All posts by Thorp

Christmas Cheer at AGGS

Matt Haig Attending a Book Signing for Primary School Pupils from BFET and locallyChristmas came early to AGGS this week with a festive visit from the best-selling author Matt Haig.  Matt is the author of several novels for adults and children, and his new book, Father Christmas and Me, is the third title in his bestselling Christmas series, following A Boy Called Christmas and The Girl Who Saved Christmas (Canongate).

Matt Haig Attending a Book Signing for Primary School Pupils from BFET and locally200 pupils and staff from the 3 BFET primary schools, Stanley Grove Primary Academy, Rushbrook Primary Academy, Marton Primary Academy and a local school, Bowdon Preparatory School, beat the weather and traffic to meet the author and hear all about his new book.  Matt entertained everyone with tales of Father Christmas, Mother Christmas, their adopted human daughter Amelia and cat, Captain Soot.  Elfhelm, where they all live, is a magical place, where the houses are made of gingerbread and the local currency is chocolate gold coins.

Matt Haig Attending a Book Signing for Primary School Pupils from BFET and locallyThe spirit of Christmas soon filled the Hall as pupils took to the stage, changed into elf outfits, told Christmas jokes and lead a Christmas sing-song.  Father Christmas’s Barometer of Hope (a key device in the story) soon zoomed to its maximum reading –  So. Much. Hope. Nothing is Impossible. Magic is Real. Christmas Will Happen!

It was a delight to welcome so many inquisitive and enthusiastic primary school pupils into our school.

Thanks to Waterstones Deansgate Manchester for the opportunity.

Year 12 Careers Fortnight 2017

Y12 Careers Fortnight Careers talk by Hilti Engineering

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.”

Year 12 Careers Fortnight - Practice interviews
Year 12 Careers Fortnight – Practice interviews
Year 12 Careers Fortnight - Practice interviews
Year 12 Careers Fortnight – Practice interviews
Y12 Creers Fortnight - Careers talk by Hilti Engineering
Y12 Creers Fortnight – Careers talk by Hilti Engineering
Y12 Creers Fortnight - Careers talk by Hilti Engineering
Y12 Creers Fortnight – Careers talk by Hilti Engineering
Year 12 Careers Fortnight- The Hidden Job Market workshop
Year 12 Careers Fortnight- The Hidden Job Market workshop
Careers Fortnight - Olivia Birchenough, Alumnae & TV presenter for the children’s tv show ‘Milkshake’.
Careers Fortnight – Olivia Birchenough, Alumnae & TV presenter for the children’s tv show ‘Milkshake’.

Year 13s at the Modern Languages Debating Competition

Year 13 Modern Languages Debating TeamOn Thursday 16th November, Ms Gill, Miss Benson, Mrs Ryan and Mrs McIntosh accompanied three teams of Year 13 language students (French, German and Spanish) at the Northern Schools’ Modern Languages Debating Competition at Cheadle Hulme School. It was only the second time that AGGS entered, having won the Spanish finals at last year’s competition. The students debated topics such as “Success is the source of happiness” and “Wars are unavoidable” in their foreign languages against teams from schools including, MGS, Withington, Bolton, Connell and QEGS Blackburn.

All three teams did well, with the German team (Lybah H and Alisha M) winning one of their two debates, but losing narrowly to the overall winners of the heats, Stockport Grammar. Our Spanish team (Alycia A and Anya S) fought well, but lost out in the semi-finals. Our French team (Celine B and Emily L) battled fiercely, ultimately coming runners up to Bolton Girls in the final, but taking home books for second place.

Biology Photography Competition Winners

Connie A - Deer 1
First Prize: Connie A – Deer 1

First prize in the Biology Photography competition was won by Connie A, whose photo of a deer lit by a shaft of sunlight at Dunham Massey was superb. Our guest judge Dr Pickering praised its composition and the detail she captured. Connie received her prize, a digital camera, kindly donated by Dr Pickering.

