All posts by Thorp

Thought for the Week

You will be your best self when you take time to understand what you really need, feel and want.

(Deborah Day, Film director and writer)

Help us to be true to ourselves. Amen

Yellena James’ Amazing Response to our Students’ Letter

Our Year 7 students sent a letter to the artist Yellena James which was inspired by her art work, and they got in response the most amazing set of letters addressed to each student individually!

See the letter which was sent to Yellena in the USA:

Year 7 students' letter sent to Yellena James
Year 7 students’ letter sent to Yellena James
Year 7 students' letter sent to Yellena James
Year 7 students’ letter sent to Yellena James

And see the response sent as a package back to us:

Yellena's Letters sent back to each student individually
Yellena’s Letters sent back to each student individually
Yellena's Letters sent back to each student individually
Yellena’s Letters sent back to each student individually
Yellena's Letters sent back to each student individually
Yellena’s Letters sent back to each student individually
Yellena's Letters sent back to each student individually
Yellena’s Letters sent back to each student individually

Murals on the Sixth-Form Common Room’s walls

As a way to make the 6th form common room more of a personal social space, some of the year 12 and year 13 students have been working on designing a mural to brighten up the space. The theme was ‘our future’, and we discussed the idea of growth and development, future careers, and the part AGGS plays in all of that. We chose a blossoming tree with various career paths and future options written on the petals. The birds represent development and are flying away from the tree, becoming more unique as they leave the AGGS nest – these birds are also dotted around the common room walls. The project was lead by one of our art teachers, Miss Silver, and pupils worked well as a team with the art department to make the project a reality. This week, in our final week of term, the painting of the mural has finally been completed! We are all very pleased with the outcome, and proud of our new common room space. 😊

Senior Physics conference – July 13 2017

The Trafford Ogden Partnership is just over a year old and AGGS is proud of its status as the Ogden hub school. Like all of the partnerships sponsored by the Ogden Trust, its aim is to “make physics matter”, and brings together physics departments from local schools. We decided to finish the academic year with a day’s celebration of physics and to show Y12s some possible “destinations” provided by their A level physics.

The venue for this event was Altrincham Grammar school for Boys’ spectacular Physics centre and presenters were asked to lead a 30 minute activity as opposed to delivering a lecture.

Several of the presenters were recent AGGS students who were “gently” persuaded to come along and with their stories of: research at CERN, using neutrino detectors to monitor and prevent developing countries building nuclear weapons, building stable structures and polymer research. Maria Violaris and Clarissa Costen provided a Q and A session about studying physics at Oxford, and gave a talk on entropy. Tamzin Owen demonstrated a cloud chamber using dry ice and Kerry Abrams provided a hands-on activity about extruding polymers.

There was a local theme with Salford’s Acoustic Engineering Department being represented by Professor Trevor Cox who demonstrated some cutting edge sound technology used by the media. The Graphene Centre at Manchester University sent along two PhD researchers, Georgia Kime and Fiona Porter, who showed how this material will change the future. Professor Ian Morrison from Salford explained how important hydrogen will become as a future fuel. Paige-Marie from Cavendish Nuclear led a discussion group on the vital subject of assessing and limiting risk in nuclear power stations.

Lloyd Cawthorne introduced students to the Isaac Physics website which aims to develop problem solving skills on-line. Some of the girls from AGGS had met Lloyd at the physics master class in Cambridge earlier this academic year.

The Institute for Research in Schools, already familiar to several AGSB students (who have plans to launch a particle detector by balloon), was introduced to the wider Trafford audience.

Other presenters were: Dave Cotton (astrophysics), Laura Thomas (IRIS), Laurie McClymont (CERN), Jen Wilson (spectroscopes); Toby Lord and Clive Humphries (Civil engineering and structures.)

The day ended with Dr Kerry Abrams (ex AGGS) talking about her educational journey from abandoning A level studies, through FE with young children, study for degrees and now a post at Sheffield University in materials, with a consistent love for learning.

The whole event was extremely well received by the 120 or so participants and there was a real buzz in the atmosphere during the event with students getting to know each other and getting involved in the activities. The water rocket launches were particularly well received. Some quotes from students were “engaging, challenging, inspiring”; “I had a really good day; I was able to talk to current people in STEM careers, met like-minded people and had an insight into A2 physics, as well as participating in fun challenges”.


