Friday, 14 July 2017

Enjoy the summer . . .

We wish our readers plenty of opportunities to explore new places, new experiences and new ideas over the summer holiday. 

Of course, we invite you not only to journey through the pages of the 'Exploration' issue of Portsmouth Point magazine (published today), but to navigate the hundreds of fascinating articles on the Portsmouth Point blog written by pupils, staff and OPs over the course of this year.  

Bon voyage! 

Cover image from the 'Exploration' issue of Portsmouth Point magazine: by Oliver Stone

The Editors
Portsmouth Point

Poem: Observing a Return

by Fenella Johnson

I heard them first just after eight ;
their horns screaming in jubilant ecstasy,
which rose to the pitch of the swarming incessant flies
that we batted away with our hands,
then the sound of engines emerged, unscathed by,and clawed free from,the wind,
sound that felled the peace of the eveningand
as they gathered even closer,
I saw the men abroad,work soiled and sloth bellied.
Above the clouds roved the sky,
and below the little unfurled masters of waves,
summer spun and unspeakably lovely,
iridescent as gladiolus
beloved and scattered by the ocean.
Not even the squelch of rain halted their stately approach,
as they moved not in that intoxicating pace of mid-summer,
but steadily
the boats shaking themselves free of the breeze
and splendidly,stupendously gliding into the bay.

Why It Is So Important to Learn German

by Naeve Molho

German is often regarded as a harsh sounding, difficult and isolated language, however most people’s perceptions could be hardly further from the truth. This article will discuss some key reasons as to why German learning is so important, from an economic, cultural, linguistic and academic stance.

The Economy
Economically Germany is not only the largest Economy in Europe, but the fourth largest in the world.  Therefore anyone aspiring for a career in business or finance would find German a very useful and important tool in aiding their career. The Economy is so strong that despite the recent and rising  migration crisis, Germanys economy has remained stable.

The Global Business opportunities
Germany is well known for its innovative and successful  global business’s, therefore knowledge in the language would particularly help a future career with the potential to be working in the headquarters of any of the German brands including : BMW, Adidas, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Puma. It is important to highlight Germanys contribution towards the international market as they are not often recognised for their global contributions.

The Fashion Industry
Germany’s fashion industry is one of the most prominent in the world with their concentration on the new young designers. Berlin Fashion week holds a huge variety of talents, which is not surprising with the amount of popular German designers and fashion figures such as , Karl Lagerfeld, Hugo Boss, Heidi Klum and Wolfgang Doop.

A widely spoken language
 Not only is German one of the official languages of the European Union, but the most widely spoken language in Europe.  Learning German offers a chance to connect and network globally with over 100 million people who are able to speak it!

German Culture
Whether your passion is for art or history Germany offers a huge variety of cultural heritage sites. An understanding of the language could give you a chance to learn about these in far more depth and detail.  Whether it’s visiting checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag or even Oktoberfest your language knowledge can lead you anywhere.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Time Lapse of Painting

by Imogen Ashby

Leonardo Prize Year 7 Winner: Coast

by Thomas Woodward

The sun lay untouched,
Tranquil and laid-back.
Gently lapping to and fro,
It was as flat as a millpond.

She inhaled deeply,
A pebble rolled onto the sand,
Etched with scratches and scars.
She exhaled strongly,
The pebble parted the water like Moses.

She inhaled deeply.

Life to the Full

by Tom Fairman

The excitement of the holidays has begun in earnest and teachers are just as excited if not more so than the students. The thought of lazy mornings with no alarm, no bells signalling the next lesson, not moving to someone else’s timetable, but being free to choose your own path, to do what you want to do is almost a reality. What is not to be excited about? The juxtaposition between term time and the holidays is never so apparent as at the time when they meet; possibly the light being brightest when it follows the dark.
There is a wonderful child like feeling in this excitement. The joy can feel as if it is bubbling under the surface, ready to burst and bring life back into your life. That is not to say that there are no joys in teaching, but the holidays are when you feel most alive, when you can recover and have life to the full. The long hours, emotional investment and physical exertion are only possible with the time to relax and replenish so you can give your all to the children in your classes. The work without the holidays leads to burnout and the holidays without the work leads to purposelessness. A full life requires them to be in tandem; the disciples were sent out with a mission, not just to rely on the goodwill, but to earn their keep.
 When life is in tandem, things are complete, they are at their fullest, there is nothing missing. However there is a common restlessness, a feeling of something missing that seems to not be satisfied by any logical arguments or by obtaining more stuff. This feeling is not dependent on whether the sun is shining in your life or if the storm clouds are gathering. If this is all there is to life, if what we have in front of us is the extent of our purpose, if our worth, satisfaction and ability to deal with the bad stuff is just based on what we have, then it is a very incomplete world we live in. 
When people you love die prematurely, when you have great success, but others suffer, it is natural to search for meaning. Rational, psychological arguments are offered, but sometimes fall short. People will always want and need more than an explanation of how our brains work or the way atoms interact however interesting and true these things are. There seems to be something in our human condition that yearns for something beyond this world. This world is not enough and as humans we are not complete with just what is in front of us.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Leonardo Prize Year 8 Winner: Omaha Beach

by Gio Avondo

The soft summer sand of the beach
Warmed the boy's feet.
It rippled in even waves
As he chased his brother.

