Tag Archives: Year 12

“Biology A Level Science Live” – inspiring the next generation to look after our world

Professor Steve JonesOn Thursday 1st February 23 of our year 12 students spent the day at Whitworth Hall listening to talks from some of the UK’s top scientists. Speakers such as Professor Robert Winston and Steve Jones led us though some fascinating topics, from the science of laughter and why we laugh, to the problems we do and will face due antibiotic resistance, trying to fathom huge numbers in relation to the different species on our planet and the ethics and issues surrounding cutting edge technologies.

Here are some thoughts from some of our students who went:

All the lectures were awesome and showed us how biology can be used in research…. They also motivated me to read more into biology, further from what we are taught in the curriculum.” (Urwaa K)

I really enjoyed the biology live and found many of the lectures fascinating. I particularly liked the science of laughter as it was very interesting considering a normal everyday action yet there’s so much more to it that you never think about. I was also surprised at how many species there are and how few we focus on. The lecture about microbes was also interesting, as it is such an important topic that can impact the future, yet there is not that much work being done on it.” (Abigail H)

Each lecture was highly interesting. I particularly enjoyed the lecture about the vast diversity and distribution of species on Earth. The lecture on the science of laughter was very informative and it made me more aware of how human behaviour can be studied in biology.” (Iman G)

Augsburg Exchange

Augsburg Exchange 2018

We arrived back safely last night at midnight from the Augsburg exchange. Students stayed with host families and took part in 4 days’ work experience in a variety of placements, including schools, a fair trade shop, the tourist information office, a lawyer and an architect. They really enjoyed experiencing German culture at first hand and benefited hugely from the opportunity to practise their German, both in the workplace and with their partners.

Enterprise Competition Success

Together Enterprise Competition - Y12 winners

ASPIREWe are delighted to announce that two of our Year 12 students have been successful in an Enterprise Competition which has gained them each an individual prize of an iPad as well as a cheque for £2,500 for the school.

Zara A and  Shufei C were the winning team members in the Together Enterprise Challenge which was open to students aged 15-18 from schools across the North West.

They had to prepare a Business Plan to win the backing of the judges who were the CEO and three senior directors of Together Financial Services in Cheadle.

The challenge was to create a business which utilised the facilities of a large country house in Cheshire, which had fallen into disrepair, using the financial loans provided by Together. Zara and Shufei came up with the idea of a Social Enterprise leisure centre specifically targeting people with mental health issues who wanted fun and exercise in a caring environment.

AGGS team on the Together competitionThe competition was launched in September by the Enterprise Department of Mrs Gillibrand and Mrs Gerrard and since then the students have been working on their plan alongside the four other teams from our school who entered the competition.

Three teams completed the challenge and made their pitches in late November and the two successful teams were selected to go through to the finals by a panel which included Mrs Gillibrand, Mrs Gerrard and Mr Murray.

At the finals on Monday 4th December our other team of Kayleigh C, Hira K and Martha W gave a wonderful presentation on their Escape Room idea and were highly commended for their originality by the judges.

In choosing their winning team the judges were highly impressed with not only the extremely passionate and professional quality of Zara and Shufei’s presentation but also by the extensive research which went into their business plan.

Both students who joined AGGS sixth form from other schools were delighted with their success and have received a massive boost to their confidence.…as well as their Apple collections.

Year 12 Careers Fortnight 2017

Y12 Careers Fortnight Careers talk by Hilti Engineering

ASPIREBetween 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 Careers Fortnight - Careers talk by Hilti Engineering
Y12 Careers Fortnight – Careers talk by Hilti Engineering
Y12 Careers Fortnight - Careers talk by Hilti Engineering
Y12 Careers 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’.

Senior Physics conference – July 13 2017

The Trafford Ogden Partnership is just over a year old and AGGS is proud of its status as the Ogden hub school. Like all of the partnerships sponsored by the Ogden Trust, its aim is to “make physics matter”, and brings together physics departments from local schools. We decided to finish the academic year with a day’s celebration of physics and to show Y12s some possible “destinations” provided by their A level physics.

The venue for this event was Altrincham Grammar school for Boys’ spectacular Physics centre and presenters were asked to lead a 30 minute activity as opposed to delivering a lecture.

Several of the presenters were recent AGGS students who were “gently” persuaded to come along and with their stories of: research at CERN, using neutrino detectors to monitor and prevent developing countries building nuclear weapons, building stable structures and polymer research. Maria Violaris and Clarissa Costen provided a Q and A session about studying physics at Oxford, and gave a talk on entropy. Tamzin Owen demonstrated a cloud chamber using dry ice and Kerry Abrams provided a hands-on activity about extruding polymers.

