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.
On Friday 19th May we said goodbye to our Year 13 leavers as they went on study leave to prepare for their A level examinations. We had a lovely morning of celebration, beginning with a special breakfast where students signed yearbooks and spent time with friends and teachers. The morning ended with students final ever assembly at AGGS, which included some superb performances from members of their year. Many tears were shed as students sang their favourite hymns and said goodbye. We hope that they cherish their memories of AGGS as they embark on the next stage of their lives and wish them luck with their A level examinations and for the future. We hope that they will keep in touch by registering with our alumnae organisation here: https://networks.futurefirst.org.uk/student/AGGS
On Friday 12 May, Year 11 celebrated the last official day of their five years at AGGS prior to study leave. We held a breakfast in the dining room, with leavers’ books being signed by staff and students followed by a wonderful assembly, which included some superb performances from our very talented students and ended with a montage of memories and a cascade of balloons. We wish all our Year 11 students every success in their GCSE examinations.
A team of talented year 11 mathematicians have won the Alan Turing Cryptography Competition run by the University of Manchester. Helen, Miranda, Amy and Hannah defeated teams from schools around the country, breaking a variety of codes posted online faster than anybody else, so fast in fact that one of the maths lecturers setting the codes sought out the team to ask how they managed to solve them so quickly! They received their prize at the cryptography day hosted by the University, where they underlined their dominance of the competition by winning the live cryptography competition, becoming the first team to win both the online and live competitions in the same year. Well done girls!
Amelia G and Zoe G from Year 11 have won the School Eco Factor – Sustainability Schools Challenge, run by the University of Manchester. Their team was one of three to enter the competition form AGGS. Their project tackled the food waste issue.
On Saturday our Year 12 Mock Trial team took part in the Sir Rhys Davies School Mock Trial Competition in the Manchester Crown Court, and competed against 11 other schools including Withington Girls and MGS. Our barristers (Caitlin M, Emily L, Celine B, and Hannah S) were all commended for their fantastic advocacy and professionalism and our witnesses (Aisha C, Emily S, Hana S and Anisa S) all put in star performances. The jury members were all very organised and impartial. The girls worked really hard and were truly excellent. They won every single one of their trials but missed the final by just a few points. It was a great day full of excitement! Congratulate to the girls on their brilliant efforts.
On Tuesday, 22nd November our year 10 Product Design girls visited the Fab Lab in Altrincham to look at the possibilities open to them using Laser cutters, CNC machines and 3D printers. It was a fantastic, interesting and informative trip, hopefully the first of many!
What is the link between Cedar Mount School in Gorton and AGGS in Bowdon? They are both within the Greater Manchester vicinity. Both teaching institutions, providing an education for young people between the ages of 11-16 years old. Both part of the Bright Futures Education Trust. These three elements have brought the schools together through a book donating scheme this October.
Cedar Mount invested into a brand new library in their school; a new hub from which they could encourage more pupils to frequently read, outside of the classroom. With their efforts, the school has seen a gradual increase in the numbers of students using the library. A handful of students even arrive before school at 8am, in order to use the library as a haven, to read and relax before their official school day begins. This new facility sounds like an exciting new prospect for the whole school community, yet what if I told you that their library had no more than 200 books for their 900 students? Those figures immediately expose that the collection of books were too small, unvaried and inadequate for their pupils’ ambitions, interests and abilities. The select group of avid library users, were already running out of material that they found interesting to read.
In the September 2016, Cedar Mount approached AGGS and asked if the school could help out to help out with this severe shortage of books. Notably, without the Bright Futures Trust binding the two schools together, this may not have been possible. Collaboratively, as a school, as a community, we could do more than our fair share to help the students of Cedar Mount. After all, the students of Cedar Mount deserved more than 200 books. With support from the English department, a group of Year 9 and 10 students led by myself, a Year 13, took on the challenge of managing this project. We met up every Tuesday for 5 weeks and created a PowerPoint, delivered assemblies and managed the logistics of book donations. We asked all pupils and staff to donate at least one book that they had enjoyed and felt someone else would like to read. I am glad to announce that AGGS gathered nearly 2,000 books for Cedar Mount library, which exceeded any figure that either school expected.
This donating scheme is an example of what the Trust is about; sharing resources, whether it be teaching techniques or books. The Trust aims to improve all of its schools, by collaboratively learning from one another. This collaboration is rarely done on a student level so therefore we utilised this donating scheme as an opportunity to begin to build a relationship with the pupils from each school. We encouraged every person who donated a book, to attach a note to the book, explaining why each one was donated. These messages were not only to help pupils choose which books to read from a pupil perspective but also encourage students to expand their interests by trying a different genre, author or style.
On Friday 21st October, Cedar Mount’s Year 11 leadership team and the AGGS book donating group met and discussed the scheme and brainstormed ideas of how we could help one another in the future. We met in the AGGS library and the beginning of the meeting was full of nervous energy and anticipation. Admittedly, with the help of cake and juice to ease the atmosphere, pupils and teachers from both schools laughed, thanked and even cried at what we had achieved together. The handing over of the 2,000 books felt satisfying for all participants of the scheme. A positive relationship has now been set in motion; AGGS have given a scrapbook to Cedar Mount, which is now in the Cedar Mount library, where pupils are responding with messages regarding their thoughts and feelings about the donated books. AGGS have been invited to visit Cedar Mount Library and collect the scrapbook as a momentum in the following years.
In principle, the scheme was purely about solving an issue together by simply giving away valued books from one pupil to another. Giving and sharing are the most rewarding actions that you can do. What I, and many of my fellow pupils have taken from this scheme, is that giving is so much easier than you first might think. I strongly hold the belief that the more individuals group together to help someone other than ourselves, the more likely it is that we would live in a happier, more fulfilled and stronger community, country and even global society. This scheme is an exemplary example of this belief.
We would like to welcome our team of Year 11 prefects. These students applied for their roles at the end of year 10 and have were selected on the basis of their application. As a prefect, they carry out a vital role in the day to day life of the school. Their work across the school is very much appreciated, both by the younger students and the staff. In addition to their main responsibilities at lunch time the prefects also act as good role models for the younger students.