CyberFirst Girls Semi Finals

Following on from their tremendous success in the qualifying round, AGGS had very safely qualified to bring a team (Rachael E, Eloise F, Roselynn G, Sophie H) to the Semi Finals of the National CyberSecurity Centre’s (NCSC) competition; CyberFirst Girls (Year 8).

They certainly gave all of the other schools in that region a lot of moments of panic when our team shot up the leader board to first place and maintaining a consistent placement in the top 10! Overall coming out second place at this location which is a tremendous achievement! The girls were an absolute credit to the school and to themselves in tackling challenges which not only were at industry and degree level but also stumping the industry helpers from PwC!

It was very clear this has sparked a life long interest in Cyber Security and we look forward to seeing their next achievements when they progress onto the CyberDiscovery challenges next year!

A massive well done and heartfelt congratulations from Mr Starnes and a special thanks for support to Y13 helpers Bex W and Amelia E-W.

Y12 Psychology Careers Talks

Y12 Psychology students heard from a range of different psychologists during careers fortnight. The careers talks were a fascinating insight into how psychology is used in the real world and gave the students a good understanding of careers in this field.

The guest speakers were as follows:

Dr Sophie Parker (Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Senior Lecturer), Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) and the University of Manchester is the Director for the Youth Mental Health Research Unit, and based within the Psychosis Research Unit (PRU). The mission of the Youth Mental Health Research Unit is to undertake outstanding and innovative mental health research for young people. With young people at the heart of everything we do, our research will improve access to evidence based treatments and support which makes a difference in the real world.
Whilst the unit has a number of research themes, Dr Parker’s research has focussed on prevention and early intervention where she helped found and manage a service aimed at identifying and treating young people at risk of psychosis. This NHS service was the first in Europe and second in the world only to the prototype service established in Australia. This service has been the clinical research platform for several studies that have had major impact on clinical practice/policy in which she was centrally involved. For example, leading directly to recommended treatments in NICE guidelines for schizophrenia and psychosis in both adults and children and young people (CG155 & CG178). She has progressed the field by developing criteria for young people at risk of bipolar disorder and developing and testing interventions for this group. She has developed and validated a screening instrument to detect young people at high risk of developing psychosis for use in primary care and more recently she has expanded this research to develop novel interventions for young people at risk of psychosis, such as running a clinical trial of metacognitive therapy. She is co-investigator of a multi-site NIHR HTA funded trial in the group at risk of psychosis that focusses on social disability and has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research to trial another innovative therapy, Attention Training, in psychosis.

Dr George Thomas, BFET’s educational psychologist gave an interesting insight into his role and useful advice on how to become an educational psychologist.

Emma Tarpey is an experienced HCPC Registered and BPS Chartered Psychologist. She has worked within the criminal justice field for over fifteen years and has a wealth of experience working with offenders.
she currently works on the BPS accredited MSc Forensic Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University

Suzanne Guest is an Occupational Psychologist who has worked in various areas of rehab. She specialises in working with people with acquired brain injury and supports them back to work, or meaningful activity. Suzanne is an active volunteer with Headway-The Brain Injury Association on a local and national level.
Suzanne has been asked to comment on various psychological issues by BBC Breakfast, That’s TV and various printed publications.

Dr Jenny Hardy currently teaches across a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules. Her main research interests are in offender resettlement and treatment and women in the Criminal Justice System. Jenny’s primary interests are in applied forensic psychology, specifically in the improvement of methods of treating offenders and offender resettlement. Jenny is a member of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology.

Barclay technology day

34 Students from Year 10 had the amazing opportunity to visit Barclays in Knutsford last week where students were put through their paces learning and answering questions about CyberSecurity within the financial sector. Great opportunities including being in the Operations Centre during an incident and how their analysts responded to it. Also a visit to the ATM testing facility where students got to experience current and next generation machines (some even testing and getting to keep testing bank notes!)

A wonderful day in an incredibly fascinating setting!

Mr Starnes & Mrs Gillibrand

Digital Futures careers event at Trafford College

On Wednesday a group of students from the Year 10 computing class went to the Digital Futures careers event hosted by Trafford College. They heard from a range of speakers from the digital tech world: GMP on cyber security, NCC, Foregenix, INTec and Cunning Plan Digital Marketing. Digital and technology is fast becoming the biggest industry with virtual learning being the way forward for Learning Technologists. By 2035 it is expected there will be an additional 21,600 digital and tech roles across Greater Manchester. The students took part in some interactive sessions brainstorming staying safe online, a quiz as well as looking at creative media and digital marketing. They also got the opportunity to have a go at virtual reality gaming that students at the college had developed.

Careerspeak – Talk on Architecture

Anita Chan from Bowker Sadler Architecture came in to school Thursday lunchtime 19th September to talk to a large audience of Years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 students. She was fantastic, very honest and very passionate, particularly about the lack of female architects and also the % of drop outs at university. She talked about what inspired her into this career and what qualities and qualifications are required.

