On Thursday 1st February 23 of our year 12 students spent the day at Whitworth Hall listening to talks from some of the UK’s top scientists. Speakers such as Professor Robert Winston and Steve Jones led us though some fascinating topics, from the science of laughter and why we laugh, to the problems we do and will face due antibiotic resistance, trying to fathom huge numbers in relation to the different species on our planet and the ethics and issues surrounding cutting edge technologies.
Here are some thoughts from some of our students who went:
“All the lectures were awesome and showed us how biology can be used in research…. They also motivated me to read more into biology, further from what we are taught in the curriculum.” (Urwaa K)
“I really enjoyed the biology live and found many of the lectures fascinating. I particularly liked the science of laughter as it was very interesting considering a normal everyday action yet there’s so much more to it that you never think about. I was also surprised at how many species there are and how few we focus on. The lecture about microbes was also interesting, as it is such an important topic that can impact the future, yet there is not that much work being done on it.” (Abigail H)
“Each lecture was highly interesting. I particularly enjoyed the lecture about the vast diversity and distribution of species on Earth. The lecture on the science of laughter was very informative and it made me more aware of how human behaviour can be studied in biology.” (Iman G)
We arrived back safely last night at midnight from the Augsburg exchange. Students stayed with host families and took part in 4 days’ work experience in a variety of placements, including schools, a fair trade shop, the tourist information office, a lawyer and an architect. They really enjoyed experiencing German culture at first hand and benefited hugely from the opportunity to practise their German, both in the workplace and with their partners.
‘I would just like to inform you about the fantastic charity work that was carried out by a number of your pupils, Flora W and some of her friends voluntarily came to sing carols on Friday 22nd December at Starbucks in Altrincham during their lunch time to help raise money for St Ann’s Hospice. They were absolutely brilliant and very professional too! They helped us raise a brilliant total of £500.00 that afternoon and they really were fantastic and an asset to your school.‘
Last Tuesday lunchtime, 12th December, a small group of singers went along to Starbucks to help out the St Ann’s hospice fundraisers.
St Ann’s hospice were grateful and said that they received more donations from passers-by while we were singing. We all got into the festive spirit, singing a variety of traditional carols as well as Have Yourself a merry little Christmas and our favourite, Carol of the Bells!
We are delighted to announce that two of our Year 12 students have been successful in an Enterprise Competition which has gained them each an individual prize of an iPad as well as a cheque for £2,500 for the school.
Zara A and Shufei C were the winning team members in the Together Enterprise Challenge which was open to students aged 15-18 from schools across the North West.
They had to prepare a Business Plan to win the backing of the judges who were the CEO and three senior directors of Together Financial Services in Cheadle.
The challenge was to create a business which utilised the facilities of a large country house in Cheshire, which had fallen into disrepair, using the financial loans provided by Together. Zara and Shufei came up with the idea of a Social Enterprise leisure centre specifically targeting people with mental health issues who wanted fun and exercise in a caring environment.
The competition was launched in September by the Enterprise Department of Mrs Gillibrand and Mrs Gerrard and since then the students have been working on their plan alongside the four other teams from our school who entered the competition.
Three teams completed the challenge and made their pitches in late November and the two successful teams were selected to go through to the finals by a panel which included Mrs Gillibrand, Mrs Gerrard and Mr Murray.
At the finals on Monday 4th December our other team of Kayleigh C, Hira K and Martha W gave a wonderful presentation on their Escape Room idea and were highly commended for their originality by the judges.
In choosing their winning team the judges were highly impressed with not only the extremely passionate and professional quality of Zara and Shufei’s presentation but also by the extensive research which went into their business plan.
Both students who joined AGGS sixth form from other schools were delighted with their success and have received a massive boost to their confidence.…as well as their Apple collections.
Between 6-17th November, we held our Year 12 ‘Careers Fortnight’. The aim of this fortnight was to provide Year 12 students with resources and information to help them to make more informed decisions about what they might wish to do post 18, whether it is university, an apprenticeship scheme, a gap year or employment.