There was a local theme with Salford’s Acoustic Engineering Department being represented by Professor Trevor Cox who demonstrated some cutting edge sound technology used by the media. The Graphene Centre at Manchester University sent along two PhD researchers, Georgia Kime and Fiona Porter, who showed how this material will change the future. Professor Ian Morrison from Salford explained how important hydrogen will become as a future fuel. Paige-Marie from Cavendish Nuclear led a discussion group on the vital subject of assessing and limiting risk in nuclear power stations.

Lloyd Cawthorne introduced students to the Isaac Physics website which aims to develop problem solving skills on-line. Some of the girls from AGGS had met Lloyd at the physics master class in Cambridge earlier this academic year.

The Institute for Research in Schools, already familiar to several AGSB students (who have plans to launch a particle detector by balloon), was introduced to the wider Trafford audience.

Other presenters were: Dave Cotton (astrophysics), Laura Thomas (IRIS), Laurie McClymont (CERN), Jen Wilson (spectroscopes); Toby Lord and Clive Humphries (Civil engineering and structures.)

The day ended with Dr Kerry Abrams (ex AGGS) talking about her educational journey from abandoning A level studies, through FE with young children, study for degrees and now a post at Sheffield University in materials, with a consistent love for learning.

The whole event was extremely well received by the 120 or so participants and there was a real buzz in the atmosphere during the event with students getting to know each other and getting involved in the activities. The water rocket launches were particularly well received. Some quotes from students were “engaging, challenging, inspiring”; “I had a really good day; I was able to talk to current people in STEM careers, met like-minded people and had an insight into A2 physics, as well as participating in fun challenges”.


Raza Nisar
AGGS physics department

Year 12 Mock Trial

Mock Trials Success Nov 2016On 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.

John Ryland’s Language Change Workshop

John Ryland’s Language Change Workshop

On Monday 7th and Wednesday 9th November, year 12 and 13 – accompanied by Miss O’Hara and Mrs Willmott – took part in a workshop exploring the evolution of the English language from Old English to the modern period. Pupils were given exclusive access to a range of first and second editions of texts such as The Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare’s first folio, The King James I Bible and Johnson’s Dictionary. Pupils were fascinated to discover the changes in spelling, punctuation and written styles that had taken place over the years and were given a history of the importance of the printing press in the standardisation of English as we know it today. Pupils were also treated to a tour of the library’s beautiful Victorian gothic architecture and interior and all agreed it was just like being at Hogwarts! Roma and Mrs Willmott particularly enjoyed getting in to the role of Victorian gentlemen in the library reading room.

BEBRAS Challenge

On Thursday 17th November lunchtime, 23 students from Years 9-13 took part in the BEBRAS Computational Thinking challenge, solving problems such as the one below.

Everyone acquitted themselves well, and six students have qualified to go through to the next round in March:
Ellie F (Y9), Beth G, Isabelle H, Miranda W, Martha W (Y11) and Stephanie L (Y13). Tabitha H achieved the best mark in Y10 who compete in the same category as Y11.

BEBRAS Challange - Frog jump

Y12 ‘Careers Fortnight’ 2016

Dr Salman Al-Azami delivering a talk on 'Religion and the Media' and a career in linguistics

Dr Salman Al-Azami delivering a talk on ‘Religion and the Media’ and a career in linguistics

Year 12 visit to Lancaster University, Engineering department, November 2016
Year 12 visit to Lancaster University, Engineering department, November 2016

Between 31 Oct -11 Nov, 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 a better informed choice about what they might wish to do post 18, whether it be university, an apprenticeship scheme, a gap year or employment.

Activities included a trip to Lancaster University, where students attended a talk about how to choose a university, tour of the university campus and a sample workshop or lecture. 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.

Year 12 Careers Fortnight Practice interviews , 2016
Year 12 Careers Fortnight Practice interviews , 2016

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.”

Frantic Assembly at AGGS

Frantic Assembly, Drama, 4th October 2016
Frantic Assembly, Drama, 4th October 2016

On Friday 4th November, Frantic Assembly came into school to work with GCSE and A-Level Drama students. The girls worked with an experienced practitioner who explored ways to approach devising drama using physical theatre as a style. Students explored contact work such as lifts and learnt a number of techniques which can be used as a starting point for a performance. Frantic Assembly reinforced the notion of collaborative theatre making in which all performers are part of the theatre making process whether they are in the scene of observing, keenly watching for new ideas and points for development. Based on feedback from the students, the girls got a great deal out of this workshop and are now inspired to use what they have learnt in their own pieces of theatre.