Karis M - Butterfly 3
Third Prize: Karis M – Butterflies mating
Martha W - Little Robin Redbreast
Second prize: Martha W – Little Robin Redbreast

Second and third prize winners were Martha W (Little Robin Redbreast) and Karis M (Butterflies mating)They both received signed copies of Dr Pickering’s book ‘Photosafari’. Also commended were Martha’s pictures of Fighting Grebes and Guillemots and Sudiksha D-K’s Lovers on a Leaf.

Thank you to all those who entered – we had the most fantastic selection of photographs and it was incredibly hard to pick the winners. Next year’s photography competition will be slightly different – we are going for microscopic biology. More information to follow next year!

Visit from Manchester University

MFL Manchester University Visit

On Monday 6th November we were delighted to welcome Sonja Bernhard, School Liaison Officer, from the University of Manchester. She delivered a couple of talks to our Year 9 students about the value of language learning and they were very interested to hear of Sonja’s experiences as a native German speaker living and working in Manchester. She also spoke to Year 12 as part of careers week and shared lots of advice about combining language study with other subjects at university. The students were able to appreciate that language learning not only involves acquiring vocabulary but also gives us an understanding of the culture of other countries.

Arabian Nights – A Production by AGGS Students

Arabian Nights - A Production by AGGS Students

5th & 6th December, Main hall, 7pm
Main Hall

Tickets:
Adults £7, Child / Concession £3, Family (2 Adults and 2 Children) £15

Tickets available from Reception (0161 9125912)

Ladies Night Out at AGSB

AGSB Ladies' Night Out

Ladies’ Night Out, AGSB
Tuesday 21st November 2017, 7-9pm,
AGSB, Marlborough Road, WA14 2RS

The Chad’s Challenges team are delighted to announce that tickets are now available for the Ladies’ Night – taking place on Tuesday 21st November.

Please call in at AGSB reception or email Gill on gwilliamson@agsb.co.uk for tickets and/or to make a donation to the event

This year we have the amazing fashion show and also a performance by “The White Hot Chilli Peppers”

Biology Photography Competition

Thank you to all the entries in our nature photography competition.

We have had over 80 pictures submitted and our guest judge, Dr Pickering, is currently abroad, but has agreed to judge the pictures and provide a digital camera as a prize. We will announce the winners on course due, but the biology department were extremely impressed by the quality of the submissions.

Please have a look at the gallery below:

