Featured
From: St Osmunds
On the 26th September, a beluga whale drifted up from the Arctic and was found swimming in the river Thames, in Gravesend near Kent. It's the most southerly sighting of a beluga ever.  Rescue teams from the Port of London Authority (or PLA) are on permanent standby in case the whale, who seems to have lost its way 1500 miles from its natural habitat, gets into any danger. Martin Garside of the PLA  said there had been many discussions about rescuing the beluga and ferrying it out to sea, but it would be a very distressing task for the animal. He said it would preferable if it could make its way out to the ocean naturally. Mr Garside also warned: “the many onlookers who circle around in boats, fly drones over the whale’s head and gather in droves along the river banks should leave it in peace”. This is not the first time a whale has swam up the Thames. In 2006, 2013 and 2016, whales have been washed up into the river but none of them were a beluga. Belugas are the smallest of all whales. They look like large dolphins, reaching 4 metres in length. They are easily recognized by the white colour of their skin and bulbous foreheads (called "melons"). They are also known as ‘the Canaries of the Seas” because of their very distinctive voices. There is a natural concern about plastic pollution levels in the Thames. Would the beluga eat well, and would it survive? New reports from the 6th October suggest it is ‘foraging normally’ and Martin Garside stated that: ''This whale has stayed in the same spot for more or less six days, which is a relief. Other whales have been in a hurry to get back but this whale has got comfortable.” Most of the whale’s movements are being tracked by experts of the PLA from a boat moored to a barge which causes minimum stress to the whale. It has now been nicknamed Benny the Beluga. As this article is published, Benny appears to be in no hurry to leave the river and return to the sea and experts warn he could stay there for months. If it still here by spring, and the Thames warms up, Benny could be airlifted from the Thames and flown 1,150 miles to Iceland in an extraordinary "Free Willy-style" rescue mission. We will of course keep you posted. In the meanwhile, we wish Benny good luck and to stay safe! By: Elise, Eve and Florence  
UK
From: Barnes
This year it was the largest ever CircusWorks children's festival. There were six days of circus performances, workshops and masterclasses. There were 15 circus's attending for six days of non-stop circus. It took place in Newcastle-under-Lyme, the birthplace of Philip Ashley, inventor of circus in Britain.  There were three big tops in 'the circus village', and four shows took place including: The youth show, The gala performance, Lexicon and the fire show. There were children from eight to 18 all learning and performing in the same tents. Also, the circus olympics took place in the circus village with many very silly, random and skillful games.  There was: Hula hoop gladiators, diablo throwing, sock, shirt and five pence juggling.  On the final day there was a parade through the town on stilts and using handheld equipment.
From: Barnes
Ministers have marked a third runway as being an ''historic moment for the UK ", but many people disagree with the cabinet. You may be thinking what is the point of a third runway after all pollution is already bad in London. True pollution is not brilliant in London but their are plus sides too for a third runway at Heathrow airport. First of all, Heathrow is already falling behind other airports due to it only having two runways which means delays are more common because if one fails there is only one which is nowhere near enough to keep one of the world's busiest airports running smoothly. They are also proposing to add a sixth terminal which would increase Heathrow's capacity by 50 million annually. With other airports having 3-8 runways it is no wonder Heathrow is struggling to keep up with  other airports. Another plus side of the Heathrow expansion plans are that customs will be quicker and it is possible that  ticket prices might get lower. For airlines like British Airways, their landing tax will be cheaper, delays will become less and less frequent and with the increase in amount of gates BA will be able to fly more flights daily with cheaper prices which means London will be accessible to more people which means more money for shops and of course the government which will mean cheaper prices for everyone! You may be wondering why didn't Heathrow expand before. Well of course we would have done it before if there were no downsides. But there are several. Pollution is one and houses will be knocked down to make way for the expansion. Those locals are already living with atrocious noise and the government will rehouse them. Children living in the area will have to move and will have to get an education elsewhere which is bad for local schools but at least they would have moved away from noisy Heathrow. Unfortunately, moving schools is always a hassle and leaving home is always is always a sad and tricky time where things can get really upsetting. But this does not mean they won't settle and in 20 years if the proposal goes to plan maybe it will turn out that it was a good move. Heathrow's expansion has been debated for decades now and ultimately we won't know what the right decision was until the 2040s. There were of course other options. One was building a new airport on the Thames Estuary and closing down Heathrow. Another option was keeping Heathrow operational and making it a secondary International Hub and making the main airport Gatwick. The recent vote which was held on Tuesday the 26'th  June  was won by the government  415-119. This clearly shows that the MPs and the government are now backing the Heathrow plans. You may think public transport will get really busy on the underground but a new tube line going directly to Heathrow will increase the amount of space on the tube for people going to Heathrow. INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT HEATHROW: Did you know in 2015 alone over 75 million passengers passed through Heathrow? Did you know British airways operate over 40% of the gates at Heathrow and is the airline with the most gates at Heathrow. Second is Virgin Atlantic and third is Aer Lingus. Did you know that Heathrow has over 35 restaurants?    
From: St Osmunds
At St Osmund's, our Primary School in South West London, we met the Whale Company. They held a very inspirational talk about their battle to combat Plastic Pollution.  Although plastic can be beneficial - only 24% is recycled, meaning that 76% ends up either in land fill or worse - our rivers and the ocean. There they never biodegrade. We are a school very close to the River Thames and what they said and showed us was shocking and made us really want to help. What does the Whale Company do? Carolyn and Carlos founded The Whale Company 12 years ago after realising that the amount of plastic in our rivers and oceans was rising and killing whales and other marine life. This was long before Blue Planet made us all realise how close we were to environmental catastrophe. They started making paddle boards using plastic bottles, and have done some very hard paddle marathons in many different countries across Europe. Their action have attracted media attention and changed how many of those countries deal with plastic recycling and use. They are currently paddling down the Thames from its source to the sea. Next week they will deliver messages and solution ideas to our Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, in Parliament. They hope, as we do, that this will help change the way Great Britain deals with plastic pollution What do they say? They told us:  " We know MPs are talking about plastic pollution a lot more today and it’s going in the right direction, but we need to take immediate action – not to just talk about it for years.” For Carolyn and Carlos, local government needs to be more active because “we’re all confused about how to recycle, it varies between boroughs and needs to be standardised and supermarkets and shops need to understand that we don’t want all this plastic". Some countries have already been great at banning plastic items,  and people's habits are changing, but now the rest need to follow and act fast. Raising Money for The Whale Company We also were proud that the small "charity" we founded at St Osmund's, H.A.N.D, was able to help raise some money for the Whale Company's amazing paddle marathon down the Thames. H.A.N.D stands for Helpless Animals Need Defence - and we are fighting to solve the problem of pollution, deforestation and poaching once and for all. We have the same ambition as all those animal charities fighting for wildlife to thrive again and the Whale Company really moved us into action. We were very proud to sponsor the Whale Company giving roughly 220 pounds from cake sale and speeches. We might not be able be right by the Thames supporting them by their side, but we will all be thinking of them and we know that they will have a great impact. We wish them a great marathon and best of luck at Parliament. By : Millie, Isla and Amelie