need stricter limits on it? Is this a core British value; should we be pressuring other countries to recognise this human right?

[1:44] Here's the UN on what this concept of 'human rights' means, and where it came from...

[4:31] Here's a guide to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, from the Human Rights Action Center

[2:30] The 30 Articles of Human Rights ... set to some awful music


There are many campaign and pressure groups such as Liberty and Amnesty International who focus on human rights issues

BBC programme [1hr, but short clips available]: 'Anger over votes for prisoners and the release of Abu Qatada shows just what a toxic issue human rights law has become. In this provocative film, Andrew Neil travels to Europe and across Britain to find out why Britain follows these laws and asks can anything be done to restore our faith in them?'

LIBERTY (pressure group) on the Human Rights Act: 'myth buster'

RED PEPPER (moderate left-wing magazine) on why the Tory government should not change or scrap the Human Rights Act

EARTH TIMES NEWS (business group) From back in 2001, an analysis of why human rights are important for businesses

PHILOSOPHY FORUM (a right-wing contributor argues why human rights are wrong)

DAILY TELEGRAPH (right-wing newspaper) why human rights are protecting the wrong people

AMNESTY UK (pressure group) 8 reasons why we need the Human Rights Act

These links contain factual guides to the legal status of human rights in the UK, EU and globally...

Wiki: the history and evolving nature of  human rights. The Western democracies denied ethnic minorities and women the vote until relatively recently; the human rights agenda and concept has a considerable history...

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: from the UN's website (with multiple further links to explore), here's a rundown of the 30 human rights declared universal in 1948, in the aftermath of WW2. These are not legal requirements under international law, although some of these have over time become part of international law. (Wiki link on this)

How the UN protects human rights: from the UN website again, the UN's own guide to what they do, and the many agencies and strategies involved. More independent sources might question just how successful they have been.

European Convention on Human Rights (Wiki): also strongly influenced by the horrors of WW2, the ECHR came about in 1950, and was passed into law in 1953. This does have the force of international law.

UK: The Human Rights Act: you can try the Wiki; Liberty's guide; or news sources such as The Guardian (a left-wing paper which has some bias in favour of human rights) [Google results] or The Daily Telegraph (a right-wing paper which has some bias against human rights), or the BBC!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Yr11 L2a: Investigating our local MPs

In this lesson we will be:
  • identifying some of our local (regional + parliamentary constituency) elected representatives
  • investigating what MPs actually do!
  • researching the role of Parliament
There are three blog posts for this lesson; you can access each via the links at the bottom of posts.
Can you name the local MP? Do you know which party he represents?

Use the links provided to help answer these questions.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Research What MPs Do

Backbencher Kris Hopkins MP campaigning/conducting PR
We all have a rough idea of what MPs are and what they do ... but what exactly does their job involve, and how do you become an MP?!

You will find below a simple explanation of what an MP is from the Wiki, plus further sample resources to help you investigate the role of MPs.

Your task today is to:
  1. in small groups answer one or more of the following question
  2. Your answer must be clear and in your own words, not just copy/pasted.
  3. Start your answer by copy/pasting in the question!
  4. Where you have used any direct quotes from a website use "", and put the URL (www...) in brackets like this (SOURCE:
  5. Highlight any terminology you've come across in a list at the bottom of your answer
  6. There is likely to be overlap between some answers!
  7. share your answers electronically with 1 or more groups, and electronically share any answers they have
  8. ...until you've got answers to all the questions! 

Friday, 2 October 2015

How Does Parliament Work?

TASK THREE: Working in a group of 2 or 3, use all of the following links to write or type 10 points about how Parliament works, including an explanation (with examples such as this) of what a Select Committee is:

The role of the Culture, Media, Sport Select Committee (official website)
BBC News interactive guide;
Wikipedia entry;
Tim Loughton (MP) guide;
Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield MP) guide; guide.

We will finish off the lesson by checking you can answer these questions: