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!
By Lucy W 8-4
Manchester University is prided as being one of the best for physics in England and their labs rumoured to be phenomenal; luckily for us at AGGS we were given the chance to visit on the 20th June. Two students from each form with an interest in science – specifically physics – rendezvoused at reception at 8;30 am before setting off in a trundling bundle of a mini-bus clad in casual clothes with small rucksacks on our backs.
Sitting in the bus, noses buried in magazine articles about string theory and LQT, we rode to the university where we were greeted and joined forces with Stretford and Well acre. We were split into groups (I was in a group with three others, Kitty, Christabel and myself – we had yellow stickers with silver drones on our chests). We were given an introductory lecture where we discussed engineering’s effect on history including the epidemic of cholera 200 years ago resulting in the development of reservoirs to extinguish the threat of dirty water in a very controversial campaign on their behalf before moving on to the cost of the life of lighting and how it changed: the early 1800s where 1 hour of work gave you 10 minutes of candle light explaining (in a way) the common illiteracy rate to today where 1 hour at the minimum wage produces 3 years of life on an LED. Thanks to engineers.
Our first task consisted of debating and pooling our answers to the questions: “What have you used electricity for today?” and “How have engineers improved your life today?” resulting in a variety of answers: for the first, electric utensils, devices, projectors traffic lights and more; for the second, there was plumbing, travel, infrastructure, medicine, electronics and even food among other things to demonstrate how much engineers do. After all, everything man-made was touched by an engineer in some way in its path to perfections – the career is immense.
Secondly, we received some equipment: a boiling tube, some wire, a voltage metre and a magnet then told to produce a voltage. Through this experiment we demonstrated Faraday’s law of magnetic induction whereby cutting the lines of a magnetic field with an electric current creates a voltage and that voltage increases in a variety of ways: using a more powerful magnet, increasing the
magnet’s speed, adding more coils to the wire or condensing the wire coils as all this means the field is being sliced more lines at a faster rate. To demonstrate this phenomenon, we wrapped the wire around the boiling tube and connected it to the metre before moving the magnet within the wires. We could also have done it vice versa by moving an electric current with in the magnet. We varied several factors such as type of magnet placing and shape of the wires and the way we moved the magnet before reaching volts from 120 to 150 by the end.
Afterwards, we engaged in some very stimulating conversations about careers, science and ethics with the STEM ambassadors as we discussed their qualifications, inspiration, career path and interest. They were emphatic and eager to debate answers for all our questions. Their enthusiasm I found inspiring paired with their knowledge and made me consider jobs in engineering I’d never thought of – they happily introduced themselves and explained their different fields with enrapture and understanding. Interviewing professionals was exciting as well as educating; we left with a rejuvenated and happy curiosity.
Lunch followed and soon it was back to experiments: demonstrating and discovering the factors effecting the voltage produced by a wind turbine. Firstly, we varied the angles of our instruments: the blades, the fan and turbine. Moreover, we reduced and increased and then varied the size of the blades before concluding that the more blades the better however if the weight is increased too much then the turbine wouldn’t spin. The same goes for their size as the bigger the blade the better for catching the wind but the weight could hold it down. Also, the opportune angle would be 45 degrees as at 90 the wind does not glance off and push it around despite hitting it full force and 0 does not catch wind at all whereas 45 is the perfect middle ground; however, I could understand why engineers decided to settle with fewer big blades despite by conclusions.
Overall, the trip was an immense success: we learnt about things we most likely won’t learn this year or maybe next and sent us away with our minds buzzing with questions and answers in a call and response fashion. I personally came away asking myself whether I was sure with what I wanted to do in the future and what engineers will do next. Well, I guess we can only wait.
This week, 75 students in years 7 to 9 undertook their LAMDA examinations at school over two days. Depending on the year group, students did grade 3, 4 or 5. They were expected to perform a piece of prose and poetry to the examiner and had to answer theoretical questions about both texts.
Well done to all involved – we shall find out the results in September!
Over the course of the summer term, year 9 students have been working on a cross-curricular dance and drama project on the issue of cyberbullying. Their task has been to devise a performance which includes both disciplines and aims to teach a year 7 audience about cyberbullying – encouraging the audience to consider the problems with misusing social media and the impact that this can have.
The pieces were then performed in front of year 7 and were a real success. Year 9 were incredibly creative in the various ways they chose to share their message on cyberbullying and students imaginatively used music, lighting costumes and props to enhance their performance. Well done year 9 and thank you for being a great audience year 7!