Raza Nisar
AGGS physics department

Eurovision 2017

Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017

On Monday 17 July, all year 8 students took part in the annual MFL Eurovision competition. This involves learning a song in French, German and Spanish and performing it from memory. The standard of the competition was very high, with wonderful costumes, great singing and some very impressive choreography. The acts were interspersed by some performances from our year 10 language leaders and our year 12 language students. 8-2, representing Spain, were crowned winners for their performance of Alvaros Soler’s El Mismo Sol. Congratulations to all our participants! ¡Felicidades! Gut gemacht! Félicitations!

Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017
Eurovision 2017

Exec School Council

Exec have been super busy pulling together and communicating about all the amazing projects that have happened over this academic year amongst all the year groups. We are very proud of everyone.

Our main focus this year has been upon the Values and embedding these into our school system. Year 10 have helped us do this. We have communicated to staff and students about what our values are and how they were chosen. We have also fundraised and created the Values trees which help to communicate the values around school.
We look forward to embedding these further next year.

AGGS Values

Exec School Council
Exec School Council

Exec School Council

Exec have been super busy pulling together and communicating about all the amazing projects that have happened over this academic year amongst all the year groups. We are very proud of everyone.

Our main focus this year has been upon the Values and embedding these into our school system. Year 10 have helped us do this. We have communicated to staff and students about what our values are and how they were chosen. We have also fundraised and created the Values trees which help to communicate the values around school.
We look forward to embedding these further next year.

AGGS Values

Exec School Council
Exec School Council

School Council – What have we done this year..

Year 7 school council – what have we done?

Suggestion boxes – in order to get the best possible feedback from our forms, we decided we needed a way for them to write suggestions whenever they wanted. A suggestion box, we decided, was a good way to do this. We held a competition for our forms to make a box, and the best one was chosen.

The buddy system – This was main focus for the y7 school council. This project will help new y7’s to settle in faster. Year 8’s will go to their y7 buddies one morning a week, and this will give the y7’s a chance to ask any questions. There will also be a chance to play games as to get to know your form better.


Year 8 School Council

What Y8 School Counncil Have-done-this-year

FandomWe knew that there weren’t enough places for people to sit and work in the library, especially at lunch. Therefore, we fundraised to buy 9 beanbags that you can sit, work or relax on. To do this, we hosted fandom day, a day where lower school dressed up as their favourite characters. We managed to raise enough to cover the cost of the beanbags, AND enough to buy extra books to enjoy! We listened to everyone’s suggestions and managed to whittle them down to a fantastic number of books.

We then designed labels to show everyone who picked up the books what year 8 school council 2017 have achieved. We chose to improve the library as it is a space enjoyed by all students and a relaxing environment. We can go to the library to continue homework, encourage independent learning or simply just to get lost in a book. The beanbags meant there is more seating for students and more people can be encouraged into this magical place.

Our year group school council have worked incredibly hard to work together, listen to ideas and improve our school for everyone. We are grateful for our opportunity to represent our year group in Year 8 School Council 2017, and many of us are standing for School Council in the forthcoming year!


Year 9 School Council

On School council training day, we were told that our project of the year was to redecorate the Medical room and to renovate the Heads of Year Room into a Wellbeing room.

Year 10 School Council
Year 10 School Council
Wellbeing room
Year 10 School Council

We first mind-mapped lots of ideas, and consulted our form groups on whether they liked them. We then chose our favourites to focus on. Next we created a mood board of furniture, activities and colour schemes for the rooms. We decided on a calming blue and cheerful pink, with furniture and soft furnishings in neutral colours.

We found comfortable furniture within our budget and then we consulted Mrs Ogunmyiwa, Mr Beddows and the Wellbeing Ambassadors. Once approved, we created an official floorplan that incorporated our ideas for the new rooms.

We think the Wellbeing room is a fantastic idea for our school community that will improve the mental health of our students as they go through their school lives. The wellbeing room is now a great space to take a time out. It’s currently being put together and painted by the caretakers and should be ready for the new school year in September.


Year 10 School Council

This year has been very productive for year 10 school council. With the Values being implemented across the school year 10 have been embedding these into the expectations for learning and developing the merit criteria. Both of these are now ready for next year and we are looking forward to them being used across school.

The second half of the year we have been gathering and writing posts for the pupil voice blog, we took over this role from year 11 school council when they left for exams.

School Council – What have we done this year..

Year 7 school council – what have we done?

