These pages contain highlights from the latest issue of The Torch, the student newspaper of Wath Academy.
The full newspaper is available to view by selecting the cover.
Previous editions (going all the way back to 1930) are available on the back issues page.
PANDEMIC ALERT: COVID-19
By Ellisia Bowman, Year 9
The UK has now joined many other countries for the closure of schools and ‘lockdown’ in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The government has advised that, for everyone’s safety, we stay inside and only go out when necessary. These necessities include shopping, going to the pharmacy, and up to one hour of exercise each day.
This 'lockdown' has been put in place at a bad time as Mother’s Day was on Sunday 22nd March; however, we had the technology to Facetime our mothers or used the social distancing to keep our grandmothers safe. I hope everyone can stay safe during this crisis.
The coronavirus has been spreading like wildfire across the globe, possibly due to the busy streets and vast means of travel open to us, especially where the first case was found in Wuhan, China.
So how did the outbreak start? Well, the coronavirus (COVID-19) is said to have come from animals in the 'wet market'. The 'wet market' sells living products such as meat and fish. These animals could be dead or alive. It is thought the conditions of the market, where the animals are packed together, enables the spread of viruses from animals to humans to become easier. The animals were thought to have been infected by bats as they are a host to a wide range of viruses that include Ebola and rabies.
Statistics for this disease change daily. As of 28th March, the USA is currently the most infected with 104,256 cases, followed by Italy with 86,498. Both countries have overtaken China in recent days, whose infection rate has slowed and is currently at 81,394 reported cases.
What makes coronavirus a particularly dangerous disease to control and contain is that infectious people may not develop symptoms for over ten days, and some remain asymptomatic, meaning they could be passing on the disease without even realising it. The most common symptoms are a fever and a continuous dry cough. People are being asked to self-isolate for fourteen days if they have these symptoms.
On 27th March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock both tested positive and are now in self-isolation, where they continue to do their jobs as they only have mild symptoms. For many people, coronavirus is a mild condition. However, 16 per cent of sufferers become seriously ill and develop breathing difficulties. If you or a family member does become ill, you should seek assistance from the NHS 111 service, rather than going to see a GP.
I wish for everyone to stay safe at this crucial time and please listen to the government whether you like their terms or not. They have put these measures in place to keep those at risk safe and to stop the spread.
Presently, no specific time has been announced for when England and other countries will return back to normal, but we can hope it is soon. A success story that gives hope to all is South Korea, who have successfully flattened the curve of new infections through intensive testing and tracing of infection. The UK hopes its social distancing measures will have similar positive outcomes and then, when numbers are reduced, smart testing will allow medics to get in control of the infection.
In the meantime, do what you enjoy most (while remaining indoors) and make sure to do your school work on Show My Homework!
House Events Update
By Vanessa Man, Year 9
Around 75% of the school has attended at least 1 house event so far. We may be taking a break right now, but that’s all the more reason to celebrate our recent successes.
First, let’s start with the winners of the previous box tasks (written competitions that students have to post in their House’s ‘box’ in reception) and the House events from this term:
- Paper aero plane challenge 2
- Origami box challenge
- Conga challenge
- Speedy penalties challenge
- Human chain challenge
- Speed art challenge
- Selfie box task
- Treasure hunt challenge
- Litter pick challenge
- Crossbar challenge
- Paper ball challenge
- Dice challenge
- Paper aeroplane challenge
- Wath whisper challenge
- Cracker joke box task
- Longest plank challenge
- Escape room rep captain challenge
- Longest plank challenge
- Rock paper scissors challenge
- Balloon under and over challenge
- Sprout challenge
- Netball challenge
- Longest plank challenge
Upcoming Events: House Assemblies
If the school opens before September again, the next House assembly will be “Brawl in the Hall”. The assembly will host two Houses in one. During the assembly, both Houses will go against each other and there will be lots of points available. With the stakes high, it is sure to be unforgettable and unmissable!
How the House System Works
Currently, the House with the most points is Athens, but this could all change! For each event or task, the winning House is awarded 600 points, while second place grabs 500 points, third place earns 400 points and so on to sixth place getting 100 points. We asked whether there will be a prize for the overall winning House, but this is “top secret!” according to Mr Austin.