An overwhelming bang,
Caused him to stop,
And the once-bright coast,
Became a cloudy, foreboding landscape.

Landing crafts unloaded groups of frightened men,
Gunfire could be heard all the way down the beach,
Which led to hundreds falling,

Blood soaked the sand,
Screams filled the air,
And wherever the boy went,
At bodies he would stare.

Then he blinked.

The men became children,
Playing in the sea.
And the towering tank was replaced
By an ice cream van.
The dog's bark was mistaken for the gunfire,
Sounded seconds before.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Leonardo Prize Year 10 Winner: Coast

by Isla Sligo-Young

Mirages twist me back and forth,
Coastlines l have been waiting for days roll over my mind.
The boat rolls and rocks,
The dinghy screams out for help just like mum did when the waves took her.
Dad holds me down, scared that if he lets go this trip will be more hell than hope.
The smuggler says we are almost there but I don’t trust him anymore,
All I trust is that the endless waves always come back for me,
All I trust is that the new land can never make up for this crossing,
All I trust is that the waves bring nothing but death and destruction.
l blink away the cliffs in front of me,
Take them from my mind and crush them beneath the waves,
They stay as solid as the old mountains at home.
Hysteria rises on our carrier, people push like a current to see what’s before us
I get swept under the feet as the tide rises.
Boat shifts and groans beneath its effort,
The splintering makes my stomach swirl like the water around us.
They hear it too.
We all hear it now.
I curl up, praying for the white horses to carry me to the shore,
They trust me now, they let me braid their fragile manes beneath my fingertips
I’m begging them to let me sit astride, to float like a wave to safety.
But they haven’t replied yet
Already they are grabbing at my ankles,
Clutching at my waist,
Clenching at my throat.
Sand spins around me,
Sea, sky and sand toss me back and forth
Back and forth,
Back and forth
Sand slams me down
Sea recedes
Sky takes over
I’m lying
I’m breathing
But I’m not living.
This isn’t living.

Monday, 10 July 2017

"The Nasty Party" - How the DUP is Toxifying the Tories

by Katie Sharp

Recently, the views of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have come to the media’s attention after the party agreed to prop up a Conservative minority government. Many people have criticised Theresa May’s decision to enter an informal coalition with a party that has views many would describe as backwards and antiquated. This is particularly significant, considering the fact that Conservatives have been trying to rid themselves of these labels for years. As May said herself at the 2002 Conservative party conference: There's a lot we need to do in this party of ours. Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies. You know what some people call us: the nasty party."

This quote makes it seem very odd that May would contradict herself later on (it’s not like we’ve seen her do something like this before with the snap general election, of course). Using the DUP as a way to cling on to power proves that all the Conservatives currently care about is keeping hold of power, something they may certainly pay for in the next General Election if this minority government turns sour.

Unsure of the views of the DUP? Here are the views of some of the current DUP MPs.

Sammy Wilson, MP for East Antrim, former Minister of the Environment for the DUP- denies the existence of climate change (“I still think man-made climate change is a con”), described breastfeeding in the House of Commons as “voyeuristic” and the women who want to as “exhibitionists”.

David Simpson, MP for Upper Bann- creationist, voted against the Same Sex Couples Bill in 2013 and spoke against the Bill, as seen in this video: 

Winner of the Leonardo Poetry Prize 2017: The Closing

by Isobel Kaye

In the early evening, the beach prepares for bed
And for the long sleep.
Random rocky structures protrude,
Like sequins sewn on to a yellow coat.
These gems, on closer inspection,
Are the shiny remnants of lost lives.

Across the shingle, in the shallow water, stands a godwit
On long elegant legs like a model on the catwalk,
Her fiery chest displayed and
Her long bill puncturing the soft, shifting land
In her ceaseless search
For worms and molluscs.

Further away, beyond the young wader,
The sea, chalybeous and calm, lies
Like cloth, spread out on the dressmaker's bench.
You can hear nothing,
Except perhaps the northerly winds in the distance,
Threatening to intrude.

Above this hushed landscape,
The dull sky puts on an old dressing gown
Generations old, but still there is energy.
Tiny, salty particles assail your nostrils,
While your eyes grow dim
At the closing of the day.