Aaishah A - Mushroom
Aaishah A – Mushroom
Tabitha H - Journey
Tabitha H – Journey
Tabitha H - Entropy
Tabitha H – Entropy
Tabitha H - Abundance
Tabitha H – Abundance
Sudiksha D-K - Pollination Rounds
Sudiksha D-K – Pollination Rounds
Sudiksha D-K - Lovers on a Leaf
Sudiksha D-K – Lovers on a Leaf
Sudiksha D-K - Jasmine in Bloom
Sudiksha D-K – Jasmine in Bloom
Sudiksha D-K - Inquisitive Honey Bee
Sudiksha D-K – Inquisitive Honey Bee
Sudiksha D-K - Hide and Seek
Sudiksha D-K – Hide and Seek
Shreya D - Wasp
Shreya D – Wasp
Roxy R - Sunset 2
Roxy R – Sunset 2
Roxy R - Sunset 1
Roxy R – Sunset 1
Rishika D - Flower
Rishika D – Flower
Rhea B - Sky on Car Roof
Rhea B – Sky on Car Roof
Rafa A - Sunset
Rafa A – Sunset
Polina P - Droplets
Polina P – Droplets
Parnika L - Leaf
Parnika L – Leaf
Nishi U - Fungi
Nishi U – Fungi
Mr T Copestake, teacher - Pig
Mr T Copestake, teacher – Pig
Mr T Copestake, teacher - Cox
Mr T Copestake, teacher – Cox
Mrs A Hamilton, teacher - Wordsworths grave
Mrs A Hamilton, teacher – Wordsworths grave
Moyosoreoluwa A - Lake
Moyosoreoluwa A – Lake
Martha W - Scotland
Martha W – Scotland
Martha W - Little Robin Redbreast
Martha W – Little Robin Redbreast
Martha W - Guillemot Rock
Martha W – Guillemot Rock
Martha W - Flowers by the Sea
Martha W – Flowers by the Sea
Martha W - Fighting Grebes
Martha W – Fighting Grebes
Martha W - Blue on Blue
Martha W – Blue on Blue
Lucy W - Goat 3
Lucy W – Goat 3
Lucy W - Goat 2
Lucy W – Goat 2
Lucy W - Goat 1
Lucy W – Goat 1
Lucy W - Distance
Lucy W – Distance
Lucy B - Croc
Lucy B – Croc
Lawiza K - Leaf
Lawiza K – Leaf
Karis M - Komodo
Karis M – Komodo
Karis M - Cat
Karis M – Cat
Karis M - Butterfly 3
Karis M – Butterfly 3
Karis M - Butterfly 2
Karis M – Butterfly 2
Karis M - Butterfly 1
Karis M – Butterfly 1
Jemma G - Sunset
Jemma G – Sunset
Jemma G - Statue
Jemma G – Statue
Jemma G - Flower 3
Jemma G – Flower 3
Jemma G - Flower 2
Jemma G – Flower 2
Jemma G - Flower 1
Jemma G – Flower 1
Jemma G - Dog
Jemma G – Dog
Hollie F - Bird
Hollie F – Bird
Gabrielle H - Cow
Gabrielle H – Cow
Freya P - Butterfly
Freya P – Butterfly
Eve G - plant
Eve G – plant
Eve G - Mushroom 2
Eve G – Mushroom 2
Eve G - Mushroom 1
Eve G – Mushroom 1
Eve G - Cone
Eve G – Cone
Eve G - Cat 2
Eve G – Cat 2
Eve G - Cat 1
Eve G – Cat 1
Erin E - Small is Beautiful
Erin E – Small is Beautiful
Emaan A - Sunset
Emaan A – Sunset
Elizabeth P - Swan and Cygnets
Elizabeth P – Swan and Cygnets
Eileen Y - Reflection
Eileen Y – Reflection
Eileen Y - Lake
Eileen Y – Lake
Eileen Y - Bird
Eileen Y – Bird
Connie A - White Flower 2
Connie A – White Flower 2
Connie A - White Flower 2
Connie A – White Flower 2
Connie A - Pink Flower 3
Connie A – Pink Flower 3
Connie A - Pink Flower 2
Connie A – Pink Flower 2
Connie A - Pink Flower 1
Connie A – Pink Flower 1
Connie A - Leaf 2
Connie A – Leaf 2
Connie A - Leaf 1
Connie A – Leaf 1
Connie A - Eye
Connie A – Eye
Connie A - Deer 3
Connie A – Deer 3
Connie A - Deer 2
Connie A – Deer 2
Connie A - Deer 1
Connie A – Deer 1
Alex K - Bear
Alex K – Bear
Abby K - Bee
Abby K – Bee
Aaliyah M - White flower
Aaliyah M – White flower
Aaliyah M - Tree
Aaliyah M – Tree
Aaliyah M - Purple flower
Aaliyah M – Purple flower
Aaliyah M - Pink sunset
Aaliyah M – Pink sunset
Aaliyah M - Pink flower 2
Aaliyah M – Pink flower 2
Aaliyah M - Pink flower 1
Aaliyah M – Pink flower 1
Aaliyah M - Pink blossom
Aaliyah M – Pink blossom
Aaliyah M - Leaf silhouette
Aaliyah M – Leaf silhouette
Aaliyah M - Dead pink flower
Aaliyah M – Dead pink flower
Aaliyah M - Cherry tree
Aaliyah M – Cherry tree
Aaliyah M - Blossom tree
Aaliyah M – Blossom tree

Biology Week – Wildlife Photography Talk Report

A report by Lucy W, Year 9:

Biology week is coming up and, like the majority of the country, Altrincham Girls Grammar School is joining in with the festivities: the first opening for students and teachers alike, was a wildlife photography talk on Wednesday by the esteemed Doctor Pickering.
Before his retirement, Dr Pickering used to work here at AGGS as a head of biology; but now he travels across the globe and therefore has collected a rather respectable photographic collection. In fact, several of his pieces have featured in textbooks across all three sciences, especially the ones capturing extremely rare moments in time. It’s true he’s a very skilled man.