We have been very fortunate that Willmott Dixon agreed to deliver a second Enterprise day to the whole of Year 10 on Friday 14th July.
“The Willmott Dixon enterprise day is designed to encourage employability skills, whilst highlighting curriculum links to the construction industry”.
During the morning the groups completed 3 team building tasks and were awarded points not only for the result but also how well they communicated together and worked as a team. The points were then totalled and this was then used to work out their budget for the build of a new school.
Each group had to calculate how many classrooms they needed; receptions, staff rooms, sports facilities; swimming pool etc. They then used the costing sheets to calculate how much their school would cost. It was a very fraught day especially when disaster struck at lunchtime and they had to spend £5,000,000 in order to fix the problem.
Each of the groups had to present their ideas to the judges and an overall winner was chosen. The winning group were Caitlin Dennehy, Natasha Devbhandari, Diana Gibbons, Imogen Gordon, Poppy Hall and Olivia Davey-Bashir from 10-5. Next term they will have the opportunity to visit a building in Manchester which is currently being constructed by Willmott Dixon. This will be a fantastic opportunity to see the range of career opportunities and progression paths available in the construction industry.
We look forward to working with Willmott Dixon again next year as it was a fantastic day and all of the students enjoyed it but more importantly they not only built on their enterprise skills but also learnt about possible career paths.
GCSE Computing students visited UKFast this term to experience working life in a multi-award winning digital business. It’s a business renowned for its innovation and fun culture as well as being one of the UK’s leading cloud hosting and colocation firms. UKFast was launched and founded in a back bedroom in 1999 by Lawrence and Gail Jones (Gail is a former AGGS student).
The visit involved a tour of their state of the art office and gave career tips and ideas from experts to help our students prepare a career for the future. UKFast are always looking for talent and they want to encourage more females into their business. They offer work experience placements and a number of Year 10’s are hoping to get the chance to experience working there.
And of course they had the chance to go down the infamous UKFast slide!
We are delighted to announce that Sophie H and Trisha S won the KS4 category of the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition at a National Celebration of the MFL poetry event at MMU.
Trisha and Sophie have been invited to read out French poems which they wrote and entered for the competition at MMU. We were only allowed to enter four poems, so to have two being read out and winning awards is a great achievement. The students wrote their poems unaided.
They were interviewed by That’s Manchester TV, and were very impressive by the natural way they talked to the interviewer. As is to be expected, Sophie and Trisha were a credit to the school in their behaviour and in what they said to people during the proceedings.
See below the interview on That’s Manchester TV news (There is a bit about book benches first – the poetry starts at about 1 min 5 sec):
Congratulations to our new team of head girls, who have recently been appointed following a rigorous application process. The roles have changed this year and the head girls will now lead the seven main student groups that work throughout the school. We were extremely impressed with the calibre of the candidates, in every step of the application process. Applicants were a credit to themselves and the school and it was a difficult decision to select only seven students. We are very much looking forward to working with our new team next year and developing these roles further.
Head girls responsible for school council: Celine B and Florence A
Head girl responsible for wellbeing: Nydile R
Head girl responsible for anti bullying: Tara M
Head girl responsible for peer mentoring and lower school links: Jyotsna A
Head girl responsible for student digital leaders: Mehar A
Head girl responsible for charity committee: Lybah H
Next years’ GCSE Computing students were given the opportunity of entering the Siemens Rollercoaster challenge. In groups of five they had to create a working replica of a rollercoaster using a kinnex kit. We had six teams competing against each other to represent the school at the finals at the Etihad stadium on 5th July. On open evening we asked perspective parents to vote on which rollercoaster they thought was the best. The winning team consisted of Tarunya, Rijuta, Eisha, Arushi and Vismaya. Mr Roberts and Mrs Turpin accompanied the group to the finals and they were both impressed with how confident the girls presented themselves to the judges.
On Thursday 6th July, the year 10 GCSE drama students performed pieces from 6 different plays as part of their GCSE course. All of the extracts were taken from plays that had adapted pre- twentieth century novels and gave the students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of creative adaptation as a style and use some of the techniques they had seen expertly used by Kneehigh theatre company on our recent trip to London. Costumed in a range of top hats, tail coats and Victorian skirts, the students provided a very entertaining evening with outstanding performances. The extracts included Great Expectations, Emma, Jane Eyre, The Hounds of the Baskerville, Little Women and Oliver Twist. Excellent marks were achieved by all. Well done year 10!