She was very generous of her time talking to individual students after the talk, where she had clearly prompted their interest and curiosity. Also asking them to get in touch with her if they needed any more advice or information.

Luckily we do have many of the art students (and non-art students) who do go on to study architecture and hopefully Anita has inspired more to do so.

Y10 Careers Day

During the last week of term we invited volunteers into school to conduct practice interviews with our Year 10 students as part of their Careers Day.

The day started off with an inspirational talk from one of our alumnae, Fiona Topping, who works for TfGM. Her speech, reflected on her journey to date, and although she took an unconventional route, her message was clear that it is ok to be unsure of which pathway you want to take, you will find your own way in the end by not giving up. Her talk was inspirational and appreciated by all. This was followed by a CV writing skills session and a session on START; an online resource that helps match skills and interests to potential careers. The RAF and Army delivered a really fun team building and motivational session and then Y10 watched a TED talk on how body language shapes who you are. Our Connexions Adviser delivered a presentation on interview skills and labour market information.

Throughout the day, Year 10 were having practice interviews with volunteers from local businesses including some of our alumnae. By having meaningful encounters with employers, it gives the students an introduction to ‘real life’ interviews and gives them an insight into the world of work. We received many comments from the interviewers complimenting our students on their confidence, high standard and quality of responses to questions. Well done, Year 10, on a successful day.

Y12 Work Experience

Year 12 have just completed their week’s work experience in industry. Work experience placements serve multiple purposes, including experience of the world of work, employability skill development and experience to help guide future career decision-making.

Some of the companies who hosted Y12 were HSBC Bank, BNY Mellon, NHS, Unilever and UKFast. We have received some excellent employer feedback commenting on their punctuality, reliability and keenness to learn more about the company. The students faced new challenges and learnt things about themselves that they didn’t know before.

Year 8 Learn to Earn

On 10th June all of Year 8 were off timetable for an careers/enterprise event, Learn to Earn, delivered by volunteers from Young Enterprise. The programme inspires students and provides information on career options to help make informed choices. Students set goals and plan their next steps to prepare them for life beyond education. Through hands-on fun, practical activities, Learn to Earn explores themes such as career choices, personal skills and talents, recruitment and job interviews, salaries, earnings, tax and the costs of living, financial planning and budgeting. It got them to consider their future possible careers and the different paths they can take to get there. The students learnt skills in communication, financial capability, organisation, team work, problem solving and resilience. The students also got to hear about each of the individual volunteers careers route.

Manchester Digital Her Roadshow

On Tuesday 14 May x10 Year 8 students attended the Manchester Digital Her Roadshow at the Mercure, Bowdon Hotel. The day was put together with volunteers from GCHQ, Autotrader, Manchester Science Partnerships and Bjss. The event was aimed at inspiring and empowering young girls to work in the digital and tech industry. It was a very interactive and engaging day where students were involved in speed networking with meeting the role models and a workshop with GCHQ designed to give students a brief look at the sort of technical work that might be done in their organisation. It showed them the importance of things like online safety, good password creation, how to decode a piece of text and the basics of understanding the benefits of a computer programme.

The second workshop with Bjss was learning all about the client / business relationship and understanding your customer’s needs.

Over lunch the students were able to have a go at the VR experience which UA92 had brought along. One student wore the VR goggles and had to relay instructions to the rest of the team on how to get out of a maze.

The final workshop of the day was with Autotrader. Working in groups, they learnt how to complete a role model profile, how a tech business works and how to build a website.

The day concluded with 2 inspirational women speakers from Microsoft and NW EHealth. The students all came away from the day feeling very empowered and inspired to take up careers in the digital and tech industry

< if she can see it, she can be it>

UKFast visit to meet HRH Princess Anne

Mrs Walker and Mrs Gillibrand along with two of our Y12 Digital Leaders Rebecca and Ojas were privileged to have been invited last Wednesday 1 May to UKFast to share their celebrations in being awarded The Princess Royal Training Award 2019. Subsequent to receiving the award, HRH Princess Anne wanted to visit the UKFast campus to learn more about their culture and work within education.

As education partners of UKFast, Mrs Walker and Mrs Gillibrand, along with other schools and colleges, were honoured to meet The Princess Royal, who was very charming, interested and knowledgeable about the education sector.
The two Digital Leaders were involved in a classroom activity learning about the components of a server and coding. They also had the opportunity to talk to Princess Anne and show her what they were involved in doing. The Lord Lieutenant, High Sherriff and Lord Mayor of Greater Manchester were also there and were impressed by our Digital Leaders. It was a memorable opportunity and we had a thoroughly enjoyable morning followed by lunch there.

UKFast provide work experience for our Year 12 students, support the careers convention and provide workplace visits for our computing students. Gail Jones, Managing Director of UKFast, is also one of our Alumnae and came back into school last year for our Year 8 world of work day to talk about her career route since leaving AGGS. UKFast have also been key in supporting and implementing our new Blog system and have also been involved in helping our group of four Y10 students, Illuminate, in getting their cyber-bullying App up and running and ready to launch to the wider community next month.