Activities included a trip to Sheffield University, where students attended a talk about how to choose a university, tour of the university campus and a sample lecture. Students had the opportunity to take part in a workshop, ‘The Hidden Job Market,’ where they were able to network with employers from the grocery industry and hear about their different interesting jobs and their journeys to reach them. The aim of the workshop was to encourage students to reflect on the opportunities available to them in the future, and what they can be doing now to get there. We were also delighted to welcome a number of visitors into school, who kindly volunteered their time to offer practice 1:1 interviews for each student in Year 12. We invited various careers speakers and ex-students to give talks in assemblies, lessons and at lunchtime.
Thank you to all of those who were involved in making this such a success.
“We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist . . . using technologies that haven’t been invented . . . in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”
The 2017 Ryman National Enterprise Challenge final was held at The International Centre, Telford on Tuesday 4th July. The event saw the winning teams from over 120 schools come together to compete against each other. High street retailer and stationery giant, Ryman set students the task of creating an app for Ryman’s. The students had to convince the panel that the app can engage with Rymans customers and also create revenue, increase brand awareness or improve the customer service. The Study Room from 9-1 who consisted of Sarah, Natasha, Anna, Khadeejah, Eloise and Mary represented the school and did themselves and the school proud. They were chosen as one of the four schools out of fifty-five
to present their pitch to a packed auditorium including Theo Paphitis! Unfortunately they weren’t crowned the overall winners but Sarah Wide was awarded the KS3 most enterprising student and was given a framed certificate and two passes to Alton Towers.
The students had a good day as the event was hosted by children’s TV legends Sam and Mark. There was a guest speech from Jo Clarke – Olympic Gold medallist in kayaking – who came to the finals to tell his story first hand and to show the students that if you want something enough – then anything really is possible – “Hard work and dedication pays off”. Theo Paphitis headed up the judging panel and hosted a Q&A with the students – “Be inspired by everything around you, use everything as inspiration”.
Well done to Sarah, Natasha, Anna, Khadeejah, Eloise and Mary – we have definitely got some budding entrepreneurs within the school.
On Friday, 7th July we invited volunteers into school to conduct practice interviews with our Year 10 pupils as part of their Careers Day.
The day started off with an inspirational talk from one of our Alumnae, Alex Thorpe who works in marketing for VIMTO drinks. This was followed by a CV writing skills session, a session with the RAF and Army and a workshop delivered by our Connexions Adviser on labour market information.
Throughout the day, year 10 were having practice interviews with volunteers from Barclays Bank, Tesco, Unilever, St.Mary’s Hospital to name a few and many of
whom were parents. We are extremely grateful to them for kindly giving up their busy working day to interview our pupils. The interviews were an introduction to ‘real life’ interviews which gave the girls an insight into the world of work.
To attach a sense of reality and importance to the day, the girls were asked to come into school wearing smart business attire. There were some very smart young ladies indeed, who would have been readily employed by our interviewers! We received many comments from the interviewers complimenting the pupils on their high standard and quality of responses to questions.
On Wednesday 5th July, some of the Year 11 students who competed so successfully in the Alan Turing Cryptography Competition, run by the University of Manchester, returned to school to run a cryptography competition of their own. All of year 7 got to hear some of the tips and tricks Helen, Fiona, Miranda, Antonia, Hannah, Katie, Amy and Ellie had learned through the competition and then took part in a competition planned and executed to perfection. Four codes, designed to test the skills of the year 7s revealed the code to a safe, containing prizes for the winning team. One year 7 student said: “We had a great time breaking the codes- I didn’t realise it could be so much fun!”
8 x year 10 girls took part in the competition sponsored by Kelloggs They had to design a cereal bar. They had to build a model in the factory they would make it in, set out costings and marketing ideas and then present their pitch to the dragons. They were amazing and we all had a great day developing our understanding of the process of manufacturing, improving our team work and presentation skills. Well done to all of them.