Ryan's Blog


November 21, 2015
by 20battyr

PTS Conference Reflection

This semester in Spanish I think my strengths were that I am good at using and remembering vocabulary from the units, creating meaningful and cohesive sentences in Spanish. I think my weakness/areas I could improve are my conjugating of verbs and a few simple agreement errors. To study my spanish I look at the vocabulary from each unit and notes for about 5 minutes. Then I complete the task or worksheets. However I generally don’t really check whether they are correct with my notes. In class when I see words or phrases I don’t know, I pull out my notebooks and write them down. However, I need to develop my ability to use these words properly at will.  In class, It would probably help me if I could do more practice conversations and writing so that my speaking, and writing improves.

November 21, 2015
by 20battyr

Skellig Essay

Education in Skellig

How we learn affects us all. Is there a right way to get an education? What is effective? These questions are of interest across the globe. In Skellig, written by David Amond, the author discusses the three different ways to get an education. Throughout the book, Almond suggests that there is no “right” way to get an education. First he gives us a balanced picture of and a symbol for regular school life. Second, he introduces the character Mina, who is homeschooled, showing both the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling. Finally, the author emphasises the idea of lived experiences as a method of education.


In Skellig, school is potrayed as a place to learn respect, teamwork and value of hard work. Although Michael calls his teachers with pet names such as “Monkey Mitford… Rasputin… Yeti…” (11), the nicknames are more affectionate than disprespectful, and he takes pains to complete his homework. He also mentions classwork repeatedly despite Mina’s mockery of the constrained system: “is this really the kind of thing you do all day” (70-71).  Despite limitations of the school, Michael still regards his lessons and his teachers with respect.


Above all, Almond symbolises school life through his repeated references to football. Football is a game played by teams with rules, where each player is a key part of the whole. This is shown when  Mrs Danda states: “Your mates were looking forward to getting you back again. They say you’re the best tackler in the school. The reader infers from this that in formal schools, each team member is valued.  While school is something he doesn’t love, it is clear that it frames his world. Almond shows us that school, though frustrating at times, allows social interactions and support for individuals.


However, Almond also argues for the benefits of homeschooling through the character of Mina. Unlike formal schools, homeschooling is about freedom and creativity. Mina’s mother is an artist who recites William Blake. Like her mother, Mina does the same. This is demonstrated when she says “See how school shutters you. I’m drawing, painting, reading and looking. I’m feeling the sun and the air on my skin.”


Mina reinforces Blake’s attitude to school: “Thank god I was never sent to school, to be flogged into following the style of a fool” (86). Almond uses similes and metaphors to highlight the connection between Mina and nature. Mina is described as a “crow” (86). She is frequently found near trees or watching birds. Her recitation of Blake’s “Tyger, Tyger” (70) is the best example of her strong connection with nature.  


At the same time, Almond also shows the reader many of the criticisms against homeschooling. An example is when Michael says: “you might know about William Blake, but you know nothing about ordinary people”(86). In this passage Almond tells us that there are downsides to learning in a solitary environment. Homeschooling does not refine a person’s social skills. Almond is telling the reader that, unlike in formal schools, homeschooled children are wild and free but not always good at engaging with others..


Finally, Almond emphasises how both homeschooling and formal schooling cannot suffice without courage, faith and imagination. Michael and Mina show courage when they venture into the garage. It takes courage for them to remain friends despite being mocked by Michael’s friends: “that lass that climbs like a monkey”  (80,84). It requires faith for them to accept that Skellig exists with no logical reasoning. This is shown when Mina says “we can’t know, sometimes we just have to accept there are things we can’t know” (110). Faith also tells them that they can help Skellig and that he can help them(130).


Both Mina and Michael need imagination for linking what they know from their schooling and their experience with Skellig–for example, their discovery and treatment of Skellig’s calcification/ossification (62). They also need imagination for trying to understand what Skellig is. This is displayed when Mina says “we have to allow ourselves to see what there is to see, and we have to imagine” (110). In Skellig individual experiences drive the story forward.


What we believe in and what we can believe in cannot be taught in a single way. Almond does not value one way over any of the others. However, he does acknowledge that the desire to learn is fundamental.  Formal schools are symbolised by a team sport, football; homeschooling aims to experience the freedom of nature; and Skellig eptomizes the journey of an individual as he makes moral choices, accepts help from others  and finds his own freedom.

The whole book is filled to the brim with teachings of all sorts. There are hidden messages, allusions and symbols everywhere, from the food of the gods (27 and 53) to Michael’s name, which is Biblical, and the repeated mention of Greek myths allows the readers to extend their knowledge even more. Skellig is truly a book that all age groups can explore and enjoy.

November 15, 2015
by 20battyr
1 Comment

Como Prefieres Viajar?

Hola, Hoy voy a hablar sobre la transportacíon que prefiero cuando tengo que viajar.

En la semana, cuando necesito ir en escuela siempre voy en metro, porque el estácion de metro esta cerca de mi casa. Tambíen el tren es muy cómoda, rápido, barato y yo puedo pasar un ratos con mis amigos.  Pero el tren es muy malsano, porque de mananas muchas personas van en tren. A veces, cuando el tren es no operativo o mi corro prisa, mi necesito ir en coche.


