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January exams are nearly here, only two months away. Lots of coursework to complete and the pressure is kicking in. I have started to prepare already as A-Levels are not easy and a lot of preparation needs to be gone into achieving the best grades possible. There is a lot of ICT coursework which makes the time for revision is more scarce therefore both coursework and exam preparation needs to have equal amount of time given. Time for socialising and having fun is no longer an option as revision and class work takes up most of the time which is an advantage for us and will only help us in the future. I am aiming really high and am working my best to achieve the highest grades possible to get accepted into a good university. Without education a person cannot have a good job and job options are decreased significantly. Therefore it is very important to do great in exams the first time around as re-sits are even more pressure. By Aisha Ali 13F

With my January exams fast approaching it is growing ever stressful to achieve the highest grade I am capable of. The pressure put on me to not only achieve the grades I am aiming for but to also complete my UCAS application is growing ever harder. The UCAS process consists of your personal details, your university choices, your grades but most importantly your personal statement which would be one of the main factors which will convince universities whether or not I will be accepted in their institute. I have put many hours into my UCAS statement, desperately trying to sell myself, show off my achievements and let the universities see my potential. Now I have submitted my UCAS application I now just have to wait and ensure I get the needed grades. So no more PlayStation 3 for me, just books and homework from here on in! By Emad Amini 13F

Revision Tips 

Get organized! - make a timetable of how you’re going to spread out your revision, make sure you give yourself time to do revision, homework and give yourself some free time.

Find what works for you! – some people are better visual learners, while some are better verbal learners, find out what kind of learner you are and organize your revision based on that, for instance, visual learners can use posters and Powerpoint presentations while verbal learners can record themselves reading out their notes and listen to the recording.

Get rid of distractions! – don’t attempt to revise near a TV, laptop/ computer or phone!

Do past papers – The best way to get the exam technique, use the mark scheme to see where you went wrong and learn how to improve.

Organize a revision group and try to revise with your friends. You can help each other on your weaknesses and test each other. IF YOU FAIL TO PREPARE, THEN PREPARE TO FAIL!

By Menahil Butt 13H

Higher Education Access Programme for Schools! What is it? HEAPS is a programme run by the educational charity 'Teach First' and according to the professionals it is a “the most effective bridge between gifted pupils in challenging schools and leading universities in the U.K.� which in simple terms means that it allows people that want to or have the potential to go to university make the right choices by learning more about higher education. HEAPS is essentially for year 12 students that are aiming to go to university. The programme teams you up with a mentor that has had experience or has knowledge about your specific subject. They will then help you with all the key things such as the dreaded personal statement, university choices, exams etc. How will you benefit from it? In my opinion HEAPS is a great opportunity as it will give you an inside look in how the world of higher education works. Through trips to leading universities, taster courses in your preferred subject. They also have the day residential as Cambridge University (which is free by the way) will is an amazing experience to have as it broadens your horizons, allows you to meet different people who have similar interest, it also provides you with a really good opportunity to see what student life will be like. By Anonymous Year 13

A positive parental guide is to share a strong bond with one another. Sharing problems which we face in our daily lives, and asking for advice is a vital part in bonding. Having family meals and dinners together is a good way to have discussions and discuss family/other matters. Going out to social events together like museums, educational activities, historical events and places can create a good atmosphere. If a child isn’t prepared to listen try to explain your views and listen to the parents’ views and try to compromise and cooperate. If all else fails try grounding them and take away their possessions, e.g. games consoles. By Anjani Madhavji, Sinthujah Veerathas, Naveed Ramzan and Walid Ahmed 13R

When a child is young to them positive parenting is about feeding, clothing and nurturing the child. As the child grows older parenting requires more things, such as disciplining the child, motivating the child to get an education. Things such as checking your child’s homework, involving your child in activities and sports, involving in politics ...all these things are very important for positive parenting. Checking and knowing your child’s friends is very important, but being too strict is also not good. It is also very important to give your child some space, to enjoy their lives and hang around with friends. Being friends with your child is important, as the child will have an opportunity to discuss things or ask for guidance at anytime in their life. However being too friendly with your child will cause you to lose your respect and status as a parent, Therefore parents should be friends with their children but put some limits to that friendship. By Shumaila Bibi 13R

