What: On Friday, 13 October Altrincham Grammar School for Girls is joining forces with North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS), Resuscitation Council UK, British Heart Foundation and local fire services to help create the next generation of lifesavers.
Restart a Heart Day is a UK wide initiative which aims to train at least 200,000 secondary school students up and down the country in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills. In the North West alone, the aim is to train 20,000 of those students and Altrincham Girls’ Grammar can’t wait to be a part of this fantastic campaign.
The life-saving lesson will teach pupils how to recognise a cardiac arrest and how to provide urgent help by doing effective CPR and using a defibrillator.
Currently in the UK less than one in ten people who suffer a cardiac arrest will go on to make a recovery – a worrying figure given the fact cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any time, in any place.
The aim of Restart a Heart Day is to create a nation of lifesavers so that, hopefully, anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest is given the best possible chance of survival.
Today is World Mental Health Day, sometimes all we have to do is ask someone how they are. Life is full of so many challenges and sometimes things get a little too much, the stress and pressures of so many things can mean that we feel out of kilter, separate from the world around us. That’s OK, we have to remember that others might be going through things we have no idea about, and with that in mind it’s important not to make assumptions or judgements about others, instead let’s just as three very simple words… “How are you?”
Then it’s about listening, not trying to give advice or put our two piece in, it’s about listening and letting that person talk. So today of all day’s please ask, how are you and really listen to the answer, it could make more of an impact that you can every imagine.
A big welcome back to school to all of the AGGS students this academic year. Remember there are lots of hints and tips for staying healthy and positive this year in Rm 13, come along and check out the leaflet area for more ideas.
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.
Suggestion boxes – in order to get the best possible feedback from our forms, we decided we needed a way for them to write suggestions whenever they wanted. A suggestion box, we decided, was a good way to do this. We held a competition for our forms to make a box, and the best one was chosen.
The buddy system – This was main focus for the y7 school council. This project will help new y7’s to settle in faster. Year 8’s will go to their y7 buddies one morning a week, and this will give the y7’s a chance to ask any questions. There will also be a chance to play games as to get to know your form better.
We knew that there weren’t enough places for people to sit and work in the library, especially at lunch. Therefore, we fundraised to buy 9 beanbags that you can sit, work or relax on. To do this, we hosted fandom day, a day where lower school dressed up as their favourite characters. We managed to raise enough to cover the cost of the beanbags, AND enough to buy extra books to enjoy! We listened to everyone’s suggestions and managed to whittle them down to a fantastic number of books.
We then designed labels to show everyone who picked up the books what year 8 school council 2017 have achieved. We chose to improve the library as it is a space enjoyed by all students and a relaxing environment. We can go to the library to continue homework, encourage independent learning or simply just to get lost in a book. The beanbags meant there is more seating for students and more people can be encouraged into this magical place.
Our year group school council have worked incredibly hard to work together, listen to ideas and improve our school for everyone. We are grateful for our opportunity to represent our year group in Year 8 School Council 2017, and many of us are standing for School Council in the forthcoming year!
Year 9 School Council
On School council training day, we were told that our project of the year was to redecorate the Medical room and to renovate the Heads of Year Room into a Wellbeing room.
We first mind-mapped lots of ideas, and consulted our form groups on whether they liked them. We then chose our favourites to focus on. Next we created a mood board of furniture, activities and colour schemes for the rooms. We decided on a calming blue and cheerful pink, with furniture and soft furnishings in neutral colours.
We found comfortable furniture within our budget and then we consulted Mrs Ogunmyiwa, Mr Beddows and the Wellbeing Ambassadors. Once approved, we created an official floorplan that incorporated our ideas for the new rooms.
We think the Wellbeing room is a fantastic idea for our school community that will improve the mental health of our students as they go through their school lives. The wellbeing room is now a great space to take a time out. It’s currently being put together and painted by the caretakers and should be ready for the new school year in September.
