Unit 10

Final Focus Group Report

After finishing my portfolio of work, it was time to get final feedback from the class, which is amongst my target audience of people from Sheffield between the ages 16-25. Once I had chosen and shown a select amount of my copy to the group, I had a feedback sheet with three questions where they could write and give their opinions on my pieces.

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The Spinster Club Trilogy book review by Holly Bourne

The first book in this trilogy is called Am I Normal Yet? where we follow the main character Evie on her journey through normal teenage life but she has severe OCD, which as you can imagine, makes ‘normal’ things so much harder. The book deals with mental illnesses in such a good way, it doesn’t glorify it, doesn’t romanticise, just shows it for what it is which is hard, and at times heartbreaking. It is such a real book that educates and raises awareness about something as important as mental health. The book also has a large feminism side to it, which becomes more and more of a topic throughout the three books.

The second book is called How Hard Can Love Be? where we are now following Amber, who we met during Am I Normal Yet? along with Lottie, Evie’s best friends. This book has some very positive aspects, one of them being the strong female friendships which you rarely see amongst the YA genre. Another thing it deals with, which is a large aspect of the book is parental problems, and not the everyday arguments type. Amber leaves things behind at home in the UK, to go visit her mum in america in an attempt to fix their relationship or get some sort of apology. This is where the having a recovering alcoholic as a mother comes in, it does not sugar coat the situation, and it certainly deals with it in a real and raw way, where we are shown whats its like and we feel as though you are on Ambers journey with her. Of course their is the romantic side to the story, which is hinted at in the title, but the book itself is so much more than that. Again, this book has the feminism aspect that all three have, and it is represented in such a good, understandable and educating way.

The third is called Whats a girl Gotta Do? and this is where the feminism really takes off. Lottie, our now main character has always been the one out of all three girls to be the most vocal about her feminist views, and this is definitely shown in this book. Lottie set herself a project to call out any form of sexism she sees and she does this, until the very last line of the book. This book shows you to always follow what you believe in and to never give up no matter how hard it gets, because if you do, you might not reach what you’re aiming for.

Holly Bourne is a great YA author with books that are 100% worth the read. If you are a young person wanting to be introduced to the act of feminsm, this trilogy will be great for you.





Social Media: Good or Bad?

Social media has become a huge part of today’s society, especially amongst the younger people.

While it is good for many things such as expressing yourself and voicing your opinions etc it also has the negatives that every person seems to be wary of.

According to Pew Research Center 81% of online teens use some kind of social media.

Sophie Jeffries, 17 said: “I think social media is a great thing, on a global scale we are more connected and more socially aware of the social issues going on in the world. We can communicate with people as much as we want whether they live down the road or across the country. It shows how the world is evolving form cave man right up to now”

From a poll held on twitter, 73% of people believe that social media is overall a good thing, but that may be a biased view due to it being held on a social media platform.

Aside from all the great things social media brings, there are also the obvious negatives.

There is constant risk of  being exposed to online negativity such as bullying or someone pretending to be somebody that they are not, which can also lead to worse things later on, if it gets to that point.

As a whole, social media is great and you can achieve many things from it, but there are always precautions to take that is advised by many people that you come across whether it be from a young age at primary school or later on when things become more serious.

Make sure to enjoy and embrace modern day social media whilst also keeping safe.


Top 5 Christmas songs

December has arrived, and that means one thing, Christmas. Christmas is everywhere by now and it probably has been for the past month, but now the radios are playing Christmas songs and even the biggest scrooges are singing along.

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues and Kirsty McColl


Honestly, the greatest of all time.

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The ‘Hero’ Generation

With the fairly recent brexit situation and the recent US Presidential Election, it is becoming more apparent that younger people are more generally aware than recent years.

In June 2016, the UK voted whether they wanted to leave or remain in the European union, which resulted in the UK leaving.

Early November, Donald Trump was elected the new president of the United States.

Both of these matters caused a lot of discussion, in person and over social media amongst the younger generations.