I was doing AS last year but unfortunately I failed my AS Level, I did Business, Maths and Computer science, but I enjoyed the subjects. I had also good grades in lessons but my bad luck hit in and I failed my exams. Now I am doing BTEC, this is a way I am still gaining valuable qualifications. Sixth form has made me mature and show how the reality life is and made me think about the future. There is a school time but when that is finished the University life starts which is another chapter in a student’s life, it is not only another chapter in our life but also a one step higher that we achieve in our life. So folks, don’t mess around with your life, education is a one time opportunity in your life. Ashvini Rajahsuresh 13F This year is the last year of my A-Level studies and it’s really important because it is the final decision that is going to give me the opportunity to entry to the universities. Some of my exams are coming up in January and actually I’m not that stressed because I want to be confident and trust in me and in my potential to do well in all my exams. Until now, I got good grades for my class tests so I can do much better and put more effort for the coming exams. When I heard about the UCAS process I was so scared and upset because I came from Italy and their entry for university is different , so I was thinking how can I do this UCAS stuff, but some of my friends really helped me and when I went through the UCAS I felt “oh it is not that difficult” . I mainly had to add some of details about me , but the most difficult part for me was the personal statement . I want to go to universities to improve my knowledge and to discover more about the subject that I like to do. I want to go to a particular university to have a good education and to have a valuable degree at the end. The sixth form give me the opportunity to use good English, to be formal with teachers and gave me the opportunity to improve my knowledge. Nivetha Vijayakumar 13F

The stress of A-Level Exams has been immensely stressful because the rest of our life depends on the results that we get in August. The pressure has been extreme as I am the oldest son out of my brothers and I have to set a good foundation for them and be the role model for them to look upon. By gaining good A-Level results I will be able to make myself and my family proud and hopefully go on to gain a respectable degree in Economics. I have to make sure that I stay on top of my exams and do not fall under the pressure and manage to achieve as highly as possible. I believe the key would be revision and sticking to an extensive revision timetable. I need to put fun activities such as cricket to the side for a while, The Ashes will not part of schedule. As I am focused, I want to do my best, I know the school will help me all the way and I know I can do it. I need to put fun activities on the side for a while, the Ashes will not be part of my schedule! As I am focused, I want to do my best, I know the school will help me all the way and I know I can do it Wasay Ali 13F

Having represented Essex U19 in Badminton, my ambition is to play for England. Having only been playing for three years, I have learnt many things such as independence and self belief. Badminton believe it or not has a big importance in my life besides A-Levels and has been very time consuming as well as tiring! But I have proved to myself anything is possible; starting at a normal ordinary Saturday club not being able to hold a racket, to now playing national tournaments has been one of my biggest achievements so far. Nothing is easy but it takes dedication to excel in anything. The most exciting experience I’ve had so far was being able to play in the ICT (inter-county-tournament) where national players from all over the United Kingdom play against one another. I have also had the opportunity to play at the national indoor arena in Birmingham, Crystal Palace and the national badminton centre in Milton Keynes, where I also had the privilege of meeting Olympic champions. By Anonymous Year 13

I am extremely keen in the art of photography and would like to further pursue this as a full time career. The main area of photography I prefer to concentrate on is Macro Photography, also known as Close up Photography. The classical definition is that the image projected on the "film plane" is close to the same size as the subject. Lenses that are designed for macro photography are usually at their sharpest at macro focus distances and are not quite as sharp at other focus distances. Limited depth of field is important in Macro photography. This makes it essential to focus critically on the most important part of the subject. Below is an example of my own photograph which has been taken in the style of Macro Photography. Gursharan Ubbi – 13D

