Written By You

The Fall – A Short Story in Three Parts – Part Three

This is the third of a three part story by 10 year old Alice. Read Part One and Part Two first.

 

My view is hazy, but I can work out the blurry shape of a nurse, standing by my bed. My eyelids shut; the light was stinging my eyes.

“Hello?” The voice is soft. I decide to answer.

“Hello,” I answer.

“I’m Josie,” says the nurse, pulling up a chair beside the bed. “What’s your name?”

“Kieran,” I reply, chewing my lip.

“Well, Kieran, you’ve been through a lot,” she says. She feels my forehead. “You had a raging fever you know. How do you feel now?”

Read More...

Home, Health & Style, Popular

6 Things Kids with Special Needs Wish EVERYONE Would Do

When we published our article 6 Things Parents Wish Their Kids Would Do … and 6 Things Kids Wish Their Parents Would Do, one of our readers got in touch to say we should do one for the things that kids with special needs wish EVERYONE would do. So we asked our followers, and came up with this list.

It was a bit tricky to put the list together, because there are so many different kinds of “special needs”. For some children, their disability is quite well manageable with medication, or with assistance and therapy, and you’d hardly know they had any additional needs.  You may have heard of autism or Asperger’s Syndrome – these are part of the autistic disorder spectrum, a range of conditions that affect how people communicate and relate to people around them. You can’t tell by looking at someone if they have ASD.

Other children have disabilities that are apparent when you meet them, such as those with Down’s Syndrome, which we have covered in more detail here. Or they might use a wheelchair to get around.

What thing do they all have in common? They sometimes get asked really silly questions, and get treated badly by people. Make sure you aren’t one of them, by listening to what the kids (and their parents) had to say!

Read More...

School & Career

Movie Making Camp for Girls – Camp Reel

Have you ever thought about the people who make movies? Did you know that less that 20% of the main decision making positions in the media are held by women? This obviously affects the way that women and girls are portrayed on screen.

 

 

With media platforms like YouTube or Vimeo,  its easier to get friends together and write, direct, edit your own shows and distribute them for the world to see, but where do you start? How can you make a movie? One way is to take part in a Apple Camp – check the link to see if there is one in your area.

Once you have been making films for a while, you may want to learn more about how movies are made, and how to put them together. A new venture in California aims to help girls do this – on a one week camp.

Our contributor Annie May had a chat with Esther from Camp Reel to find out more.

Read More...

Home, Health & Style, Popular

A Controlling Friendship – A Bully By Another Name

Have you ever had a friend who made you feel bad? Maybe your friend was mean to you sometimes, and confused you. Or she (or he) would ignore you because you had done something wrong.
We all fall out with our friends on occasion, even us adults. It is a normal part of life.
When the friendship is one-sided then it is a different story. Then we might say it is a ‘controlling friendship’.

Read More...

News & Politics

What is a Referendum?

what is a referendum

What is a Referendum?

There has been a lot of talk recently about the referendum on membership of the European Union. It seems that we cannot turn on the television without hearing about it! But what is a referendum?

A referendum is a vote, not an election by which we choose the people to represent us, but a choice in which all the people who can vote are asked to accept or reject (not accept) a course of action.

You can find out more about our main election, the General Election here. 

What this means is that voters are called to say yes or no to a question. You might think that this sounds perfectly reasonable; why shouldn’t everyone have a say in what our country is doing? But it is not as simple as that.

Most questions are decided by votes in Parliament; after all, this is why we elect them to represent us, and in practical terms, we cannot all expect to be experts on all the subjects that must be covered by the government. So this doesn’t happen very often.

Referendums in the UK

In fact, in the UK there have only been twelve, yes, just 12 referendums since 1973. Twelve referendums over the course of 43 years, of which only two have covered the entire country. You can see that this is not a large number.

You might be surprised to learn that the first to cover the whole country was in 1975, and it was on membership of the European Economic Community (EEC), which is what the European Union was then known as. The second was in 2011, and related to a reform in the voting system known as Alternative Vote.

All the other major referendums in the UK have been related to questions of devolving power – or the governing of the distinct regions of England, Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Origins of the Word Referendum

The word came into use in English in 1847. But at that time, it was mostly about Switzerland, whose system of direct democracy involved (and continues to involve) a large number of referendums. The word was coined, or created, from Latin referendum, which means “thing to be referred”. This is because, in a referendum, the decision is referred to the people.

The word referendum in Latin is from the verb referre. This verb means “to bring back, to take back’, which is the very essence of a referendum: a question is being brought back to the people who will be affected by it.

What is the Plural of Referendum?

A lot of people think that the plural of referendum is ‘referenda’, but is it really?

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”The Oxford English Dictionary” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Referendum is logically preferable as a plural form meaning ballots on one issue (as a Latin gerund referendum has no plural).  The Latin plural gerundive referenda, meaning ‘things to be referred’, necessarily connotes a plurality of issues.[/perfectpullquote]

What does that mean?

A gerund is a grammar term used in Latin and other languages. In Latin, ‘referenda’ would mean ‘more than one thing to be considered’, whereas a referendum as a vote tends to be on one single issue.

We can use ‘referendum’ as a plural if we wish, but ‘referendums’ has also become normalised in English, as the word has been accepted in popular use in English, and of course the usual way to make a plural in English is to add ‘s’.

 

You can find out more about the British political system in these posts.

 

The UK General Election – An Explanation for Kids

How to Jump into Politics

What is it Like to Be an MP?

 

Women in Politics: Be The Change You Want To See

Read More...