John Hampden Grammar School

Written Reports

See below for the written reports that the JHGS School Reporters wrote for their application to be part of the team.




Cut down on energy drinks for Under-16s


Energy drinks should be banned for children under 16, the campaign and research group Action on Sugar says.

Action on Sugar is a group of specialists concerned with sugar and its effects on health. It is successfully working to reach a consensus with the food industry and Government over the harmful effects of a high sugar diet, and bring about a reduction in the amount of sugar in lots of foods.This team surveyed the nutritional labels of 197 drinks found in supermarkets and online.  One had up to 10 teaspoons of sugar per 250ml, twice as much as others surveyed. It is thought teenagers get 30% of their sugar from soft drinks.

Health officials say government campaigns already encourage people to have fewer sugary drinks. Researchers from Action on Sugar are calling for stricter limits on added sugars. They argue that as the body can generate energy from food such as fruits, vegetables, pasta and rice, there is no need for additional sugar beyond this. Their survey includes branded and supermarket products with words like energising, stimulation or caffeine on the product name as well as drinks found in energy drink sections in supermarkets.

Graham MacGregor, professor of medicine at Queen Mary University of London and chairman of Action on Sugar, said: "Children are being deceived into drinking large cans of this stuff, thinking they are going to improve their performance at school, during sports, or even on a night out. 

"In reality all they are doing is increasing their risk of developing obesity or type 2 diabetes which will have lifelong implications on their health.

The British Soft Drinks Association (BDSA) says: "These products are called energy drinks for a reason - they deliver a caffeine or glucose-based energy boost.

"They are now available in a variety of types, flavours and sizes, including a range of low and no-calorie options, so that consumers have a much wider choice.

"BSDA members do not promote energy drinks to children under 16 and all products are clearly labelled in compliance with EU regulations."

Dr Alison Tedstone of Public Health England said: "Energy drinks are usually high in sugar, which causes tooth decay, and also high in calories."Teenagers are consuming 50% more sugar than the maximum recommended amount and the biggest contribution comes from sugary drinks. "The Change4Life Sugar Swaps campaign aims to help families cut down on their sugar intake by making simple changes like swapping sugary drinks for water, lower-fat milks or sugar-free, diet, no added sugar drinks."

Both the World Health Organisation and government advisers in England have recently proposed a cut in their recommendations for daily sugar consumption.



Girls join ISIS, colleagues and staff at school confused

Girls from a London school have left the country and appear to be joining the ISIS movement in Syria. This leaves all friends and teachers puzzled.

The girls, Amira Abase, Shamima Begum and Kadiza Sultana escaped their homes using various excuses. Their whereabouts are unknown, however they are suspected of joining the ISIS movement after a flight from London to Istanbul.

There is fear for the wellbeing of these girls as they have been urged to join by a friend, already in Syria. As well as the fear of influence by the escapees, to their colleagues in the London school, that may persuade them to take the flight as well.

The parents of the girls are urging them to come home and that they are not in trouble, which may be a bad idea, as they could have the opportunity to persuade colleagues to join the movement face to face.

There are thoughts that it would be beneficial for the girls to stay out of the country, so that they do not influence others and put even more young lives in danger.

Active feelings are being openly presented by the families of the escapee girls, as the sister of Shamima says "To convince such young girls at that age that are so vulnerable... it's just wrong."

There are to be various talks in schools around London relating to this matter, to ensure that the influence rate by ISIS is kept to a minimum for youngsters in the UK, as it could potentially ruin their entire lives with the risk of death.


Chicanery in the Commons: How the dishonesty amongst MPs could affect young people


FOLLOWING the news last week that Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind, and Labour’s Jack Straw, have been suspended, after the exposure of the scandal in which they would give a private company ‘useful access’ to British officials in exchange for cash, BBC News considers how this may affect young voters.
The recent news is just one of a series of incidents, in which MPs from the main political parties have been dishonest, from the expenses scandal in 2009, even to child abuse enquiries into seven MPs late last year.         
These high profile issues, combined with the huge quantity of confusing policies that the Labour and Conservative parties are putting across, are just some of the reasons why today’s youth may not be voting in the General Election in May. A recent official survey showed that 42% of 16-24 year olds had no interest in British Politics, another warning signal that politicians are completely out of touch with their younger electorate.
As well as this, the survey found that young people value more working class politicians; so with dishonest upper-class MPs such as Sir Malcolm Rifkind complaining about their salaries that are almost 3 times the national average, it is no wonder that only 41% of 18-24 year olds are predicted to vote in the UK election. John Bercow MP, speaker of the House of Commons, spoke out to say that “Young people are not a lost cause as far as electoral participation is concerned.” However, with their expressed lack of interest in politics, recent high-profile scandals, their dislike for upper-class MPs, and confusing policies from the main parties: it is very probable that many young people will not be voting this May.



Energy drinks should be banned for children who are under 16 years old.

Energy drinks contain lots of sugar which can be harmful for children and can lead to obesity as well as type 2 diabetes. Most energy drinks contain 10 teaspoons of sugar in 250ml and it is believed that teenagers get 30% of their sugar from energy drinks as published in the health section of BBC News. 

Many groups such as ‘Action on Sugar’ are protesting and calling for strict limits on sugar in energy drinks. The body can obtain as much energy from energy drink as from healthy foods such as: pasta, bread, rice and vegetables and therefore there is no real requirement for these harmful energy drinks.

The reason for so much sugar in energy drinks is to cancel out the bitter taste of caffeine (an addictive substance) which is also added in these drinks. Caffeine is a stimulant which makes you more alert and awake. Side effects can include a higher blood pressure, headache and nausea.

Graham MacGregor, from ‘Action on Sugar’ says, ‘Children are being deceived into drinking large cans of this stuff, thinking they are going to improve their performance’. He believes that energy drinks are useless and do not help you with sport in any way and give you too much sugar.

The ‘Change4Life’ campaign encourages parents to swap energy drinks for sugar-free options and to have no added sugar in foods and drinks as well. The high sugar in drinks can lead to many problems in children including: tooth decay, obesity and chance of developing diabetes which can prove to be fatal.

Teenagers consume 50% more sugar than is recommended in a day due to the over consumption of high sugary energy drinks.

The amount of sugar in energy drinks needs to be considerably lowered in these energy drinks to make them healthier as well as reducing the amount of caffeine in the drinks.