At the beginning of April, we had our very first Mental Health Awareness Week. Over the course of the week we had various events, including speakers, a film at lunchtimes, yoga, Zumba and meditation.
I was able to see two of the speakers. Both talks were entertaining, inspiring and offered new information, which everyone enjoyed.
The speaker Wale Oladipo, from Mind, Body Breakthrough, not only told us why things work the way they work, but how the simple things we do affect our mind as well as an insight into the way our brains work when it comes to mental health. For example, what our brains look like when we smoke or drink alcohol in comparison to a healthy brain and how drinking or smoking can impact on not just our physical health but also our mental health. We also got to understand the importance of exercise and its impact on our mental health. The session was interactive and Wale Oladipo made the session entertaining and applicable to our daily lives, so that mental health didn’t really seem to be a separate thing from us and out of our control, but just as in our control as our physical health. One lucky student was able to have an EEG scan of her brain, and see the reaction in her brain when she spoke or thought about certain things which was an amazing experience.
Another speaker, Wendy Bateman, hosted an interactive session which we were encouraged to take part in as much as possible and again, it helped to make mental health seem as much a part of us and as controllable as our physical health. We were asked to think of our worries – if they were in our control, partially or completely out of our control. Not everything is within our control, and that is a fact of life. If you can do something about it, what are the actions you can take. Sometimes we need to break down a worry and look at the bigger picture, because all too often we get carried away with the little details, and these are things we all need to remember.
The activities at lunchtime during the week were a great success. The Well-being team did a fantastic job putting everything together, and the Anti Bullying team chipped in to show the film Wonder over two lunchtimes; a very inspiring movie which showcased the damages of bullying. Many teachers held lunchtime activities to help students de-stress and relax, such as mindful colouring and typography. The turnouts for the events were great and everyone enjoyed getting involved.
All together, the AGGS first Mental Health Awareness Week was brilliant, and helped the school community as a whole. Not only did the speakers help shine a light on our well-being, but the events brought together the school and allowed us to embrace a positive approach to well-being and raising awareness of the importance of mental health.
Thank you to the speakers who were able to visit school: Wendy Bateman, Lily Jo and Wale Oladipo from Mind, Body Breakthrough, and the teachers who held lunchtime activities throughout the week.
Written by Annabelle, Year 10
Welcome back to our blog! Here are our goals for 2018 and what you should look forward to this year!
Firstly, we will be starting Anti-Bullying Drop-In Sessions for all years. Our main goal this year is to create a scheme in school where students can feel comfortable discussing issues with the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors; don’t worry, we don’t bite!
“Following a consultation with over 800 children, teachers and members of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, it emerged that a top priority was showing that bullying is a behaviour choice, and that children and young people can set a positive example by opting to respect each other at school, in their homes and communities, and online.”- Anti-Bullying Alliance
During this week, we hope students understand the definition of respect and bullying and to always consider other people’s feelings. Remember, before you speak, is it true, kind, helpful or necessary?
We hope you look forward to what the team are organising for Anti-Bullying Week 2018!
And remember, if you need someone to talk to you or seek advice from, look out for our Diana Award badges and don’t be afraid to come up to us.
This year, Anti-Bullying Ambassadors created a banner for Stand Up to Bullying Day and to raise awareness about reporting bullying rather than being a bystander.
But no, this wasn’t an ordinary banner. After spending a week in the art room (with help from the amazing Miss Taylor) the ambassadors planned and painted the huge banner with the slogan: ‘I STAND UP TO BULLYING’ and below it, ‘Do You?’
The banner was hung in the main hall on June 13th (Stand Up to Bullying Day) and left till Friday and welcomed kind comments, inspirational quotes and messages.
Our ‘Stand Up to Bullying Day’ project aimed to strengthen our school community and collectively take a stand against bullying.
When we visited the banner on Friday, we were amazed by how busy the banner was. There were smiley faces and quotes and as teachers walked past, they commented on how brilliant this idea was. Thank you to everyone who left a message and helped us achieve our goal!
The banner will be in the main hall next week for the school open day and will later be placed in the library.
Take a look at the pictures of the banner below!
Once again, a huge thank you from the Anti-Bullying Team! 🙂
Our new Year 9 ambassadors were trained recently and AGGS hosted the Anti-Bullying training day for schools in Manchester. The Year 9s were joined by other passionate students from secondary schools and took part in a jam-packed day!
The students learnt how to recognise bullying, the different types of bullying and how their role as an Anti-Bullying ambassador is crucial at school. Along with a fun parachute game which allowed the ambassadors to think how everyone if different yet equal, they were able to develop leadership and communication skills and elected a team leader. Susi will be updating the Diana Award regularly about the progress the AGGS team make and will be able to ask for resources on behalf of the team. The team voted for a creative and enthusiastic leader; well done Susi!
After the other schools left, the AGGS team were able to sit with the staff from the Diana Award and discuss the individual roles they will have in the team. We had a range of roles, from very confident speakers to assembly presentation makers. Jaya and I look forward to working with the Year 9s in the next year and can’t wait to see how they continue to make AGGS a friendly, bully-free school.
Thank you to the Diana Award staff who visited us and we hope to see you soon!
Our school will now host Anti-Bullying training days for new ambassadors in Manchester!
On 9th May, Diana Award staff will be coming to AGGS and training young, excited and passionate students to help run the Anti-Bullying teams in their schools.
A number of Year 9 AGGS students were selected and will be participating in the training day, as well as students from other local schools.
We hope they enjoy the training and become amazing ambassadors for the school!
We also look forward to hosting many more training days for schools in Manchester!
Keep checking the Anti-Bullying blog for updates on the training day in May and the work the current team are doing in school.
During the last week before the February half term, the Anti-Bullying team cut out hundreds of paper hearts for the Valentine’s Day special event.
These hearts were handed to form tutors who were encouraged to ask everyone in their form to write a compliment on a heart for someone else. Many hearts were also left in baskets around school for people who wanted to write more compliments and hand them out.
This year, the event was a huge success and baskets were empty by the end of the week. Lots of people had been busy writing compliments for their friends but also teachers! The success highlights the friendly, supportive environment the school has created and the passion of the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.
Anti-bullying Week runs from 13-17 November each year and the theme this year is: ‘All Different, All Equal’. The idea is to promote differences and help young people celebrate what makes them, and others, unique . Our main aim as Anti-bullying Ambassadors is to help people understand why it’s important that every child feels included in the school community and allow them to express themselves without fear of bullying.
In AGGS, the Anti-Bullying team will be presenting assemblies to all year groups and will be promoting equality throughout the week through a range of activities. So keep your eyes open during November!
From the Anti-bullying team 🙂
Year 10 girls went to Anti-Bullying training day at Old Trafford, run by the Diana Award – Anti-Bullying programme. They willl now be joining our current year 11 ambassadors to carry on the good work in school.
The theme ‘Power for Good’ is being promoted throughout the school week. Anti bullying Ambassadors have given assemblies to all year groups about how we can all make a change and create a friendly school environment.
We have recommended teachers to plan out activities for their form that help build teamwork skills. Anti bullying ambassadors will be visiting their Year 7 forms and playing games that require concentration and of course, they will be fun!
Teachers have also been asked t switch up seating plans so students can talk to other people they might not usually have conversations with.
We also recommend complimenting people this week, even a smile can brighten up someone’s day!
A message from the Anti bullying team x