Suggestion BoxSuggestion boxes – in order to get the best possible feedback from our forms, we decided we needed a way for them to write suggestions whenever they wanted. A suggestion box, we decided, was a good way to do this. We held a competition for our forms to make a box, and the best one was chosen.

Best BuddiesThe buddy system – This was main focus for the y7 school council. This project will help new y7’s to settle in faster. Year 8’s will go to their y7 buddies one morning a week, and this will give the y7’s a chance to ask any questions. There will also be a chance to play games as to get to know your form better.


Year 8

What Y8 School Council Have Done This Year

FandomWe knew that there weren’t enough places for people to sit and work in the library, especially at lunch. Therefore, we fundraised to buy 9 beanbags that you can sit, work or relax on. To do this, we hosted fandom day, a day where lower school dressed up as their favourite characters. We managed to raise enough to cover the cost of the beanbags, AND enough to buy extra books to enjoy! We listened to everyone’s suggestions and managed to whittle them down to a fantastic number of books.

BooksWe then designed labels to show everyone who picked up the books what year 8 school council 2017 have achieved. We chose to improve the library as it is a space enjoyed by all students and a relaxing environment. We can go to the library to continue homework, encourage independent learning or simply just to get lost in a book. The beanbags meant there is more seating for students and more people can be encouraged into this magical place.

Our year group school council have worked incredibly hard to work together, listen to ideas and improve our school for everyone. We are grateful for our opportunity to represent our year group in Year 8 School Council 2017, and many of us are standing for School Council in the forthcoming year!


Year 9 School Council

On School council training day, we were told that our project of the year was to redecorate the Medical room and to renovate the Heads of Year Room into a Wellbeing room.

Y9 School Council - Medical-room
Y9 School Council – Medical-room
Y9 School Council - Wellbeing-room
Y9 School Council – Wellbeing-room

We first mind-mapped lots of ideas, and consulted our form groups on whether they liked them. We then chose our favourites to focus on. Next we created a mood board of furniture, activities and colour schemes for the rooms. We decided on a calming blue and cheerful pink, with furniture and soft furnishings in neutral colours.

We found comfortable furniture within our budget and then we consulted Mrs Ogunmyiwa, Mr Beddows and the Wellbeing Ambassadors. Once approved, we created an official floorplan that incorporated our ideas for the new rooms.

We think the Wellbeing room is a fantastic idea for our school community that will improve the mental health of our students as they go through their school lives. The wellbeing room is now a great space to take a time out. It’s currently being put together and painted by the caretakers and should be ready for the new school year in September.


Year 10 School Council

This year has been very productive for year 10 school council. With the Values being implemented across the school year 10 have been embedding these into the expectations for learning and developing the merit criteria. Both of these are now ready for next year and we are looking forward to them being used across school.

Expectations for learning

School Merit Criteria

The second half of the year we have been gathering and writing posts for the pupil voice blog, we took over this role from year 11 school council when they left for exams.

Lunchtime Concert – Summertime

Lunchtime Concert - Summertime
Lunchtime Concert – Summertime

This week we were treated to a lunchtime concert entitled ‘Summertime’ given by some talented staff from AGGS. This is a first for the school and came about as a result of Ms Mayall discovering that Mrs Butt (Trips co-ordinator) is an RNCM vocal music graduate in pop/jazz.

Thanks go to all 7 performers who gave up their time to rehearse for this event: Mrs Dickinson (voice), Mr Hodgson (banjo/voice), Mrs Hulme (voice), Mrs Stokes (cello), Mrs Butt(voice) and Ms Mayall (piano). Repertoire ranged from a piano Rachmaninov prelude to main song from Whistle down the Wind. Mrs Stokes also played Summertime on her cello, in keeping with the theme.
Thanks also to Miss Bown for assisting us with sound and photos and to Mrs Brennan and Mrs Butt for co-ordinating the flyer/programme.

Lunchtime Concert - Summertime
Lunchtime Concert – Summertime
Lunchtime Concert - Summertime
Lunchtime Concert – Summertime
Lunchtime Concert - Summertime
Lunchtime Concert – Summertime
Lunchtime Concert - Summertime
Lunchtime Concert – Summertime
Lunchtime Concert - Summertime
Lunchtime Concert – Summertime
Lunchtime Concert - Summertime
Lunchtime Concert – Summertime
Lunchtime Concert - Summertime
Lunchtime Concert – Summertime
Lunchtime Concert - Summertime
Lunchtime Concert – Summertime