When it came to Britain leaving the EU, a lot of the younger people felt as though their voice hadn’t been heard.

Samantha Harrison, 31 said: “I do feel that the younger people were thinking about the bigger picture when it came to brexit. Everybody’s opinion mattered and was correct, but some people were just voting for all the wrong reasons, like immigration etc. There was also a lot of misunderstanding and twisting of stories throughout the whole thing. It was a confusing time but I feel we’ll be ok and believe in the younger generation”

When it comes to the younger generations, people talk about how they will be the ones soon in charge, and how there is so much hope and potential within them, after seeing how they think and act.

According to the guardian “The results found that 64% of those young people who were registered did vote and more than 75% of young votes chose to remain in the EU”

This not including those under the age of 18 who do not have the right to vote, but voiced their opinions in others ways where it was shown that if allowed, they would of voted remain.

Armistice Day in London (photo Journalism)



Thousands of people pay their respects to the fallen by laying poppy’s with words of gratitude.

Every year thousands of people show up at the Armistice Day parade in London.

“I’ve been coming to London with my family for the armistice weekend for a few years now, and you’re constantly surrounded with so much respect and gratitude”

Remembrance Sunday is held in London every year the Sunday nearest to 11/11.

Mental Health in Books

Mental Health is an issue that we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about. It is a part of many peoples lives and something that many people live with, so when it comes to ourselves we shouldn’t feel the need to hide what we are going through. It has become apparent that over the last few years, more and more teens are struggling with mental health issues.

When it comes to mental health, you will find that people advice you to find something that comforts you to help get through the little bumps. One thing that a lot of people hang onto is books, understandably. Not only can you get lost in another world for a while, books can also make you realise that you are not alone.

Mental health is a very important aspect of life that should never be ignored, so for it to be a subject in a book is helpful. It helps to show that not all YA fiction is fluffy romances, and that what it is, is people dealing with real problems. When reading a book, you could come across your solution, maybe you’re feeling some sort of way and you just can’t work out what it is, reading about somebody else who is going through the the same thing will help a whole lot. Not only does reading these types of books help somebody dealing with a mental health issue, it also helps to raise awareness. Not only is it important for the person going through it to understand, it is important for some one who isn’t to understand too. This way they can be of help when somebody is in need, instead of having no idea what to do or say.

Books are just as educational as the stuff that is taught in a classroom. You can learn so many things when reading a book, weather it be about different mental health issues, different sexualities, world issues, anything. You never know what you will learn when you are picking up a new book, if anything it can teach you things you won’t learn about it classrooms.

The next time you go searching for a book, maybe look for one that deals with a Mental Health issue, you never know who it may help. Whether that may be you, or somebody else around you.


Hidden Secrets

There are hidden places all around Sheffield and you will find them when you’re looking and even when you’re not.

Not far from Hillsborough college, there is an old Victorian graveyard hidden away just around the corner, where anybody can visit.
pbyvxhefThere are a lot of stories within the graves, it gives you an insight as to who people were, what they did and how they lived.

The detached churchyard holds a lot of history, so much so that you can almost see and feel it as you walk through.

The friends of Wardsend cemetery said on their website that the Cemetery has a distinct military influence due to its close proximity to Hillsborough Barracks. The obelisk monument commemorates the soldiers of 6th, 19th, 24th, 33rd, 51st, 55th Regiments of Foot, Victorian Army, who died whilst at Hillsborough Barracks during the period 1866 – 1869.

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Should schools change the way they teach art?

Should schools change the way they teach art?

Lately, more and more students feel as though they are pushed to learn subjects that they are not good at and not encouraged to flourish in the ones that they are.

Throughout school, from a young age you are taught that things like English, Maths and Science are the most important subjects and you must be good at them to succeed in life.

Matt Windle, 18, art student at Hillsborough college said “Art was always my favourite subject in school but we were definitely always pushed and encouraged to focus on the more academic subjects, which is unfortunate”

Over the years there has been a lot of talk of schools wanting to eliminate the more creative subjects, which luckily, they haven’t done yet.

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