Firstly, he started by displaying an immense humility by showing the first picture he ever took of wildlife with his first camera at 14. The was grainy and the image ambiguous in detail but the bird erect in the centre gave us a phenomenal insight into how much he has improved since then – he deplaned to us that much of his work is accomplished through luck and chance. Also, that via risk taking, for instance: a rapid fire shot when out on a safari drive, could turn out to find a treasure trove.

With this promised understanding ensured, he moved on to the technicalities. Stating with the subject’s roll in any image. On the one hand, he told us that the rarity of the animal and moment greatly impact the need for the photo. For example: he showed us a brilliant image of a blue tongued skink with its mouth open which he had taken. Because snapping such a picture is remarkably rare the picture took off much faster than he anticipated. With a constant want for it from every side. Furthermore, he explained the need to understand why people want the picture.

Another vital part which he greatly emphasised was the effect of an environment of control on the validity of the picture – you just tell people that the photo was taken in such a way that the animal was not entirely free so that people don’t believe incorrectly despite the possibility that it may look so. Otherwise the image could be discredited when discovered. Moreover, you must debate whether control is appropriate for that specific animal and the conventions of the photo. Although it usually is.

Secondly, we discussed the importance of knowing your kit. A moment you wish to capture could disappear in the time it takes to blink, as he said, so it is nigh impossible for any human to have reflexes to capture. Therefore, being able to handle your camera without attention is an invaluable asset. This then led on to a section on exposure and finally composition.

According to Dr Pickering, how you use exposure is vital to the final product of an image because it concerns how much light is let through which in turn effects the result of the many colours (or reflectants) in an image. In his booklet “Handbook of zoo photography” he specified the three different types of exposure: partial, spot and evaluative as well as the details of the exposure triangle which is comprised of aperture, shutter speed and ISO (or sensitivity). He also managed to detail the three types of exposure: partial, spot and evaluative which each differ depending on not only how much light it lets in but what part of the image it using to decide that with spot using a section in the middle and evaluative miraculously taking data from several parts of the image to produce a better quality, realistic picture. This is especially useful for white animals to make sure they don’t appear grey. It is useful to know that evaluative is the best technically however, spot is useful if you want to put emphasis on a specific section just like blur is useful to suggest movement and atmosphere.

Finally, there’s the question of composition. Apparently, images are more captivating and interesting if, instead of having the subject being in the middle you split it into a 3 by 3 grid and put the points of focus in the thirds as well as using diagonals to create realistic variety and interest. Especially, because the brain instinctively enjoys that structure more than another. Furthermore, making something unusual is fantastic, especially for primates due to the rarity of capturing such moments. It also adds a reliability to the image which would otherwise be lost.

Amazingly, all this thought goes into every picture Dr Pickering takes and each is a success due to such a brilliant technique. Hopefully, this will help many more generations experience wildlife like never before and appreciate the work of a truly phenomenal man and the nature we are surrounded by.

Written by Lucy W, Year 9

Biology Week – Postmortem

Postmortem, Biology week 2017

On Saturday 14th October 98 keen biologists, from Y11-Y13, came into school for a postmortem study day to finish our Biology Week activities. Over the course of four hours, they watched a postmortem of a semi-synthetic cadaver. They were able to get hands-on experience of handling brains, lungs, digestive systems and much more (from ethically sourced animal remains) whilst learning a huge amount about human body systems, the causes and treatments of disease and the language that forensic scientists and medics use when describing injuries and incisions. No-one fainted, despite some pretty pungent moments, and this invaluable experience will be really beneficial to many hoping to pursue scientific careers in the future.

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