Rockcorps is a pro-social production company that uses the power of music to inspire people to volunteer and give to their community. It gives the opportunity for people to EARN tickets to some of the hottest gigs on the music calendar. We heard about Orange Rockcorps through advertisements on television and then decided to search it online. We came across the Orange Rockcorps website which gave us more information and from there we made the decision to become volunteers. The process for this was simple; we just registered online and then got a confirmation email saying places were available and details of the venue. Our project was during the summer holidays which was great because the amusement of the holidays soon begins to wear out and the holidays just become boring days at home. We travelled to the venue which was Gallieons Primary School to find people similar to our age group and the Rockcorps team and a professional DJ. We were all warmly welcomed and introduced to the 5 team leaders who gave us more information on the tasks to be completed during the day. The first thing to do was to be separated into 5 teams consisting of about 15 people; we then got given Rockcorps t-shirts and matching safety gloves. Our team leader Tyrell started off with an activity that allowed us to get to know the other team members; this was useful as we would be working with these people for next 4 hours. Tyrell then told us we would be working on the restoring the

playground back to a fun environment for the children to play in and then assigned us with different tasks such as gardening, jet-washing the ground, painting the floor designs in the playground and cleaning any mess. The next 4 hours was a mixture of working, socialising and the odd water fight with Rockcorps providing refreshments and music. After completing all the tasks, our team was very proud of all our hard work; in a matter of 4 hours we had managed to transform the playground into something the children would be proud to call their own. We then returned to area in which we all first met, seeing the change from coming in clean clothes to being covered in paint, water and dirt; proof of all our hard work. The team leaders told us of amazed there were at the transformation and then provided us with lunch and gave us our gig tickets for which we had worked our socks off. The whole experience of Rockcorps was unforgettable; it was an opportunity to meet new people, give back to the local community and gain tickets to a priceless gig to see the likes of N-Dubz, Taio Cruz, Mark Ronson and Business Internationals, Roll Deep, Plan B and Pendulum alongside being on television! By Sonia Manku and Jetal Odedra 13C

Light is dark and one, Its song is un-sung. Its own fate it has sealed. The wounds it bears has never healed. Walks alone does she, Perhaps she's a lot like me, Blinded by confusion and frustration. For it never sees the light before night sets. It carries on with eyes wide shut, In a mindless rut. Feeling rotten to the core, Waiting for the day, when its pain is no more.....

Thayaaniy Srikararajah 13D

My Experience I remember the first step that I took into Loxford School of Science and Technology. It was September 2004 and I was terrified! I had heard the usual horror stories and wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but mixed in with this feeling of dread was also one of excitement and anticipation. It turned out not to be so bad; the teachers were very nice and friendly, as were the students. I can’t believe that that day was now seven years ago and I am about to finish my journey here at Loxford. I know that I will miss the school a lot. For me, the last two years have been about preparing me for university. I have been inspired by some brilliant teachers who have always guided me through tough times and supported me to carry on when the going got tough. There is a very supportive atmosphere at Loxford and I feel that I have learnt a huge amount, not just in terms of knowledge but in terms of skills too. The teachers I would like to thank are Mr Mackay , Mr McCarey, my tutor Ms Barnes, Mr & Ms Bajwa and all my business teachers, Ms Sharma, Mr Mendonca, Mr Sims, Ms Peppas, Ms Jaffri, Ms Lais, Ms Carrington, as they have always been they for me. This is not forgetting of course the best Head of Year ever..... the one and only Mr. Sanhotra! Simran Grewal 13S

When I started Year 12, it was kind of funny. I felt like I was on top of the world just because I finished my GCSEs with good grades and I actually thought that A Levels were going to be a piece of cake. Boy was I wrong. Once I got into my subjects, I started to realise that things weren’t getting any easier, particularly maths. I would say I’m a bit of a lazy person. Okay, I’d say I’m a lot of a lazy person and I didn’t really pay attention to revision until right at the last minute. Come results day for AS, I didn’t get what I wanted, but I knew I had got what I deserved. If I learnt anything from Year12, it’s that you only get out what you put in. Now in year13, I’m taking the moral of my story from Year12 and just hoping that this time I’ll get the results that I want as well as deserve. Jaspreet Singh 13F

