Last week the Year 10 GCSE Citizenship group took part in an exciting new project with the Politics Project called Digital Surgeries. The group have worked through a series of lessons to find out more about the role of decision makers with the goal of speaking to them via Skype and putting their questions and ideas to these decision makers. This is a key part of involving young people in the process of politics and making their voices heard as active citizens.
Year 10 spoke to MEP Julie Ward. This was a fantastic opportunity to ask questions about Brexit and the future of the UK outside of Europe. The students also explored women’s rights and the rights of other citizens and how young people can get involved in politics.
This was a unique way for our students to share their views and opinions with a decision maker. Thank you to the Politics project for this fantastic opportunity. The Politics Society will be speaking to Beth Knowles on Friday exploring her role as Andy Burham’s Assistant and leading his Manchester Homelessness project. All students are welcome to join us.
Rm 13 has been decorated for Parliament week, this week from 13th-17th. Come along to our Politics society stall in the hall at lunch on Friday to find out more about the main political parties and grill our politics society members.
Bring a question and find out more. For more details see Miss Mitchell in Rm 13 🙂
Our annual school council training happened last week with each year group coming together to get to know one another and build key skills that will be used throughout the year in school council. The morning was planned and delivered by our fabulous Head Girls and Sixth Form Exec leads.
We began with team building and ice breaker exercises such an the human knot and if you were stranded on a desert island with said items which would you priorities to use and why would you use them. This section of the morning finished with the famous spaghetti tower building game which is now synonymous with school council training. Lots of fun was had by all and an extra element was added this year, extra points were awarded to the year group who were the tidiest. Year 8 & 9 were fantastic at this 🙂
We then spent time explore the year group focuses which are as follows:
Yr 7: How can we improve transition into secondary school.
Yr 8: Reforming and developing the buddy system
Yr 9: Celebrating Global Learning days
Yr 10: exploring options for a new rewards assembly
Year 11: The AGGS News Blog.
Well done to all involved it was a great morning and I sense this is going to be a great year for 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.
On the 2nd July 2017 8 pupils from years 9-11 from our school attended a conference at Withington High School, representing 2 countries: Brazil and Spain. Throughout the day, we each had 2 or 3 resolutions which we could debate within our individual committees, then we had a joint committee meeting where we could debate similar resolutions with other delegates. Everyone who attended from our school spoke with points of information, submitted resolutions and did very well representing their country.
In general, the day went very smoothly and it was very helpful for all the newcomers who hadn’t attended a conference before. The chairs of each committee were very supportive and encouraged everyone to suggest different points of information. It was a very interesting day and some resolutions that were proposed were very silly and comical to debate which made the atmosphere very energetic.
Overall, Hedye (Y9) received a commended award and Hania (Y9), Safa (Y10), and Sanah (Y11) received a highly-commended award. Within each committee, there were also some made-up awards where Hedye (Y9) received the award for best acronymmer.
As a GCSE Citizenship student, it was my pleasure to be able to channel my keen interest in Politics in a day of work experience – shadowing my local MP.
I’d honestly no idea what I was going to be doing there – if I’d mainly be with the caseworkers or the MP himself, but I was excited to find out.
Mike Kane is the Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East and is also the Shadow Minister for Schools and he is also my local MP. Mr Kane was re-elected in the recent election with 62.2 % of the vote share. I was able to campaign with Mike Kane during the election campaign and was delighted to enter his MP’s surgery for work experience on Friday, 30 June to experience an MP’s and an MP’s caseworker’s work.
I started the day at 10:00am with my first job of the day – sifting through the post – stamping and checking through each and every letter, invitation, leaflet etc. all coming from a variety of sources, including a local primary school and different constituents. The letters from the primary school were from year 6 pupils who were writing to their MP about food wastage so it was very encouraging to see children so young getting involved and taking action about issues they are passionate about – something everyone should strive to do. Then, after Mr Kane had finished with his advice surgery meetings, I went through all the printed emails and letters in his in-tray with him, which was an enlightening experience. As an MP, Mike can get several 100s of letters in his in tray and it is a caseworker’s job to filter through them all before passing them over to the MP. MPs get many invitations from different organisations to different events and meetings so it can get incredibly busy for them. As all Parliamentary Select Committees were dissolved for the Election, MPs are currently trying to gain support from other MPs by sending them letters as to why they should be the new Chair of a specified Select Committee. Although, one of these MPs seemed to have forgot to write their name on the letter and so one of my jobs was to do some detective work and find out who it was (the signature was undecipherable).
After that, I entered some details from the letters I had opened into the computer which had a system for recording the cases of different constituents. I was also proud to be able to help Mr Kane in choosing a question to submit to the government for the Women and Equalities Committee, which was centered on amending the government’s safeguarding policy to better protect girls in schools from sexual assault. To convince him on the topic’s importance, I also wrote a report on sexual assault in schools which outlined suggested amendments and used data to say why they were necessary.
This was an informative and interesting day for me which allowed me to fully grasp an MP’s work- I am definitely considering returning for a longer term of work experience in the future. I think an MP’s job in their local constituency with ordinary civilians, rather than their job in London in the House of Commons, is often overlooked but is incredibly important. People often see their MP as inaccessible but I found that I am now on very good terms with Mike Kane and it is easy to do so. After studying the job of an MP in GCSE Citizenship, I was especially able to understand it by shadowing my own MP for a day. It was an enjoyable experience and I would encourage anyone to contact their own local MP and ask to shadow them, too.
The year 10 GCSE group and the AGGS Politics society have joined forces and hosted a Hustings for our Mock General Election here at AGGS today.
The hustings took place yesterday and saw members from the five main political parties delivering speeches and being questioned by students. This was a great way to engage young people in political issues and to demonstrate that young people do have a voice.
Well done to all those involved and good luck to all the candidates today. We will be comparing and contrasting stats from our own election to those of the UK General Election tomorrow at Politics society.
As part of the Citizenship GCSE curriculum it is vital for students to scrutinize and question the views of their local MP. Friday’s visit of Graham Brady was arranged before the snap general election was called. Although Graham Brady is officially declared as the conservative candidate he was able to explore and share about his role as an MP within the Altrincham and Sale West constituency. Students learn about the role of an MP within the new syllabus so this was an fantastic opportunity to hear about what it is really like to be an MP.
Students and staff submitted questions to explore and challenge the Conservative ideologies and to find out Graham Brady’s views. He talked of his current role as the chairman of the 1922 committee and considered his past roles on the shadow cabinet in his early career. The role of grammar schools, school funding cuts and austerity were high on the agenda for questions.
AGGS Politics society are currently working towards running our own AGGS Mock General Election and are exploring all the parties pledges, these will be presented to students at a Hustings on June 7th followed by an election on June 8th.