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Shiplake College News

If you were Prime Minister...
Question Time

Question Time returned for another edition on Monday 20 November and this time, it was our Year 10 pupils who gathered in the Lecture Theatre. 

The host, Mr Player, had assembled a dream-team super panel to discuss some of the big issues not just in the world, but in the College today. Each panellist had a minute to respond to the questions and there was an opportunity to add and discuss throughout. 

On the panel to share their wisdom and knowledge to our Year 10s was ‘the man who always means business’, Mr Gower; the ‘geography ace’, Mr Burrows; Mrs Rojas who’s ‘from Andalucia and pleased to meet you'; and Mr Adam who can ‘solve any equation without any hesitation’.  

If you were Prime Minister today, what would you change? 

Mr Burrows, one of the leads for the College’s Eco-Committee, immediately spoke of his environmental plans. This included the funding of more eco-projects and no more investment in fossil fuels. Mr Gower also spoke of putting the environment at the heart of any policy, which included banning petrol cars, building houses with better insulation, as well as introducing a tax on excess product packaging. Mr Adam spoke of another crisis closer to home in the shape of housing and the lack of affordable homes for young people. Comparing house prices now to how they used to be, Mr Adam would replace lost social housing. Finally, Mrs Rojas would introduce a four-day working week. Having seen the successful implementation of this in other parts of Europe, Mrs Rojas believes that it will boost efficiency in the workplace and lead to better energy levels amongst staff.  

Is violence the answer? 

There were some mixed answers to this question but on the whole, the general consensus from the panel was the violence is not the answer. Mr Gower was the first to answer and while believing that violence is not the answer in general, there are times where it may be the only answer. Citing examples such as wars and mass murderers, Mr Gower spoke of how opposite acts of violence could stop these cases. Mrs Rojas agreed with Mr Gower in that sometimes violence is needed to fight violence but outside of that, acts of violence are indicative of a ‘caveman’ mentality. Mr Burrows believes that violence is never the answer in any circumstances. Saying that it is the lowest form of communication, Mr Burrows believes conflicts can be resolved peacefully if all sides talked rather than fought. Mr Adam had a similar answer to Mr Gower and Mrs Rojas and used the conflict in Ukraine as an example – an opposite force of violence is sometimes needed to defend oneself. 

Were you a good Year 10 pupil? What advice would you give to your Year 10 self? 

Mrs Rojas was a golden Year 10 pupil and loved attending lessons and school. Her advice to the Year 10 pupils was to make more of an effort in weaker subjects and to not just focus on the stronger subjects. Mr Burrows had the mindset of ‘work hard, play hard’ and encouraged the pupils to do the same. The time off and downtime are much more enjoyable when it has been earned! Mr Gower described himself as a bad Year 10 pupil and continued to be until there came a time when he realised that he needed to grow up. His advice to the pupils was to not leave the ‘growing up’ too late as there will be so much to catch up on and not enough time to do so. Mr Adam’s advice echoed that of before him but also encouraged the pupils to embed the knowledge gained now so that it is there ready for Year 11 and beyond.