Well sixth form has changed me in a positive way; I have become mature in these two years. At the beginning of year 12 I found it hard to adjust, to socialise with external students and teachers that I haven’t met before. It took some time to realise I’m going to have to deal with it. I took each day as it came, and then there was a day that I thought I shouldn’t waste any more time. I was happy with the lessons as I became more interactive with my new teachers and that build my confidence. At the moment I believe I’ve reached my peak and it is because I try to do my best so I guess sixth form life has taught me to forget the unnecessary fright of how things are going to be, so instead sixth form life has taught me to change the way I interpret things. Tahmin Begum 13F


NT CO IE RS S Many controversies have surrounded the X Factor over the years especially in the current year of 2010. X Factor contests ants Wagner Carrillo’s success have surrounded many controversies which upset many members of the public as well the contestants themselves. Wagner has also been the centre of other controversies such as his public row with X Factor judge Cheryl Cole over her Newcastle roots. This shows how popular reality shows are often the centre of many controversies which are often discussed within the public every year. This year has been the most popular for the shows’ controversies, as others follow on. Cheryl Cole herself has been the main attention of controversies with one of her biggest ones were with her refusal to send contestant Gamu Nhengu to the live shows and her decision to put through current contestants Cher Lloyd and Katie Waissel.

Katie Waissel has been causing many controversies with her current success through recent weeks despite being in the bottom two for five times. Other controversies that have recently

surrounded the show were claims made by the public that the X Factor being a “fixed” programme and the voting results were false. The controversies are more likely to be continuous and be the focus of the public’s attention in the following years to come Farjana Uddin & Yasmin Mohamed 13D

The UCAS process is an immensely time consuming and irritating process which will take up a lot of your time in the early months of year 13. You should start your personal statement in year 12 so that you won’t have to stress out as much and spend precious revision time redrafting it constantly once you’re in year 13. As the young people of today it is our duty to achieve to the best of our abilities and achieve our full potential. Going to university is one of the best ways to improve your skills as well as drastically improve career aspects. You may not find it particularly exciting or interesting but it’s just something that has to be done. Don’t neglect the UCAS process, get the application done as fast as possible, to the best of your ability! No long ting. Qais Sheikh 13F

My January exams are fast approaching; therefore I have created an exam timetable in order to keep on a structured schedule. Stress levels are also rising as I have much to do in such a short amount of time. The UCAS process is time consuming and quite annoying as there are lots of information to be entered into the online system. I would like to go to university because without a degree in computing I will not be able to pursue a future career in computing. I would like to go to Queen Mary because I believe it is a relatively good university and is close to where I live. I know that if I fully apply myself to my studies, work hard every day and then I can achieve excellent grades and gain this university place. I know I can do it and I know that the teachers and the school will help me every step of the way. University here I come! Saifullah Hossenbaccus 13F

1. A cough releases an explosive charge of air that moves at speeds up to 60 mph. 2. Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie. 3. A sneeze can exceed the speed of 100 mph. 4. Every person has a unique tongue print. 5. According to German researchers, the risk of heart attack is higher on Monday than any other day of the week.

6. After spending hours working at a computer display, look at a blank piece of white paper. It will probably appear pink. 7. An average human drinks about 16,000 gallons of water in a lifetime. 8. A fingernail or toenail takes about 6 months to grow from base to tip. 9. A human being loses an average of 40 to 100 strands of hair a day. 10. The average human brain has about 100 billion nerve cells. By Isha Patti 13D

Memorising The Holy Quraan Probably the greatest achievement in my life so far is memorizing the whole of the Holy Quraan. I chose to do this as I believe it is a strong way of committing to my faith and helping my local faith community. I achieved this in a period of 2½ years. By learning over 800 pages of text in a different language, I have learnt the valuable skills of undertaking tasks to perfection with precision and accuracy. The development of my memory skills has strengthened my abilities in school. The dedication of waking up at 5:30 am and praying for roughly 2 hours everyday enabled me to accomplish this achievement. By Anonymous Year 13