Cuando necesito ir para lugares en el centro de ciudad  yo prefiero ir en metro o coche. Porque los tren y coche es muy rápido y cómoda. Pero cuando ir un lugares cerca de mi casa, yo prefiero ir en bicicleta o andar. Tambien no necesito dinero cuando lugares cerca. Para ejemplo,  cuando quiero ir en piscina me gusta montar en mi bicicleta.


Cuando voy en viajes lejos, para ejemplo cuando mi familia va al extranjero*, mi prefiero ir en el avion. Porque el avión es mas rápido y limpio. Tambien el avíon es muy practico cuando volar lejos distancia y seguro.  Pero, cuando ir en avión, llevar muchas tiempo y de vez en cuando los vuelo puede terminar.



November 7, 2015
by 20battyr

Character Elevator Scene Reflection

8B Drama: Elevator Scene3 from YIS Arts on Vimeo.

In drama class we did a small elevator scene. I worked with Will, Airi and Allison. Overall I think the Elevator scene went pretty well, I followed my character and my group worked effectively. We used the elevators space and created a small narrative.

In the scene I used status to enforce the characters of my snobby and annoyed personality to create tension on the elevator to not talk with me. In the scene I told them how I was more important them them to create the difference of status.    I used stereotypes to make my character clear to the audience and to help create my character.  In the scene I was a gang accountant pretending to be a wealthy businessman. I used the stereotype of a snobby businessman to further the idea that he is not all that he seems and inform the audience of my character clearly.  My attitudes were that of someone who does not deal with average people and impatient. I showed this In the scene I took my ID disrespectfully and tried to avoid contact with the other characters in the elevator. Another example of this was my use of my tall overlooking nature and how I tried to not look at the other charactersHe doesn’t care about others conveniences.  During the scene my motivation of getting away with stolen money was shown when the money was seen from my suitcase, allowed the characters to see my darker nature in the scene.   I used a tall physicality to express my ideology of being superior to the other characters.  I used a posh strong English accent to tell the audience my rich upbringing and my snobby nature.  I demonstrated the relationships with the other characters by being passive aggressive and raising my status above them.   In the scene my character developed when the other characters noticed the stolen money in my suitcase. My character became more nervous and less self confident.

In conclusion, This unit I think I made progress from previous years in drama.  I was able to show changes in mood, showing personality subtly and showing character reacting to changing events. In retrospect, I could have showed these changes dramatically especially movement if the scenario offered more movement. Next time I would like to improve on using space well.

November 7, 2015
by 20battyr

Development: Correlation between Indicators

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 7.19.10 PM

Hello, In this blog post I am going to discuss the correlations in the development data for the United Kingdom and India using Gapminder. Firstly, The most obvious correlation I found is between the fertility rate and GDP Per Capita. From the graph one can see that UK has alway ways held an advantage over India in GDP. After the Industrial Revolution, especially 1850-1980 the gap widen dramatically. Now with India’s Industrial Revolution in recent years, it has been catching up. Never the less, clearly fertility rate have affected this gap. The gap might have closed faster had India Fertility dropped quicker. Whereas in the UK the family size dropped 1880s onwards, instead India has remained large only beginning to drop in the 1970s. How can we explain this? Clearly when family size is large, there is more pressure on society to produce schools, housing and jobs. Which means that the government is stretched financially. This also causes many LECD countries in Africa to struggle.

Secondly I found a clear correlation between Literacy rate and Fertility rate . In India, the data shows that as the fertility rate drops the literacy rate increases. whereas in UK it is likely that the literacy rate started high and has remained there. How do we explain this, Because teachers do not have teach big classes, pupil can get more attention and more money is available for each individual school child.

Finally, there is a clear link between HDI and Child Mortality. In India and the United Kingdom, as The HDI increases, the child mortality amount decreases. We can explain this by the use of higher health care opportunities available where more money is available. In a rich and literate society (HDI) health care obviously improves.

Clearly All of these correlations are linked. The HDI is based literacy, GDP/capita and Life expectancy, which in turn really on fertility rate, infant mortality and population growth rates.



November 3, 2015
by 20battyr
1 Comment

Pro Field Studies Blog Post


This years grade 8 field studies was blast! I got to do activities I hadn’t done before and socialise with people outside my class. We did canyoning, rafting, biking, canoeing, climbing and The best part of field studies was the canyoning.  I got to challenge myself to do this new activity and I succeeded. Overall field studies had no worst part. I think the most exciting part of the trip was the mountain biking because I had not practically ridden a bike for a long period of time and I did the activity to a mediocre level. The most scariest part was the 6 meter jump while canyoning, though fearful at first, I pushed the feeling away and completed with good ease.  The most unexpected thing that happened on field studies was how I got to interact with a lot of people that I didn’t usually talk too.  Overall this field studies I learned to have to bring a eager open mind to everything and be willing to take every opportunity that arises.

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