On Monday 2nd July, I went to Westminster along with 2 other representatives from the north west: Edward and Meghan. It was part of democracy week and organised by the National Youth Assembly. We had our first meeting in Portcullis House, part of the parliamentary estate. This was an opportunity to question MPs on almost anything, with a theme of what it’s like to be a young person today, during which I posed a question about Islamaphobia post-brexit. Afterwards we had a quick introduction on how parliament works before Andrea Leadsom rushed in to be questioned. I asked her about flaws in the parliamentary process and the new childhood obesity strategy, however the best question was from a young boy who asked about period poverty.
We were put in groups for visits to party headquarters, so after grabbing a packed lunch my group went to the Liberal Democrat’s headquarters to hear about their values and again question members of their leadership team. Next we headed to the Cabinet Office where we met with the Minister for the Constitution, Chloe Smith to find out about her role, democracy week and ask questions. We also attended the launch of the Hear by Right participation scheme and had the chance to talk to some of the MPs individually.
To finish off a fantastic day, we had a tour inside 10 Downing Street which was amazing! In one of the conference rooms we met with the Minister for Sport & Civil Society as well as the Chief of all Staff who works with Theresa May and were able to ask them about their roles and responsibilities. Not only did the day improve my critical questioning skills, it has given me an invaluable insight into the world of politics.
Hania S, Year 10
Citizenship is enhanced by visits and events that support the learning of our students. This terms the GCSE group have been on a visit to the Crown Courts and the People’s History Museum. The visit to the Crown Courts enabled them to explore the how a civil and criminal case is conducted. This supports their learning of the Theme C legal module for the GCSE.
The People’s History museum has a fascinating exhibition looking at how minority groups are represented in Parliament and society at large. Considering the exploration of how people have had their voices heard was a fascinating way to bring much of the GCSE syllabus to light.
Students from year 10-12 attended the 6th MUNHIGH conference on sat 27th & Sun 28th Jan. The conference is a fantastic way to engage young people in political issues and explore international politics. The skills that the conference provides are invaluable and the students make lots of friends as they work with students from across Manchester, the UK and this year from all around the world.
A particular congratulations goes to Hedye for helping and translating for the Iranian international school who attended the conference. Manchester High School were particularly impressed with her attitude and selflessness to go out of her way to help others. This of course exemplifies everything the UN stands for 🙂
A huge well done to all the participants, everyone managed to speak and lots of awards were picked up this year, both commended and highly commended. Well Done 🙂
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, Stockport Grammar, Urmston Grammar, Manchester High school for Girls and MGS. A very exciting day was had by all!
Our barristers (Antonia H, Sanah K, Amy B and Jaya B) fought fiercely and were all commended for their fantastic advocacy and professionalism. Antonia’s closing speeches were a particular highlight! Our witnesses (Ellen W, Amy H, Anna W and Sowmya S) all put in star performances, with a particularly memorable Texan played by Anna. The jury members were all very organised and (mostly) impartial. The girls worked really hard and were truly excellent. They won every single one of their trials and we could have asked no more of them, they did us extremely proud. Unfortunately, we just missed the final due to a quirk of the points system.
Our hardworking court reporter, Lucy L, won the Manchester Evening News Court reporter of the year award. The judges felt that her writing was the most realistic they had come across for some time. Lucy worked tirelessly on her article and definitely deserves her trophy!
Well done to the students on their brilliant efforts!
Last weekend, Mr Humphreys took to AGGS delegations to the Model United Nations Cheadle Hulme conference (MUNCH). We were representing Palestine and Turkey in different committees, after researching their stand-points of a variety of issues. The opening ceremony
Despite the early start on Saturday, we headed to our committees raring to go. I was in Health and ice breakers over, we launched into lively debate. Many of us gave policy statements, outlining our country’s view and my resolution got chosen for debate and eventually was passed, completely making my day. In many of our committees, international tensions rose so high that delegates were evicted and, in mine, made to sit under a desk at the back! Some of our AGGS delegates received joke awards including Tara getting “best couple” with Israel, Sanah and Rosie winning Best dressed and myself “sassiest” and “most likely to be a dictator”! The day ended with the release of an international crisis, involving the spreading of a lethal pesticide.
On the Sunday morning we debated clauses attempting to resolve different aspects of the crisis, then joined in general assembly. Although there was not much time, quite a few of us spoke. Following the news that China was to blame for not intervening, Safa and I argued that it should be replaced by Palestine and made an observer state! When it came to the closing ceremony, as a school we claimed lots of awards:
Safa A- Commended delegate
Mariam J- Commended Delegate
Isabella I- Commended delegate
Sanah K- Commended delegate
Tara F- Highly Commended delegate
Me- Best Young Delegate
Overall, it was an amazing weekend- we’ve all made new friends, learnt new skills and had lots of fun- A big thank you to Mr Humphreys for being our advisor, without him we couldn’t have gone!
Written by Hania S
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.
This weekend saw x2 AGGS delegations represented at the annual MUN High conference and Manchester High School for Girls. We had the interesting task of representing the USA and Algeria. Aside from the Trump references a great time was had by all and some very high standard of debating occurred across the board. We had some first time delegates and some very experienced delegates with us this weekend.
A huge well done to all involved, particular congratulations go to
Sanah Kashyap who received an outstanding delegate award in the media committee and Amelia Gilchrist who achieved an commended delegate award in the environment committee.
On Friday the 7th October, the GCSE Citizenship students went on a trip to Manchester. While we were there, went first to the People’s history museum. We learnt about the Suffragette movement and how women gained the vote by watching a drama performance of a lady called Hannah Mitchell. Hannah Mitchell, a self-educated Socialist and suffragette, was born in Derbyshire. Later, she served on Manchester City Council. The Hard Way Up, her autobiography, is seen as a classic account of life by a working class woman. We then did a range of activities such as debating how to get equal rights in education for girls and boys and learnt about different methods of protest. Some even suggested kidnapping a teacher!
In the afternoon, after eating a foot long at Subway, we visited the Crown Courts. We were taught of the different positions in a case and even rein acted one in court 16. This linked to what we learnt in the People’s history museum as two suffragettes, Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney, were on trial in our case. We even tried on judge’s wigs and robes! After a long, exciting day, we got the tram back to Altrincham.
Overall, our day in Manchester was fun and informative. Some highlights were:
- Getting involved it the dramatic performance.
- Looking round the museum at all the exhibitions
- Dressing up as judges
- Shouting at our peers in court!
- Safa falling asleep standing up on the tram back
We all enjoyed the trip and are looking forward to our trip to the Houses of Parliament next year.
By Ariella Basger and Lizzie Poyner in 10-4