Year 10 School Council
This year has been very productive for year 10 school council. With the Values being implemented across the school year 10 have been embedding these into the expectations for learning and developing the merit criteria. Both of these are now ready for next year and we are looking forward to them being used across school.
The second half of the year we have been gathering and writing posts for the pupil voice blog, we took over this role from year 11 school council when they left for exams.
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.
We are so pleased to announce that this year’s 9 charity project was won by students in 9-3 and the charity was 42nd Street. Karina from 42nd was in the audience as the winners were announced and she was so pleased and proud of the students and their hard work.
This year AGGS has been the first school outside of London and Wales to participate in the First Give programme. We have run a similar programme every year for 5 years which as seen a huge amount of money go to some amazing worthwhile causes across Manchester.
The whole of year 9 work on a creative presentation and we do a form time semi final round in which one group per form is chosen by their peers to present at the grand final. This year’s grand final was judged by the director of First Give, Ms Gill and a member of the school PTA. Everyone was astounded at the high standard of all of the presentations. The 9-3 group stood out for it’s incredible video tackling issues of mental health.
42nd is a Manchester based charity working tirelessly to help young people deal with the complexities of modern life ranging from drug abuse to mental health. We and First Give are very pleased to award a total of £700 to this incredible charity. We hope all the students in year 9 continue their efforts to raising awareness and money for so many worthy causes.
On Friday 21st October the newly elected school council reps had their training session.
After Wednesday’s election this was the first time that students from each year group were able to get together and build their team working skills and explore some of the issues that school council will be focusing on this academic year.
Year groups began with the spaghetti tower challenge to help consider the different skills they may need as school council reps and to get to know one another better.
Following this challenge each year group worked on their focus. This is a task to get the school council reps started and to allow them time to gather other ideas from their own forms.
The focuses for this year are:
Year 7: Transition – How can we make your journey from primary to secondary better?
Year 8: Improving the library
Year 9: The Wellbeing Room
Year 10: Merit criteria and award assemblies
Year 11: The Pupil Blog Page
Make sure you keep an ear out from your form’s reps and keep a check on the Pupil Voice page for further School Council updates.
School Council are sharing in assemblies this week about the values we as a school have created. There will be more on this in the next few weeks. Please see below all the things school council got up to last year and the changes they have made…
We need more up to date books and resources in the library
Ran a book sale to raise money for the library.
We need some money to raise funds for things around school
We would like a say as to what happens in the canteen.
Organised a dress up day for year 7 & 8 to raise over £400 for school. This is being put towards helping improve stocks in the library.
Whole school feedback was given to the canteen about foods, things people thought were good and things that could be improved. We are hoping to launch a food focus group this year.
The homework diary layout needs changing.
The medical room needs updating
Some changes have been made to the diary to ensure that there is an area for students to write a to do list.
Year 9 are continuing to work with the well-being ambassadors to redecorate and improve the medical room and make it into a well-being room, a space for people to have some space.
Nobody reads the code of conduct
The school council twitter page doesn’t get used.
People said the songs in assembly needed updating.
We rewrote the code of conduct and made them way more pupil friendly.
We have included more regular posts to keep students informed about what we are up to.
New songs, suggested by school council, are to be learnt this year in assembly.
There is no platform for students to share what they have done.
We have actively posted on the student voice page engaging the school and wider community in aspects of school life.
What do we stand for as a school?
Conducted a whole school values project which has culminated in the creation of AGGS school values. These will be shared and taken for staff to feedback at the beginning of the new academic year.
The memories of summer are starting to fade and school is back buzzing with a new term. The Citizenship Department want to say a big Welcome Back. Lot’s has been going on over the summer, catch up with all the news stories here. The Day is a great resource to keep you up to date on what is going on in the world.
Some exciting news here at AGGS, we are very excited to have been awarded the ACT Quality Standard for Schools. This recognises all the hard work staff and students do here at AGGS to promote Citizenship and the importance of making your voice heard.
There are other exciting things to tell you about what some of our students have been up to over the summer but those will have to wait for now. We are excited for what this year will bring and the opportunities it will present.