The Millau Viaduct The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the river Tarn near Millau in southern France. Designed by the French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and British architect Norman Foster, it is the tallest bridge in the world, with one mast's summit at 343.0 metres (1,125 ft). The viaduct is part of the A75-A71 autoroute axis from Paris to Montpellier. Construction cost was approximately â‚Ź400 million. It was formally dedicated on 14 December 2004, inaugurated the day after and opened to traffic two days later. The bridge received the 2006 IABSE Outstanding Structure Award. By Anonymous Year 13

Zero The origin of zero is a nebulous subject. The Babylonians were known to have used a space as a placeholder for empty "columns" as far back as 1700 BC. Around 1400 years later, they developed the first known symbol to stand for an empty place. It looked something like YY. It didn't actually stand for the number we know as "zero." It was never used alone. It was only a place holder. The Mayan culture developed a symbol for the number zero, probably independently of the Babylonians, sometime later. So did the Hindu culture. The first records we have of the symbol we use for 0, is from Hindu writings from the late 9th century. There was no internet back then, but information still got around. Mostly by camelback, or foot, so it took awhile for 0 to migrate to Arab lands, (probably due to commerce). Eventually, about 400 years after South Asia and Asia Minor had been using 0 and inventing and discovering math concepts the west couldn't even consider. In its superior intellect, civilized Europe continued to use the Roman numeral system, refusing to change for as long as possible, as the infidels ran circles around it. Eventually the Europeans gave in. By Anonymous Year 13

INTERESTING FACTS! *The elephant is the only animal with 4 knees *The tongue is the only body muscle that is attached from one end only. *The African cicada fly spends 17 years sleeping, then wakes up for two weeks, mates and then die. *Martin Jones, an Englishman had lost his power of vision and remained blind for almost a decade. He has now regained his power of vision. This has been accomplished by implanting a piece of tooth in his eye. *The Hawaiian Alphabet only contains 12 letters: a, e, i, o, u, h, k, l, m, n, p and w. *2012 is expected to be year of great positive change. It is not the end of the world! *Approximately two-thirds of people tip their head to the right when they kiss *Did you know that the average chocolate bar in the U.S. contains at least 8 pieces of an insect in it? Harvesting of the cacao beans occurs in the tropical countries of South America with low sanitation levels.

Fact-finders: Manpreet Bumbra and Rabeha Malik 13H

The July floods of 2010 in Pakistan left one-fifth of the country under water and directly affected 20 million people. I was at first hesitant to go forward with my idea of raising money for the flood victims but a surprising urge of encouragement by my mother motivated me to go ahead. Together with the help of the deputy-head and many generous sponsors, on 24th October 2010 I headed off to Swindon for my Skydive. We were trained in a group before we were suited and booted for the jump, myself, my instructor and six others cramped ourselves in a small plane which took 25 minutes to get to a desirable height from which we would leap out from. I was relatively relaxed during the course of the flight, but some nerves were twitching, especially when I knew that I would inevitably have to jump out of the door at the end of the 25 minutes. The doors of the plane were opened at 10,000 feet, the view was quite surreal. It was possible to make out the horizon of the Earth and below me were clustered clouds and green fields the size of sugar cubes. I shifted forward, tied to my instructor and as instructed tilted my head back for the inevitable. It was not in my power when to leap out, but a quick one, two count and I found myself floating into an ocean of air. It must be noted that it is not every day you look down at the clouds, while not being in a passenger seat of a plane. We were supposedly travelling at 120 mph, and the adrenaline rush was most certainly in-explainable. While free-falling my instructor tapped my back trying to indicate for me to look straight ahead at the camera-man who was also floating a few metres in front of us. The gush of air swallowed by my mouth after the longest 30 seconds of my life, I felt a big jolt and the parachute was opened. Me and my instructor had a friendly chat during the descend, before we finally landed safely on planet Earth. It has by far been the most rewarding experience of my life, I have managed to conquer many fears and most importantly we as a school have raised over ÂŁ1,000 for the flood victims of Pakistan. Lastly, I would like to give a big thank-you to all those who have sponsored me and have helped make this happen. Thank-you! By Saad Butt 13Y